The 39th Darwin College Lecture Series came to a triumphant close on Friday evening, as Guardian journalist and author Tania Branigan held a packed Lady Mitchell Hall spellbound with her analysis of the continuing impact of China’s Cultural Revolution.

The series has encompassed genetics and biochemistry; history and history of art; philosophy and political theory; astrophysics and the structure of our brains, exploring political, scientific and cultural revolutions, as well as revolutions in thought. Beginning in mid-January, it has filled the Lady Mitchell Hall week after week, making full use of spillover sites with live-streamed coverage, and attracting total audiences of 4,500 people. A further 110,000 people have so far viewed the lectures online.

Thank you to our speakers, Professor Sir Simon Schama, Professor Matthew Cobb, Professor Le Ypi, Dr Iain McGilchrist, Professor Didier Queloz, Professor Frances Spalding, Professor Nick Lane and Ms Tania Branigan, for an extraordinarily varied and compelling sequence of talks. Our thanks also to the organisers, Dr John Nilsson-Wright and Dr Aylwyn Scally, and the College Resistrar Janet Gibson, as well as to Ivan Higney and the Darwin catering team for overseeing eight weekly celebratory dinners.

We look forward to welcoming audiences back to Darwin next January for the 40th annual Darwin College Lecture Series, which will explore the theme of Codes.

All lectures from the 2024 series are now available to view here.

Interviews with this year’s speakers can be read here.

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