School of Science | About us | Bernal Lecture
Document Actions

Bernal lectures: distinguished speakers

JD Bernal was Professor of Physics at Birkbeck from 1938 and became Chair of Crystallography in 1963. When he retired from Birkbeck in 1968 the College sponsored an annual lecture to commemorate his work. The lectures reflect Bernal's research interests and especially those aspects of science which have social consequences.

15 November 2017 Professor Dame Anne Glover Why evidence can be your best friend
31 October 2016 Baron Peter Piot Preparing for pandemics: no time to lose - report by Dr Clare Sansom, in Lancet Infectious Diseases February 2017 [Note: this may not be accessible when read off-site from Birkbeck]
19 October 2015 Sir Venki Ramakrishnan The termination of translation in bacteria and eukaryotes [audio, 51 mins]
27 March 2014 Dame Janet Thornton
The Importance of Genomics and Bioinformatics for the future of Medicine and Agriculture
7 May 2013 Professor Glaucius Oliva
From Structural Biology of Neglected Diseases to Brazilian Science
18 October 2012 Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science Bernal, Science, Risk and Regulation
5 May 2011 Professor Jim Al Khalili The Hidden Story of Medieval Arabic Science
28 October 2010 Professor Harry Kroto Science and Society in the 21st Century
20 May 2009 Professor Julia Goodfellow CBE The University in Society
2008 Professor Roy MacLeod 'The World, the Flesh and the Devil': a vision revisited
2007 Professor KC Holmes, FRS, Max Planck Institut für medizinische Forschung, Heidelberg Machina Carnis
2006 Jenny Uglow The Lunar Men: the Friends Who Made the Future
2004 Dr Andrew Brown Scientists and the Analysis of War
2003 Professor Sir Tom Blundell FRS, FMedSci Post Genomic Science, Structural Biology and Drug Discovery: opportunities and challenges
2002 Sir John Krebs, FRS Title not known
2001 Sir Richard Sykes, FRS University Challenge: meeting the needs of a knowledge-based society
2000 Professor Sir Robert May, AC, FRS Science Advice, Policy Making and Public Trust
1999 Professor Steven Rose and Professor Hilary Rose Bernal: A life in Three Colours
1998 Professor Sir John Pattison, MA, BSc, DM, FRCPath Biology, Society and the Edible
1997 Sir John Meurig Thomas, ScD, FRS Bernal and the World of Catalysis
1996 Professor Peter Goodfellow, BSc, DPhil Genetics and Society
1995 Dr Olga Kennard, OBE, FRS Bernal's Vision: from Data to Insight
1994 Sir Aaron Kllug, FRS Explorations in Biological Structure
1993 Professor R J P Williams, FRS Science and the Good Life
1992 Lord Porter of Luddenham, OM, FRS Light and Evolution - Past and Future
1991 Sir David Phillips, FRS Science Policy: Order and Spontaneity
1990 The Earl of Selborne, KBE Agricultural Research: the Global Requirements
1989 Professor Lewis Wolpert, DIC, PhD, FRS The Social Obligations of Scientists
1988 Professor Patricia H Clarke, FRS New Directions in Biology: Basic Science and Biotechnology
1987 Roy Gibson Britain and Space
1986 Sir Walter Bodmer, FRS The Public Understanding of Science
1985 Professor Sir Hermann Bondi, KCB, FRS Science and Government
1984 B W Oakley, CBE Cooperation in Information Technology
1983 Dr R Riley (later Sir Ralph Riley) The Case for Agricultural Research
1982 Sir Frank Hartley, CBE, DSc, FPS Freedom and Licence for Drugs and Medicines
1981 Sir John Mason, CB, DSc, FRS Modern Techniques of Weather Forecasting
1980 Dr John Maddox, MA Can British University Science survive, and, if so, how?
1979 The Lord Flowers, FRS The European Science Foundation - an Experiment in International Collaboration in Science and the Humanities
1978 Professor Christopher Freeman Government Policies for Industrial Innovation
1977 Professor Margaret Gowing, FBA Science and Politics
1976 Professor Sir Sam Edwards, FRS Lifelong Education
1975 Professor E H S Burhop, FRS The Social Future of Science
1974 Professor John Ziman, FRS Ideas Move around inside People
1973 Professor R V Jones, CB, CBE, FRS Command and Complementarity
1972 Professor Freeman J Dyson, FRS The World, the Flesh and the Devil
1971 Dr Joseph Needham, CH, FRS The Refiner's Fire: the enigma of alchemy in East and West
1969 Professor Dorothy Hodgkin, OM, CBE, DSc, ScD, HonDSc, FRS Birkbeck, Science and History

JD Bernal

The British made rover, due to roam the surface of Mars in 2021, has been named after scientist Rosalind Franklin who worked at Birkbeck in the 1950s.

The Department of Biological Sciences welcomed crystallography alumni back to the College in an evening of celebration that considered the past, present and future of science at Birkbeck.

New research from Birkbeck, the University of Lincoln, Imperial College London, and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel, Switzerland shows an association between various health risks and screen time before bed.