University announces biggest ever Open Minds series

Friday 15 March 2013

Open Minds

Looking for something to do over the Easter holidays? The University of St Andrews will throw open the doors to a record number of free lectures and events next month, inviting members of the public to join in the University learning experience as part of its annual Open Minds initiative.

Now in its third year the Open Minds initiative is part of the University’s on-going 600th Anniversary celebrations and this year more than 600 seats will be available in over 70 scheduled lectures and events, from Monday 1 to Friday 5 April, across the Faculties of Arts, Science, Medicine and Divinity.

Some of the best minds in their fields will be leading lectures on subjects ranging from the economy of the ancient world to psychology and neuroscience; from Venetian print-making to web services.

Lectures will tackle questions as diverse as how neurons live, how Jane Austen understands the purpose of fiction, how religious leaders can promote tension/reconciliation in Egypt, and how groups in diaspora relate to their ‘homelands’, their ‘newlands’, and to the concepts of ‘belonging’.

This year’s Open Minds series also includes social events such as a digital treasure hunt in St Salvator’s Quadrangle, a tour of the University Museum, and a performance by the University’s saxophone quartet.

The Open Minds initiative aims to lay open some of the accumulated wealth of knowledge the University is proud of. This year, as the 600th Anniversary celebrations approach their finale, the programme has been extended to include nearly three times as many lectures and events as ever before – to encourage the widest possible participation.

Professor Alan Dearle, Dean of Science, said:

“St Andrews is a unique place. For much of the year, it bustles with students rushing between classes. And yet most of what our students do during their working day remains a mystery to those outside of the University. It is because of this that we decided to encourage our friends and neighbours to come inside and experience a University lecture, and to join in the routine life of the University of St Andrews.”

Professor Nic Beech, Dean of Arts, said:

“We hope that you will take this opportunity to come and see our students and academics at work, and that you will share in our pleasure of learning with ‘Open Minds’.”

Dean of Divinity Professor Ivor Davidson said:

“Learning at St Andrews is all about discovery. Come and find out for yourself – at first hand, in a real class – what we do and why it matters!”

Dean of Medicine Professor Hugh MacDougall said:

“The School of Medicine at St Andrews is delighted to allow probably a unique insight to what it is like to start training as a doctor.  The Open Mind lectures in medicine cover anatomy, public health medicine and clinical examination.”

Full programme of lectures and events.

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