Oxford Professor, Mark Harrison, Delivers Insightful Lecture to Epsom Pupils | Epsom College
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Oxford Professor, Mark Harrison, Delivers Insightful Lecture to Epsom Pupils

One of the world's leading experts on medical history visited the College as part of our Lord Rosebery Lecture series. Upper Fourth pupil, Annabel English, reports on a fascinating evening.

During dinner prior to the talk, Professor Harrison and the pupils discussed his work at SAGE, in advising the military, and as a professor at Oxford University, as well as the many activities pupils participate in at the College.

Following dinner, Professor Harrison presented his fascinating talk, Epidemics and Social Change: COVID-19 in Historical Perspective. He began by discussing historical epidemics, such as the Plague of Justinian and the outbreak of cholera in Europe during the nineteenth century, as well as certain aspects of an epidemic that foreshadows its potential influence. He then discussed the social change brought about through the Covid-19 pandemic, including the outbreak of arson attacks and protests.

We were exposed to stimulating ideas, such as a comparison of the British public’s reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the public’s reaction regarding the cholera epidemic in Britain in the 1830s. Finally, Professor Harrison suggested the current actions the government should take after the pandemic. This made the talk extremely thought-provoking for all politics pupils who want to develop a career as government advisors, as Professor Harrison held this role during his time at SAGE throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Overall, the evening was engrossing for all pupils attending, whether that be aspiring historians, medics, or politicians.