Press Releases

From coral reefs to copyright: Public Lecture Series 2004-2005 – University of Reading

Release Date : 30 September 2004

a criminal line up - poster for first lectureThe University of Reading's esteemed annual Public Lecture Series – which showcases some of the groundbreaking research being carried out at the University – is getting under way this autumn. This year's Series features six of the University's top academics talking about subjects ranging from copyright to coral reefs, and from genetics to jeans. It promises to be one of the most fascinating and entertaining Series organised by the University for many years. Dr Andrew Adams, from the School of Systems Engineering, kicks off the series on Tuesday 19 October with Copyright v Creativity. With the advent of new technologies such as the Internet copyright of artistic works is becoming a crucial issue. "Music publishers, book publishers and movie makers would have you believe that everlasting all-encompassing copyright is a benefit to society," says Dr Adams. "This lecture will show why current copyright is too strong and too long and why it is stifling rather than promoting creative work." The second lecture, From Ethics to Genetics, will see Professor Jan Pentreath look at the impact human beings are having on the natural environment. He will discuss some of the physical, chemical and biological hazards that surround us in the UK. Professor James Crabbe will talk about coral reefs. Known as the 'rainforests of the sea' these magical places provide food for people, are an important source of medicines, protect the coast from wave erosion and are a source of beautiful beaches for tourists. Professor Crabbe, who has done extensive research on reefs in Indonesia and Jamaica, will review aspects of coral reef degradation and their resilience. In the new year, Professor Howard Colquhoun will turn his attention to synthetic polymers such as Kevlar®, which is as strong as high-tensile steel and yet is four or five times lighter. He will explore the science behind these advanced polymeric materials and will highlight some of the latest research in this field. Indigo is the world's oldest and only natural blue dye. Professor Philip John will chart its exotic past – from being a product that made the fortunes of many medieval farmers and merchants to being the subject of innovative research at Reading that might see it being re-introduced into European agriculture during the 21st century. In the final lecture, Professor Shai Vyakarnam will argue that getting on in the business world is just as much about who you know as what you know. "As one of the major providers of education in the Thames Valley, we are very keen to hold these kinds of public lectures," says Alison Fabian, who has organised the Lecture Series. "The lectures are given by researchers eminent in their field and in a manner that is easily understood by all. They offer a unique opportunity to learn about the research, teaching and people that make the University a world-class institute. "The lectures are always incredibly popular with all sorts of different people, and they always lead to some lively debate afterwards." The full schedule for the University of Reading Public Lecture Series 2004-2005 is: 19/10/04 – Copyright v Creativity Dr Andrew Adams, School of Systems Engineering 23/11/04 – From Ethics to Genetics: The Environment and Human Health Professor Jan Pentreath, Environmental Systems Science Centre 07/12/04 – Coral Reefs: Climate Change and Sustainability Professor James Crabbe, School of Animal and Microbial Sciences 08/02/05 – Our Light Materials Professor Howard Colquhoun, School of Chemistry 01/03/05 – Indigo: From Medieval Biotechnology to Denim Jeans Professor Philip John, School of Plant Sciences 15/03/05 – Know-who is sometimes more important than know-how Professor Shai Vyakarnam, The University of Reading Business School 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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