Roscoe Lecture series

Providing a platform for debate since 1997

The Roscoe Lecture series was launched in November 1997 to provide an open platform for debate on topics of public interest. Today, they are one of the UK’s largest public lecture series, regularly attracting audiences of over 800 people. 

The Roscoe Lectures play an important part in the intellectual life of Merseyside, helping to foster informed debate, broaden horizons and perspectives, and uphold the crucial spirit of intellectual inquiry and free speech in which Roscoe passionately believed.

The Roscoe Lecture Series is under the stewardship of Sir Jon Murphy, LJMU’s Professor of Advanced Policing Studies.

Influential speakers

Since 1997, LJMU has delivered 120 lectures, featuring a wide range of speakers, including HRH Prince of Wales, The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Presidents of Ireland and Ghana, and Sir Brian Leveson, now Chancellor of LJMU.

We have hosted passionate and informed debate from statesmen, lawyers, religious and political leaders, astronomers, soldiers, poets, writers, scientists, musicians, journalists, doctors, scholars, survivors of crimes against humanity, campaigners, sports people and many others from diverse backgrounds.

While many of the Roscoe Lectures have explored the lighter side of life, such as the role of humour by comedian Ken Dodd, others have examined man’s inhumanity to man, with lectures by survivors of the Holocaust and the genocide in Rwanda. 

Bringing these influential voices to the city of Liverpool helps to generate discussion and promote a sense of citizenship, a key vision of the Roscoe Lecture Series. 

Two hundred years ago, Roscoe himself initiated the first public debates in Liverpool.  The ‘father of Liverpool culture’, he passionately believed that education shaped attitudes and created opportunity. A flourishing lecture series named in his memory is the gift of the University to the city, embodying our role as a modern civic university forming tomorrow’s citizens.

The lectures are available to listen to online, extending their reach to a global audience.

William Roscoe: the father of Liverpool culture

William Roscoe (1753-1831) was the son of a publican who indelibly transformed the cultural life of Liverpool. Described as ‘Liverpool’s greatest citizen’, he was a man of many talents: a champion of freedom for all, a poet, writer, scholar, patron of the arts, bibliophile and botanist. As MP for Liverpool, Roscoe showed great courage when he campaigned for the abolition of slavery. He also played a key role in ‘Renaissance Liverpool’ during the early 19th century. 

Education was also close to his heart and in 1823, he played an instrumental role in the establishment of the Liverpool Mechanics’ School of Arts, the precursor of LJMU. Roscoe’s mission to extend the benefits of education to all remains at the heart of LJMU’s operations today and the University is proud to maintain links with its founding father through the Roscoe Lecture Series and our work with schools and colleges across the region.

Good Citizenship Awards

LJMU believes that schools should be leading the way in encouraging young people to become caring, compassionate and tolerant individuals who have a real sense of civic responsibility. Through our Foundation for Citizenship we present Good Citizenship Awards in nearly 1,000 schools across the North West. These awards recognise the often overlooked contributions that young people from different cultures and communities make to society today.

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Previous series

24th Series - 2021

Roscoe Hustings City Mayor 2021-
29 April 2021

During one of the most unique periods in global history, Liverpool will elect a new City Mayor on 6th May 2021. Never before has the city had to deal with such unique and challenging circumstances. Against the existing challenges of a dynamic, vibrant and changing city, the new Mayor will also need to lead the city, its businesses and residents, out of a global pandemic. On Thursday 29th April, The Roscoe held a hustings, hosted by JMSU officers Lila Tamea and Tuba Shahzad, allowing candidates to debate their views and answer questions submitted by our viewers.

The Roscoe’s mission is to provide an open platform on topics of public interest, aligned with Liverpool John Moores University’s civic mission of transforming the lives and opportunities of students and communities in the Liverpool City Region.

Held in partnership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales and the John Moores Student Union, you can now watch the recording of our 2021 Roscoe Hustings for City Mayor here.

Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale MBE DL - "Sport at the Service of Humanity"

LJMU's 2nd online Roscoe Lecture presented on Tuesday 9 March 2021.

In 2010, after 16 years in the education and third sector, Denise was appointed CEO of Everton in the Community and spearheaded the transformation of the Club’s official charity into an internationally acclaimed organisation.

Through her vision and expertise, the charity now delivers over 40 programmes, using the power of sport to motivate, educate and inspire some of the most vulnerable and hard to reach people, improving their life chances.

You can either listen or watch our latest Roscoe lecture:

Watch this lecture

Listen to this lecture

23rd Series -  2020

Gillian Joseph – “Race Equality - The Reality”

LJMU's first virtual Roscoe Lecture delivered on the 21 October 2020 Gillian Joseph

Gillian Joseph is the Sky News Award Winning Presenter who anchored the special global “Black Lives Matter“ debate on sky news on 16th June 2020. The programme on “Race and Revolution: Is Change Going to Come" she has previously worked for the BBC in various broadcasting roles including Radio Merseyside.

