Sixth Lecture Series

Sixth Lecture Series

21 September 2022

As part of our brand new Sixth Lecture series, two fascinating speakers came to WHS to share their expertise: ‘Border Wars’ with Professor Klaus Dodds (Professor of Geopolitics at Royal Holloway), and ‘Using Maths to Clean the Ocean’ with Dr Tom Crawford from Oxford. Regular lectures will be for Year 13, but on this inaugural occasion, all Year 11-13 had the chance to attend, choosing the talk that best matched their interests and studies.

In the auditorium, Professor Dodds explored why countries worry about the state of their borders, giving a variety of examples from around the world, from Ukraine to the Arctic Circle: “Our world is divided by borders and boundaries. When there are borders, there is conflict. We need to find a way to get along with one another…”

Mr Ferdinand Doepel, Assistant Head Academic, said: “I was particularly impressed with the questions that were being asked by our students. Professor Klaus Dodds specifically mentioned that he was taken aback by their thoughtful approach, clearly showing the students’ understanding of such complex topics. Well done!”

Saavi commented: “I really enjoyed the talk. I think it was good that Year 11 were there listening too, as I definitely would have appreciated the exposure to extracurricular subjects and topics at that age, to help discover where my interests lie.”

Meanwhile in the Rutherford Centre, Dr Crawford explained his research into modelling the spread of pollution in the ocean. Student volunteers took to the stage to participate in experiments to demonstrate his thinking.

Lara said: “My friends and I found the lecture interesting and engaging, and particularly enjoyed the interactivity Dr Tom Crawford incorporated into the presentation. I thought the pace of the material was a good entry into fluid mechanics and definitely piqued my interest.”

And Emma added: “I found it really insightful – I have never thought about solving environmental issues, especially ocean pollution, in a mathematical way and it was a fantastic example of how multiple disciplines can come together to solve real world problems. Dr Crawford was a really engaging speaker and I enjoyed his use of experiments to illustrate his lecture.”

Well, that sounds like STEAM in action to us, so it was a specially fitting start to the academic year…

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