Great Lecture
Great Lecture ©

British Council

About this programme

The British Council 'Knowledge is GREAT' Lecture Series - or the GREAT Lectures, for short - showcases UK's knowledge, creativity and innovation through leading UK specialists in areas of topical debate and discussion.

Throughout the year, the British Council in Singapore organises and hosts a variety of lectures on diverse topics such as arts, environment, sciences and more, aimed at academics, practitioners, students and the general public.

Our inaugural lecture in 2015, featured Professor Peter Abrahams from Warwick Medical School on the topic, Leonardo da Vinci - A 15th century anatomist whose artistic and conceptual ideas anticipated 21st century radiology.

Since then, we have collaborated with numerous institutions, organisations, both in the UK and Singapore, to constantly bring exciting and high profile lectures to Singapore.

For more information about the lectures, email



British Council GREAT Lectures 2022

Title Speaker Role and Organisation  Event Information

Energy harvesting and new sensors - what the future holds

Prof. Chris Bowen

Associate Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Design, University of Bath

25 August 2022

Event information and video recording is here

Local Knowledge, Global Networks: 
Digital Futures for Higher Education

Prof. Howard Hotson 

Professor of Early Modern Intellectual History, University of Oxford

26 May 2022

Event information and video recording is here

Turning the Tide on Plastic Pollution                                                            

Prof. John McGeehan  

Director, Centre for Enzyme Innovation
University of Portsmouth               

28 April 2022

Event information and video recording is here

 British Council 'Knowledge is GREAT' Lectures 2021

Title Speaker Role and Organisation  Event Information

The Ethics of Triage:
Philosophy in the Time of Covid-19

Prof. Wayne Martin 

Professor, School of Philosophy and Art History 
University of Essex

25 November 2021

Event information and video recording is here

CelebrAGE: celebrating ageing

Dr. Mine Orlu

Associate Professor in Pharmaceutics
University College London

28 October 2021

Event information and video recording is here

entrepreneurship: a novel approach to sustainable socio-economic development

Prof. Gideon

Executive Director,
International Centre for
Transformational Entrepreneurship
Coventry University

30 September 2021

Event information and presentation deck is here

Enhancing Cyber Security via AI and Big Data

Dr. Leonardo Aniello

Assistant Professor,
School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton

26 August 2021

Event information and video recording is here

The Myth of the Autonomous Vehicle

Dr. Jack Stilgoe

Associate Professor of Science and Technology Studies
University College London

15 July 2021

Event information and video recording is here

The Future of Manufacturing is Now

Prof. Hamid Mughal OBE


Special Advisor to the Principal
University of Strathclyde

24 June 2021

Event information and video recording is here

Energy megaprojects: is bigger always better?

Dr. Benjamin K. Sovacool

Professor of Energy Policy
Science Policy Research Unit 
University of Sussex

27 May 2021

Event information and video recording is here

Is the future of work online?
How online labour markets change the world of work

Dr. Fabian Stephany

Researcher in Social Data Science
Oxford Internet Institute (OII)
University of Oxford

29 April 2021

Event information and video recording is here

If Nature is the Solution, what is the Problem?

Prof. Harriet Bulkeley

Professor of Geography
Durham University

25 March 2021

Event information and video recording is here

Is climate change really that bad? Prof. Ilan Kelman Professor of Disasters and Health
University College London

25 February 2021

Event information and video recording is here

Rising Tides:
Sustainability across our Blue Planet
Dr Ivan Haigh
Associate Professor in Coastal Oceanography
University of Southampton

28 January 2021

Event information and video recording is here

Upcoming lectures will be listed on our Events page.

British Council 'Knowledge is GREAT' Lecture 2020

Title Speaker(s) Role and Organisation 

Balance is the new normal-The effects of COVID-19 on future built-environment thinking

Professor Jason Pomeroy

Founder Principal, Pomeroy Studio


Ben Crystal, British Council in Singapore
Ben Crystal ©

British Council in Singapore

Notable British Council 'Knowledge is GREAT' Lecture 2018

Title Speaker(s) Role and Organisation 
Ensuring High Quality Healthcare through Education
  • Professor Lynn Kilbride
  • Dean, School of Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Dundee
Truth and Social Media
  • Professor A. C. Grayling
  • Master, New College of the Humanities and Supernumerary Fellow, St Anne's College, Oxford
Disability and Leadership in the Cultural Sector
  • Jo Verrent
  • Speaker, Writer, Activist
Designing Inclusive Interactions
  • Graham Pullin
  • Dr Daiana Beitler
  • Mario Van Der Meulen 
  • Programme Director, Digital Interaction Design, University of Dundee
  • Regional Director, Asia, Microsoft Philanthropies
  • Principal Designer, Foolproof Singapore 
Artificial Intelligence in the Past, Present and what it holds for the future
  • Professor Sir Michael Brady FRSFREng FMedSci
  • Emeritus Professor at the University of Oxford
    Chairman, Perspectum Diagnostics and Head of Image Analysis

