Public Lecture Behind the Scenes

Blog 4 Jul 2023

Hi everyone, I’m Clare Maher, Communications and Public Engagement Officer within LSTMs External Relations Team. I am currently working on several events as part of the LSTM-Past, Present, and Future project which is being funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Firstly, let me say that I hope I hope you enjoyed some of the long-awaited sunshine that we have had recently.

This week’s blog is about our first of three public lectures bringing together LSTM’s past and present. This first lecture ‘Influence and Legacy of Mary Kingsley on the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine: Working with Communities for health equity’ given by LSTM’s Karen Blower and Amina Ismail explored the story of Mary Kingsley and how her influence has impacted on LSTM today.

Before I go into detail about the actual event let me tell you a little bit about all the behind the scenes work that goes on to host an event.

My line manager does all the hard work, finding staff willing to speak especially outside normal office hours can sometimes be difficult but there is always someone happy to help us out.

She also has the responsibility of producing and collating presentations, writing a welcome speech, drawing up a timetable of how the event will run, setting up audio, checking the venue ……… the list is endless. She’s unflappable though which helps me to stay calm too.

Between us we try to come up with novel and eye-catching ideas and posters to get audiences to want to come to our events, it’s a competitive world out there, and hosting of an evening can be just as difficult as a weekend, it helps though if there aren’t any major football games on or a big soap storyline (I confess I am a bit of a Corrie fan) however I am not revealing my football team, I want to keep you guys on side!!

So I made a start designing some social media cards on Canva …… I LOVE Canva, if you haven’t tried it, go have a play, its fabulous and great for party invitations.

I have to say though, we have a great network of people who also help publicise our events but we could always do with more, so please read on if you are interested as we will be asking for your support.

So, the week before the event we took a leisurely stroll across to the University of Liverpool to see the venue for ourselves and work out how we would position our banners, signing in table etc and to make sure it was big enough for our needs.

Next job for me was to create signing in sheets, evaluation forms and reserved signs. So, once the Easter weekend was out of the way by Tuesday my checklist was clear and we were good to go.

There was very little to set up on the day, a sign in table at the entrance and some LSTM banners were placed around the room and one of our speakers also displayed some images from her events out in the community, particularly focused on vaccine uptake and health equality.

It was a great event to be involved in and I love learning from other staff members whether it’s about the history of LSTM or vaccine trials, I always come away from events with a bit more knowledge then when I started.

It is also nice meeting people from across the city and beyond, some stop for a short chat when they are signing in and I love to hear people’s stories, as I’m sure you all know, scousers can talk and almost always have a tale to tell.

So if any of this has sparked an interest, be it in history, health or the school itself and you think you might like to volunteer to support us at future events then we would love to hear from you, please email

Below are some of the events we will be needing help with over the coming months so just let me know which you are interested in, and I will get back to you:

Sat 12th August at the World Museum

Sat 26th August at the World Museum

Sat 23rd September at the World Museum