Wolfson is the largest graduate college in Oxford. Our diverse student body has a wide spread of disciplines and nationalities. The College is both traditional and unconventional, forward thinking and friendly.
Looking back; Moving Forwards: The History of Black Lives Matter
Wolfson College marks Black History Month 2020 with an engaging discussion with Britain's foremost experts on the history of black lives and communities in Britain. In this panel discussion we look at the deep and fascinating history of black individuals and communities in the UK, and how this history connects with and informs the concerns and goals of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
Olivette Otele PhD, FRHistS is a Professor of History of Slavery and Memory of enslavement at the University of Bristol. She is a Fellow and a Vice President of the Royal Historical Society.
Hakim Adi is a Professor of the History of Africa and the African Diaspora at the University of Chichester. He was a founder member in 1991 of the Black and Asian Studies Association (BASA), which he chaired for several years.
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If biodiversity is the medicine, then what are its active ingredients?
In this year's Haldane lecture, Professor Kathy Willis examines the newly emerging 'green health' scientific evidence-base. The lecture is introduced by the College President, Sir Tim Hitchens. It has long been recognized that nature, especially in cities, is more than just street furniture. It is relatively well-known that trees, shrubs and flowers can provide shade in the summer, removal of particulate matter from polluted air, and habitats for birds, insects and other city-dwelling biodiversity.
Less well-known is the fact that nature can also directly influence our health. The amount of green space, the number of healthy trees and overall color of green of a neighborhood all appear to be important for physical and mental well-being. Intriguing correlations have been emerging from a number of large studies recently to suggest that these features can be associated with reduced incidences of obesity, cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases and depression.
But what is it about nature that leads to these improved health outcomes? Whilst many studies have demonstrated correlations between nature and health, the vast majority do not provide the underlying scientific evidence base to determine causality and this is a recognized knowledge gap. To address this, a new scientific discipline is emerging. This is one which aims to determine the physiological and psychological responses to different kinds of nature that lead to improved health outcomes. This “green health” agenda is being driven forward not by biodiversity scientists, but primarily by the medical profession and public health professionals. They recognize the huge potential of green prescriptions.
This talk examines this newly emerging ‘green health’ scientific evidence-base. In particular it discusses studies that have examined physiological and psychological responses to diversity, color, shape (fractal dimension), and smells of nature. What emerges is compelling evidence for quantifiable and significant health benefits associated with certain types of biodiversity.
Professor Willis, Principal at St Edmund Hall, holds a position in the departmen of Zoology as Professor of Biodiversity and Head of the Oxford Long-term Ecology group. Her research focuses on the use of fossils and modern datasets, models and innovative technologies to determine the diversity, distribution and ambudance of plants and animals across global landscapes. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
The Experience of Courts: A Tale of Two Europes
This Wolfson College Lecture Series aims to explore the socio-legal dimensions of our experience in courts, and with other forms of legal proceedings. In this lecture entitled "A Tale of Two Europes", The Rt Hon Lord Reed focuses on Law and Europe. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
Pakistan women on the frontlines
Oscar-winning journalist, filmmaker and activist Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy delivers the Sarfraz Pakistan Lecture. The lecture is introduced by Sir Tim Hitchens, College President. Pakistan, a deeply patriarchal society is rapidly changing and women are at the forefront. This lecture explores the ways in which women across the country are working on the grassroots level to create spheres of influence pushing back on archaic laws, age old practice and using the Internet to arm themselves to have a greater voice in society. This push against a power structure in a country where men make all the rules has led to a backlash against women with more voices calling for women to conform to traditional roles but this generation has dug its heels to fight back. As a filmmaker, Sharmeen, has documented this changing role over two decades. This lecture will use film and personal testimonies of the activists she has documented to demonstrate the rapidly shifting landscape.
Spoken memoir of Professor Jon Stallworthy
A speech given by Sir Richard Sorabji at the launch party for the Jon Stallworthy Poetry Prize Campaign.
Alexandria in the Roman Empire: Politics, Commerce and Culture
The 2019 Ronald Syme lecture was presented by Professor Alan Bowman and introduced by Sir Tim Hitchens. Alexandria was for many centuries, the largest and most important city in the eastern Mediterranean. This lecture explores how Rome tried to ensure its political stability which was crucial for its military control and economic interests in the east. This involved direct and indirect management by the imperial house of its role as the conduit through which the wealth of Egypt and the eastern luxury goods reached the Mediterranean and Italy. At the same time, the complex social and cultural character of its population changed and developed a profile distinct from the earlier period under the Ptolemies, turning it into a 'world-capital' which attracted the presence and influence of elites from Rome and the wider empire.
These discussions are interesting for what they are. However, I wish there was a way of leaving a review of individual podcasts. John Broome's talk on May 02 on the ethics of climate change leaves a critical part of issue out. He talked what current generations are "leaving" to future generations of humans as if it were 100% negative. We are leaving tons of greenhouse gases and a warming planet and that's it, all bad. There was no talk of all the knowledge that we are currently in the process of discovering (i.e. solar cells, battery tech, nuclear energy research, microprocessing tech, general physics, and on and on) which future generations will have the benefit of using. The one-sided moralizing that was done was a disservice to the issue. This type of dishonesty by omission is why the general public, non-Oxford intellectual types ignore climate change discussions that can so easily be attacked by mere common sense thinking.
Great idea, broken links
I would love to listen to these podcasts. I was disappointed to find, however, that all but the first appear to be broken.
The podcasts look like they would be interesting, but are apparently no longer available eventhough they are still listed.