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Looking to the future

Looking to the future

Over 200 people joined the “Univ in the Master’s Garden: Looking to the future” virtual event on Saturday 18 July 2020, at which members of the College looked to the future post-COVID-19 to tackle some of the challenges facing Univ, Oxford and the wider world. This was the last Univ event for Sir Ivor Crewe as Master of Univ, as he retires this year after twelve distinguished years in the role. It was hosted by Professor Peter Jezzard, Vice Master, Professorial Fellow and Herbert Dunhill Professor of Neuroimaging.

Professor Naj Rahman (1994, Medicine), Supernumerary Fellow and Clinical Tutor in Medicine, Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Director of the Oxford Respiratory Trials Unit, spoke about the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of healthcare professionals, when a vaccine might be possible and what we know about how the virus spreads. Professor Ngaire Woods, Senior Research Fellow and Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government, gave some possible solutions to combatting the economic effects of lockdown to prevent a 1930s-style recession, while Sir Ivor answered a question about whether enquiries can be an effective tool.

Professor Karen O’Brien (1983, English), Professorial Fellow and Head of the Humanities Division at Oxford, and Dr Andrew Bell (1993, History), Senior Tutor, examined the possibility of more remote teaching and how access and admissions might be affected by the virus. The reduction in global CO2 emissions caused by COVID-19 was spoken about by Professor Gideon Henderson, Senior Research Fellow in Geology and Chief Scientific Adviser at the UK Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The impact of the Black Lives Matter protests was discussed by Sir Ivor and Dr Alexander Sturgis (1982, History), Director of the Ashmolean Museum.

Finally, Sir Ivor and Lady Crewe were asked what they would miss most about Univ. It turns out it’s a long list, which includes the wisteria, sunlight through the Van Linge windows, sound of the choir coming through to the study, lunch in Hall, Evensong, Eights week on the river, concerts in the Lodgings. But, they said it would be the people of Univ that they would miss most of all as well as the unique essence of the College. They concluded by saying that they have every confidence that Univ will continue to flourish.

A full video of the event, along with audio for download, can be found here.

Published: 4 August 2020

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