The Week Unwrapped: Pig hearts, student feedback and own goals

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters.

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In this week’s episode, we discuss:

Animal transplants

David Bennett, a 57-year-old American, has become the first person to receive a heart transplant from a pig. The organ was sourced from an animal genetically engineered to produce a heart that was less likely to be rejected by a human recipient. The surgery remains experimental and is unlikely to be widely available for some time, but it raises several ethical questions about the risk for humans and the production of animals as donor species.

Anonymous feedback

In many countries, students are encouraged to submit anonymous feedback about their university lecturers. While many use this opportunity for praise or constructive criticism, some are taking advantage of the anonymity of the system to abuse their teachers, sometimes with cruel personal attacks. Should anonymous feedback be phased out? Or is it an essential assessment tool for universities charging large sums of money for tuition.

Political games

The UK and Ireland are reportedly planning to abandon their joint attempt to host the 2030 World Cup, in favour of a bid for the European Championships in 2028. Hosting the World Cup, 100 years after the first tournament, had been a major focus for the FA and a bid was part of the 2019 Conservative manifesto, but multiple media reports state the British and Irish effort is flagging behind another European joint bid from Spain and Portugal and a bid from South America – especially as Uruguay hosted the inaugural event in 1930. Is the FA recalibrating its efforts to bring football home.


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