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Friends Lecture Series - 2008

Friends Lecture Series - 2008

Michaelmas Term 2008 Lectures:

All lectures are in the Lecture Theatre and begin at 8:00pm (doors open at 7:30pm) except for the "Captain Ross" evening on 8th Nov. when doors will open at 7:00pm for 7:30pm start. Lectures generally last for about an hour, including questions, and are followed by tea or coffee in the entrance hall. Attendance is free and open to all. By special arrangement, the SPRI museum is also open before lectures. Why not invite a friend or colleague to join you?

11th October: "Henry Kater and the Swinging Pendulums" - Robert Burton.

In 1818 Henry Kater developed the 'reversing pendulum', an instrument that allowed the precise measurement of gravity. The strength of gravity at a point and thus its distance from the centre of the Earth is proportional to the precisely-measured tick of the pendulum, so observations around the world allowed the shape of the world to be accurately measured. Kater pendulums were carried on many expeditions, for instance thosse of James Clark Ross, Edward Sabine, Henry Foster and the later Heroic Age explorers. Gravimetric observations required a dedication that is overlooked in accounts of polar exploration.

25th October: "Polar Picture Makers" - Chris and Vikky Furse, Polar Artists.

Chris and Vikky are exhibiting at the Institute from 18th September to 8th November and this lecture follows 'the Big Draw' day at the museum.

Chris & Vikky are passionate about the Polar Regions. Chris has led exploring expeditions in Antarctica, and British Schools Exploring Society expeditions in both Polar Regions. He comes from a family full of artists and animals. Although he had a career as an RN engineer he has drawn and painted birds since childhood.

Art-school trained, Vikky first visited the Arctic on small Russian ice-breakers around Svalbard, and camped with chris in Ekmanfjord, both recording their journeys in sketches and paintings. Four expeditions to NE Greenland followed for Vikky. She says:

I love travelling with the Inuit and their dogs in late winter, eating what they eat whether its blubber or finer fare, sleeping in tents or huts, and drawing till my fingers felt perilously cold, witnessing this supreme and lonely landscape and the special people who survive there.

Back in their studios they each translate their own field sketches into larger paintings or prints. Their work has been exhibited in London, across the UK and abroad. In 2007 they were Artists in Residence in Antarctica, and since then they have both been lecturing in expedition tour ships in the Polar Regions.

8th November 7:30PM (doors open 7:00PM) Tickets £10.50 from SPRI: "Captain Ross - An Epic-Heroic-Magnetic-Melo-Drame!"

Miniature Theatre production produced by Horatio Blood and Dr. Huw Lewis-Jones. Read more details of this revival of an 1830's art form and the extraordinary circumstances of Captain Ross' dramatic return. NB: Admission to this event is by ticket only. Tickets are 10 guineas each (£10.50 in modern money) and available from the SPRI shop. Phone 01223 336540 or write to the Institute enclosing your cheque and a SAE.

22nd November: "Medical care and challenges in 'British' Antarctica, past and present" - Denis Wilkins, Honorary Consultant Surgeon, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth.

Plymouth Hospital was chosen by BAS in the 1990's to run their Medical Unit (known as BASMU). Denis has a long and distinguished career in medicine during which he also served as Medical Officer and Physiologist at the BAS station, Halley Bay, in Antarctica.