220527 Newnham College
Image © Robin Cormack


Professor Dame Mary Beard

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In her Rede Lecture Professor Beard will use the image and reality of the museum as a way of exploring how we approach the past and why we study it. Rejecting any simple idea that the past has direct lessons or off-the-shelf solutions for us now, she will reflect on the wonder that the past opens up, on the capacity of history to make us better observers of ourselves and on the democratic deficit we will incur if we do not face up to what has gone before. For Beard, the past is at its best when (to use the museum metaphor) we open the glass case, remove the blue gloves, and get up close.

more about the Rede Lecture

The Rede Lecture is the University of Cambridge's oldest and most prestigious special appointment and was founded by the Chief Justice to Henry VII and Henry VIII, Sir Robert Rede. Previous speakers in recent years have included Dr Jane Goodall, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, Dr Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Harold E. Varmus MD, the American Nobel Prize-winning scientist and former director of the US National Cancer Institute.