Isolation diary: Keeping the brain active

Escher: Day and Night

It is so tempting to spend all the extra time watching box sets. I do spend most evenings these days doing just that, or catching up on Netflix and favourite TV programmes. With that in mind, don’t miss the National Theatre’s online premiere of One Man, Two Guvnors tonight at 7pm.

I do try to avoid sitting on the sofa during the day. That doesn’t mean I’m not looking at a screen, but it is usually at my desk with my laptop or Kindle. In fact, I start the daytime hours with Joe Wicks and end with Gareth Malone. However, I was looking around for something more intellectually challenging and came across the Gresham Lectures.

As its website explains:

Gresham College was founded in 1597 and has been providing free lectures within the City of London for over 400 years.

Today the College upholds its founding principle in maintaining the highest possible academic standards for all of our appointed Gresham Professors, Visiting Professors and visiting speakers. In recent years three additional Professorships have been added in Business, Environment and Information Technology.

The College’s 130 annual lectures and events are free and open to all.

Since the restrictions were put in place they have been live streaming some of the planned lectures. There are also over 2000 previous lectures to watch on a very wide range of subjects – it’s a real treasure trove.

Here are some that caught my eye:

The Art of Maths

Digital Listening: The Future of Music in the Age of Digital Fragmentation

Political spending on the Internet

Shakespeare’s Stages

Professor Chris Whitty can also be seen delivering a lecture two years ago on Controlling Pandemics.

But that selection just reflects a few of my interests and you can find Gresham Lectures on almost anything. I’d love to hear about any treasures that you find.




Please note

We have been in full self-isolation since 16th March to protect my husband whose immune system is compromised.

If you are in self-isolation then join the Lib Dems in self-isolation Facebook group.

You can find my previous Isolation diaries here.


* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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