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Distinguished Lecture Series

29 November 2011

Crowcroft WebProfessor Jon Crowcroft

The future of books in the digital age, the use of wireless mobile networks to help measure human society and why the internet won’t get you any more friends are the subjects of three Distinguished Lectures at the University in December.

Professor Robert Darnton, Harvard University; Professor Jon Crowcroft, University of Cambridge and Professor Robin Dunbar, University of Oxford will be welcomed to Cardiff to give key note lectures on 5, 6 and 7 December 2011 respectively.

24_Dunbar_Portrait WebProfessor Robin Dunbar

They will speak as part of the University’s Distinguished Lecture Series which brings eminent and influential guest speakers to the University and a wider audience to showcase their work.

In his lecture (5 December), Professor Darnton will argue that commercial interests are exploiting digital technology in order to fence off large parts of our cultural commons, citing the campaign to create a Digital Public Library of America as an answer to that threat.

Opportunity is the Mother of Invention is the subject of Professor Crowcroft’s Distinguished Lecture in Social Computing (6 December) in which he will explain how wireless mobile networks can help measure human society, discussing how new networking technology was used to track a recent flu epidemic.

He will be followed by Professor Robin Dubar (7 December) who will tell his audience why the internet won’t get them anymore friends. He will argue that although the internet does solve some problems of social interaction, it does not, and cannot, cut through the glass ceiling that limits the number of relationships we can have.

darnton_000 WebProfessor Robert Darnton

All three speakers are world-renowned authorities in their fields. Professor Robert Darnton is leading international debates on library issues, from preservation and access to publishing and technology; Professor Jon Crowcroft has been at the forefront of advances in internet support for multimedia communications for over 30 years; and Professor Robin Dunbar is best known for the social brain hypothesis, the gossip theory of language evolution and Dunbar’s Number (the limit on the number of relationships that we can manage).

Each of the lectures will be streamed live on the University website to audiences around the globe and can be viewed here.

Professor Darnton’s lecture takes place at the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences and starts at 6.30pm on 5th December with a reception from 6.00pm. Professor Crowcroft’s lecture on 6th December will also be held at the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences with a reception from 5.30pm followed by the lecture at 6.30pm. Professor Dunbar’s lecture will be held in the School of Computer Science & Informatics, Room WX/3.14 and is part of a morning programme from 9:15am-12:15pm.

All of the lectures are free and places can be reserved by emailing or by calling 029 2087 6935.

Related links

Distinguished Lecture Series