Acanthodiformes family
Actinopterygii family


Did the 10960s Change the World?


Professor John Gray

22 March 2017



Philosopher John Gray launches BRLSI's 1960s lecture season with a question - and an unexpected answer.


Opera Production: Curatorship or Creativity

Chaired by Victor Suchar

Patrick Young

Director, Royal Opera House

21 September 2005

The speaker directed in London, Lucca, Shanghai, Rome, Strasbourg & Los Angeles, staging among other productions Fidelio with Josephine Barstow, Un Ballo in Maschera with Luciano Pavarotti, La Traviata with Carol Vaness, Don Carlos with Karita Mattila & Don Giovanni with Sir Thomas Allen.

The Primacy of Imagination

Chaired by Victor Suchar

Dr Richard Ogle

Author & co-convenor, Camden Philosophical Society

11 October 2005

I want to talk about an ancient quarrel in philosophy, the quarrel between reason and imagination. Ever since Greek times there has existed a strong tradition claiming primacy for reason as representing the core of the mind’s cognitive faculties. This tradition has correspondingly been responsibly for a centuries-old neglect of the imagination, alternating with open disparagement of its powers as positively dangerous to those who seek to find Truth.

Christopher Anstey: A life in 18th century Bath

Poetry Lecture convened by Janet Cunliffe-Jones

Gavin Turner

Biographer & Editor

16 November 2005

A volume of Christopher Anstey’s Life & Works, edited & published by his son John, in 1808,

from the BRLSI’s collection, was on display at the lecture. The Poetry Group had collected money

to have it rebound, under the BRLSI adopt-a-book scheme.

Settling Ethnic Conflicts

World Affairs Lecture chaired by Rodney Tye

Professor Stefan Wolff

University of Bath

25 October 2005

Professor Wolff is an author on this subject and is highly regarded both within & beyond the University.

He began with an illustrated World map showing major areas of Ethnic conflict (including Northern Ireland). Yet the map did not include North and South America – virtually free.

This particular type of conflict had become far more widespread since WW2. There was little in the way of a common cause.

Vietnam 1968-1969: A place & a year like no other

Lecture convened & chaired by Dr Rex Valentine

Professor Patrick Kelly

Chairman of Dept of Neurosurgery

New York University & Medical School

23 November 2005


Personal Experience

I reported for duty at the Naval Support Activity Station Hospital in DaNang, on 25 August 1968. The heat in the Vietnamese summer and the dust were oppressive. The quarters for new arrivals were not air-conditioned. We slept soaked in our own sweat. Just about every unattended surface was soon covered in a fine brown dust.

A German Lady’s Impressions of Regency Bath

Literature & Humanities lecture

Convened & chaired by Dr Rex Valentine

Emeritus Professor Peter Skrine

University of Bristol

23 January 2006


This was a popular, well attended & very appropriate lecture for the time of year.

It was accompanied by a fascinating display of relevant views & documents from the

Victoria Art Gallery & Museum & BRLSI’s own collection, mounted by the convenor.

The Origin of the Origin: What Henslow taught Darwin

Convened & chaired by Professor Ian Wallace

Professor John S Parker

University of Cambridge

22 February 2006

Benjamin Franklin in London 1757-1775

Joan Reid

Historian, Benjamin Franklin House, London

23 September 2004

The speaker has been Historian of the Benjamin Franklin House in London for five years and has lectured in Britain and America on Franklin’s life and activities. On this occasion she would concentrate on his relationships with the scientists of his time, which he developed mainly while he was living in London. Portraits and other illustrations would be used when appropriate.


Lecture chaired by Peter Rex Valentine

Deanna Petherbridge CBE

Arnolfini Professor of Drawing, University of the West of England

28th September 2004

A Young Woman Sleeping (Hendrickje Stoffels) c.1654

by Rembrandt van Rijn

Brush & brown wash © British Museum

Creativity of Vision

Lecture chaired by Geoffrey Catchpole

Professor Richard Gregory

Emeritus Professor of Neuropsychology, University of Bristol

21 October 2004.

He would first consider why vision developed, how it evolved and then became creative, long before human beings emerged. The processes which originally developed to aid survival in a totally alien world eventually became a vehicle for art and thought.

Radicalism: A Futile Gesture or a Force for Good?

Case Study of a Radical: George Herbert Perris (1866-1920)

Lecture chaired by Geoffrey Catchpole

Robert Gomme CB

Retired Civil Servant

17 November 2004

The period before, during and immediately after World War I continues to fascinate us as frequent books, radio and television programmes and films testify. This is not surprising as the period qualifies in many ways as the seedbed of much 20th and 21st century history.

