The Michael West lecture series

The Michael West Public Lectures in Astronomy and Astrophysics give everybody the chance to learn about frontier research, directly from top scientists. The Lectures will appeal both to the general public and to the more expert audience. We strive to cover a range of subjects in the field of Astronomy & Astrophysics.

In 2011/12 we hosted the first series of Michael West Public Lectures. The first lectures were “Supermassive Black Holes” by Prof Reinhardt Genzel and “Killer Asteroids” by Dr Robert Jedicke.

2012/13 brought another two exciting lectures. In May, Prof João Magueijo told us about “What if the Speed of Light isn't constant? What you gain and what you lose.” Later in the year, Dr Lucie Green lectured us on The Sun.

2013/14 allowed us to present in February “The GAIA mission and the Origin of the Milky Way” by Prof. Gerry Gilmore FRS from the University of Cambridge.

Attendance figures

Speaker Title Date Attendance
2011 Reinhardt Genzel
Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics
Supermassive Black Holes 22 July 144
Robert Jedicke
University of Hawaii
Killer Asteroids 3 August 154
2012 João Magueijo
Imperial College London
What if the Speed of Light isn't constant?
What you gain and what you lose.
2 May 163
Lucie Green
University College London
The Sun 17 October 170

Attendee's experience

We have been monitoring the success of the Michael West lecture series by asking attendees to answer a short survey. We have received fantastic feedback: people find the level of the lectures to be appropriate, their interest in astronomy is increasing, and they plan to come back for future lectures.


Maybe the best indicator of how well the lectures are being received by the public is that our attendance has been increasing steadily.


We ask our speakers to deliver lectures that can be understood by everybody. The feedback tells us they have been doing well. Most people are happy with the level of the lectures.


We are glad to see that the lectures are raising interest in Astronomy. That is one of the main goals for the Michael West Lecture Series. We believe this is particularly important for the younger generations since it motivates them to do well at school.


The variety of subjects that the public would like us to cover is surprisingly broad. We will keep doing our best to attract top scientists in all these areas.


The large majority of the people intend to come back for future lectures. That is a great measure of the success of this initiative.


public/outreach/mwl-stats.txt · Last modified: 2015/12/04 15:05 by David Young

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