Keith Palmer Lecture 2017: featuring Professor Ken Lacovara

On Wednesday 12 April, over 200 alumni, friends and community members attended Professor Ken Lacovara's lecture, 'Why Dinosaurs Matter' held at the University of Birmingham School.

Professor Ken Lacovara from Rowan University is a renowned palaeontologist and popular TED speaker.  Hosted by Professor Alice Roberts, the University's Professor of Public Engagement, Professor Lacovara gave a talk on the sudden extinction of dinosaurs, its effect on our current world, and what we can learn from their mass extinction.  Using photos and personal anecdotes, Professor Lacovara's lecture delighted an audience whose ages ranged from four to 90. 

Photos from the event can be found on our Flickr site.

This was the inaugural lecture in the University's annual Keith Palmer Lecture Series, named after notable alumnus, Dr Keith Palmer OBE.

This lecture also formed part of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain’s (PESGB) Stoneley Lecture Series, and the speaker is the headliner for PESGB’s GEOLiteracy Festival 2017.


  • The Keith Palmer Lecture Series was established to promote the “public understanding of natural science” by a distinguished invited speaker for a not only-University audience.  The events featured in the series are widely publicised both within and outside the University community, and are on a relevant topic of public interest with an audience drawn from a wide range of groups across the Midlands.
  • The Stoneley Lecture Series was established in 2011 with the aim of addressing geological topics of contemporary interest that will advance public understanding and debate.
  • The GEOLiteracy Festival is a series of national outreach events hosted in village halls and prestigious venues, aimed at capturing the interest of professionals and families alike.