Thomas Cawthron Memorial Lecture.

Our flagship event each year is the Thomas Cawthron Memorial Lecture, a popular event established in 1917 to commemorate the memory and legacy of Thomas Cawthron.

Through these lectures, we aim to foster and celebrate the development of research, science and technology in New Zealand.

Inspiring Nelson since 1917

Presented each year for the people of Nelson, the Thomas Cawthron Memorial Lecture has featured many distinguished scientists and scholars who have shared their knowledge on a wide range of subjects. Past speakers include Sir Edmund Hilary, Sir Ernest Rutherford and Professor Lord Robert Winston.

Records of past memorial lectures have been kept since the first one was held in 1917. Until 2010, lectures were published as written transcripts. Today, they are also recorded and made available for download as audio podcasts.

Memorial lectures can be viewed and downloaded in the publications section of our website. 


Thomas Cawthron Memorial Lecture 2016

Water and how it came to be was the topic of discussion at the 2016 Thomas Cawthron Memorial Lecture presented by British science journalist, author and broadcaster Alok Jha. 


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