22nd series - 2019

Paula Craig MBEPaula Craig MBE – 'Learning to Dance in the Rain'

Paula joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 1986. A keen runner and triathlete, she completed the London marathon 6 years running and competed in three further London marathons after she was hit by a car and paralysed from the waist down. She delivered her lecture on 29 October 2019.

Listen to her lecture.

Caroline Fairnbairn - Roscoe lectureCarolyn Fairbairn – The business view on Labour's plans to renationalise the UK's railways and utilities

As a partner at McKinsey, Carolyn was a leader of the firm’s media practice. As BBC Director of Strategy, she led the BBC’s digital strategy and ran its transmission arm. Carolyn was also a member of the Executive board of ITV for four years.

Listen to her lecture.

Sir Henry Globe delivering his Roscoe LectureThe Hon. Sir Henry Globe – "Trial By Jury"

For almost five decades until his recent retirement from the High Court Bench, Sir Henry Globe practised as a trial advocate as a junior barrister and as a Queen’s Counsel, presided over trials in the crown court and heard appeals in the Court of Appeal Criminal Division.

Listen to his lecture.

Christopher Le Brun PRA - Roscoe Lecture

Christopher Le Brun PRA – The Artist as Public Figure - how artists contribute to decision making in art in the 21st century

Christopher Le Brun is a painter, sculptor and printmaker. He was elected President of the Royal Academy in December 2011. He is the 26th President since Sir Joshua Reynolds and the youngest to be elected since Lord Leighton in 1878. He delivered his Roscoe Lecture on 27 February 2019.

Listen to his lecture.

Pamela Warhurst CBE delivering her Roscoe LecturePamela Warhurst CBE – 'Growing a new normal'

Pamela Warhurst CBE is a British community leader, activist and environment worker. She delivered her lecture on 24 June 2019 at St Georges Hall.

Listen to her lecture.

21st series - 2018

John BishopJohn Bishop – Is Laughter the Best Medicine?

LJMU Fellow  John Bishop is one of the UK’s biggest names in comedy. John presented ‘Is Laughter the Best Medicine?’ exploring the idea that laughter is good for us.

Andrew CayleyAndrew Cayley CMG QC FRSA – Prosecuting Genocide: the crime of crimes

Director of Service Prosecutions and former United Nations International Prosecutor Andrew Cayley CMG QC FRSA made a ‘call to arms’ as he addressed the audience as the latest guest speaker at the LJMU Roscoe lecture series.

Listen to his lecture - WARNING: This audio contains disturbing content that may be upsetting to some listeners.

Lauren ChildLauren Child – What do you think about when you think of nothing?

Lauren Child, born and raised in Wiltshire, has achieved success and recognition as a writer and illustrator. The Children's Laureate delivers her Roscoe lecture ‘What do you think about when you think of nothing?’

Listen to her lecture

Lady Justice HallettRt. Hon Dame Heather Carol Hallett DBE – Why Appeal

Rt. Hon Dame Heather Carol Hallett DBE, is a Court of Appeal Judge. Dame Heather Hallett delivered a thought provoking lecture entitled ‘Why Appeal’ at St George’s Hall.

Rt.Hon. Andrea Leadsom MP, Lord President of the Council & Leader of the House of CommonsRt.Hon. Andrea Leadsom MP, Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons – The #MeToo wake-up call

As Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom represents Government in Parliament and Parliament in Government. She is the Cabinet minister responsible for overseeing the progress of Government legislation, as well as leading on and shaping the major projects of Parliament. 

Following the #MeToo scandal she secured cross-party consensus to establish an Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme, and continues to push for further reforms so that everyone in Westminster can be treated with dignity and respect.

Listen to her lecture

Baroness Estelle Morris of YardleyRt. Hon. Baroness Estelle Morris – Politics and Education; an uneasy couple?

Baroness of Yardley Estelle Morris discussed the relationship between education and politics as the latest guest speaker in the LJMU Roscoe lecture series.

Listen to her lecture

Nicola SchindlerNicola Schindler – The Writer's Friend: A Roscoe Lecture 'In Conversation with Nicola Schindler'

Manchester-born Nicola Shindler, an award-winning British television producer and executive, delivered an insightful and inspiring Roscoe Lecture ‘In Conversation’ at St George’s Hall.

Listen to her lecture

20th series - 2017

Ian Ayre standing at a podium delivering his Roscoe Lecture.Ian Ayre – Football – Past, Present and Future

Liverpool Football Club’s former CEO Ian Ayre delivered his Roscoe lecture on ‘Football – Past, Present and Future'  drawing on his legacy and life at the world-leading club.

The Kirkdale-born, lifelong Liverpool fan covered a range of issues from the power of sports agents to the economic and cultural impact of football, to an audience at the city’s St George’s Hall.

Listen to his lecture.

