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Prof Cordonier Segger and colleagues from Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, MIT, Yale, McGill, BSIA, Bournemouth and other universities are sharing their research and inspiring a network of keen students, with excellent responses

Prof Cordonier Segger, together with Prof Alexandra Harrington, BSIA Fulbright Chair in Global Governance (2019-20) and their team, have launched an initiative to support, inspire and encourage a network of keen senior school students from diverse educational backgrounds in the UK and other countries who were left stranded by the pandemic lockdown.

After recognizing that many bright school students had seen exams cancelled, and been left without access to new materials, ideas or resources in the wake of the announcement of the sudden lockdown, a volunteer response by professors from top universities was organised.

An initial mini-series of free online sessions were led by both well-known and emerging academics and practitioners from top research institutes, social enterprises and international organisations, covering the current challenges and emerging trends in key areas such as law, biomedicine, maths, science, and sustainable development. With kind words of support from University of Cambridge academics, including Professor Stephen Toope, the Vice-Chancellor, as well as the Bennett Institute for Public Policy, the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law, and contributions from renowned professors and experts from law, physics, engineering, maths, biomedicine and other faculties, the mini-series quickly gained traction. Over 100 students participated in the initial offerings, and after each session, students were sent recommendations for high quality online resources to further learn about the projects discussed.

Following the success of the first mini-series over Easter, and recognition that many summer programmes have also been cancelled, the team are now running a further three-week mini series this July, in order to reach more students. The response has been phenomenal. Already, over 240 students from more than 30 countries have registered for one or more of the brief tutorials, and over 70 students were able to participate in the first session this week.

Prof Cordonier Segger said: It’s been an incredible experience, arranging this series together with a growing network of keen young people- we’ve enjoyed some fascinating discussions, in which one can almost see the new ideas and interests being inspired. We are so grateful to our colleagues for their brilliant contributions - and so proud of the students for not simply giving up.”

Dr. Mark Kotter, University of Cambridge Neurosurgeon and founder of Bit Bio, a new Cambridge medical bio-enterprise said:

"I greatly enjoyed meeting such an inspiring group of young people. Their questions were very thoughtful and to the point. Biology is rapidly changing, becoming more and more a data science. I hope that I was able to challenge some of the commonly held perspectives on biology!"

Visit Current Challenges and Future Directions - Tutorial Series for more information and details on how to register. You can view videos from the last tutorial series here.

Law, Science and Sustainability Online Tutorials Mini-Series (14-30 July 2020)

Over their summer holidays, interested secondary and early post-secondary students, whose studies have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, have a special opportunity to explore emerging areas of law, science and sustainability research and practice.

This mini-series provides a unique, inspiring opportunity for youth from around the world to explore new ideas and learn about emerging fields of study. Students are learning from and connecting with world-class professors and practitioners from Cambridge, Oxford, McGill, Yale, Harvard, MIT, BSIA and other leading universities and institutions.

These free, online tutorial sessions are running from 14th – 30th of July in two 60-minute zoom sessions per week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-5 PM BST/1-2PM EST/12-1 ADT.

In each session, the experts deliver a 20-minute introduction to critical issues in their research or practice. The chairs take rounds of 3 student questions for 20-30 mins of interaction, followed by closing advice from the experts for those students wishing to learn more. After the session, experts provide their own personal recommendations of the top 5 current online resources for any students inspired to pursue their field further.

As spots are limited and have been filling up fast, any keen students who could benefit from this unique opportunity are encouraged to register as soon as possible, in order to join those sessions that might interest them. The mini-series programme includes:

Law, Science and Sustainability Online Tutorials Mini-Series (14-30 July 2020)

Topics and Speakers:

July 14 - Advancing Human Rights Worldwide - SDG 9 Reduced Inequalities

Connect at 4 pm - 5 pm BST (11am - 12pm EST) for the current challenges and future directions in human rights with Prof. Nandini Ramanujam (McGill University) on poverty and inequality and Prof. Sumudu Atapattu (Wisconsin University) on gender.

July 16 - Harnessing the Physics of Weather and the Universe - SDG 13 Climate Action

Connect at 4 pm - 5 pm BST (11am - 12pm EST) for current challenges and future directions in addressing climate change with Prof. Tim Palmer (Oxford University) on the physics of weather systems and Prof. Ben Allanach (University of Cambridge)* on particle physics.

July 21st - Implementing International Law on Clean Energy Investment - SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy

Connect at 4 pm - 5 pm BST (11am - 12pm EST) for current challenges and future directions on international law with Prof. Michael Mehling (MIT) on international carbon markets and Dr. Henning Grose-Khan (University of Cambridge)* on intellectual property and innovation.

July 23rd – Seeking Pandemic Responses across the Human Sciences - SDG 3 Good Health and Well-Being

Connect at 4 pm - 5 pm BST (12pm - 1pm EST) for current challenges and future directions in human sciences with Prof. Martin Maiden (Oxford University) on population effects of vaccines and vaccinations and Prof. Maya Prabhu (Yale University) on legal and policy responses to global pandemics, featuring a special initial presentation by student leader Thalia Edwards.

July 28th – Leading New Learning through Engineering and Computer Science - SDG 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Connect at 4 pm - 5 pm BST (12pm - 1pm EST) for current challenges and future directions in engineering and computer science with Prof. Richard Prager (University of Cambridge) on new online education maths for engineering programmes and Dr. Paul De Vrieze (University of Bournemouth) on web systems.

July 30th – Securing Global Governance and Corporate Governance - SDG 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Connect at 4 pm - 5 pm BST (12pm - 1pm EST) for current challenges and future directions in global governance, with Dr. Ann Fitz-Gerald (Balsillie School of International Affairs) on international relations, global governance and security, and Prof. Holger Sparrman (Harvard University) on linkages of law, corporate governance and economics.