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Oxford at Home

Oxford at Home

Whether you’re working from home, caring for family members, in self-isolation or trying your hand at home-schooling, we’re inviting you to our weekly live knowledge sharing online ‘tutorials’.

We’re proud to be at the forefront of global efforts to understand COVID-19 pandemic and protect our communities. But our huge range of inspiring experts, world-class teaching staff and eager researchers still have a great deal to share. So take time out of your day to connect with #OxfordatHome and be inspired!

Series Two

Terrorist Macbeth

With Emma Smith, Professor of Shakespeare Studies

Part of Macbeth's ongoing hold on our modern imagination comes from its exploration of urban terrorism, the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. In this talk Emma will discuss the ways that Shakespeare engages with specific Jacobean fears and fascinations, and how his artistic response to terrorism still poses an ethical challenge in our own time.

Eight ways to quit smoking in 2021

With Dr Jamie Hartmann-Boyce, Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine

Quitting smoking is a common New Year’s resolution and the single best thing someone who smokes can do for their health. This talk will cover the science behind the most common and most successful ways of quitting for good.

Stargazing at home

With Dr Becky Smethurst, Department of Physics

The long nights of January can be dark and gloomy, but one way to bring a little light back into life is to do some stargazing! Whether from a back garden or a well-placed window, Dr Becky Smethurst, Department of Physics, will give you all the tips and tricks for what to look out for in the night sky.

A History of American Insurrection

With Dr Nigel Bowles, former Director of the Rothermere American Institute

It's only been a few weeks since an armed mob stormed the US Capitol, the first since a British expeditionary force did the same in 1814, but what is the wider history of insurrection in the country? What can this past teach us about where American democracy might be heading? Join Dr Nigel Bowles, author of 'The White House and Capitol Hill' and 'Nixon’s Business: Authority and Power in Presidential Politics', to discuss authority and power in America.

Finntopia - what might England learn from Finland?

With Professor Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography

This talk describes how Finland leads the world in terms of many educational, health, social, economic and political achievements and asks to what extent are these achievements might be replicable in a place like England.

Climate crisis: how to keep 'listening to the science'

With Professor Fredi Otto, Associate Director of the Environmental Change Institute

Protesters around the world ask decision makers to “listen to the science” and act accordingly in light of the climate crisis. In some respects it is very simple what this means: we need to stop emitting greenhouse gases as quickly as possible, to stabilise global temperatures. But climate change is already here, affecting everyone everywhere today, this means we also need to adapt. But to what changes where? The science here is evolving quickly and the best available science is thus changing as well. In this talk, Professor Otto will give a brief overview of these evolutions and discuss how to best keep “listening to the science”.

The World Before Us: How science is revealing a new story of our human origins

With Professor Tom Higham, Director of Oxford's Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit

Fifty thousand years ago we were not the only species of humans on the Earth. There were at least four others, including the Neanderthals and the mysterious Denisovans, discovered in a cave in Siberia in 2010. In this talk Tom will discuss what happened when modern humans left Africa and whether we encountered these lost groups. Why is it that we are the only ones who did not disappear into extinction?

Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution

With Dr Sudhir Hazareesingh, Department of Politics and International Relations

The Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) was one of the defining moments in the Age of Revolutions, challenging the dominant powers of the time, confronting the institution of slavery and promoting an original and radical ideal of republican citizenship. This remarkable social and political experiment, marked by the military and political achievements of its leader Toussaint Louverture, culminated in the proclamation of the world's first independent black postcolonial state. Join Dr Sudhir Hazareesingh, author of 'Black Spartacus: the epic life of Toussaint Louverture' to discuss the significance and ongoing relevance of this landmark historical episode.

Pain and the Brain

With Professor Irene Tracey, Professor of Anaesthetic Neuroscience, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences

Have you ever wondered why stepping on a Lego brick hurts like hell? Professor Tracey will give an account of how science has unravelled the mystery behind why and how things hurt us. She will bust various myths and biases towards pain and placebos, as well as explain why chronic pain is one of the world’s largest unmet medical needs that desperately needs our attention.

Seismology on Mars

With Ben Fernando PhD, Department of Earth Sciences

In 2018, NASA’s InSight mission landed on the surface of Mars, marking the first deployment of a seismometer on the red planet in forty-two years. Ben Fernando is a PhD student in the Department of Earth Sciences at Oxford, and in this talk will discuss some of the work he’s done with the mission so far.

How China's Wartime History is Shaping a Nationalist Future Today

With Rana Mitter, Professor of History and Politics of Modern China

For years, China was excluded from the global international order. Now, it is seeking to claim a leading role in the United Nations and beyond. To understand where China is going in the next decade, it is vital to understand the impact of its wartime past. Today, WWII is constantly present in Chinese movies, TV shows, street art, popular writing, museums and social media. Wartime China is now presented as victor, not victim. Beijing is being positioned as a creator and protector of the international order that came out of the war—an order, China argues, that’s now under threat from the United States. China’s rediscovery of the war has become a platform for the new, assertive Chinese nationalism seen in Asia and the world beyond.

