Irene Manton Lecture 2021
The Faculty hosted its 7th Irene Manton Lecture in December, in partnership with the prestigious Linnean Society of London. The event was delivered online and streamed live via the Faculty’s Facebook page.
The lecture celebrates the significant contribution made by women to the Natural Sciences and is named after British botanist Irene Manton who, as well as being the first female president of the Linnean Society, studied for her PhD here at the University.
This year’s guest speaker was Dr Kat Coyte, Presidential Fellow (Research) at The University of Manchester. Kat’s presentation focused on how we can combine mathematics, big data and simple experiments to understand, and perhaps even manipulate, our own microbial communities, through her talk entitled ‘Worlds within our Guts‘.
Commenting on the event Kat said: “It was such an honour to talk at the event tonight. It’s actually a bit surreal as I attended a similar event when studying my A-levels and now I am the person giving the lecture.’
The evening was a huge success with a varied audience watching live, including Linnean Society members, University colleagues, sixth form students from schools across the UK and members of the public. It was particularly pleasing to see students engaging with the event during the Q&A session, as the lecture aims to inspire and inform those interested in a career in the Natural Sciences.
Professor Mahesh Nirmalan, Vice Dean for Social Responsibility and Public Engagement commented: “Kat gave an absolutely inspiring lecture, she spoke with clarity and authority and it was fascinating to hear about the integration between biology, computing, mathematics and philosophy. The annual Irene Manton Lecture has evolved into a highlight event in the Faculty’s Social Responsibility calendar.”
Previous speakers have included:
- Dr Eleanor Drinkwater, PhD student, University of York with her talk ‘Metamorphosis: a 300 year story of intrepid women, rainforests and butterflies’ (blog article 2020) You can also watch the event recording here
- Professor Jan Bradley, University of Nottingham with her talk ‘From Man to Mouse’ (blog article 2019)
- Dr Sandra Knapp, President of the Linnean Society of London with her talk entitled ‘Fieldwork in fancy dress? A natural history of women in the field’ (blog article 2018)
- Dr Anna Gilchrist with her talk entitled ‘I’m a butterfly… get me out of here’ (blog article 2017)
- Professor Sheena Cruickshank with her talk entitled ‘On you, inside you: the amazing and horrible world of parasites’ (blog article 2016)
- Professor Dianne Edwards, President of the Linnean Society (2012-2015), with the inaugural talk entitled ‘In the footsteps of Manton: Spores and early land plant evolution (blog article 2014)’
Find out more about Social Responsibility and Public Engagement within the Faculty here.