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Public lectures – University of Reading

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Public lectures

 The University of Reading's Public Lecture Series is a showcase of research highlights from across the University.

Established over 45 years ago, these popular lectures are given by Reading academics eminent in their field and cover a wide range of topics.

Spring 2018 programme


 Wednesday 27 February 2019

G10 Palmer Building,


The bombing of cities during the Second World War is still fiercely contested. To some, the Blitz against British cities and Allied raids over Germany were necessary battles, weakening the ability of an enemy to wage war. For others, the destruction of cultural landmarks and the deaths of around a million civilians worldwide were war crimes.

Coinciding with the anniversary of the British raid on Dresden, historian Patrick Major and space scientist Chris Scott will explore two different impacts of Second World War bombing raids. Using documents and images from the National Archives, Professor Major will describe what it was like to be on the ground during the chaos and destruction of an air raid. Professor Scott will explain how a new analysis of wartime records by scientists at the Radio Research Station near Slough has helped Reading researchers today conduct an 'experiment in the past' showing how the blast waves from the bombs shook the edge of space.


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Wednesday 20 March 2019

G10 Palmer Building


Britain's housing system is broken. Sky-high house prices mean buying a home is just a dream for many people, yet it is still considered an essential pursuit. Tenants are pushed into poverty or forced to move by rent rises, pulling families and communities apart. Young people see their life options constrained in a string of shared flats, or stuck at home with their parents.

So what's the solution? In this lecture, architect Professor Flora Samuel will deliver her manifesto for a better housing future. She will show how designing better homes and cities is crucial to resolving the current crisis. Intelligent design of towns and cities can improve people's health and happiness. Social homes must be built in growing numbers that are not only affordable, but enviable. The aim must be to improve the physical environment for the next generation, to help them tackle a growing list of social, political and economic challenges.

Flora Samuel is Professor of Architecture in the Built Environment at the University of Reading, and a Co-Investigator at the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE), for which she leads the 'Place' theme.


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