Find Free Lectures in London with Dan Beavan’s Lectures.london – Interview
Free lectures happen every month in London and are often hard to find but now thanks to an innovative web app Lectures.london.
Tell us about lectures.london project. How did it come about?
Lectures.london is a website which tracks free lectures and open to the public talks held at universities and institutes based around London. It came about after I started attending lectures at the London School of Economics where I was amazed to find that highly accredited writers academics and exports lectured regularly on a broad range of subjects.
After some research, I discovered that this was the case for almost every one of the nearly 30 universities that exist in London. Many of the lectures I went to were undersubscribed and this seemed to be a largely untapped resource one that as a financially insecure student I hugely valued.
What’s your career background? The site looks great so we wondered if you’re in web design?
I recently graduated from Interaction Design arts at the London School of Communication and it was during my time there that I built Lectures.london.
For the last six years or so I have been programming as a hobby and since my graduation, in July I have been working as a software developer in a tech company. It turns out programmers are more sought after than artists.
What or who inspires you to encourage others to get out and see free lectures around London?
During the week there are up to 40 free lectures a day on an incredibly range of topics, lectures which students pay £9000 to attend. These talks range from niche and highly specialised too broad and accessible.
Although there is an almost unlimited supply of lectures and talks on Youtube there is something far more exciting about being in a room where you can interact directly with the lecturer, where you are on the cutting edge of current understanding and can share this excitement through discussion with others.
Do you have any tips to find free lectures for our readers?
I programmed Lectures.london to only track free events however I know that it isn’t perfect and a fair few paid events slip through. I am doing some work to improve the platform, recently I added some search functionality and there are more institutions I would like to support however because I am doing it on my own it is all quite time consuming.
What are your favourite London haunts? (to eat, to learn, to be entertained)
While I studied art I often found myself going to talks at Gresham College and the London School of Economics however now that I spend my days in the highly structured world of computer software I tend to go to more exhibitions and talks at places like the Tate Modern and ICA.