Queen Mary has a long tradition of inaugural lectures. This gallery highlights some of the lectures that took place between 1937 and 1986. It includes, invitations, posters, letters, and photographs of the lecture venues used to deliver the inaugural lectures at both Westfield College and Queen Mary.
First introduced at Westfield College in 1913 by Principle Agnes de Selincourt, the lectures, modelled after similar lectures given at other colleges in London, aimed to enhance the reputation of Westfield College both locally and within the academic community. The lecture programme was sometimes centred on a particular theme, such as the 1916/1917 session looking at the First World War and its likely after-effects. During the Second World War all public lectures were ceased at Westfield, with the exception of the annual inaugural lecture.
Lectures have been given across all subjects at the university, including a lecture by G.O. Jones on ‘Boundaries of Physics’ in 1954, a lecture titled ‘The Catastrophe in Shakespeare’s Tragedy’ delivered in 1967, a lecture by P.B.J. Clarricoats from Electrical Engineering on ‘Communication through Space, Flame and Fibre’ in 1970, and an address by Sir Patrick Moore titled ‘Halley’s Comet’ in 1986.
To celebrate Queen Mary’s centenary, a series of inaugural lecture’s titled QMC 100 took place in 1986. Alongside Halley’s Comet, topics included language change in Spain, a polymer colouring book, looking forward – and back, and a century of radio waves.
Continuing the tradition, in October of 2015 Queen Mary re-launched the Inaugural Lecture Series.