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.

Monday 9th September 2019

‘The warning of the gods – the day Pompeii died’
Franziska Norman, Open University student and CGS Chair

This talk will use both the famous eyewitness account by Pliny the Younger and evidence found by modern geologists to examine in detail the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD that buried the Roman towns of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae. We will see how the eruption unfolded, how the local people reacted to it and what makes it typical of the eruption type called “Plinian”, after the man who first described it.

Saturday 14th September 2019

Geo-East Field visit to Upware

Explore the Oxfordian ‘coral reef’ limestone and associated rocks at two of the most important geological sites in the county.

Download poster. Booking needed – contact us here.

Monday 14th October 2019

“Tsunamis”, Prof. David Tappin, British Geological Survey 

Professor Tappin is a leading researcher on the causes and impacts of Tsunamis:

‘The tsunamis which struck Indonesia in late 2018, remind us yet again of the hazard from these events and how little we still understand non-seismic mechanisms. This talk explains the major advances in our understanding of tsunamis which have taken place over the past 20 years. Professor Tappin has researched all of the recent major events starting in 1998 with the Papua New Guinea event which flagged the hazard from submarine landslides. Most recently he has been researching the Sulawesi and Anak Krakatau tsunamis in Indonesia, generated respectively from landslides and volcanic collapse.’

Monday 11th November 2019

‘The geology of Baffin Island, Arctic Canada’
Dr Owen Weller, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge.

Dr Weller will describe the fascinating geology of this remote area including related insights into metamorphic petrology.

The evening will also include the CGS AGM.

Saturday 23rd November 2019      Conference: ‘Jurassic East’

Venue: Aurora Innovation Centre, British Antarctic Survey, Madingley Road, Cambridge.

The next in the series of  very enjoyable Geo-East conferences. Book early to ensure a place.

Subjects covered during the day will include our region’s fascinating Jurassic geology and palaeontology, our legacy landscapes and the Jurassic collections of the Sedgwick Museum. ‘Jurassic Art’ will also be on show!

The new BAS Aurora Innovation Centre has plenty of free parking and has bus stops nearby for buses from both the train and central bus stations. The reception area has displays on the work of the BAS and life in the Antarctic.

Booking required. Full details here.

Monday 9th December 2019

“The effect of mass extinctions on Cephalopods” Prof Paul Rodhouse, British Antarctic Survey

Prof Rodhouse is a biological oceanographer who will provide an insight into the history of this important group of molluscs – squid, octopus, nautilus and the famous ammonites, and their relatives. Not to be missed! There may also be mince pies and similar treats…. just a rumour.

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

Friends Meeting House

Friends 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.

Please note the Meeting House is on the north side of Hartington Grove (shown as Quaker Meeting)

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.

Geo-East Events

Saturday 14th September 2019     Excursion to Upware

To see the Jurassic ‘coral’ limestone. Led by Dr Simon R A Kelly – see above, main calendar.


Saturday 23rd November 2019      Conference: ‘Jurassic East’

Venue: Aurora Innovation Centre, British Antarctic Survey, Madingley Road, Cambridge – see above, main calendar.

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

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