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INSIGHTS spring 2024

Leading journalists to give Spring INSIGHTS public lectures

Published on: 12 February 2024

The political editor who exposed the Partygate affair and one of the BBC’s best known war reporters will speak as part of Newcastle University’s INSIGHTS public lecture series.

General Election

Pippa Crerar, political editor of the Guardian, and in 2021 while political editor for The Mirror, was the first journalist to report that illegal gatherings had been taking place at Downing Street during lockdown.

Pippa will draw on her experience Westminster for the Sophia Lecture: General Election 2024: Is change really possible? She will assess the state of the political parties in light of the upcoming general election. With the chance of a different party in power for the first time in 14 years, what change could that bring? Her talk takes place on Thursday 29 February.

Newcastle University alumna and renowned journalist and broadcaster, Katie Adie, will give the annual Fickling Lecture on Thursday 14 March. She is the former chief news correspondent for the BBC and covered major stories including both Gulf Wars, the SAS storming of the Iranian Embassy, and the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing. As an adopted child, she will discuss what adoption means for others in her lecture We chose you.

Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive of NHS England, will consider how the evolving needs of the public, as well as advances in science and technology, will shape both the demand on, and capabilities of, the NHS over the coming decade and beyond in the Jacobson Lecture: The NHS of the future and how we get there.

Drama critic Michael Billington will be in conversation with Professor Jo Robinson, Head of the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, on Tuesday 30 April. Drawing on 60 years of reviewing and broadcasting, most prominently as drama critic of the Guardian from 1971 to 2019, the biographer of Harold Pinter, Alan Ayckbourn, and Tom Stoppard will also discuss the state of the British stage.

Pippa Crerar, Political editor of the Guardian, who is giving an INISGHTS public lecture
Pippa Crerar

Live Music in the King's Hall

Dr Martin Farr, co-chair of INSIGHTS public lectures, said: “Our packed and wide-ranging Spring programme features lectures on DNA, sign language, dark matter, AI, the war in Ukraine, and for LGBTQ+ History Month.

 “We also host Kate Adie, Amanda Pritchard, and Sir Keith Burnett (President of the Institute of Physics), as well as Michael Billington on British theatre, and Pippa Crerar, Political Editor of the Guardian, on the General Election of 2024. We hope very much that you can join us.”

 The Live in the King’s Hall lunchtime concert programme is also in full swing. 

The first modern UK Premiere of William Rasar's Mass - Christe Jesu will take place on Thursday 29 February as part of the Outdoors in Renaissance England: Henrician Journeys and Jacobean Science performance by the Ensemble Pro Victoria.

North Indian classical music will be performed by Jasdeep Singh Degun on 21 March, while the Jim Jams Funk Collective will play groove-inspired originals as well as timeless funk classics on 25 April.

Live in the King’s Hall concerts take place at 1.15pm on Thursdays and are free to attend. Student performances also take place at 4pm on Thursdays.

Unless otherwise stated, INSIGHTS public lectures are held in-person in the Curtis Auditorium, Herschel Building, NE1 7RYAll events are free and open to all, but pre-booking is required. Bookings for lectures will open at 10.00am one week before the event.




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