Upcoming Events

Keele University is delighted to be hosting a calendar of exciting public events, ranging from our programme of Inaugural Lectures given by newly established Professors within the University, to live poetry readings, concerts and official ceremonies.

For subject-specific public lectures please view our public lectures page.



12th May - Professor Tsachi Keren-Paz Inaugural Lecture

Private law: A social tool that reflects different forms of justice


Monday 12th May 2014


Westminster Theatre, Chancellor’s Building


The theory of private law – the area governing interactions between individuals, such as contracts and torts – is still partially dominated by a ‘corrective justice’ approach focusing merely on the past interaction between the litigants and denying the relevance of broader considerations and effects on society. In this talk, I defend an alternative view according to which private law (and law generally) is one social tool to achieve different forms of justice. While not denying the importance of corrective justice to private law, such an account stresses the importance of distributive justice, and in particular of equality and fairness, and the ways in which distributive justice informs the scope of obligations recognised by corrective justice.

This approach will be demonstrated by focusing on several examples, including the call for a wealth sensitive standard of care in the tort of negligence, explaining the regressive effects following from the rule of full compensation for personal injuries and examining the scope of obligations towards victims of sex trafficking by traffickers, clients and the state.

Tsachi Keren-Paz is a Professor of Private law. He has published widely, mainly in the areas of tort law, restitution law and medical liability and his scholarship has been cited by Israeli Supreme Court and lower court decisions, and has influenced the development of the law in several areas of private law. His first book, Torts, Egalitarianism and Distributive Justice (Ashgate 2007) was shortlisted for both the Society of Legal Scholars’ Peter Birks Book Prize and the Hart/Socio-Legal Studies Association Book Prize for Early Career Scholars. It is now being translated to Spanish and will be published by Marcial Pons as part of their Philosophy & Law series. His second book,Sex Trafficking: A Private Law Response has been published last May with Routledge. His next projects examine the alleged disincentive to innovate in medicine created by tort law, and the scope of right to receive restitution of profits from those who received a benefit by paying a bribe.



27th May- Professor Axel Shafer Inaugural Lecture

"Thomas Jefferson, Jesus Christ, red, white and blue…": Conservative Protestantism in Modern US Culture and Politics


Tuesday 27th May 2014


Westminster Theatre, Chancellor’s Building

In the eyes of many foreign observers of the US, the resurgence of conservative Protestantism, together with the country's consistently high level of religiosity, is among the strangest and most disturbing phenomena of the post-World War II period.  It apparently defies all assumptions about the rise of secularism in modern industrial societies and the much-vaunted separation of church and state in the US.  In contrast, this lecture suggests that the resurgence of conservative Protestantism does not primarily run counter to the rise of liberalism, secularism, and modernity.  Instead, it maintains that the countercultural politics, reactionary modernism, and symbolical anti-statism at the heart of the New Christian Right exemplify the accommodation of Protestant Christianity with the Enlightenment that has been characteristic of American culture and society all along. The presentation reviews postwar evangelicalism's cultural resonance, socioeconomic repositioning, and political ideology. It shows how religious transformations, socioeconomic modernization, and bureaucratic state-building came together to mold the diffuse evangelical movement into the political force of the New Christian Right. Along the way the lecture suggests, for example, that for all their strict Biblicism and uncompromising morality, evangelicals absorbed and extended key aspects of the countercultural worldview. Likewise, it argues that the welfare state, forged during the New Deal and renewed by the Great Society, hastened—not hindered—the ascendancy of a conservative political movement that turned against the very system that helped create it.  




3rd June - Professor Andrew Willmott Inaugural Lecture

The Arctic Ocean; a barometer and a driver of climate change


Tuesday 3rd June 2014


Westminster Theatre, Chancellor’s Building


There is a great deal of concern about whether the global mean surface air temperature rise resulting from greenhouse gas emissions can be capped to 2° C, or less.  Capping the global mean surface air temperature at 2° C, or below, would nevertheless lead to a much larger temperature increase in the Arctic, ranging between 3° C and 8° C. This “polar amplification” will have dramatic impacts on sea ice cover, the Arctic Ocean circulation and the ecosystems it supports, as well as potentially changing the global climate. However, the Arctic is not simply responding passively to global warming; it plays a major role in driving climate change. I will review why polar amplification occurs and what the likely consequences will be for the Arctic Ocean and its ecosystems and how these changes could impact on the global climate. The lecture will draw upon my own research on coupled ocean-sea ice dynamics in the Arctic. 


