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Special Events

Boring Conference

Sat 31 May 2014, 10.00

The Boring Conference is a one-day celebration of the mundane, the ordinary, the obvious and the overlooked – subjects often considered trivial and pointless, but when examined more closely reveal themselves to be deeply fascinating.

It was created in response to the cancellation of the 2010 Interesting Conference. It seemed like the obvious thing to do.

Previous speakers have included Jon Ronson, Robin Ince, Josie Long and Adam Curtis. People have talked about sneezing, toast, IBM tills, the sounds made by vending machines, the Shipping Forecast, barcodes, yellow lines, London shop fronts, the television programme Antiques Road Trip and the features of the Yamaha PSR-175 Portatune keyboard.

Tickets will go on sale in batches to ensure everyone gets a chance to get a ticket (in previous years they have sold out very quickly).

The first 100 tickets will be available at an early bird price of £15, and then after that, they’ll be £20 (£15 concs).

The first batch of tickets will go on sale on Friday 28th February at 1pm.

The second batch of tickets will go on sale on Friday 7th March at 1pm.

Photo: Ed Moore

Image of Rhinegold Live: Andrew Litton plays Oscar Peterson

Special Events

Rhinegold Live: Andrew Litton plays Oscar Peterson

Mon 2 Jun 2014, 18.30

World-renowned conductor Andrew Litton returns to his first love – the piano – for this very special recital. Based on scores transcribed by fellow pianist Steven Osborne, the programme spans four decades of Oscar Peterson’s legacy and launches Andrew’s forthcoming CD release, A Tribute to Oscar Peterson.

The concert will be preceded by a complimentary drinks reception (for ticket holders) and followed by a Q&A conducted by International Piano Magazine's Editor, Claire Jackson. 

6.00 - doors open
6.30 - concert begins
7.30 - Q&A / drinks reception begins

Registration Free - Booking Needed for Entry.

Image of God in the Lab: The Science of Religious Belief

Talks & Lectures

God in the Lab: The Science of Religious Belief

Sat 14 Jun 2014, 10.30

Centre for Inquiry UK and Conway Hall Ethical Society present

God in the Lab: The Science of Religious Belief

What lies behind exorcism and speaking in tongues? How rational are atheists? Does morality depend on religion? Profs. Chris French, Jon Lanman and Glen Carrigan discuss some fascinating recent research and findings re. religious and atheistic belief systems.

Presented by Stephen Law

£10 (£5 students, Members of Conway Hall Ethical Society and the British Humanist Association). Free to friends of CFI UK.

10.30 registration. 11.00 – 15.45

11.00 Glen Carrigan.

An introduction to a morality where God is not at its centre. Using the 4 S’s of science, skepticism, sarcasm and satire whilst employing neuropsychological research and a humanistic world view, we’ll look at what the alternatives are to a pious moral code and why people and groups might make the decisions they do. 

Glen is a neuropsychology researcher and senior demonstrator at the University of Central Lancashire specialising in moral psychology, youth engagement and with an interest in all things science.

12.00 Chris French. 

Chris French is Professor of Psychology at Goldsmith’s College, London and will be talking about, among other things, possession, exorcism, and speaking-in-tongues. His latest book is Anomalistic Psychology: Exploring Paranormal Belief and Experience.

13.00-13.45 lunch

13.45 Jon Lanman. 

"Atheism: The View from Cognitive Science" Cognitive Science is the interdisciplinary study of the mind and is in principle and in practice relevant to our understanding of atheism. In this talk, I will review how cognitive science enriches our understanding of belief and rationality, challenges commonly discussed theories of religion and atheism, and provides a more empirically grounded account of the mind that we can utilize to better understand the causes and effects of atheism and anti-atheist prejudice.Dr Jonathan Lanman is the Assistant Director of the Institute of Cognition and Culture and Lecturer in Anthropology at Queen's University Belfast.

14.45-15.30 Roundtable and Q & A.

15.30 END 

CFI UK reserves the right to change the programme due to unforeseen circumstances.

Image of Sunday Sermon: Mary Anne Hobbs on Love & Loyalty

Talks & Lectures

Sunday Sermon: Mary Anne Hobbs on Love & Loyalty

Sun 22 Jun 2014, 11.15

The School of Life presents

Sunday Sermon: Mary Anne Hobbs on Love & Loyalty

Growing up in an isolated hamlet in Lancashire, in a house where music was banned by her father has lead Mary Anne to have a profound relationship with music and an extraordinary loyalty to her work. Listening to John Peel under her duvet and secreting away her 7” records for fear of her father smashing them up; this act of dedication to music, in the face of adversity, has led to her deep commitment to her career. But can work really replace family?

Many people are not part of a ‘conventional’ family and the numbers of people living alone in the UK are increasing. So where can we look to find the love and loyalty that we all need if our families are maybe far away or problematic? In this sermon Mary Anne will be leading us through the passions that have driven her to have the colourful life she has lead and what she has learnt along the way about what ‘family’ means to her.

Expect to hear stories of her remarkable adventures along with ideas she has never spoken about publicly before.

Mary Anne Hobbs hosts the Weekend Breakfast Show on BBC 6 Music and is probably best known for her 14-year career at BBC Radio1 hosting the Breezeblock, the Rock Show and BBC Radio1 Experimental. She worked on sound design for Darren Aronofsky and Clint Mansell on their Oscar winning film ‘Black Swan’ and the soundtrack was nominated for a Grammy. Less well known is her work as a mentor and speaker on the topic of passion and the power of music.

Tickets: £15

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Courses & Workshops

Live, Love & Lead Authentically

Tue 24 Jun 2014, 19.00

NOW Live Events presents

Live, Love & Lead Authentically

A self-development workshop with Sarah Abell

In this live interactive workshop you will explore what it means to “be real” and truly show up as yourself. You’ll discover the positive consequences of authenticity for your well-being, relationships, creativity and work. Sarah Abell is an expert on authenticity. She is a relationships coach, the author of “Inside Out – how to have authentic relationships with everyone in your life” (Hodder 2011) and she has spoken on authentic connections at two recent TEDx events.

Tickets £15

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Religious Education Teachers' Conference

Wed 16 Jul 2014, 10.00

The British Humanist Association, supported by Conway Hall Ethical Society, presents a free day-conference for Religious Education teachers to explore Humanism and the inclusion of non-religious perspectives in Religious Education.

Religious Education teachers know that for their subject to remain relevant and engaging it is vital that it includes non-religious perspectives alongside religious beliefs as part of a broad and balanced curriculum. This view is supported by the Secretary of State for Education and by the Religious Education Council for England and Wales.

Surveys consistently show that a high proportion of young people are not religious, and it is vital that these young people are able to explore their own beliefs as they develop their own moral and ethical framework that will take them through to adult life.

The case for including Humanism in RE as non-religious worldview has never been stronger, but RE teachers will be the first to admit that they would value extra support and resources to be able to confidently include Humanism in lessons.

This day conference is aimed at Religious Education teachers, Head Teachers, Local Authority RE advisors, RE subject specialists and co-ordinators to increase teachers’ confidence and competence in planning and delivering lessons that include Humanism.

Registration is Free

10.00 - 16.00

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