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Image of The Future of Humanism and Observations on Ethics and Science

Talks & Lectures

The Future of Humanism and Observations on Ethics and Science

Wed 14 May 2014, 19.00

The Central London Humanist Group presents

The Future of Humanism and Observations on Ethics and Science

John Shook - AHA 

John Shook, PhD, is the education coordinator of the American Humanist Association. He is visiting the UK in May and has kindly agreed to come along and talk to CLH.

After receiving his PhD in philosophy from the University at Buffalo in 1994, he taught at small colleges and then was a professor of philosophy at Oklahoma State University from 2000 to 2006. John then joined the faculty of the Science and the Public online EdM program at the University at Buffalo, and he continues to be an instructor for this online program.

Also, since 2006, he has worked for several secular and humanist organizations, including the Center for Inquiry, the American Humanist Association, the Humanist Institute, and the Institute for Humanist Studies, and for several years he was President of the Society of Humanist Philosophers.

John has authored and edited more than a dozen books about science, pragmatism, naturalism, ethics, politics, and religion. His recent book is The God Debates: A 21st Century Guide for Atheists and Believers (and Everyone in Between), and he also edited a volume of William James’s writings on pragmatism and a volume of Paul Kurtz’s writings on skepticism. He has published many articles about naturalism, secularism, and humanism in academic journals and magazines such as Free Inquiry, The Humanist, Humanist Perspectives, Think, and The Philosopher’s Magazine. 

Doors at 18.30 for the talk at 19.00.

Please arrive early to have a glass of wine from our charity wine bar find your seat and chat with other members. 

Donations to the wine bar will go to John's chosen charity which is the British Humanist Association.

All our talks are open to the general public and free to attend but we ask those who can to make a donation of what they can afford to cover the costs of room and equipment hire and help keep our talks free to all. 

Image of London Burlesque Festival

Special Events

London Burlesque Festival

15 - 25 May 2014

Chaz Royal presents

The 8th Annual London Burlesque Festival 
Red Carpet Rollout

VIP Opening Gala

Thursday May 15th

The 8th Annual London Burlesque Festival is back in full glory and the Red Carpet Rollout previews some of the finest and most inspiring talent this year. Witness high octane glamour and sheer opulence at this prestigious 5 star VIP Opening Gala.

Crown Jewels - 'Best of British'

Saturday May 17th

LBF has scoured the nation for the most talented and unique British Burlesque & Variety acts. Bringing new, emerging and established performers together, the Crown Jewels creates a magnificent display of the best talent in the UK scene.

Hollywood Revue

Tuesday May 20th

Lights, camera, action! LBF pulls out all the stops for an evening of star-studded glamour, paying tribute to the greatest film stars and most memorable moments from the silver screen.

Burlesque, Gin & Jazz

Wednesday May 21st

Infusing sultry classic Burlesque with a night of sizzling hot, steamy wailing jazz from the 1930′s-60′s. Dust off your dancing shoes and prepare for an evening at LBF like no other with Burlesque, Gin & Jazz, the hottest show around!

Sexy Circus Sideshow

Thursday May 22nd

If you're looking for candy floss this isn't it. If you're after a thrilling boozy freak show, then you've come to the right place! A 'Carnival cavalcade of saucy showgirls, sexy sideshow stunts, neurotic novelty and vaudeville variety', this acclaimed extravaganza is guaranteed to blow your mind!

Big Burlesque Day Out

Saturday May 24th

A fun and informative daytime event for all fans of Burlesque. Whether you're a performer, fan, promoter or complete newbie, if you love Burlesque we can guarantee that this event will have something for you! With seminars, a vendors market, fashion shows, workshops, tea, cakes, cocktails and an afternoon Burlesque show, The Big Burlesque Day Out is the No.1 social event for any Burlesque aficionados calendar.

LBF All-Stars

Saturday May 24th

LBF has become renowned for bringing together the most superior acts from around the globe and this year is no exception. The most acclaimed names from past LBF moments and award winning artists from the World Burlesque Games come together for a prestigious evening of show-stopping entertainment. LBF at its very best! 

