The third annual Colin Pillinger memorial talk

Image copyright: ESA/NASA

Once explorers, always explorers - Europe's role in space exploration

Friday, 10 November 2017 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Wills Memorial Building, University of Bristol
Queens Road, Bristol, BS8 1RJ


As astronauts prepare to follow robots into deep space for the first time in nearly fifty years, now, more than ever, international cooperation underpins this great human journey of discovery. Reaching back to the days of Apollo for inspiration and looking forward to the voyages of discovery now being planned, Dr David Parker offers a personal and engaging insight into what we are doing and where we are going in Europe’s exploration of space. The talk will be followed by a Q&A hosted by Tim Gregory, University of Bristol PhD student and finalist in BBC Two's Astronauts. 


Dr. David Parker

David Parker’s nearly thirty-year personal space odyssey has involved leading roles in both industry and government. He worked on pioneering missions such as the Rosetta comet chaser and advised a succession of ministers on space policy choices, including the UK’s decision to join the International Space Station in 2012, which in turn enabled Tim Peake’s hugely successful ‘Principia’ mission. Until 2016, David was Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, but he now masterminds the European Space Agency’s role in the exploration of space as its Director of Human and Robotic Exploration.

Colin Pillinger

Colin Pillinger CBE FRS FRAS FRGS (9 May 1943 – 7 May 2014) was born in Bristol and attended Kingswood Grammar School (now King’s Oak Academy). He later graduated with a BSc and PhD in Chemistry from University College of Swansea and from 1968-74 was a post-doctoral fellow in the University of Bristol School of Chemistry, Organic Geochemistry Unit. 


Colin had an illustrious career in instrument development and analysis of extra-terrestrial samples at the University of Cambridge and later at the Open University, where he founded the Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute. He is probably best known as the leader of the Beagle 2 Mars mission.

This series of lectures was established by the Pillinger family in 2015 in memory of Colin, his career and his connection with the city of Bristol.