First dates, police interviews, doctor-patient communication and commercial sales – they are all driven by talk. And an understanding of how talk works is crucial for success. Elizabeth Stokoe explains how conversation analysis works to provide a scientific understanding of talk as it unfolds in mundane as well as dramatic settings.
Rather than being messy and disorderly, she shows that talk is in fact organised systematically. Like behavioural change in ‘nudge’ theory, she also shows how small variations in what we say impacts on what others say and do next. Finally, she will demonstrate how her research findings can underpin communication training – in contrast to role-play and simulation – and upended common assumptions about how talk works.
‘I learned more about leadership in that half an hour [with Itay Talgam], than in my entire career’ Al Gore
A conductor in front of an orchestra is an iconic symbol of leadership and creativity – but what does a maestro actually do in order to create glorious harmony? And what does that mean for the rest of us?
Itay Talgam spent ten years conducting prominent orchestras around the world. And he believes that his art can teach us about inspired leadership in all spheres of creativity. Great conductors make room for the passion of their musicians; they respect the gap between the baton and the instruments; they embrace their own ignorance; and they focus more on listening than speaking. Great leaders need to do the same.
Itay is the author of The Ignorant Maestro (Penguin) and his TED talk ‘Lead like the great conductors’ has been viewed more than 2 million times. Now in a rare visit to the UK, he tells us what the great conductors can teach us about inspiring unpredictable brilliance in ourselves and others. With anecdotes from the lives of the great conductors, including Strauss and Bernstein, and from his own work with everyone from military generals to schoolteachers, Itay will provide the keys for exceptional leadership and harmonious cooperation in business, government, education and even family.
ABOUT SUNDAY MORNINGS
Since 2008 The School of Life has presented strictly secular Sunday Sermons exploring the values we should live by today. We ask maverick cultural figures to give us their take on the virtues to cling to or the vices to be wary of in our complex world. Expect persuasive polemics, pop-song hymns and tea and biscuits.
“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then Man would only have four years of life left” – Einstein
No more bees, no more pollination….no more human-kind!
Some think that Einstein’s quote is apocryphal; whatever it’s origins it is a stark reminder of just how dependent we are on honey bees for the pollination of so much of what we eat and drink. Something like a third of all we consume is reliant on honey bee pollination.
Man and bee have lived together in harmony and symbiotic support for millenia. But recent years have seen dramatic declines in honey bee populations around the world. Luke Dixon will discuss man’s responsibilities in the husbandry of bees and the harvesting of honey.
Speaker Luke Dixon spends the summer months looking after beehives across the rooftops and gardens of London. He tends the hives on the roof of Conway Hall and is the beekeeper of The Natural History Museum. Luke is also author of Keeping Bees in Towns and Cities and Bees & Honey: myth, folklore and traditions.
The maths we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. Jordan Ellenberg will show us how wrong this view is: Maths touches everything we do, allowing us to see the hidden structures beneath the messy and chaotic surface of our daily lives. Maths is the a science of not being wrong, worked out through centuries of hard work and argument.
In the first of three guest-curated talks by Michela Massimi, Hasok Chang discusses how we should understand cases from the history of science in which scientists were confident that they were directly manipulating entities which modern science considers nonexistent. The chemistry of “phlogiston” from the 18th century provides an excellent example.
Women are generally considered to be more sociable, kinder and more cooperative than men. But men still rule the world, not just because they are bigger and more aggressive, but because they can work together when they have to. In fact, Professor Markovits claims that men are intrinsically more sociable than women. In this talk, he will present an evolutionary perspective on why this is the case, and some empirical studies that show that preconceptions about sex and sociability are wrong.
Henry Markovits is a Professor of psychology at the University of Québec at Montréal. He studies both logical and social reasoning. He is the co-author of Worriers and Warriors with Joyce Benenson; they have worked together for many years looking at the relationship between sex and social reasoning and behaviour. He is currently associate editor of the journal Thinking and Reasoning.
