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Oxford University visit for MAT studentsMarch 20th, 2016
Students of Monmouth School and HMSG were given the privilege to enjoy an intellectually stimulating meeting, under the ornate wings of one of the world’s most prestigious universities. The More Able and Talented trip to Oxford inspired ideas in the pupils that attended. The day consisted of a string of lectures by learned professors, including Julie Arliss, Raymond Tallis and Mark Lewney.
Arliss’ opening lecture explored “the Death of Individuality”. It challenged pupils with the idea of an increasingly surveilled society, instigated by the paradigm of big data. This data is collected from phones and is used to inspire research whilst aiding advertisement and security.
Arliss then furthered our understandings of morality by talking to us about “brain sex”. It detailed the shifts in society’s attitude toward the role of women, and linked this to the corresponding moral beliefs of today: a combination of religion, utilitarianism and ethical egoism.
Tallis then proposed the question, “Are we just beasts?”. As a passionate humanist, he believed that it is more than appearance that can be distinguished between humans and animals. Despite his past as a leading neuroscientist and polymath, he suggested that neither science, nor the supernatural, could ever fully explain the brain.
All in all this was an intriguing, challenging and stimulating day which stretched our views on several diverse topics. Many thanks to Mrs Cole for enabling this opportunity for us.
By Daniel and William, Form V.