The THINK series

THINK cover image


The THINK series is a cornerstone of the Essex Education. Engaging with the critical issues of the day is one of the things that makes Essex students unique. At Essex we encourage critical, innovative and forward thinking. Our award-winning THINK series is rebellious and revolutionary. We engage with controversial issues that cross disciplines and discuss the issues and moral dilemmas that really matter. The THINK series is Essex. Are you?

“THINK debates address controversial topics. The debate format is intended to provide a forum in which controversial claims can be challenged and contested. The views expressed in THINK debates are those of the speakers; they should not be understood to represent the views of the organisers or hosts or of the University of Essex.”

Upcoming THINK

The THINK Series returns next academic year 2021-2022.

Previous THINK events

Spring Term 2021

Wednesday 10 February: THINK Seminar: Regulating Big Tech?
Host: Dr Ellisif Wasmuth

Wednesday 17 February: THINK Debate: Regulating Big Tech?
Speaker: Jessica Dheere - Ranking Digital Rights
Speaker: Christoph Schmon - Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

Watch a recording of this lecture

Wednesday 24 February: THINK Seminar: Should nuclear energy play a part in the UK’s response to the Climate Emergency?
Host: Professor Wayne Martin

Wednesday 3 March: THINK Debate: Should we close all nuclear power plants ?
Speaker: Zion Lights from Nuclear For Zero Net
Speaker: Rupert Read a former Green Party Candidate

Watch a recording of this lecture

CANCELLED: Wednesday 10 March: THINK Seminar: The Sex Industry, legalise or abolish?
Host: Dr Ellisif Wasmuth

CANCELLED: Wednesday 17 March: THINK Debate: The Sex Industry, legalise or abolish?
Speaker: Ida Elin Kock ProSentret
Speaker: Fiona - Space International

Autumn Term 2020

Wednesday 14 October: THINK Seminar: The Future of Work
Host: Professor Wayne Martin

Wednesday 21 October: THINK Debate: The Future of Work
Speakers: Fabian Wallace-Stephens from The Royal Society of ArtsHarrison Moore from Earwig and Nikki Pound from Trade Union Council

Watch a recording of this lecture

Wednesday 28 October: THINK Seminar: Democracy in America 2020
Host: Professor Wayne Martin

Wednesday 4 November: THINK Debate: Democracy in America 2020
Speakers: Nancy Abadu from Voting Rights ProjectDavid Runciman from Cambridge University

Watch a recording of this lecture

Wednesday 11 November: THINK Seminar: Repairing UK Democracy
Host: Dr Ellisif Wasmuth

Wednesday 18 November: THINK Debate: Repairing UK Democracy
Speakers: Michela Palese from the Electoral Reform Society and Caroline Molloy from openDemocracy

Watch a recording of this lecture





  • Porn Stars Speak! Voices from inside the porn industry : Vex Ashley and Samantha Bentley
  • Black Lives Matter : Wail Qasim and Tony Sewell
  • The Gender Agenda : Helen Lewis and Jack Monroe
  • Extremism, Radicalisation and the Politics of Hate : Matthew Collins, Abi Wilkinson and Haydar Zaki
  • Refugees : Nina Murray and Martha Harding
  • The War on the War on Drugs : Jason Reed, Neil Woods and Anne-Marie Cockburn
  • Workplace Sexism : Shami Chakrabarti and Cathy Newman


  • Should sex work be decriminalised? : Laura Lee
  • Political violence or peaceful protest? : Jo Berry and Pat Magee
  • Closing the borders? Migration in Britain : Steve Woofle, Sir Bob Russell and Johnathan Portes
  • Death penalty: Does it deter crime? : Ben Gunn and Oliver Robertson
  • Nothing to hide; nothing to fear: the balance between surveillance and privacy : Shami Charkrabarti and Julian Richards
  • The Syrian refugee crisis: What to do? : Maurice Wren, Maria Wilby and Abdul Razouk
  • War on drugs? Time for legislation? : Danny Kushlick