EXCLUSIVE: Oxford Union releases term card for Trinity 2020

Individual speakers include Ted Cruz, Christina Lamb, Joanna Lumley and Gina Miller. There will be panel-style debates on prison reform, Putin's Russia, Love Island and solutions to Covid-19.


The Oxford Union Society has released its term card for Trinity Term 2020, Cherwell can exclusively reveal. The term card includes a range of well-known speakers including activist Gina Miller, United States Senator Ted Cruz, and journalist Christina Lamb.

Gina Miller initiated the court case R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, which ruled that the Government could not withdraw from the European Government without an act of Parliament. She also successfully overturned the prorogation of Parliament by Boris Johnson in 2019.

The lineup of speakers also includes Jeb Bush, who ran against Ted Cruz in the Republican primary which would eventually elect Donald Trump to the nomination of the Republican Party. Mr Bush is also the second child of President George H. W. Bush and brother of President George W. Bush. He served as governor of Florida between 1999 to 2007.

Soumya Swaminathan is also due to give an individual talk this term. Soumya is currently the Chief Scientist at the World Health Organisation.

Prue Leith, prominent cooking journalist and host of the Great British Bake off, will also give a talk at the Society.

A number of sports personalities including the Brownlee Brothers, Irish rugby player Brian O’Driscoll, and Daniel Sturridge, are also due to speak.

The Union will also host two presidents this term: Kersti Kaljulaid, the current president of Estonia, and Egils Levits, president of Latvia.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Union has announced that all talks and debates will take place in podcast format in Trinity term. All individual speakers’ talks will be recorded in advance of their release. Debates will be presented in a panel format, with the hosts interviewing speakers one by one, followed by a general discussion. There will be the possibility to submit questions for each event on the Union’s Facebook page. 

The lineup is 40.4% female or gender non-binary, and 40.3% of the speakers are BAME. 71.6% of the term card will be international. The proportion of international speakers is higher than would typically be possible due to the online-only format of the talks.

Other prominent speakers include Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize-winning economist and former chief economist at the World Bank. Mr Stiglitz also chaired the Council of Economic Advisers, the body which advises the President of the United States on economic policy, from 1995 to 1997, serving under President Bill Clinton.

The Union will host twenty panel debates, more than twice as many as were hosted last term. The debates include four in a “COVID-19 Special Series,” which will interrogate a range of topics including the economics of the coronavirus and the marginalised voices of the coronavirus.

Another four debates will be hosted as part of their “Weekend Special” series. These will be released on the weekends in addition to the talks which would traditionally occur on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Weekend Specials will include a “Chef’s Roundtable” and a talk titled “Demystifying Mindfulness”.

Other topics which will be debated during the term will concern the refugee crisis, the future of Hong Kong and the war in Afghanistan.

The podcasts will be released on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.  

A full list of the speakers this term can be found below, and a PDF of the term card here.

Individual speakers

Winnie Byanyima・Executive director of UNAIDS

Katya Adler・Europe editor at the BBC

Miriam Haley・One of the two main accusers in the trial of Harvey Weinstein

Prue Leith・Judge of the Great British Bake Off

George Foreman・Two-time world heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medal boxer

Brian O’Driscoll・Irish Rugby Union player

Clive Woodward・Former England Rugby Union coach

Ángel Gurría・Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Gina Miller・Political activist

Joanna Lumley・Actor and model

Marc Randolph・First CEO of Netflix

Soumya Swaminathan・Chief Scientist of the World Health Organisation

Daniel Sturridge・Professional football player

Joshua Wong・Founder of Hong Kong pro-democracy party Demosisto

Ted Cruz・United States Senator of Texas

Jeb Bush・Former Governor of Florida

Mike Schur・Producer and writer of The Office, and co-creator of Parks and Recreation

Judith Heumann・Disability rights activist

Rainn Wilson・Actor, portrayed Dwight Schrute on The Office

Phil Neville・Coach of England women’s football team

President Kersti Kaljulaid ・President of Estonia

Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee・Olympic brother triathletes

Sean Rad・Founder of Tinder

President Egils Levits・President of Latvia

Steve Aoki・American DJ and producer

Missy Franklin・Five-time Olympic medal-winning swimmer

Lindsey Vonn・World Cup winning alpine ski racer

Joseph Stiglitz・American Nobel Prize-winning economist

Opal Tometi・Human rights activist and founder of Black Lives Matter

Christina Lamb・Foreign correspondent at the Sunday Times

Ryan McCarthy・United States Under Secretary of the Army

Loretta Lynch・Former Attorney General of the United States

Christopher Plummer ・Candian actor with a career spanning six decades

Charles Leclerc ・Formula One racing driver

Jane Goodall ・Primatologist and anthropologist 

Debate Speakers

Hong Kong: What Does the Future Hold?

Nathan Law

Eddie Chu

Regina Ip

Amb. Kurt Tong

Russia: Do We Live in Putin’s world?

Amb. Fiona Hill

Arkady Ostrovsky

Alexey Minyaylo

Sir Laurie Bristow

Behind the Bars: How Do We Fix Our prisons?

MiAngel Cody

Dean Stalham

Marcus Bullock

Dyjuan Tatro

Afghanistan: The West’s Lost War?

Matthew Hoh

Marvin Weinbaum

Carlotta Gall

Ben Anderson

Afghanistan: Is Peace a Lost Cause?

Fahrakhunda Naderi

Kathy Gannon

General Sir Richard Barrons

The Rohingya Crisis: Humanity on Trial?

Wai Wai Nu

Dr. Maung Zarni

Kway Win

Latin America in 2020: Another Last Decade?

Maximo Torero

Moisés Naím

Andres Velasco

Helen Mack

The Democratic Party: No Place for Moderates?

Peter Baker

Clare Malone

Justin Bouen

Love Island: Should We Regret the Summer of Love?

Jack Fowler

Amy Hart

Amelia Morris

Malin Andersson

Refugee Crisis: The Moral Failure of Europe?

Notis A. Mitarachi

Joan Clos

Catherine Wollard

Yusra Mardini

Justine Greening 

The Future of Work: Imagining the 21st Century Workplace

John McAfee

William Kerr

Jonathan Rochelle

Prof Kate Kellogg

Prof Nancy Rothbard

India: A Failure of its Founding Fathers’ Vision?

Kanhaiya Kumar

Rajdeep Sardesai

Harish Salve

Indira Jaisingh

The Economics of COVID-19

Jason Furman

Michèle Tertilt

Dr Eric Feigl-Ding

Ian Bremmer

The Marginalised Voices of the Pandemic

Nicole Jacobs

Dr Kamiar Alaei

Paul Farmer

Linda Bauld

COVID-19: A Gatway to Authoritarianism?

Linda Sarsour

Erica Frantz

Rami Khouri

Prof Lawrence Gostin

COVID-19: Finding Solutions

Leana Wen

David Baltimore

Robin Swann

Arthur Caplan

Weekend Special Speakers

The Chefs’ Roundtable

Asma Khan

Ana Ros

Shamil Thakrar

Tim Raue

The Book Club

Chigozie Obioma

Juan Gabriel Vasquez

Joyce Carol Oates

Demystifying Mindfulness

Sharon Salzberg

Amshi Jha

Gelong Thubten

The Comedy Club

Shazia Mirza

Simon Evans

Deborah Frances-White

Samantha Bee

Paul Sinha

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