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The Wesley Society welcomes a range of diverse speakers.

Published Tuesday 26th of January 2021 02:08:31 PM

The Wesley Society was revamped in September 2018 to include a far more diverse range of speakers across a whole variety of different subjects.

"It has been a particularly enjoyable task for me finding suitable speakers that would appeal to lots of different people across all age groups. We have also formed a symbiosis with Topping’s Book Store whereby we host their big speakers at Kingswood. I am truly excited about what is to come of this partnership in future years once we get back to ‘normality’." - Mr Allchorne, Chairman of the Wesley Society

Particular highlights for Kingswood in recent years have to include the following:

Richard Dawkins answering questions about his new book, Outgrowing God. He then conducted an audience Q&A more generally about his views and beliefs.

In the Autumn Term 2020, we were due to welcome Jim Naughtie, renowned political broadcaster and journalist, however, this has been postponed. We also hosted a live baking event with Kim-Joy (runner up in The GBBO Series 9) to promote her new baking book.

Professor David Nutt came to Kingswood to talk about making evidence-based decisions to legalise drug use for medicinal purposes. He also talked about the potential of alcosynth, which can produce all the same effects of alcohol, but with none of the recovery time.

Professor Lewis Dartnell came as a part of our Wesley Society to explore detail about his book ‘Origins’, a fascinating insight into the planet’s history. He also did a workshop with some A-Level Biologists and a small number of aspiring A-Level Biologists on designing experiments to test whether there is life on Mars.

Colin Stuart came to Kingswood to do three events – the first was a General Studies talk to the Sixth Form on ‘How to Think Like an Astronaut’, which was a session discussing team-building and leadership. The second was a talk about ‘How we’ll live on Mars’ to Years 7- 9 and then the evening event was the same talk but with more difficulty to Years 10 – 13.

Lisa Forte, a cyber-security expert who has worked for intelligence services before, did a talk all about some of her most interesting cases of phishing and smishing, along with enjoying a supper with some A-Level Computer Science students to talk about potential future careers.

Angus Forbes, an advocate for global governance of the biosphere, talked passionately about why we need this and was grilled by some of our Sixth Formers at supper about these issues.

In the remote COVID-19 climate, we are lucky to have been able to continue hosting inspiring speakers via Microsoft Teams:
We welcomed the Rt. Hon. Jacob Rees-Mogg, as well as Wera Hobhouse MP. These Q&As were brilliantly led by our Head of Sixth Form, Mr Craig Woodgate.

We also welcomed Chris Jewell, who was one of the cave divers who saved the Thai Football team in 2018. His incredible talk was about the mission and he reflected on resilience, leadership and teamwork.

In this Spring term, we are looking forward to welcoming Justin Webb, the BBC’s former chief political radio correspondent in Washington, who will be talking about the aftermath of the US election.

On Thursday 11th March, from 7.00pm – 8.00pm, we are also very much looking forward to hosting John McCarthy, who survived as a hostage in Lebanon for over five years. We are extending this invitation to members of the community and there is a small charge of £5 per household to attend this event. Please visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/an-evening-with-john-mccarthy-lebanon-hostage-survivor-tickets-136163720353 if interested. You will need to sign up via Eventbrite in order to have your email address verified to watch the live event.
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