March 2015

The Lamb Lecture: Food & Civilization with Nina Fedoroff

The climate is warming. Fossil waters are being exhausted everywhere. Biodiversity is under pressure. We're out of arable land. And yet today's human population of 7 billion will race past 9 billion by 2050.

In this talk Nina takes a historical view of food production over human history and a glance at current trends, asking what we need to do to produce enough food for the more than 10 billion expected for dinner before century's end, and do it sustainably.

April 2015

The Innes Lecture: Mendel the Fraud? A social history of truth in genetics

On 8 February and 8 March 1865 Gregor Mendel presented his 'Experiments on Plant Hybridization' to his local natural history society in Brno in Moravia.

These were the results of seven years of crossing experiments with garden pea plants. What led Mendel to embark on this project and what happened to his discoveries afterwards has been much debated.

Everyone agrees that Mendel's experiments are central to the history of modern genetics yet there have been many conflicting interpretations of his work, including the early twentieth century criticism that some of his data was falsified.

Mendel's story gives an insight into the collective nature of truth-telling and knowledge-making in science.

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