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New Year, New Understanding

With the start of the new year we all have a moment of New Year, New Me. Whilst this resolution never seems to last longer than a week, we thought we would offer up some ‘New Year New Understanding’ resolutions you can actually follow and use. Our tutors have all selected books that gave them a new understanding and new ideas for their subject, books that changed their ways of viewing academia! We hope that in this new year, you can use these books to alter your own view of a subject and dive in to studying and viewing academia in a new light!

The Selfish Gene- Richard Dawkins:

Our Biology tutor Lewis, claims Dawkins’ book is the one book that has ever changed his opinion and view of Biology:

“After reading The Selfish Gene, my entire view and understanding of Evolutionary Biology changed for the better. Dawkins covers entry level Biology, but what is fantastic about Dawkins is that anyone can read him and fully grasp his argument and the science he is interrogating. It should be celebrated as one of the most important developments in Biology. Anyone can see Biology in a new way after The Selfish Gene”

A History of the World in 21 Women: A Personal Selection- Jenni Murray:

Our resident tutor Mohini, chooses Jenni Murray’s new and revolutionary book A History of the World in 21 Women as their New Year, New Outlook book.

“For me, Jenni Murray captures a movement towards feminist history that is becoming increasingly popular and presents it in a new and exciting way. Murray makes a personal selection of 21 women who had a significant impact on history and are often forgotten in, for example, the school syllabus. I will definitely be bringing facts and interesting side stories I learnt from Murray into my lessons! She completely changed the way I understood certain eras of history and what I viewed as important when it came to analysing and teaching history!”

Why Chemical Reactions Happen- James Keeler:

Chemistry tutor Oliver says Keeler bridged the gap between A Levels and University for him, and simultaneously gave him a new outlook on Chemistry.

“Keeler’s Why Chemical Reactions Happen gave me the tools needed to think and behave like a Chemist. It demonstrated Chemistry in a nuanced way that truly changed my outlook on the subject. What was even more amazing was then having James Keeler as a lecturer during my time at Cambridge. This, for me, cemented my new outlook on Chemistry! Every aspiring Chemist should read Keeler!”

Thank You For Being Late- Thomas Friedman:

Consultant Fiona discusses how Thank You For Being Late altered her perception of anthropology, technology and education.

"I bought this book because of its title, little realising that it would make me completely rethink how our present is going to impact on the future, particularly in terms of education.

Friedman talks about the forces we need to be reckoning with: Technology, Globalisation and Climate Change, and how these are combining and accelerating to impact on the workplace, geopolitics and more locally at community level. This combination of forces or the ‘supernova’ as he describes it,  will impact on how we educate our children to deal with these challenges, to embrace them and deal with the opportunities they present in a positive way. As for ‘being late”, Friedman encourages us to stop and appreciate this amazing time we are living through and to think about both the possibilities and the dangers."

On the Shortness of Life- Seneca:

English and Classics tutor Dylan talks us through how Seneca changed his views on Philosophy and broadened his horizons:

“Seneca completely reinvented philosophy for me. Being a classicist, I was drawn to Seneca over more modern philosophers and I’m so glad I was as his work is phenomenal. Seneca teaches us that life is too short to fear death and to waste time putting off our tasks, we should live immediately. Seneca’s philosophy taught me to live life with delights and pleasures, and taught me to view English in a similar way, ensuring I saw the beauty and delight in the smallest of things. Would highly recommend to everyone. New Year, New You!!”

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