Securing energy is a life and death issue for the economic activities of any nation, while climate change is a shared concern for both developed and developing countries. State policies relating to energy and climate change can have a massive influence on a country’s business sector, but the business sector can also influence these policies.
Japan has faced many difficulties over its energy supply following the Great East Japan Earthquake on 11 March 2011. Keidanren, Japan’s largest business federation, calls for a balanced energy policy, including a nuclear component, but taking into account the safety lessons learned from the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power station. Meanwhile, the Japanese business sector has been working to reduce Co2 emissions through bottom-up initiatives such as emissions trading schemes, and by sharing information on energy-saving and low-carbon technologies between companies.
Mr Masami Hasegawa, an environmental policymaker at Keidanren, will talk about Keidanren’s initiatives on energy and climate change policy, with reference both to the new Basic Energy Plan being formulated by the Japanese government, and UN climate change negotiations. Professor Jim Skea, Energy Strategy Fellow at Research Councils UK, will discuss how the evolving structure of the UK economy has led to a change in the pattern of the business sector’s engagement with energy and climate change policy-making. He will also examine the specific roles of utilities and energy-intensive users.
Michael Gove has stated that Free Schools will not be allowed to teach pseudoscience. But can we trust some of the cult-like organisations running these schools to teach good science is and to refrain from letting their own alternative reality influence classrooms? Maharishi and Steiner schools both have occult and pseudoscientific beliefs at their core and so we should ask “What are they teaching children?
Andy Lewis is the inventor of the quackometer, winner of Best Blog in the 2013 Ockham awards from The Skeptic magazine.
Please book a place. We ask for a voluntary donation of £3 on the night to cover expenses.
Pharmacology is the science of drugs and their effects on living systems. Our food contains very small quantities of very interesting drugs in the form of spices, such as chilli and wasabi. This talk will take a look at the pharmacology of these spices from how their effects were discovered to current research and their effects in disease.
Magicians have spent hundreds of years developing techniques that keep audiences from being aware of events happening right in front of their noses. In this talk, Rob discusses how magic is studied experimentally, and what the findings of magic research mean for the psychology of attention and awareness.
Robert Teszka is a PhD candidate studying cognitive psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, and a member of the Magic Circle. He has given talks on some of the more surprising findings in psychology for CFI Vancouver & London, New Bright Lights, and Neuroscience Week in Barcelona, as well as being consulted on magic, games, and other psychological topics for creative agencies in New York and London.
With the publicity around intermittent fasting, Dr Sandrine Thuret gives the lowdown and latest findings on how learning and memory abilities as well as mood can be influenced by diet. What type of diet can influence our mental wellbeing and which might prevent cognitive and mood decline?
Douglas Adams, one of Britain’s best loved authors, is most famous for writing The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy. But Douglas was also a founder patron of Save the Rhino International (SRI) and remained a dedicated spokesperson for rhinos until his early death in 2001. Since 2003, Save the Rhino has held the Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture each year, on a date close to Douglas’ birthday, to raise money for conservation projects.
This year’s lecture will explore a theme close to the hearts of many of Douglas’ fans. We will be exploring science in fiction, taking a closer look at two popular fictional worlds – Harry Potter and the Simpsons – and exploring the science within.
Please read below for a summary of the lecture and biographies of our speakers, or click here to purchase a ticket for the event.
The Science of Harry Potter
Roger Highfield, author of SuperCooperators and Can Reindeer Fly?, has interviewed the world’s best Muggle scientists to identify the explanations behind everything from Floo Powder and dragons to the Invisibility Cloak. In the “The Science of Harry Potter” Highfield aims to shed light not only on Harry Potter’s enchanted realm, but also on the magic that is taking place in labs and science classrooms in our own world.
Roger Highfield was born in Wales, raised in north London and became the first person to bounce a neutron off a soap bubble. He was the Science Editor of The Daily Telegraph for two decades and the Editor of New Scientist between 2008 and 2011. Today, he is the Director of External Affairs at the Science Museum Group. Over the decades, Roger has written seven books and had thousands of articles published in newspapers and magazines.
The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets
Simon Singh, author of Fermat’s Last Theorem and Big Bang, talks about his latest book, which explores mathematical themes hidden in The Simpsons. Everyone knows that The Simpsons is the most successful show in television history, but very few people realise that its team of mathematically gifted writers have used the show to explore everything from calculus to geometry, from pi to game theory, and from infinitesimals to infinity. Singh will also discuss how writers of Futurama have similarly made it their missions to smuggle deep mathematical ideas into the series.
- Doors on the evening will open at 6.30pm for a 7.30pm start
- There will be a cash bar available before the lecture
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
Every living thing must feed to survive; yet feeding can be a dangerous practice that spreads infection. Looking back over the past century, this panel explores disease events associated with feeding. Ranging across the animal kingdom, from mosquitos to cows, pigs, badgers and humans, the speakers will explain how diseases produced by feeding disrupted the boundaries between species, spaces and nations, prompting fear and fascination, novel scientific enquiries, and often controversial attempts at control.
