Discovery Days 2015

The music industry, global security, space technology and the surprising similarities between humans and worms are among the subjects that will be explored when the University of Dundee’s annual Discovery Days event takes place early in the new year.

The University’s research, teaching and wider impact achievements will be celebrated at Discovery Days 2015 on Thursday 8th and Friday 9th January at the Dalhousie Building. Fourteen newly appointed Professors will each talk for 15 minutes about their area of work as will teachers and students who have been recognised for their innovative approach to the learning experience.

The short presentations will provide glimpses of the leading-edge work the University is engaged in across subject areas as rich and varied as Creative Technology, International Politics, Disability and Public Health and Screen Media.

The achievements of staff and students in communicating their research to a public audience will be recognised by the presentation of the fourth Stephen Fry Award for Excellence in Public Engagement with Research. The success of an award-winning spin-out company that has successfully transferred academic research to the business sector will also be showcased.

Professor Pete Downes, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, said, “The annual Discovery Days began in 2004, and since that time they have brought the work of over 200 new Professors to the attention of a wide non-specialist audience, including members of the public, schools, students, academics and support staff from across the University.

“These presentations have, over the years, given us the rare privilege of observing the process and the impact of discoveries across a breathtaking array of topics and issues from the latest educational theory, through innovations in construction, critical thinking and law to nursing, drug discovery and healthcare.

“Over the years the remit of Discovery Days has been expanded to celebrate the full range of University activity, and the event also hosts presentations from our leading learning and teaching practitioners, who will also give us insight into new and innovative methodologies and technology.

“We are also delighted to mark the achievements of those who have contributed to public understanding of complex issues and those whose research is making a real and tangible difference to people’s lives, in line with the University’s Transformation vision.”

The short Discovery Day lectures challenge each presenter to captivate, inform and entertain their audience in just 15 minutes. They have a reputation for providing an entertaining and accessible window on a range of challenging and often complex subjects. Their format has become a model for the sector, imitated by a number of other universities in the UK.

Discovery Days 2015 takes place at the Dalhousie Building, Old Hawkhill over six sessions on Thursday 8th and Friday 9th January. Members of the public are invited to attend as many or as few sessions as they wish, and will have the opportunity to ask the speakers’ questions about their work.

A full programme and tickets are available from


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