Richard Gregory Memorial Lecture 2016

11 October 2016, 6.00 PM - 11 October 2016, 7.30 PM

Science and wildlife films: perfect partners Dr Keith Scholey, Director, Silverback Films The Great Hall, Wills Memorial Building

Richard Gregory was a polymath, a great interdisciplinary thinker, a leading University of Bristol academic and an inspiration behind the formation of Bristol Vision Institute. This lecture is held in his memory. ‌

Admission is free but advance booking is essential by visiting  

This year’s Richard Gregory Memorial Lecture, delivered in collaboration with the Wildscreen Festival, will be given by Dr Keith Scholey, Director of Silverback Films and Wildscreen Trustee. In this lecture Science and wildlife films: perfect partners Dr Scholey will reveal how wildlife films have advanced due to partnerships with technology inventors and a constant stream of new discoveries by scientists.

“Wildlife films amaze people around the world but they are only possible due to scientific endeavour”

However, it is not a one sided partnership as often the filmmaking gives scientists fresh knowledge to advance their work. Using sequences and stories from some of his most recent wildlife films, Dr Scholey will take you behind the scenes to reveal exactly how new wildlife stories are brought to the screen.

Born and raised in East Africa, Dr Keith Scholey qualified as a Zoologist with both a degree and PhD from the University of Bristol.  Dr Scholey furthered his passion through a television career in the BBC Natural History Unit becoming a producer of programmes such as the award winning series The Private Life of Plants with David Attenborough, Wildlife Specials, Wildlife on One and Big Cat Diary.  Between 1998 and 2002 he became the Head of the Natural History Unit and oversaw the creation of series such as Life of BirdsBlue PlanetAndes to AmazonCousinsand Springwatch.

In 2002 as Controller of Specialist Factual Production Dr Scholey oversaw David Attenborough’s Life of Mammals and Lifein the Undergrowth and Planet EarthSeven Industrial Wonders, specials such as Pompei and Supervolcano and in 2006 helped development of The One Show.

After a long and illustrious career Dr Scholey left the BBC in 2008 to pursue an independent career in natural history cinema and television production. In 2012 Dr Keith Scholey and Alastair Fothergill formed Silverback Films which specialises in the production of high quality wildlife films for both television and cinema. Productions include series for the Discovery Channels, North America and Deadly Islandsand BAFTA award-winning series The Hunt for the BBC. Recently the Silverback team made four feature films African Cats,ChimpanzeeBears and Monkey Kingdom. Awards for productions so far include Emmy’s, BAFTA’s, RTS’s, Wildscreen Panda Awards and Jackson Hole Awards.

Professor David Bull, Director of BVI and Professor of Signal Processing at the University of Bristol adds “We have two basic requirements for the Richard Gregory Memorial Lecture – firstly that it’s about exciting contemporary issues in Vision Science and secondly that it covers something that Richard would have enjoyed. Keith’s lecture will excite both specialist and non-specialist audiences and I am certain that Richard would have enjoyed it. I am particularly pleased that, this year, we have linked the lecture to the Wildscreen Festival.”

Dr Keith Scholey joins an exciting list of speakers to have previously delivered our prestigious lecture who include Dr Andrew Watson (NASA Ames Research Centre), Vilayanur Ramachandran (University of California, SanDiego), Matthew Postgate (BBC), David Sproxton (Aardman Animations) and Prof Anya Hurlbert (Newcastle University).

About Wildscreen

The Wildscreen Festival is a not-for-profit initiative by the Bristol-based charity Wildscreen, which also runs Arkive, a free-to-access online encyclopaedia about the natural world, andWildscreen Exchange, a global hub giving conservation organisations access to imagery and expertise, empowering them to tell the most pertinent conservation stories of our time. 

The Wildscreen Festival is the world’s biggest celebration of screen-based natural world storytelling. It takes place every two years in Bristol which is recognised internationally as Green Hollywood because of the quantity, range and quality of the nature films and TV it produces. Wildscreen 2016 takes place from October 10 to 14 and will offer a packed programme of screenings, workshops, talks, debates, masterclasses, demos and networking opportunities.  To find out more, visit

Contact information

For further information please contact or 0117 331 5759.

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