Every year Trinity plays host to a number of high profile and thought-provoking speakers.

We have curated a selection of these talks for you below. If you would like to highlight other talks you think would be of interest to our Trinity alumni and friends please let us know by contacting alumni@tcd.ie.

60 Years Since the Discovery of Burkitt Lymphoma

On 24 September, the opening day of Cancer Week, Professor Owen P. Smith gave a lecture “60 years since the discovery of Burkitt Lymphoma” at Trinity.

Denis Parsons Burkitt (1911-1993), a surgeon and research scientist, a household name in the medical profession, received his BA in 1933 and graduated from Trinity as a physician in 1935. In Africa he developed exceptional observational and analytical skills which led him to develop a successful treatment for the commonest childhood cancer in Sub Saharan Africa – Burkitt lymphoma. His contributions to cancer remain salient today, and his discoveries continue to generate new research.

Listen to Professor Smith's lecture here

'In Defence of Horror' - A lecture by Darryl Jones

As part of our Alumni Weekend 2018, Professor Darryl Jones from Trinity's Department of English presented a lecture titled 'In Defence of Horror'. Professor Jones's main area of research and expertise lies in the area of popular literature, particularly in the fields of horror fiction and film, and of Victorian and Edwardian adventure fiction. He has published and edited many studies in these areas, including his 'Collected Ghost Stories of M. R. James' (2011), and his 'Horror Stories: Classic Tales from Hoffmann to Hodgson' (2014).

Listen to the 'In Defence of Horror' podcast

Ten years on from the Irish banking crisis what has changed?

September 2018 marks ten years since the controversial guarantee of the Irish banks by the government, which would lead to the €64m bailout of the banks, and was followed by an unprecedented collapse in property prices, the loss of sovereignty in the form of the 2010 bailout of Ireland by the IMF/ECB/EU ‘Troika’, and deep and prolonged economic recession. Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute hosted a free public discussion to examine the changes wrought in the Irish financial, business and cultural landscapes by those events and asked: has enough changed in the last 10 years?  Entitled ‘The Banking Crisis – A Decade On’, the discussion featured speakers drawn from the world of politics, banking, journalism and academia.

This talk was organised by Trinity's Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute as part of its 'Behind the Headlines' series supported by the Pollard Foundation, more information on upcoming events can be found on the Long Room Hub website.

Listen to the 'Behind the Headlines' podcast

‘The biggest riddle of them all: What is Life?' - Professor Luke O'Neill at the Trinity Alumni Weekend 2018

Keynote lecture by Professor Luke O’Neill, Chair of Biochemistry, Fellow of the Royal Society. One of Ireland’s most eminent scientists, Professor O’Neill is a world authority on the molecular basis for inflammation and inflammatory diseases. In his talk, marking the 75th anniversary of a series of visionary public lectures “What is Life?” by Nobel laureate, physicist Erwin Schrödinger, delivered in Trinity College Dublin in 1943, Professor O’Neill will share the current understanding of what life is, from its origins 4.2 billion years ago to what the future might hold for us as a species

View Luke O'Neill's Talk

'How can Earth prepare us for Mars?' - Dr Mary Bourke at the Trinity Alumni Weekend 2018

This lecture by Mary Bourke, professor in the Department of Geography, Trinity , explores how extreme environments on Earth help us understand Mars and other terrestrial bodies in our solar system. Mary is director of the Earth and Planetary Surface Processes Group and her research interests lie in the area of extremes. Her goal is to better understand geomorphic processes in extreme environments (deserts on Earth and on Mars) and during extreme events (like floods or mass wasting).

View Mary Bourke's Talk

Blockchain Masterclass - hosted by the TBA on 18/7/18

The Trinity Business Alumni presents an MBA masterclass on: Everything you wanted to know about Blockchain but didn’t know who to ask. Anthony Day, COO of Deloitte’s EMEA Blockchain Lab shares his experience of working with Blockchain and other disruptive technologies and illustrates how Blockchain is changing industries and value chains worldwide.

View Anthony Day's Talk

'Managing the Machines' - Professor Genevieve Bell on 11/7/18

Professor Genevieve Bell presents the inaugural talk of the series on ‘Managing the Machines’. Professor Bell is an anthropologist, technologist and futurist, and is best known for her work at the intersection of cultural practice and technology development. She has spent over 15 years at Intel where she was promoted to Vice President for Strategy and was also elected as a senior fellow, the first female to achieve this position in the company. She now heads up a new institute at the Australian National University called the Autonomy, Agency and Assurance (3A) Institute, launched in September 2017 focusing on building a new applied science around the management of artificial intelligence, data, technology and their impact on humanity.

This is the inaugural talk of a new public lecture series 'What does it mean to be human?' organised by Trinity's Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute, more information on upcoming events can be found on the Long Room Hub website.

