Digging Into Britain’s Past
The charismatic Professor Alice Roberts had the packed Grand Opera House audience in the palm of her hand on Wednesday evening as she skilfully interwove her own personal journey through medicine, academia, writing and her television work with the history of known civilisation in Britain: both journeys in continual flux as archaeology keeps on throwing up more details, confounding academics with ever changing timelines. Her own personal journey has also brought up new, sometimes unexpected challenges that she has embraced with vigour, veering her further away from her own perceived path through life.
Professor Roberts is a rare being; she makes what could be a complicated mine field of a subject accessible to the common layperson, engaging her audience with her natural, often humorous, down to earth delivery. The most important thing she wanted the audience to remember from the evening was that newly qualified doctors always start their hospital work at the beginning of August - if you happen to have an appointment for surgery at that time, don’t do it! - she stressed this point quite firmly, the audience roaring with laughter.
I am so envious of all the students taught by Alice Roberts over the past twenty years; she is such an inspirational role model for any young woman interested in pursuing a career in science. Her role alongside teaching and research at the University of Birmingham includes helping other academics engage with wider audiences, her ethos being that "academics have a lot to learn from people outside universities. And we all need university research to be as relevant to wider society as possible."
From last year’s Christmas Lectures - with an audience predominantly made up of children - to a lecture theatre full of academics, plus her television viewers of potentially millions, Alice Roberts engages with and inspires her audience in such an inclusive, personable manner. Her interest in people and knowledge that we are all so different (yet ultimately the same) means she has that rare ability to relate to each and everyone she touches.
If you missed this inspirational woman in York, she will be at Leeds City Varieties on 29 January, sharing insights, anecdotes and behind the scenes stories and photographs from her personal journey to explore Britain’s past. Alternatively, you can read more on her website by clicking the button below.Alice Roberts Site