Talks & Lectures

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Image of Shaw and sexuality

Talks & Lectures

Shaw and sexuality

Fri 25 Apr 2014,19.30

The Shaw Society presents

“Shaw and sexuality” –  Alan Knight

Alan Knight, the chair of the Shaw Society, will look at Shaw’s discussion of sexual relations in his plays, and considers the views of critics who have detected other less explicit strains in his work.

TICKETS: On the door £2 members £4 guests

Image of Sunday Lecture - The Idea of Israel

Talks & Lectures

Sunday Lecture - The Idea of Israel

Sun 27 Apr 2014, 14.00

The Conway Hall Ethical Society presents

The Idea of Israel: Ilan Pappé

A major new history of Zionism and Israel, by Ilan Pappé, renowned author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.

Since its foundation in 1948, Israel has drawn on Zionism to provide a sense of self and political direction. In this groundbreaking new work, Ilan Pappé looks at the continued role of Zionist ideology in the creation of Israel. Join him as he discusses the way Zionism operates outside of the government and military in areas such as the country’s education system, media, and cinema, and the uses that are made of the Holocaust in supporting the state’s ideological structure.

Pappé has been attacked and received death threats since his work exposed the truth about how Palestinians have been treated, and the gruesome structure that links the production of knowledge to the exercise of power. The Idea of Israel is a powerful and urgent intervention in the war of ideas concerning the past, and the future, of the Palestinian–Israeli conflict.

Doors 13.30, £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 Sunday Lecture - The Dead Sea Scrolls: Contours of Belief

Talks & Lectures

Sunday Lecture - The Dead Sea Scrolls: Contours of Belief

Sat 27 Apr 2014, 11.00

The Conway Hall Ethical Society presents

Sunday Lecture - The Dead Sea Scrolls: Contours of Belief
Professor Philip Davies

The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in Palestine in 1947, are the only literary texts we have in Hebrew from the first century CE, when the sacrificial cult of Judaism ended, and different forms of Judaism took over, including the new religion of Judaism. The Scrolls contain texts of scripture and scriptural interpretation, as well as rules for sectarian communities. Of particular importance is the range of religious ideas that they betray, suggesting that the spectrum of beliefs at the time was much broader than was previously thought, and contains the seeds not only of orthodox forms of Christianity and Judaism, but of several strands of belief that lay on their fringes or were even hereticized. We still know very little for sure about the groups responsible for these scrolls, or their history. But we can use them to redraw the prehistory of Western (including Islamic) monotheism and its central problem, the origin and nature of evil. 

Philip R. Davies is Professor emeritus of biblical studies at the University of Sheffield. He was the Director for the Centre for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. He is the author of numerous books and articles on ancient Israelite history and religion, including Scribes and Schools (1998) in the Library of Ancient Israel. He is an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls, and has written four books on the subject.

Doors 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 Building Our Future Cities: Where Are We Going - and What Do They Mean?

Talks & Lectures

Building Our Future Cities: Where Are We Going - and What Do They Mean?

Tue 29 Apr 2014, 14.00


Building Our Future Cities: Where Are We Going - and What Do They Mean ?

A conference of talks and debate from leading speakers in construction about the environmental, economic and social implications - with particular emphasis on energy. 

This conference, sponsored by CIBSE and the Regions, is intended to inspire debate among consultants and client-side engineers. Growth? Don't think it's over - come along and think it over.

13:00 Welcome & Registration

13:30 Speakers Balcony over Lunch

Catering by Linden House, The Corinthian Trust.

14:00 In Conversation: The Built Environment meets Environmentalism

On the comfy chairs over tea:

George Adams, CIBSE President

Ruth Davis, Policy Director, Greenpeace

14:45 Short Talks: Energy, Economy, Environment & Society

Economics & Environment: Fran Boait, Positive Money

Society, Women & Environment: Sandi Rhys-Jones OBE.

Energy & Environment: Bill Bordass OBE

15:45 Refreshments

16:00 Panel Debate: Future Cities

Robin Nicholson CBE, Cullinan Studio

Charlotte Juhl Koch, 4Green Architecture

Hywel Davies - Technical Director, CIBSE HQ

Paul Fletcher, Through, future cities

16:45 Short Talks: Meeting Future Technical Challenges

Lindsay Malcolm, Buro Happold, YEPG

Hywel Davies - Technical Director, CIBSE HQ

Gareth Roberts, Sturgis

Charles Coe, BuildingSustainabilty

17:45 The Knowledge Portal Workshop

Cathie Simpson, Building Simulation (workshop leader)

Hywel Davies, Technical Director, CIBSE HQ

Cathie Simpson, Building Simulation leads this workshop with Hywel Davies about what building services engineers, clients and the public need from the CIBSE Knowledge Management Portal.

