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Encounters Michaelmas term 2023

We are pleased to announce more diverse, exciting, and thought-provoking talks from a range of inspiring speakers. Pupils from all year groups are welcome to attend what is sure to be another fantastic term of events.

All from 4.15pm - 5.30pm. Unless otherwise stated, events are unticketed and open to all of our Foundation community.

Encounters Michaelmas 2023


An Encounter with two Tories in one evening 
Friday 8 September
Gagan Mohindra MP, Mark Fletcher MP

Warwick School Science Lecture Theatre

Gagan Mohindra, Member of Parliament for South West Hertfordshire, was also elected in 2019, defeating the previous Conservative MP, David Gauke, who chose to run as an Independent candidate after losing the party Whip over Brexit. Gagan has worked in the Financial Sector in London and run a small furniture business, as well as spending 16 years working at every level of Local Government, culminating in a position as Area Chairman for Essex. Since his election Gagan has been a Delegate on the Council of Europe, sat on over 20 All Party Parliamentary Groups, and has worked as a PPS for the last 3 years, under all 3 Conservative Prime Ministers, across 3 Government Departments, including for the Home Secretary and in his current role as PPS to the Foreign Secretary. 

Mark Fletcher, Member of Parliament for Bolsover, was elected in 2019 after defeating Dennis Skinner, who had been the Labour MP since 1970, to become the first ever Conservative MP for Bolsover. Mark worked in Westminster as Chief of Staff to Lord Dolar Popat, as well as working in the healthcare sector and running twice to be a Conservative MP, including against Ed Miliband in 2015. Since his election, Mark has spent 2 years on the Standards Committee, and was one of the first members of the 2019 intake to become a PPS, eventually working with Kwasi Kwarteng as Business Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer, and now continuing as the Chancellor’s PPS to Jeremy Hunt. 

An Encounter with Charles Dickens
Professor Juliet John

Friday 15 September

Warwick School Science Lecture Theatre

Professor Juliet John is Vice President, Education, at City, University of London and Professor of English Literature. She was previously Head of Humanities and Head of English at Royal Holloway, University of London, where she held the Hildred Carlile Chair of English Literature, and was also Professor of Victorian Literature at the University of Liverpool. She studied at Selwyn College, Cambridge, then UCL for her doctorate. Juliet is a world-leading expert on Charles Dickens and is particularly interested in his place in popular culture; her work thus ranges beyond literary studies to media and film studies, theatre studies, digital humanities, cultural geography, heritage and tourism studies. Among her books are Dickens’s Villains: Melodrama, Character, Popular Culture (Oxford University Press, 2001), Dickens and Mass Culture (Oxford University Press 2010), and (ed.) Dickens and Modernity (English Association/D.S.Brewer, 2012). Currently, her co-edited volume (with Claire Wood), The Edinburgh Companion to Charles Dickens and the Arts in in press for publication in 2024.

An Encounter with Catherine Howard
Gareth Russell

Friday 22 September

Warwick School Science Lecture Theatre

Gareth Russell is a historian, biographer, and broadcaster. His biography of the late Queen Mother was named a Best Book of 2022 by The Times and The Ship of Dreams, his account of the Titanic disaster, was named a Best Book of the Year by The Times and a Best History Read of 2019 by The Daily Telegraph. His most recent book is The Palace: From the Tudors to the Windsors, 500 Years of History at Hampton Court. 

An Encounter with Hadrian’s Wall
Dr Matthew Symonds

Friday 29 September

Warwick School Science Lecture Theatre

Dr Matthew Symonds is the editor of Current World Archaeology magazine, and one of the leading scholars on Roman frontiers in Britain. He has co-edited four volumes on Roman military matters and is the author of Hadrian’s Wall: creating division and Protecting the Roman Empire: fortlets, frontiers, and the quest for post-conquest security. Matthew has excavated at numerous Roman sites, but is most at home on Hadrian’s Wall. 

An Encounter with Anarchism
Dan McKee

Friday 6 October

Warwick School Science Lecture Theatre

Dr Dan McKee is Head of Theology and Philosophy at Warwick School and is the author of the books "Authentic Democracy: An Ethical Justification of Anarchism” and "Anarchist Atheist Punk Rock Teacher". When he's not making philosophical arguments against our current structures of government he enjoys playing music, improvised comedy, and writing his philosophy blog, Philosophy Unleashed.

