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Image of Thinking on Sunday: Has human prosperity peaked already?

Talks & Lectures

Thinking on Sunday: Has human prosperity peaked already?

Sun 30 Nov 2014, 11:00

The Conway Hall Ethical Society

Thinking on Sunday - Has human prosperity peaked already? with Hazhir Teimourian

Will the future bring only greater poverty and more turmoil? Is it too late for us to take preventive action? Do we have any real leadership in the world, or are we merely drifting? These questions sound hyperbolic and we must hope they will prove just that. But the signs are frightening. We are not reversing climate change and the population of the world, particularly in the tropics, continues to grow rapidly. Unicef predicts that there will be over one billion under-18s in Africa alone by the middle of the century, only 36 years away. If that extra population were to achieve a decent standard of living, the consequences for the climate would be dire. The prediction is that it will not achieve even a modest standard of living, one of the results being severe migration pressures towards the industrialised world.

Hazhir Teimourian believes that the underlying main cause of the present turmoil in Arab countries is large numbers of young people unable to find worthwhile jobs.  He hopes to be proved mistaken, so please come along and show him!

Hazhir Teimourian was born in the Kurdish country of western Iran in 1940 and has lived and worked in the UK as a commentator on the Middle East for decades, mainly with the BBC and The Times. He is the author of a detailed biography of Omar Khayyam, the eleventh century freethinker and poet who nearly succumbed to the lynch mob. He is writing a book with a professor of demographics at the University of Oxford to investigate these trends and has begun to consult some of the world’s top thinkers and scientists to aid him.

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

Doors 10.30. Tea, Coffee & biscuits will be available.


Image of London Thinks - Ben Goldacre: I Think You'll Find It's a Bit More Complicated Than That!

Special Events

London Thinks - Ben Goldacre: I Think You'll Find It's a Bit More Complicated Than That!

Mon 1 Dec 2014, 19:30

Conway Hall Ethical Society presents

London Thinks - Ben Goldacre: I Think You'll Find It's a Bit More Complicated Than That!

The very best journalism from one of Britain’s most admired and outspoken science writers, author of the bestselling "Bad Science" and "Bad Pharma" and his new book "I Think You'll Find It's a Bit More Complicated Than That" - which is now an Amazon No.1 Bestseller.

The event will be chaired by Prof. Trisha Greenhalgh OBE.

In ‘Bad Science’, Ben Goldacre hilariously exposed the tricks that quacks and journalists use to distort science. In ‘Bad Pharma’, he put the $600 billion global pharmaceutical industry under the microscope. Now the pick of the journalism by one of our wittiest, most indignant and most fearless commentators on the worlds of medicine and science is collected in one volume.

Dr. Ben Goldacre is a best-selling author, broadcaster, campaigner, medical doctor and academic who specialises in unpicking the misuse of science and statistics by journalists, politicians, quacks, drug companies, and more.
His first book “Bad Science” (4th Estate) has sold over 500,000 copies to date, is published in 18 countries, and reached number one in the UK non-fiction bestseller charts. Bad Pharma, is on bad behaviour in the pharmaceutical industry and medicine more broadly, and I Think You'll Find It's a Bit More Complicated Than That! is about the complex world of bad journalism: it is now a top ten UK best seller.

Ben's books will be available to buy on the night. 

Prof Trish Greenhalgh is Professor of Primary Health Care and Dean for Research Impact at Barts Hospital, and an internationally recognised academic in primary health care and a non-principal general practitioner in north London. She joined Barts and the London Medical School in 2010 to set up the Healthcare Innovation and Policy Unit within the Centre for Primary Care and Public Health. 
Her many awards and prizes include Order of the British Empire for Services to Medicine, National Institute for Health Research Senior Investigator Award, Royal College of General Practitioners Research Paper of the Year Award and European Health Management Association Baxter Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Research in Healthcare Management.

Complimentary wine, soft drinks and nibbles will be available on the night too.

Tickets £15/£5 concessions and Conway Hall Ethical Society Members.

London Thinks is Conway Hall Ethical Society's monthly discourse on the big issues and problems of society in our age.


Image of A ‘New Magna Carta’?

Talks & Lectures

A ‘New Magna Carta’?