Join Rana, author of several books, most recently China’s Good War: How World War II is Shaping a New Nationalism, as well as Modern China: A Very Short Introduction, and China’s War with Japan, 1937-45: The Struggle for Survival, for the concluding talk of our second series of Oxford at Home.

Series One

Garden Safari - the five groups of insects that dominate your garden | Rembrandt - the early years | Biomedically-engineered bubbles | Friendship through the lens of art | Shakespeare & the plague | Meet the Botanic Garden and Arboretum | International health in global governance after the First World War | What do countries with the best COVID-19 responses have in common? Women leaders | The Queen’s Secrets: 18th-century France | When is it okay to graffiti a temple? | When people found the Americas

Garden Safari - the five groups of insects that dominate your garden

Dr Lindsay Turnbull, Plant Sciences
You can download Lindsay’s worksheet and see more of her 'Garden Biology' series here.

Rembrandt - the early years

An Van Camp, Ashmolean Museum
The Ashmolean Museum's Young Rembrandt exhibition can be explored online here

Biomedically-engineered bubbles

Professor Eleanor Stride, Department of Engineering Science 
This talk looked at the engineering of these bubbles and their use in tackling diseases such as cancer and stroke.

Friendship through the lens of art

Catherine Whistler, Keeper of Western Art at the Ashmolean Museum, compares two 18th Century paintings with a connection to Britain. 

Shakespeare & the plague

Twitter has been telling us that when he was in quarantine from the plague, William Shakespeare wrote “King Lear”, but what's the truth behind that narrative? 

Meet the Botanic Garden and Arboretum

Find out about the darker side of the plant world with botanist and Head of Science at Oxford's Botanic Garden and Arboretum, Dr Chris Thorogood. 

International health in global governance after the First World War

Professor Patricia Clavin reveals how pandemics after the First World War helped produce new institutions of global governance, and the important role played by student activists, including some from Oxford. 

What do countries with the best COVID-19 responses have in common? Women leaders. 

Join Dr Jennifer Cassidy from Oxford's Department of International Development to explore her research into the leaders gifting us an alternative way of wielding power, and what this might teach us all.

The Queen’s Secrets: 18th-century France

Marie-Antoinette is one of the most famous characters in history, yet much of what we think we know—including her most famous comment, ‘Let them eat cake’—is spurious. Catriona Seth, an authority on 18th-century France, takes us through what we can learn from the Queen’s letters about her heady days at Versailles and the traumatic early years of the French Revolution.

When is it okay to graffiti a temple?

It seems that it was perfectly acceptable some 3000 years ago in an Egyptian temple complex dedicated to the god Amun in the ancient city of Thebes, now modern Luxor. Explore some examples and the implications of their context with Elizabeth Frood, Associate Professor of Egyptology in the Faculty of Oriental Studies and St Cross College.

When people found the Americas.

Recent radiocarbon dating programs and ancient DNA approaches have begun to build a more complete picture of how not just people, but also their dogs arrived into the Americas, where they went, and what is the relationship between these people and modern Native American groups. Join Tom Higham and Greger Larson from the School of Archaeology to explore the latest research into the deep past of the Americas, and what it tells us about the modern world.

Science at Home

Oxford Sparks Live: What's so super about superconductors? Understanding materials Q&A

With Clara Barker.

Oxford Sparks Live: Parkinsons research Q&A

With Beatriz Silveira de Arruda.

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/xPd-mOnNsCk

Oxford Sparks Live: What's the best way to quit smoking?

With Jamie Hartmann-Boyce.

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/C648oGAddaA

Oxford Sparks Live: Earthquakes and Marsquakes!

Benjamin Fernando from the departments of Earth Sciences and Physic.

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/r3ZNHLX3hLA

Oxford Sparks Live: Q&A with Sir Walter Bodmer

An interview with Sir Walter Bodmer, Head of the Cancer and Immunogenetics Laboratory in Oxford's Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, one of the first people to suggest the idea of the Human Genome Project, and the man who lead a project to examine the genetic makeup of the United Kingdom. 

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/lzggrE2TsUc

Oxford Sparks Live: Turning algebra upside down

Q&A with Maaike Zwart, a DPhil student in the Department of Computer Sciences

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/WeFo8pCMiwo

Oxford Sparks Live: Needle-free vaccines

Vaccines are invaluable in the fight against infectious disease, but most people would probably rather they weren't delivered by a needle. But is this possible? We chat to Johanna Hettinga from Oxford's Institute of Biomedical Engineering about her research into needle-free vaccines.

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/97ag-tOcxn8

Oxford Sparks Live: Robots feeling their way in the dark

Russell Buchanan from the Oxford Robotics Institute talks about his work on legged robots.

Oxford Sparks Live: Drug discovery in dementia

Q&A with Dr Pavandeep Rai in the Wade-Martins lab within DPAG.

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/TcHd5oVuWMw

Oxford Sparks Live: Gene editing - is it ethical?

Q&A with Tess Johnson from the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics.

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/B8853ekcz8A

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