Panel includes: Dr Angela Cassidy, Dr Abigail Woods, Dr Michael Bresalier, Dr Rachel Mason Dentinger.
Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University made headlines around the world in August when he announced that his team had created the world’s first burger from thousands of lab-grown cells. Could this be the answer to satisfying ever-increasing demand for meat around the globe? Prof. Post discusses the background, and potential of his breakthrough.
Join Professor Clive Page and Drs Andrea Sella and Mark Miodownik as they guide us through a menu of the Science of Curry.
1. Why is chili hot?
2. Is the crunch of pappadoms addictive?
3. Were spices originally used to mask the taste of spoiled meat?
4. Why does cutting onions make you cry?
5. Is beer the perfect drink for curry?
6. Can curry protect against Cancer?
7. Why does curry make you full so quickly?
8. Why does curry stain so badly?
9. What’s the deal with yogurt?
10. Is coloured rice bad for you?
11.What is the relationship between climate and cuisine?
12. Is eating lentils and the wind related?
12. Is curry good for constipation?
13. Do mints at the end of the meal help digestion?
The historian Niall Ferguson quotes the verdict of a member of the Chinese Academy of the Social Sciences, tasked with finding an explanation for why the West overtook China in the sixteenth century and went on to industrial and scientific greatness. At first, he said, we thought it was because you had better guns than we had. Then we thought it was your political system. Next we thought it was your economic system. But for the past twenty years we have had no doubt: it was your religion.
What was it about the Judeo-Christian ethic that led the West to develop market economics, democratic politics, human rights and the free society? The lecture will look at seven aspects of biblical ethics, each of which played a part in this development: human dignity, freedom and responsibility; an ethic of guilt rather than shame; the family as the matrix of virtue, love as the basis of ethics and covenant as the basis of society. It will argue that all seven are currently under threat, and that the Bible remains an important voice in the public conversation about ethics and law.
A global religious leader, philosopher, author of over 25 books, renowned speaker and moral voice for our time, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is currently the Ingeborg and Ira Rennert Global Distinguished Professor of Judaic Thought at New York University, the Kressel and Ephrat Family University Professor of Jewish Thought at Yeshiva University and Professor of Law, Ethics and the Bible at King’s College London. Previously, Rabbi Sacks served as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth between September 1991 and September 2013. A frequent contributor to radio, television and the press both in Britain and around the world, Rabbi Sacks holds 16 honorary degrees and has been presented with several international awards in recognition of his work, including the Jerusalem Prize in 1995 for his contribution to diaspora Jewish life and The Ladislaus Laszt Ecumenical and Social Concern Award from Ben Gurion University in Israel in 2011. He was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 2005 and made a Life Peer, taking his seat in the House of Lords in October 2009.
Narcotics have been used by humans since the time of the ancient Egyptians. Sharon Ruston will explore how drugs were developed and used by Sir Humphry Davy at the Ri, and what that says about early 19th Century society.
Neuropsychopharmacologist David Nutt will discuss his experience advising contemporary government drugs policy, the wealth of new ‘legal highs’ and what he thinks drugs, and society’s view of them, will look like in the future.
Join us and our panel of experts to discuss how the global class system is changing and the impact this is having on people and planet.
MIKE SAVAGE, Professor of Sociology, LSE
STEWART LANSLEY, Economist and author of ‘The Cost of Inequality: Why Economic Equality is Essential for Recovery’
Further speakers TBC
All welcome. Booking required.
How we eat, farm and shop for food is not only a matter of taste. Our choices regarding what we eat involve every essential aspect of our human nature: the animal, the sensuous, the social, the cultural, the creative, the emotional and the intellectual. Thinking seriously about food requires us to consider our relationship to nature, to our fellow animals, to each other and to ourselves. So can thinking about food teach us about being virtuous, and can what we eat help us to decide how to live? Julian Bagginin talks about his new nook which considers these matters.
What is sleep and why do we need it? What happens to our mind and body when we are asleep? Professors Vince Walsh and Robert Foster are joined by scientists, cultural experts and opera singers for a scientific slumber party that explores the stuff that dreams are made of.
For more information and to buy tickets follow the link below!
Can forgiveness repair communities? The discussion will follow a screening of the award-winning documentary ‘Beyond Forgiving’ which tells the inspiring story of an unlikely pair of South Africans brought together post-apartheid. The panel will be chaired by Marina Cantacuzino and will include Imad Karam, the Director of the film and Sue Hanisch, who in 1991 was injured in an IRA bombing at Victoria Station.
Tickets cost £11 and are available from Eventbrite, with all proceeds going to The Forgiveness Project. The talks are not recommended for children under 12 years.
Vikings almost need no introduction. An image is instantly conjured up of ferocious fighting men, rampaging through our green and pleasant land, plundering, wrecking and desecrating. This is not untrue by any means, but the lecture seeks to find out if there were any other aspects to the “long-haired tourists from Scandinavia”. A problem with studying Vikings is that contemporary writing about them is often hysterical, although they were also seen literally as the wrath of God. In the end, there was a Scandinavian conquest of England before the Norman one, so who were these people, why did they come here and what did they hope to achieve?