Warriors and Worriers will be on sale on the night at a discounted price.
Covering 500 years, 38 patrons and several continents, this lecture is part of a series which examins audacious acts of patronage and how they resulted in some of the finest art collections in the world. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert shared a love of art that saw the couple commission works for and about one another. Albert’s own collection included over 5,000 Raphael works and copies and a hundred German, Italian and Netherlandish paintings which he acquired when his relative Prince Ludwig von Oettingen-Wallerstein (1791–1870) defaulted on a loan. Albert was also instrumental in the Great Exhibition of 1851.
In this talk by the New York Times bestselling author Jordan Ellenberg, we will hear how a little mathematics goes a long way in helping us not to be wrong. Instead of an abstract set of rules learnt at school, we will see how maths touches on everything we do, and how a little mathematical knowledge reveals the hidden structures that lie beneath the world’s messy and chaotic surface.
Amongst the many topics covered in the book some of which will feature in the talk, Jordan explains calculus in a single page, shows us what maths can teach us about the existence of God, what Facebook knows about us, and how a group of MIT undergrads won millions of dollars by understanding how the Massachusetts state lottery worked.
Celebrate 150 years since Mendel’s lectures.
You may remember learning about Mendel’s pea experiments in science classes growing up, using smooth and wrinkly peas to explain dominant and recessive traits.
We now know that it’s not quite so simple. Our knowledge and understanding of inheritance patterns has deepened extensively since Mendel’s time, but the models in schools rarely reflect this.
In this dynamic panel discussion, we explore the Mendelian picture of genetics that is taught to students and debate if it should be jettisoned for a more up-to-date picture of gene-environment interactions.
Free to attend, no registration required
Seats allocated on a first-come-first-served basis
Doors open at 6pm
The London Press Club and the Frontline Club are proud to present a talk from award-winning writer and historian William Dalrymple.
Now based in Delhi, Dalrymple joins us for a special event to discuss his most recent, acclaimed book Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan, 1839-42, the definitive analysis of the First Anglo-Afghan War. He will discuss parallels with current events in both Afghanistan and the UK, before taking questions from the audience.
A recipient of the Wolfson Prize, a Foreign Press Association Media Award and five honorary doctorates, Dalrymple is also a founder and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival. His previous books include The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi, 1857 and Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India.
The event is the latest in a series of debates, talks and Q&As from the London Press Club, with previous speakers including Alan Rusbridger, Sarah Sands, David Dinsmore and India Knight. For more information visit londonpressclub.co.uk.
London Press Club members can reserve a free space by emailing email@example.com and can buy any additional tickets here.
Victoria Martin, leader of the Higgs boson research team at the University of Edinburgh, will discuss the Large Hadron Collider, the Higgs boson and what’s the point of continuing to run the world’s largest and most expensive experiment for the next decade. This is the second of three guest-curated talks by Michela Massimi.
Biology appears to be less law-like than its sister sciences, but could we change this with design? Jane Calvert and Alistair Elfick discuss synthetic biology, an emergent discipline that aims to rationally design and fabricate biological devices; and how applying engineering principles to living systems might help us harness the power of the natural world. This is the final of three guest-curated talks by Michela Massimi.
Lurid tales of children being sexually abused, of animals being ritually slaughtered and babies being bred for sacrifice, in bizarre black magic ceremonies by cults of devil-worshipping Satanists first surfaced in America in the early 1980s. The allegations of what became known as Satanic ritual abuse soon spread to Britain, Australia and New Zealand in the late 1980s and early 1990s. At the same time, belief in this apparently new and especially depraved form of child abuse was reinforced and said to be corroborated by another new phenomenon, or fashion, in the field of adult psychotherapy, psychology and psychiatry – the recovered memory movement. On conference circuits and in literature, this movement, led by both medically qualified professionals and untrained therapists, promoted the theory that adults can be helped to recover long-buried “repressed” memories of childhood sexual abuse, in some cases Satanic ritual abuse, and that as a consequence of that abuse those patients suffer from Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder.
