Viruses that improve our health

Thursday 25 November 2021

Professor Martha Clokie

  We think about viruses as harmful to us, but research by our speaker Martha Clokie shows that some can improve our health. These tiny viruses known as ‘phages’ do this by invading bacteria, multiplying, and bursting out, eventually destroying their host. When these are bacteria that attack our bodies, this could be beneficial—our enemy’s...

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Protecting Nature – Improving our Health

Wednesday 13 October 2021


Luke Pollard MP, Dr Ben Wheeler, Anu Anand, Dr. Jonathan Reeves, Emily Stephenson, Beth Collier

For centuries, people have found solace and respite through nature. Now, increasing evidence is showing that the benefits of spending time in nature extend beyond ‘feeling good’ to longer term improvements in our physical and mental health and wellbeing. We see the influence of this evidence beginning to shape policy and practice, such as the...

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Tech vs Trust

Thursday 1 July 2021

Glen Weyl, Reema Patel, Henry Farrell, Niccolò Tempini, Ritula Shah (chair)

In this lively online discussion, our speakers will take a deep dive in to the relationship between online technology and our data. We give away our data in exchange for so-called ‘free’ services, giving firms valuable information that underpins their business models. The data drives revenue, often used to help targetted adverts function or provide...

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Why is Climate Change so hard?

Friday 27 November 2020

Ritula Shah (chair), Professor Richard Betts MBE, Grace Blakeley, Professor Robert Pollin, Dr Kris de Meyer, Dr Catherine Butler

This lively online discussion looked at communicating science, the psychology behind our actions, and the politics of Climate Change. “The danger of global warming is as yet unseen, but real enough for us to make changes and sacrifices” Margaret Thatcher told the UN in 1989. Yet, in 2020 the predictions are unfolding with devastating wildfires,...

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Friday 27 November 2020

Jerri Daboo, Premal Bhatt, Kuljit Bhamra MBE

Premal Bhatt talks with Professor Jerri Daboo from the University of Exeter, and musician Kuljit Bhamra about their journeys of exploring South Asian heritage in the UK. They are particularly interested in how music and performance have helped influence and shape their identities. Jerri grew up in a suburban white community before heading off to...

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FUTURES ON AIR: Messages in Bottles with Waiting Times

Friday 27 November 2020

Dr Michael Flexer, Kelechi Anucha

Waiting is one of healthcare’s core experiences. It is there in the time it takes to access services; through the days, weeks, months or years needed for diagnoses; in the time that treatment takes; and in the elongated time-frames of recovery, relapse, remission and dying. In this podcast we hear stories and music from people...

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A Conversation with Noam Chomsky

Friday 11 September 2020

Professor Noam Chomsky, Robert Lamb

Noam Chomsky spoke live from Tucson in this online event. He answered audience questions, particularly on the topic of Free Speech, but also on coronavirus, q’anon, and ‘cancel culture’. In July 2020, the linguist and philosopher put his name to the ‘Letter on Justice and Open Debate’, which was signed by 153 writers. The public...

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Living With Emperors (online event)

Thursday 23 July 2020

Will Lawson, Professor Steve Simpson

Hear tales from the extraordinary career of a maker of David Attenborough’s Dynasties series. Will Lawson directed the ‘Emperor’ episode that followed penguins, and is assistant producer of the forthcoming Frozen Planet II. The event is presented by Professor Steve Simpson from the University of Exeter. He was an Academic Advisor and featured scientist in...

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The Impact of COVID-19 on Developing Countries (Online Event)

Thursday 2 July 2020

David Miliband, Lyse Doucet, Waad al-Kateab, Dr Hamza al-Kateab, Dr Weeda Mehran

Poor countries are ‘on a ledge with no safety net’, according to David Miliband, who was in conversation with Lyse Doucet, Waad al-Kateab, Dr Hamza al-Kateab, and Dr Weeda Mehran in this free live online event. In rich countries, the implications of the coronavirus outbreak seem to be always in people’s lives: poor health, the...

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Why do animals migrate? (online event)

Thursday 21 May 2020

Dr Lucy Hawkes

Have you ever spotted a flock of birds flying somewhere high above you? Have you ever stopped and stared, wondering where they might be going? Our speaker for this free online event is National Geographic Explorer Dr Lucy Hawkes, a leading expert on animal movements who uses state-of-the-art miniaturised electronic tracking units. Lucy tracks migrating...

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Basic Income Now?

Thursday 30 April 2020

Professor Guy Standing, Ritula Shah (chair)

Aside from the human cost, the Covid-19 pandemic is having massive negative effects on the worldwide economy, and therefore household incomes. One suggested solution is a Universal Basic Income. Our speaker, Guy Standing, the leading expert on the concept, argues that we can solve the ‘evils of modern life’, for almost zero net cost: we...

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bat coronavirus

How Bats Changed The World

Thursday 23 April 2020

Professor Kate Jones

In this free online event, we looked at the ecology behind coronavirus, in particular how taking bats out of their natural habitats may have led to the virus moving to humans, as was the case with Ebola, SARS, and MERS.  Our speaker, Professor Kate Jones, specialises in the ecology and biodiversity of bats and also...

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