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Hear about the early years of the OU from someone who was there

In January we were delighted to welcome Professor Emeritus of Physics, Russell Stannard, back to the Open University to speak about his personal experiences working at the University since it was founded in 1969 in a rented house in Belgravia, London before making a move to the new city of Milton Keynes.

In this talk Professor Russell Stannard explains so eloquently how pervasive the influence of the OU has been over the past 50 years. We hear his experiences of how OU academics quickly had to learn to work in teams with an innovative approach to writing new courses and running summer schools. He also discusses his work with the BBC, where he honed his presenting skills and was involved in hours upon hours of television and radio broadcasts. His fascinating career led him to receiving a phone call early one morning with an invitation to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen and Prince Phillip for lunch. Having regularly listened to Professor Stannard on Radio 4’s ‘Thought for the Day’ they decided they’d like to meet him to speak about science and religion, and The Open University.

Professor Stannard joined the Open University in 1969, became Professor of Physics and Head of Department in 1971, followed by Pro-Vice Chancellor in 1974. He became Emeritus Professor of Physics in 1999.