Supporting living, giving and learning.


The 24 Hour Inspire 2016

The 2016 24 Hour Inspire starts at 5.00 pm on Thursday 13 May, and ends at 5.00 pm on Friday 14 May in Hicks lecture Theatre 1. We have a fantastic line-up of speakers - physicists, lawyers, linguists, historians, engineers, medics and more - something for everyone!

This year we are raising funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust and Impact Young Heroes, in memory and in celebration of Tim Richardson and Victoria Henshaw.

View the full event programme

Detailed information on each talk

We will keep everyone informed about any updates and changes to the programme through the blog and website as well as through Facebook and Twitter.

New this year at the 24 Hour Inspire, we have the Inspiration for Life pop-up radio station!  Tune in from 3 pm on Thursday 12 May till 5 pm on Friday 13 May, to hear great music from across the decades, interviews with Inspiration for Life people, Desert Island Discs, and lots, lots more!

So, if you can’t make it to the event (obviously we hope you will, but we do recognise some people may have a really good reason – being on a different continent, that sort of thing) or if you have to leave us for a while to do other stuff, you can still be part of things, and share in the 24 Hour Inspire vibes.

Come and join us – for one lecture or several, or even the full 24! Help us to celebrate living, giving and learning.

Past events

The 2015 24 Hour Inspire

The 2015 24 Hour Inspire starts at 5.00 pm on Thursday 16 April, and ends at 5.00 pm on Friday 17 April – in between, audiences can enjoy lectures on everything from photons to psychogeography, with speakers from across the University and beyond.

This year’s event is dedicated not only to Tim Richardson but to Dr Victoria Henshaw, who was a lecturer in the department of Town & Regional Planning until her death from cancer last autumn. Many of her colleagues are participating in this year’s event, and our opening speaker will be presenting a tribute to her.

Proceeds from the 24 Hour Inspire will go to our partner charities Rotherham Hospice and Impact Young Heroes – funds will be raised via the sale of tickets (£2 for a single lecture, £7 for the full 24), books and refreshments, and from cash donations on the day. You can also donate through our BT MyDonate fundraising page, which is live now, and will be open for some time after the event.

The programme for the event can be found on the charity’s blog and we will keep everyone informed about any updates and changes to the programme through the blog and website as well as through Facebook and Twitter.

Come and join us – for one lecture or several, or even the full 24! Help us to celebrate living, giving and learning.

The 24 Hour Inspire 2014

We're pleased to announce that the second 24 Hour Inspire will take place on 27/28 March 2014, in Firth Hall at the University of Sheffield.

Programme - Thursday 27 March
17.00 Professor David Mowbray, Inspiration for Life - Introduction and Welcome
17.05 Professor Elena Rodriguez Falcon, Mechanical Engineering - Making a difference through learning
17.30 Professor Claire McGourlay, Chris Musgrave and Elizabeth Adams, Law - The Innocence Project - the case of Susan Mays
18.00 Dr Catherine Fletcher, History - Our men in Rome: spies, lies and secrets in the sixteenth century
18.30 Professor Rod Nicolson, Psychology - Positive dyslexia
19.00 Dr Susan Cartwright, Physics & Astronomy - Where did all the antimatter go?
19.30 Dr Tony Prescott, Psychology - Robot selves/human selves
20.00 Professor Brendan Stone, English - Narrative, illness and the importance of uncertainty: a personal account
20.30 Dr Jenny Freeman, University of Leeds - Life's a risky business: why we all need to think like a statistician
21.00 Dr Amanda Crawley Jackson, French - Poems on walls
21.30 Professor Carsten van de Bruck, Mathematics & Statistics – Fundamental physics and the dimensionality of space
22.00 Dr Richard Steadman-Jones, English - What language is like
22.30 Dr Matt Mears, Physics & Astronomy - Spinny science: physics, feminism and pole dancing
23.00 Dr Aneurin Kennerley, Psychology - Is mind reading with MRI possible?
23.30 Professor Simon Keefe, Music - Mozart's Requiem: facts, legends and ghosts