This talk explores the origins and spread of the myth of Satanic ritual abuse. As early as 1994 a UK government-funded investigation concluded there was no evidence Satanic ritual abuse existed. Yet despite the continuing absence of evidence, anywhere in the world, a minority of child care professionals including police officers and social workers, and adult psychotherapists, psychologists and psychiatrists persist in the belief that Satanic ritual abuse exists. Conferences are still being held around the world.
This talk will chart the progress of my ongoing investigation over 25 years which has examined allegations of the Satanic ritual abuse of children and asked ‘Where’s the evidence’?
In the course of the investigation I explored the controversy over the extreme and polarised recovered-versus-false memory debate – still one of the most divisive issues in adult psychotherapy, psychology and psychiatry today. As an illustration of the damage caused by zealots who believed in Satanic ritual abuse and in their ability to “help” a patient recover the memories, I will relate the tragic story of the life and untimely death of Carol Felstead, alias Myers.
Finally, this talk will explore how the myth of Satanic ritual abuse can be considered in the context of the field of anomalistic psychology, the wonderful whacky world of weird beliefs, for example how people can come to believe they have been abducted by aliens. Some of these UFO “experiencers” also believe they were victims of Satanic ritual abuse. Part of the purpose of my research, ultimately for a PhD by Prior Publication, is to try to understand how and why people can come to believe bizarre, appalling, weird things happened in the total absence of evidence.
Rosie Waterhouse is Director of the MA in Investigative Journalism, at City University London and a freelance journalist with extensive experience as an investigative reporter, having worked for five national newspapers and as a TV reporter. She has twice been a member of the Sunday Times Insight team, she worked for The Independent and Independent on Sunday, where she was Investigations Editor, and for BBC Newsnight, where she contributed to a BAFTA award-winning film on BSE. As a freelance journalist, Rosie has contributed articles to publications including New Scientist, The Guardian’s G2 section, the New Statesman, the Daily Mail, and The Oldie. She has most recently written a series of articles in Private Eye on the ‘Satanic Panic’.
Her freelance television work includes a spell as a research consultant on a BBC Real Story documentary on the Rochdale Satanic abuse controversy. Earlier documentaries include a Channel 4 Dispatches investigation into allegations of fraud at Red Star and a BBC Bristol investigation into allegations of bribery by Westland Helicopters to win contracts in Saudi Arabia. Rosie has been researching the myth of Satanic Ritual Abuse and the controversy over false versus recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse for more than 24 years and her published work on these issues formed the basis of her PhD by Prior Publication, submitted in January 2014.
Followed by networking lunch. It is no coincidence that diseases like Ebola emerge and spread in the poorest countries on earth. Infectious diseases have long thrived in conditions of poverty. Until recent times, this was the pattern across the globe. Improvements in sanitation and other reforms have greatly reduced the spread of serious infectious diseases in industrialised countries. However, even in developed countries like New Zealand, infectious diseases continue to cause a markedly higher disease burden for socioeconomically deprived populations and indigenous peoples. This presentation will describe the strong link between infectious diseases and poverty, review why this association is so pervasive, and lay down a challenge to act on this preventable disease burden.
Chair: Dr Mike Turner, Wellcome Trust
Panel: Dr Jimmy Whitworth, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Professor Sally Theobald, University of Liverpool; Dr Chris Lewis, DFID; and Tulip Mazumdar, BBC Global Health Correspondent
The coalition government introduced free schools in 2010 as part of its “Big Society” initiative, with the stated aim of pursuing “innovation, diversity and flexibility”. The government defines free schools as “all-ability state-funded schools set up in response to what local people say they want and need in order to improve education for children in their community”. In fact, the UK has a long history of educational diversity, including the original “free school”.
