Richard III geneticist selected to speak at inspiring event in city

Posted by er134 at Oct 25, 2016 03:32 PM |
TEDxLeicester brings together best thinkers and community activists

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 25 October 2015

Image of Dr Turi King available to download at:

A prominent scientist who led an international team that carried out the DNA analysis on the remains of King Richard III has been selected to speak at an inspiring public event in Leicester.

Dr Turi King, Reader in Genetics and Archaeology at the University of Leicester, is one of the speakers at TEDxLeicester – an event which brings some of Leicester’s best thinkers and community activists to speak at the event this year.

TEDxLeicester 2016 will take place on Wednesday 26 October 2016 at Curve Theatre in the city centre. Delegates will access a full-day programme of 16 exceptional speakers, four fantastic performers, plus lunch.

The event’s headline partners include LCB Depot, Curve Theatre and the University of Leicester.

President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, Professor Paul Boyle said: “Universities are all about world-changing research and the purpose of TED, to spread ideas and knowledge by bringing together leading thinkers, speaks right to the core of our mission. As a University ranked in the top one per cent in the world we are committed to excellence, and we are proud to be associated with this exciting initiative that sees exceptional people in our city come together to share their knowledge and experiences in an inspirational context.”

Dr King said: “I’m very pleased to be involved in TEDx Leicester this year. TEDx Leicester is a wonderful way to bring people together from the entire city and invite the world to hear about the exciting work and ideas that are coming out of Leicester."

Dr King is a Canadian who read Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge before moving into molecular genetics, gaining a distinction in her MSc at the University of Leicester followed by a Wellcome Trust Prize Studentship gaining her PhD on the link between surnames and genetics. Her PhD thesis was awarded the School of Biological Sciences PhD Prize. All of Turi’s work combines genetics with the fields of archaeology, history, geography and forensics and she is now a lecturer in Genetics and Archaeology at the University of Leicester, the first such cross-department/college post. Turi is the Genetics expert on the Richard III project, leading the international team that carried out the DNA analysis on the remains, confirming that DNA from the skeleton matched two of the descendants of Richard III's family.

Turi won the Alumni Association’s Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award 2014 for her achievements in genetic research and her pivotal role in the discovery of Richard III. Among other projects, she is now carrying out whole genome analysis on Richard III as well as studying his microbiome.

She is passionate about communicating science to the public and has appeared in, or advised on, numerous radio and TV programmes. She has recently been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the British Science Association for her work on  public engagement in science.

Other event sponsors include Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, East Midlands’ Chamber of Commerce, as well as local Schools and Colleges, including Leicester College, Gateway College, Beauchamp College and Leicester High School for Girls. A host of local businesses such as Colab Creative, Orange Reel, Mayura Print, Cofresh, Motion Hiro and Jubbub Design are also supporting the conference.  The TEDxLeicester’s Every Journey Matters event is proud to be a part of the annual Leicester Business Festival. A complete list of partners is available via the website:

Siddhi Trivedi, TEDxLeicester co-organiser added: “The city has embraced TEDxLeicester. We are extremely grateful to all our partners. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to put this event on. This is the first year we have embarked on an event five times larger than last year. This year we are working with organisations from all sectors in Leicester and we have been overwhelmed by their support and enthusiasm.

“We have an outstanding line up of speakers and performers some well-known in our community, some lesser-known. All will be able to leave our guests thinking, and hopefully taking home some ‘ideas worth spreading’. They all have ‘ideas worth sharing’. We expect the audience, those present on the day, and people who watch the videos afterwards, to go away intrigued, challenged, inspired and entertained.”

TEDxLeicester’s headline event will feature a host of speakers and performers from the Leicester area and will be based on the theme ‘Every Journey Matters’. It focuses on the past, present and future of some of society’s biggest challenges, told by Leicester’s very own wealth of expertise, including John Everitt on conservation, Hassan Akkad on the refugee crisis, and Simon Cole QPM on the Prevent Strategy.

Other speakers and performers include Mohammed Abbas, Andy Gilbert, Maytham Al-Hilo, Jessica Okoro, Geoff Rowe BEM, Dr Jay Banerjee, Kamlesh Purohit, Raj Gawera, Jim Shields, Ellah Kandi, Cosmocular, Emmanu'-EL Apostolic GA, Matt Hampson, Marc Wileman and an exceptional production from Leicester’s very own TED performer Aakash Odedra.

For more details about individual speakers and performers visit

Every Journey Matters’ aims to bring the Leicester community together to kick-start conversation and action surrounding the personal, professional, emotional and technological challenges we all face, which impacts on how we live, work and study, both now and in the future.


Notes to editors:

Please contact Carl for further details regarding the event on

About TEDx, x = independently organised event.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organised events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organised events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organised TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organised. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a non-profit organisation devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California almost 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes on a diverse mix of topics. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

TED's media initiatives include, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; and TEDBooks, short e-books on powerful ideas. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self-organised TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter at or on Facebook at

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