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The P Stands for Plenary

On Wednesday 6th July, the Pembroke-Kings Programme hosted the first of its Plenary lecture series.

Magdalene College Life Fellow, Professor Stefan Halper was the first to be invited to speak to the audience of PKP students and staff. Using his extensive experience not just as an academic but also serving US presidents in the White House and State Department, Professor Halper discussed the upcoming Presidential Election.

His talk focused on the phenomenon which is “Trump’s maverick candidacy” while also explaining the deficits in Clinton’s campaign which have caused the campaign to become almost too close to call. Professor Halper concluded his talk by stating that if the media focuses on Clinton, she will lose, whereas if they continue to focus on Trump, he will lose. This will be true despite Trump’s adept handling of the media that has resulted in him receiving two billion dollars worth of free media coverage.

The floor was then opened up for students to ask questions which Professor Halper answered, only declining to tell the gathering who he was planning on voting for.

Next week’s lecture will be on Wednesday 13 July and will feature Lord Chris Smith, Master of Pembroke College and former Labour MP, talk about Brexit. Following that will be Dr Helen Castor discussing ‘She-Wolves-Women Leaders in History’ and Professor Liba Taub on ‘Why our Scientific Heritage Matters’.

Director of International Programmes Dr David Jarvis spoke about the key role that the plenary lectures play in the Pembroke-Kings Programme:

“The plenary lectures have become a real PKP institution. They provide an opportunity to showcase high-profile speakers on subjects of general interest and in an informal context. The Q&A sessions are always lively – both in the lecture theatre and the receptions afterwards  – and these conversations add another dimension to the intellectual debate generated within the programme.”

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