Academic Lecture Programme

The fascinating intersection of gender, ethics and technology was the topic for the launch of this year’s Academic Lecture Programme.

Cutting edge philosopher Dr Rebecca Davnall spoke on the way in which culture and technology are constantly throwing up new and very challenging dilemmas that have huge importance for society.

“My job is to look at speculative futures looking at contemporary trends in politics, fashion, culture and particularly technology,” said Dr Davnall, a lecturer in philosophy from the University of Liverpool.

“There is no doubt that we are facing a crisis in diversity with academia heavily dominated by males and technology companies in particular dominated and led by men.

“You often hear people say that women are not in technology jobs as they do not have an interest in it but I would say the real reason is that huge barriers and obstacles are put up to prevent women entering this sector.”

Dr Davnall considered some of moral and ethical dilemmas surrounding the latest innovations – for example those thrown up by driverless cars. “One big issue for driverless cars is how they might gather information about the environment and then process this to gain the best moral outcome.”

Dr Davnall also considered some of the shocking prejudices that can impact on decision making in relation to road safety.  For example she showed research that revealed how white American drivers have been found to drive less carefully in areas with more black residents.

Year 12 student Bethany Norton said:  “The talk was really surprising in how it brought up so many practical aspects to decision making. It was really thought-provoking.”

Our Academic Lecture Programme is aimed to help students stand out from the crowd when applying to the top universities and competitive courses. Background reading and inspirational and challenging learning from experts and peers is key, as is hearing from academics already working in Higher Education.

The lectures are delivered by expert speakers in particular academic disciplines and are suitable for students from Year 10 to 12. Our next lecture is scheduled for Monday 20 January and you can find a full list of this terms subjects and more information here.

Academic Lecture Programme