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Image of Thinking on Sunday: Humanism in India - Babu Gogineni

Talks & Lectures

Thinking on Sunday: Humanism in India - Babu Gogineni

Sun 26 Oct 2014, 11.00

The Conway Hall Ethical Society presents

Thinking on Sunday
Humanism in India - The Laughing Buddha's Weeping Moment

The Story of how the Dalai Lama conspired to sacrifice a child for his political ambitions and spiritual beliefs; of what happened as a culmination of nearly three years of campaigning by Humanists; and of how the story unfolded on TV as a soap opera that gripped the imagination of South India.

What is happening in India, and what are the implications of the recent developments in the country for the future of Indian Secularism? A look at the forces at play in the country.

Babu Gogineni

Babu Gogineni was Executive Director of IHEU in London for 9 years before returning to his native India as IHEU’s International Director 8 years ago.

During his long association with IHEU as its Executive Director, Babu Gogineni implemented the IHEU’s move to the UK, turned IHEU into a multi-lingual pro-active campaigning organisation, firmed up IHEU’s lobbying efforts at the International institutions, organised IHEU’s first GA in Africa, and conceptualised and founded the IHEU Centre for Bioethics at the UN in New York. He helped organise IHEU’s Congresses in Mumbai (1999), Amsterdam (2002) and Paris (2005), and its first GA in Africa (2004).

Babu Gogineni has been a laureate of Oratorio a prestigious contest in India. He was part of a winning team at a Cambridge Union Society debate, and was invited by the UN to speak as an expert to its Madrid Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief Conference. He delivered Mexico National University’s Primavera Lecture on Globalisation at the Anthropology Museum of Mexico City.

Doors 10.30, £3, £2 concs./Free to Ethical Society members

Tea, Coffee & biscuits will be available.


Image of Thinking on Sunday: Scotland - what next?

Talks & Lectures

Thinking on Sunday: Scotland - what next?

Sun 2 Nov 2014, 11:00

The Conway Hall Ethical Society presents

Thinking on Sunday "Scotland - what next?"

A round table discussion with

Norman Bacrac, Chris Bratcher & Ken MacIntyre

After the trauma of the referendum we are going to consider and discuss how Scotland can best move forward. Should the Scottish make the best of the “devo-max” that was so successfully screwed out of Westminster? After all the financials of an independent Scotland never stacked up? Or should a longer view be taken now that the SNP are such a force (thanks to the outstanding Alex Salmond) and continue the fight for independence?

Or has it precipitated a long overdue restructuring of our constitution?

Should Scotland continue to play host to our weapon of mass destruction?

Come along and voice your opinion along with our three speakers, on this very important milestone for the UK.

Chris Bratcher is a former Chair and Treasurer of Conway Hall Ethical Society, and practised Sunday session and WEA/U3A lecturer on a wide range of topics born of his academic philosophical discipline of Ethics and the Philosophy of Mind, and from his studies in Literature and Fine Arts. 

Ken MacIntyre has previously presented a talk at Conway Hall on the financial crisis and the nature of money in March 2013 and researches financial and other matters in the context of elite politics. He has Masters degrees from both Edinburgh and London Universities and is a qualified pensions professional.

Norman Bacrac was first elected a Trustee of the Ethical Society several decades ago. He is also Editor of the Society's monthly journal, Ethical Record. As a former physics teacher, he is particularly interested in the hard problem of how the physics of the brain generates conscious experiences, the role it might play in determining the choices we make - and the implications of all this for humanist philosophy.

Chair – Giles Enders,

Giles have been acquainted with Conway Hall for nearly fifty years, attending Sunday Lectures and also the Sunday Concerts.  After retirement from a career in marketing he spent nearly a year organizing and cataloguing the Hawkins Music Archive.  He was invited to stand as a trustee of what is now Conway Hall Ethical Society and was duly voted in and immediately elected chair. He initiated the electronic cataloguing of the library and prevented the Sunday Concerts from closing by taking them back in-house. Although standing down as a trustee he will continue to manage the Sunday Concerts. Giles is also a life member of The National Secular Society.

Doors 10.30. Entry £3, £2 concs./Free to Ethical Society members

Tea, Coffee & biscuits will be available.


Image of Stop the First World War

Talks & Lectures

Stop the First World War

Tue 4 Nov 2014, 19.00

Oppositions to the Great War

A series of talks and discussions every Tuesday evening at 7pm from September 30th to November 11th 2014.

Curated by Deborah Lavin, and presented by Conway Hall Ethical Society and the Socialist History Society.

1914 and the Schism in International Anarchism

Pietro Dipaola

The outbreak of the First World War caused an irreparable schism in the international anarchist community. Many of the protagonists in this harsh dispute lived in exile in London, including the chief adversarie: the Russian, (Prince) Petr Kropotkin, who supported the Entente, and the Italian Errico Malatesta who argued that the ‘only acceptable war was the fight of the oppressed against the oppressors’. 

Pietro Dipaola’s talk reconstructs this debate and focuses on some of the activities and the repression of the anarchists including the interment in Alexandra Palace of the German anarchist Rudolf Rocker and the imprisonment of his companion Milly Witcop.