Programme - Friday 28 March
00.00 Dr Lisa Clark and the Sheffield Solar Team - How much electricity do solar panels really generate across the UK?
00.30 Tim Heaton – How statistics helps us play games
01.00 Professor Mike Siva-Jothy, Animal & Plant Sciences - The X lecture: the 'love' life of insects
01.30 Professor Nigel Clarke, Physics & Astronomy - Physics on my iPod
02.00 Dr Ed Daw, Physics & Astronomy - The music of a physicist
02.30 Dr Alan Dunbar, Chemical & Biological Engineering - Who were Langmuir & Blodgett, and what did they ever do for us?
03.00 Dr Davide Costanzo, Physics & Astronomy - Big science at the Large Hadron Collider
03.30 Dr Allan Pacey, Medical School - Sperm you can bank on
04.00 Prof. Tony Ryan, Faculty of Science – CatClo in China
04.30 Dr Nate Adams, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology – Throwing spanners at nanobots
05.00 Dr James Mullaney, Physics & Astronomy – A brief history of the telescope: from Galileo to Gaia
05.30 Dr Sean Paling, Boulby Deep Underground Science Facility – Deep Underground Science at Boulby Mine: Subterranean studies – from Dark Matter to Dark Life
06.00 Dr Ashley Cadby, Physics & Astronomy - One of our scientists is missing
06.30 Dr Rhoda Hawkins, Physics & Astronomy – AIMS (African Institute for Mathematical Sciences) & the Next Einstein Initiative
07.00 Dr Claire Howarth, Psychology - Controlling blood flow in the brain: understanding the BOLD signal
07.30 Dr Angela Wright, English – Women and the Gothic
08.00 Dr Russell Buchan, Law - Securing security in cyberspace: the role of international law
08.30 Professor Vanessa Toulmin – No fixed abode: celebrating twenty years of the National Fairground Archive (NFA) at the University of Sheffield Library
09.00 Dr Ingunn Holen, Medical School - Cancer research: are we getting anywhere?
09.30 Dr Chris Holland, Materials Engineering - The science behind spider silk
10.00 Professor David Mowbray, Physics & Astronomy and Dr Marieke Navin, Museum of Science & Industry - Sound and fury
11.00 Professor Patrick Fairclough, Mechanical Engineering - Introduction to polymers: surprise and amaze yourself
11.30 Dr Paul Mitchener, Mathematics & Statistics - Complexity, paradox and incompleteness
12.00 Dr Marek Szablewski, University of Durham - Surviving Warsaw
12.30 Dr Susan Molyneux-Hodgson, Sociology - Understanding science as a culture
13.00 Professor Peter Bath, Information School – “Trust me, I’m a web-site”: problems and pitfalls of patients using health information from the Web
13.30 Marie Kinsey, Journalism – The art of getting things spectacularly wrong
14.00 Professor Paul White, Pro Vice Chancellor - Sheffield: city of immigration
14.30 Dr Kamal Birdi, Management School - Is artistic creativity the same as scientific creativity?
15.00 Dr Katie Edwards, Biblical Studies – Getting the skills to pay the bills with Arts and Humanities
15.30 Dr Simon Goodwin, Physics & Astronomy - Are we living in a computer simulation?
16.00 Dr Eran Elhaik, Animal & Plant Sciences – The holy grail of biogeographic analysis - from DNA to home village
16.30 Professor Richard Jones, Physics & Astronomy - The singularity may be slightly delayed …
17.00 Closing words from Catherine Annabel, Chair of Inspiration for Life

Wednesday 24 April

You are warmly invited to attend the memorial service to celebrate the life of Dr Tim Richardson, Reader in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, who died on 5 February 2013. The service will take place in Firth Hall, University of Sheffield, at 1.00 pm on Wednesday 24 April 2013 and is open to all who wish to pay their respects to a much-loved and valued member of the University community.

An on-line tribute page has been set up, and you are very welcome to submit your own personal tributes to and memories of Tim, as a colleague and friend, as a teacher, a mentor or supervisor, to Catherine Annabel.

