About the Hoboken Lecture

The home of the Hoboken Lecture is the Natural History Museum Rotterdam, which is housed in Villa Dijkzigt, the former 19th century residence of the Van Hoboken family. The Villa is located in the Museum Park, a vestige of the former grandeur of the Hoboken Estate. Each year, an outstanding British scientist (or scientist working in Britain) will be invited to address a wide audience, including students, academics, entrepreneurs and professionals. The Hoboken Lecture used to be in the Park Room (Parkzaal) - the main exhibition hall in the museum which could accommodate an audience of approximately 200 guests, but now this space houses the permanent exhibition 'National Park Rotterdam'. From 2014 the venue is the auditorium of the Kunsthal, right next to the museum.

The Hoboken Lectures demonstrate the role scientific research and cultural activities play in understanding modern society and reposition the debate where it firmly belongs, in the public sphere of engaged and committed citizens. The audience has plenty of opportunity to respond to the speaker and contribute to the discussion. 

The Hoboken Lecture is now in its tenth year (after a three year time-out due to the pandemic). The first lectures were given by Lord Martin Rees (2011), Richard Fortey (2012) and Chris Stringer (2013). In 2014, Michael Benton lectured about 'The greatest mass extinction of all time'. The fifth Hoboken Lecture featured archaeologist and molecular geneticist Turi King telling the remarkable story of the search for the lost grave of King Richard III and the scientific analysis which led to the identification of his remains. In 2016 Dave Goulson explained the various reasons why bumblebees are declining and discussed the many ways that we can help to ensure that all types of bees have a future. In 2017, the seventh Hoboken Lecture featured Dame Jane Francis DCMG. She spoke about the history and future of Antarctica’s climate. In 2018 Charles Foster looked at the extent to which it is possible for humans to enter the experiential worlds of non-human species, by living as nearly as possible as a badger (under the ground and in the dense woods of mid-Wales, as an urban fox (prowling around the dustbins of the East End of London), and as an otter (in the rivers of Exmoor). Amy Dickman addressed our audience in 2019 about lion ecology and conservation, with her lecture 'Money, Myths & Man-Eaters'. After a pandemic break, the 10th Hoboken Lecture in 2023 featured Kate Jones. Here are all speakers.

The Hoboken Lecture is organised by the Natural History Museum Rotterdam (Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam), in partnership with the British Council, the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van WetenschappenDe Volkskrant is our media partner. As of 2014 the venue of the lecture is the auditorium of the Kunsthal, our much respected neighbour in the Museumpark. Students or graduates of Codarts - the internationally reputed Rotterdam Conservatoire, always perform selected parts of Haydn's Hoboken Verzeichnis.

Link to the programme of the Hoboken Lecture 2023 .

Photographic report of the 8th Hoboken Lecture (2018)