Past inaugural lectures

Keele's programme of Inaugural Lectures is delivered by newly established professors within the University and aims to give an illuminating account of the speaker's own subject specialism. The lectures, which start at 6.15pm in the Westminster Theatre and last approximately an hour including Q&A, are chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Trevor McMillan.

If you'd like to be added to the mailing list for the Inaugural Lecture Series programme please contact the Events Team via email to: or by calling 01782 734015.


Universities as instruments of social freedom

Professor Shane O'Neill Inaugural Lecture
14 May 2018

In this lecture, I address the question as to what the social purpose of universities is today. I will present, first, an account of critical social theory that has animated much of my academic work, one that underlines the ultimate significance for modern democratic societies of the value of social freedom. I will then turn to the university as an institution that plays a key role as an instrument of social freedom in the reproduction of modern societies. The university, as a privileged site of individual formation, has a special role in fostering freedom. Students prepare themselves, through self-exploration, to give back to society in their personal relationships, in the exchange of services through the world of work and in democratic practices. As well as supporting their students to go on to make positive differences in all of the communities in which they will be embedded, universities also engage in research and in fostering partnerships these too should be focused on contributing to the realisation of effective social freedom for all citizens. Universities should properly be evaluated, therefore, on the extent to which they succeed in enhancing social freedom for all. By clarifying the purpose of the university as a modern institution, which is to be effective as an instrument of social freedom, we will be better placed to offer valuable critical perspectives on contemporary controversies regarding higher education policy.

The internet of things and data deluge

Professor Zhong Fan Inaugural Lecture
17 April 2018

Big data is a buzzword for the past few years. A huge amount of the data come from so-called Internet of Things (IoT) applications which are gathering momentum across many industrial sectors worldwide. Many research problems arise from IoT data, e.g. reliable wireless communication solutions for data collection and delivery, efficient data processing techniques for different industrial applications, quick decision making based on data mining and machine learning, security and privacy. In this lecture I will discuss some of these issues based on my previous and current research work, with application examples in areas such as smart energy, e-health, and smart city. I will finish by addressing some of the research challenges in our exciting new project called SEND at Keele.

Taking the global initiative: measuring early child development in non-western settings

Professor Gillian Lancaster Inaugural Lecture
6 March 2018

It is estimated that 219 million children (39% of the under 5 years population) living in low and middle income countries are failing to meet their developmental potential. The new United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 include access to quality early child development as essential for fairer, inclusive and less poverty stricken societies. Charting advancement towards this goal requires appropriate benchmarks to determine where children in a certain population are in comparison to children in other populations. The accurate measurement of early childhood development is therefore key, and also crucial for directly assessing the effectiveness of intervention programs. The urgent need for culturally appropriate measurement tools has been widely acknowledged and hampers current initiatives sponsored by UN organizations and international funding agencies. This lecture will highlight the work that has been done to create robust developmental assessment tools, the new techniques that have been developed to identify and select appropriate items and the ultimate construction of the World Health Organisation Key Indicators of Development Scale (WHO IYCD).

The digital revolution. Can it save our climate from the precipice?

Professor David Healey Inaugural Lecture
6 February 2018

The 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21) delivered an historic climate agreement supported by 195 nations. The central aim is to hold the global average increase in temperature to “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels”.

Whilst Energy is central to global social and economic well-being, it is also is also the dominant contributor to climate change.

The worldwide response to this conundrum has been to initiate a revolution in how energy is sourced, delivered and consumed. With ever increasing speed the global economy has begun a transition to de carbonisation of the entire energy value chain. Not even President Trump is able to stand against the weigth of forces that have already been committed.

To maintain this critical momentum however, we now face the need for a fundamental restructuring of our entire energy delivery system, in order to embrace the full capabilities of renewable and sustainable energy. The essential electrification of energy, transport and industrial processes, requires the transformation of our core power delivery infrastructure from the original 19th century concepts of Edison that we still employ today, to a fully digitised and intelligent energy grid.

The scale and scope of this transformation represents a considerable socio economic global undertaking, the like of which has previously only been undertaken in response to global conflicts.

The urgency of Climate Change however rightly compels such a coordinated international commitment. Is it possible however for institutions across Government, finance, technology, energy and society as a whole, to deliver and embrace this digital energy revolution? The clock is ticking!

History (not) repeating: fascism and other calamities then and now

Professor Aristotle Kallis Inaugural Lecture
30 January 2018

Imagine a future world where democracy is a distant, disgraced memory, supplanted by totalitarianism, mass surveillance, perpetual conflict, demonisation of others, and constant public manipulation. Imagine a world where individual rights and freedoms, pluralism and mutual respect for difference have been violently reversed and superseded by an oppressive logic of power and self-preservation, of groups locked in a seemingly constant fight for survival and domination. In short, imagine a world where extremism has become mainstream.

