Opinions from University Of Oxford's alumni

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Open uri20180921 4 1ik2r8l?1537542392

Jane Ellison, British politician

agrees Soda taxes
The soft drinks industry levy is an important step forward in the fight to halt our obesity crisis and create a Britain fit for the future. Obesity is a threat both to the health of children and to our economy, costing the NHS billions of pounds every year.
Open uri20180831 4 7lceyx?1535729158

Charles Krauthammer,

[T]he assault weapons ban will have no significant effect either on the crime rate or on personal security. Nonetheless, it is a good idea …. Passing a law like the assault weapons ban is a symbolic — purely symbolic — move in [the direction of disarming the citizenry]. Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation f... See More
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Yuval Noah Harari, Israeli historian and professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

I try to change the public conversation and focus the debate on what I think are the most important challenges: nuclear war, the ecological crisis and the dangers of disruptive technology, especially AI and bioengineering. They focus on things like terrorism, immigration or the structure of the EU trade agreements, which are important, we do need to think about it and take care of it, but this ... See More
Open uri20180831 4 7lceyx?1535729158

Charles Krauthammer,

If you believe that health care is a public good to be guaranteed by the state, then a single-payer system is the next best alternative. Unfortunately, it is fiscally unsustainable without rationing.
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Rachel Cooke, British journalist

agrees Soda taxes
Some anti-obesity campaigners are busy arguing that the new sugar tax, which applies to any soft drink containing more than 5g of sugar per 100ml, should now be extended to, among other items, the huge caramel lattes sold by high street coffee shops. It isn’t, of course, very hard to see why, even before you learn that some of these vat-sized drinks contain up to 25 teaspoons of sugar (there are a... See More
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Ezekiel Emanuel, American oncologist

agrees Vaccines
Vaccines are the most cost-effective health care interventions there are. A dollar spent on a childhood vaccination not only helps save a life, but greatly reduces spending on future healthcare.
Open uri20180720 4 1bk78se?1532092090

Jonathan Portes,

HMRC has also published important new data about the fiscal contribution made by recently arrived EEA nationals, showing that they paid more than £3bn in taxes on income while claiming about £0.5bn in HMRC benefits. This provides further confirmation that EU migrants have made a strongly positive contribution to the UK economy and public finances.
Open uri20180824 4 js4mxn?1535128844

David Cameron, Former UK Prime Minister

agrees Fracking
I passionately believe that there is big potential for fracking and unconventional gas in Britain, which has some shale reserves that could make a real difference.
Open uri20180812 4 7yr5ru?1534092682

Manmohan Singh, Former prime minister of India

disagrees Tariffs
Protectionism is a very real danger. It is understandable that in times of a severe downturn protectionist pressures mount but the lessons of history are clear. If we give in to protectionist pressures, we will only send the world into a downward spiral.
Open uri20200220 4 ay2g55?1582228270

Yuval Noah Harari, Israeli historian and professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

American isolationism, British isolationism and the disruption and disintegration of a rule-based international system could ignite even more dangerous nuclear arms race between many more countries. If Germany no longer can trust the USA and Britain to back to Germany in case of confrontation with the Russians, then the Germans will say: hey, we now need nuclear weapons of our own. We can no longe... See More
Open uri20200220 4 ay2g55?1582228270

Yuval Noah Harari, Israeli historian and professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

If you really care about people in your country and you want to protect them from climate change, dangerous technologies, etc. you must cooperate [globally].
Open uri20200220 4 ay2g55?1582228270

Yuval Noah Harari, Israeli historian and professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

In the 19th century, a few countries industrialized first and then conquered the whole world. It can happen again with AI. At present, China and the US are leading the AI arms race and if we aren't careful, we will see a new wave of kind of data colonialism that many countries become just data colonies. If you have enough data you don't need to send soldiers. Just imagine what the situation... See More
Open uri20180928 4 2ptpbp?1538140962

Ezekiel Emanuel, American oncologist

disagrees Euthanasia
Patients who are being kept alive by technology and want to end their lives already have a recognized constitutional right to stop any and all medical interventions, from respirators to antibiotics. They do not need physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia.
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Margaret Jay, Former Labour leader of the House of Lords

agrees Euthanasia
I see this as a tightly focused and compassionate bill which will clarify the incoherent legal framework we have heard about today. I am absolutely committed to the provisions in the bill. It has a narrow, specific focus on the terminally ill and contains strict, upfront safeguards...It is an entirely appropriate measure for this country to adopt.
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Polly Toynbee,

agrees Euthanasia
For the generation that won on abortion, contraception and gay liberation, the principle was always the right to do what you like with your own body – and that includes a right to die in peace.
Open uri20180629 4 j173u1?1530300849