Notable British Council 'Knowledge is GREAT' Lecture 2017

Title Speaker(s) Role and Organisation
State of the World's Plants: Unearthing the Valuable and the Vulnerable
  • Professor Monique Simmonds OBE
  • Deputy Director of Science, Royal Botanic Gardens
An Evening with Dame Nancy Rothwell and Sir Andre Geim
  • Professor Sir Andre Geim
  • Professor Nancy Rothwell
  • Nobel Laureate
  • President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Manchester
  • Mr Ben Crystal 
  • Actor, Author, Producer
Enough of Experts: Trust. credibility and the academy in a post-truth age
  • Sir Richard Dearlove KCMG OBE
  • Chair, University of London Board of Trustees and Former Chief MI6
  • Professor Bob O'Keefe
  • Vice-Principal and Dean of Management and Economics, Royal Holloway University of London
  • Dr Mary Stiasny
  • Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) and Chief Executive, University of London International Programmes
  • Mr Emmanuel Daniel
  • Chairman and Founder, The Asian Banker
Women in Science
  • Professor Doreen Cantrell CBE, FRS, FRSE, FMedSci
  • Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow, University of Dundee
  • Professor Birgitte Lane FRSE, FMedSci
  • Executive Director, A*Star's Institute of Medical Biology
The Journalism of Politics and the Politics of Journalism
  • Bridget Kendall MBE
  • Master, Peterhouse Cambridge 
Work and Wellbeing in an Ageing Society
  • Professor Dame Carol Black DBE, FRCP, FMedSci
  • Principal, Newnham College Cambridge
Climate Change: The Greatest Opportunity of our Age
  • Professor Sir David King
  • UK Foreign Secretary's Special Representative for Climate Change

'Such an enigmatic speaker, has really enthused me to pursue study in the UK in clinical anatomy'

Notable British Council 'Knowledge is GREAT' Lecture 2016

Title Speaker(s) Role and Organisation 
The Wars of the Roses: The Real Game of Thrones
  • Dr Suzannah Lipscomb MA, MSt, DPhil (Oxon), FRHistS 
  • Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History and Fellow at New College of the Humanities (NCH)
Ten Cities That Made an Empire
  • Dr. Tristram Hunt MP
  • Member of Parliament (Labour Party) for Stoke-on-Trent Central, Senior Lecturer in Modern British History at Queen Mary, University of London
In Conversation with Professor Brian Cox and the University of Manchester
  • Professor Brian Cox OBE
  • Professor of Particle Physics at the University of Manchester and The Royal Society Professor for Public Engagement in Science
An Evening with Graham Sheffield CBE
  • Graham Sheffield CBE
  • Director of Arts, British Council 

Collaborations with Institutions and Organisations

University of the Arts London Newnham College, University of Cambridge
University of Birmingham New College of the Humanities
British High Commission Ngee Ann Polytechnic
Clifford Chance University of Oxford
Coventry University Perspectum Diagnostic
Cranfield School of Management Peterhouse, University of Cambridge
 University College London Pomeroy Studio
University of Dundee University of Portsmouth
Durham University  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
University of Edinburgh Royal College of Art
University of Essex Skills Future SG, Lifelong Learning Institute 
Energy Institute Singapore Art Museum
Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay  Singapore Botanic Gardens
Goldsmiths, University of London Singapore International Foundation
Intercultural Theatre Institute  Singapore Management University
King's College London Singapore Repertory Theatre
LASALLE College of the Arts University of Sheffield
University of London University of Southampton
University of Manchester University of Strathclyde
Microsoft University of Sussex
National Arts Council Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS)
National Gallery Singapore The Glasgow School of Art
Newnham College, University of Cambridge University of Warwick

Comments by participants

‘We simply wish to pass on our thanks and appreciation for an interesting and enjoyable evening at the 'Enough of Experts' Panel Discussion yesterday evening. Of course, this is not the only talk/event we have enjoyed and our thanks extend to those we have attended but not followed up with our compliments. You and your colleagues not only bring about an interesting programme of content and speakers, but manage to create a very relaxed and accessible atmosphere and feeling.

Last night, particularly, afforded great opportunities to have a conversation with each of the Panelists, who did their strolling around so professionally and personably. It was simply a 'Best of British(ness)' evening.


Click to view our 'Knowledge is GREAT' Lectures:

External links