Perhaps all this sounds familiar?

In the years between the two world wars a fledgling radical ideology that we today call ‘fascism’ grew from a tiny fringe motley crowd of devotees into a dominant international political force that challenged ‘mainstream’ values and violently reversed decades of progressive change - often with substantial elite complicity and indeed popular support. My talk will seek to illustrate how the popularity of interwar fascism was not so much the cause of, but the symptom of and catalyst for, the demise of the liberal mainstream in the 1930s.

But ‘fascism’ is back in the news as is the fear of yet another liberal ‘crisis’. Speaking of somber similarities with the 1930s may be objectionable to historians, who after all have been trained to value the specificities of context and circumstance. In my talk, I shall not claim that history is repeating, that some insidious form of fascism is on its way to power. But I will argue that we are witnessing a comparable crisis of the liberal mainstream and its gradual erosion by radical alternatives - alternatives that were only recently regarded as regressive or defeated. Contrary to what postwar and contemporary societies may have believed, there is no ‘end of history’, not even a liberal one! In fact, history contains no final, irreversible victories or defeats.


The workhouse: a victorian institution through the eyes of working-class writers

Professor Alannah Tomkins Inaugural Lecture
11 December 2017

The Victorian workhouse casts a long, Dickensian shadow on the history of British welfare, and research which looks at the bare details of admissions and discharges of inmates, or formal rules and committee minutes, can only go so far to amend this impression. Working-class autobiographies give an alternative view of the institution, and while memoirs do not entirely dispel the myth of Oliver Twist, they do provide a much more textured understanding of the daily rhythms and human relationships operating within workhouses. Indeed nineteenth-century life could be so challenging outside the workhouse, that for some people admission was neither a curse nor a death sentence. This lecture identifies a range of responses to workhouses among working-class authors and puts their judgement of life ‘in the house’ into biographical and historical context.
Biography: Alannah obtained a first-class degree in History and English from Keele in 1991, and went on to complete her doctoral thesis at Oxford in under three years. She returned to Keele as a lecturer and assistant editor of the Staffordshire Victoria County History series in 1995, and since then has become an acknowledged authority on welfare, charitable institutions, and medical professionalisation. This lecture goes back to her earliest scholarly interest, residential welfare, and updates it in line with some of her most intriguing research.

Antarctica: a remote continent?

Professor Chris Fogwill Inaugural Lecture
21 November 2017

Antarctica holds around 90 percent of our planet’s ice and 70 percent of its freshwater. There’s so much water that if all the ice melted we would be left with global sea levels over 60 metres higher than present, flooding the likes of New York, Sydney, and London, and changing global atmospheric circulation. Where, when, and how much the Antarctic ice sheets will melt in a warmer world is a major focus of research. Offshore, the surrounding Southern Ocean supports hugely productive ecosystems, many of them economically important. These ecosystems also play a crucial role in soaking up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and regulating climate. Just how the ocean, atmosphere, and ice interact to influence the world’s climate is hugely uncertain. In this lecture Prof Chris Fogwill will highlight how and why the Antarctic continent is changing and how these changes may impact our everyday lives, despite its geographical remoteness.

Professor Chris Fogwill is a leader in the fields of geochemistry, glaciology and climate change research. His research straddles the traditional disciplines of palaeoclimatology, glaciology and climate modelling. Over the past decade, his research – using innovative techniques to reconstruct past climate and ice-sheet change – has been instrumental in defining the linkages between ice, climate and sea level over timescales from centuries to millennia. His work in this field not only improves our understanding of the global climate system, but also reduces the uncertainty in future climate projections.
Chris obtained his BSc in Geological Oceanography at the University of Bangor in North Wales in 1995, and then joined the Department of Earth Sciences at Cambridge University as a postgraduate research assistant in the palaeoceanography group. This was followed by a PhD at the University of Edinburgh focused on ice-sheet reconstruction and modelling in Antarctica and Patagonia. After a NERC-funded postdoctoral research position within the School of Geoscience at Edinburgh, Chris took up a position as Senior Lecturer and Director of Programme in Physical Geography at the University of Exeter in 2007. This was followed by the Australian Research Council Future Fellowship in 2012 at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, where he was awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship in 2012 based at the Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC), the leading hub for climate system modelling in the Southern Hemisphere. Chris leads the PRECISE Network, an international network of geoscientists focused on reducing uncertainty in sea level rise, as well as contributing to the Earths Past Future research network and Intrepid Science, a group dedicated to science communication.

