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Friends Autumn Lecture Series - 2007

Friends Autumn Lecture Series - 2007

All lectures are held in the Lecture Theatre at the Institute, and begin at 8:00pm (doors open at 7:30) except for Tony Soper's lecture on Saturday 10th November which begins at 5:00PM (doors open 4:30).

Lectures generally last for about an hour, including questions, and are followed by tea or coffee in the entrance hall. Attendance is free (except to Tony Soper's lecture) and open to all.

Car parking in the Institute's grounds is inadequate for the number of cars used by those attending lectures. Owing to fire brigade regulations visitors are requested not to park other than in the designated spaces. There is a multi-storey car park about 400 m west of the Institute and local street parking is usually easy on Saturday evenings.

Sept 29th - Heather Lane, MA (Oxon) DipLIS MCLIP

Librarian and Acting Keeper of Collections, Scott Polar Research Institute

'Friends in high latitudes' - an illustrated review of the history of acquisitions to the Institute's Library, Archive and Museum made possible by the Friends contributions.

Oct 13th - Dr. John Smellie - Senior Volcanologist

Senior Volcanologist, British Antarctic Survey (BAS), Cambridge

'Antarctic Volcanoes'

Oct 27th - Professor Bill Block - Emeritus Fellow

Emeritus Fellow, British Antarctic Survey (BAS), Cambridge

'Coping with cold - Lessons from Polar insects'

NB this lecture rescheduled from 10th March 2007

Nov 10th - Tony Soper - Naturalist & film-maker

'The Discovery and exploitation of Polar Wildlife'

Details from Tony's fascinating experiences filming in Antarctica and other extreme climates.

NB Lecture starts 5:00PM (doors open 4:30) in the BMS Lecture Theatre, Dept. of Chemistry.

Tickets £10.00 from the SPRI Shop, (phone 01223 336540) or email us to reserve.

Nov 24th - Dr Huw Lewis Jones MA MPhil PhD

Curator of Art, Scott Polar Research Institute

'Balloonacy: Commander Cheyne's 'Flight of Fancy'

Commander John P. Cheyne, R.N. (1826-1902) is a forgotten figure in the history of nineteenth-century polar exploration. A veteran of three expeditions in search of the missing Franklin party, Cheyne had an unusual 'retirement' having returned to England. In 1876 he announced his grand plans to discover the North Pole by balloon. He embarked on a transatlantic lecture tour in an effort to raise funds.

It was a bold proposal that captured public imaginations, but also drew wide criticism, sometimes ridicule. This lecture draws upon a range of materials - original manuscripts and correspondence, British and American newspapers and the illustrated press, souvenirs and pamphlets, juvenile literature, magic lantern shows, popular song and theatrical playbills – which enable us to follow Cheyne on his travels, as he tries to convince the nation to support his remarkable plans.

A neglected episode in the history of polar exploration and in the history of aeronautics more generally, this is a story of naivety and optimism, bravado and speculation. Both aeronautical pioneer and itinerant showman, Cheyne was increasingly maligned as a charlatan and lunatic. He never managed to realize his dream of polar flight.

Cheyne's balloons