London's Premiere Burlesque, Cabaret & Variety Festival Since 2007.

*Early bird prices are marked at 50% - 63% OFF (Select Shows) until December 27th.

LBF 2014 All Access Pass: General £109, VIP Pass £199. For Day tickets. Please check website.

Image of Sunday Lecture - The Ethics of Liberation Wars

Talks & Lectures

Sunday Lecture - The Ethics of Liberation Wars

Sun 18 May 2014, 11.00

The Conway Hall Ethical Society presents

Sunday Lecture - The Ethics of Liberation Wars
Dan Thea

Largely due to European colonisation and its aftermath, Africa is today the least developed, most marginalised and most misunderstood continent. As free peoples, Africans are increasingly redressing this situation. In this talk Dan Thea aims to make a contribution to raising awareness of this problem worldwide, and making a call for the necessary correction.

The talk will illustrate the justice of, and the will to conduct wars of liberation with particular reference to the Kenyan Mau Mau War, 1952-61; the Algerian National Liberation War, 1954-62, the Angolan Liberation war, the ANC war against Apartheid and the special case of the war for the secession of South Sudan from the Sudan.
The talk will, of course, also acknowledge the internationalist support given by the USSR, the (then) Eastern European socialist states and by Cuba.

Dan Thea was born in colonial Kenya and attended university in Britain. After a brief period of work in private sector his main career is now in local government.

A life-long trade unionist, prominent in equality campaigns; including contributing in the content of the Race Relations Act, an activist in equality struggles, and an initiator of equality monitoring in Britain. He has decades of experience in the Anti-Apartheid Movement, and also writes monthly articles for the Chartist and the Liberation Journal. He is a patron of Mau Mau Justice Network.

Thea last spoke at Conway Hall in his capacity as the Deputy Chair of the Anti-Apartheid Movement; and acknowledges Conway Hall’s contribution to that historic struggle. Africa continues to need your support. 

Door 10.30, £5 in advance, £2 concs./Free to Ethical Society members

(Entry is limited, so please book well in advance)

Tea & Coffee will be available.

Image of Quatuor Tana

Sunday Concerts

Quatuor Tana

Sun 18 May 2014, 18.30

Antoine Maisonhaute violin
Pieter Jansen violin
Maxime Desert viola
Jeanne Maisonhaute cello

Mozart: Quartet in D minor KV421
Nielsen: Quartet No.3 in E flat Op.14
Nimrod Borenstein: Meditation and Burlesque
Debussy: Quartet in G minor Op.10

£9 tickets, £4 for full-time students (free entry for under-16s)

Doors open at 17.30. Start 18.30

Image of Werther Ensemble

Sunday Concerts

Werther Ensemble

Sun 25 May 2014, 18.30

Jamie Campbell violin
Hannah Strijbos viola
James Barralet cello
Simon Callaghan piano 

Brahms Project Concert 4

Pre-concert recital at 5.30pm:

Brahms: Sonata in G Op.78

Main recital:

Brahms: Piano Quartet in C minor Op.60
Brahms: Piano Quartet in A Op.26

£9 tickets, £4 for full-time students (free entry for under-16s)

Doors open at 17.30. Start 18.30

Image of NOW Live Events: Do Improvise with Robert Poynton

Courses & Workshops

NOW Live Events: Do Improvise with Robert Poynton

Tue 27 May 2014, 19.00

NOW Live Events presents

Do Improvise

A self-development workshop with Robert Poynton.

In this live interactive workshop, you will learn how to deal with the unplanned and unexpected and to improve your natural ability to act with courage and conviction no matter what life throws at you, with creativity and improvisation coach Robert Poynton, author of Do Improvise (The Do Book Company, £8.99).

In this workshop you will learn:

  • Strategies for overcoming creative blocks
  • How to generate new ideas
  • Effective ways to respond fluently to all circumstances

Watch Robert’s Beyond Control talk on You Tube.

Tickets £15

Image of Boring Conference

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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