13 January 2021

What’s on next week

Wednesday 20 January – Wednesday Lecture – The amazing world of lichens by David Hill.

Tuesday 19 January at 5 pm – Norah Boyce Science Lecture – Epidemiology: from Covid-19 to protecting food security by Prof Chris Gilligan CBE.

New Items

One-off talks – please email the Office to enrol

Title: Painting the geology of British landscape: the early 19th century revolution in understanding and depiction

Tutor: Douglas Palmer

Date and Time: Thursday 11 February, 10.30 – 11.30

Places: 50

Venue: Zoom – video conference

The radical early 19th century transformation in the depiction of the geology of the British Isles is explored through a selection of historic landscape artworks such as William Daniell’s (1769-1837) ‘Entrance to Fingall’s Cave’; James Ward’s ‘Goredale Scar’ 1812-14; John Martin’s ‘The Deluge’ 1828; William Dyce’s ‘Pegwell Bay Oct 5th 1858’ and Millais’ ‘Ruskin at Glenfinlas’ 1858.


Title: Discovering the Fossil evidence for evolution

Tutor: Douglas Palmer

Date and Time: Thursday 25 February, 10.30 – 11.30

Places: 50

Venue: Zoom – video conference

In the Origin of Species Darwin mentions very little about fossil evidence for evolution but a lot about the problematic nature of the fossil record. Using an historic perspective, we see how during the mid to late 19th century certain fossils did provide support for the theory of evolution but still left unresolved problems most of which have now been answered.


New courses – please email the Office to enrol

BUS 02: Understanding Strategy for large and small businesses and organisations (Spring term)

Lecturer: Jo Whitehead

Day and time: Friday 09:30 – 10:50

Venue: Zoom – video conference

Length of course: 1 term. Spring (8 weeks)

Places: 50

Start date: 29 Jan

This is a course on the principles of business strategy including basic theory, application of the theory to a range of organisations, and discussion. I will introduce some frameworks commonly used by strategists, and apply them to a range of companies and organisations. I have chosen Rolls Royce and The Cambridge University Musical Society to start with, to illustrate how the principles apply to organisations large and small, commercial and charitable. We will have time to apply the tools to organisations that participants are involved in. I will conclude with a discussion of the biases that affect strategic decision making, using movie clips as illustrations. Participants should gain insights into the general principles used to design a strategy and participate in plenty of discussion. Benefits include help in developing strategies e.g., for a charity, and making sense of businesses and organisations.

Format: Lecture and Discussion

About me: I have an MBA and PhD in Business Strategy, was a consultant for 20 years and a business academic, consultant and teacher for another 15 (and still going!)


SCE 27: Assembling The geological jigsaw puzzle that is Britain and Ireland

Tutor: Douglas Palmer

Day and time: Thursday 10:30 – 11:30

Venue: Zoom – video conference

Length of course: 1 term. Spring (3 weeks)

Places: 50

Start date: 04 March

Why does the topography of Britain and Ireland have such a distinctive regional form? Three sessions explore the geological evidence for the extraordinary history of the assembly of the rock substrate of Ireland and Britain over the last 600 and more million years. Session 1: Where we are today – islands off mainland Europe. Session 2: Where we were in dinosaur times. Session 3: Our deep geological heritage

Format: Lecture

About me: I am a science writer specialising in earth sciences and also work part-time for the Sedgwick Museum


Friday afternoon chat?

Do you miss meeting and chatting to other U3AC members? Everyone is a bit isolated at the moment so if you’d like to say hello to fellow members we’ve set up an informal Friday afternoon session on Zoom. Please feel free to ‘pop in’. One of our members will host this every week – there’s no booking required. The first session will be next Friday, 15 January 3.00 – 4.00pm. Please do come and bring a cuppa! The Zoom link details are below:

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81990175338?pwd=WUIzd3FNTXU0VnM5Qm9OTG81TjkvZz09

Meeting ID: 819 9017 5338

Passcode: 799878

ART 02

The ART 02 Anything Goes class members worked at home using themes and ideas from Maggie Balshaw and Samara Philpott.  During an end of term Zoom session we chose our favourite pieces from the term.  An online exhibition of these pieces can be found at Anything Goes Autumn Exhibition.

Wednesday Lecture recordings

Recordings of some of last term’s Wednesday lectures are now on our website for you to view: Wednesday lectures

Beginners guide to using Zoom

If you are new to Zoom and you have a course being held by Zoom this term, please familiarise yourself with its use before the course starts. There will be limited support available once term has started. For course participants we have produced a Users’ Guide (here) which we hope will be helpful.

Tutor Support Handbook (TSH)

A small team of Courses Committee members and Office staff have produced a ‘Tutor Support Handbook’, intended to be a resource to all of our tutors and indeed any members who might be thinking of starting to teach a course in the near future.

It is meant as a resource for you to dip into, not to read from cover to cover, though there is absolutely nothing to stop you from doing that!  The Tutor Support Handbook can be found here.

Maggie Balshaw, Director of Studies (Courses)

Other Organisations

U3AC is supporting other local organisations by listing their online activities on the Other Organisations page of our website https://www.u3ac.org.uk/social/other-organisations/