Fairbrother Lecture

Bringing doctoral research to a wider audience

The Fairbrother Lecture is a University public lecture established in 2014. Named after Jack Fairbrother, who in 1929 became the first student to be awarded a PhD from the University, the Fairbrother Lecture is an annual event at which a current, or recent, Reading doctoral researcher will present their work to a wider audience. 

Fairbrother Lecture 2017
'When healthy foods go wrong: food poisoning and fresh produce'

Ruth Barnes, a PhD researcher from the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, delivered the fourth annual Fairbrother lecture on Tuesday 14 March.

Ruth outlined how her doctoral research was investigating how to reduce bad bacteria on fresh produce; making our food safer, while still maintaining its taste and appearance.

Fairbrother Lecture 2017

Ruth explained that many people don't associate fresh and healthy foods, such as salad and soft fruit, with any food poisoning risk, but several interesting examples in the lecture illustrated that this is certainly not the case. As the foods Ruth works on are usually eaten raw or with little processing, it can be trickier to reduce risk, so Ruth's research focuses on the use of different acid washes to destroy the bacteria.

Ruth's doctoral research is jointly funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and AgriCoat Nature Seal Ltd.

In addition to the lecture, there was a display of the doctoral reFairbrother Lecture research displaysearch undertaken by four other outstanding Reading PhD researchers: Ester Lo Biundo (History); Mick Stringer (Classics); Owen Humphreys (Archaeology) and Kieran Hunt (Meteorology). This gave the lecture audience the chance to find out more about the variety of doctoral research taking place at Reading.




Fairbrother Lecture 2016
'A slippery situation: melting ice in Antarctica'

On Wednesday 4 May, Sammie Buzzard, a final year doctoral researcher from the Department of Meteorology, gave the 2016 Fairbrother Lecture to a packed lecture hall in the Henley Business School. Sammie's lecture presented her doctoral research into the melting of ice shelves in Antarctica.

You can now watch Sammie Buzzard's Fairbrother Lecture here:

Fairbrother Lecture 2015

On Wednesday 11 March, Dr Nadya Ali delivered the annual Graduate School Fairbrother Public Lecture to a packed lecture theatre in the Henley Business School. Nadya's engaging talk addressed a topical and thought-provoking subject, and was based on her doctoral research into British Governments' counter-radicalisation policies in the UK over the last ten years. Nadya provided an insightful overview of the policy changes under successive administrations and how these have manifested in British society and reflected in the media.

Following the 45 minute lecture, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Steve Mithen, chaired a Q&A session from the audience. Nadya expertly fielded a range of diverse and challenging questions and the post-lecture reception gave audience members the opportunity to speak to Nadya in more detail about her work.

Nadya undertook both her BA and MA at Reading and her doctoral research was supervised by Dr Andreas Behnke (Dept. Politics & International Relations). She submitted her thesis in autumn 2014, subsequently passing her viva without revisions in January 2015.

Fairbrother Lecture 2014

Isabelle Pérès from the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences and the School of Pharmacy delivered the inaugural Fairbrother Lecture on 15 May 2014. The title of Isabelle's lecture was 'Can cannabis be used to treat epilepsy?' and it discussed the research that Isabelle has been involved in at Reading to develop an epilepsy treatment from non-psychoactive components of cannabis. This exciting work has resulted in clinical trials and the treatment of children with severe and drug-resistant epilepsy. Isabelle is in the final year of her PhD jointly supervised by Dr Claire Williams (Psychology) and Professor Ben Whalley (Pharmacy). Her research is part of a larger research project funded by GW Pharmaceuticals. Of her experience, Isabelle said 'Doing the lecture was a fantastic opportunity. The response I've had from it has been quite overwhelming and unexpected. I think it's a great way to finish my PhD!'



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