Dauntsey’s has announced an impressive line-up of speakers for their 2016/17 programme of its renowned Mercers’ Lecture series. The Mercers’ Lectures are named in recognition of the links between Dauntsey’s and the Mercers’ Company, which go back to Mercer founder Alderman William Dauntsey, Master of the Worshipful Company of Mercers, who founded the school in West Lavington in 1542.
Speakers this year include:
- Sir Tim Smit KBE – Eden Project and Beyond: Sir Tim is Founding Director of the award-winning Eden Project near St Austell in Cornwall. Eden opened its doors to the public in 2000, since when around 15 million people have come to see what was once a sterile pit turned into a cradle of life containing world-class horticulture and startling architecture symbolic of human endeavour.
- Lucy Hawking – The Great Cosmic Adventure: Lucy is a renowned author who uses story-telling to help audiences understand and engage with science. She has collaborated with several distinguished scientists in her books, including her father, the theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.
- Sarah Outen MBE – Dare to Do: Sarah is a world-record breaking adventurer, published author and inspirational speaker. She rowed into the Guinness Book of Records aged 24 with her world-first 124-day solo row across the Indian Ocean.
- Mariella Frostrop: Mariella is a writer and broadcaster, firmly established as an intelligent and accessible commentator in a wide range of programmes and publications.
- Sir John Sawers GCMG: Sir John is the former chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, also known as MI6). During his tenure, he modernised the service and led it through major changes in operations, technology, and public accountability.
- Professor AC Grayling – The Ethics of War: Professor Grayling is one of the UK’s most prolific public intellectuals and commentators on politics and ethics and Master of the New College of the Humanities, and a Supernumerary Fellow of St Anne’s College, Oxford.
- Jeremy Bowen – Reporting on Conflict: Jeremy has been the BBC’s Middle East Editor since August 2005. Since taking up this role he has, amongst other things, led the coverage of the 2011 ‘Arab Spring’ and the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon, for which BBC News was awarded an International Emmy.
Mark Lascelles, Headmaster of Dauntsey’s, said: “The Mercers’ Lectures are central to encouraging our pupils to engage with world affairs and think beyond the confines of their academic curriculum.
“This year we look forward to welcoming a diverse range of eminent speakers covering the environment, science, the arts, philosophy, world conflict and adventure. This year’s lecture series will be a highlight for the School and I hope for our local community as well.”