Peter Singer,

agrees Euthanasia
Voluntary euthanasia occurs only when, to the best of medical knowledge, a person is suffering from an incurable and painful or extremely distressing condition. In these circumstances one cannot say that to choose to die quickly is obviously irrational.
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John Birt, Former DIrector-General of the BBC

agrees Euthanasia
I can see no reason for denying individuals the right to manage their own imminent, irreversible and prospectively painful, wretched, or deeply distressing death.
Open uri20200220 4 ay2g55?1582228270

Yuval Noah Harari, Israeli historian and professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Most people tend to overestimate human beings. In order to replace most humans, the AI won't have to do very spectacular things. Most of the things the political and economic system needs from human beings are actually quite simple. We earlier talked about driving a taxi or diagnosing a disease. This is something that AI will soon be able to do better than humans even without consciousness, even w... See More
Open uri20180824 4 js4mxn?1535128844

David Cameron, Former UK Prime Minister

I ask the Labour government not to return to retribution and war on drugs. That has been tried and we all know that it does not work.
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Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the UK from 1997 to 2007

Does it instil respect and understanding, an open mind, open to inquiry, at ease with diversity, ready to learn more about other faiths? Or does it create a closed mind, a mindset vulnerable to fear, distrust and coercion, a world where “error has no rights”? In short is it good religion or bad religion? I believe the overwhelming number of our faith schools fall into the first category. They p... See More
Open uri20200220 4 ay2g55?1582228270

Yuval Noah Harari, Israeli historian and professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

disagrees Basic Income
Paying people not to work will only increase inequality and rancor. [...] If universal basic income is aimed to improve the objective conditions of the average person in 2050, it has a fair chance of succeeding. But if it is aimed to make people subjectively more satisfied with their lot in order to prevent social discontent, it is likely to fail.
Open uri20180415 4 60spco?1523782645

Rowan Williams, Former Archbishop of Canterbury

The often-forgotten fact that church schools are the main educational presence in some of our most deprived communities means that it simply can't be said that these schools somehow have a policy of sanitising or segregating.
Open uri20180423 4 1oc41hf?1524476884

Catherine Bennett, Journalist

Divisiveness is, after all, the point. Until devout parents decide, as they will not, that their religions are interchangeable, the very existence of a faith school belittles rivals and heathens alike. And even within a church as carefully non-discriminatory as the Church of England, there can be no knowing how individual teachers talk about people who, as a token of devotion, they regard as steep... See More
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A.C. Grayling,

All education should be secular. But failing that, religious indoctrination - which in a free society will occur, because one cannot outlaw religion itself, though one should argue against it vigorously – should happen at the private expense of those who choose to inflict it on their children. It should emphatically not be happening at public expense.
Open uri20180824 4 js4mxn?1535128844

David Cameron, Former UK Prime Minister

I think faith schools are an important part of our system, I support them and I would like if anything to see them grow. I think faith organisations bring often a sort of culture and ethos to a school that can help it improve and I’m a strong supporter personally and politically.
Open uri20180415 4 w52bd2?1523781479

Andrew Copson,

It remains the case that far too many people are unaware of just how badly some of these schools fail their pupils. All over the country there are children whose education is being severely limited, whose understanding of the world is being fatally undermined, and whose individuality and identity are being constrained.
Open uri20180415 4 1r4e0hj?1523780730

Richard Dawkins,

Children do need to be protected so that they can have a proper education and not be indoctrinated in whatever religion their parents happen to have been brought up in.
Open uri20180119 4 1u93ds3?1516382377

Philip Hammond, U.K. Treasury chief

agrees Soda taxes
Producers are already reformulating sugar out of their drinks [even before the sugar tax comes into effect]
Open uri20180119 4 15e8lsj?1516379626

Reza Moghadam, Economist and Vice-chairman for sovereigns and official institutions at Morgan Stanley

Macron is right - the Eurozone needs a finance minister. [...] it focuses on the essential: a collective action mechanism for managing and stabilising economies in crisis. It also does so without the need for EU Treaty changes
Open uri20170908 4 1bgohsr?1504906823

Martin Feldstein, Economics Professor @ Harvard University & President Emeritus, National Bureau of Economic Research

agrees Carbon Tax
Two-thirds of American households will receive more in carbon dividends than they will pay directly in carbon taxes.
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Philippe Van Parijs, Professor at the Faculty of Economic, Social and Political Sciences of the University of Louvain

agrees Basic Income
Basic Income: a simple and powerful idea for the twenty-first century
Open uri20161103 3 kprxoy?1478204840