Sir Vince Cable delivering his Roscoe LectureSir Vince Cable – Brexit, Industrial Strategy and the North

In his Roscoe Lecture Sir Vince Cable, former Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, warned that “Brexit must not be allowed to become an all-embracing obsession which gets in the way of a proper industrial strategy.”

Listen to his lecture.

John Everard delivering his Roscoe LectureJohn Everard – North Korea from the inside

Cycling to deliver his address from London to Liverpool entirely by push-bike, the three-time British Ambassador made his address to a packed St George’s Hall in Liverpool, covering a range of topics including the threats posed by the regime in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Listen to his lecture.

Lord Hall of Birkenhead CB delivering his Roscoe LectureLord Hall of Birkenhead CB – The BBC in the 21st Century

Director General of the BBC, Lord Hall of Birkenhead CB, delivered his Roscoe Lecture, ‘The BBC in the 21st Century’ looking at the issues of identity in Britain and making the case for the future of British TV.

Listen to his lecture.

Jeremy Paxman delivering his Roscoe LectureJeremy Paxman – How the First World War changed everything

Journalist, author and TV presenter Jeremy Paxman, delivered his Roscoe Lecture, using research, humour and political insight to explore ‘How the First World War changed everything’.

Listen to his lecture.

Roger Phillips standing at a podium delivering his lectureRoger Phillips – The BBC and Local Radio - the People’s Voice?

Roger Phillips, LJMU Honorary Fellow and BBC Radio Merseyside broadcaster presented a lecture entitled The BBC and Local Radio - the People’s Voice?

Listen to his lecture.

Sir Malcolm Thornton delivering his Roscoe LectureSir Malcolm Thornton FRSA – Re-connecting with people

Sir Malcolm Thornton FRSA delivered a Roscoe Lecture examining the gap between elected politicians, and other public office holders, and the public they are there to serve.

Listen to his lecture.

Image of Peter Toyne taken during his Roscoe LectureProfessor Peter Toyne CBE DL – Memories and Milestones

A unique Roscoe Lecture took place recently to mark the University’s 25th anniversary, with its first Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Toyne, CBE DL, being interviewed by Honorary Fellow and broadcaster Roger Phillips as part of the Roscoe Lecture Series.

Listen to his lecture.

19th series - 2016

John Bercow giving his Roscoe LectureThe Rt Hon John Bercow MP – Order! Order!

The Speakership, Parliament and reform were the main subjects of the insightful lecture delivered by the Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, at the Philharmonic Hall.

Listen to his lecture.

Image of Andy Burnham giving his Roscoe LectureAndy Burnham MP – What Kind of Country do I want Britain to be? 

The Shadow Home Secretary used his speech on the EU referendum to ‘take on the Leave campaign on their own ground’ and make the patriotic case for Britain’s continued membership.

Listen to his lecture.

Mark Carney giving his Roscoe LectureMark Carney – The Spectre of Monetarism

Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, delivered the final Roscoe Lecture of 2016 at the BT Convention Centre in Liverpool to an audience of over 1,000 people. During his lecture Mr Carney made a startling appraisal of how globalisation is failing great swathes of society.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityDr Susan Cohen – A Life of action: Eleanor Rathbone (1872-1946), Liverpool's unsung heroine

Dr Susan Cohen's Roscoe Lecture gave an insight into the achievements of an extraordinary Liverpool citizen who, born into a life of wealth and privilege, used her influence and position in society to campaign for social justice and dedicated her entire life to the service of others.

Listen to her lecture.

Image of P J Cole giving his Roscoe LecturePJ Cole – Transforming Lives, Harnessing Talent - Africa's Great Future

International visionary PJ Cole, delivered his Roscoe Lecture using his platform to set out the role the African continent will play in driving global prosperity, as well as reflect on his life and work in Sierra Leone.

Listen to his lecture.

Monica Grady CBEProfessor Monica Grady CBE – Are we alone?

Monica Grady, Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences at the Open University (OU) delivered a fascinating lecture on the cosmos and the universe at St Georges Hall. 

Listen to her lecture.

Sir John Murphy Delivering his Roscoe LectureSir Jon Murphy QPM – Leading a Force for Good, through Stormy Waters - A Reflection on a 40 year Career in Policing (With Time off for Good Behaviour)

In 1975, Sir Jon Murphy QPM joined the police force as a cadet. Last night, on the eve of his retirement as Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, Sir Jon Murphy delivered the 141st Roscoe Lecture, recounting his four-decade-long policing career.

Listen to his lecture.

John Studzinski Delivering his Roscoe LectureJohn Studzinski CBE – Making Money do Good Things

Vice-Chairman and Senior Managing Director of Blackstone, one of the world’s leading investment firms, John Studzinski, gave an inspirational lecture detailing how business and charity can mix, at the Philharmonic Hall.

Listen to his lecture.

Dr Andrew Zsigmond – The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and its Aftermath

Honorary Hungarian Consul Dr Andrew Zsigmond, was a third year medical student in Hungary when the popular uprising started on 23 October 1956. During his Roscoe Lecture, Dr Zsigmond demonstrated his laudable approach to life – where challenges are to be overcome, no matter how dangerous, and opportunities embraced, however serendipitous they might be.