A. S. Neill, a Scottish writer and education philosopher, created a community in which children could be free from adult authority, which in 1927 became Summerhill School in Suffolk, probably the world’s best-known “free school”. The school and Neill’s “free school” ideas became famous through his writings and lectures. Professor Shinichi Hori was impressed by Summerhill and translated many of Neill’s books into Japanese, later establishing his own schools in Wakayama, based on Neill’s educational philosophy of liberty and democracy exercised by children.
Although the current government and A.S. Neill differ in their definitions of “free school”, they both refer to alternative forms of education offered to the public, with or without state financial support. In this seminar, we will look at the options for alternative education, and what critics say about it.
The two speakers at the seminar will be Professor Hori and Mr Henry Readhead. Mr. Readhead himself attended Summerhill School and is now a teacher there; he is also a grandson of A. S. Neill.
The negative impacts of air pollution on public health can be traced back thousands of years, and have been frequently associated with periods of economic expansion. From sulfurous fogs in London, through Californian smogs of the 70’s and the present problems in China, it seems impossible to drive rapid growth and wealth without debilitating environmental consequences. Despite decades of investment in clean technologies many cities, including London, suffer health impacts of air pollution that are as severe as ever.
Join Professor Alastair Lewis as he examines the history of pollution, why chemical lessons learnt from past events are not always applicable to solving modern day problems, and how our generally improving health leaves us more vulnerable to pollution.
Alastair Lewis is a professor of atmospheric chemistry at the University of York. He has participated in over 30 major atmospheric science field projects, from polar regions to tropical oceans, city centres to remote forests. Alastair was awarded the Desty Memorial Prize for Innovation in Separation Science in 2001, a Philip Leverhulme Prize in Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science in 2004, the Royal Society of Chemistry SAC Silver Medal in 2006 and the 2012 Royal Society of Chemistry John Jeyes Award for Environment, Energy and Sustainability.
In addition to teaching and research, Alastair is the Deputy Director of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science and is currently their Director for atmospheric composition.
The Guardian’s columnist and author George Monbiot will be leading our pre-conference Friday night lecture with panel members Nick Pearce director of IPPR and Julian Lousada focusing on the psychological and societal impacts of competition and capitalism.
Discover how the unreliability of memory has led to grave miscarriages of justice, including panics about Satanic abuse. Can memories really be ‘recovered’ by therapists? To what extent can we rely on the memories of witnesses in historic abuse cases? Some deeply disturbing cases will be investigated.
11:00 Chris French and James Ost – ‘What people believe about memory ain’t necessarily so’
Surveys show that a large proportion of the general public hold many beliefs about memory which are wrong. Even more more worrying, so do psychotherapists, psychologists, and professionals involved in legal services, a situation that can lead to miscarriages of justice. Chris French and James Ost summarise our current understanding of the nature of memory. (NB: This presentation includes a quiz for you to assess your own level of understanding – so bring pen and paper!)
12:15 Barbara Hewson – ‘False memories, false accusations and torture: Satan’s work?’
A recent case about alleged satanic ritual abuse in the Family Division highlights the dangers of not learning lesion from history. But it also confirms that to instil false memories of abuse can amount to torture, contrary to Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This is also a heinous wrong. So the stakes could not be higher of professionals working to prevent abuse, but also false allegations of abuse. Britain’s current focus on historic abuse allegations, coupled with political demands to give victims greater rights, risk brushing common sense away to keep monsters at bay. How can the law fight back to achieve justice?
13:15 – 14:15 – Lunch
14:15 Kevin Felstead – When Satan Came to Town- Carol Felstead: a true story of false memories
After visiting her doctor about a headache, Carol was subjected to hypnotic therapy, sedated and brainwashed, Carol’s childhood memories were eradicated and her mind was re-ordered. Assigned a new identity, Carol fell into the iron grip of psychotherapists who obsessed about ritual abuse. A myth was created which helped stoke the entire Satanic Abuse Panic in the United Kingdom.
15:30 – Close
About the British Humanist Association
The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.
