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Update on Fisher and the College Working Group on Representation

  • 18 August 2021

In the wake of the decision on 24 June 2020 to remove the stained glass window showing the Latin Square and name of Professor Sir Ronald Fisher from the College Hall, on 15 July 2020 the College Council established a Working Group on Representation. The Working Group was given a wide remit and was invited to make recommendations not only on the principal issue (Fisher), but also more broadly on issues of representation, diversity, science, ethics, and memorialisation in College.

The Working Group on Representation made several recommendations, on which the student body, staff and Fellows were consulted. The recommendations were then considered by the members of the College Council, the trustees of the charity, at several meetings in the Easter Term of 2021.

Among other things the College Council has agreed:

  • that a two-day conference be organised starting with a focus on the life and work of Sir Ronald Fisher but broadening out to discuss developments since Fisher’s death in the scientific fields in which he worked, to be held on 21 & 22 April 2022;
  • to ask the Senior Tutor to bring a paper to propose how the College can develop a space for internal discussion of some of the issues to do with representation that have come to the fore in recent months, and that the Senior Tutor consider consulting an external expert on matters of representation;
  • that the College develops a process for dealing with how it names, denamesmemorialises, celebrates and represents itself through art and visual media in the future;
  • that the College explores ways to further the development of formal and informal networks to advertise its Fellowship opportunities beyond the established channels in order to encourage as diverse a field of well-qualified applicants as possible;
  • that the College’s intranet (the Venn) be reviewed in order to ensure that information about mental health support (and other elements of student support) be clearly advertised and easier to find.

More details on the two-day conference will follow next term. The Fisher Window remains safely in the College archives.

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