Outputs from this Workshop will be considered by CIBSE HQ

18:30 Evening Refreshments

CIBSE Membership will be circulating for introductions and advice.

19:15 End of Ticketed Event.

Free public admission to the environmental film “HOME ” the UNEP World Environment Day Film in 2009. Running time 90 minutes, followed by discussion.


CIBSE Members £10

Ethical Society and other Chartered Bodies £20

Member of the Public £30

Concessions: Free, on application

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Special Events

The Surveillance Society

Sat 3 Mar 2014, 10.30

Centre for Inquiry UK and Conway Hall Ethical Society presents
The Surveillance Society
Including Caspar Bowden, Tom Sorell, Judith Rauhofer.
Post Snowden, where do we go now? When is surveillance acceptable, and when is it wrong? Should whole swathes of public policy regarding surveillance now be junked? Three leading experts in the field present accessible and fascinating talks on our emerging surveillance society – and what to do about it.
Organized and chaired 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 Caspar Bowden. Caspar Bowden is an independent advocate for information privacy rights, and public understanding of privacy research in computer science. For nine years he was Chief Privacy Adviser for Microsoft for forty countries.
12.00 Tom Sorell. Professor of Philosophy, University of Warwick. Tom will be talking about the relation between the power of an agent of surveillance and the prima facie wrongness of surveillance.
13.45 Judith Rauhofer. Is a lawyer and lecturer in IT law at the University of Edinburgh. She will be speaking about about surveillance and the rule of law, the different understandings of "lawfulness" and the concept of privacy as a common good.
14.45 Plenary.
15.45 END
CFI UK reserves the right to change the programme due to unforeseen circumstances.

Image of Sunday Lecture - War criminals, refugees and the UK

Talks & Lectures

Sunday Lecture - War criminals, refugees and the UK

Sun 11 May 2014, 11.00

Conway Hall Ethical Society presents

War criminals, refugees and the UK - Brian Moore

Genocide, murder, torture, mass-rape and wanton destruction in violent conflicts have shamed the world for millennia and, sadly, continue today.

Yet many people consider war crimes are only committed by a handful of despots whereas the reality is very different. Mass violence requires all the resources of the state – its army, police, prisons, security & intelligence services, civil service, local politicians and business people as well as the connivance of influential institutions. In fact, most war crimes are committed by junior members of the state which suggests, even over the last 25 years in conflicts in the Balkans, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria that there are likely to be many thousands – if not hundreds of thousands - of suspected war criminals at large. But what happens to them and where do they go when the regime changes or they are on the losing side?

The UK Home Office reports that there are about 100 ‘suspected war criminals’ known in the UK but research suggests these are only the people who self-declare their presence in the UK.

Brian Moore, former Chief Constable and Director General of the UK Border Force, is the founder of an organisation called Torture Aware UK. He outlines the relevant international treaties which inform the UK’s legal commitments to providing no safe haven for international criminals whilst affording refuge to those facing persecution. Drawing from his research, he critiques the UK’s approach to war criminals and outlines what more should be done, in particular the vital role that communities could play in helping to hold perpetrators to account.

This is a subject suffused with dilemmas about how to achieve justice where a person is a victim or a criminal or sometimes both.

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

Tea & Coffee will be available.

Image of Through the Looking Glass

Talks & Lectures

Through the Looking Glass

Tue 13 May 2014, 19.30

The Adlerian Society UK presents

Adlerian Society London Lecture:

Through the Looking Glass – Entering the Client’s Metaphoric Imagery

Presented by Paola Prina

Metaphor holds a crucial place in human communication and experience. It can offer valuable insight into what is really being said by a client and can be a useful tool in therapy. Paola will give a brief description of Metaphor Therapy and the original techniques developed by Dr. Richard R. Kopp in the use of client-generated metaphors as opposed to therapist-generated metaphors. These are the metaphors that spring naturally and spontaneously in our everyday language (spoken metaphors) and, under certain conditions, in Early Recollections. The two techniques he has developed are based on one principle: the therapist is responsible for the “process” and the client is responsible for the “content". The therapist stays "out of the way” as opposed to many approaches where an active participation from the therapist is expected in terms of interpretation, challenge, sometimes confrontation and re-framing.

Paola Prina was introduced to these techniques at an ICASSI Summer School in Ottawa, Canada, and subsequently she trained with Richard Kopp to add to her qualifications as an Accredited Adlerian Counsellor (IIP), a Psychotherapist (Dip. PHTA) and an Adlerian Supervisor (Cert. IIP). She is one of the Vice-Presidents of the UK Adlerian Society, a member of the Institute for Individual Psychology and one of the editors of the UK Adlerian Year Book.

Admission £7 (concessions £4) All welcome. No need to book. Start 19.30, End 21.00

CPD certificates are available. Lecture enquiries:

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 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 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

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