Shankar Balasubramanian

Foundation Lecture

The Foundation Lecture is the College's major annual public lecture; lecturers are often distinguished alumni, Fellows or former Fellows of the College.

The first lecture in the series, 'Antibiotics and Therapy in Perspective', was given in 1969 by Nobel Laureate and alumnus Sir Ernst Chain (one of the discoverers of antibiotics) as a Centenary Lecture, to celebrate the admission of the first non-collegiate students in 1869. 


2016 | Professor David Cardwell 

Bulk Superconductors: Revolution or Red Herring?


2015 | Professor Maurice Bloch

The Contributions of British Social Anthropology to the Human Sciences


2014 | Professor Shankar Balasubramanian

Decoding Human Genomes on a Population Scale


2013 | Ken Olisa OBE

Double Standards: Perspectives on Life in Public Companies and Public Office


2012 | Helena Morrissey CBE

Women on Boards: The Power of an Idea whose Time has Come


2011 | Professor John Mullan

The Business of Literary Fiction


2010 | Professor Angus Deaton

The Wellbeing of the World: Global Patterns of Health, Wealth and Happiness


2009 | Professor Andrew Motion

The Growth of a Poet’s Mind


2007 | Professor Colin Blakemore

Whose Science is it Anyway?


2006 | Professor Chris Rapley

Antarctica – Closer Than You Think


2005 | Lord Butler of Brockwell

Cabinet Government


2004 | Professor Martin Millett

The Archaeology of Social Integration in the Roman World


2003 | Sir Peter Bazalgette

Whatever You Need, Whatever You Want: Television’s Shift from Paternalism to Populism


2002 | Dr David Starkey CBE

The Modern Monarchy: Rituals of Privacy and Their Subversion


2001 | Professor Baroness Susan Greenfield

The Brain of the Future


2000 | Professor Norman Pounds

The Diocletian Line and the Balkans Conflict


1999 | Professor Lord Winston

GM Tots


1998 | Professor Robert Lethbridge

Paris, Painting and Pretexts


1997 | Mrs Steve Shirley

The Journey to Empowerment


1996 | Dr Robin Porter Goff

Newton to Giotto and other Dimensions of Engineering


1995 | Sir Louis Blom-Cooper

A Free and Wayward Press: A Question of Regulation


1994 | Professor F Garcia-Moliner

Science as a Question of General Interest


1993 | Lord St John of Fawsley

The Select Committees – Why, How and What Next?


1992 | Professor Tony Cross

St Petersburg and the British in the 18th Century


1991 | Professor Alan Cuthbert

The Natural (and Unnatural) History of Disease


1990 | Dr Nigel Kenney

England’s Green and Pleasant Land – Now and Forever?


1989 | Professor Richard Smith Britain’s

Ageing Population: A Historian’s View


1988 | Dr Harry Hudson

Living with Fungi – Choice or Obligation


1987 | Dr David Pearl

He Who Openeth the Door: British Immigration Law and Policy and the South Asian Family


1986 | Dr Clifford Roberton

Viability in Pre-Term Infants – Is there a Limit?


1985 | Professor Tony Bottoms

The Short, Sharp Shock: History, Research and Ideology


1984 | Professor Brian Johnson

The Shape of Things to Come


1983 | Dr Jack Dominian

The Foundation of the Personality from Anger to Love


1982 | Dr César Milstein

Monoclonal Antibodies: a Windfall of Basic Research 


1981 | Professor Sir James Holt

Robin Hood


1980 | Mr Humphrey Burton

Television in the 80s: the Decline and Fall of the BBC


1979 | Professor John Coles

Experimental Archaeology


1975 | Revd Dr Basil Hall

Boz v Stiggins: Dickens and Religion


1974 | Sir Eric Thompson

The Civilisation of the Maya


1973 | Dr Walter Grave

The Early History of Fitzwilliam College


1972 | Dr Edward Miller

The Medieval Countryside of Northern England


1971 | Mr Lee Kuan Yew

East and West: the Twain Have Met


1970 |  Professor Gordon Rupp

Thomas Müntzer and the Problems of a ‘Just Revolution'


1969 | Professor Ernst Chain

Antibiotics and Therapy in Perspective

2014 poster