Erik Olin Wright, Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin - Madison

agrees Basic Income
A generous basic income would contribute to revitalizing a socialist challenge to capitalism

Simon Jenkins,

Like the current zombie cult of maths, languages are beloved of reactionary educators for one reason: they are easy to test, quantify and regiment. They are the raw material for education’s new Holy Grail, the league table. Challenge the usefulness of such subjects, and teachers fall back on the medieval saw, that “they train the mind”. They used to say that of Latin – and corporal punishment. The... See More
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Jonathan Levin, Professor of Economics at Stanford University

Provocative idea but as stated would cost ~$3 trillion, equal to all federal tax revenue. What about e.g. national defense?
Open uri20170108 4 ilw63q?1483870094

Stuart Russell, Professor of Computer Science at Berkeley

The question is: Could you prove that your systems can’t ever, no matter how smart they are, overwrite their original goals as set by the humans?
Open uri20161031 3 17s359k?1477951029

Nancy Lublin,

Of course you need amazing people around you, people smarter than you, people who compliment your strengths. But someone has to own it and lead. Time wasted on finding a co founder, time spent negotiating, blah blah blah. Lead and ship
Open uri20170328 4 1t6ns9o?1490730711

Alistair Burt,

disagrees Brexit
To leave our friends …. and turn our backs on significant, world scale problems, and all that we take for granted will neither deal with the problems, nor help this country in the short or long term.
Open uri20160424 3 1m5aje1?1461529097

Pierre Pettigrew, Former Canadian trade minister, 1999-2003

disagrees Brexit
If it votes to leave, Britain will find itself with no access to the EU market, nor any other … A post-Brexit UK would face a very different set of conditions imposed by its erstwhile EU partners.
Open uri20170328 4 vlo0ii?1490730691

Luke Johnson, Chairman of Risk Capital Partners. Weekly columnist for the Sunday Times

agrees Brexit
I worry that it [the EU] is a growing threat to our democracy, I think that we lack control over our own borders, I worry that with ever closer union we will be forced at some point into the euro zone which is clearly a failed project.
Open uri20170328 4 1m1fdpb?1490730671

Yvette Cooper,

disagrees Brexit
There’s a good reason why the TUC, EEF and IMF are talking about the real risk to our jobs and our economy [if we vote to leave the EU]. It is working class people across Britain who would be hardest hit if we end up losing those jobs.
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Richard Howitt MEP,

disagrees Brexit
Being part of Europe is a safeguard against British governments of all political colours removing disability rights.
Open uri20160412 3 uslfz2?1460490785

Dominic Raab, Conservative Member of Parliament for Esher and Walton

agrees Brexit
In terms of jobs, the real case for leaving the EU lies with the positive opportunities from winning back the freedom to craft our own laws at home, while trading more energetically abroad with the global economies of the future
Open uri20160411 3 9alcdp?1460386992

Roger Bootle, Executive chairman, Capital Economics

agrees Brexit
If leaving the EU is a leap in the dark, then staying in is a leap in the dark with both legs shackled together and our arms tied behind our back.
Open uri20180824 4 js4mxn?1535128844

David Cameron, Former UK Prime Minister

disagrees Brexit
A vote to leave is the gamble of the century
Open uri20160308 3 1sp9nlv?1457466389

Mark Carney, Bank of England Governor

disagrees Brexit
Brexit could hit the country's £2.04 trillion economy and prompt some banks to move away from London's global financial powerhouse
Open uri20170328 4 1xt51j9?1490730695

Boris Johnson,

agrees Brexit
A vote to Remain will be taken in Brussels as a green light for more federalism, and for the erosion of democracy.
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Kitty Usher, Managing Director, Tooley Street Research

disagrees Brexit
The trend rate of GDP growth will be a little lower due to reduced competitive pressure on UK firms from possible implied or real trade barriers and the negative signal sent to prospective investors seeking to trade with the EU from Britain
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Patrick Minford, Professor of Applied Economics, Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University

agrees Brexit
In the medium and long term Breset will herald a major growth-boosting period as the UK breaks free of the over-mighty EU with its protectionist mindset and establishes free trade and intelligent regulation aimed at UK economic interests
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Peter Dixon, Economist, Commerzbank

disagrees Brexit
If we turn our back on our economic and political allies, we are operating in a world of much greater uncertainty and I would be much less optimistic about our economic future
Open uri20160123 3 afvz6s?1453581428

Nigel Carrington, Vice-Chancellor, University of the Arts London

disagrees Brexit
Without Erasmus we would have major problems in terms of enabling our students to study overseas.
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