UCL News


UCL Lunch Hour Lectures: 70 years of sharing our knowledge

27 February 2012

For the past 70 years - since 1942 - UCL has been running lunchtime lectures for the general public. The lectures, given by UCL academics on a wide range of subjects, are free to enter and offer an opportunity for anyone to sample the exceptional research work taking place at UCL.

Today they are as popular as ever, taking place twice a week during term time. UCL’s Lunch Hour Lectures were listed at number one on a list of the Guardian’s ‘Ten of the Best Ways to Spend your Lunch Break’.

The lectures continue to cover a wide range of topics, from groundbreaking medical research such as Prof Pete Coffey’s lecture: Stemming vision loss with stem cells: seeing is believing to more populist subjects such as  Prof Danny Miller’s lecture asking What has Facebook done to us?. A recent lecture which asked: Who enjoys shopping at IKEA? has had over 91,780 views on YouTube so far.

Many of the Lunch Hour Lectures address major world events, such as Professor Phillippe Sands’ lecture: President Obama and America in the world: from inauguration to action, which came on the heels of Obama’s 2008 election win. On 8 March 2012, Lunch Hour Lectures will mark International Women’s Day with: Having it all: dispelling the myths about motherhood and work - which will be given by Dr Anne McMunn.

This was a brilliant, lively lecture. It was clear that a personal passion had inspired the rigorous research in this lecture, which was a joy to watch.

All Lunch Hour Lectures are available to watch live online and around 200 people per week access the lectures in this way. They can also be watched after the event on YouTube and are subtitled for accessibility to a global audience, with almost 175,000 uploads of lectures on UCL’s YouTube channel so far.

This summer, UCL Lunch Hour Lectures are going on tour to the British Museum, with four lectures running every Thursday in June. These lectures will be introduced by British Museum curators and will highlight collaborative work being done across both organisations, continuing the UCL tradition of working alongside other institutions to produce world-class research

Bookings are now open for the summer lectures via the British Museum’s website. More information can be found at the links below. Lunch Hour Lectures also have a Facebook page and can be followed on Twitter.

Related links:

UCL Lunch Hour Lectures
UCL Lunch Hour Lectures on Tour
Guardian's 'Ten of the best ways to spend your lunch break'