Listen to his lecture.

18th series - 2015

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityProfessor the Lord Peter Hennessy – Watching Prime Ministers

Former Whitehall correspondent, author and historian, Lord Peter Hennessy, talked of his experiences with former Prime Ministers during one of LJMU’s popular Roscoe Lectures.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityArchbishop Malcolm McMahon – The Common Good

The Most Reverend Malcolm Patrick McMahon OP invited guests at the 134th Roscoe Lecture to hear about the meaning behind the ‘Common Good’ and Catholic Social Teaching.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityMichael Morpurgo – War Boy to War Horse

Internationally celebrated writer of outstanding children’s fiction, Michael Morpurgo OBE’s recent Roscoe Lecture saw a full house at the Philharmonic hear about the author’s life and writing experiences

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityProfessor Brian Schmidt – The Universe from Beginning to End

During his lecture Professor Schmidt took the audience on a tour of the Universe using the speed of light as a tour guide and explained why other galaxies are moving away from us.  

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityThe Right Honourable Lord West of Spithead – The importance of the Navy during World War 1

The idea has developed that WW1 was fought and won principally on land, said Admiral West, but he assured the 1000-plus audience that without the Royal Navy, Britain would have lost the First World War.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityRebecca Tinsley – Monsters and Angels: Is Genocide Part of Human Nature

Journalist and human rights activist, Rebecca Tinsley, delivered a thought-provoking Roscoe Lecture which delved into the human psyche, asking if genocide is part of our nature. 

Listen to her lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityThe Most Reverend and Right Honourable Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby – The Abolition of the Global - Learning to Live in the World in One City

The Archbishop talked about the need to end extreme global poverty and deal with climate change to help the worst off, commenting that this could bring different groups closer.

Listen to his lecture.

17th series - 2014

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityBaroness Valerie Amos – The role of the United Nations in a world riven by conflict, poverty and hunger

Valerie Amos is a long time campaigner and advocate on human rights, social justice and equality issues. She is a former Secretary of State for International Development in the British Commonwealth and was also President of the privy Council and Leader of the House of Lords. She was also previously the British High Commissioner to Australia.

Listen to her lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityRt Hon Greg Clark MP – Regeneration and Renewal: A Strategy for Urban Britain

As Minister of State for Cabinet Office, Clark's responsibilities include cities policy, local growth and political and constitutional reform. During his lecture he called on Liverpool and England's other great northern cities to reclaim their place at the heart of the British economy.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityJohn Fleming – Henry Ford once said 'An idealist is a person who helps other people to be prosperous'. How does that apply in the 21st century?

LJMU Honorary Fellow John Fleming is Ford Motor Company Vice-President (Global Manufacturing and Labour Affairs). He is responsible for new product introductions and managing expansion and labour negotiations in key markets around the world.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityHis Excellency Diego Gomez Pickering – Meet the Ambassador

Mexico is now showing that it is possible for political parties from across the political spectrum to work together to transform their country and the prospects of current and future generations, says the Ambassador of Mexico, His Excellency Diego Gómez Pickering.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityChristopher Graham – The Role of the Information Commissioner

Christopher Graham became UK Information Commissioner in June 2009, with responsibility for overseeing the Freedom of Information Act and Data Protection Act regimes.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityProfessor Sheila the Baroness Hollins – Talking Mental Health

Sheila Hollins has been President of both the Royal College and Psychiatrists and the British Medical Association, and was appointed an independent member of the House of Lords in 2010 where she speaks on mental health and disability issues. 

Listen to her lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityRt Hon Charles Kennedy MP – The Case Against Scottish Independence

Charles Kennedy, a former leader of the Liberal Democrats, was the Member of Parliament for Ross, Skye and Lochabar at the time of giving his lecture. 

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityBaroness Helena Kennedy QC – Searching for Justice in an Unjust World

Helena Kennedy QC is one of the UK's most distinguished lawyers. She has championed law reform for women, especially relating to domestic violence and developed the defense of Battered Women's syndrome in the British courts.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityVasily Petrenko – In Conversation with Classic FM's Darren Henley

Vasily Petrenko is a Russian conductor who has been Principle Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra since 2006. Petrenko entertained the audience with stories of his childhood and the importance of music and education in his upbringing.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityBill Sergeant and Tony Wainwright – Two Stories of Heroism – Chavasse and the Liverpool Pals

Since retiring Bill has been heavily involved in developing memorials to Captain Noel Godfrey Chavasse VC and Bar MC and most recently the Liverpool Pals memorial in Lime Street Station. Tony is Secretary of the Liverpool Pals Memorial Fund.

Listen to their lecture.

