This year’s thematic groups will be led by the following facilitators:
Religion And An Ethical Life
Sally Apokis is the University Chaplain at the Medway Campus for the Universities of Kent, Greenwich and Canterbury Christchurch. Over an 18 year period she has specialised in educational chaplaincy and teaching from nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary education both here in the UK and in her home city of Melbourne, Australia. She has born Methodist, trained at a Catholic teachers college and then an Anglican theological college, married a Greek Orthodox man who is an Anglican priest and has a sister of the Siddha yoga faith and best friends who are an Iranian Muslim and a Christian couple. She has spent her life’s work immersed in the wonderfulness of life, its people, its faiths and philosophies and thinks nothing sorts out the world’s problems better than sitting around a cafe table with Italian coffee, French pastries then Japanese sushi and Thai red curry! A fun fact about her is that she often uses origami as a teaching tool with academics and scholars.
Science and Impact
Andy Casey is a post-doctorate researcher at the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge. Before switching to research astrophysics he says he “actually did something useful” – he was an aerospace engineer in Australia. Although the transition to a new field can be daunting, having an engineer’s perspective has been a benefit to his astronomy research. He has a keen interest in entrepreneuring, intellectual property, applied research and translating pure research into practical real-world results.
Marie Yurkovich is a 3rd year PhD in Peter Leadlay’s group at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, investigating how to uncover and engineer novel bioactive molecules from bacterial genomes. She is interested in how these new chemical scaffolds can reveal surprising molecular targets and how these findings can be translated into new therapeutics. As a researcher who has worked in both basic and applied science, Marie hopes to challenge the public opinion of each, explore how science can become more open to the public and discuss how we can combat scientific fallacies. Marie loves exploring new countries and trying out local cuisines.
Our Relationship with Nature
Born and raised in Australia, Pepe Clarke has fifteen years experience as a public interest lawyer and environmental advocate. His passion for protecting the natural world has led him to work with a range of environmental organisations, including the International Union for Conservation of Nature, WWF and the Wildlife Conservation Society. From 2010 to 2014, he served as Chief Executive officer of the Nature Conservation Council, one of Australia’s leading environmental advocacy organisations. He is currently completing a Masters of Conservation Leadership at the University of Cambridge.
The Internet Age
Dr. Scott A. Hale is a data scientist at the Oxford Internet Institute of the University of Oxford. He develops and applies techniques from computer science to research questions in the social sciences and is particularly interested in human-computer interaction, the spread of information between speakers of different languages online and collective action.
Katie Hammond is currently finishing up a PhD at the University of Cambridge with the Reproductive Sociology Research Group, and is also a fellow of the Arizona State University Embryo Project. Her background is in Legal and Gender Studies. She studies the markets and regulation of new reproductive technologies, particularly gamete donation and surrogacy. She is interested in regulation and policymaking that better reflects people’s lived experiences. She has done policy advising with a number of organisations including Cambridge public health startup Polygeia and the World Health Organization. She has been on the organizing committee for GSS for the past two years, and is excited to facilitate this year!
Max Harris is an Examination Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. He works primarily on issues of law and political theory, and is also doing freelance writing. He is interested in the idea of leadership (both its appeal and drawbacks) and has helped develop materials for retreats at Rhodes House on the concept of leadership. He really enjoys dancing and is a twin.
Racism & White Privilege
Nico is a 2013 Marshall Scholar studying Gender, Media and Culture at the London School of Economics and Political Science focusing on Latin American war film. Last year, Nico worked with asylum seekers in Manchester and Liverpool, documenting their experiences in UK detention centres and researching the racialization of refugees by police. Nico has also done research regarding youth exposure to violence in New York, youth involvement in MS-13 and Albanian organized crime, policing in the South Bronx and Latin American migration to the US during the Cold War, placing an emphasis on the intersection between race and gender.
Ellen Quigley is a core organiser with Positive Investment Cambridge (PIC) and has worked with the Newton Centre for Endowment Asset Management, Preventable Surprises and the Cambridge Society for Economic Pluralism (CSEP). Her MSc at Oxford concerned the structure and resilience of the Canadian banking system, and her PhD (in progress) is on the education of economists. A fun fact about her is that, with one exception, in the last 10 years Ellen has not flown in an airplane except to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Approach her for tips on train/bus travel in North America and Europe!
Does Aid Hinder Development?
Julia is an MPhil in Development Studies student this year with a background in economics and anthropology. Within development, she is interested in the relationship between international development efforts and demographics, reproduction and family planning, particularly in Latin America. Julia has completed research in Ecuador and Cuba on these topics, and is excited to hear more about other students’ experiences with the efficacy of aid in sparking meaningful social and economic change. When not thinking about aid and development, Julia is also into electronic music, contemporary dance, reggaeton and ice cream.
Inclusivity & Diversity
Amirah Sequeira is completing an MPhil in the history of science, and focuses on the intersections between class, race, sexuality and gender with health and policy. As the National Coordinator for the Student Global AIDS Campaign in the United States, her activism work has focused on organizing and empowering young people to take political action against social injustice, and guiding political campaign strategy to hold governments and corporations accountable for ending the AIDS pandemic by ensuring access to medicines for all who need them. She lives and dies by Winnipeg Jets hockey and Man United football.
Public Health & Social Change
Silja-Riin Voolma is a behavioural scientist and a designer of public health interventions. Her work aims to empower a generational attitude change in young people’s health choices by using the power of mHealth. She consults on national public health campaigns for reducing alcohol consumption in Estonia, develops national eHealth interventions and co-manages a public health social enterprise, the Healthy Estonia Foundation. As a PhD researcher at the University of Cambridge, funded by the UK Medical Research Council, Silja promotes value-driven lifestyle changes in the young people of Estonia using both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Silja is a keen student of Ashtanga yoga, a fledgling belly dancer and interested in all things on the mind-body connection.