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This season's Great Lives speakers are announced
Published: 9th October 2017, 10:55am
This season˙s Great Lives speakers are announced A director and TV comedian, a broadcaster and journalist, and one of the UK's top scientists will kick-start the latest season of the University of Lincoln's popular Great Lives lecture series.

The exciting line up of high-profile speakers for the free talks has been compiled to offer insight into a range of industries, careers and passions to inspire school children, students and members of the public to take an interest in a diverse range of topics.

The season will begin with two talks on Tuesday October 17th at the Brayford Pool Campus – one by comedian, writer and director Stewart Lee, and another by BBC presenter and freelance journalist, Tom Heap. They will be followed with a talk by the Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government and Chief Executive Designate of UK Research and Innovation, Sir Mark Walport, on Thursday 19th October.

The first tailored event – which is for students and school children – on the 17th will come Stewart Lee, who will offer insight into his career which spans across comedy, performance, writing, TV, radio, theatre and music reviewing. Students will sit in on a one-on-one interview, where they can hear a very personal and inspiring account of a career in comedy, culture and the arts overcoming adversity.

Guests to the 6pm talk by TV presenter Tom Heap, who lectures at the University and also helped to the launch the Lincoln Institute of Agri-food Technology (LIAT), will be able to hear more about his work as a freelance broadcaster and journalist. He will also share his passion for rural affairs, science and the environment. Tom presents the investigations section on the BBC's Countryfile TV programme, is the principal voice of BBC Radio 4's Costing the Earth, the nation's only dedicated environment series, and is also a regular Panorama reporter covering food, farming energy and wildlife.

Just two days later, audiences will be able to hear from the recently appointed Chief Executive Designate of UK Research and Innovation, Sir Mark Walport, who received a knighthood in the 2009 New Year Honours List for services to medical research, and was elected as Fellow of The Royal Society in 2011. He will talk on his career highlights and offer an insight into his roles at the forefront of Government and running large-scale research projects.

Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, Professor Toby Wilkinson, said: "As a University we aim to inspire new thinking, challenge ideas, and learn from expertise across a range of disciplines. This season's Great Lives speakers bring a variety of voices, all with different life experiences and stories to tell – and each with their own successes.

"We hope that our audiences will leave educated and inspired to pursue their own dreams, and embrace opportunities to develop their own expertise. Who knows, maybe one day an audience member will become a speaker, offering the story of their own 'great life'."

Great Lives lectures are free to attend (though booking is essential) and take place throughout the academic year at venues on the University's main Brayford Pool Campus. Places are limited and priority is given to school and college groups. For more information and booking details, visit:

Schools and colleges wishing to book places for larger groups can contact the University˙s Events Office by phone on 01522 837100 or email

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