Not our war

Tony Zurbrugg,  publisher at the Merlin Press and editor of the recent book “Not Our War” examines  the opposition to the rising militarism before the start of the First World War and will go on to look again at the different responses of socialists and anarchists to the actual outbreak of war specifically over the years 1914-16.

Entry £5/£3 (Ethical Society and Social History Society members)


Image of 5x15 presents Atul Gawande and Will Self

Talks & Lectures

5x15 presents Atul Gawande and Will Self

Tue 4 Nov 2014, 19:00

5x15 presents

Being Mortal: Atul Gawande and Will Self in conversation

To mark the publication of Atul Gawande’s new book Being Mortal from the Wellcome Collection, join 5x15 for a discussion on the inescapable realities of aging and death. Surgeon and author Gawande is this year’s Reith Lecturer and the best selling author of  The Checklist Manifesto, Better and Complications. He will be in conversation with the brilliantly inventive journalist and author Will Self.

Gawande examines his experiences as a surgeon, as he confronts the realities of aging and dying in his patients and in his family, as well as the limits of what he can do. Riveting, honest, and humane, Being Mortal shows that the ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life – all the way to the very end.

Tickets: £15/ £12


Image of Thinking on Sunday:

Talks & Lectures

Thinking on Sunday: "For Our Children's Earth: Rebuilding the Soil, Sustaining the Future."

Sun 9 Nov 2014, 11:00

The Conway Hall Ethical Society presents

Thinking on Sunday: "For Our Children's Earth: Rebuilding the Soil, Sustaining the Future."

Professor Chris Rhodes

"Soil is the fragile living skin of the Earth.  It is living because it contains an amazing number of different organisms, and a billion microbes are present in a single teaspoonful of soil.  It is fragile because it is prone to degradation, principally by erosion. According the the United Nations, 30% of the world's crop-land has been abandoned over the past 40 years due to degradation and desertification. However, we must produce 60% more food by 2050, to match a population that is predicted to increase from 7 billion now, to 9.5 billion, then. Thus, we are destroying the productivity of that same land from which we demand a relentless increase in production. Is disaster inevitable?"

Professor Chris Rhodes  became involved with environmental issues while working in Russia during the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. He rose to become the youngest professor of physical chemistry in the U.K. at the age of 34.

He has published widely including 9 books. He is also a published novelist, journalist and poet. His novel, “University Shambles” was given a nomination for the Brit Writers’ Awards 2011: Published Writer of the Year, and has also won The U.S.-based, Authors Show 2013: "50 Great Writers You Should be Reading" award.

Chris has given numerous radio and TV interviews on environmental issues, both in Europe and in the USA - including on BBC Radio 4's Material World. Latest invitations as a speaker include a series of international lectures regarding the impending depletion of world oil and the need to develop oil-independent, sustainable societies, and to preserve the world's soils.

Chair: Stewart Ware

After graduating from the University of Essex Stewart was in the IT industry in the UK, USA and the Netherlands. He has been a member of the Ethical Society for nine years, as holding trustee for 18 months, a trustee for eight and has been involved in several Conway Hall events. He now works for the National Secular Society at its office at Conway Hall.

Doors 10.30. Entry £3, £2 concs./Free to Ethical Society members

Tea, Coffee & biscuits will be available.


Image of Stop the First World War

Talks & Lectures

Stop the First World War

Tue 11 Nov 2014, 19:00

Oppositions to the Great War

A series of talks and discussions every Tuesday evening at 7pm from September 30th to November 11th 2014.

Curated by Deborah Lavin, and presented by Conway Hall Ethical Society and the Socialist History Society.

From Slaughter to Mutiny

Ian Birchall

As the war continued more and more workers in uniform began to revolt against the authorities sending them to needless deaths. In 1917 half a million French soldiers were involved in mutinies. In 1918 mutinies by German soldiers and sailors helped to bring the war to an end. And in 1919 a French naval mutiny in the Black Sea obstructed intervention against the Russian Revolution.

Ian Birchall is a British Marxist historian and translator, former senior lecturer in French at Middlesex University.. His research interests include the Cominterm, the International Working Class, communism and Trotskyism, France an Syndicalism. He is on the editorial board of Revolutionary History, a member of the London Socialist Historians Group and has just completed a biography of Tony Cliff.

Entry £5/£3 (Ethical Society and Social History Society members)


Image of 5x15: David Mitchell introduces The Bone Clocks

Talks & Lectures

5x15: David Mitchell introduces The Bone Clocks

Wed 12 Nov 2014, 19:00

5x15 presents

David Mitchell introduces The Bone Clocks

The best-selling author of Cloud Atlas is back

Novelist David Mitchell takes to the stage for a spell-binding talk about literature, invention and the creative process. David Mitchell is the award-winning and bestselling author of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Black Swan Green, Cloud Atlas, Number9Dream, and Ghostwritten. Twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, his newest novel The Bone Clocks has been published to rave reviews and has just been selected for the 2014 Booker longlist. Mitchell was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time in 2007. With KA Yoshida, Mitchell translated from the Japanese the internationally bestselling memoir The Reason I Jump. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.

