Public Lectures

Our 2016-2017 free public lecture series begins in October.

2016-2017 Lecture Programme:

The Forth Replacement Crossing: Project Update
Ewen Macdonell, Community Liaison Officer,
Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors
Wednesday 5 October, 7 pm
D’Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre, Tower Building, Dundee University

 The Forth Replacement Crossing (Principal Contract) is nearing completion. This talk will focus on how the new Queensferry Crossing and connecting roads have evolved over the past five years and how the project will progress to completion.

Supported by Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors



The Modern Life of Bees: An Insight into our Nation’s Favourite Insects
Fiona Highet, Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture
Tuesday 8 November, 7 pm
D’Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre, Tower Building, Dundee University

Bees are renowned as hard working, ‘useful’ insects, responsible for pollination and honey production. But they are also fascinating creatures with complex social relationships. Come to find out more about the life of bees, the problems they face in the modern environment and what we can do to help them.

Supported by Edina Trust



Sex, Stress and Mental Health 
Dr Fhionna Moore, School of Social Science, University of Dundee
Thursday 26 January 2017, 7 pm
Kydd Building, Abertay University, Bell Street, Dundee

Men and women no longer occupy the traditional gender roles of ‘breadwinner’ and ‘homemaker’. How does this influence our day-to-day experiences, stress, and mental health? I’ll talk about our research into social roles and mental health, including analyses of historical suicide rates in Dundee’s jute-mill workers.


Are You Thick-Skinned Enough? Dermatology Discovseries in Dundee from skin blistering to Eczema
Professor Irwin McLean FRS FRSE, School of Life Sciences,
University of Dundee
Wednesday 22 February, 7 pm
D’Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre, Tower Building, Dundee University

Over the last 25 years, the causes of several important skin diseases have been discovered at the University of Dundee, from rare skin blistering conditions through to eczema.  Currently, the major focus of the Dundee group is to try to develop therapies for incurable skin diseases.


Sparkling Clouds and Crackling Lightning in Extrasolar Planets
Dr Christiane Helling, School of Physics and Astronomy,
University of St Andrews
Thursday 16 March, 7 pm
D’Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre, Tower Building, Dundee University

The diversity of the 3400 planets already identified outside our solar system is far larger than we expected, such as gas giants orbiting close to the host star where storms rage. The talk will explain how we think these storms form and why many extrasolar planets may be covered in sparkling mineral clouds and filled with crackling of lightning.

Supported by the Institute of Physics in Scotland



The Tayside & Fife Branch of the British Science Association is most grateful to the University of Dundee, Abertay University , Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors, the Edina Trust and the Institute of Physics in Scotland for their contributions towards this lecture series.


More Information

The annual Public Lecture programme seeks to offer a varied and interesting series
of talks by accomplished scientists in a range of disciplines. It runs from Autum to Spring with five or six talks evenly spaced out over the winter months.

Prof. John Brown, Astronomer Royal for Scotland, shows the "Magic of the Cosmos" during his very popular lecture to mark the 50th anniversary of Dundee Astronomical Society in September 2006.

All talks are FREE and are intended for a non-specialist public audience and are open to everyone . There is no need to book in advance.

You may also be interested in the following series of talks which are held locally: