Monthly CGS talks in Cambridge

We have a programme of 10 talks running from September to June, held on the second Monday of every month. All talks (unless specified otherwise) are at 7.30 pm (doors open 7.00 pm). Everyone welcome, free to CGS members, £3 for non members.

Our programme will resume on Monday 14th September 2020 (subject to current restrictions)

Our January to June programme was planned as shown below – now cancelled.

Monday 13th January 2020

‘Is UK geothermal about to become of age?’

Dr Jonathan Busby, British Geological Survey

This talk will look at geothermal as an alternative energy source in the UK. Dr Busby will discuss examples of some of the developments currently underway, including work done by the British Geological Survey.


The United Downs project is the most significant UK geothermal project to date. Photo credit Chris Rochelle, BGS

Monday 10th February 2020

‘Earthquakes, water, and the rise and fall of mountain ranges’

Dr Alex Copley, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

“The formation, growth, and collapse of mountain ranges is controlled by the strengths of the rocks that they’re made of. In this talk I will describe what controls this strength, and how it governs the evolution of the world’s mountain ranges.”

Mountain ranges Dr Alex Copley

Monday 9th March 2020

‘Biomining: past, present and future’

Dr Megan Barnett, British Geological Survey @BritGeoMicro

Microorganisms have been used to leach metals for thousands of years and today about 15% of the world’s copper is processed by microorganisms. As we move to a green energy future, the demand for a greater variety of metals is increasing and ore deposits are becoming more complex. Biomining could provide a solution.


Monday 13th April 2020

‘The evolution of the Iceland Plume’

Prof Nicky White, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

Monday 11th May 2020

‘Life and Sedimentary Environments’

Dr Neil Davies, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

Monday 8th June 2020

Birdwatching through Geological Time’

Dr Daniel Field, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

Dr Daniel Field is a Lecturer in evolutionary palaeobiology in the Department of Earth Sciences at Cambridge, and a Fellow of Christ’s College. He also holds a UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowship. Originally from Canada, Daniel obtained his PhD from Yale University, and his research focuses on using the fossil record to understand how modern bird diversity and biology came to be.

“An asteroid impact 66 million years ago may have wiped out the giant dinosaurs, but it also resulted in the rapid diversification of birds. From this point onwards, avian evolutionary history was changed forever, eventually giving rise to nearly 11,000 living species. Daniel Field explores the evidence for the early evolution of modern birds, and sheds light on how, when, and where modern bird diversity arose.”

Archaeopteryx-Feathers Dr Daniel Field



For more information on our talks programme please contact our Programme Secretary Franziska Norman on

Friends Meeting House

Talks Venue

Friends (Quaker) Meeting House

91 – 93 Hartington Grove,

If possible please use the Hall car park otherwise please park in Coleridge Road or Hartington Grove towards Hills Road.

NB The Friends Meeting House is on the left if coming from the direction of Hills Road and on the right if coming from Cherry Hinton Road (opposite side to the marker shown on the map).

Friends of the Sedgwick Museum

The Friends organise a series of lectures in Cambridge (doors open, 6.15 pm for 7.00 pm in the Department of Earth Sciences)  during autumn and winter and field trips during the spring and summer. They also organise overseas field trip in the UK and overseass. More information.

Cambridge Natural History Society

CNHS organise a series of talks (winter) and excursions (all year). Talks are usually held at the Attenborough Building next to the Zoology Museum. Visitors welcome (small charge) More information.

Courses at the Institute of Continuing Education of University of Cambridge

The ICE holds many interesting courses, at Madingley Hall near Cambridge, including some on geology, local landscape, evolution and archaeology.

Extinctions: crises in the history of life  12 -14 June 2020 – Peter Sheldon

Free online courses

Future Learn has a number of short, online courses on geological and related subjects. These courses are free and very easy to follow. Ideal for introductions to many subjects. The course Extreme Geological Events, developed by Cardiff University, is starting on the 27th January 2020 and runs for 5 weeks. Other courses are The Earth in my pocket: an introduction to geology and Extinctions Past and Present.

U3A Geology groups

There are a few local geology groups run by U3A: Cambridge    Peterborough

Other Talks

For details of many other talks and societies in the Cambridge area see the CONDUIT publication issued by the Cambridge Antiquarian Society. It gives contact details for the many organisations working to promote interest in history, particularly that of Cambridgeshire. The latest issue of CONDUIT can be downloaded from their website.


© Cambridgeshire Geological Society