The speaker for the 2023 Thomas Harriot Lecture will be Dr Kim Sloan PhD (London), FSA, former curator of British Drawings and Watercolours at the British Museum (1992-2020).
The college’s annual Thomas Harriot Lecture was inaugurated in 1990. Revised versions of the lectures delivered between 1990 and 1999 were published in Robert Fox (ed.), Thomas Harriot. An Elizabethan man of science (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000). Revised versions of those delivered between 2000 and 2009, with the exception of Stephen Johnston’s lecture of 2007, have appeared in Robert Fox (ed.), Thomas Harriot. Mathematics, exploration, and natural philosophy in early modern England (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012). Since 2009, lectures have been delivered in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Thomas Harriot, mathematician and natural philosopher, was born in Oxfordshire; matriculated at Oxford in 1577 as a member of St Mary Hall (which united with Oriel College in 1902), and was awarded a BA degree at Easter 1580.
Harriot developed the skills of astronomical navigation, and was employed by Sir Walter Raleigh (another member of Oriel) to teach Raleigh and his sea captains about navigation and prepare him for his journey to establish a settlement in America, although in the end, Raleigh himself was not part of that expedition.
Find out more about Thomas Harriot on our Notable Historical Figures and Alumni page.