Speakers 2014-15

Professor Danny Dorling from OUCE

DannyProfessor Danny Dorling is a current tutor at St Peter’s College and is the Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the OUCE. He has worked on a number of research areas and projects including a project to remap the world (www.worldmapper.org). He has published with many colleagues more than a dozen books on issues related to social inequalities in Britain and several hundred journal papers. Much of this work is available open access and will be added to this website soon. His work concerns issues of housing, health, employment, education and poverty. Danny was employed as a play-worker in children’s summer play-schemes. He will speaking on Social Inequality, the 1%, and why your rent will be so high.

John Sweeney from the BBC

JohnSweeneyJohn Sweeney is a writer, broadcaster and investigative journalist, who has worked for BBC Panorama. He is an Emmy award winning journalist and has written articles for the Observer and has  worked on BBC’s newsnight. Most recently he presented the BBC’s panorama programme on the current problems in Ukraine. He will be coming to talk to the society about his most recent book “North Korea Undercover” which recounts his experiences in this mysterious and rarely visited country.


Dr Vicky Pope from the MET Office

Dr Vicky PopeDr Pope is Head of Integration and Growth at the MET office. She is responsible for maximizing  the management of the MET Office’s science capability. She has been with the MET Office for over 25 years and has undertaken roles in stratospheric research and climate model development. More recently she has worked with lead scientists on the development of climate models used in the 3rd and 4th IPCC reports. She has also recently led work to improve the communication of climate change to the public as well as taking a role in the provision of climate advice for policy development. Dr Pope will be coming to talk to the society about Climatology in the 21st Century and her experience in the MET Office.

Professor Richard Wilkinson from the “Equality Trust

Richard WilkinsonRichard has played a formative role in international research on the social determinants of health and on the societal effects of income inequality. He studied economic history at LSE before training in epidemiology. He is Professor Emeritus of Social Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham Medical School, Honorary Professor at UCL and a Visiting Professor at the University of York. Richard co-wrote The Spirit Level with Kate Pickett which won the 2011 Political Studies Association Publication of the Year Award and the 2010 Bristol Festival of Ideas Prize. Richard is also a co-founder of The Equality Trust. The Equality Trust works to improve the quality of life in the UK by reducing economic inequality.

Kate Pickett from the “Equality Trust


Kate trained in biological anthropology at Cambridge, nutritional sciences at Cornell and epidemiology at UC-Berkeley, and is currently Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York. She is a co-founder of The Equality Trust and is co-author of The Spirit Level, and fellow of the RSA. Her research focuses on the social determinants of health, particularly the influences of such factors as income inequality, social class, neighborhood context and ethnic density on such varied outcomes as mortality and morbidity, teenage birth, violent crime, obesity, social mobility and health-related behaviors.The Equality Trust works to improve the quality of life in the UK by reducing economic inequality.

Andrew Smith MP

andrew_smith_250Andrew was a City Councillor for Blackbird Leys before being elected to Parliament. He has chaired committees on local planning, recreation and race relations. In the Labour Government from 1997 to 2004, Andrew served as Minister for Employment, as Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.