Back-to-School 2021: Schedule of Inaugural Lectures

Welcome new and welcome back, Sciences Po students! Our 2021 Back-to-School programme of inaugural lectures promises to set you on the right track for an inspiring, fulfilling, and exciting academic year.

Each year, the inaugural lessons are an opportunity to highlight the values and ambitions of Sciences Po's educational programme. This 2021 edition will be no exception to the rule, as we will have the honour of welcoming prestigious guests such as Nicholas Stern, Director of the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (LSE); Emmanuelle Cosse, President of the Union sociale pour l'habitat (French social housing association); Champaka Rajagopal, Visiting Professor, Azim Premji University (India); Olivier de Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights; Naja Nielsen, Digital Director at the BBC; Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Professor of philosophy at Columbia University; Gabriel Attal, Secretary of State to the Prime Minister and Government Spokesperson and Éric Dupond-Moretti, French Minister of Justice.

Most of the inaugural lessons will be open to the public in livestream (Sciences Po students will be able to connect and ask their questions via the connection link sent by their respective Schools). Also follow on social networks with #RentréeScPo.

Schedule of Inaugural Lectures

Graduate Schools:

24 August

5pm: Inaugural lecture of the School of Management and Innovation by Nicholas Stern, Director of the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (LSE), author of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, on the theme "Building Sustainable Development for the 21st Century: Policies, Institutions, Behaviour, Collaborations". Also in attendance will be Natacha Valla, Dean of the School of Management and Innovation and Bénédicte Durand, Acting President of Sciences Po. Read more

26 August

10:15am: Inaugural lecture of the Urban School on “How are Cities facing COVID challenges?", in the presence of Emmanuelle Cosse, President of the Union sociale pour l'habitat, former Minister of Housing; Champaka Rajagopal, Visiting Professor, Azim Premji University (India) and independent consultant for Indian and international organisations; and Patrick Le Galès, Dean of the Urban School. Watch the replay

2pm: Formal year opening of the School of Research on the theme "Training for research in times of crisis", with Pierre François, Dean of the School of Research; Guillaume Plantin, Scientific Director and Bénédicte Durand, Acting President of Sciences Po, with the Directors of Studies and the entire Research School team. For students of the School of Research only.

1st September 

5:15pm: Inaugural lecture of the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) in the presence of : Olivier de Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights; Mark Maloney, Dean of the School of International Affairs and Bénédicte Durand, Acting President of Sciences Po. Read more.

2 September

5pm: Inaugural lecture of the Journalism School on the theme "Is Journalism important anymore?", by Naja Nielsen, Digital Director at the BBC. Watch the replay.

8 September

5pm : Inaugural lecture of the School of Public Affairs with Gabriel Attal, Secretary of State to the Prime Minister and Government Spokesperson and Bénédicte Durand, Acting President of Sciences Po.

9 September

Inaugural lecture of the Law School with Éric Dupond-Moretti, French Minister of Justice.

Undergraduate College :

To start the academic year, the inaugural lecture of the Undergraduate College will be given by the philosopher Souleymane Bachir Diagne, in a hybrid format. It will be accessible to all students and external audience members. In addition, students on Sciences Po’s regional campuses will also have access to dedicated inaugural lectures, delivered by a number of prestigious guests.

24 August

11am: Inaugural lecture of the Europe-Africa Programme on the Reims campus, with Carlos Lopes, economist and former Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa. Also in the presence of Stéphanie Balme, Dean of the Sciences Po College. For students of the campus only.

12pm: Inaugural lesson of the Europe-North America Programme of the Reims campus with Janice Stein, founding director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. Also in the presence of Stéphanie Balme, Dean of the Sciences Po College. For students of the campus only.

25 August

11am: Inaugural lecture of the Nancy campus with journalist Kati Marton on the theme "The Chancellor: the remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel". Also in the presence of Stéphanie Balme, Dean of the Sciences Po College. For students of the campus only.

26 August

11am: Inaugural lecture of the Paris campus with journalist Jean Birnbaum. Also in the presence of Stéphanie Balme, Dean of the Sciences Po College. For students of the campus only.

30 August

3:45pm: Inaugural lecture of the Menton campus with historian Sophie Bessis. Also in the presence of Laurence Bertrand Dorléac, Chair of the National Foundation of Political Science (FNSP), and Stéphanie Balme, Dean of the Sciences Po College. For students of the campus only.

1st September

11.15am: Inaugural lecture of the Dijon campus with Nadège Ragaru, Director of Research at the CERI-CNRS, on the subject "Politiques de l'histoire: nos passés ont-ils un avenir?” (“Politics of History : Do our pasts have a future?”). Also in the presence of Laurence Bertrand Dorléac, Chair of the National Foundation of Political Science (FNSP), and Stéphanie Balme, Dean of the Sciences Po College. For students of the campus only.

2 September

6pm: Inaugural lesson of the Undergraduate College with Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Philosopher and Professor at Columbia University, on the theme "The Universal in a Plural World". In the presence of Laurence Bertrand Dorléac, Chair of the National Foundation of Political Science (FNSP), Bénédicte Durand, Acting President of Sciences Po and Stéphanie Balme, Dean of the Sciences Po College. Watch the replay.

7 September

2.45pm: Inaugural lesson of Le Havre campus with Gillian Bird, Australian ambassador to France. In the presence of Laurence Bertrand Dorléac, Chair of the National Foundation of Political Science (FNSP), and Stéphanie Balme, Dean of the Sciences Po College. For students of the campus only.

9 September

4:30pm: Inaugural lecture of the Poitiers campus with political scientist Miguel Lago. Also in the presence of Laurence Bertrand Dorléac, Chair of the National Foundation of Political Science (FNSP), and Stéphanie Balme, Dean of the Sciences Po College. For students of the campus only.

Back to School 2021: Welcome to our new Undergraduate College students!

Back to School 2021: Welcome to our new Undergraduate College students!

It’s back to school across Sciences Po’s campuses: this time in person, without capacity restrictions! The Undergraduate College is delighted to welcome its 4,626 students (all three years included) for the start of the academic year 2021-2022. We spoke to new and returning students, all of whom were enthusiastic to be on campus kickstarting an exciting year.

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