Professorial Lecture series

Professorial Lecture Series

A platform to showcase and celebrate the University's new professors.

LJMU’s Inaugural Lecture series provides a platform to showcase and celebrate the University’s new professors. Each lecture represents a significant milestone in an academic’s career and is an opportunity for each Professor to present an overview of their academic contributions so far and their future plans, while also introducing their work to a wider audience.

2018 Forthcoming Professional Lectures

Monday 4 June 2018

Professor Clare Milsom - "Unnatural selection? Applying evolutionary theory to academic practice"

Perhaps surprisingly the fossil record provides insights into value of developing vibrant, diverse and competitive academic communities. While stable, secure conditions can seem advantageous, the ‘threat’ in such a setting is that organisms become so perfectly adapted that competition and speciation are thwarted. Such habitats are often inhabited by ‘living fossils’:  species with poor lineages that have remained essentially unchanged for extensive periods of geological times. Since dramatic radiation of Universities post 1992, higher education has enjoyed a long period of what may be considered ‘evolutionary stasis’ with relatively secure funding and limited procedural change. However, the recent introduction of higher student fees has triggered a number of metric-led imperatives that have the potential to drive change and increase competition. In order for our university to succeed against these new environmental pressures we need to develop a setting that is characterised by supportive, agile, frameworks and systems. We also need to recognise and celebrate our niche qualities, in so doing we can define our place and protect ourselves from the race to evolve too disparately. In this way we thrive, and not simply survive, in the rapidly changing higher education landscape.Perhaps surprisingly the fossil record provides insights into value of developing vibrant, diverse and competitive academic communities. While stable, secure conditions can seem advantageous, the ‘threat’ in such a setting is that organisms become so perfectly adapted that competition and speciation are thwarted. Such habitats are often inhabited by ‘living fossils’:  species with poor lineages that have remained essentially unchanged for extensive periods of geological times. Since dramatic radiation of Universities post 1992, higher education has enjoyed a long period of what may be considered ‘evolutionary stasis’ with relatively secure funding and limited procedural change. However, the recent introduction of higher student fees has triggered a number of metric-led imperatives that have the potential to drive change and increase competition. In order for our university to succeed against these new environmental pressures we need to develop a setting that is characterised by supportive, agile, frameworks and systems. We also need to recognise and celebrate our niche qualities, in so doing we can define our place and protect ourselves from the race to evolve too disparately. In this way we thrive, and not simply survive, in the rapidly changing higher education landscape.