Francis Bacon lecture series
The University of Hertfordshire branch of the Royal Institute of Philosophy is proud to host the Francis Bacon lecture series.
These are free public lectures which aim to spotlight the valuable contribution and impact that philosophy makes beyond the academy. They are subsequently available as podcasts.
The Francis Bacon lectures are delivered annually by distinguished academics working in philosophy or related fields.
The 2019 Francis Bacon lecture took place on Wednesday 24 April. The lecture was delivered by guest speaker Professor Hans-Johann Glock, Professor of Philosophy and Head of Department at the University of Zurich (Switzerland), Visiting Professor at the University of Reading.
- Watch the lecture from April 2018: Prof Angie Hobbs: Nationhood and Nationalism
- Watch the lecture from April 2017: Prof Jonathan Wolff: Poverty and Inequality
- Lecture from May 2016: Prof Raimond Gaita, The Fragility of the Idea of a Common Humanity
About Sir Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon (22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626) is the namesake for these lectures because of his place in Hertfordshire's history and his contribution to philosophy.
Bacon was the first and only Viscount of St. Albans and served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England during the reign of Elizabeth I.
His enterprising philosophical vision is wholly in tune with the focus of this lecture series since, arguably, "Nobody before Bacon urged that scientific knowledge should be put to use for improving mankind's lot" (Henry, Knowledge is Power, 2002 p. 8).
Equally, Bacon lamented the scholastic tendency of "university-trained philosophers … to spin useless cobwebs of learning out of their own minds" (p. 99).
Learn more about Francis Bacon
Hertfordshire sites connected with Francis Bacon
- Hatfield House - 'where Elizabethan history began' - is nearby (and worth a visit)
- Garden Visit - Old Gorhambury House
The Francis Bacon lectures are supported with annual funding from the Royal Institute of Philosophy.