About the Centre for Inquiry UK
CFI UK’s primary aim is education, with a focus on science-based policy and to defend and promote academic freedom.
Dorothy L Sayers is best known for her detective novels, but she also wrote a controversial radio play about the life of Christ, broadcast on the BBC at the height of the Second World War. In The Man Born to be King listeners encountered Christ as never before, an immediate and real presence: it shocked and transfixed a generation, and C.S. Lewis used it as his Lent reading every year afterwards.
Michael Hampel will talk about Sayers’ life and the enduring resonance of the play, and also explore her fascinating theology of creativity, which connects the doctrine of the Trinity with the process of creating, making and sharing new things. Michael Hampel is the Canon Precentor at St Paul’s, responsible for music and liturgy at the cathedral. He has acted and directed amateur theatre most of his life, and has conducted extensive research into the life and works of Dorothy L Sayers.
Historians and writers discuss the Battle of Waterloo and its place in European memory
Shocking contemporaries and participants alike by the scale and carnage of the battle, Waterloo ended Napoleon’s imperial ambitions and helped to shape the political map of modern Europe. To commemorate the bicentenary of this momentous battle, leading academics and writers, in partnership with History Today, will discuss its legacy, from the forging of a British identity to the rise of a cult of Napoleon.
From a noblemen’s manifesto to a democracy-defining document- is Magna Carta England’s greatest export?
800 years on from its writing, join historian and journalist Derek Taylor, author of Magna Carta in 20 Places, as he explains why this document went global.
When Magna Carta, the Great Charter of Liberties was born 800 years ago, it looked like no more than a manifesto for England’s noblemen. But buried in its medieval jargon was something more fundamental, something which later generations could build on to defend their rights as ordinary English citizens. Then in the seventeenth century Magna Carta was shipped overseas. The new American colonies gave it almost biblical reverence. It was quoted in the US Bill of Rights. And later when other new nations, such as Canada, India and Australia, were born from the British Empire, they too recognised the influence of the Great Charter on their own systems of law and government.
After the talk Derek will also be signing copies of his book, Magna Carta in 20 Places, which will be available for purchase on the evening.
Covering 500 years, 38 patrons and several continents, this lecture is part of a series given by Dr Marie-Anne Mancio in which she examins audacious acts of patronage and how they resulted in some of the finest art collections in the world. Queen Victoria collected or commissioned some of the greatest contemporary artists of her day including Minton, Frith, and Leighton. Albert’s death led to her ordering the construction of monuments like the Albert Memorial and to altering significant jewellery commissions such as her daughter Princess Alice’s wedding bracelet.
Following the 2008 financial crisis, there have been numerous attempts to repair structural flaws in the financial system. Alongside key policy and regulatory changes, there has been increased attention placed on linking professional conduct to a greater sense of social purpose – to rediscover the positive role that the financial sector has to play in facilitating a thriving society. There has also been an appetite for innovative business models, such as peer to peer lending and crowdfunding, that seek to renew the relationship between the financial sector and its customers, and fill the gap between the broader public and a deeply mistrusted banking status quo. In contrast to five years ago, the 2015 General Election campaign has barely featured finance reform. Does this mean the problems have gone away, or that the political class has lost interest in a complex subject?
This event, organised in partnership between St Paul’s Institute and the Finance Innovation Lab, will explore what is required to properly implement long-term change to transform the finance system into one that is democratic, responsible and fair. Have banks and the banking system really changed, and will incoming regulation protect us from future financial crises? Where are innovative models emerging from, and will they supplement or replace the status quo? Are we there yet, or do we still need to push for deeper systemic change?
George Graham – Head of Strategy, Royal Bank of Scotland
Tony Greenham – Head of Finance & Business, New Economics Foundation
Julia Groves – Chair of the UK Crowdfunding Association
Patricia Jackson – EY Strategic Advisor Risk Governance and Regulation
James Vaccaro – Head of Corporate Strategy, Triodos Bank
More speakers TBC
This event is free to attend but registration is essential.