16th series - 2013

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityJoe Anderson OBE – Mayors and their Cities: The challenges and opportunities

Joe Anderson is a Labour Party politician and the first directly elected mayor of Liverpool. Anderson talked about Liverpool as a city "hungry for success" and how the profile and reputation of the city has changed.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityJohn Bird MBE – The Necessity of Poverty

John Bird founded The Big Issue magazine that is aimed at helping the homeless by providing a means for them to work. in 1995, his work for the homeless was recognised when he received an MBE.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityProfessor Paul Farley – The Mersey Sound

Paul Farley is a Professor of Creative Writing at Lancaster University and a published poet. His most recent book, The Dark Film, was a Poetry Book Choice and was shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize for Poetry in 2012.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityBaroness Grey-Thompson DBE of Eaglescliffe – Overcoming Disability and Adversity

Tanni Grey-Thompson is one of Britain's greatest Paralympic athletes, Tanni now plays an active role in the administration of sport. She is Vice-President of the Women's Sports Foundation and a member of the Board of the London Marathon.

Listen to her lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityDianne Lees – 1914:Why Remembering the Great War matters

Diane Lees is the current and first female Director of the Imperial War Museum (IWM). She has held this position since October 2008 and is leading the Museums' international programme and cultural festival for the First World War Centenary.

Listen to her lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityVava Tampa – The Challenges Facing the Congo Today and the Historic Role of Liverpool and E D Morel

Vava Tampa, a native of the Congo, is founder and CEO of Save the Congo, a non-political and not-for-profit campaigning agency working to ends the wars in Congo and Africa.

Listen to his lecture.

15th series - 2012

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityFrank Cottrell Boyce – What I Learned from the Olympics

Frank Cottrell Boyce, from Rainhill, Merseyside, is a novelist and screenwriter. He helped to write for the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony and has earned awards such as the 2012 Guardian Prize for The Unforgotten Coat.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityDr Farah Faizal – The Struggles for Human Rights and Democracy in the Maldives

Dr Farah Faizal was the former UK High Commissioner to the Maldives having been appointed to the role in 2009. She resigned in 2012 in protest to the overthrow of democratic government in the country. Dr Faizal is a graduate of Liverpool John Moores University.

Listen to her lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityProfessor David Hilmers – Four Times in Space: An Astronaut Returns to Earth to Grapple with its Challenges

Professor David Hilmers MD, was a NASA astronaut, spending 493 hours orbiting the Earth and witnessing the effects of climate change from this vantage point. He has also served in the United States Marine Corps and as a pilot for the US Navy.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityWill Hutton – The World We're in

Will Hutton is a writer and journalist and a weekly columnist for both the Guardian and The Observer. He was the Principal of Hertford College, Oxford. He has also written several books on economics such as: The Writing on the WallThe World We're In and The State to Come.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityDr Bill McGuire – Waking the Giant: How a Changing Climate Triggers Earthquakes, Tsunamis and Volcanoes

Dr Bill McGuire is regarded as an expert in his field of geological disasters. He is Emeritus Professor of Geophysical and Climate Hazards at University College London and has made many media appearances to discuss his field of study.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityRt Hon Alex Salmond P – The Case for an Independent Scotland

Alex Salmond served as a Member of Parliament for Banff and Buchan from 1987 to 2010. He was elected in 1999 as MSP for the same constituency within the Scottish Parliament. He was re-elected Scottish National Party Leader in 2005 and became First Minister of Scotland on 16 May 2007.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityClaire Tomalin – In Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Charles Dickens

Claire Tomalin is an author, a biographer and journalist. She won the Whitbread Book Award in 2002 for Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self and in 2011 was shortlisted for the Costa Book Award for her Biography of Charles Dickens, Charles Dickens: A Life.

Listen to her lecture.

14th series - 2011

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityJohnny Ball – Past Imperfect Future Fantastic

Johnny Ball is a British television personality who helped to popularise mathematics.

"Everything we are doing is getting better and improving. The speed of new technology is fabulous."

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityProfessor Michael Brown CBE DL – What are Modern Universities Really For?

Professor Michael Brown served as the second Vice-Chancellor at Liverpool John Moores University from 2001 to 2011. He is a physicist and played a major role in the growth of Liverpool John Moores University. He launched the World of Work initiative and is Chairman of the Everyman and Playhouse Theatres Trust.

Listen to his lecture.

Shami Chakrabarti – The Balance Between Human Rights and Security

Shami Chakrabrti became the Director of the British civil liberties advocacy organisation: Liberty in 2003. She is also Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University.

"Human rights and security are completely interconnected. Why? Well firstly because security has got to be a fundamental human right."

Listen to her lecture.

Jon Cruddas MP – To Commemorate the Centenary of the Death of Robert Tressell

John Cruddas became a Labour Member of Parliament in 2001. In 2012, he was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet and is credited with coining the phrase'Blue Labour' to describe his political ideas.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityLord Digby Jones – Fixing Britain the Business of Reshaping our Nation

Lord Digby Jones is a businessman and politician and Director General of the CBI. He served as Minister of State for Trade and Investment from 2007 to 2008, later working as a business ambassador for UK Trade & Investment.

