This year's Geddes lecture, marking the 30th anniversary of Philip Geddes' death in the Harrods bombing, will be given by the Rt Hon the Lord Patten of Barnes CH, the Chancellor of the University of Oxford and Chairman of the BBC Trust. His topic will be "Trust and Free Speech: some reflections".
The Geddes Lectures are named after Philip Geddes, a member of St Edmund Hall and a journalist of considerable promise. After graduating he joined the staff of the London Evening Standard, then moved to the staff of the Daily Express. In December 1983 he was in Harrods, the Knightsbridge store, when orders were issued for the building to be evacuated. Realising there was a story to be had, he went to investigate. He was killed by the blast from a bomb planted by the IRA. Philip Geddes was just 24.
In addition to the lecture series, which has run since 1998, St Edmund Hall and the Geddes Trust offer prizes for student journalism. Each year a first prize of £1,000 is given to the most promising student journalist at Oxford University. A further award of £500 is open to undergraduates of St Edmund Hall. Additionally, student journalists who specialise in sports writing are also able to compete for The Clive Taylor Prize for Sports Writing, a £1,000 special award in memory of the distinguished cricket writer Clive Taylor.