Category: Arts

A new decade: a renewed hope

Stratford-upon-Avon has 4 million visitors a year, according to the taxi driver who took me (and my daughter) back to the railway station after a short post-Christmas break indulging in culture in the town of Shakespeare’s birth. It was, I must say, a fabulous trip; we had a great time visiting various sites associated with …

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Disruptive collage … and why schools need to be more honest about this radical art

I think I expected something different when I agreed to go to ‘400 years of collage’, an exhibition at the Scottish Modern Art Gallery Two … in fact, embarrassing though it is to admit, I know I had a vague expectation of some pretty pastels and cut up magazines. On reflection, this was not unsurprising, …

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Stretching the bounds of the possible – it’s Edinburgh Fringe time…

I have lost count of the number of years I have been coming to the Edinburgh Fringe, let alone of the number of performances I have attended; what I have not lost, however, is the joy and wonder I feel every year when I immerse myself in much of what the Fringe has to offer. …

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‘Periodic tales’: what the chemical elements remind us about education

As part of this year’s uplifting Oxford University Alumni Weekend, a panel of speakers led an engaging session inspired by Hugh Aldersey-Williams’ new book, ‘Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements’. The author himself spoke, and explored how artists, sculptors and poets across the ages have used the elements, imbuing them with meaning and …

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Marie Curie, the Edinburgh Fringe, and the Women of America

Playing now at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the final instalment in Tangram Theatre’s ‘Scientrilogy’ – a series of three one-man plays about the lives of great scientists. Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein have debuted in previous years; 2015 has marked the appearance of the great female scientist, Marie Curie. If you have the opportunity …

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Why we need the Arts in a STEM world

I am a great believer in the power of technology – in its broadest sense – to take the human race forward. I appreciate the power of innovation and creativity in science, technology, engineering and maths, and I know that we must invest in teaching our young people about the value of these subjects, because …

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Live the message, be the message, communicate the message: how to ensure gender equality in the UK

I very much enjoyed my day last Friday at the isbi conference at Woldingham School. As part of the day, I was honoured to be invited to give a keynote address, in which I talked about the importance of communication, and I reflected for a few minutes as I did so on how the message …

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What can we do to promote a culture of kindness in society?

If you read my comments in today’s Mail on Sunday – “Top headmistress says social networking and public rows between celebs are causing a generation of mean girls”, you will see that I am warning against the culture of nastiness that often pervades our online (and real-life) world. Why this is aimed more at women …

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Building a third dimension to your life: women take note!

Last week I had the real pleasure of hearing a talk by Dr Heather McGregor, aka Mrs Moneypenny of the Financial Times. Frank, forthright and funny, she was imparting the benefit of her wisdom, gained over many years placing men and women in top jobs, to an audience of Sixth Formers at Wellington College, but …

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Preparing girls to ‘have it all’ in life

On Wednesday I addressed an audience of Sixth Form girls at Wellington College in Berkshire, at a conference designed to explore whether it is possible for girls and women to ‘have it all’ in their lives. My approach was straightforward – the answer is, quite simply, ‘yes’ – they just need to work out what …

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