"Anyone with a foreign language under the belt, whether at GCSE, A level or as a graduate, will have an immediate advantage in the job market because they can deliver their company an edge in the world market."

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityBaroness Finlay of Llandaff – Cancer, Compassion and Care

Baroness Ilora Finlay is a doctor and Professor of Palliative Medicine at Cardiff University. She was President and the Royal Society for Medicine and also a consultant of the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff. Baroness Finaly is an Independent Crossbench member of the House of Lords.

Listen to her lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityPhilip Green CBE – Leadership, Philanthropy and Business

Philip Green was appointed the Chief Executive of United Utilities in 2006 and his tenure lasted until 2011. He restructured the company's management, improving the organistation and performance of the business. He has also been involved in several other companies such as Reuters Group and Sentebale, a charity set up by HRH Prince Harry to help disadvantaged young people in Lesotho.

13th series - 2010

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversitySir Liam Donaldson – The Legacy of Dr Duncan: The first MOH

Sir Liam Donaldson is a doctor and former Chief Medical Officer for England, a role he was appointed to in 1998. He was advisor to the UK government on health matters and one of the most senior officials in the NHS.

"My bottom line is that I would go to the wall for the public because that is who I am there to serve..."

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityProfessor The Baroness Greenfield – TV Brains v Cyberbrains: Which Generation Thinks Best Outside the Box

Baroness Greenfield is Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. She has helped to popularise science by writing and appearing on radio and television.

Listen to her lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversitySir Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM – Policing in the Future

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe was the Chief Constable of Merseyside Police and is currently Metropolitan Police Commissioner for London.

"The results we achieved on Merseyside were not down to me or any other one person. They were down to everyone - my staff and the public - all working together and only then because we had the local support backing us."

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityLord Justice Sir Brian Leveson – Criminal Justice in the 21st Century

Sir Brian Leveson was a Judge practising on the Northern circuit with chambers in Liverpool. He worked in many areas such as common law, crime, personal injury and commercial work. In 2013 he was installed as the Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityLord Malloch-Brown – The Changing Face of Africa

Lord Malloch-Brown is a former Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. As a part of this role for the British Government he led responsibility for Africa, Asia and the United Nations. He has worked for the United Nations as Administrator for their Development Programme and was Deputy Secretary-General from April 2006 to December 2006.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityThe Duke of Westminster – The Territorial Army and the Volunteer Ethos

Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster served in the military after leaving school and commanded the Northern Irish Horse and the Cheshire Yeomanry. He owns the property company Grosvenor Group which has played a leading role in the regeneration of Liverpool. He has devoted his life to the Territorial Army.

"I have been serving for nearly half of the entire life of the Territorial Army – and if there is anybody who knows how it ticks, it has got to be me."

12th series - 2009

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityProfessor Lord Alton of Liverpool – Gladstone: Son of Liverpool, Scourge of Tyrants

Professor the Lord David Alton entered politics after working for seven years as a teacher. While he was a student he was elected to Liverpool City Council as a Liberal in 1972. He later served as a Member of Parliament and went on to serve in the House of Lords as a Crossbencher.

In 1997 he was appointed Professor of Citizenship at Liverpool John Moores University, establishing the Foundation for Citizenship and The Roscoe Lecture Series. In Parliament he has been a consistent Champion of Human Rights.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityAnne Applebaum – Hitler and Stalin: The 20th Century's Cruellest Tyrants

Anne Applebaum is an American journalist and author, writing extensively on Communist Europe winning a Pulitzer Prize for Gulag: A History in 2004 and in 2012 a National Book Award for Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe. She has also been an Editor of The Economist.

Listen to her lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityGeneral Sir Mike Jackson CBE – Challenge for the New Model Army

General Sir Mike Jackson is former Head of the British Army. He performed three tours of duty in Northern Ireland and was later assigned a staff post at the Ministry of Defence in 1982. In 1994 he served a tour in the Balkans and later became Commander of NATO's Allied Rapid Reaction Corps. In 2006 he retired from the military and went on to speak about military matters.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityLuis Moreno-Ocampo – International Criminal Law as an Innovative Instrument to Prosecute and Prevent genocide: The Role of the International Criminal Court

Luis Moreno-Ocampo is an Argentine lawyer and the first Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court. He became well known for combating corruption and human rights abuses in his native country. 

"I would say my responsibility was to build an institution. As you see it was a great idea, it was transforming Nuremberg into a general court, and was an idea on paper." 

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityColin Parry – Tyranny and Terrorism: How it was Defeated in Northern Ireland

Colin Parry founded the Warrington Peace Centre after the Warrington bombing by the IRA claimed the life of his son Tim Parry aged 12 and another child, Jonathan Ball aged three. He received an OBE for his active role in helping the Northern Ireland Peace Process.

