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Academic Lectures

A series of academic lectures has been organised for pupils from King's High School and Warwick School. The lectures are provided by external speakers and cover a range of different subjects. They will last for approximately half an hour, and will be followed by a Q and A session.

Schedule of Talks

Schedule of Academic Talks

Thursday 11 June (Week A), 12.15pm 

  • Mr James Chamberlain (Warwick Finalist) – Economics  
    • Mr Chamberlain is a Finalist at the University of Warwick, where he has specialised in using Mathematics and Economics to model complex decision-making, for instance during competitive sports games.  

Monday 15 June, 11.20am 

  • Dr Anne Alwis (Kent) – Classics and Ancient History 
    • Dr Alwis’s research focuses on the world of Late Anqituity and Byzantium, including hagiography (the ‘lives’ of the saints), and the transmission and translation of Greek and Latin texts. 
  • Professor Emma Hart (Edinburgh) – AI
    • Professor Hart leads a group focused on Nature-Inspired Intelligent Systems. She was appointed Editor-In-Chief of Evolutionary Computation (MIT Press) in 2017. 
  •  ​​​Mr Laing (KHW) – The Arts
    • Mr Laing, the Director of Music for King’s High, will speak about key questions that make the interdisciplinary study of the Arts such a fascinating area of enquiry, with reference to music, literature, theatre and more

 Monday 15 June, 1.30pm

  • Dr Emily Nichols (Western Ontario) - Cognitive Psychology
    • Dr Nichols is a cognitive psychologist who does research on language and the brain, including the psychology of language acquisition.

 Wednesday 17 June, 1.10pm

  • Professor Paul Harrison (Warwick University) – Particle Physics
    • Professor Harrison founded the Warwick Elementary Particle Physics Group in 2004 and a member of the ATLAS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider. He will introduce students to what is involved in the study of Particle Physics.

Sign Up Form for Academic Talks 

Summary of Previous Sessions

Please see below for an overview of the content of previous sessions. We shortly hope to be able to provide video recordings of the lectures as well. 

Sessions held on Monday 11th May

Professor Christopher Owen (UCL) Space -

This was a fantastic talk, with great images and videos of solar gas explosions and detailed accounts of the workings of the spaceship that Professor Owen launched three months ago in the USA. The spaceship has begun a ten year mission to discover the ways in which the sun influences the space around it and, ultimately, the ways it influences earth. Questions in the discussion included the Venus gravity assist, the possible readings that are expected when the spacecraft nears the sun, and what happens to the spacecraft at the end of a mission. Prof Owen talked about how his own interest in Physics developed and about the risks that his mission faces over the coming decade. 

Dr Anna Belcher (Cambridge) - Ocean Biogeochemistry

You can view a recording of this talk by logging into Microsoft Stream - h 

Dr Anna Belcher gave a fascinating overview of her work in ocean biogeochemistry based at the British Antarctic Survey. After introducing the importance of oceans as carbon sinks, Dr Belcher proceeded to take the pupils on an eclectic tour of interdisciplinary science, explaining: how primary productivity in oceans can be monitored from space; the importance of so-called marine snow in trapping carbon in the deep ocean; and the role of the lowly krill in this process. They had a chance to see an example of how scientists carry out their research in the real world, which includes applications of methods and techniques learned at school such as light microscopy, taking standardised samples, and statistics. 

Ms Tedd (KHW) - The Workshop of Possible Literature

You can view a recording of this talk by logging into Microsoft Stream - 

Miss Tedd’s session on Literature took a close look at the Oulipo, a group of Francephone writers founded in 1960 whose works explore the potentiality of literature. Their avant-garde ‘constraints’ impose limits on writing with the aim of freeing creativity. The group looked in particular at Queneau’s Cent Mille Milliards des Poemes, a book of just ten pages which would take just short of 200 million years to read in its entirety, and the lipogram novel La Disparition, by Georges Perec, written entirely without the letter e. The group discussed literary ideas and techniques way beyond the scope of the usual school syllabus, and the pupil’s engagement was fantastic  – thank you in particular to Grace, Ben and Alexander for their inspired responses! 

Sessions held on Thursday 21 May 

Professor Martin Underwood (University of Warwick) – Medicine 

Professor Underwood’s work includes improving care pathways for people with musculoskeletal disorders and return to work initiatives for people for people with chronic pain. Prof Underwood spoke on his use of randomised control trials in the assessment of treatments for chronic pain and other types of illness. He gave a brilliant, in-depth account not only of how the trials work, but also how the teams involved in improving patient care function, with an array of fascinating medical insights including the use of robots in patient care. Our aspiring medics were fascinated in both the science involved and in Professor Underwood's career pathway. We are so fortunate to have been able to hear from someone with such experience and expertise.

Dr Josie Kemeys (Sheffield) –  Law 

Dr Kemeys’ teaching areas include Criminal, Public, EU and Media Law. Her research also analyses judicial power in the constitution of the United Kingdom. Dr Josie Kemeys gave a very informative and thought-provoking talk about her work in academic Law, covering a range of issues including the importance of asking difficult questions where there are no clear answers, the need for open debate, the conflict between Law and politics, and the nature of judicial law. A large number of our students (many considering legal careers) attended and were grateful for the chance for an in-depth look at some of the key areas within the study of Law.

Professor Adrian Owen (Western University, Canada) – Neuroscience 

Professor Adrian Owen OBE is a neuroscientist and best-selling author. He leads research on patients who have sustained brain injuries that result in disorders of consciousness, and studies patients with neurodegenerative diseases. Professor Owen joined us from Canada to give a fascinating and insightful remote talk to a large crowd. He discussed his work on neurogenerative disease, and covered areas from his best-selling work on how patients thought to be in vegetative states are conscious and able to communicate in unexpected ways. Neuroscience holds an enduring and growing interest amongst our student body, and the engagement from across the year groups was fantastic to see.

Mr Roger Mason (author of 28 books) – History and Politics 

Roger Mason is the author of 28 books, including studies of Disraeli and Gladstone and The Struggle for Democracy, a history of Parliamentary reform. Mr Mason spoke with extraordinary depth of knowledge to a group of keen historians, on the topic of the Representation of the People act of 1918. As well as wowing his audience by reeling off information completely from memory, he sparked an interesting debate about whether the methods of the Suffrage Movement was as effective as is sometimes supposed, or whether wider factors contributed more to women's rights. The questions and opinions offered by students on the Teams Chat were, as ever, wonderful to see.

Session held on Monday 1 June

  • Professor Emma Hart (Edinburgh) – AI 
    • Professor Hart leads a group focused on Nature-Inspired Intelligent Systems. She was appointed Editor-In-Chief of Evolutionary Computation (MIT Press) in 2017. 

Sign Up Form for Academic Talks