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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, 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

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

Coming up:


Penguins from space - Peter Fretwell

How the British Antarctic Survey is using satellite images to find, count and monitor emperor penguins from space; discovering new colonies and behaviours and inspiring similar studies on other species, including the Southern right whale.

Lecture-related Collections display: Antarctica

  • 5.30pm–8.30pm

Visit the Foyle Reading Room pre- or post-lecture for a display of maps, artefacts, archive material, photographs, watercolours and other highlights from the Society’s Collections relating to the history of Antarctic exploration.


The crossing of Antarctica - Dr Huw Lewis-Jones

Historian and polar guide Huw explores the epic first crossing of Antarctica in 1958. Led by Vivian Fuchs and Ed Hillary, this great expedition finally fulfilled Shackleton’s dream.


New technologies, old traditions: stories from Society grant recipients - Mark Allan and Peter Geoghegan

Peter wrestled with modernity in Mongolia, seeing how old traditions survive in a modern world. The Grand Alpine Tour team travelled the length of the Alps, using new technologies to explore landscape change.


The cities that made an empire - Tristram Hunt

Tristram explores how the legacy of the British Empire remains in the lives and structures of the great cities which it shaped, and in cultures, economies and identities changed by interaction and adaptation.


Iceland’s iconic volcanoes - Alexandra Witze

Join a science journalist to explore the geology, geography and scenery of Icelandic volcanoes: from a world-changing 18th century eruption, to the latest ‘earth fires’ in 2014.

Opportunity to meet other members

Join the Younger Members' Committee for an informal get-together after the lecture and opportunity to meet others in the Members' Bar.


Midnight’s grandchildren - John Keay

Asian expert John Keay investigates 1947’s partition of British India and explores its legacy of erratic leadership and hostile relationships between the five nations of South Asia.


Somalia: the world’s most failed state? - James Fergusson

Wracked by war, famine and Islamic extremism, Somalia has long been a byword for disaster. James, a veteran reporter on Afghanistan, went to find out why – and what is being done to fix it.

This lecture will be repeated at The Clothworkers' Hall on Tuesday 17 February.


The Oceans Seven challenge - Adam Walker

British swimmer Adam Walker is among a handful of people worldwide, and the only British person, to have completed all seven swims. He shares the trials and triumphs of this extraordinary endurance challenge.


The Ebola outbreak - Professor Peter Piot

Peter, one of the team who discovered the Ebola virus in 1976, talks about the current outbreak and the challenges it poses for West Africa and the world.

Opportunity to meet other members

Join the Younger Members' Committee for an informal get-together after the lecture and opportunity to meet others in the Members' Bar.


The discovery of HMS Erebus - Ryan Harris

  • Monday 9 March at 6.30pm
  • Lecture – RGS-IBG members only

In 2014, Canadian underwater archaeologists located the remains of HMS Erebus, Sir John Franklin’s vessel on his ill-fated 1845 expedition. Ryan Harris will present the discovery and investigation of this compelling shipwreck.


Lecture-related Collections display: The search for the Northwest Passage

  • 5.30pm-8.30pm

Visit the Foyle Reading Room pre or post-lecture for a lecture-themed display of maps, artefacts, archive material and photographs from the Society’s Collections relating to the search for the Northwest Passage and the loss of Franklin’s ships the Erebus and the Terror.


International migration and the future of the UK - Professor Michael Keith

Migration has been a particularly controversial subject in the UK for many years. Michael considers the challenges international migration creates for social policy and cultural change in the next decade.


Siberia: its history and its people - Professor Janet Hartley

Was Siberia just a frozen wasteland, a place of exile, prison and suffering? Janet investigates the settlers over four centuries of Russian expansion, throwing light on the lives of the people of this inhospitable land.


Spirits in the sky - Andy Keen

Aurora hunter and photographer Andy Keen shares his passion and his journeys deep into the Arctic wilderness to find and photograph the elusive and awe-inspiring aurora borealis.

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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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