10 years on from the financial meltdown - rediscovering the leadership compass', a practitioners reflection

Professor Gary Crowe Inaugural Lecture

The lecture will introduce Gary Crowe and the new role of Professor of Practice within the Keele Management School where Gary leads the Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership.

Professor Crowe will provide a personal reflection on the relevance of the new role for extending learning and education for today’s attendees at a management school. He will place this in the context of his professional experience in the Financial Services industry, and wider, where it is 10 years since the financial meltdown in UK banking started in 2007.

Reflections will include the lessons learnt and observations of being a senior banker in the maelstrom of the biggest financial services crisis in modern times. Considerations from the leadership practice, business challenges and executive culture reported, seen and experienced.

He will be looking at how major corporate events filter down into human challenges for line managers and staff caught in a moment of national headlines. How the deep emotional impact and the personal/brand damage are managed.

Plus examining the opportunities for reinvention and innovation which are driven by crisis, emergent technology and reasserting a moral and leadership compass.

As well as placing these topics within the current opportunities to extend the role of management teaching and practice.

Migration, mobility and place: living in different contexts of super-diversity

Professor Simon Pemberton Inaugural Lecture
6 November 2017

Over the last decade many cities across the world have become more diverse than ever before, and especially as a result of new patterns of immigration. Many new migrants are now residing in cities of ‘super-diversity’ and within ‘super-diverse neighbourhoods’. However, whilst researchers have long sought to understand residential mobility and the implications for the distribution of different groups of residents in the city, the significance of new immigration is posing particular challenges for our understanding of patterns of residential settlement and mobility in metropolitan areas. In this lecture Professor Simon Pemberton highlights the ways in which residential settlement and mobility in the city has traditionally been understood and how this is now changing in an era of super-diversity. In so doing, Professor Pemberton subsequently argues for a re-consideration of the social phenomenon of ‘white flight’ and its expression in the 21st century city advocating the need to work through the veneer of super-diversity in order to re-assert the importance of ethnicity and the implications arising for the integration of populations.

Professor Simon Pemberton’s research has made internationally significant contributions in two main areas: i) new migration and ‘super-diversity’; and ii) the restructuring and rescaling of the state. In particular, he has research interests in the politics and policies of managed migration, the place-based effects of migration, and migrant place-making and mobility in an era of increasing super-diversity. To this end, he has recently completed a major research project funded by a prestigious Leverhulme Fellowship exploring the residential mobility of new migrants. In addition, he is also the lead UK investigator for a £1 million NORFACE-funded project exploring health-seeking practices in super-diverse areas. He has managed from proposal to completion over 40 large research projects and has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers and reports. His work has also informed and significantly influenced the work of national and local governments, trade unions and local community partnerships.

The social psychology of crowds - ideas, identity and impact

Professor Clifford Stott Inaugural Lecture
30 October 2017

This lecture will focus on the nature of crowds to illustrate their importance for social theory and policy. The lecture will outline a conceptual approach for understanding the psychology that drives collective action in crowd events and highlight how Clifford’s research has helped transform understanding of ‘riots’ and football ‘hooliganism’. But beyond theory, Clifford will also address how these research contributions have been made possible through using ethnography, participant action research and knowledge co-production as primary organising concepts. In so doing, he will explore how crowd research is reclaiming a relevance for social psychology through asking powerful and sometime difficult questions, opening inter-disciplinary dialogue and cementing pathways to social and political impact.

Clifford Stott graduated from Plymouth Polytechnic with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology in 1988 and gained his PhD on the Intergroup Dynamics of Crowd Behaviour from the University of Exeter in 1996. He then held lectureships and Senior Lectureships at the Universities of Bath, Abertay and Liverpool before moving to the School of Law at the University of Leeds in 2013, where he became a Principal Research Fellow in Security and Justice. He took up his Chair in Social Psychology in March 2016. Since arriving at Keele he has established and is Co-Director of the University’s Research Centre the Keele Policing Academic Collaboration (KPAC). His work revolves around crowd psychology, ‘riots’ and ‘public order’ policing. He works regularly with police forces, Governments and football authorities across the world. His research has been acknowledged in policy documents on the policing of crowds issued by the Council of Europe and the European Union. His research underpins policy reforms of ‘public order’ policing in the UK, Sweden, Denmark and Australia. Reflecting the influence of his work he was awarded the 2014 ‘Celebrating Impact’ First Prize for ‘Outstanding Impact on Public Policy’ by the ESRC. In 2015 the ESRC also acknowledged his work as one of the top 50 ‘Landmark Research’ achievements of its 50-year history.