Thu 4 Dec 2014, 18:00

The National Secular Society presents

A ‘New Magna Carta’: time for a written constitution?

As the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta approaches, has the time come for the UK to have a written constitution? And if so, what form should it take?

These issues will be discussed at a public event at Conway Hall on 4 December, by Graham Allen MP, chair of the Parliamentary Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee, and Bob Morris, from the UCL Constitution Unit.

The speakers will set out the pros and cons and consider the possible implications for secularism.

The Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee has launched a major consultation into the UK's current and future democratic settlement, which could potentially lead to the constitution being codified in what is being called a 'New Magna Carta'. The committee have recommended three possible ways forward:

  • Constitutional Code – a document that doesn't have legal force, but which would set out the existing principles of the constitution and the workings of government.
  • Constitutional Consolidation Act – a document which would consolidate existing constitutional laws in one place.
  • Written Constitution – a document of basic law by which the UK would be governed, setting out the relationship between the state and its citizens.

Graham Allen, the Labour MP for Nottingham North, is an honorary associate of the National Secular Society, and a high profile supporter of constitutional reform.

Bob Morris is a former Home Office career civil servant. At the UCL Constitution Unit. Bob Morris has worked on a number of ecclesiastical and royal issues, including their 2009 report on Church and State in 21st century Britain.

The event is free and open to all but attendees must either register online or reserve places by calling 020 7404 3126.


Image of Thinking on Sunday -Should we spend billions looking into deep space?

Talks & Lectures

Thinking on Sunday -Should we spend billions looking into deep space?

Sun 7 Dec 2014, 11:00

The Conway Hall Ethical Society presents

Prof. Lucio Piccirillo

I will talk about big basic science projects and the huge tax payers money required, and in particular what is involved in setting up and running a large expensive space program, where there is no very obvious return to the man-in-the-street.

This is a very real and important question for humanity.  I will discuss and will present a personal view on the rationale of  why we should continue to make such investments in basic research and astrophysics and the consequences of this to the general public.

Lucio Piccirillo is Professor of Radio Astronomy Technology at the University of Manchester. Before arriving in Manchester he worked in the Netherlands, France, Italy and USA. His main scientific interests are in the field of cosmology - i.e. the study of the earliest moment of the Universe. His particular specialty consists in developing new technologies to build more and more sensitive astrophysical instruments.

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

Tea, Coffee & biscuits will be available.


Image of Martin Rowson's

Talks & Lectures

Martin Rowson's "The Coalition" Talk

Fri 12 Dec 2014, 19:30

The Conway Hall Ethical Society presents

Martin Rowson's "The Coalition Talk" 

"When you've got a vicious bunch of cut throats in power you need a cartoonist who is up for the evisceration.  Rowson's your man." - Mark Thomas

After the historic General Election of 2010, Britain ended up with a Tory-Lib Dem coalition government. While the media has reported onits highs and lows, no one has captured the cabinet's actions better than Martin Rowson, who has been documenting his own version of events in cartoons for The Guardian, The Mirror, The Morning Star and other publications. 'The Coalition Book' collects his best, most brutally funny and visceral cartoons from the last four years.

Cameron and Clegg take centre stage as we're reminded of some of the highlights of their term in power: phone-hacking, double-dip recession, riots, endless arguments about Europe - topics that will be central to the debate in the lead up to the next general election in 2015.  Rowson provides a full cast list of the principle players from the world of politics and the media, and a brief descriptive scene-setter to each cartoon.  Laced with Rowson's characteristically savage satire, 'The Coalition Book' is a political pantomime with a rottweiler's bite.

One of Britain’s best-loved cartoonists, Martin Rowson has contributed regularly to The Guardian, Daily Mirror, The Times, The Spectator, Time Out, The New Statesman and many other publications. He is also the author of several graphic novels including adaptations of The Wasteland, Gulliver’s Travels, and Tristam Shandy (SelfMadeHero).  His prose books include The Dog Allusion: Gods Pets and How to be Human, and the memoir Stuff. He lives in London.

Tickets: £5 Standard Advance, Free for Ethical Society Members. £24.99 with book pre-order (to collect on the night).

The Coalition Book will be available on the night for £20.


