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Summer Half Societies' Report

There have been 39 official society meetings this half. Jamie Cuffe OS (NCWS) and Gaurav Agarwal (MGHM) have both executed their role as Keeper of Societies with great efficiency. Their positions will be filled next year by Jack Capstick-Dale (AMM) and Charlie Edgar (TEWH).

Highlights included talks by Gianfranco Zola (Sports Society); Jeffrey Archer (Literary Society); and Sir Malcolm Rifkind (Political Society). The Political and Debating Societies held an election debate in the Jafar Hall, with six boys representing the policies of the six largest parties. The Hall also provided the setting for a well-attended debate between Danny Kushlick and Jacob Rees-Mogg MP on the topic of the legalisation of cannabis. Poetry for Lunch also returned. Guests this guests this half were Charlie Dupre, Kei Miller and Lemn Sissay.

Three new societies held their inaugural meetings: The LGBT Equality Society (Piers Torday OE); the Visionary Society (Daniel Franklin, “Megachange: The World in 2015”); and the City Society (Sir Michael Oliver, “Trade and Treachery: The Many Faces of Business”). The History Society held two meetings: Dr Ahron Bregman, of King’s College, London, (“Cursed Occupation”) and our own Provost (“Margaret Thatcher and Foreign Policy”). The Keynes Society hosted Professor Alasdair Smith, Inquiry Chair at the Competition and Markets Authority and Hugh Pym, former Chief Economics Correspondent, BBC.

Two talks dealt in different ways with the theme of energy. Peter Mather, Regional Group Vice President of BP in Europe gave a talk on “Europe – Energy Challenges?” (Slavonic Society) and Professor Steven Cowely of Imperial College addressed the question “Fusion Power: Will It Be Ready When We Need It? (Scientific, Design and Engineering Societies).

This half’s programme of speakers and events also included:  Dr Darrin Dissley, CEO, Horizon Discovery Group, “From Genomics to Personalised Medicine” (Scientific Society); Sir Alan Munro KCMG, Former UK Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, “Barbary Corsairs” (Africa Society); Dr Barak Kushner, Corpus Christi, Cambridge, “Noodles, Nation and Nightmares: Japan’s Modern History and the Story of Ramen” (Oriental Society); Dr Richard Waller, Keele University “Iceland’s Tectonic Landscape and Volcanism” (Geographical Society); Nixiwaka of the Amazonian Yawanawa Tribe, Survival International (Banks’ and Geographical Societies); Professor Adrian Lister, Natural History Museum, London, “The Natural History of the Woolly Mammoth: Why they went extinct” (Natural History Society); Nick Wheeler OE, Founder of Charles Tyrwhitt (Entrepreneurship Society); Philip Seal, Balliol College, Oxford, “Wittgenstein, Zen and the journals or a hermit” (Wotton’s Society); and Aurelie Godin, GKN Aerospace Engineering, “The Life of a Graduate Engineer” (Scientific Society).

As ever, many of these meetings were also attended by members of the community and other local schools.