Reflections on the past, present and future of nurse education: a personal journey

Professor Pauline Walsh Inaugural Lecture
2 October 2017

Nurses work in health care environments that are challenging both in terms of the complexity of the health needs of patients as well as the number of patients requiring care. Technological advancement and changing demographics are resulting in patients living longer and with complex conditions that previously would have seen an early death. Thus increasing the need for nurses to expand and develop their scope of practice. Higher Education Institutions have a crucial part to play in meeting these needs through the implementation of innovative high quality pre-registration and post registration education underpinned by a strong evidence base informed by research.

Nurse education has seen major transformation from the development of the first training schools in the 1860’s through to the current university degree nursing qualification. This journey has not always been a smooth passage and indeed some may question whether the current approach is right. In answering such questions. This inaugural lecture critically examines nurse education through the lens of a personal journey that spans thirty-six years. It will explore the history of nursing and in particular the developments from the 1980’s to present day to provide a clear contextual background against which my journey sits.

I started my nursing career in Gloucestershire qualifying in 1984 and worked clinically in trauma orthopaedics, surgery and intensive care nursing. My academic interests revolve around health care ethics and professional practice and as part of my master’s degree in medical ethics I explored life and death decision making within intensive care. I have always had a passion for education and took up post in 1991 as a registered nurse tutor at the United Midlands College of Nursing and then Wolverhampton University. I have a wealth of experience in curriculum design development and delivery across pre and post registration programmes with a specific expertise in placement learning, clinical skill development and clinical assessment. Following the move of nurse education into higher education I was instrumental in establishing the first fully funded practice placement facilitator roles and developing robust partnership working frameworks to facilitate placement learning. Since moving to Keele University in June 2007

My recent research focus has been around the student experience and in particular student attrition, belonging and retention which were complimented by me being the west midlands HEI representative on the DH national group looking at managing student attrition during 2009. More recently my research has evolved into exploring the development of resilience within student’s but with a particular focus on their resilience in managing challenging issues during clinical placement.

I became the Head of School in September 2010 and have led the growth and development of the school, through the expansion of our educational portfolio alongside the development of research capacity and capability. In addition to this growth a focus on staff and student experience has seen an increase in satisfaction with a steady climb up the rankings of major league tables

I have been a member of the Council of Deans for Health since 2010 providing expertise around student retention which culminated in a national workshop identifying good practice in promoting retention. I am an active member of the Royal College of Nursing Education Forum since 2011 taking up chair of this in December 2015. Within this role I am able to influence nurse education on a national scale and am committed to developing a vibrant and engaged forum that reaches out to its wider membership.

As a leader within the university I adopt a collaborative approach having been pivotal in the faculty executive leadership team and in particular leading on the engagement with local and regional NHS groups. I am committed to understanding how we can improve the education we offer and am chair of the university quality assurance and enhancement committee and have a university strategic role in quality and enhancement.

Since February 2017 I have taken on the role of interim PVC and Faculty Dean for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Keele University.

Maximize the Influence of Biomaterials in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine: Learn from Nature

Professor Ying Yang Inaugural Lecture
3 July 2017

Regenerative medicine and tissue engineering have enabled the generation of functional organs or tissues outside the human body intended for implantation back into patients. It has further allowed the regeneration of particular damaged tissues within the body, which usually does not occur naturally. Among other factors to realize these challenges, one needs to create supportive artificial extracellular matrix which not only acts as physical scaffolds to dwell the cells which are the essential element in developing tissues, but also is the key location, rich in signals in controlling and regulating the intensive communication between cells. The signals include biological molecules, topographic features and strength of the matrix. Learning from the native extracellular matrix, biomaterials can be fabricated into artificial extracellular matrix, allowing the delivery of regeneration signals accurately and optimally. This lecture will highlight the new techniques which have been developed to replicate such extracellular matrix in specific tissue generation, for example, induction of cell orientation/assembly, target protein synthesis and the detection of cellular responses to the matrix.

Ying Yang is a Professor in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering. She obtained her PhD at Manchester University in Materials Science and Technology and joined Keele University in 1997. The broad engineering and material background assist the converging her research to biomaterials and Tissue Engineering field effectively. Working closely with biologists and clinicians, she manipulates biomaterials, particularly in nanofibers and hydrogels to maximize artificial matrix’s influence in multiple tissue models including eye, tendon, bone, cartilage, skin and nerve. These models serve as drug screening, cell therapy validation and potential tissue grafting. The knowledge and research of the extracellular matrix mutually supports her research in multiple connective tissue related diseases as well.

Viewing Safeguarding Through The Lens of Legal Literacy

Professor Alison Brammer Inaugural Lecture
15 June 2017

At the forefront of investigating and protecting cases of abuse, social workers are faced with the complex challenge of safeguarding children and adults in contemporary society. In addition, tension can arise from the interpretation of legislative and policy frameworks devised by lawyers, understanding and following judicial statements and instructing lawyers in court.

