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The Cyril Foster Lecture series

Over the past 50 years, the Cyril Foster Lecture series has delivered engaging lectures from some of the world's most influential policymakers and academics. It is the University's annual distinguished lecture in the field of International Relations.

This lecture series is the legacy of Cyril A Foster. We know very little about him. Mr Foster owned several small sweet shops in and around London and lived alone in Essex. On his death, he left a bequest to the University, asking us to create an annual lecture series on the ‘elimination of war and the better understanding of the nations of the world’. This wish is particularly unusual, as he had no previous connection to the University. His kind and generous gift continues to promote international cooperation.

On 16 May 2023, Professor Jessica Stern (Boston University) delivered the 2023 Cyril Foster Lecture on 'Nuclear Terrorism: What is the Threat?'. View the recording of the lecture here

Past lectures

Previous speakers include prominent figures from the world of politics and policy; Oxford has hosted prime ministers and foreign ministers to secretary-generals of the United Nations and heads of major international organisations, as well as prominent academics. See the full list of past lectures below.