10 places to go for great talks

I listed my favourite podcasts in a recent blog post, and several people responded with “more learning resources please”; or words to that effect.

Here are 10 sites worth checking out if you fancy hearing and seeing an expert talk about something very different from the day job. Many are free; others charge a ticket + booking fee.

    1. RSA

‘21st century enlightenment’ is on offer at this lovely venue with heaps of lectures, screenings and talks. The focus is mostly but not exclusively on creativity. BTW, I think their RSA animates and RSA Shorts are also great.

    1. Gresham College

This venerable (founded 1597) college hosts talks on a wide range of topics (law, history of mathematics, politics and religion figure in the next few weeks). You can check out what’s coming up and view recent lectures on the website.

    1. UCL

Pushed for time? Bloomsbury’s own UCL hosts Lunch Hour Lectures, for just 40 minutes. Topics range from ‘our love affair with data’ to ‘life on Mars’. You can view past lectures on the website.

    1. TATE

If 40 minutes is too long, try 15. TATE offers ‘Art in Focus’ talks where a guide delivers a 15-minute talk on one artwork. See what’s coming up.

    1. Wellcome Collection

‘The free destination for the incurably curious’ not surprisingly offers a very eclectic mix of talks, from human emotions to recycling. Lunch times and evenings.

    1. The National Gallery

A personal favourite. If you want a deeper understanding of classic works of art, check out the schedule of talks in the Gallery as well as the expert theatre talks.

    1. The British Museum

Also in Bloomsbury, daily lunchtime gallery talks in the next few weeks range from ancient Persian coins to Manga.

    1. LSE

The London School of Economics and Political Science (to give it its full name) attracts high-profile academics and speakers. I’m intrigued by this week’s talk and might just see you in the queue!

    1. Southbank Centre

From ‘Bake-off’s’ Sue Perkins in Conversation with Dawn French to Greece’s former finance minister, you’re bound to find someone interesting at Southbank.

    1. The Guildhall Library

If history’s your thing, this library which specialises in the history of London, is the place to go. ‘Life, death and dysentery’ gives you an idea of upcoming topics.

You may have noticed all these talks take place in London.
If you’re based in or visiting the capital, try them out.
If you’re based elsewhere, please accept my apologies for the myopia.
Check out local websites and venues – and please let me know of any you find that should be shared and I’ll add them to this post.

Dawn is the author of ‘How to be Zoomly at work’;, available on Amazon.

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