Feb
18
Mon
Perils of Perception – Why We’re Wrong About Nearly Everything
Feb 18 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Do you eat too much sugar? Is violence in the world increasing or decreasing? What proportion of your country are Muslim? What does it cost to raise a child? How much do we need to save for retirement? How much tax do the rich pay?

When we estimate the answers to these fundamental questions that directly affect our lives, we tend to be vastly wrong, irrespective of how educated we are. This landmark book – informed by over ten exclusive major polling studies by IPSOS across 40 countries – asks why in the age of the internet, where information should be more accessible than ever, we remain so poorly informed.

Using the latest research into the media, decision science, heuristics, and emotional reasoning, Bobby Duffy examines why the populations of some countries seem better informed than others, and how we can address our ignorance of key public data and trends. An essential read for anyone who wants to be smarter and better informed, this fascinating book will transform the way you engage with the world.

Bobby Duffy is Managing Director of the Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute and Global Director of Ipsos Social Research Institute. He leads a team of around 200 researchers across the World. He has been previously seconded to the British Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and to the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) at the LSE. He is Visiting Senior Research Fellow at King’s College London.

Platonic philosophy and Freewill
Feb 18 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Platonic philosophy and Freewill

The existence or otherwise of freewill has been the subject of philosophic exploration for as long as philosophy has existed: and if it exists its nature and reach is then widely debated. In modern times the view that freewill is more or less and illusion has enjoyed widespread support in some sections of contemporary philosophy – this is in contrast to both ancient trends in this area of thought, as well as what one might call “common sense and practical views” upon which most people in today’s world base their approach to life. What does the Platonic tradition say about freewill, and how can we better our understanding of human agency?

We will look at passages from Plato and from Proclus’ treatise On Providence, Fate and That which is in our Power, alongside modern concepts. We should have time for the best part of an hour to discuss the issues raised by the extracts.

No previous experience of formal philosophy is required.

Entrance in free, but donations between £3-5 will be welcomed.

A PDF download of the extract we will be reading is available on our website together with further details of this and other Prometheus Trust’s activities: www.prometheustrust.co.uk (the PDF is on the “London Monday Evenings” page.)

Feb
19
Tue
The Course / Homes and Gardens (Antique or Exotic?) 7/10
Feb 19 @ 12:45 pm – 12:45 pm
The Course / Homes and Gardens (Antique or Exotic?) 7/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and Music.

In this 10 part series we ask when does a house become a “home”? When does a food plot become a “garden”? How do staircases and corridors reflect a new way of life? From the defensive architecture of the moat and keep to the 21st century urban fortresses of glass and concrete, from the monastic herbal garden to Chelsea show gardens for the urban terrace, we look not only at buildings, interiors and nature but, above all, at what they tell us about how people use their spaces to manage their lives.

Antique or Exotic?

The development of Bath, Buxton and other spa towns, the London buildings of John Nash, brings classical discipline to centres of fashionable society, and new public parks provide spaces for health and stylish promenades. But the Age of Reason also provokes a revolt in the form of fantasy projects drawing on influences from Indian to Gothic.

Feb
20
Wed
The Course/20th Century London: a City in Flux (The Big Bang) 9/10
Feb 20 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course/20th Century London: a City in Flux (The Big Bang) 9/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in art history, literature and music.

London has transformed almost unrecognisably since 1900. At the beginning of the period the capital of a truly global empire and its largest port. At the end, the centre of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan societies, a great financial centre and a cultural hub. This twenty part series of lectures and walks will trace the forces that transformed London, from Imperial pomp through wartime catastrophe, to the vibrant but nervous metropolis of the 21st century.

The Big Bang

In one field the transformation of the economic life of the city was explosive. The City of London abandoned the traditional trappings of the banking industry and adopted a brash new persona and once again it was transformed by a wave of new buildings, including an extraordinary extension into what was once London’s docklands.

Feb
21
Thu
The Course / The Decorative Arts in Europe (1500-2000) 19th Century 7/8
Feb 21 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The Decorative Arts in Europe (1500-2000) 19th Century 7/8 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting Art History, Literature and Music lectures.

In this 8 part series, we will see how in the European tradition, the status of “fine art” tends to be much higher than that of the “decorative arts” though the beauty and virtuosity of the latter can be spell-binding. This is why we have a “temple” to fine art in the centre of London – the National Gallery – while “everything else” is in the Victoria and Albert Museum – which was on the fringes of London when it was built. The difference is also reflected in the huge gap between the market prices of the two arts. Why are the decorative arts undervalued in this way and what are their virtues? This series of lectures explores this intriguing subject.

Design Reform in the 19th Century

The Industrial Revolution transformed the world but, in the 19th century, some critics and commentators maintained that it also led to lower quality products and poor conditions for workers, and they called for reforms. This talk will discuss attempts to reinvest the world of commodities with dignity and propriety – for instance through the Arts and Crafts Movement and the Aesthetic Movement – as the modern world unfolded.

 

Feb
24
Sun
The Rage: The Vicious Circle of Islamist and Far Right Extremism
Feb 24 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
The Rage: The Vicious Circle of Islamist and Far Right Extremism @ Conway Hall

This talk explores the interaction between the ‘new’ far right and Islamist extremists and considers the consequences for the global terror threat. Julia Ebner argues that far right and Islamist extremist narratives – ‘The West is at war with Islam’ and ‘Muslims are at war with the West’ – complement each other perfectly, making the two extremes rhetorical allies and building a spiralling torrent of hatred – ‘The Rage’

By looking at extremist movements both online and offline, she shows how far right and Islamist extremists have succeeded in penetrating each other’s echo chambers as a result of their mutually useful messages.

Based on firsthand interviews with extremists from both sides and mapping so called ‘Geographies of Hate’ – areas with high levels of Islamist and far right extremism – for the first time her book introduces readers to the world of reciprocal radicalisation and the hotbeds of extremism that have developed in the UK, Europe and the US, with potentially disastrous consequences for all.

Julia Ebner is a terrorism and extremism researcher based in London specialising in far-right extremism, reciprocal radicalisation and terrorism prevention initiatives. She is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and a Global Fellow at the Project for the Study of the 21st Century. She spent two years working for the world’s first counter-extremism organisation Quilliam, where she led research projects on terrorism prevention for the European Commission and the Kofi Annan Foundation and gave evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee on far-right extremism. On the basis of her research, Julia advises parliamentary working groups, frontline workers and tech firms, speaks at international conferences and delivers workshops in schools and universities.

She regularly writes for the Guardian and the Independent and gives interviews in English, German and French on the BBC, CNN, ZDF, ARD, France24, Al Jazeera, LBC and others.

Her book, The Rage, will be available on the day.

Plato and the pursuit of Truth – Questioning as an instrument of truth
Feb 24 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Plato and the pursuit of Truth – Questioning as an instrument of truth

“Divinity compels me to act as a midwife . . . but when souls, not bodies, are pregnant.” – Plato, in the Theaetetus

Plato’s dialogues have challenged readers to explore questions of truth and reality for the last 2,400 years: during that time humankind’s view of truth and the universe we inhabit has undergone many changes – but Plato’s philosophy remains alive with his profound questions. But Plato does not present his philosophy in a dogmatic way – many of his dialogues are built around a question and answer format: why is this?

The third of three Sunday afternoons exploring Plato’s approach to truth-seeking we aim to explore the different ways that careful questioning allows hidden truths to emerge from common opinions, and half-formed thoughts, from conflicting positions and unexamined assumptions. We will also look at the way Socrates in particular approaches different characters with appropriate strategies – for his is a more subtle art than many realise.

We will spend an hour looking at various passages of the dialogues, selected to illustrate particular approaches and after a short break, open up the meeting to an open discussion about this form of philosophy.

Each workshop will be self-contained, so if you can’t make all three Sunday afternoons (March 10, 17th and 24th) do come along to those you can make.

Details of all three workshops can be found on both the New Acropolis website (see contact details) and the Prometheus Trust website – www.prometheustrust.co.uk (go to the “lectures” page)

Feb
26
Tue
The Course / Homes and Gardens (The Victorians) 8/10
Feb 26 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Homes and Gardens (The Victorians) 8/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and Music.

In this 10 part series we ask when does a house become a “home”? When does a food plot become a “garden”? How do staircases and corridors reflect a new way of life? From the defensive architecture of the moat and keep to the 21st century urban fortresses of glass and concrete, from the monastic herbal garden to Chelsea show gardens for the urban terrace, we look not only at buildings, interiors and nature but, above all, at what they tell us about how people use their spaces to manage their lives.

The Victorians

Under Queen Victoria the Empire prospered, and provided exciting furnishings and plant species, staff were plentiful and the vast interiors were made more liveable by new technologies, such as electricity. For the “have-nots”, though, the reality could be a festering urban slum from which only cafes, bars and pubs provided escape.

Dreaming and memory consolidation (w/ Prof. Mark Blagrove @Mark_Blagrove)
Feb 26 @ 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

There is considerable research on how REM sleep and Slow Wave Sleep are related to memory consolidation. These consolidation processes prioritize emotional and salient memories. Dreaming also incorporates emotional memories from waking life, and so it has been proposed that dreaming reflects functional neural processes during sleep. Arguments in favor and against this possibility will be explored. That dreams refer to waking life experiences in an associative or metaphorical manner has been seen to be a result of processes of linking new memories to established memories, guided by emotions common to each. That we are embodied in the dream, in a simulation of the waking world, may be required for full processing of emotions, or may have another, practice-based virtual reality function. Separate from the debate on dream function is the debate on whether the consideration of dreams by the dreamer, when awake, can elicit insight. This possibility is supported by the finding that dreams preferentially incorporate emotional experiences and refer to them metaphorically. Designs for testing this against the null hypothesis, that dreams do not tell us anything new, will be discussed.

NB: Preceding his talk (from 5 pm to 6 pm in Room 219A of the Richard Hoggart Building), Mark Blagrove will run an experiential Ullman dream appreciation group with artwork produced so as to revisit the dream. Note that, although there is no need to book, places on this workshop are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Professor Mark Blagrove researches the memory consolidation functions of sleep, the relationship of dreaming to memory consolidation and to waking life events and concerns, and the effects on the dreamer and on listeners of considering and discussing dream content.

Recent publications:

  • Comparing personal insight gains due to consideration of a recent dream and consideration of a recent event using the Ullman and Schredl dream group methods. Frontiers in Psychology, 2015, 6, 831.
  • The dream-lag effect: Selective processing of personally significant events during Rapid Eye Movement sleep, but not during Slow Wave Sleep. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 2015, 122, 98-109.
  • Sleep-dependent memory consolidation is related to perceived value of learned material. Journal of Sleep Research, 2017, 26, 302 – 308.
  • Incorporation of recent waking-life experiences in dreams correlates with frontal theta activity in REM sleep. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2018, 13, 637-647.
  • Insight from the consideration of REM dreams, Non-REM dreams and daydreams. Psychology of Consciousness (APA) (in press)

All APRU talks are open to staff, students and members of the public. Attendance is free and there is no need to book in advance. You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the APRU’s “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of venue, etc.). Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

Feb
28
Thu
The Course / The Decorative Arts in Europe (1500 -2000) The Bauhaus and Beyond 9/9
Feb 28 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The Decorative Arts in Europe (1500 -2000) The Bauhaus and Beyond 9/9 @ The Course at The Universsity Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting Art History, Literature and Music lectures.

In this 8 part series, we will see how in the European tradition, the status of “fine art” tends to be much higher than that of the “decorative arts” though the beauty and virtuosity of the latter can be spell-binding. This is why we have a “temple” to fine art in the centre of London – the National Gallery – while “everything else” is in the Victoria and Albert Museum – which was on the fringes of London when it was built. The difference is also reflected in the huge gap between the market prices of the two arts. Why are the decorative arts undervalued in this way and what are their virtues? This series of lectures explores this intriguing subject.

