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Lockdown Lectures gain worldwide audience reach

09 Jul 2020

The Lockdown Lectures series launched on 18 May and has given people at home access to insights and knowledge from some of the nation’s foremost scientists, thinkers, historians and social commentators from across our University

Lockdown Lectures

The series forms part of the University’s campaign to highlight our response to COVID-19 and provided a means to reach and engage the wider public during the lockdown following the spread of the virus. 

The release of the lectures has now come to an end but they are still all available to view on our website. Professor Brian Cox was the first 'stellar' speaker, and was followed by a diverse range of other speakers talking about a variety of subjects, including our President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell; award-winning journalist Professor Gary Younge; Nobel Prize-winner Professor Sir Kostya Novoselov; Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering Danielle George; 50th Anniversary Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health Cary Cooper; Professor of Nursing Nicky Cullum; Professor of Sociology and Associate Director of the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity Claire Alexander; Professor Perdita Barran, Chair of Mass Spectrometry in the School of Chemistry and Director of the Michael Barber Centre for Collaborative Mass Spectrometry; and historian and broadcaster Professor David Olusoga, who has featured on TV screens a lot of late - both on the news and his current BBC2 TV series A House Through Time.

Prof Dan Davis, Professor of Immunology and Director of Research in the Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research, also did a Twitter takeover following his lecture and answered over 20 live questions from the public about immunology, COVID-19 and his research. The series finale was with broadcaster and author Michael Wood, Professor of Public History in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, who spoke about our links with China. All interviews were conducted by Megan Ritchie, a third-year Politics and International Relations student at Manchester.

We’ve seen huge levels of engagement and audience reach, with the campaign being overwhelmingly well received by the general public, students, staff and academics who have shared the content with their networks using the #lockdownlectures hashtag. The series has even been featured in the Future Index Spark report as a stand-out campaign.

On social media the campaign has achieved a phenomenal number of impressions – over 1.4m, achieving almost 500k video views and over 50k engagements. We have also seen just under 50k people visiting the Lockdown Lectures webpages. Promotions have been run to target prospective postgraduate students in the US and India and further posts to advertise the Lockdown Lectures are being published on Chinese social media channels.

In case you missed any of the lectures in the series, visit our Lockdown Lectures website where you can see the full suite of lectures and Q&As. You can also share the ‘in case you missed it’ tweet on your channels to spread the word and make sure others don’t miss out on these fascinating talks.