Annual lectures

Within the School we host annual lectures in Geography and Geology, given by distinguished speakers in their field of research. These lectures are open to all.

Bennett (Geology) Lecture

The Bennett Lecture is named after Dr F W Bennett, a local practitioner and man of standing and influence in the city of Leicester. Dr Bennett was also a keen amateur geologist, and his generosity to the University is recognised both in the naming of the Bennett Building and in this annual lecture. 

The Bennett Lecture is a prestigious annual public event, given by a distinguished earth scientist on a topic of their choice. It should be of broad interest and should particularly enthuse and inspire tomorrow's scientists in studying the natural world. 

The audience normally includes current staff and students, as well as members of the public. 

Former Bennett lecturers have included Ron (now Lord) Oxburgh, Professor Dan McKenzie, Stephen Jay Gould, Sir Crispin Tickell, Professor Michael Russell, Professor Dr Schmid, Dr Harry Dowcett, Professor Andrew T Fisher, Professor Jenny Clack, Professor Tim Lenton, Professor Simon Wallis, and Dr Sue Loughlin.

Expedition Volcano!

Professor Christopher A-L Jackson
Professor of Basin Analysis at Imperial College London

Tuesday 12 February 2019
Lecture Theatre 1, Bennett Building
5.30pm Tea and coffee reception
6.00pm Lecture begins

professor christopher jackson with nyiragongo (volcano) behindIn June 2017, 15 scientists and BBC film crew travelled to Nyiragongo, one of the largest and most active volcanoes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and home to the largest permanent lava lake on Earth. Posing a permanent threat to the city of Goma, a settlement with >1,000,000 people, Nyiragongo last erupted in 2002, and has been intermittently active ever since. In this talk we will explore the geological setting of this lethal yet mysterious volcano, which is situated within the East Africa Rift, the giant geological fracture responsible for the splitting apart of Africa. This lecture will show footage and photography taken from the volcano summit and deep within the crater, next to the 700 m wide, 600 m deep lava lake, showcasing the volcanoes structure, and the unusual chemistry and physical properties of its lava. Transmitted on BBC2 in October 2017, Expedition Volcano discussed much, much more about the geology and study of this fascinating yet devastating natural wonder, the threat it poses to the nearby populous, and the great wealth and conflict it has brought to this turbulent region.

Geography Lecture

Beyond Coloniality: geography and the study of Africa

Professor Patricia Daley
Professor of the Human Geography of Africa at the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford

Wednesday 5 December 2018
Lecture Theatre 1, Bennett Building
5.00pm Tea and coffee reception
5.30pm Lecture begins

The lecture is concerned with the study of Africa in the discipline of geography in the UK – a subject with deep colonial roots. Through a mixture of personal reflection and a critical review of geographical scholarship on post-colonial Africa, the lecture explores three issues: the colonial continuities in the geographical framings of Africa amidst sustained critique by Africans of the persistent negative representation of the continent in the media and universities of the global North; the marginalization of scholarship by Africans, and on Africa, in contemporary geographical knowledge production; and the challenges and the potentialities for the study of Africa offered by the ‘epistemic disobedience’ of the decolonial turn. The lecture concludes by making a case for a more critical engagement with Africa by British geographers, shifting the priorities from enterprise and careerism to ethics and solidarity.

Events archive

See past events held in the School of Geography, Geology and the Environment.

Browse the archive