Free public lecture series

Tauhere | UC Connect - free thinking

Sharing knowledge and spreading ideas – Tauhere | UC Connect is here to grow your mind.

The University of Canterbury has been connecting local people with global thinking and expanding minds since 1873. We believe in the value of ideas that make a difference.

UC’s popular free public lecture series, Tauhere | UC Connect offers topical, educational public lectures by experts in their fields and leading thinkers from Christchurch, Canterbury and beyond. Offered both online and in person throughout the year, we’ve got a free talk for you – ranging from arts, politics and culture to science, business and law.

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Upcoming UC Connect | Tauhere lectures

We bring a fresh series of free Tauhere | UC Connect public lectures each year. 

Watch earlier UC public lectures

We aim to make all UC public lectures available online subject to permission from the speaker/s and other considerations. Videos of UC Connect talks are usually available about a week after the live event.

To watch more than 150 UC public talks from the last decade, visit our YouTube channel or click below to watch one of our recent talks:

UC Connect: Hard to swallow - retraining the brain

In this free Tauhere UC Connect public lecture, Distinguished Professor Huckabee will take you on the remarkable journey of this seemingly simple task, from infant swallowing to adult; and then from impairment to recovery.

She will explore the remarkable capacity of the brain to modify this most complex of motor behaviours and will explore new UC-developed rehabilitation approaches, retraining the brain in how to swallow. 

UC Connect: Whakamanahia ngā tamariki: Empowering our children through language, culture and identity

In this free Tauhere UC Connect public lecture, University of Canterbury Senior Lecturer Kay-Lee Jones (Te Aitanga a Māhaki, Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau a Kai) will lead a kōrero on the importance of empowering cultural identity/identities and ancestral language/s of our tamariki/mokopuna in our Aotearoa teaching and learning settings.

UC Connect: Airborne microplastics and climate change

In this free Tauhere UC Connect public lecture, Associate Professor Revell discusses “what we know so far about the role of airborne microplastics in a changing climate, along with what is not yet known”.

UC Connect: The Adulterer's Guide: Aotearoa's Wicked Bible

This free Tauhere UC Connect public lecture tells the story of a unique artefact, how it came to light, and its conservation in Aotearoa. University of Canterbury medieval historian Dr Chris Jones will place the volume in its historical context and chart its remarkable survival. Sarah Askey, who carried out the painstaking work to preserve the book for future generations, will discuss the stabilisation and conservation process

UC Connect: Who should be caring for our Tamariki?

In this free Tauhere UC Connect public lecture, University of Canterbury academic Māori health researcher Dr Annabel Ahuriri-Driscoll will focus on the closed adoption of Māori children, highlighting the thinking that led to the Adoption Act 1955 and its amendments, as well as the outcomes for adoptees and their whānau.

UC Connect: Are rape trials fairer without a jury?

**Content Warning: this public academic lecture discusses topics that may be distressing for some people.**

Presented by: Professor Elisabeth McDonald

In this free Tauhere UC Connect public lecture, introduced by Christchurch High Court Justice Rachel Dunningham (who graduated from the University of Canterbury with an LLB (Hons) with first class honours), Professor McDonald will discuss the results of a Law Foundation and University of Canterbury-funded study which compared complainant experience in judge-alone adult rape trials with complainant experience in adult rape jury trials.

UC Connect: What does the new IPCC climate report mean for our cities?

Presented by: Professor Bronwyn Hayward

Over the past three years, hundreds of the world’s leading researchers have been assessing the latest knowledge on climate change, its impacts and risks, and what we can do about it, for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) the United Nations body for climate science.

UC Connect: Making Scents: the art & science of perfume

Professor Fee, who is perfumer and director of Christchurch's only artisanal perfumery, will describe how almost anyone can quickly grasp the various catergories of aromachemicals - something that would normally take years to learn by classical training. The academic turned perfumer will discuss how he used his background in science and engineering to bring the art of perfume design to the people of Christchurch. 

UC Connect - Little genes, big conservation

When nature is in trouble, so are we. Nature can only thrive when biodiversity thrives, and we are facing a biodiversity crisis in in Aotearoa New Zealand. Nearly 4,000 species – many which are found nowhere else in the world – are classified as Threatened or At Risk in this country.

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