Drawing on her empirical research with social workers and lawyers and caselaw analysis, Professor Brammer will explore the tension between law and social work and lawyers and social workers. The notion of legal literacy will be examined as a means of empowering and promoting the professional status of social workers and bridging this apparent divide.

Breath Analysis in Cancer Management: are we getting there or is it just hot air?

Professor Josep Sule Suso Inaugural Lecture
12 June 2017

Josep graduated in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Barcelona, Catalonia. Soon after graduating, he moved to Stoke-on-Trent where he carried out his training in Oncology at the North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary. Josep has had always an interest in cancer research and following 4 years training in Stoke-on-Trent, he moved to the National Cancer Institute in Milan, Italy. He spent 2 and a half years in Milan developing his research career on cancer immunotherapy and gene therapy. Following this time, he moved back to Stoke-on-Trent in 1995 where he has been working ever since, combining his clinical work in Oncology at UHNM with basic and translational research at the Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine at Keele University. He got his PhD degree at Keele University. His research spans from enhancing oncological patients’ satisfaction with their management (he won the UHNM Staff award for patient experience in 2012) to improving the early diagnosis of cancer using spectrometry and spectroscopy techniques. He was involved in the development of one of the beamlines at Diamond Light Source, Oxfordshire (one of the major research facilities in the UK) and is a founding member of the International Society for Clinical Spectroscopy. He has been a member of different International Committees, an invited speaker at several international meetings, has supervised to success several PhD students, and his work has been publicised not only in the written press nationally but also in the BBC 10 o’clock news (national news). He has also recently been involved in the creation of a Master Medical Science Course in Oncology where its novelty sits on students combining clinical activities with basic research in oncology.

The application of breath analysis in the management of disease goes back to ancient Greece when Hippocrates described fetor oris (halitosis) and fetor hepaticus (a sign of liver failure). Since then, people have been aware through observation that some breath smells were related to certain diseases. A major breakthrough was achieved when Linus Pauling described in 1971 over 200 different Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in human exhaled air and in urine headspace. The use of breath analysis as a non-invasive tool to manage diseases has clear examples in the [13/14C] urea breath test used in the diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection and the nitric oxide (NO) breath test in the diagnosis of airway inflammation. Present techniques can now measure VOCs in the range of parts per million (ppm) to parts per trillion (ppt) by volume. The identification of VOCs in the breath of patients with cancer, specially lung cancer, has attracted a lot of interest in the last few years. While several studies including ours have been able to differentiate between cancer cells and non-malignant cells grown in vitro based on their VOCs’ profile in the headspace cultures, the in vivo studies have provided conflicting results. Several factors such as the origin of the VOCs (from tumour cells and/or tumour microenvironment), sample collection and VOCs detection need still to be tackled before breath analysis can make it into clinical practice. This Inaugural Lecture will discuss some of these issues and the work carried out using the Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometry (SIFT-MS) for VOCs analysis specially in lung cancer.

Classical Music after 1945: Structure and Expression

Professor Alastair Williams Inaugural Lecture
6 June 2017

This lecture examines three moments in the story of classical music in the second half of the twentieth century. The first of these is the end of World War II in 1945, which ushered in an era that rejected the expressive conventions of tonal classical music in order to pursue structural integration in a manner that would not be tainted by the past. The second event is the social upheaval of 1968, which triggered a reaction against the narrowness of a purely structural approach and helped to facilitate a renewed engagement with older traditions. The third moment is the end of the Cold War in 1989, which led to a cessation of the post-war debates about systems and initiated a more relaxed exploration of a range of styles and expressive devices.

Professor Alastair Williams studied at City, University of London, and then joined the horn section of the RTE National Symphony Orchestra in Dublin. He subsequently pursued doctoral research at Magdalen College, Oxford, and in 2002 he was an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the Humboldt University, Berlin. He is the author of New Music and the Claims of Modernity, Constructing Musicology and Music in Germany since 1968. In addition, he has received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy. He has achieved international recognition, first for deepening the cultural understanding of musical modernism, and second for applying critical theory to the discipline of musicology in ways that have shifted the direction of the discipline.

Gilty Secrets: The information hidden in the prices of UK government bonds

Professor Jim Steeley Inaugural Lecture
1 June 2017

UK government bonds, known as “Gilts”, are financial borrowing instruments that the government uses to finance the deficit, the difference between government spending and tax receipts. Over the last 30 years, this market has undergone many changes, responding both to technological advances and to economic circumstances. At the same time, rapid developments in financial economic theory have greatly enhanced the understanding of how financial market prices reflect economic conditions. In this lecture, Professor Steeley will explore how mathematical and statistical techniques have been developed and applied to UK bond prices to provide greater insight into current economic conditions and likely future economic conditions. These techniques also reveal the resilience of the market to its structural changes in the recent past, to the fall-out from financial crises, and to its recent experience as the means to undertake quantitative easing.

