Somerville was founded in 1879 to give women, at that time excluded from membership of the University, the chance to benefit from an Oxford education. The College, which has admitted men since 1994, enjoys a wealth of different social, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds from around the world, making it an exciting, inspiring and welcoming home for undergraduates and graduates alike. The unifying common factor is a commitment to the Somerville values of academic excellence, openness, inclusiveness and a pioneering spirit.
People who graduate from Somerville go on to a rich variety of futures. Our graduates include statespeople, and notably two prime ministers, Margaret Thatcher and Indira Gandhi - each one the first woman to be prime minister of her country. They also include the first and only woman in the UK to win a Nobel prize for science; generations of distinguished novelists; the first woman to be an ordained minister; three of the twentieth century's leading philosophers; the first doctor to enter Belsen concentration camp at the end of the Second World War; the first Ghanaian man to be President of the Oxford Union; and winners of innumerable prizes for academic distinctions.
Does a woman have to behave like a man to succeed in this world
A lively panel discussion marking the 40th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher's election as Prime Minister and the centenary of the Sex Disqualification Act. Lady Arden, the Rt Hon the Lord Willetts, Anya Hindmarch, Cindy Gallop and Sacha Romanovitch discuss whether women do indeed have to behave like a man to be successful. Moderated by the Principal of Somerville College, Baroness Royall of Blaisdon, the discussion marks the 40th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher’s election as Prime Minister on the 17th May. The anniversary of this landmark event coincides with the centenary of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act that first allowed women to enter the professions. It also explores how far the political, professional and cultural environment has changed for women since then.
The Role of Genes in Bipolar Disorder: Recent Findings and What They Mean. Monica Fooks Memorial Lecture
Professor Paul Harrison, Head of Translational Neurobiology Research Group, Oxford, gives the 2012 Monica Fooks memorial lecture on recent findings in bipolar disorder. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
How can we get the media to tell the truth about drugs?
Professor David Nutt (Imperial College London) delivers the 2011 Monica Fooks Memorial Lecture. The Monica Fooks Memorial Lecture was established in 2002 at Somerville College, in memory of Monica, the daughter and sister, respectively, of Jean and Carolyn Fooks, who were both students at Somerville. Monica studied at Edinburgh University and developed bipolar disorder, which led to her taking her own life in September 1994 at the age of 26. Monica's parents, Geoffrey and Jean Fooks, gave Somerville the funds to set up the lectureship, with the specific aim of improving public awareness of mental illness and to encourage medical students to take more interest in bipolar disorder, in particular. Dame Fiona Caldicott, former Principal of Somerville and a previous President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (the first woman to hold that office), suggested the lecture as a way to achieve better public understanding and stimulate research into the illness. Previous speakers have included; Professor Keith Hawton, Director of the Centre for Suicide Research in Oxford, Professor Kay Redfield Jameson, acknowledged as the world expert on the illness, Dr Mike Shooter, former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Professor John Geddes, Professor of Epidemiological Psychiatry and Professor David Miklowitz, Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Colorado. Professor Nutt is currently the Edmund J Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and director of the Neuropsychopharmacology Unit in the Division of Experimental Medicine at Imperial College London. He received his undergraduate training in medicine at Cambridge and Guy's Hospital, and continued training in neurology to MRCP. After completing his psychiatric training in Oxford, he continued there as a lecturer and then later as a Wellcome Senior Fellow in psychiatry. He then spent two years as Chief of the Section of Clinical Science in the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in NIH, Bethesda, USA. On returning to England in 1988 he set up the Psychopharmacology Unit at Bristol University, an interdisciplinary research grouping spanning the departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology before moving to Imperial College London in December 2008 where he leads a similar group with a particular focus on brain imaging especially PET. He broadcasts widely to the general public both on radio and television including the recent BBC Horizon programme about drug harms and their classification. He also lecturers widely to the public as well as to the scientific and medical communities; for instance he has presented three time at the Cheltenham Science Festival and several times for Café Scientifiques. In 2010 he was listed as one of the 100 most important figures in British Science by The Times Eureka science magazine.