Wednesday 9th October 2019
On Wednesday 02 October, fourteen students travelled to Oxford to listen to an interview with evolutionary biologist and renowned author Richard Dawkins. Dawkins was the University of Oxford’s Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 until 2008 and is described as ‘The World’s Most Famous Atheist’.
Student Maisie Burchell, Year 13, said: “We reached Oxford around 6.00pm and a short walk through the town brought us to the destination of the talk, the Sheldonian Theatre. As we entered the main hall, we admired the painted ceiling and the beauty of the room before choosing our seats and settling down for the interview at 7.00pm. Dawkins was interviewed by renowned philosopher Nigel Warburton who asked some penetrating questions. Dawkins addressed all subject matter with confidence and inspired us as with his discussion of important and interesting ideas related to aspects from our A Level course. We all enjoyed the Q&A section of the interview, where opposing views were thrown back and forth, Dawkins consistently having an answer for everything and offering captivating examples. We all agreed that there was much in his arguments that we can analyse for the benefit of our own studies.
Throughout the duration of the talk, every member of our group was fascinated by what Dawkins had to say and felt encouraged to read his latest book, ‘Outgrowing God’. The interview sparked many conversations on the journey home, as being students of Religious Studies and Philosophy, we found this talk extremely insightful regarding questions about the reality of God.
All in all, this was an enjoyable and stimulating evening in impressive surroundings, in the presence of a challenging and inspiring interviewee. As this visit was part of the Aspire programme there will be a follow up discussion group in college to explore these ideas further.”
Welcome evening for new parents [cancelled] 6:00pm on 22nd/29th June 2020