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Scholars’ lecture evenings

Freemen's Sixth Form Scholar Hannah, introduces the first Scholars' lecture evening of the academic year, enjoyed by students, staff and parents.

The Scholarship Team, lead by Mrs Parkin, hosted an event for students, parents and teachers of lectures prepared from fellow scholars this term. There were five outstanding speakers (three students and two teachers), with talks ranging greatly, and the lecturers discussing heartfelt topics. 

Indigo (L6) and I, being scholars ourselves, hosted the night. We introduced the lectures with a summary and then invited questions from the audience at the end of each talk. 

The night started with Mr Weston's lecture, 'Malice and Wonderland'. Mr Weston’s specialism in the 19th Century inspired his lecture about the relationship between Charles Dodgson, AKA Lewis Carroll, and William Gladstone, the four times liberal prime minister. His interesting lecture focused on the hatred which Dodgson had for Gladstone, which ended up appearing in disguise in Alice in Wonderland, hence, Malice in Wonderland.

The next speaker was Valerie (L6), whose interest in economics and psychology led her to this topic. Her lecture addressed issues such as the way that today's technology has caused an influx of modern problems like piracy of intellectual property, with the title of her lecture being 'The Modern Monopoly: Why Piracy Exists'.

Olivia (L6) was next on stage. The title for her lecture was ‘Pandemics to Prejudice’ where she explored the extent to which pandemics over time have unveiled deep-rooted social prejudices, and the scales on which these have historically presented themselves as blatant discrimination. This talk was stimulated by her interest in medicine as well as her passion about social issues, and within she specifically discussed yellow fever, HIVs and COVID-19. 

The penultimate speaker of the night was Hannah (L6) who discussed recent developments in gene editing, specifically in embryos including the extreme scenarios and limitations. Ethical issues surrounding this topic were also discussed. The title for her lecture was 'Build a baby: Where Humanity is questioned', stemming from her interest in biology. 

The night ended with a talk from Mr Wright, who spoke about work which he undertook last summer when he had a Scholarship from the Farmington Institute based at Harris Manchester College in Oxford University. Mr Wright aimed to research the philosophical questions which emerged from the scientific search for extra-terrestrial intelligence, mirroring the title of his lecture, 'The Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence’ 

The first scholars’ lecture night was a fascinating event and a huge success and we show our appreciation to Mrs Parkin for organising the logistics of the night. ‘The random nature of the topics covered truly represented the Scholar community – an amalgamation of completely unique interests coming together as one!’ is how Indigo (L6) described the night. A similar event will be held at the end of the Spring term and we look forward to seeing you there.

Article contributed by Hannah, Freemen's Lower 6 Scholar