Thursday and Friday 28-29 February

With many, many thanks from Inspiration for Life to all of the following (and to any whose names we have inadvertently missed), for your various and invaluable contributions - volunteers, speakers, MCs, musicians, bakers, organisers and others. Of course the name that isn't on the list but is the most important of all, is that of Tim Richardson, who inspired and who will go on inspiring us.

Adam Green, Alan Dunbar, Alan Zinober, Alistair Warren, Amy Carter, Amy Hall, Amy Jones, Amy Pullan, Amy Stone, Andrea Chambers, Andrew Fowlie, Andrew Parnell, Angela Harvey-Watson, Ann Davis, Anna Gott (Rotherham Hospice), Arthur Annabel, Ashley Cadby, Ashley Willis, Aurora Plomer, Barry Gibson, Ben Robinson & Harmonica Lewinsky, Brendan Stone, Carly Griffiths, Carrie Vernon, Carsten van de Bruck, Charlotte Nicolaou, Charlyn Kinderman, Chris Atkins, Chris Clow, Chris Drew, Chris Hall, Chris Sexton, Chris Turgoose, Claire MacGourlay, Dan Tovey, Danni Furneaux, David Jones Gerrard Wind Quartet, David Mowbray, Doris Lowman, Ed Daw, Elena Rodriguez Falcon, Ellie Dougherty, Emma Willis, Eugenia Cheng, Fran Marshall, Fu Na, Gillian Finnerty, Gillian Gehring, Graham McElearney, Greg Oldfield, Helen Gentle (Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity), Helen Storey, Henry Matthews, Ian Estabrook, Ian Knowles, Ian Spooner, Ines Henriques, Jake Blundy, Jake Lawrenson, Jamie Hobbs, Jamie MacGourlay, Jean Simpson, Jenny Saul, Joanne Coates, Jo Robinson, John Cockburn, John Hampson, John Jones, John's Van, Jules, Julie Milner, Kamal Birdi, Karen Harvey, Keith Burnett, Laura Clark, Laura Oliver, Laurynas Giriunas, Lee Hague, Liam Crouch, Lindsay Wilson, Loui Bowdery, Lucy Pickford and colleagues, Lydia Jim, Marie Kinsey, Mark Geoghegan, Martin Lewis, Matt Mears, Matthew Flinders, Matthew Gilbert, Matthew Griffin, Megan Hobbs, Mike Braddick, Mike Weir, Nick Baxter, Nigel Clarke, Nur Ainul Annuar, Paul Crowther, Paul Mannion, Paul Mitchener, Paul Taylor, Pete Mella, Peter Bath, Pieter Kok, Polly Wilson, Rachel Duthie, Rachel Falconer, Ramin Golestanian, Richard Jones, Richard Nicholson, Richard Webb, Robin Byles, Ron Adams, Ruth Arnold, Sally Merrett, Sam Chase, Sam Fargher, Sarah Hamilton, Sean Barton, Sean Paling, Shemina Davis, Simon Goodwin, Somer Finlay, Stathes Paganis, Stephanie Sharples, Steve Collins, Stuart, Susan Cartwright, Suzy Lancaster, Tammy Hervey, Theo Hobson, Tim Birkhead, Tony Ryan, Tracy Hilton, Ursula McGuone, Vanessa Toulmin, Wendy Hobson, Willy Kitchen, Xanthe Hoad

