News and events


View the latest events that the University of Portsmouth has to offer, including public lectures and live music

Star Public Lectures

Wednesday Feb 15 6 - 7PM

public lecture

Shine on you crazy Diamond – A light into the biological world

An inaugural lecture by John McGeehan, Professor of Structural Biology, University of Portsmouth

We have come a long way since the discovery of the DNA double helix, and now have huge X-ray microscopes such as the Diamond Light Source that can reveal the 3D structures of nature’s molecules of life. In this inaugural lecture, Professor McGeehan will discuss how shining X-rays at tiny crystals can inform global challenges from disease to sustainable energy.

Wednesday 15th February 6-7PM Portland Building

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Wednesday Feb 22 6 - 7PM

public lecture

What geography can teach us about inequality?

A public lecture by Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor in Geography at the University of Oxford

Inequality is connected to many aspects of peoples’ lives, and especially our ability to enjoy ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’. Increasingly, studies have shown that countries with high levels of GDP spent on their behalf by government have higher levels of personal satisfaction. Professor Danny Dorling considers the outcomes of our 'natural experiment' in low public spending in the UK and USA, and asks how people may respond in order to improve their lives.

Wednesday 22th February 6-7PM Portland Building

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Wednesday Mar 8 6 - 7PM

public lecture

International Women’s Day Lecture, Women and Violence: the local and the global

A public lecture by Dr Tamsin Bradley, Reader in International Development Studies, University of Portsmouth

Ending ‘Violence against Women and Girls’ (VAWG) is critical in achieving gender equality. In this lecture Dr Bradley will map the why, how and where of different forms of violence against women and girls, outline the main global programmes designed to end it and offer local examples of how these programmes are playing out in specific contexts across the world.

Wednesday 8th March 6-7PM Portland Building

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Wednesday Mar 15 6 - 7PM

public lecture

The Pill to Prozac: pollution to parasites

Inaugural lecture by Alex Ford, Professor of Biology, University of Portsmouth

The past 30 years of environmental toxicology has demonstrated unequivocally that ‘pollutants’ don’t need to be present in high concentrations to have dramatic effects of wildlife. In his inaugural lecture, Professor Ford looks though the history of pollutants, such as the contraceptive pill, that can change the sex of aquatic organisms through to the more recent accounts of antidepressants in the aquatic environment affecting the food chain. Using crustaceans as the model species, Professor Ford will discuss how fascinating aquatic parasites have both helped and hindered the search for scientific answers.

Wednesday 15th March 6-7PM Portland Building

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Wednesday Mar 29 6 - 7PM

public lecture

Exploring Sailortown: Civic culture, slums and scandal in 19th century British ports

Inaugural lecture by Brad Beaven, Professor of Social and Cultural History, University of Portsmouth

The cultural life of port towns has largely remained a hidden history. Conventional histories of ports have focused on their global and imperial networks. In this talk, Brad Beaven explores these liminal urban spaces and the communities and sailors who lived in them. He reveals an urban district that was unconventional and often cosmopolitan, and one which visitors found both exotic and dangerous.

Wednesday 29th March 6-7PM Park Building

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Wednesday Apr 26 6 - 7PM

public lecture

Making the world a safer place one byte at a time

Inaugural lecture by Jim Briggs, Professor of Informatics, University of Portsmouth

Professor Jim Briggs will talk about his career as a computer scientist: solving tricky real-world problems and helping to improve the ways people use information technology. One of the recurring themes of Professor Briggs’ career is how technology (and in particular information technology) can help make the world safer for people to live and work in. His inaugural lecture will cover various aspects of safety, from that of an individual to that of whole nations in disciplines ranging from sports to aerospace and the defence industry to healthcare.

Wednesday 26th April 6-7PM Portland Building

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Star Conferences and seminars

Wednesday 22 FEB

Conferences and seminars


METAMORPHOSIS with author Polly Morland

A talk by author Polly Morland where she explores the power of true stories to open up new ways of thinking about how and why we change and how the imagination is key to the transformation process.

