Tim Weiskel offers these few comments by way of general advice to
young people. He stresses the importance of learning languages in order
to understand the world and other cultures from the “outside,” the
“inside” and from the “margins,” rather than limiting oneself to the
core beliefs of one’s own culture of origin. The problems of
sustainability in the face of global climate change and “growthism” –
the ideology of perpetual economic growth on a finite planet — are also
Oxford has a lot of which it can be proud. It has recently won the top designation in the World University Rankings of 2018, but this may not be enough. Nostalgia is not very nourishing for the future. Oxford needs to focus upon the rapidly approaching demands that will require a paradigm shift in the thinking of its best students and graduates. Dr Weiskel suggests that students should demand a new kind of Oxford PPE diploma (in Physics, Philosophy and Ecosystem-science), one that overcomes the delusions of perpetual economic growth and equips them instead with an understanding of the physics, philosophy and ecosystem-science that can enable them to survive and thrive sustainably on this finite planet in the 21st century and beyond.