Professor Jim Steeley re-joined Keele in January 2016, as Professor of Finance. Prior to this, he was the Lloyds Bank Chair and Professor of Finance at Aston Business School and before that, Professor of Finance at the University of Stirling. Earlier in my career, he held academic positions at Cardiff Business School and Keele University, where he was the first appointment in the field of financial markets. During the mid- 1990s he worked for the Bank of England, where I managed a research team developing techniques to interpret financial market prices for use in monetary policy advice, and techniques to improve the pricing of UK government debt issues. He has been a visitor at many other universities, including the Financial Markets Group at the London School of Economics, the Isaac Newton Institute of Mathematical Sciences at Cambridge University, the Technical University of Ostrava in the Czech Republic, Washington University in St. Louis, Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Kent State University in Ohio and the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

Professor Steeley’s research is in the areas of financial markets and investments, with a long standing interest in the estimation and modelling of the interest rates implicit in UK government bonds prices, and in the modelling of the effects of exogenous and endogenous changes in the microstructure of this market. He has also undertaken research on each of equity, futures and options markets, with a particular emphasis on the dynamic properties of the market prices and the information revealed by these dynamics. He also has an active research programme in the area of financial market microstructure looking at information aggregation, the measurement and pricing of liquidity and the effects of investor behaviours. His research has been published in leading academic journals in Finance and Economics, including the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, the Journal of Banking and Finance and the Journal of International Money and Finance. He has made numerous presentations of his research at leading international conferences including the American Finance Association and the Royal Economic Society. I am on the editorial board of the academic journals Studies in Economics and Finance and the International Journal of Behavioural Accounting and Finance. I am also on the editorial board of the research section of the Securities and Investments Review, which is the quarterly journal of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments. In 2014 I was elected to the executive committee of the Conference of Professors in Accounting and Finance. In 2015, he was awarded a Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

Tackling Malaria: The biology, pathophysiology and death of the parasite

Professor Paul Horrocks Inaugural Lecture
Tuesday 28th March

The last decade has seen, for the first time in a generation, a fall in the mortality and morbidity inflicted by the malaria parasite. Yet despite these successes, malaria still imposes a significant health and socioeconomic burden on those living in endemic regions. The current challenges evolve around maintaining the momentum with the emergence and spread of resistance in both the parasite the mosquito vector to current line treatment and control methods, respectively. Paul’s talk will draw on his research in malaria parasite biology, pathophysiology and drug discovery to illustrate the complexity in the challenges faced in tackling this devastating global disease.

Paul gained his PhD at the University of Edinburgh before moving to the University of Würzburg in Germany to explore gene regulation in the human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum. He moved back to the UK to work at Oxford University on the malaria genome project before completing his postdoctoral career at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Paul joined Keele University Medical School in 2005 with a fellowship from the Royal Society. Paul is now a Professor of Molecular Parasitology leading a research team that explores the molecular mechanisms of parasite cell death as well as the development of assays in support of the antimalarial drug discovery pipeline.

Universal Ethics: Metaphysics, Politics and Conflict-Resolution

Professor Sorin Baiasu Inaugural Lecture
Tuesday 14th March 2017

That some of our desires will come to be frustrated at some point seems to be a fundamental aspect of our existence. In some cases, this is the result of conflicts we have with other persons. For instance, we may desire the same thing, which is scarce. Consider now the following model of conflict resolution: the person whose desire is frustrated is provided with the justification for the decision that the object of her desire be handed over to the other party; she realises that this is the just outcome and accepts it, although not without difficulty; her negative emotional reactions eventually subside and disappear. Call this the ‘Ideal’ model of conflict resolution. In this lecture I argue that a universal ethical system must be assumed, if we want this model to function in a principled way. Moreover, I show how, for metaphysical reasons, the most dominant theory of political justice available today renders such a model of conflict resolution extremely problematic. Furthermore, I claim that this implication of the dominant theory of justice is not only an unwanted, but also a philosophically inappropriate, result. Finally, I suggest how the dominant theory of justice can be improved upon, if the Ideal model of conflict resolution is to be possible at all.

Sorin Baiasu (BSc and BA, University of Bucharest; MA(Econ) and PhD, University of Manchester) is Professor of Philosophy at Keele University. He works on issues in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, metaphilosophy and history of philosophy. Before Keele, he worked at Manchester University. He held visiting positions at the University of Sheffield, University of Vienna and Oxford University. He is co-editor of Kant Studies Online, Director of the Keele-Oxford-St Andrews Kantian (KOSAK) Research Centre, Secretary and Member of the Executive Committee of the UK Kant Society, and Co-convenor of the Kantian Standing Group of the European Consortium for Political Research.

