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Monday night lectures
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Monday night lectures

The Society's popular Monday night lecture series features renowned speakers discussing informative, educational and enlightening subjects.

The lectures are open to Fellows and members. On some occasions, Fellows and members are invited to bring one guest - please check the listings below or your Bulletin in advance.

  • Booking is not required to attend Monday night lectures
  • Seats are not reserved and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Please show your Society membership card on arrival
  • For lectures open to members plus one guest, please make every effort to arrive together as we are unable to admit unaccompanied non-members. Guests arriving separately should be met at the Exhibition Road entrance
  • Doors open at 5.30pm
  • Attendees are requested to take their seats in the Ondaatje Theatre by 6.20pm
  • Lectures begin at 6.30pm, and end by 7.45pm
  • The programme runs between late September and late May

RGS-IBG members can watch a selection of Monday night lectures online, by signing in to the members' area.

Coming up:

Spirals in time - Dr Helen Scales

 Monday 12 December at 6.30pm
 Pre-bookable supper follows this lecture
 RGS-IBG members + one guest

From shadowy mangroves to the deep oceans, Helen will chart the course of seashells through history. She will explore their use as currency to their impact on modern-day technologies.


The space-enabled planet - Stuart Martin

 Monday 9 January at 6.30pm
 Pre-bookable supper follows this lecture
 RGS-IBG members + one guest

This talk will explore what the future holds for satellite applications and the opportunities it presents to improve lives everywhere - a new role for space technology in the 21st century.

Opportunity to meet other members

Join the Younger Members' Committee for an informal get-together in the bar following this lecture.


The cure for catastrophe - Dr Robert Muir-Wood

 Monday 16 January at 6.30pm
 Pre-bookable supper follows this lecture
 RGS-IBG members + one guest

So called "natural" disasters are increasingly human-made. Robert explores the rich history of attempts to master disasters and reveals how we can expose the growing mountains of risk, before the earthquake or hurricane strikes.


The Marches - Rory Stewart

 Monday 23 January at 7.00pm
 RGS-IBG members only
 Please note there is a later start time for this Monday night lecture.

Rory recounts the journey with his father through the mountains and valleys, across Hadrian's Wall and housing estates to uncover the "forgotten land" where England meets Scotland, re-evaluating history, geography and life as they go.


Living with a shrinking Nile: the view from Sudan - Professor Jamie Woodward

 Monday 30 January at 6.30pm
 Pre-bookable supper follows this lecture
 RGS-IBG members + one guest

Jamie explores the environmental history of the world's longest river over the last 8,000 years – a period of profound cultural, climatic, hydrological, and landscape change in the Nile Valley.


We chose to speak of war and strife - John Simpson

 Monday 6 February at 6.30pm
 RGS-IBG members only

The most distinguished foreign correspondent of our time talks through a fascinating history of what it is to risk life and limb to bring home news of the troubled world beyond our shores.

Opportunity to meet other members

Join the Younger Members' Committee for an informal get-together in the bar following this lecture.


London to London: via the world - Sarah Outen MBE

 Monday 13 February at 6.30pm
 Pre-bookable supper follows this lecture
 RGS-IBG members + one guest

Seeking adventure and stories to inspire young people, Sarah set out from London in 2011 to circle the northern hemisphere – travelling 25,000 miles – using a rowing boat, a bike and a kayak.


Circling the midnight sun - James Raffan

 Monday 20 February at 6.30pm
 Pre-bookable supper follows this lecture
 RGS-IBG members + one guest

James Raffan circumnavigated the Arctic Circle to put a human face on climate change. His rare and insightful story touches the Earth's last wild places revealing the breadth of human adaptation and ingenuity.


A journey to the end of time - John Harrison

 Monday 27 February at 6.30pm
 Pre-bookable supper follows this lecture
 RGS-IBG members + one guest

The Aztec city Tenochtitlán was the largest and best-run on Earth. In Mexico John discovered that Hernán Cortés conquered not by guns and horses, but language, diplomacy, obsidian and a little steel.


Recovering wild tigers in a crowded Asia - Dr Ullas Karanth

 Monday 6 March at 6.30pm
 Pre-bookable supper follows this lecture
 RGS-IBG members + one guest

Over three decades, tiger populations in the Western Ghats have recovered to be the largest in the world. Ullas explains the tiger conservation strategy, blending science with social interventions.

Opportunity to meet other members

Join the Younger Members' Committee for an informal get-together in the bar following this lecture.


Zero degrees: the geographies of the prime meridian - Professor Charles Withers

 Monday 13 March at 6.30pm
 Pre-bookable supper follows this lecture
 RGS-IBG members + one guest

Space and time on Earth are regulated by the prime (Greenwich) meridian, 0'. Before the 1880s more than 25 prime meridians were in use, resulting in problems of global measurement that engaged geographers, astronomers and navigators.

Lecture-related Collections display: The prime meridian

 Monday 13 March 5.30pm–6.30pm and 7.45–8.30pm

Visit the Foyle Reading Room for a lecture-related display of material relating to the prime meridian.


Elephant complex: travels in Sri Lanka - John Gimlette

 Monday 20 March at 6.30pm
 Pre-bookable supper follows this lecture
 RGS-IBG members + one guest

To outsiders, Sri Lanka's civil war (1983-2009) remains perplexing. Award-winning author John describes a journey that begins with Tooting's 8,000 refugees, and ends on the battlefields of Mullaitivu. There's horror here, beauty and hope.


Deeper than indigo - Dr Jenny Balfour Paul

 Monday 27 March at 6.30pm
 Pre-bookable supper follows this lecture
 RGS-IBG members + one guest

Jenny discovered the remarkable illustrated journals of Thomas Machell in the British Library. She will interweave their adventures as she seeks this forgotten explorer in India's Raj, the South China Sea, Polynesia and Arabia.

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Scroll through the calendar below, then click on a title to view details of a lecture:

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See Also
Watch lectures online in Society Members' area

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