2013 lectures online

Throughout the year, the University of Sussex is host to an exciting series of public lectures that illustrate the breadth and quality of research being conducted at the University.

Most lectures are recorded and made available here in a number of formats.

Responsibility, childhood and the criminal law

Professor Heather Keating

04 December 2013
Speaker: Professor Heather Keating, Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Responsibility - School of Law, Politics and Sociology

Currently in England and Wales children are criminally responsible for their harmful behaviour from the age of ten. This age is well below that of many other European countries and an age when, for example, the law would not permit them to purchase a pet. How is an English ten-year-old responsible enough to be tried in a criminal court when their Scottish or Belgian counterpart apparently is not? In reflecting on the age of criminal responsibility, this lecture examines the concepts of responsibility and childhood.

More information about Professor Heather Keating

Is natural gas the fuel of the future or a bridge to nowhere

Professor Jim Watson

06 November 2013
Speaker: Professor Jim Watson, Professor of Energy Policy - Science and Technology Policy Research (SPRU) - School of Business, Management and Economics

Gas supplies 30 per cent of the energy we use in the UK heating our homes, powering industry and generating electricity. But this fuel has a contested future. For enthusiasts, gas provides a low-cost solution to our energy challenges but others are more cautious, pointing to significant economic and environmental risks. The prospect of shale gas has polarised this debate further. This lecture will discuss whether gas can help meet energy policy goals such as climate change mitigation, energy security and affordability.

More information about Professor Jim Watson

Issues in Criminal Justice Lecture - The surrender of privacy: is the state to blame?

Lord Carlile of Berriew CBE, QC

23 October 2013
Speaker: Lord Carlile of Berriew CBE, QC - School of Law, Politics and Sociology

Low-temperature physics and why it helps to run in a corridor

Debbie Hill

15 October 2013
Speaker: Debbie Hill - School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences

The rise and fall of liberal foreign policy

Professor Beate Jahn

04 June 2013
Speaker: Professor Beate Jahn, Professor of International Relations - School of Global Studies

The end of the Cold War was widely hailed as a triumph of liberalism and an opportunity to remake the world in a liberal image. Foreign policies during the 1990s pursued the promotion of democracy, humanitarian intervention, liberal peace building and the liberalization of the world economy. With reference to classical liberal theory and its fragmentation, this lecture will explore why, barely a decade later, such policies were either abandoned or expectations radically curtailed.

More information about Professor Beate Jahn

Chemical contaminants: the sexual chemistry of fish and foetal health

Professor Elizabeth Hill

28 May 2013
Speaker: Professor Elizabeth Hill, Professor of Environmental Toxicology - School of Life Sciences

We live in a world contaminated by man-made chemicals, yet only now are we beginning to understand the subtle changes to health that exposure to low levels of chemicals can cause. This lecture will describe how the latest chemical profiling approaches have identified key contaminants that are changing the sex of fish and discuss concerns that exposure to complex mixtures of chemicals can disrupt hormonal systems in humans and wildlife.

More information about Professor Elizabeth Hill

What actually happens to new businesses?

David Storey

14 May 2013
Speaker: David Storey, Professor of Enterprise - School of Business, Management and Economics

Approximately one percent of new enterprises have sales of more than £1 million six years after they start. More typically, the median sales of a six year old firm is less than £23,000. This lecture will consider and attempt to assess why so many people believe enterprise and entrepreneurship is vital to pulling Britain out of a recession.

More information about David Storey

Art and Industrialists in late Imperial Russia

Beryl Williams

09 April 2013
Speaker: Beryl Williams, Emeritus Reader (History) - School of History, Art History and Philosophy

More information about Beryl Williams

A celebration of Virginia Woolf

19 March 2013
Speaker: Sara Crangle, Senior Lecturer - School of English

More information about Sara Crangle

Democracy and Empire

Professor Richard Whatmore

05 March 2013
Speaker: Professor Richard Whatmore, Professor of Intellectual History and the History of Political Thought - School of History, Art History and Philosophy

The dominance of democracy is a recent phenomenon. Historically, it was associated with war, civil unrest and rule by the poor and ignorant. Even philosophers sympathetic to the idea described it as a government for gods rather than men. Large democracies were seen as anti-commercial, extremist and unstable. The challenge for advocates of democracy has been to make the theory compatible with larger forms of state. This lecture will consider how this led to the first descriptions of democracy and how we continue to define what it means today.

More information about Professor Richard Whatmore

Gone in a yoctosecond: a rough guide to the Big Bang

Professor Mark Hindmarsh

26 February 2013
Speaker: Professor Mark Hindmarsh, Professor of Theoretical Physics - School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences

The Big Bang was like an enormous particle physics experiment conducted 13.7 billion years ago - except someone forgot to build the detectors. This lecture will take a tour through particle cosmology, showing how the wreckage from the Big Bang experiment is pieced together into a picture extending back to the first picoseconds and show how results from the Large Hadron Collider, Planck satellite and future experiments will help us towards the ultimate goal of a complete history of the Universe.

More information about Professor Mark Hindmarsh

Contagion: disease, security and the politics of fear

Professor Stefan Elbe

05 February 2013
Speaker: Professor Stefan Elbe, Professor of International Relations - School of Global Studies

As we embark on the 21st century, the world has appeared to confront an epidemic of epidemics. From HIV/AIDS and SARS through to avian and swine flu, the threat of infectious diseases has led governments to routinely identify pandemics as major security threats. But to what extent do infectious diseases threaten security? What are the political implications of framing health issues as security threats? Drawing on prominent examples, this lecture will consider the implications of this 'medicalization' of security for us all.

More information about Professor Stefan Elbe