Stem cell biology – going Back to the Future to improve tomorrows medicines

Professor Nick Forsyth Inaugural Lecture
6 March 2017

Mammalian cell culture hasn’t changed in the last 100 years. Advances in growth techniques, 60 years ago, created specialised liquids, or growth media, which could sustain mammalian cells in the laboratory throughout their divisive lifespan. These remain the basis of laboratory cell culture work. Surprisingly little regard was paid at that time, and since, to the gaseous environment for cell growth where a non-physiological air oxygen concentration (21% O2) was adopted and appeared to work well. Notable, non-mainstream, exceptions have occurred over the previous half century where physiological gaseous oxygen concentrations (2-5% O2) have been utilised and the lessons from these form the basis of this lecture. We will discuss the impact of non-physiological oxygen on stem cell biology and why understanding the lessons from the past are an essential component of getting this science correct and the role this plays in developing 21st Century medicine.

Nick, a graduate of Glasgow University at BSc (Hons) and PhD level, joined Keele as a Lecturer in Stem Cell Biology in 2006. This followed on from postdoctoral appointments at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre at Dallas, Texas, USA and the Roslin Institute, Edinburgh. Since his appointment Nick has progressively risen from Senior Lecturer (2009) to Reader (2012) and to Professor and Research Institute Director (2016). His research is focussed on improved understanding of stem cell biology and mechanisms of action in regenerative medicine applications.

From Marx to Marketing

Professor Adrian Palmer Inaugural Lecture
14 February 2017

We are living through what could be a high point in our obsession with ideologies of markets and marketing. Taking a historical perspective, the methods by which societies exchange resources have varied from centrally determined allocation, through to devolved, individually driven acquisition and distribution of resources.  Market based systems have been presented as a panacea for improving the lives of individuals, organisations and whole nations, however, in doing so, we often confuse value with values. Legitimization of markets has selectively referenced the principles of classical theoreticians, such as John Stewart Mill and Adam Smith, while frequently overlooking issues of morality and social value.

Marketing may deliver economic value to some groups in society, but if it becomes dissociated from the values of the communities that it serves, the pendulum of mainstream political and economic thought may swing away from current obsession with markets and marketing. Are the principles and practices of marketing, especially of listening to markets and responding to their needs, sufficiently adaptable to a changing world, allowing marketing to adapt and survive? Or in a postmodern, technology driven world, are the challenges to markets too great, calling for a new paradigm for organising our consumption? 


Of mosquitoes, rice and man, in a time of prospective malaria eradication

Professor Frederic Tripet Inaugural Lecture
6 December 2016

The burden of malaria on humanity is enormous and weights particularly heavily on low- and middle-income countries endemic for the disease. In sub-Saharan Africa, high malaria transmission is maintained through a group of eight genetically-related and highly competent mosquito vector species, the infamous Anopheles gambiae complex. Among these taxa, two recently-diverged species stand out because of their abundance and close association with humans. In his inaugural lecture, Prof Tripet will explain how understanding processes of speciation between the two sibling species, Anopheles gambiae s.s. and An. coluzzii, is of fundamental importance for Evolutionary Biology. He will then explain how this knowledge is key to ongoing and future mosquito control programmes and has far-reaching implications for food security and the prospects of malaria eradication in Africa.

Prof Frederic Tripet holds a doctorate in Behavioural Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Bern, Switzerland, complemented by postdoctoral training in Molecular Biology and Population Genetics from the University of California Los Angeles, University of Texas Medical Branch and University of California Davis. In 2006, he joined Keele University and its Centre for Applied Entomology and Parasitology, a research centre which he now heads. His collaborative research partnerships with major vector endemic countries span five continents and focus on the applied integrative biology of mosquitoes that transmit human pathogens, such as Malaria, Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika, with a view on developing novel tools for their control.

Making PCI safer, insights from big data

Professor Mamas Mamas Inaugural Lecture
7 November 2016

Coronary heart disease is the common most cause of cardiovascular disease in the world and accounts for 74,000 deaths in the UK each year. Inflammatory processes within the coronary artery wall lead to the development of atherosclerosis, resulting in narrowing of the coronary artery resulting in an insufficient blood supply to the heart. Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is the commonest form of revascularisation in patients with coronary artery disease with over 80,000 such procedures undertaken annually. Professor Mamas will discuss his research work around how his group have used use of routinely collected data captured from every PCI procedure performed in the UK over the past decade (Over 1/2 million procedures) to inform optimal clinical practice and optimize patient safety contributing to changes in national practice.