We can find out more about them through their invasion tactics, their trading and extraordinary seafaring skills and through many artefacts that survive to this day.
The first FD Maurice lecture explores the evolving relationship between sociology and other approaches to the study of religion. After reviewing a variety of sociological perspectives on religion, Professor Beckford shall begin to make a case for adopting a moderate form of social constructionism as a distinctively sociological – but not sociologistic – way of raising and tackling good questions about religions.
Although this lecture forms part of a series, each of the lectures stands alone and attendance for all three nights is not required:
Religion and Sociology: a marriage made in heaven or hell?
By Professor James A. Beckford FBA (University of Warwick)
Religions have lost none of their power to fascinate, to motivate and to infuriate in the early twenty-first century. The aim of these lectures is to discuss how far sociological perspectives are capable of raising important questions about religions and our understanding of them. The starting point is the emergence of sociological concerns with religion in the 19th and early 20th centuries and of the continuing doubts about the value of studying the social dimensions of religion. I shall then set out my own approach to understanding religion in its social contexts,using examples from recent research on, for example, religion in prisons,religious diversity and new religious movements. Finally, I shall discuss the contributions that sociological perspectives have brought to bear on a selection of current debates, disputes and controversies about religion in Britain today.
The FD Maurice lectures were established in 1933 in honour of Frederick Denison Maurice. Maurice, who was Professor of English Literature and History (1840-1846) and then Professor of Theology (1846-1853)at King’s, was forced to leave the College in 1853 on the grounds that his theological ideas would be detrimental to students, although a more fundamental reason was probably his social radicalism.
The FD Maurice lectures take place over three consecutive evenings in the Spring, with a common theme. The establishment of the lectures testified to a later generation’s recognition of Maurice’s enormous contribution to education and to society. Maurice’s own range of interests isreflected in the range of topics addressed in FD Maurice Lectures, within the fields of Biblical Studies, History of the Christian Church, the Study of Religion, Systematic and Moral Theology, and the intersection between religion and society. The lectures have been given by some of the most eminent specialists in their field and are designed both for students and staff and for the informed public.
For further information, and to find out about other lectures in this series, please visit the Department of Theology & Religious Studies website.
Science is different from other intellectual pursuits in that it makes predictions. When a prediction is verified by a subsequent experiment, this vindicates currently accepted scientific theory. However, sometimes a prediction is incorrect, and this is most exciting because it forces a revolution in scientific thinking. For example, the existence of the planet Neptune was predicted to explain the quirks in the orbit of Uranus, and the observation of Neptune strengthened Newton’s theory of gravity. However, the planet Vulcan was also predicted to explain the quirks in the orbit of Mercury, and Vulcan does not exist! This forced the replacement of Newtonian gravity by Einstein’s revolutionary new theory of gravity. Current scientific theory predicts the existence of “dark matter,” but it has not yet been seen. Are we on the cusp of a new scientific breakthrough or must we wait until observational techniques are good enough to see it? Professor Bender will expound upon these issues and relate them to Maxwell’s battles with the concept of an aether
Carl Bender Wilfred R. and Ann Lee Konneker Distinguished Professor of Physics at Washington University in St. Louis. and is an expert in theoretical physics, particularly quantum theory.
This talk is free for members of the public and will take place at 18.30 in the Old Anatomy Lecture Theatre, King’s College London, Strand Campus on the 18th March 2014
The Vikings almost need no introduction. An image is instantly conjured up of ferocious fighting men, rampaging through our green and pleasant land, plundering, wrecking and desecrating. Why did they come here and what did they hope to achieve?
We can find out more about them through their invasion tactics, their trading and extraordinary seafaring skills and through many artefacts that survive to this day.
Imogen Corrigan has lectured extensively on Anglo-Saxon and Medieval subjects in Britain and Europe, and is a NADFAS lecturer as well as being a speaker for the Kent Federation of History and East Kent National Trust.
Imogen Corrigan served for twenty years in the Women’s Royal Army Corps (WRAC) and the Adjutant General’s Corps. She retired from the Army in 1994 as a Major, having served in the UK, Germany and Hong Kong.
In 2004, Imogen graduated from the University of Kent with a 1st in Anglo-Saxon and Medieval History, and is currently studying for an M.Phil at Birmingham University. Her research subject is: The Development and Function of the Foliate Head in English Medieval Churches.
Imogen has lectured extensively on Anglo-Saxon and Medieval subjects in Britain and Europe, and is a NADFAS lecturer as well as being a speaker for the Kent Federation of History and East Kent National Trust. Her first book, The Race for the Sky: the Building of the English Cathedrals, was published by Atlantic Books in 2011.
The second FD Maurice lecture amplifies my social constructionist perspective by showing how far it can throw light on some of the intriguing and challenging issues that arise when prisons provide inmates with opportunities to practise their faith. Comparisons between the provisions made in England & Wales, France and Canada will help to sharpen the focus on what counts not only as religion but also as acceptable religion.
Although this lecture forms part of a series, each of the lectures stands alone and attendance for all three nights is not required.