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Public Lecture Series 2005/2006 – University of Reading

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Public Lecture Series 2005/2006

Release Date 11 October 2005

The University of Reading's ever popular Public Lecture Series returns again this October, offering a unique opportunity to learn something of the research, teaching and people that make the University a world-class institute. As always the lectures are free and open to everyone. They are given by researchers eminent in their field, and in a manner that is easily understood by all. One of the reasons for the success of past lecture series has been the wide and interesting range of topics discussed – this year's promises to be no different. Professor Peter Lansley begins the series on Tuesday 18 October with Designs for a Caring Society. Professor Lansley will discuss how the needs of older people and disabled people have been largely ignored in the design of many consumer products. The need for designers to provide products, environments and systems which can be used by all members of society is widely accepted, but how can this be achieved? In the second lecture, Innocent Victims: The Plight of Child Evacuees in WWII, Dr Martin Parsons will talk about the plight of the thousands of children all over Europe who were sent away from their families during the War. They were often just treated as anonymous numbers, and Dr Parsons will compare the evacuation schemes in the UK, France, Germany and Finland. The Explorer of Flora – an Amazon Adventure sees Professor Sir Ghillean Prance FRS, former Director of the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew, give his personal account of collecting plants in the tropical rainforests over the last 40 years, particularly in the Amazon region. It will link the adventures of fieldwork to its main purposes – to complete the inventory of the flora and to promote conservation. In the new year, Dr David Oliver looks at Falls, faints, fragility and fractures. Falls are the biggest reason for hospital admission in older people. They may lead to injury, anxiety, loss of physical function and placement in long term care. David will focus on the difficulty of translating the research evidence in this area into practice. For centuries the printing trade has produced documents, which are described collectively as ephemera. In the next lecture, The Lasting Significance of Printed Ephemera, Professor Michael Twyman illustrates their importance for the historical record, and aims to show how a concentration on the history of the book has led to a very narrow interpretation of the work of the printing trade and its impact on society. This fascinating series ends with Getting to the Guts of Microbes in Health and Disease. Professor Glenn Gibson will discuss the trillions and trillions of bacteria that inhabit the human gut. He will describe what they are, where they come from, how many there are inside the body and explain how they handle your daily diet. Glenn also explores the critical role of gut bacteria in promoting better health and presents new research being done at the University. "The University of Reading is one of the leading providers of education in the Thames Valley and we are delighted that our public lectures continue to provoke such enormous interest," said Alison Fabian, the series organiser. "Our speakers this year are again of the highest calibre, so audiences are sure to be intrigued and entertained. "The lectures are incredibly popular with all sorts of different people. Attendances are always high so some lively debate is guaranteed afterwards." The full schedule for the University of Reading Public Lecture Series 2005-2006 is: 18/10/2005 – Designs for a caring society Prof Peter Lansley, School of Construction Management and Engineering 01/11/2005 - Innocent Victims: the Plight of Child Evacuees in WWII Dr Martin Parsons, Institute of Education 22/11/2005 - The Explorer of Flora - an Amazon Adventure Prof Sir Ghillean Prance FRS, former Director of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew 17/01/2006 - Falls, faints, fragility and fractures Dr David Oliver, Institute of Health Studies 14/02/2006 - The Lasting Significance of Printed Ephemera Professor Michael Twyman, Department of Typography & Graphic Communication 28/02/2006 - Getting to the Guts of Microbes in Health and Disease Professor Glenn Gibson, School of Food Biosciences All of the University Public Lectures start at 8pm and will be held in the Palmer Building on the University's Whiteknights campus. Lectures are free to attend and no ticket is required. For further information, please visit the following website: or contact Alison Fabian in the University's Communications Office on (tel) 0118 378 7110 or (email) End For media enquiries only, please contact Craig Hillsley, the University's press officer on: (Tel) 0118 378 7388 (Email)

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