1 December, 7pm
Beyond Napes Needle: an introduction to the real Haskett Smith
This illustrated talk by biographer Frank Grant will shed new light on W P Haskett Smith, ‘the father of rock climbing’, who was also a barrister, genealogist, philologist, etymologist, antiquarian and prolific writer. Expect untold stories including skeletons in family cupboards, serious illness, and personality disorder.
Venue: University of Cumbria (Ambleside Campus). Places: free, book in advance. www.rgs.org/northwest
6 December, 7.30pm
Search for the source of the Nile
An opportunity to engage with artefacts relating to the search for the source of the River Nile. Eugene Rae, Principal Librarian, will introduce a selection of the Society’s archival materials and provide the historical context for the quest.
Venue: Assembly House, Norwich. Places: £5, includes light refreshments. Book by 27 Nov. www.rgs.org/eastanglia
8 December, 6.30pm–8.00pm
The experimental city
Trends indicate that three-quarters of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050. This talk by Professor James Evans (School of Environment, Education and Development, the University of Manchester) will explore how cities are experimenting in order to become smarter and more sustainable, attractive and, ultimately, successful.
Venue: Sheffield Hallam University. Places: £3, RGS-IBG members and students free. www.rgs.org/yorkshirenortheast
10 December, 7.30pm
Rome’s greatest defeat: massacre in the German forests, AD 9
Historical fiction writer Ben Kane (The Eagles of Rome) will recount the seismic defeat, in AD 9, of three Roman legions in a supremely executed ambush by German tribes. The talk will also link in the possible site of this famous defeat: an ancient battlefield discovered in the 1980s.
Venue: Shipham Village Hall. Places: £2.50 on the door. For details, visit www.rgs.org/westandsouthwales
12 December, 2.30pm
In a geographical light
(Archives talk, London)
Dr Emily Hayes will showcase the University of Exeter’s European ‘A million pictures’ LUCERNA magic lantern project and highlight the shaping of 19th and early-20th century geographical knowledge via the Society’s lantern practices and lantern-slide collections.
13 December, 6.30pm
The greening of Wales
Professor Dianne Edwards will examine the evidence contained within the mid-Palaeozoic rocks of Wales for one of the most important events in the history of life on Earth: the colonisation of the land by plants. Dianne’s talk will summarise the fossil record of their diversification and show how these early land plants forever changed the face of our planet.
Venue: Wallace Lecture Theatre, Park Place, Cardiff University. Places: free. www.rgs.org/westandsouthwales