Bede’s Launches ‘The 42 Club’ Lecture Series
Nick Abrams, Assistant Head (Teaching and Learning)

We are delighted to have launched ‘The 42 Club’: a programme of inspiring online lectures, delivered by speakers at the top of their fields covering a range of topics, from STEM and Philosophy to Business and Law. The weekly lectures have been designed to broaden pupils' minds and interests, challenge views and introduce new ideas.

Mr Nick Abrams, Assistant Head (Teaching and Learning) at Bede’s, comments, “It’s really important that -- despite the unsettling circumstances brought about by the national lockdown -- pupils have the opportunity to expand their minds outside of the classroom. Subjects covered fall well outside the boundaries of the school curriculum, and frequently cross disciplinary boundaries.

“The benefits to our pupils are enormous,” Mr Abrams continues. “Not only do the talks furnish them with valuable material for university applications and personal statements, they directly connect our pupils to world experts in their field, inspiring them to think beyond the boundaries of their classroom learning and encouraging their own independent research.”

Taking its name from Douglas Adams’ ultimate answer to the ultimate question in ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, ‘The 42 Club’ series of lectures rivals the programmes of the very best universities.

The series began with a fascinating talk from Professor Martin Daunton exploring intergenerational justice in 2020 and 2021: how has the Covid-19 pandemic affected our ideas about what we owe society (and in turn, what society owes us)? Next up was a lecture from Professor Yorik Wilks who discussed artificial intelligence and its implications for war and ethics. We also explored the idea of a ‘cashless society’ with Professor Richard Harvey in his lecture focused on the technology behind the digital economy and new forms of currency.

Last week, Professor Chris Budd, Chair of Mathematics at the Royal Institution (pictured above), gave a fascinating lecture on mathematical modelling’s crucial role in determining the best strategy for fighting Covid-19. The talk also provided practical tips using mathematics to explain how daily acts such as shopping can be made safe during a pandemic.

In today’s lecture, CSRN founder Jack Elliot will take us on a journey into a disaster zone and explain how young people can get involved and make a positive difference.

‘The 42 Club’ will be welcoming several more speakers this term: Professor Alex Edmans plans to make you a millionaire with his profit-making strategies, Professor Glen Richardson is playing War Games with Henry VIII and Dr Rosanna Omitowoju will discuss the women of Classical Literature -- and much more besides…

The lecture series has so far proved incredibly popular with pupils, attracting more than 250 attendees for the live sessions each week.

“‘The 42 Club’ really opened my mind to the possibilities given to me through my choice of subjects” said Lower Sixth pupil, Rory Barraclough. Milly Gibson, an Upper Fifth pupil who one day may be giving a talk herself, said “‘The 42 Club’ has truly helped me to gain a much more holistic understanding of my subjects, as well as up-to-date insight about the world we live in. From hearing about the ever-growing intergenerational financial divide us Gen Z’s face, to the ethics of war using Artificial Intelligence, the short but sweet lectures each Thursday are a great way for any thinker, young or old, to broaden their mindset”.

“The plan is to continue ‘The 42 Club’ lecture series throughout this academic year and beyond,” Mr Abrams confirmed. “We are delighted that the series is being so well received, and we look forward to a plethora of fascinating lectures to come.”

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