Hay Lectures at British National Science Fiction Conventions
Each year the Science Fiction Foundation sponsors the Hay Lecture at the British National Science Fiction Convention - known as Eastercon. The Hay Lecture is given by a working scientist, or exponent of science, to an audience of educated science fiction fans, on the subject of current work in his or her field. The Hay Lecture is named for the late George Hay, one of the founders of the SFF and a keen exponent of science education and awareness.
At EightSquaredCon in 2013 in Bradford, Dr Henry Gee, Senior Editor at Nature magazine - Behind the Scenes at an international science journal.
Henry will be familiar to many in the sf community as the moving force behind the 'Nature Futures' weekly short SF story (http://www.nature.com/nature/
At Olympus 2012 in London: Dr Lesley Hall, Senior Archivist at the Wellcome Library, London - Invisible Women? The Scientists People Don't See.
At Illustrious 2011 in Birmingham: Dr Dave Clements, Imperial College, London - Secrets of shrouded galaxes newly revealed.
Oliver Morton gave the Hay Memorial Lecture at Odyssey, the 2010 Eastercon. Oliver Morton is the Energy and Environment Editor of The Economist, and his Lecture was on the subject of Geoengineering.
Geoengineering - the use of technology to cool the planet - is often taken as an alternative to the more conventional approaches to global warming: emitting fewer greenhouse gases and adapting to the changing climate. Framing geoengineering this way allows advocates to sell it as a quick fix, and opponents to see it as a dangerous, possibly disastrous, distraction. Oliver argued that this way of thinking is a blind alley. We are not dealing with either/or, but with both/and. It is time to explore geoengineering's potential not as an alternative to other approaches, but as a tool to improve their chances of success.
Oliver Morton is a writer and editor who concentrates on scientific and technological change and their effects. He is currently the Energy and Environment Editor of The Economist. He has also been the Chief News and Features Editor of Nature, and the Editor in Chief of Wired UK. He's won a few awards, and his first book, Mapping Mars (which deals, among other things, with terraforming, geoengineering's twin technology) was shortlisted for a British Science Fiction Award. In explaining his books, Mapping Mars and Eating the Sun, to people he often says that they are basically non-fiction SF. He blogs at heliophage.wordpress.com, and used to blog at mainlymartian.blogs.com.
2009 at LX2009 in Bradford: Dr Adrian Bowyer, University of Bath - 3D Printers.
2008 at Orbital in London: Professor David Southwood, ESA - Running a Space Agency in Fact and Fiction.
2007 at Contemplation in Chester: Dr Guillaume Thierry, Bangor University - Visual Illusions and Reality.
Now Professor Thierry, still at Bangor:
2006 at Concussion in Glasgow: Dr Alice Jenkins, University of Glasgow - Science in C19th Literature.
Still at Glasgow:
2005 at Paragon 2 in Hinckley: Dr Armand Leroi, Imperial College - Human Mutation.
Now Professor Leroi, at Imperial College:
2004 at Concourse in Blackpool: Francis Spufford - Behind the Backroom Boys.
Now a Trustee of the Science Fiction Foundation, author, and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London.
2003: Professor Simon Conway Morris, University of Cambridge - Evolution.
Still at Cambridge:
2002 at Helicon 2 in St Helier, Jersey: Dr Alastair Reynolds, European Space Agency - Novel Astronomical Detectors.
Now a full-time sf writer:
2001 at Paragon in Hinckley: Dr Helen Priddle, Roslin Institute - Cloning.
Now at the University of Nottingham:
2000 at 2Kon in Glasgow: Dr Amanda Baker, Cardiff University - Cosmology.