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Experts At Epsom

This term's lecture series featured a stimulating range of topics presented by teachers and pupils - to stretch, deepen and encourage intellectual thinking and debate

Experts at Epsom is a new initiative introduced this term to nourish the life of the mind, and showcase the more esoteric, entertaining and consensus challenging views of our pupils and teachers. The lectures spanned literature, music, ethics, cognition, national identity, and more, showcasing the rich intellectual landscape of the College.

Each speaker brought their unique perspective and expertise, fostering insightful discussions and a deeper understanding of complex issues. Thank you to all the speakers for their valuable contributions, which enriched our academic community and stimulated meaningful conversations.

Here is a summary of each lecture:

  1. Mr Russell: “Introducing and revisiting Keats: key lines, letters and concepts”
    • This lecture explored the essential elements in John Keats’ poetry and correspondence.
  2. Mr N Fisher: “Religious Conflict in Music – How the music of Tudor England reflects the politics of reformation”
    • A study of how music from the mid-Tudor period reflected the political and religious turmoil, focusing on the tension between reformation and counter-reformation.
  3. Mrs Hayes: “Is modern music destroying language?”
    • An inquiry into the impact of contemporary music on language and communication.
  4. Mr Ellis: “Squatting: A Lockean Analysis”
    • An argument for the moral justification of squatting, critiquing the housing-as-capital model and the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.
  5. Mr Baker: “Embodied Cognition and Metaphor” 
    • A discussion on how artificial intelligence and computational theories of mind related to embodied cognition, emphasising the role of physical experiences in shaping abstract concepts and metaphors.
  6. Ariel Wang, Year 9 pupil: “Arguments on the Origin of Humanity” 
    • A presentation of various theories and perspectives regarding the origins of human beings.
  7. Mr L Fisher: “National identity: why is the world divided into nations and is this conducive to human flourishing?”
    • This lecture analysed the concept of national identity and its implications for human development and cooperation.
  8. Dr Cunningham: “The rest is silence? Shakespeare and The Meaning of Life”
    • An exploration of how Shakespeare’s works addressed existential questions and their relevance in contemporary life.
  9. Mr Greenbury: “Why shouldn’t I murder my father and sleep with my mother? A brief history of Western ethics”
    • This lecture provided a historical overview of Western ethical principles, using provocative questions to delve into moral philosophy.
  10. Mrs Church-Jones, and Lucy and Sophie Church-Jones (Year 9 and Year 12 pupils): “Etymology”
    • This lecture studied the origins and evolution of words and their meanings.
  11. Sir Anthony Seldon: “Prime Ministers and Little Me”
    • In this lecture Sir Anthony shared insights into how and why he writes about British Prime Ministers.

More to come next year!