The latest series of evening lectures at Bolton School is well underway.
Free and open to the public, future Arts and Sciences Enrichment Evenings include talks by television presenter and biological anthropologist, Professor Alice Roberts; the Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage; and history and wildlife broadcaster, Miranda Krestovnikoff.
A recent visitor was Richard Shirres, a climate change expert and member of the United Nations Association, who charted the UN’s record on environmental issues since its formation in 1945.
Claiming that the organisation had been playing a key role in championing ecological matters since the 1950s, Shirres said its efforts were serially undermined by denialism and misinformation campaigns funded by the rich and powerful. These people, he said, were the antecedent of those who’d refuted the harmfulness of tobacco and asbestos.
We should be very afraid of the consequences of inaction over climate change, he concluded, backing Greta Thunberg’s demands for protest and action.
“What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions,” he asked, quoting the Nobel Prize-winning scientist, F. Sherwood Roland, “if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?”
As well as the public lectures, the school has been inviting expert speakers to work with pupils during lesson time.
One recent visitor was Emma Kirby of SANS, an information security company that has joined forces with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to encourage the consideration of careers in cyber security.
Kirby ran three sessions, including a code breaking challenge, outlining various methods of cyber attack, and how, globally, there are “at least three million cyber security jobs without people to fill them”.