The Myth of Progress in Science & Society


Organised & chaired by Victor Suchar

Prof. John Gray

London School of Economics

10 December 2004


The Freedom of Information Act

Joint Meeting with Bath Branch of Charter 88


Graham Smith Deputy Information Commissioner

Jeff Wring Bath & NE Somerset Council

Sarah Knight Royal United Hospital

27 January 2005

Nelson at Home in Bath

Trafalgar Bicentenary Lecture chaired by Don Lovell

Louis Hodgkin

Past chairman of the Nelson Society

9 February 2005

14th February is the anniversary of the Battle of St Vincent, Nelson's first victory in 1797. I feel it opportune to outline how Nelson established his career, which lead to this Battle, bringing him to the public's attention, and to show how Bath played a part in the story.

Goethe: Sage of Weimar or Devil’s Advocate?

Chaired by Peter Rex Valentine

Prof. Peter Skrine

University of Bristol

15 February 2005

Platonists & Stoics on the Self

Chaired by Victor Suchar

Prof. Richard Sorabji

University of Oxford

24 February 2005

There was a new interest in being true to your individual self among the Stoics of the 1st centuries BC and AD. Cicero tells us of the first such Stoic, Panaetius, who died just before 100 BC and the second is the famous Stoic, Epictetus, who started as a slave.

How to be an Intellectual

Lecture chaired by Victor Suchar

Professor Steve Fuller

University of Warwick

9 March 2005.

Professor Fuller has appeared on Radio 4’s Today, Radio 3’s Nightwaves & Channel 4’s Trial of the 21st Century. He has written for the Independent, the New Scientist & the New York Times. The following text is adapted from the Introduction of his recent book The Intellectual on which this lecture was based.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon at Ninevah

World of Antiquity lecture chaired by Martin Sturge

Dr Stephanie Dalley

University of Oxford

14 April 2005

After many years working on Assyrian history, Dr Dalley felt that numerous classical references to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon as a World Wonder, yet about which little was known, deserved investigation. Her quest is now into its twelfth year.

Broadcasting Matters: the future of the BBC

Michael Darlow, The Voice of the Listener & Viewer Ltd

11 March 2005

Chaired by Donald Lovell

The meeting opened with an apology, read by the Chairman, from Don Foster MP, who was involved in an extended sitting of the House of Commons on the Prevention of Terrorism Bill. He had sent a written copy of his paper but as he could not take part in the discussion it was decided to invite an alternative speaker. The main points in his paper were:

MRSA Epidemiology & Evolution

Chaired by Andy Pepperdine

Dr Mark Enright

University of Bath

21 April 2005

Dr Enright is a senior researcher at the University of Bath and acknowledges the support given to him for research into MRSA from the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society.

The Archaeology of Ancient Egyptian Poetry: reading The Tale of Sinuhe

Lecture chaired by Martin Sturge

Dr Richard Parkinson

Egyptology Department of the British Museum

11 May 2005

Novgorod: Archaeology of a Russian Medieval City

Chaired by Andy Pepperdine

Prof. Mark Brisbane

Bournemouth University

8 June 2005

Mark Brisbane is Professor of Medieval Archaeology at Bournemouth University and became involved in the site at medieval town of Novgorod, Russia, in 1989 following initiatives at a World Archaeological conference. In 1994 funding became available to collaborate with Russian archaeologists on a variety of medieval projects through INTAS (The International Association for Collaboration between EU and Former Soviet Union Scientists).

Political Islam

Lecture chaired by Geoff Catchpole

Professor Iftikhar Malik

Bath Spa University College

16 July 2004.

Professor Malik teaches International History and has been a Fellow at St Anthony’s College, Oxford. He is the author of 13 books and many academic papers, as well as contributing widely to the Press, radio and television around the world.

James Joyce Ulysses Centenary

Addressing the Blooms: A Celebration of James Joyce’s Ulysses

Convenor: Peter Rex Valentine

Prof. Timothy Webb

University of Bristol

16 July 2004

The Art of the House Painter 1450- 1850

James Ayres FSA

11 June 2004

Chaired by Victor Suchar

The chairman introduced the speaker as a leading authority on historic building methods and interior decoration.


In classical portrait painting, as practised from the 16th century to the dawn of photography, the lavish deployment of a curtain was far more than a compositional device. The use of textiles in this way was an assertion of status, power and wealth--an exercise in conspicuous consumption.


Baroness Pitkeathley, author, on 25 May 2004

Jill Pitkeathley was born in Guernsey and gained a degree at Bristol University. In 1986 she became Chief Executive of the Carers National Association (now Carers UK). She became a Life Peer in 1997 and is Chair of the New Opportunities Fund, which distributes the largest Lottery fund, and of the Children and Families Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS).


Prof. Sandu Popescu, University of Bristol on 17 May 2004


By Sarah Le Fanu, Director, Bath Literature Festival, on 11 May 2004

Making Light of Mathematics

Chaired by Victor Suchar


Sir Michael Berry FRS

University of Bristol,

10 April 2004

The Chairman introduced Sir Michael as the Royal Society Physics Professor at the University of Bristol and one of the leading and most influential scientists in the country.