Polly Morland spent fifteen years as a documentary-maker for the BBC, Channel 4 and the Discovery Channel. Her first book, The Society of Timid Souls: or How to be Brave won a Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award, was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and was a Sunday Times Book of the Year. Her second, Risk Wise – Nine Everyday Adventures includes an afterword by Alain de Botton and was written in conjunction with The School of Life, where Polly is a faculty member. Metamorphosis – How and Why We Change is her third book. Combining the journalism of her background in film-making with ideas from psychology, philosophy and literature, her books blend remarkable human stories with reflections on how we live today—and how we can live better.

Time: 3.00 - 4.00 pm, followed by a book signing

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Wednesday 22 MAR 5.30PM - 8PM

Conferences and seminars

No staff, no money, no business - can UK business recruitment survive Brexit

A public lecture by Karen Johnston, Professor of Organisational Studies, University of Portsmouth and Sue Love, Director at LoveHRSolutions Ltd

In 2015 3.2 million EU citizens were living and working in the UK accounting for 5% of the UK population. The NHS alone reported 55,000 employees of EU origin. Given these large numbers will a post-brexit UK be able to cope with the potential change in personnel? Will the change happen at all and what can we learn about recruitment and retention from our experience of recruiting from outside the European Union?

At this exciting Hot Topic Karen Johnston, Professor of Organisational Studies at the University of Portsmouth and Sue Love, Director at LoveHRSolutions Ltd will team up to offer a reflective review of what HR and recruitment issues might face the UK business community after we leave.

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Thursday 27 APR 4.30PM - 8.30PM

Conferences and seminars

Leading a sustainable future

Responsible Business Week Conference 2017

Responsible business is not about how a company spends its money, on philanthropy or good causes. It’s about how it treats the planet, employees, suppliers and the communities that give them their license to operate fairly and inclusively for all.

As part of Responsible Business Week 2017, the University of Portsmouth Business School and Business in the Community (BiTC) are working together to provide local employers with an opportunity to explore latest thinking, share best practice, and find solutions to some of the challenges currently facing business and society.

Our keynote speaker, Mark Smith, CEO of The Southern Co Operative will share his thoughts on how to lead a responsible business. Mark, a member of the BiTC Advisory Board for the South East, has been actively involved in driving the agenda for companies to engage with education in the region. As South East Ambassador, Mark will continue to focus on using responsible business to engage with young people from challenging backgrounds, to encourage aspiration and the achievement of personal potential irrespective of their circumstances.

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Star Performances and Exhibitions

Saturday Mar 18 7:00pm

Performances and Exhibitions

The Pompey Messiah

This concert brings together 200 performers from the local community

This concert brings together 200 performers from the local community to recreate a large-scale performance of Handel’s Messiah, given in Portsmouth in 1812. The University Choir will join forces with the Solent Symphony Orchestra, Portsmouth Cathedral Choir, St Mary’s Church Choir and soloists from the Royal College of Music to raise money for local musical charities while realising a research project led by Dr George Burrows. This is a rare opportunity for university staff, students, alumni and townsfolk to collaborate in raising their voices and some money for good causes, as Messiah did in its time.

Tickets: £17/£15
Box office: 023 9284 3023

Saturday 18 March 2017 7:00PM St Mary’s Portsea

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Various dates Oct-Mar

Performances and Exhibitions

Handel's Messiah and Portsmouth 1789-1812

This exhibit presents archival research by Dr George Burrows of University of Portsmouth

This exhibit presents archival research by Dr George Burrows of University of Portsmouth that has revealed that Handel's Messiah was instrumental in the cultural life of Portsmouth over the turn of the nineteenth century. Maps and documents from the archives document performances of Messiah in Portsmouth in the context of the expansion of the city and of the grand musical festivals that commemorated Handel and his musical philanthropy. A word book from an 1812 performance of Messiah in Portsmouth that featured the great singer, Angelica Catalani, was annotated by a member of the audience and this allows for a recreation of a distinctive Portsmouth version of Messiah, which will be staged on Saturday 18 March 2017. The exhibition frames that performance with documents and images.

1 October - 1 March Portsmouth Guildhall

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