An audience listens to a speaker at a David Elder lecture in the Planetarium

David Elder Lectures

Glasgow Science Centre is proud to host the David Elder Lectures in partnership with the University of Strathclyde's Department of Physics. The David Elder lecture series presents a line-up of fascinating talks by expert astronomers, spaceflight pioneers, award-winning science writers and broadcasters. This lecture series continues the tradition of monthly astronomy lectures in Glasgow which began with the first David Elder Lecture in 1905!

This regular monthly programme of talks runs over the winter months each year. Each lecture lasts approx. 1 hour and is best suited to older teenagers and adults.

  • Month: Monthly from September to March
  • Time: 19:00 GMT
  • Duration: 1 hour

2022-23 Lecture Series

We are thrilled to announce the line-up for the 2022-23 series below! Booking for each lecture is now open!

  • 22 September 2022 - Dr. Hannah Wakeford - Diving Through Exoplanet Atmospheres
  • 26 October 2022 - Prof Lewis Dartnell - Origins: How the Earth Made Us
  • 24 November 2022 - Andy Saunders - Apollo Remastered
  • 22 February 2023 - Dr. Daniel Oi - Towards the Space Quantum Internet
  • 22 March 2023 - Dr. Rita Tojerio – Mapping the Universe

Upcoming Lectures:

Tickets are available to attend the lectures in-person at The Planetarium. Tickets cost £6 per person, per lecture. Capacity is limited and pre-booking online is essential to avoid disappointment. If you are unable to join us in the Planetarium, the talks will also be live-streamed via YouTube. Those watching online are encouraged to also register in advance and donate what you can to support the continued success of the series.


Diving Through Exoplanet Atmospheres

22 September 2022

Come on a journey to explore how we measure and understand the nature of strange new worlds beyond our Solar System. Dive into the atmospheres of alien planets to discover the truly wild nature of planets in the universe from chains of rocky worlds around ultra-cool stars, to exotic clouds of molten rock in the atmosphere of ultra-hot gas giants.

Speaker: Dr. Hannah Wakeford is a lecturer in Astrophysics in the School of Physics at the University of Bristol, UK. Hannah leads a group investigating the atmospheres of transiting exoplanets using space-based telescopes.

Watch the video recording of the live-streamed lecture on the YouTube video below.


Origins: How the Earth Made Us

26 October 2022

Throughout human existence we have been shaped by our environment. Geological forces drove our evolution in East Africa; mountainous terrain led to the development of democracy in Greece; and today voting behaviour in the United States follows the bed of an ancient sea. The human story is the story of all these factors, from the slow grinding of plate tectonics, to the physics of atmospheric circulation and cycles of climate change driven by astronomical forces.

Speaker: Prof. Lewis Dartnell (www.lewisdartnell.com) is an astrobiology researcher based at the University of Westminster, studying how microbial life, and signs of its existence, might persist on the surface of Mars.

Book In-Person Tickets for 26 Oct

Register your interest in watching "Origins: How the Earth Made Us" live-streamed via YouTube.


Apollo Remastered

24 November 2022

For half a century, almost every image of the Moon landings publicly available was produced from a lower-quality copy of these frozen originals. Over the last few years image restorer Andy Saunders has been taking newly available digital scans of the original film and applying pain-staking care and cutting-edge enhancement techniques to create the highest quality Apollo photographs ever produced. Revealing detail that has been lost for half a century, they offer astounding new insight and a mesmerising retrospective of humankind’s greatest adventure.

*More tickets now available - Due to exceptional demand, this lecture will take place in the IMAX Theatre at Glasgow Science Centre*

Speaker: Andy Saunders is a British author, science writer, and one of the world's foremost experts of NASA digital restoration. An exhibition of his stunning photography, Apollo Remastered will be available to preview on 24 November by those attending the David Elder Lecture in-person. The Apollo Remastered Exhibition will then be on display at Glasgow Science Centre from 25 November 2022 to 16 April 2023.

Book In-Person Tickets for 24 Nov

Register your interest in watching "Apollo Remastered" live-streamed via YouTube.


Towards the Space Quantum Internet

22 February 2023

The future is quantum! By using the principles of quantum mechanics to process information, we are developing new technologies that may revolutionise applications like computing, sensing, navigation, timing, and communication. In this talk, learn about the Quantum Space Race to create the Space Quantum Internet and how small satellites are playing a big role in these efforts.

Speaker: Dr. Daniel Oi is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Strathclyde, studying quantum information theory and how it can be applied.

Please note: Booking opens for this lecture shortly!

Book In-Person Tickets for 22 Feb

Register your interest in watching "Towards the Space Quantum Internet" live-streamed via YouTube.


Mapping the Universe

22 March 2023

On large scales, galaxies in the Universe are distributed in a vast three-dimensional cosmic web that results directly from the physical conditions of our Universe at very early times. Over the last two decades astronomical surveys have slowly but surely mapped the positions of millions of galaxies over extraordinary volumes, in an effort to understand the dynamics, composition and underlying rules that govern our Universe. In the final talk of the series, Dr. Rita Tojerio will review our progress, the state-of-the-art, and the future of mapping the Universe.

Speaker: Dr Rita Tojeiro is a Reader in Astrophysics at the University of St Andrews, where she studies the Universe on large scales and how galaxies evolve with it.

Please note: Booking opens for this lecture shortly!

Book In-Person Tickets for 22 Mar

Register your interest in watching "Mapping the Universe" live-streamed via YouTube.


The University of Strathclyde - Department of Physics

Past lectures

Explore previous talks and speakers

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The David Elder Memorial Bequest

Read about the 'father of marine engineering on the Clyde'

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