Device is incompatible to play the video
Wednesday, 10 April 2019, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Museum of London

The Natural Environment of Tudor London

Professor Carolyn Roberts


Tudor London is variously reported as a squalid seething mass of humanity choking on its own filth and fumes, and as a delightful garden where babbling brooks and sweet flowers delighted the senses of people such as Elizabeth I, Shakespeare and Erasmus. 

Drawing on evidence from contemporary maps, paintings and writings, and modern environmental science, the lecture will offer a 'virtual' walk around the City with Sir Thomas Gresham, evaluating these different perspectives on the City’s air, water, soil and wildlife.

Professor Carolyn Roberts was the first Frank Jackson Professor of the Environment at Gresham College from 2014-2018. She is a water and environment consultant, having undertaken innovative work in environmental science, management and technology for over thirty years. 

Professor Roberts was formerly Director of the Environmental Sustainability Knowledge Transfer Network at the University of Oxford, her team being funded by Innovate UK to link businesses and universities nationally. Her research at Oxford concerned engagement between the science community and Local Authorities on flooding. She still works as a technical assessor for Innovate UK grant applications. Before this, she was Co-Director of the Centre for Active Learning (CeAL), one of the UK’s national Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, at the University of Gloucestershire, and Head of the School of Environment.

As a water resource management specialist, Professor Roberts’ main interests lie in the minimising of direct environmental impacts of development activity on the water environment, for example in mining, waste disposal, construction or similar activities. She has a long history of hydrological consultancy work for public and private agencies in this area, but most of all she enjoys introducing people to applied hydrological problems such as human impacts on the water environment.  Her work creates powerful links between ‘real world problems’ and learning.   The strangest research can generate the most fascinating material for learning in this area, such as the tracking of the movement of corpses in rivers (for the police) and advising local government on flood management (after the UK’s 2007 inundations), which have both proved notably motivating issues. Professor Roberts is also fascinated by the institutional change process in higher education, especially in relation to sustainable development, and teaching and learning policies.

As well as innumerable academic papers, Professor Roberts has authored, joint authored and edited four books with broadly pedagogic themes. She has spoken around the world on water management and sustainability-related projects undertaken in the UK, Europe, North and sub-Saharan Africa, and Bangladesh, and increasingly on the issues and challenges of science communication. Her BBC Radio 4 ‘The Life Scientific’ programme in 2016 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07428bk) explored some of these challenges, and her contributions to TV series ‘Silent Witness’ and ‘Robbie Coltrane’s Critical Evidence’ had a more popular focus. She was national Chair of the Society for the Environment, is a Vice President of the Institution of Environmental Sciences, a Trustee of the Worshipful Company of Water Conservators, and was formerly Chair of the Higher Education Academy’s Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences Subject Centre Advisory Board.

In 2014 Professor Roberts became the first Frank Jackson Professor of the Environment at Gresham College, only the second time in which a new Professorship has been created at the College in over 400 years. In this role, she wanted to deliver “an inspiring and challenging environmental lecture programme that will pull together audiences from different sectors, engage people, and stimulate genuine debate.” Her lectures' focussed on three main themes: the application of environmental science, innovation and collaboration.

Professor Roberts' lecture series were as follows:

2017/18 Environmental Controversies

2016/17 A Bigger Picture: Global Scale Environmental Challenges

2015/16 Britain in Troubled Waters

2014/15 Green Complexity: Science, Innovation and Society

All of Professor Roberts' past Gresham lectures can be accessed here.


Read More
Read Less
Related Past Lectures
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Weimar Republic: Germany's First Democracy

Professor Sir Richard Evans FBA
Tuesday, 18 June 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Sir Thomas Gresham 1519–2019

Dr John Guy
Thursday, 13 June 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Treaty of Versailles: A Hundred Years Later

Professor Margaret MacMillan
Tuesday, 4 June 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Aristotle's Lyceum

Professor Edith Hall
Thursday, 30 May 2019 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Exploring Earth from Space

Professor Jacqueline McGlade
Tuesday, 21 May 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED

Energy and Matter at the Origin of Life

Professor Nick Lane
Monday, 20 May 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Who's to Blame for Britain's Floods?

Professor Carolyn Roberts
Thursday, 31 May 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Is 'Green Business' a Contradiction in Terms?

Professor Carolyn Roberts
Thursday, 22 March 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

National Parks and National Park Cities

Professor Carolyn Roberts
Thursday, 8 February 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Ecotowns or Egotowns?

Professor Carolyn Roberts
Thursday, 18 January 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Organic Food: Rooted in Lies?

Professor Carolyn Roberts
Thursday, 9 November 2017 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Cleaning Up The Thames: Success or Failure?

Professor Carolyn Roberts
Thursday, 28 September 2017 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Sir Thomas Gresham 1519–2019

Dr John Guy
Thursday, 13 June 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Gresham's Exchange

Professor Stephen Alford
Wednesday, 8 May 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

500 Years of Mathematics: Are We Living in a New Golden Age?

Professor Chris Budd OBE
Tuesday, 30 April 2019 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Gresham’s Bequest to Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn

Margaret Willes
Monday, 11 March 2019 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

How Astronomy Changed our View of the Cosmos: from Gresham to the 21st Century

Professor Joseph Silk FRS
Wednesday, 6 March 2019 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Gresham's World: Global Traffic, Trade, and the Metamorphosis of England

Professor Nandini Das
Wednesday, 6 February 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED

Why Do You Use The Word Victim Rather Than Survivor?

Professor Joanna Bourke
Wednesday, 22 November 2017 - 6:58PM
WATCHED

From 1911-31, To What Extent Do You Think There Was A One-Way Conversation Between Western and Chinese Art and Why?

Professor Craig Clunas
Monday, 20 November 2017 - 1:58PM
WATCHED

An architect points out a possible contradiction...

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 1 February 2017 - 6:59PM
WATCHED

William Morris and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 1 February 2017 - 6:57PM
WATCHED

Most Buildings We Revere Are Designed By Craftsman And Not Architects

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 1 February 2017 - 6:55PM
WATCHED

Why Is Sir Walter Scott Not In Popular Culture Today?

Dr Juliet Shields
Tuesday, 17 January 2017 - 1:59PM