Astronomy for All Lectures

The Astronomy For All Lecture Series was started by Associate Fellow Charles Barclay in 2006 as a way of strengthening and reinforcing the link between Green Templeton, home of the Radcliffe Observatory, and astronomy and the Oxford Astrophysics Department in particular.

Charles is an Associate Fellow of Green Templeton, Outreach Astronomer, Director of the Blackett Observatory at Marlborough College, and Academic Visitor in the Astrophysics sub-department at the University of Oxford.

Forthcoming events

2021 Astronomy for All Lecture: The ‘computer’ who unlocked the Universe: celebrating pivotal women in astronomy

Thursday 20 May 2021, 18:00 to 19:00

Vice-Principal Dr Rebecca Surender will introduce this year’s Astronomy For All Lecture, delivered by Associate Fellow Charles Barclay. This illustrated talk will highlight the pivotal and unsung role played by women in astronomy and astrophysics. More information and register.

Previous events

2020 Astronomy for All Lecture: Stories in the stars – cultural interpretations of the night sky 

Thursday 28 May 2020

Perhaps now, more than ever, we are realising the loss of our connection to our environment. This highly illustrated talk from Associate Fellow Charles Barclay explored the interpretations that came with patient observation of the night skies, of the patterns, cycles and rhythms, the need to build cosmologies and belief systems to provide structure for an otherwise bewildering existence. It examined some of the stories that were common across the globe and that played a role in preliterate human development, and which in a busy, modern, light-polluted, world have largely been forgotten.

2019 Astronomy for All Lecture Series

The 2019 Astronomy For All Lecture Series took place between January and February of Hilary Term, with three speakers giving talks on very different astronomical subjects.

Lecture 1: Reaching young stars: the British Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Associate Fellow Charles Barclay gave a personal insight into an emerging initiative for secondary school students, that has already achieved success overseas. The talk focused on his involvement with the British Astronomy and Astrophysic’s Olympiad (BAAO), a competition aimed at students with a strong ability in physics and maths and an enthusiastic interest in astronomy.

Lecture 2: The gravitational sky 

Wednesday 20 February 2019

Professor Mike Cruise, President of the Royal Astronomical Society, drew a full house for the second of 2019’s Astronomy For All Lectures, convened by Green Templeton Associate Fellow Charles Barclay. The lecture explored how, after more than 40 years of experimental effort, the gravitational waves first predicted by Albert Einstein were finally detected in 2015, and the impact of that historic discovery on the future of astronomy.

Lecture 3: Galaxy Zoo: from the lab to your living room

Wednesday 27 February 2019

Oxford Astrophysics’ Dr Becky Smethurst gave an enthralling talk about citizen science and the groundbreaking results that emerged from the Galaxy Zoo project. Galaxy Zoo was an online project where members of the public from around the world could view different images of galaxies, along with instructions on how they could be classified. The project was a huge success, attracting more volunteers than anticipated, meaning the classifications were finished far quicker than expected.


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