Listen to his lecture.

Sir Richard Stilgoe OBE – Music and Citizenship

Richard Stilgoe is a songwriter and musician. He has written lyrics for musicals such as Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera on which he collaborated with Charles Hart. He has also helped found charities such as the Orpheus Trust, providing performing arts experiences to people with disabilities.

Listen to his lecture.

11th series - 2007/08

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityStephen Broadbent – Liverpool: City of Sculpture

Stephen Broadbent is a well known British sculptor specialising in public artworks. He was educated at the Liverpool Bluecoat School. His largest work is Encounter, located alongside the M62 motorway near Warrington. Stephen was also commissioned to produce the Tree of Life sculptures for the Foundation for Citizenship's Good Citizenship Award. 

Listen to his lecture.

George Davies – Vision: An Everyday Happening

George Davies is one of Britain's most successful entrepreneurs. He built Next into a high street staple in the 1980's and in the 1990's developed the George range for ASDA. In 2001 he launched the extremely successful Per Una range for Marks and Spencer.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityLoyd Grossman OBE – Liverpool: City of Arts and Culture

Loyd Grossman is most well known for being a television presenter. He is widely involved with museums in Britain, being the Chairman of national Museums Liverpool, the Churches Conservation Trust and Public Monuments and Sculpture Association. In 2000 he was appointed the head of the drive to improve the quality of NHS food.

Lord Heseltine Of Thenford

Lord Heseltine is a British businessman, Conservative politician and patron of the Tory Reform Group. He was a prominent figure in the Governments of both Margaret Thatcher and John Major.

Holocaust Memorial – Survivors: Holocaust, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity – Nazi Germany, Rwanda, Burma

Trude Levi, Philomene Uwamaliya, Pascal Khoo Thwe

The three speakers at the Holocaust Memorial Day Lecture all survived persecution. Trude Levi survived Nazi persecution in Hungary during the Second World War. Philomene Uwamaliya survived the Rwanadan genocide. Pascal Khoo Thwe survived military dictatorship in Burma.

Listen to Trude's talk.

Listen to Philomene's talk.

Listen to Pascal's talk.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityDr Brian Jacques – Liverpool: City of Literature

Dr Brian Jacques was a writer and broadcaster with BBC Radio Merseyside, and well known author for his Redwall book series. In 2008 he was awarded an Honourary Fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University in recognition of his outstanding contribution to children's literature.

Listen to his lecture.

Roger McGough CBE – In Conversation With...

Roger McGough is a performance poet and has presented the BBC Radio 4 programme Poetry Please. He was part of a trio of poets that published the popular anothology The Mersey Sound, alongside Brian Patten and Adrian Henri. He is an Honourary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University.

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Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversitySenator George Mitchell – The Challenges Facing Western Democracies in the 21st Century

George Mitchell is an American politician, businessman and former United States Senator for Maine. He has also been a leading firgure in peace negotiations for both Northern Ireland and the Middle East.

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Peter Moloney – Liverpool: City of Friendship, Fellowship, Faith, Family and Football

Peter Moloney is a graduate of the Universities of Liverpool, London and Lancaster as well as the London College of Music and the College Preceptors. For 20 years, he lectured in Communication Studies at Liverpool Polytechnic, doubling up as a public orator and preaching what he practised as a journalist, broadcaster and speaker, winning the prestigious Benedictine After Dinner Speaker of the Year award.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityProfessor Lord Rees Of Ludlow – Liverpool: City that Looks Beyond Itself

Professor the Lord Martin Rees, OM, KT, FRS, is a cosmologist and astrophysicist. He has been Astronomer Royal from 1995 and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge from 2004 to 2012. He was President of the Royal Society between 2005 and 2010 and has written many popular scientific books on science.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityJoe Riley – Does Liverpool Deserve to be Capital of Culture

Joe Riley is the Liverpool Echo's Arts Editor, with a career lasting several decades. Joe has had a fantastic overview of many momentous cultural moments in Liverpool, such as the opening of Tate Liverpool.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityPaul Robeson Jnr – My Father's Role in Pioneering the Civil Rights Agenda in the US

Paul Robeson Jnr lived in Moscow for a time while growing up and upon returning to the Untied States attended both Rutgers and Cornell Universities. After graduating he became well known for his radical political views. He was an author, activist and historian.

Listen to his lecture.

Rt Revd Dr John Sentamu – Liverpool: Where Religious Faith is Part of the Solution not the Problem

Rt Revd Dr John Sentamu, after studying law, became a Judge in the Ugandan High Court. In 1974 his criticism of the Amin regime due to its human rights violations led to his arrest and subsequent departure to the UK. After arriving in the UK he studied theology at Cambridge University and later became the Archbishop of York. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and President of the YMCA.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityPeter Sissons – Liverpool: City of Media

Peter Sissons is a broadcast journalist. He presented both the BBC Nine O'Clock News and BBC News at Ten between 1993 and 2003. He has also presented BBC's Question Time programme. He retired from the BBC in 2009.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityProfessor Ian Tracey – Liverpool: City of Music

Professor Ian Tracey is one of Britain's best known and respected musicians. He is the Organist Titulaire at Liverpool Cathedral and Choirmaster of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityClive Tyldesley – Liverpool: City of Sport

Clive Tyldesley became the main football commentator for ITV in 1998. He has also worked for Liverpool's Radio City. Prior to working for ITV he had been a commentator for the BBC's Premier League highlights show: Match of the Day.

