The 2023 RGS Scholarship Conference took place on Monday 20 March. The theme for this year’s event was Revolution. We were delighted to secure five speakers from a range of academic backgrounds. Professor Sadhukhan (parent of Ritam Sen in the Fourth Form) and Dr Al Sid Cheikh, both from the University of Surrey, spoke to us about a sustainable energy transition and using radioactivity to track nanoplastic pollution. Professor Székely from the University of Bath joined us remotely to talk about biological conservation. Old Guilfordian Omeet Atara, currently part way through his second year at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, spoke about his own interest in and passion for youth activism. Finally – and rounding off the programme in style – Dr Calverley, formerly of the RGS Physics Department, gave us a potted history of key moments in the field of astronomy. There followed a panel Q&A hosted by members of the Senior Scholars’ Council. The number of questions far outstripped the time that we had available, which we took as a positive indicator of the audience’s level of interest and engagement!
Although each speaker gave their own perspective on the conference’s theme of Revolution, there were certain key ideas that recurred again and again, including environmental awareness and stewardship, social equity and justice and the fact that every individual has the power to make a difference. Regardless of disciplinary background, it would seem that there are certain issues that we all hold dear and this, amongst the many other fascinating insights of the evening, I hope gave us all plenty of food for thought.