An Encounter with the Tory Right
Daniel Kawczynski MP

Friday 13 October

Warwick School Science Lecture Theatre

Daniel Kawczynski was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1972 and moved to Britain with his parents at age five to join relatives already settled here. His maternal grandfather had fought in the Battle of Britain. He was privately educated at St George’s College in Weybridge, joined the Conservative Party at 13, and graduated in business studies with languages at Stirling University, where he was chair of the Conservative Association. In 1992 he mobilised his fellow students to campaign for the Conservative MP Michael Forsyth. Daniel then worked as an international account manager in telecommunications for ten years, promoting British business in Africa and the Middle East. Daniel was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Shrewsbury and Atcham in the 2005 General Election. Daniel has sat on the Foreign Affairs, International Development, Justice and the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committees and was previously the Parliamentary Private Secretary for the Secretary of State for Wales. Daniel also served as an adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron as an envoy to the Polish and Eastern European Diaspora in the United Kingdom. Daniel was appointed Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Mongolia in October 2020.  

An Encounter with How to Make Politics Work Better
Stephen McCabe MP

Friday 10 November

Warwick School Science Lecture Theatre

Steve McCabe is the Member of Parliament for Birmingham, Selly Oak. Previously he was as an Adviser for the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work. He’s a former social worker.

During his parliamentary career he has served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Rt Hon Charles Clarke during his spells as Education Secretary and Home Secretary. He also served as a Government Whip from 2006-2010 and was the Lord Commissioner who signed the orders to purchase Northern Rock.

Since the 2010 election he has served on the Home Affairs Select Committee and Labour’s Parliamentary Committee. From 2013-2015 Steve served as the Shadow Minister for Children and Families.

Since the 2015 election, Steve has been a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee which he joined because of his view that we need new models of welfare if we are to preserve the essence of the Welfare State.

Following the 2019 election, Steve became Parliamentary Chair of Labour Friends of Israel.

An Encounter with the Universe
Professor Stephen Smartt

Friday 17 November

Warwick School Science Lecture Theatre

Prof Stephen Smartt CBE FRS is the Wetton Professor of astrophysics at the University of Oxford and Christ Church college. He works on understanding the most energetic explosions in the Universe. He leads several major telescope survey projects which scan the sky on a nightly basis, searching for transient, explosive, and moving objects. Stephen is known for determining which stars explode as supernovae and he discovered many new explosive phenomena in the Universe. He led one of the teams to discover the source of gravitational waves in 2017, when the merger of two neutron stars produced a glowing remnant powered by radioactive heavy elements.

Stephen has won several major awards including both the George Darwin lecture (2018) and the Herschel Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (2021). He was a recipient of the Gold medal of the Royal Irish Academy (2018) and elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2020

He is passionate about engaging with the public about science, having given any public and schools lectures, and is regular contributor to BBC radio, TV and online news stories. 

Graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with a BSc in Physics and Applied Mathematics followed by a PhD in astrophysics (1996). He worked on La Palma in the Canary Islands at the UK’s Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes and then was at the University of Cambridge for 5 years. He moved to a lectureship at Queen’ in 2004, was appointed to Professor in at in 2006 and was director of the Astrophysics Research Centre between 2011-2017. In 2023 he moved to the University of Oxford to take up the Wetton professorship in astrophysics.

An Encounter with Hope
Father Timothy Radcliffe

Friday 24 November

Warwick School Science Lecture Theatre

Timothy Radcliffe is a Dominican friar and Catholic priest.  He taught at Oxford and was involved in ministry to people with Aids, before being elected as Master of the Dominicans (1992 – 2001). He has travelled to over 120 countries, published a dozen books, and has honorary doctorates from universities in Britain, France, Italy and the USA.

An Encounter with Albert Einstein and his Universe
Professor Brian Foster

Friday 1 December

Warwick School Science Lecture Theatre

Brian Foster is currently Donald H. Perkins Professor Emeritus of Experimental Physics at the University of Oxford and Leverhulme Emeritus Fellow. His research interests include electron-proton scattering, electron-positron annihilation physics and charged-particle acceleration using plasma wakefields. He graduated from London University in 1975 and obtained a D. Phil from Oxford in 1978. Foster led the particle physics group at the University of Bristol until 2003. Foster chaired the European Committee for Future Accelerators from 2002 – 2005. He was a member of the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council from 2001 - 2006. He was European Director for the International Linear Collider and subsequently the Linear Collider Collaboration from 2006-2017. Foster was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize in 1999 and the Max Born Medal of the German Physical Society and the Institute of Physics in 2003. In 2010 Foster was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship at the University of Hamburg and DESY, from which he retired in 2019. In 2021, he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the UK Institute of Physics. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and was its Vice-President in 2018. He was made an Officer of the British Empire by HM Queen Elizabeth II in 2003.

An Encounter with the social media cesspit
Oliver Dugmore OW 

Friday 8 December

Warwick School Science Lecture Theatre

Oli Dugmore is a journalist. He has reported from the Middle East, USA, Europe and all cross the UK and Ireland. His work focuses on the impact of national politics on normal people.