Andrew holds a BSc in Mathematics from Bristol University and the degrees of MSc in Theoretical Mechanics and PhD (NERC funded project on models for large-scale ocean circulation) from the University of East Anglia. Earlier in his career a postdoctoral position at the University of British Columbia was a springboard to a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey before returning to the UK where he was Lecturer and Reader in Applied Mathematics at Exeter University before being appointed to a chair in Applied Mathematics and Head of the School of Computing and Mathematics at Keele University. In 2005 Andrew was appointed Director of the NERC Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory (POL), a position he held until 2010 when POL was merged with the NERC owned facilities on the waterfront campus at Southampton to form the NERC National Oceanography Centre (NOC). Following the formation of NOC Professor Willmott became its inaugural Director of Science and Technology for the Liverpool and Southampton sites. In August 2013, Professor Willmott returned to Keele to take up a chair in Marine and Climate Sciences. He is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Liverpool and an Honorary Research Scientist at NOC.


Andrew has held visiting research positions in the University of New South Wales, Monash University, McGill University, IOS Canada and Dartmouth College, USA that have enabled him to carry out collaborative research on ocean dynamics, sea ice processes and climate physics.  He has served on scientific advisory panels for EU FP7 projects, The Leverhulme TrustDefra and the DECC/DEFRA Met Office/Hadley Centre science review group. Andrew was a Specialist Advisor to the Earth and Environmental Sciences Panel in the2008 RAE and he is a member of the Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences panel for the REF 14.     



11th June - Professor Steven Shardlow Inaugural Lecture

50,000 Years of Social Work … and counting!

Wednesday 11th June 2014


Westminster Theatre, Chancellor’s Building


Professor Steven M Shardlow is an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences (UK). He joined Keele as Professor of Social Work in 2013; previously held academic positions at the Universities of Salford (Professor) and Sheffield. He took his undergraduate and masters degrees at Oxford and in 2010 was awarded an honorary doctorate [Doc. Soc. Sci (h.c)] from the University of Kuopio, Finland.


He has held visiting professorial appointments,  at Fudan University, Shanghai, the University of University of Nordland, Norway; and City University & Polytechnic University of Hong Kong - where he is currently Honorary Professor in Social Work.


He is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Social Work (www.sagepub.co.uk/jsw).  Previously he has been Chair of the Association of Teachers in Social Work Education (ATSWE) and a Member of Board of the European Association of Schools of Social Work (EASSW).


Professor Shardlow is a registered member of The College of Social Work (England) and has practised as a social worker with children & families, older people, mentally ill people and a social work manager.


Professor Shardlow’s current research is focussed upon: knowledge for evidence-based professional practice (programme evaluation), particularly in respect of social work with children and families and older people; applied professional ethics; the human services workforce (retention and professional education - with a focus on field education). Much of his work is conducted using comparative research methodologies. Professor Shardlow has published 16 books and over 70 articles and book chapters.


Recently, he has completed, in partnership with the Universities of Bristol and Kings College London, a three-year countrywide study in England of early career social workers, which was funded by the Children’s Workforce Development Council and the Department for Education. The full reports are available for download:

  1. The first year of professional practice, Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSWs) “Newly Qualified Social Worker Programme Final Evaluation Report” (2012) 



  1. The second and third year of professional practice, Early Professional Development (EPD) “Early Professional Development Pilot Programme Final Evaluation Report” (2013)



He has also recently completed, in collaboration with City University Hong Kong, a two year project  (funded by ESRC, UK and RGC, Hong Kong)  project that has investigated the nature and extent of social connections between the Chinese community in the UK and in Hong Kong and the implications for health and social care.