Mamas Mamas is currently Professor of Cardiology at Keele University and an honorary Professor of Cardiology at the University of Manchester, having been appointed to the post in 2015. Professor Mamas is an interventional cardiologist treating patients with underlying coronary artery with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in both the elective and emergency heart attack setting and has a special interest in managing patients with heart failure.

Professor Mamas trained in Medicine at the University of Oxford undertaking a MA in Physiological Sciences in 1994 and completed his DPhil in Physiological sciences funded by the British Heart Foundation (1994-1997), studying  the influence of substances derived from the endocardium on cardiac function. After completing his clinical training at the University of Oxford in 2000 he undertook house jobs in Oxford in the Nuffield Department of Medicine and Cardiology.  Further appointments to a national training number in cardiology in the North West Deanery (2004) and as a subsequent clinical lecturer in cardiology (2006) followed.  After completing his specialist training in cardiology in 2012 he was appointed as a senior clinical lecturer, honorary consultant cardiologist at the University of Manchester in 2012.

Stem cells, vitamins and therapies for Parkinson’s disease

Professor Rosemary Fricker Inaugural Lecture
10 October 2016

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common brain disorder across the globe. In the brain, the death of dopamine-producing nerve cells leads to widespread movement and cognitive problems. Currently there are no therapies to halt or reverse the disease process.  For the last 40 years, research has shown the potential for transplants to replace the dying nerve cells. More recently, the discovery of different types of stem cells has led to an explosion of research to test whether these might be a good cell source to generate nerve cells to treat Parkinson’s patients. While stem cells show good promise, there are still significant hurdles to overcome to ensure their safety and efficiency to provide functioning transplants.

Professor Fricker’s lecture will explore her career contributing to this research field, starting with transplantation of nerve cells to achieve brain repair, further developments to investigate the potential of different types of stem cells to replace nerve cells, and finally her recent work showing the importance of key vitamins in brain development and their potential as therapeutics for Parkinson’s disease.  Finally, looking to the future, Professor Fricker will describe ongoing work to recreate brain circuitry in the cell culture dish, to provide a better platform to test emerging therapies for brain disease.

Professor Rosemary Fricker began her career as an undergraduate student in Applied Biology at Bath University. She was offered a Wellcome Trust PhD studentship at Cambridge University where she began her work into cell therapies for brain repair under the supervision of Stephen Dunnett and graduating in 1995. Rose then succeeded in obtaining a Wellcome European Traveling Fellowship to work for 3 years at the University of Lund, Sweden under Professor Anders Björklund, the pioneer of cell transplant therapies. In 1998, she moved to Harvard to spend two years working with Jeffrey Macklis on cortical repair, returning to the UK in 2000. Rose was awarded a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship, enabling her to establish her first research group at Cardiff University. She joined the new Medical School at Keele in January 2005, as neuroscience lecturer, progressing to Senior Lecturer, Reader and now Professor. She co-led the first year of the new Keele MBChB degree from 2007-2012, and has recently been appointed Director of Medical Science, responsible for the team delivering the Medical Science components across the MBChB undergraduate degree.

Geothermal Energy: Recent Developments and Future Challenges

Professor Annette Goetz Inaugural Lecture
3 October 2016

Worldwide growth in renewable energy sources makes research in the field of geothermal energy a challenging task for geoscientists. Whilst areas with volcanic activity have been the focus in the past, untapped geothermal resources from deep sedimentary basins, containing 70 to 80% of technically extractable geothermal reserves, will be the challenge of the future. In this lecture Professor Götz will present to the audience the potential for geothermal energy utilization on a global scale starting with the early days of geothermal power generation hundred years ago, then addressing the recent developments in reservoir characterization and finally outlining the future research demands to make geothermal energy a viable contribution to the future energy mix.

Annette E. Götz received her MSc in1992 and a PhD in 1995 in carbonate sedimentology and micropalaeontology from Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany. She continued postdoctoral research in Darmstadt till 2001. From 2002 till 2007 she was appointed as Assistant Professor at Halle University, Germany and from 2007 till 2011 as Associate Professor at TU Darmstadt, focusing on energy-related research with special emphasis on geothermal energy. From 2007 till 2008 she also held the position as managing director of the TU Darmstadt Energy Center and served as referee for the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Germany from 2009 till 2010. She left Germany in 2011 and worked as Associate Professor in Sedimentology and Palaeontology at Rhodes University, South Africa.  Annette went on to become Head of the Geology Department at the University of Pretoria as Full Professor of Sedimentology and Energy Resources. Since 2015 she has held the position of Chair of Geology at Keele University. Her research focus is on geothermal energy, coal and hydrocarbon exploration – conventional and unconventional resources of sedimentary basins in Europe, China, the Middle East, Mexico, Australia, Nigeria, Sudan and southern Africa.