On Thursday 28th of January, the university had a wonderful visit from Sir David Attenborough, the voice of nature himself! The family has a long history with the uni and it was great to have him back. The event was a lecture by him in De Monfort Hall – the free tickets to which were very competitive and sold out in minutes! Anyhow I got very lucky and was invited a long by a friend who had managed to get a couple tickets.
Aside from the fact that it was him there in the flesh which was almost too brilliant to believe, the lecture he gave was super interesting! It was all about how animals perceive beauty and are able to appreciate aesthetics and artwork just like humans do, and he showed us some great clips of different animals to explain each of his points. This one was my favourite, just watch it all and you’ll see what I mean!
It made me realise how similar humanity is to nature, and that we are not so separate and superior as we would like to believe. Also I was very grateful that he answered a question about the current destruction of nature. He said that humans are very much responsible for all threatened species and extinctions (eluding to climate change) and that it is very sad that in a few decades we have wiped out species that have evolved over millions of years (too right!). He said we need to do A LOT more to prevent destruction, and even if we do (which is unlikely), nature will still suffer heavily. This ties in really well to what I have been learning about climate change recently, that it is already underway and we will be seeing the effects of it soon in one way or another. Whilst we can reduce the impact it will have, there will definitely still be an impact of some magnitude.
You may have seen a facebook post by Leicester Divests pop up on your timeline (currently with 1,218 people reached), which I made about the lecture as soon as I got home! The basic point I made was that the Uni is being quite hypocritical in that it raves and revels in the publicity that the Attenborough’s give us, but when it comes to listening to their advice, acts in the complete opposite way – by not divesting from fossil fuel industries! However the power of students, particularly at Leicester, means that we are confident that at some point the people running the University will listen to us and will allow us to divest, catching up with so many other Uni’s in the UK. Our campaign is already underway and you can expect to hear a lot more about it in the coming weeks! Thank you for reading this post, and if you want to get involved in this huge cause comment below. See you soon!