Series 1 Episode 1 – Scotland’s Future Series: an opportunity to shape debate

Lewis Wake
Thursday 19 May 2022

One of the initial projects in the Scotland’s Future Series has gone live with the first in a series of podcasts giving academics, staff, students and members of the wider community a chance to contribute.

The Scotland’s Future Series podcasts will cover topics from the war in Ukraine to climate change and decolonisation.

St Andrews has a long tradition as a crucible for debate and for the formation of ideas; the Scotland’s Future Series podcasts will draw on that tradition at an incredibly important time in global history.

The University of St Andrews exists to open up debate, to encourage discourse, and to do so in a way that is accessible, respectful, and forward-thinking.

In the first Scotland’s Future podcast to be launched, Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sally Mapstone talks about the importance of productive, responsible debate and the building of better communication skills, particularly the ability to listen, understand and consider beliefs that may not chime with your own.

The Principal states that by getting involved in running projects supported by Scotland’s Future funding, students and staff are being given an opportunity to come up with ideas and work together: “We want to encourage anyone who feels there is a live issue to be brought forward, to do so.

“We are particularly inflecting this debate from the perspective of Scotland’s Future; so many of the issues that are being raised are obviously issues that are broader than just Scotland but they allow a crucially shaping influence in relation to the kind of future Scotland experiences.”

Some of the projects to receive the green light in the first funding round focus on climate justice and climate change, the importance of responsible debate, the role of universities and the future of Higher Education, as well as ideas of sovereignty and nationalism.

“If we can provide a forum in which these issues and ideas can be richly explored as a University, that is exactly what we should be doing,” added Professor Mapstone.

Listen to the podcast or watch on YouTube.

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