Scholarship Conference

Posted: 11th April 2022


Our theme for this year’s Scholarship Conference, now in its fifth year, was The Unimaginable, and so we were really setting our speakers up to fail by attempting to “imagine the unimaginable” in their talks!  Nonetheless, they all spoke with real insight and excitement, one commenting that it was novel to be talking to real faces, not just “blobs on a computer screen!”.  Professor Melanie Bailey from the University of Surrey spoke with real poise about how our fingerprints can convey information which would have been unimaginable in forensic science a decade ago; Martin Harris OBE brought with him his diplomatic bag, and spoke with passion about the unimaginable atrocities in Ukraine and the long-term significance of the outcome of this conflict.  We were privileged to welcome two Old Guildfordians to speak, too.  From the University of Cambridge, Dr Gareth Conduit (OG 2002) re-lived memories of battles between the Chemistry and Physics Departments to see who could produce the largest explosion, before explaining how his company is quickening the process of drug synthesis using machine learning, and Rabbi Alexander Goldberg (OG 1993) told the audience how cohesion and reconciliation can occur between communities who believe they have unimaginable differences.  We finally heard from Professor Guy Leschziner, Consultant Neurologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, who stunned the audience by explaining that sometimes we genuinely cannot imagine something before we react to it, and how our brains can trick us into believing things we would not initially deem imaginable.  As the probing Q&A drew to a close, a thoroughly absorbing and challenging set of talks had made the unimaginable just that little bit more imaginable!

Categories: Senior News