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David Elder Lecture Series

The David Elder lecture series at Glasgow Science Centre presents a line-up of fascinating talks by expert astronomers, spaceflight pioneers, award-winning science writers and broadcasters.

David Elder Lecture Series

About David Elder Lecture Series

Glasgow Science Centre is proud to host the David Elder Lectures in partnership with the University of Strathclyde's Department of Physics. The David Elder lecture series presents a line-up of fascinating talks by expert astronomers, spaceflight pioneers, award-winning science writers and broadcasters. This lecture series continues the tradition of monthly astronomy lectures in Glasgow which began with the first David Elder Lecture in 1905!

This regular monthly programme of talks in The Planetarium runs over the winter months each year. Each lecture lasts approx. 1 hour and is best suited to older teenagers (aged 16 years+) and adults.

2023-24 LECTURE SERIES
28 September 2023 - Dr. Jarita Holbook - Astronomy in Your Culture & Society
Cultural Astronomy is an interdisciplinary field spanning ancient times to the present and focused on regions around the world. How do humans view the sky? How do they see the sky as part of their environment? How have they woven the sky into their artistic expressions? This talk will share examples of these from around the world including those from Africa.

26 October 2023 - Dr Alfredo Carpineti - Invisible Rainbows: The Universe Beyond Our Senses
What we call light is but a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum that we know exists in the universe. Over the last 223 years, we have learned to study the cosmos beyond our senses, and thanks to this invisible light and its invisible rainbows we can now understand the universe like never before.

22 November 2023 - Dr. David McKee - Light In the Polar Night
Light: a key driver for life on earth and a fundamental ingredient in driving photosynthesis and animal behaviour in the ocean. In the extreme environment of the Arctic, the light field swings from 24 hour daylight in the summer to 24 hour darkness in the winter. This is a particularly challenging environment for plants and animals, requiring special adaptation in order to survive and thrive. Rapid climate change is putting this exceptional lightscape under threat. Reduction in duration and extent of sea-ice and snow strongly impacts the light reaching the ocean. New sensors and models are being developed to understand how these changes will affect phytoplankton blooms and the animals that feed upon them.

Studying these processes in such an extreme environment can be very challenging. In addition to often very difficult weather conditions, there is growing evidence of animal sensitivity to light pollution, including from lights on ships conducting the surveys. In this talk we will take a dive into new advances in polar night research, exploring the changing Arctic and the challenges of working in this extreme environment.

24 January 2024 - Prof. Andy Lawrence - Is Astronomy Useless? Why the sky matters and how we might lose it

22 February 2024 - Prof. Michele Dougherty - JUICE - the Mission to Jupiter's Icy Moons

28 March 2024 - Prof. Sir James Hough OBE – Ripples from the Dark Side of the Universe - A Bright Future Ahead


Talks starts at 7pm and last around 1 hour with the opportunity for a live Q&A following the talk. The talks are best suited to older teenagers and adults.
Tickets are available to attend each talk in the David Elder Lecture series in-person at The Planetarium.

Tickets cost £6 per person, per lecture. Capacity is limited and pre-booking online is essential to avoid disappointment.

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