Mercers’ Lecture by Robert Winston

A particular highlight of this week was the last Mercers’ Lecture delivered by Robert Winston. It was an extraordinary evening and a real privilege to sit in the packed audience. Sadly, this was the last lecture of the 2015-16 series and I would like to thank James Spencer for providing pupils with the opportunity to meet to so many inspirational and entertaining speakers once again this year. " Head Master, Mark Lascelles

Lecture review by Lorna Frankel

On Tuesday 23 February, we had the great privilege of welcoming Professor Lord Winston to give a lecture entitled ‘Modifying Humans: Where Does Genetics Stop?’. The lecture was an experience unlike any other: a remarkable journey through history and ethics, complete with art history and music, all tying into the idea of genetics, eugenics and genetic modification and, more importantly, demonstrating the errors we have made in the past as a result of overstating our differences instead of emphasising our similarities.

The lecture was preceded by a fascinating discussion, with insight into Lord Winston's career both in medicine and on television. Over dinner topics including the ethics of transgenic animals, democracy in the House of Lords and Lord Winston's involvement in the Royal College of Music were discussed, and he imparted the following wisdom to the Sixth Form: failure is fine and important, and that it is collaboration and not just inspiration or skill that is most important in science. He also offered some valuable careers advice to the Head Boy! A down-to-earth and altruistic gentleman, we would like to thank Lord Professor Lord Winston for an inspiring and entertaining evening and a truly memorable lecture.