Listen to his lecture.

10th series 2006/07

George Alagiah OBE – Multiculturalism

George Alagiah was a patron of the Fair Trade Foundation from 2002 to 2009. He is well known as a BBC news presenter, winning numerous journalistic awards, including a BAFTA, as part of a team that covered the Kosovo conflict.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityProfessor John Barrow – Our Place in the Universe

Professor John Barrow is a cosmologist, theoretical physicist and mathematician. He is also Research Professor of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge. He combined this work with writing popular science and plays. In 2006 he won the Templeton Prize for his writings about the link between life and the universe.

Listen to his lecture.

Professor Mike Bode – Is Mankind's Future in Space?

Professor Mike Bode is the former Director of the Astrophysics Research Institute at Liverpool John Moores University. He has also served as Vice-President and Secretary of the Royal Astronomical Society and, in 2012 was elected as a Council Member to the European Astronomical Society.

"It's hard not to see the heavens as a kind of ceiling above the earth, but the Universe isn't 'just out there' - it's part of us and we are part of it."

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityCherie Booth CBE, QC – Human Rights and the Protection of the Citizen

Cherie Booth CBE QC is a Barrister practising in England and Wales. She married Tony Blair who went on to become the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Cherie is also a philanthropist and patron of Breast Cancer Care. She served as Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University and is now Chancellor Emeritus, and is a Patron of Jospice.

Listen to her lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityVery Revd Nicholas Frayling – Liverpool: A Portrait from Life

The Very Revd Nicholas Frayling was Rector of Liverpool Parish Church and was also Canon Precentor of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. He is noted for his work on reconciliation between both faith communities and nations.

"Work I have done in relation to Britain and Northern Ireland has led me to understand the need for us all to learn the lessons of history."

Lord Goldsmith – How Law Holds Together a Civil Society

Lord Goldsmith is a Barrister and former Attorney General for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Following his resignation in June 2007, having been the longest serving Labour Attorney General, he became head of European litigation policy for the American law firm Debevoise & Plimpton.

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Adam Hochschild – History of the Slave Trade

Adam Hothschild became known for his works such as Bury the Chains and To End All Wars. He is an author, journalist and lecturer working for the University of California, Berkley.

Download and listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityPresident Kufuor Of Ghana – Human Rights and the Citizen

John Kufuor read for the Bar at Lincoln's Inn, he studied law at Exeter Collage, Oxford and was the second President of the fourth Republic of Ghana from 2001 to 2009. He was Chairman of the African Union from 2007 to 2008.

"As citizens of one world it is unsurprising that today many nations subscribe to international human rights instruments such as the convention of elimination of all forms of racial discrimination; convention against all forms of discrimination against women; convention on the rights of he child..."


Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityTrevor Phillips OBE – Understanding the Lessons of the Killing of Anthony Walker

Trevor Phillips is the former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. He has also been head of the Commission for Racial Equality. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has a broader remit, aimed at combating discrimination across a range of areas. Phillips was also a member to the London Assembly.

Listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityEsther Rantzen CBE – The Protection Society Needs to Provide to Prevent Vulnerable Children from Exploitation and Abuse

Esther Rantzen is a well known journalist and television presenter. She has worked for various charitable causes and founded the charity ChildLine.

Listen to her lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityPeter Sutherland – Citizenship, Globalisation, Free Trade and Fair Trade: The Role of Multinationals

Peter Sutherland KCMG, is an international businessman and the former Attorney General of Ireland. He is a non-executive Chairman of Goldman Sachs and previously a non-executive Chairman of BP. He has served in several business and political roles.

Download and listen to his lecture.

Roscoe Lecture Series - Liverpool John Moores UniversityCharles, Prince of Wales – Our Duties as Guardians and Stewards

HRH The Prince of Wales is the heir apparent to Queen Elizabeth II. He founded the Prince's Trust in 1976 and is patron to many charitable and arts organsiations. The Prince of Wales has committed himself to numerous humanitarian and social causes.

"In company with others engaged in that struggle against slavery, both here and abroad, Roscoe was considered a fool by many to challenge the recieved wisdom of his day."


Series 1 - 9

The Roscoe Lecture series was founded in November 1997 to provide an open platform for debate on topics of public interest. 

Browse through the Liverpool John Moores University Roscoe Lecture Series Book to read more about the talks that were hosted as part of the first 9 years of this prestigious lecture series: