Piety / The Magnificent Age: Art, Life and Baroque
Oct 13 @ 10:45 am
Piety  /  The Magnificent Age: Art, Life and Baroque @ The Course at the University Women's Club | London | United Kingdom

When Martin Luther published his 95 theses in 1517, it was not only a challenge to the perceived corruption of the Catholic Church, it was an act which prompted the transformation of the religious, socio-political, and artistic landscape of Europe. One of the most dynamic styles to emerge in the wake of the Counter-Reformation, the Baroque lasted a century and manifested differently in Italy, Spain, and France, where it produced the most extraordinary artists and architects including Caravaggio, Bernini, Velasquez, Poussin, and Borromini.

The Counter-Reformation emphasised church rituals, sacraments, doctrines, processions, and so forth. The cult of the Eucharist was promoted more forcibly. For the first time, Catholic Baroque artists were commissioned to create cycles of large paintings on the Seven Sacraments. Poussin’s is one example. New orders like the Jesuits were represented in Pozzo’s ‘Missionary Work of the Jesuits / Triumph of St. Ignatius’ in Sant’Ignazio.

From Wonder to Understanding: Beginning a Journey
Oct 13 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
From Wonder to Understanding: Beginning a Journey @ Gresham College, Barnard's Inn Hall | London | United Kingdom

This lecture will consider the place of evidence in science and religion, looking particularly at some of the debates about the rationality of faith associated with “New Atheist” writings, such as Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion (2006). The lecture will look at some classic arguments for the existence of God – such as Thomas Aquinas’ cosmological argument, and C. S. Lewis’s argument from desire – and consider how these might fit into the overall theme of the “rationality of faith”.

This is a free public lecture by Alister McGrath, Gresham Professor of Divinity.

There is no need to book in advance for this lecture. It runs on a first come first served basis.

It’s a (Human) Knockout!
Oct 13 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
It’s a (Human) Knockout! @ Centre of the Cell, Blizard Institute | London | United Kingdom

It’s a (human) knockout! What is a gene, what is a genome, what is a knockout, what have knockouts told us and what can they still tell us, and how do we make or find knockouts? This lecture will describe past and present research in deliberately made gene knockouts in worms, flies, mice and fish. They have told us a lot. But these models are not the same as humans. Sometimes though humans are born with genes that do work differently or not at all – these are knockouts. These may or may not have health effects. Many medicines switch off a gene in humans too. I will describe our East London Genes & Health project which among many other aims, is looking at naturally occurring human knockouts. I’ll use an example of a healthy mother with a knockout in the PRDM9 gene – that tells us more about when sperm meet eggs and cells divide.

Poetry and Exile: T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
Oct 13 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Poetry and Exile: T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets @ Museum of London, Barbican | London | United Kingdom

These poems retain a stubborn opacity and no interpretation is ever wholly satisfactory. The difficulty of Eliot’s poetry is partly a function of the poems’ dense allusions to so much other poetry. But by exploring the idea of exile in relation to locality and the idea of space more abstractly, the shape of Four Quartets as descriptive of a spiritual journey comes into better focus. Autobiographically it is clear that Burnt Norton, the house and its extensive gardens, East Coker, and above all the religious community at Little Gidding, matter greatly to our understanding of both Eliot’s life and also his poetry. But the antithesis of place, that is the idea of exile from place, is equally important.

This is a free public lecture by Belinda Jack, Gresham Professor of Rhetoric.

There is no need to book in advance for this lecture. It runs on a first come first served basis.

How to Thrive in the Next Economy
Oct 13 @ 6:15 pm – 8:15 pm
How to Thrive in the Next Economy @ Design Museum | London | United Kingdom

John Thackara visits the Design Museum to talk about his practical, optimistic new book, ‘How to Thrive in the Next Economy’. Aiming to reignite mainstream discussions about sustainability in both theory and practice, Thackara draws on real world examples to argue that it is possible to live a rich and fulfilling life based on stewardship rather than exploitation of the natural environment. In the eagerness to find big solutions to global challenges, is the creativity generated when people work together and in harmony with the world around them too often ignored? Joining him to debate the future of sustainability will be Justin McGuirk, Chief Curator of the museum and author of Verso’s Radical Cities.

The talk starts at 7pm and a book signing will take place at the end of the event. Tickets also include entry to the 2015 Designs of the Year exhibition.

First Prime Minister of the London Empire: William Beckford, Jamaican Planter & Lord Mayor of London (1709 – 1770)
Oct 13 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
First Prime Minister of the London Empire: William Beckford, Jamaican Planter & Lord Mayor of London (1709 – 1770) @ United Kingdom

This talk examines the life of William Beckford, twice Lord Mayor of London, and one of the largest slave-owners in the British Empire. In a remarkable political career, he gained fame as a proponent of British liberties, while overseeing a transatlantic family business founded on colonial slavery. The talk will seek to demonstrate how these apparent contradictions highlighted many of the dilemmas Britain faced as a global empire, and helped to spark some of the earliest domestic debates about its future as an imperial power.

Speaker: Dr Perry Gauci

Dr Perry Gauci is the Vivian Green Fellow in Eighteenth-Century History at Lincoln College, Oxford. His research centres on the interactions of political and commercial change in eighteenth-century Britain.

This event is the second of eight talks in the series titled The British Business of Slavery, curated by Deborah Lavin.

Tickets: individual tickets £5, students and participating society members £3. Series ticket £30, students and participating society members £21.

Synthetic life: How far could it go? How far should it go?
Oct 13 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Synthetic life: How far could it go? How far should it go? @ Royal Institution of Great Britain | London | United Kingdom

Synthetic biology is a new, intriguing technology that could have a huge impact on humans and our environment. Writer and broadcaster Adam Rutherford will chair a panel of experts, including Louise Horsfall, Paul Freemont, Susan Molyneux-Hodgson and Robert Edwards.

They will outline the process of designing and building new life forms and discuss the ethical challenges we will face. What impact could synthetic biology have on everyday life, and how far could we, and should we, take this revolutionary science?

Ada Lovelace Day Live!
Oct 13 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Ada Lovelace Day Live! @ Conway Hall | United Kingdom

Ada Lovelace Day Live! is the flagship event in an annual celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. Playing host to the UK’s most fabulous women in STEM, ALD Live is a science cabaret,an entertaining evening of geekery, comedy and music suitable for women and men, and girls and boys over the age of 12.

Our amazing speakers include:
Abigail Hutty, senior spacecraft structures engineer on Airbus’ ExoMars Rover Project
Dr Jen Gupta, astrophysicist and science communicator
Dr Suze Kundu, nanochemist and science presenter and writer
Professor Elaine Chew, muscian and mathematician
Suw Charman-Anderson, founder of Ada Lovelace Day
Helen Arney, comedian and long-time ALD Live! compère.
With more to be announced soon!

Europe of the Empires: The Arts of the Nineteenth Century
Oct 14 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
Europe of the Empires: The Arts of the Nineteenth Century @ THE COURSE at the University Women's Club | London | United Kingdom

If you are fascinated by art, history, literature and opera join us at THE COURSE. Founded in 1994, we offer stimulating lecture programmes taught by well-known lecturers and subject specialists. With small, informal and friendly groups you will have the opportunity to socialise and exchange ideas with like-minded people.

Europe of the Empires: The Arts of the Nineteenth Century

In this series we will examine the decades between the collapse of the ‘Ancien Regime’ and the ravages of a 25 year war, the “Long 19th Century” which took us to the outbreak of a very different war in 1914, in a very different world. The course will examine the expression of change in the arts – from Goya in Spain, Blake in England and the Impressionists in France. As Empires expanded we will look at the impact of trade and new materials and of new and exotic influences on artists from Delacroix to Picasso.

In “The Democratisation of Art” we will examine how most of the art we consider reflects a wealthy, often aristocratic lifestyle; the life of the middle let alone working class was too often left un-illustrated. With the growth of the bourgeoisie and arrival of new technologies, there was increased choice at more accessible cost. Shops and shopping catalogues, the Palm House at Kew, Wedgwood and the birth of photography brought together new opportunities, materials and consumers.

Formula 1 and its Contributions to Healthcare
Oct 14 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Formula 1 and its Contributions to Healthcare @ Museum of London, Barbican | London | United Kingdom

At first sight, there is little relationship between the high tech, high cost, high speed and highly competitive world of F1 and heart surgery for children. Yet Formula 1, with its extraordinary teamwork, rates of innovation, commitment to excellence and relentless pursuit of safety has taught us a great deal.

This lecture will consider the parallels between our activities, describe the lessons learned and consider how we, in healthcare, might benefit more from how they work and their technology. And a little of what they have learned from us!

This is a free public lecture by Martin Elliott, Gresham Professor of Physic.

There is no need to book in advance for this lecture. It runs on a first come first served basis.

The ocean debate
Oct 14 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
The ocean debate @ Royal Institution | London | United Kingdom

To celebrate the Royal Research Ship Discovery’s visit to the Thames, physicist and oceanographer Helen Czerski presents a night delving into the mysteries of the deep. It’s going to be a lively evening, with fascinating nuggets of real science brought out by suspiciously simple-sounding debates. We’ll have a variety of scientists and other ocean experts on tap, there to talk about what’s going on in the oceans, to discuss how it all links up around the back, and to defend their favourite piece of scientific equipment from being thrown to Nero. Expect to learn a lot, laugh a lot and to challenge the experts as they keep the debate afloat.

I’m black so you don’t have to be…
Oct 19 @ 7:00 pm
I'm black so you don't have to be... @ Kings Place (Hall Two) | London | United Kingdom

In this evening of readings, music and discussion, Pauline Black, Hannah Lowe and Colin Grant investigate whether it is possible or desirable to ‘think black’.

‘It was the ambition of every black man to be white,’ wrote the Jamaican author, Vivian Durham in the 1940s. Why? Because whiteness defined and interpreted their world. Black people came to resent this embarrassing state of affairs.

A few years ago when Colin Grant appeared on a BBC radio phone-in to discuss Negro with a Hat, his biography of the Black Nationalist leader, Marcus Garvey, the first angry listener came on the line: he didn’t have a question for Grant but an urgent point to make. ‘I resent the fact,’ he fumed, ‘that the publishers got a white man to write a book about Marcus Garvey.’ ‘What makes you think I’m white?’ Grant asked. ‘Well you don’t sound black!’ answered the listener. Grant is black but didn’t feel in 2008 that he had to justify being so. But maybe it is necessary, if only to complicate the assumption that there is such a thing as an authentic black voice in speech or the written word.

In her memoir, Black by Design, the two-tone singer, Pauline Vickers signalled her blackness (to the disapproval of the white family who brought her up) when she changed her name to Pauline Black.

Hannah Lowe’s father Chic, was Chinese-AfroJamaican. His blond–haired, fair daughter could, if she so desired, deny her heritage and ‘pass’ for white. But that is not her ambition. Repeatedly in her poetry and now in her memoir, Long time No See, Hannah Lowe has pinned her flag to her father’s mast and given voice to his dramatic past. For Colin Grant’s part, he has actively become blacker with the passage of time, as reflected in his writing, in order, he says, that his children don’t have to be.

paulineblack.com | hannahlowe.org | colingrant.info