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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
  • 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

Who owns the South China Sea? - Bill Hayton

Is the South China Sea on the verge of conflict? Bill explores the – sometimes bizarre – origins of the rival claims, the evidence for them and whether they can be reconciled. This is a repeat of the 3 November City lecture at The Clothworkers’ Hall.

Shackleton’s photographer - Meredith Hooper

  • Monday 23 November at 6.30pm
  • Lecture – RGS-IBG members only

One hundred years on, the images and words of the Australian Frank Hurley help give Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition enduring life. Meredith, historian and curator, explores Hurley’s superlative images and multiple diaries.
Monday 23 November 5.30pm-8.30pm

Lecture-related Collections display

  • Monday 23 November 5.30pm-8.30pm

Icons of Antarctic exploration display plus additional Endurance related items
Scott, Shackleton, Amundsen, Mawson and more, come and view the treasures from the Society’s Antarctic material. Shackleton’s balaclava, Scott’s matchbox and Mawson’s sextant are just a few of the items, plus additional Endurance related material.

The hunt: behind the scenes - Alastair Fothergill and Huw Cordey

  • Monday 30 November at 6.30pm
  • Balloted lecture – RGS-IBG members only

In a wonderfully illustrated lecture, producers Huw Cordey and Alastair Fothergill reveal the secrets behind the making of BBC One’s latest landmark natural history series The Hunt.

Please note that this lecture is balloted and the closing date for entries has now passed.

We'll be notifying Fellows and members with the result of the ballot shortly.

A limited number of places are available to members who did not apply by ballot, on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance booking only.

Please contact us at events@rgs.org to book your place. 

Where’s the swamp gone, for peat’s sake? - Dr Paul Aplin

Recently returned from his latest fieldwork, Paul considers the devastating loss of pristine tropical peat swamps in Malaysia as land is rapidly converted to large-scale palm oil agriculture.

Opportunity to meet other members

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

The shepherd’s life - James Rebanks

Shepherd and bestselling author James speaks about farming life in the Lake District fells, why historic farmed landscapes matter and are loved by people, and how they might survive in the future.

Available to watch online

Poor cities: migration hotspots - Dr Michael Collyer

  • Monday 28 September

Cities in low-income countries are the most dynamic places on earth and will be for decades. What makes people move, how is this changing, and what do they do when they get there?

  Are you a Fellow or member? A recording of this lecture is available to watch online.


Black Victorians and multicultural London 1850-1950 - Dr Caroline Bressey

  • Monday 5 October

Caroline explores the presence and diverse experiences of black people in the multicultural city of London, from barmaids to servants, nurses and labourers, through asylum archives, family history and the press.

  Are you a Fellow or member? A recording of this lecture is available to watch online.


Naturalists in paradise - Dr John Hemming

  • Monday 12 October at 6.30pm

An account of the achievements and adventures, in the 1840s, of three self-educated, young British naturalists who became outstanding explorers of the Amazon, the world’s greatest river and ecosystem.

  Are you a Fellow or member? A recording of this lecture is available to watch online.


Alone in the jungle - Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent

  • Monday 19 October at 6.30pm

Antonia tells the story of her solo exploration of Indochina’s legendary, yet fast-vanishing, Ho Chi Minh Trail, battling inhospitable terrain and multiple breakdowns on a motorcycle.

  Are you a Fellow or member? A recording of this lecture is available to watch online.


The last Eden: biodiversity and conservation in Bolivia, Guyana and Honduras - Dr Niall McCann

  • Monday 26 October at 6.30pm

Drawing on personal experiences, Niall describes the challenges and opportunities of biodiversity research where rapid development and illegal activities pose an immediate threat to the conservation of many endangered species.

  Are you a Fellow or member? A recording of this lecture is available to watch online.


Changing lives? - Nick Danziger

  • Monday 2 November at 6.30pm

Using expert photographic reportage, over the last decade Nick has followed the lives of the same individuals and families in eight countries, across four continents, to show how they have been affected by the Millennium Development Goals.

  Are you a Fellow or member? A recording of this lecture is available to watch online.


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

RGS-IBG links

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Events Office

See Also
Watch lectures online in Society Members' area

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