Image of Thinking on Sunday - How humanity might avoid devastation

Talks & Lectures

Thinking on Sunday - How humanity might avoid devastation

Sun 14 Dec 2014, 11:00

The Conway Hall Ethical Society presents

Dr. Nicholas Maxwell

Population growth, destruction of natural habitats and rapid extinction of species, vast inequalities of wealth and power around the globe, the lethal character of modern war, pollution of earth, sea and air, and above all the impending disasters of climate change; all these looming global problems indicate we face a grim future.

In order tackle these problems intelligently, effectively and humanely, requires that our institutions of learning, our universities and schools, are rationally designed and devoted to the task.  At present, they are not.  We have inherited from the past a kind of academic inquiry so grossly irrational that it has actually contributed to the genesis of these problems.  The great intellectual success of modern science and technological research has made possible, even caused, all these global crises.

As a matter of supreme urgency we need to bring about a revolution in academia so that humanity may acquire what it so desperately needs: a kind of inquiry rationally designed and devoted to helping us make progress towards as good a world as possible.   

Nicholas Maxwell has devoted much of his working life to arguing that we need to bring about a revolution in academia so that it seeks and promotes wisdom and does not just acquire knowledge. In 2003 he founded Friends of Wisdom an international group of academics and educationalists concerned with the role of universities in this regard. He has published widely including eight books.  For thirty years he taught philosophy of science at University College London, where he is now Emeritus Reader. 

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

Tea, Coffee & biscuits will be available.


Image of NOW Live Events: Dr Nina Burrowes – Be The Person You Want To Be

Talks & Lectures

NOW Live Events: Dr Nina Burrowes – Be The Person You Want To Be

Tue 16 Dec 2014, 19:00

NOW Live Events presents

Dr Nina Burrowes – Be The Person You Want To Be

A self-development workshop in partnership with Psychologies Magazine

Do you know who you really are? Are you living your life as the person you want to be or as the person you are expected to be? Join psychologist, author, illustrator and speaker Dr. Nina Burrowes for an evening of working out who you would like to be, and how to find the courage to be that person.

This workshop will help you to:

Find out why being you is an active choice, why choosing yourself can be so difficult and why being authentic is more interesting than simply revealing yourself to others.

Explore your values and learn the difference between useful and limiting values.

Discover how to narrow the gap between the person you are now and the person you would like to be.

Dr. Nina Burrowes is the author of 'The Little Book On Authenticity'.

This event is in partnership with Psychologies Magazine (www.psychologies.co.uk) as part of our NOW Live Events ongoing events series.

Tickets £15


Image of Dreaming a New Dream – Finding a New Future for and with Our Planet

Talks & Lectures

Dreaming a New Dream – Finding a New Future for and with Our Planet

Wed 17 Dec 2014, 19:30

Tony Kearney presents

Dreaming a New Dream – Finding a New Future for and with Our Planet.

This talk will explore among other things the ecology of being, the ecology of change and becoming and being the change one wants to see in the world.

Looking to the future to find the future from the future about the future. Sustainability as you may never have thought of it before!

Tonight will explore how instead of looking at the problems of the past and perhaps making even greater mistakes by trying to correct them, we can see the opportunities the future has in store for us all and thereby find new ways to be, to think, to do, to change, to arrange ourselves to receive and shape the future instead of facing the future with the prison/s of the past.

The possibilities of the future are as infinite and limitless as the Universe itself if we can find together what the future might have in mind for us rather than what we have in mind for the future.

Therefore if you are interested in finding a new, shared vision of the future then come and join us for a fascinating research into how what hasn’t happened yet can help what has! 

It promises to be a mind changing evening. 

Tanya Adams is a Shamanic Practitioner who works with individuals and groups to access their own inner wisdom and connect with the natural world.  She is also an experienced Town and Transport Planner, Energy Advisor and Community Sustainability Advisor.

Tony Kearney is an educator, trainer, facilitator, mediator, farmer, environmentalist and published author. (Who Owns the Future?, Boo! and The Tao of Awe.)  He travels widely from his home in Ireland facilitating events to do with personal and planetary change.

Entry: £5 General Admission/ £3 for concessions and Conway Hall Ethical Society Members.

START AND END TIME: 19.30 – 21.30pm

More info contact:

tony.kearney6@gmail.com


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