Current Affairs

PPE Society in the pandemic

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Oxford PPE Society has decided to conduct all its events for Trinity 2020 online – in the form of remotely recorded podcasts and livestreams. This is part of a broader effort to give students at home events to look forward to during the vac and during the upcoming unusual Trinity term.

Two events have already happened; prominent American legal scholar Cass Sunstein participated in a livestream on April 1st, whilst renowned economist John Kay took part in the society’s first podcast which was released on April 3rd.

The society has planned 11 more podcasts and 11 livestreams in a packed schedule of events for the coming term. Along with Sunstein and Kay, the society will also host other academics, including economists Tim Harford and Kimberly Clausing, philosopher Patricia Churchland, and the sociologist Richard Sennett, in topics stretching from democracy and globalisation to consciousness and cities.

Kimberly Clausing is making the case for free trade on their April 8th livestream.

A number of politicians have also signed on to the programme. Lord Adonis is joining the next livestream on April 10th, whilst Jess Phillips, the Labour MP from Birmingham Yardley is scheduled to appear during Trinity Term. The society will also host prominent civil servants, such as former British ambassador to the US Sir Peter Westmacott and former British ambassador to France Lord Peter Ricketts.

Experienced Times journalist Hannah Lucinda Smith will talk about her experience in Turkey covering the rise of Erdogan, the failed coup attempt, and Turkey’s role in various conflicts on a podcast, whilst CEO of 100 Women in Finance Amanda Pullinger is to participate in a livestream about her work.

Speaking to The Blue, PPE Society President Leo Nasskau said: “We were eager to maintain our usual standard of events during term and we thought livestreamed talks were the best way of doing that, but we were also keen to do so much more.”

“During the lockdown in the UK and social restrictions around the world, we are trying to fill a gap in people’s lives by giving them stuff to do during the Easter break as well. Since Oxford students are fully international, podcasts are great because you don’t have to worry about timezones to listen.”

Oxford PPE Society will be releasing 12 podcasts every week on Friday mornings.

“Then we had so much enthusiasm for our livestreams that we worked really hard to set them up by April too and our first stream with Cass seemed really popular. Feedback has been very positive: live events gave people something to structure their day around. In a time of regular uncertainty, it’s nice to have regular things that you can enjoy for certain as well.”

PPE Society podcasts will be released every Friday morning at 9:00am, with live-streams also taking place weekly on Wednesday at 5:30pm.