View Professor Bell's talk

Henry Grattan Lecture by Former President Professor Mary McAleese on 25/6/18

On 25th June the Embassy of Ireland London hosted the sixth annual Henry Grattan Lecture in partnership with Trinity College Dublin, featuring former President Professor Mary McAleese in conversation with RTÉ's northern editor Tommie Gorman on the subject ‘Ireland-UK relations – past, present and future’.

Listen to the talk here

Hillary Rodham Clinton Lecture at Trinity on 22/6/18

Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former US Secretary of State, gave a public lecture in Trinity College Dublin on Friday 22 June. The lecture was followed by a conversation with the Chancellor of the University, Mary Robinson during which Secretary Clinton explored her views on democracy, women in politics and the current challenges facing American society. Secretary Clinton was in Dublin on the occasion of being awarded with an honorary degree at Trinity College Dublin.

View the lecture here

Computer Science: Then and Now on 19/6/18

This event opened with a tribute to Professor John Byrne by Professor Jane Grimson, Fellow Emeritus and Pro-Chancellor of the University. Affectionately remembered as ‘Prof Byrne, the father of computing in Ireland’ we heard about his pioneering work in introducing Computer Science as an academic discipline in Ireland and how he has influenced so many world scholars and leaders.

The second part of the evening was an address from Professor Carol O’Sullivan who highlighted the exciting activities within the School and the cutting-edge research and associated spin-offs. She looked at the future of computing and ways that Alumni can get involved in shaping that future.

View Professor Jane Grimson's talk

View Professor Carol O'Sullivan's talk

Trinity Tech Series – Engaging with Research and Innovation on 14/6/18

The Trinity Tech Series aims to bring alumni and leading Trinity researchers from multiple disciplines together to showcase current work, discuss future trends and explore opportunities for engagement and collaboration.

In this inaugural lecture Professor Luke O’Neill, Chair of Biochemistry and entrepreneur, is in conversation with:

• Dr Conor Harkin – Proverum, an early stage medical device company developing an innovative medical device technology to treat prostate gland issues

• Lucy O Keeffe – CroiValve, an early stage medical device company focused on developing a minimally invasive device for the treatment of a heart condition

• Dr Matthew Campbell – Principal Investigator and Entrepreneur, Smurfit Institute of Genetics

View the inaugural Tech Series talk

'The Future of Europe and its Borders'- Sophie Marie Hingst on 17/1/18

Sophie Hingst has just finished a Ph.D. in history. Over the autumn of 2017 the Financial Times held an international essay competition on ‘The Future of Europe’. Sophie won the competition with an essay on Edmund Burke, which you can read here.   Sophie then formed part of a ‘Behind the Headlines’ panel discussion alongside Janan Ganesh and Sarah Hill (from the FT) and Rory Montgomery, a fellow Trinity graduate and Ireland’s chief Brexit negotiator.  That evening Sophie humanised borders as she told the story of how borders had shaped the life of her grandmother, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, of her father and of herself. You can listen to her story at 38:40 minutes into this podcast of the event. 

This talk was organised by Trinity's Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute as part of its 'Behind the Headlines' series supported by the Pollard Foundation, more information on upcoming events can be found on the Long Room Hub website.

Listen to the 'Behind the Headlines' podcast

'Sometimes it Matters Who is in Power' - Professor Margaret MacMillan on 26/10/17

In 2017 we were delighted to welcome Margaret MacMillan, Professor of International History at the University of Oxford and a leading intellectual as well as a bestselling author for the annual Edmund Burke Lecture.  In her talk entitled ‘Sometimes it Matters Who is in Power’ she considered the critical role played by powerful leaders in transforming the path of history – a topic just as important today as it was in the time of Edmund Burke. 

This talk was organised by Trinity's Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute as part of the annual Edmund Burke Lecture Series supported by a generous endowment in honour of Padraic Fallon, more information on upcoming events can be found on the Long Room Hub website.

Listen to Professor McMillan's lecture

'From the Frontline: An Eyewitness Account from the Middle East' - Robert Fisk on 11/11/16

On Thursday, 3 November 2016, award winning writer and journalist Dr Robert Fisk gave the Trinity Long Room Hub Annual Edmund Burke Lecture 2016.

This talk was organised by Trinity's Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute as part of the annual Edmund Burke Lecture Series supported by a generous endowment in honour of Padraic Fallon, more information on upcoming events can be found on the Long Room Hub website.

Listen to Robert Fisk's lecture

The Edmund Burke Lecture series

About the Edmund Buke Lecture series: To mark the university’s deep and lasting connection to Edmund Burke, and to express the inspiration his life and work as a public intellectual offer to us, we instituted a prestigious Annual Edmund Burke lecture, supported by a generous endowment in honour of Padraic Fallon.  It is delivered annually by a leading public intellectual of our time on a topic that engages with the challenges facing us today.

This lecture series is organised by Trinity's Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute supported by a generous endowment in honour of Padraic Fallon, more information on upcoming events can be found on the Long Room Hub website.

Listen to previous Edmund Burke lectures