Tickets: £15/ £12

Start and End Times: 7pm-8.30pm


Image of Dean Whittington - The Perpetual Treadmill

Community

Dean Whittington - The Perpetual Treadmill

Thu 13 Nov 2014, 19:30

The Adlerian Society UK presents

Adlerian Society London Lecture: The Perpetual Treadmill - Why institutions have been silent

Lecturer: Dr Dean Whittington

The Perpetual Treadmill Why institutions have been silent. Following on from the scandals of Rotherham and Oxford, plus the revelations of systemic child abuse amongst celebrities, along with the revealing of institutional abuse in children’s homes and boarding schools, “The Perpetual Treadmill” analyses why a psychiatric, criminal justice, substance use and homeless treatment systemic silence has been the norm. Institutions and the individuals in each had a social investment in keeping themselves in operation, not to resolve a client’s predicament. Agencies have failed to engender emotional recovery based on an Adlerian sense of positing a teleological goal of being someone other than who you currently are. Instead each functions according to the tenets of Max Weber’s (1922) concept of the “iron cage of bureaucracy.” Each merely describes a person’s predicament and provides an institutional label. Alternatively I focus on how making a human connection sparks a positive change in the person on the receiving end. By describing an alternative, the current stasis becomes visible. I will provide a critique of the philosophy of the various rationalist, empirical and positivistic ideologies to detail how an academic investment has crushed those who were duly inspected and researched. Previously clients’ personal narratives have been relentlessly discarded and I detail why “complex trauma” has been institutionally silenced. This entails returning to Adler to steer a new path.

The lecturer: Dr. Dean Whittington is a psychotherapist who has worked for twenty two years in substance use and homelessness and the author of “Beaten into Violence,” “Bath of Steel” and “The Perpetual Treadmill” with a forthcoming book “The Psychology of Difference” coming out in 2015.

Admission £7 (concessions £4) All welcome. No need to book. CPD certificates are available. Lecture enquiries: evans_patel@hotmail.co.uk LINKS FOR FURTHER INFO: Website: 


Image of New Scientist Live - How the universe began

Special Events

New Scientist Live - How the universe began

Wed 19 Nov 2014, 18:30

New Scientist Magazine presents

New Scientist Live - How the universe began

with: 
Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics, University of Cambridge

A second speaker to be confirmed

Fifty years ago, two scientists in the US discovered a microwave signal that seemed to emanate from everywhere in the universe. Today it's better known as the cosmic microwave background - the afterglow of the big bang. Earlier this year we found that this signal also bears the scars of gravitational waves, the squeezing and stretching of space time itself. All this has enabled us to build an increasingly detailed picture of the birth of the universe.

Doors to Conway Hall will open at 6pm, the talk will commence at 6:30pm.

Tickets £14/£12

Tickets will only be available in advance through Eventbrite (subject to availability).


Image of The Tickle Stick: The Importance of Happiness and How To Get It

Talks & Lectures

The Tickle Stick: The Importance of Happiness and How To Get It

Sat 22 Nov 2014, 10:30

Centre for Inquiry UK and Conway Hall Ethical Socety present:

The Tickle Stick: The Importance of Happiness and How To Get It

Professors Lord Layard, Elaine Fox, and Heather Widdows discuss happiness.

Come and hear key scientific, political, and philosophical thinkers explain and explore the facts, the myths and the controversies.

Professors Lord Layard, Elaine Fox, and Heather Widdows discuss happiness. Come and hear key scientific, political, and philosophical thinkers explain and explore the facts, the myths and the controversies.

Organised and chaired by Stephen Law

Programme:

11.00 Prof. Lord Layard is a labour economist currently working as director of Well-Being Programme at the LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance. He was one of the first economists to work on happiness and co-edited the 2012 World Happiness Report.

12.00 Prof. Heather Widdows. John Ferguson Professor of Global Ethics, Department of Philosophy, University of Birmngham. “More perfect, more happy?”

Professor Widdows will consider whether and in what ways appearance and body image – being perfect – is connected to happiness. A current prevalent assumption is that those who are more perfect will be happier. Many women (and men) judge themselves and others on how much they ‘fit’ the dominant ideal, on how perfect they are, and their sense of self often follows from this. That being perfect connects to being happy is often assumed: ‘if I’m thinner, prettier, sexier s/he’ll love me more’ or ‘if I was ten pounds lighter, I’d be happier with myself and my life would go better’.

1-1.45 lunch

1.45 Prof. Elaine Fox. Author of Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain. Prof. Fox is a psychologist and neuroscientist and currently a Research Professor in the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford and Director of the Oxford Centre for Emotions & Affective Neuroscience (OCEAN).

2.45 End

CFI UK reserves the right to change programme.

Registration:

General £ 9.00
Members and Students (members of British Humanist Association, members of Conway Hall Ethical Society, and friends of CFI UK) £ 5.00


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