Thursday 28 February

17.00-18.00 Introduction
Catherine Annabel, Chair of Inspiration for Life
Is Science Magic?
Prof. Richard Jones, Pro-VC, Research & Innovation and
Prof. Tony Ryan, OBE, Pro-VC, Faculty of Science
18.00-18.30 The End is Nigh
Dr Simon Goodwin, Astrophysics
18.30-19.00 Hope for the Innocent?
Prof. Claire McGourlay, School of Law
19.00-19.30 Future Gas Turbine Technology
Dr Jamie McGourlay, Rolls Royce plc
19.30-20.00 Though We Fail, Our Truths Prosper
Prof. Mike Braddick, History; Pro-VC, Faculty of Arts & Humanities
20.00-20.30 Searching for the Higgs Boson at the Large Hadron Collider
Prof. Dan Tovey, Particle Physics
20.30-21.30 Beyond Dentistry: On The Mouth, Kissing and Love
Dr Karen Harvey, Cultural History, and Dr Barry Gibson, Medical Sociology, Clinical Dentistry
21.30-22.00 This is not a Lecture. Stories of Wellbeing
Prof. Brendan Stone, Social Engagement & the Humanities, School of English
22.00-22.30 From Bones to Bridges
Dr Matthew Gilbert, Civil & Structural Engineering
22.30-23.00 The Big Bang Theory of Lifelong Learning
Dr Willy Kitchen, Institute for Lifelong Learning
23.00-23.30 The EU's Fight against Cancer
Prof. Tammy Hervey, Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Law
23.30-00.30 Taking up the Ghost
Prof. Vanessa Toulmin, National Fairground Archive, Head of Cultural Engagement

Friday 1 March

00.30-01.00 The Blues of Physics
Dr Ed Daw, Particle Physics & Astrophysics
01.00-01.30 Deep Sky Astronomy and Astrophysics
Prof. Paul Crowther, Astrophysics
01.30-02.00 Light of Life
Dr Ashley Cadby, Soft Matter Physics
02.00-02.30 How to Make the Perfect Cuppa
Dr Matthew Mears, Physics & Astronomy
02.30-03.30 A Beginners Guide to Nano
Prof. Mark Geoghegan, Soft Matter Physics
03.30-04.00 Pet Calves: The Science of Drumming
Prof. Nigel Clarke, Condensed Matter Theory, Head of Physics & Astronomy
04.00-05.00 The Origin of Mass
Dr Stathes Paganis, Particle Physics
05.00-05.30 Red Wine and Tea
Dr Patrick Fairclough, Polymer Chemistry
05.30-06.30 Elena Under Her Skin
Prof. Elena Rodriguez-Falcon, Enterprise & Engineering Education, Mechanical Engineering
06.30-07.00 Inspiration, Risk and the Politics of Fear
Prof. Matthew Flinders, Parliamentary Government & Governance
07.00-07.30 Gas Sensing Biscuits and Other Research by 'Team Tim'
Dr Alan Dunbar, Energy, Chemical & Biological Engineering
07.30-08.00 Soaps, Bubbles and Cells
Dr Andrew Parnell, Physics & Astronomy
08.00-08.30 Health Informatics
Prof. Peter Bath, Health Informatics
08.30-09.00 Infinity!
Dr Paul Mitchener, Mathematics
09.00-09.30 We are all living in a Bose-Einstein Condensate… made of Higgs Bosons
Professor Sir Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor
09.30-10.00 Four Candles? Or was it Fork Handles?
Marie Kinsey, Journalism
10.00-10.30 A Brief History of the Universe
Prof. Carsten van de Bruck, Mathematics & Statistics
10.30-11.00 Science, Art and Human Rights
Prof. Aurora Plomer, Law & Bioethics
11.00-12.00 Seeing the World - a talk for primary school children
Prof. David Mowbray, Physics & Astronomy
12.00-12.30 Birds, Poetry and Music
Prof. Rachel Falconer, English Literature, University of Lausanne
12.30-13.00 The Human Body
Prof. Alistair Warren, Biomedical Science
13.00-13.30 Is Anybody Out There?
Dr Susan Cartwright, Particle Physics & Astrophysics
13.30-14.00 Prejudice and Self-Knowledge
Prof. Jenny Saul, Philosophy
14.00-14.30 Sources
Dr Chamu Kuppuswamy, Law
14.30-15.00 Living Matter
Prof. Ramin Golestanian, Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics, Oxford University
15.00-15.30 Darwin and Sexual Selection
Prof. Tim Birkhead, Zoology
15.30-16.00 Studying the Muse
Dr Kamal Birdi, Occupational Psychology
16.00-17.00 Catalytic clothing
Professor Tony Ryan OBE & Professor Helen Storey MBE


Full details of the programme of events, and of how to donate, will be provided on our Events page, Twitter feed and Facebook page.

Proceeds from the event will go to three local charities: Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice, and St Luke's Hospice.