Tag Archives: University of Cambridge

Literary Debates: “This House Prefers Reading Oscar Wilde To George Orwell” (Cambridge)

The Cambridge Union logoABOUT THE MOTION: This House Prefers Reading Oscar Wilde to George Orwell Do we prefer satire or comedy? Do we take refuge in the serious or the frivolous? Do we understand the importance of being earnest or would we rather be in room 101? These two authors demonstrate well two powerful traditions in British literature, the comic and the satirical. They both of course share in each other’s art. Some would argue that during our present global crises we should look to Orwell more than ever, others would reach for the escapism of Oscar Wilde. In a new enterprise for the Cambridge Union, we are beginning our cultural debates – and this is our first. At least for a while.

ABOUT OUR SPEAKER (Closing for the Proposition) Will Self is the author of 25 books, some of which have been translated into 25 languages. His Dorian: An Imitation is an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray set during the AIDS crisis. He holds the Chair in Contemporary Thought at Brunel University, and lives in South London.

ABOUT OUR SPEAKER (Closing for the Abstention) Professor Angie Hobbs graduated in Classics and then a Ph.D. in Ancient Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. After a Research Fellowship at Christ’s College, she moved to the Philosophy Department at the University of Warwick. She was a judge of the Man Booker International Prize 2019 and is on the World Economic Forum Global Future Council 2018-9 for Values, Ethics and Innovation

Nature & Science: Making Flowers Of Food Plants More Attractive To Insect Pollinators (Cambridge)

A rising world population means we’ll need more food in the coming years. But much of our food relies on insect pollination, and insects are in decline around the world. Can we make flowers better at being pollinated, to help solve this problem?

Improving flowers to help feed the world Cambridge University Video January 21 2020

Research from the Glover Lab (https://twitter.com/Beverley_CUBG) in the Department of Plant Sciences (https://twitter.com/PlantSci)

Profiles: 85-Year Old Primatologist Jane Goodall On A Better Future (Cambridge)

In a new film released as part of Cambridge University’s focus on Sustainable Earth, Dr Jane Goodall DBE talks about the environmental crisis and her reasons for hope. “Every single day that we live, we make some impact on the planet. We have a choice as to what kind of impact that is.”

At the age of 26, Jane Goodall travelled from England to what is now Tanzania, Africa, and ventured into the little-known world of wild chimpanzees. Among her many discoveries, perhaps the greatest was that chimpanzees make and use tools. She completed a PhD at Newnham College in Cambridge in 1966, and subsequently founded the Jane Goodall Institute in 1977 to continue her conservation work and the youth service programme Roots & Shoots in 1991.

She now travels the world as a UN Messenger of Peace. “The human spirit is indomitable. Throughout my life, I’ve met so many incredible people – men and women who tackle what seems impossible and won’t give up until they succeed. With our intellect and our determined spirit, and with the tools that we have now, we can find a way to a better future.”

Cambridge University’s focus on Sustainable Earth looks at how we transition to a carbon zero future, protect the planet’s resources, reduce waste and build resilience.

See more here

New Literary Books: “Aging, Duration, And The English Novel” (CUP)

From a Cambridge University Press (CUP) listing:

Aging, Duration, and the English Novel Growing Old from Dickens to Woolf Cambridge University Press New Release January 2020Aging, Duration, and the English Novel argues that the formal disappearance of aging from the novel parallels the ideological pressure to identify as being young by repressing the process of growing old. The construction of aging as a shameful event that should be hidden – to improve one’s chances on the job market or secure a successful marriage – corresponds to the rise of the long novel, which draws upon the temporality of the body to map progress and decline onto the plots of nineteenth-century British modernity.

The rapid onset of dementia after an illness, the development of gray hair after a traumatic loss, the sudden appearance of a wrinkle in the brow of a spurned lover. The realist novel uses these conventions to accelerate the process of aging into a descriptive moment, writing the passage of years on the body all at once.

Review and Purchase

Aging, Duration, and the English Novel Growing Old from Dickens to Woolf Cambridge University Press New Release January 2020

New Research Videos: “In Search Of The Amazon’s Tallest Tree” (Cambridge)

Research has discovered the tallest known tree in the Amazon, towering above the previous record holder at a whopping 88.5 metres. This giant could store as much carbon as an entire hectare of rainforest elsewhere in the Amazon. Toby Jackson, a plant scientist in the University of Cambridge, took part in an expedition to find the tree in a remote region of northern Brazil, and validate its height the old-fashioned way – by climbing it.

To read more: https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/expedition-finds-tallest-tree-in-the-amazon

Economics & Finance: “Economics For People” With Cambridge Author & Professor Ha-Joon Chang (New INET Video Series)

Economics For People With Ha-Joon Chang Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) Cambridge UniversityIn the new series “Economics For People” from the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), University of Cambridge economist and bestselling author Ha-Joon Chang explains key concepts in economics, empowering anyone to hold their government, society, and economy accountable.

 

Lecture 1.1: The Nature of Economics

Lecture 1.2: Five Reasons Why Economics Is Political

Lecture 2: What Is Wrong With Globalization?

To view more videos: https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/videos/economics-for-people

Debates: “AI Will Bring More Harm Than Good” (Cambridge Video)

MOTION:

“This House Believes AI Will Bring More Harm Than Good”

This debate was run in association with IBM Research.

AI Will Bring More Harm Than Good Cambridge Union Debate 2019

Proposition:

Project Debater Project Debater is designed by IBM research. It will deliver a speech based on over 1,100 arguments collected from Union members and others over the past week. It will not be taking points of information.

Sharmila Parmanand

Sharmila Parmanand is a PhD Candidate in Gender Studies at the University of Cambridge and a Gates Scholar. She has served as a debate trainer or chief judge in debating events in 45 countries. She served as a chief judge for most major global debating competitions (World Universities, World Schools, European Universities, Asian Universities, Austral-Asian Universities, North American Universities, and PanAmerican Universities).

Professor Neil Lawrence

Neil Lawrence is the DeepMind Professor of Machine Learning at the University of Cambridge and the co-host of Talking Machines. Neil’s main research interest is machine learning through probabilistic models. He focuses on both the algorithmic side of these models and their application. His recent focus has been on the deployment of machine learning technology in practice, particularly under the banner of data science.

Opposition

Project Debater

Project Debater is designed by IBM research. It will deliver a speech based on over 1,100 arguments collected from Union members and others over the past week. It will not be taking points of information.

Harish Natarajan

Harish Natarajan is a graduate of the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. He was a grand fnalist and 2nd best speaker at the 2016 World Debating Championships and won the European Debating Championship in 2012. Harish holds the record for most competition victories. He currently works as the Head of Economic Risk Analysis at AKE International in London.

Professor Sylvie Delacroix

Sylvie Delacroix is professor in Law and Ethics at the University of Birmingham. Her work has notably been funded by the Wellcome Trust, the NHS and the Leverhulme Trust, from whom she received the Leverhulme Prize. She has recently been appointed to the Public Policy Commission on the use of algorithms in the justice system.

Website: https://www.cus.org/