Angela Alexander

Angela Alexander

I'm a retired pharmacist with an interest in climate change and sustainability. At the University of Reading, where I am Professor Emerita, I ran an obesity course on FutureLearn so love the platform.

Location Reading


  • Thank you for a good course.

  • It's a pity none of the Educators respond to questions like this.

  • @ClareW yes of course I was being a bit facetious. As a pharmacist I have seen the benefits but also the downside of big pharma. Just look at the opioid crisis in the US.

  • Angela Alexander made a comment

    This month I've seen a lot of advertisements for a sustainable electric toothbrush. I guess they are available in most countries? They are trying to persuade me to ditch my old one and buy theirs - it being better for the planet! But surely it's better to continue to use what I have and get it repaired if it breaks? The systems thinking we need is not to keep...

  • I'm not sure any technofix really helped me. Can I go back to living in a cave?!!

  • Sorry but no! Although big business will always try and sell us a solution. Look what happened to the pharmaceutical industry. They even invented diseases for drugs that we never needed. Just let nature do what it does best. We live, we die.

  • My move to a more sustainable life has cost me a lot in monetary terms but I consider it a donation to mankind on Earth.

  • Some good reading to follow up on. Just this week I was at a meeting where B-Corps were discussed. It's hard for the pioneers though especially when they see non-sustainable companies making massive profits at the expense of the individual and humanity.

  • This is not something I have read or heard about before. I almost think we need to go back to the basics to save humanity on the planet, but realise that is impossible.

  • The loss of biodiversity is very noticeable over my lifetime. But rather than feeling dejected, this has inspired me to do more to try and reverse it. Locally we have reintroduced species that had died out. Personally, I talk to as many as will listen to get the community to do something.

  • It's all about working together as a community to find the solution and not waiting for others to tell us what to do

  • I'm trying to get the community to work together on this by setting up an ECO Action Hub in Maidenhead.

  • Hello, I'm from England. I spent a few years attending courses to learn Icelandic, so I wonder if there are similarities? Due to climate change, I am intending to restrict my use of flights and travel more by boat or train so Norway becomes accessible. I have been on a Fjord Cruise in the past and loved the country.

  • I live in the Southeast of England and have an allotment where I use the no-dig method to grow vegetables.

  • Hello everyone. I'm a pharmacist and amateur geologist plus a no-dig gardener so interested in soil from many aspects

  • What has changed is my knowledge of how we got to where we are now in understanding Shakespeare's plays.

  • I think Shakespeare is beyond global in a geographical sense. His writings transcend time or place.

  • Like you I thought I disliked Shakespeare on film but I can see that a good Director, and the help of a good analyst, can make a difference.

  • Since there were laws on who could wear what, I imagine that acting might draw in people who had an interest in fashion. Whereas today if you want to wear what a princess is wearing you can just head to the high street!

  • I commented earlier about how I though cue scripts, which I'd never heard of before this course, might create spontaneity and it seems it is the case! I guess now actors get to see the full play they have to think about how to build that into their performance.

  • I love how the interruption was engineered in through the repeated cue. I wonder how often this happened.

  • I wonder if the fact that you only got your part would make it the performance a bit more spontaneous as you wouldn't know quite what was coming.

  • I had no idea about the influence of the editor and had assumed there was just one version and that was "gospel" truth. Very naive.

  • How perceptive. I have never really thought about what actors think about what they are saying.

  • I prefer Q1 as I prefer the flow of the language, but I think that F1 is more descriptive and would portray Ophelia's experiences better. So if I were to be the director I would choose the second.

  • I see some similarities in relation to time and light. And both draw us into memories. The sonnet form always quite a lot of expression which is sometimes lacking in other forms.

  • Angela Alexander made a comment

    Absolutely fascinating about how the changes in publication mirrored views of the time

  • Thanks for that information. I know that I miss out if I only read a play rather than seeing it. To me so much is the performance, the pauses, the unspoken body language. But then again if only seen you miss out on the analysis of the words, going back over what has just been said. Pros and cons for either, that is why I prefer both!

  • What lovely memories Joyce.

  • Great link thanks. I love the idea that "because he was not an apologist for any single position, it has been possible for the plays to be reinterpreted in the light of each successive age."

  • I can see that having your work in print would enable the performance of the plays to spread, as more companies could put them on. I assume there was no restriction on who coudl perform them? But did people also just read the plays for their own entertainment? Personally I never read plays first and much prefer to see performances, although I do like to go...

  • Same here, it is very hard to "not know" what you do know so I think we are all influenced by life events and what we have heard or read. As you say it is what you do with it that defines you. And in particular how you take ideas forward.

  • I enjoyed learning about the categories of presentation of his works and also learning more about the places of the original performances.

  • The acoustics in the Globe can be tricky now if there is a police helicopter hovering around!

  • I'd assumed they were above the stage - a bit like a minstrels gallery?

  • I think the presence of pillars would have favoured those standing as they could move around to see the action. I think the use of props, other than those that could be carried on by the actor, would be fairly minimal but I could be wrong?

  • Just heard the answer in 1.12 - very interesting.

  • This year I saw a wonderful Fringe production of Julius Caesar, produced by an all women cast from Australia. Not women pretending to be men but recast as women. Somehow the personal tensions between the characters worked better for me with them being women....

  • I think the fact that Shakespeare plays can be presented in all these different styles is a demonstration of his genius. I wonder to what extent he was aware of his genius or had any hopes that we would still be studying and performing his works hundreds of years later., and across the world.

  • This has applied to me too. There have been some brilliant performances recently, which have inspired me to study more.

  • I'm interested in the locations of the performance of his plays and didn't realise that the Middle Temple was where Twelfth Night was first performed. Do we know why?

  • Prolific, outstanding, courageous

  • And I have a science background!