Modernist Design: the Bauhaus and Beyond

The Bauhaus was the most innovative and influential school of design in the 20th century, combining avant-garde ideas about abstract art with a thoroughly conscientious approach to social reform and domestic living. Employing some of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century, the school combined an interest in nature with faith in industrial design.

Mar
4
Mon
Plato’s Phaedrus and the power of Eros
Mar 4 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Plato’s Phaedrus and the power of Eros

Whither are you going, my dear Phaedrus, and from whence came you?” With these words Plato opens a dialogue which might be called his manifesto of philosophy: it draws the reader in to a consideration of the fundamental questions of human life, touching upon all the primary teachings of the Platonic tradition, and showing how intimately bound love and truth are in the philosophic life of the soul. This love is a desiring form of love – the kind ruled over by Eros, and Socrates has much to say about the inspiration which comes from him:

“. . . many then are the beautiful works arising from divine mania, . . . So that we ought not to be afraid of mania; nor should any reason disturb us, which endeavours to evince that we ought to prefer a prudent friend to one who is divinely agitated: for he who asserts this, ought likewise to show, in order to gain the victory, that love was not sent from the Gods for the utility of the lover and his beloved. But, on the contrary, it must now be shown by us that a mania of this kind was sent by the Gods, for the purpose of producing the greatest felicity. The demonstration, indeed, will be to the unworthy incredible, but to the wise, an object of belief. It is necessary, therefore, in the first place, that, beholding the passions and operations of the divine and human soul, we should understand the truth concerning the nature of each.”

We will explore what Plato says in the Phaedrus concerning the soul that is the true self and how the divine impulse and inspiration of Eros underpins the ascent to its starry home.

No previous experience of formal philosophy is required.

Entrance in free, but donations between £3-5 will be welcomed.

A PDF download of the extract we will be reading is available on our website together with further details of this and other Prometheus Trust’s activities: www.prometheustrust.co.uk (the PDF is on the “London Monday Evenings” page.)

Mar
5
Tue
The Course/Homes and Gardens (You Just Can’t Get the Staff …” 9/10
Mar 5 @ 10:45 am – 10:45 am
The Course/Homes and Gardens (You Just Can't Get the Staff ..." 9/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and Music.

In this 10 part series we ask when does a house become a “home”? When does a food plot become a “garden”? How do staircases and corridors reflect a new way of life? From the defensive architecture of the moat and keep to the 21st century urban fortresses of glass and concrete, from the monastic herbal garden to Chelsea show gardens for the urban terrace, we look not only at buildings, interiors and nature but, above all, at what they tell us about how people use their spaces to manage their lives.

“You Just Can’t Get The Staff……”

The 20th C begins with the Edwardian heyday of country house living and moves to the 1974 V&A exhibition, “The Destruction of the Country House”, which recorded the loss of some 1000 country houses in barely a century. Sustained for a while by American heiresses and the commercial classes, rural and aristocratic dominance collapses and the emphasis shifts to the demands of industry, the city and the middle classes.

“I see what the killer sees”: An examination of Psychic Criminology (w/ Ciaran O’Keeffe @ciaranokeeffe)
Mar 5 @ 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

There is a disconnect between the proliferation of psychic detectives throughout media who claim successful involvement in criminal investigations and the experimental work on psychic detection that consistently finds little evidence that would warrant their involvement. There is, however, a paucity of scientific work in this domain, with the main sceptical rebuttals being confined to arguments around cold (or hot) readings or florid exaggeration of the claims. Critical evaluation of psychic detection, then, must come from detailed post-hoc investigations and in recognising how different police forces respond to volunteered information from a psychic. This talk encapsulates all of the above points, highlighting key famous cases in the domain, and bringing together two normally disparate sub-disciplines of Psychology: Investigative Psychology and Parapsychology.

Dr O’Keeffe is Associate Head of School at Bucks New University where he is responsible for Psychology, Sports Science, Social Sciences, Education and Sports Therapy. He is also programme leader for two crime degrees, BSc. (Hons) Criminological Psychology and BSc. (Hons) Psychology & Criminology, which build upon his professional and research experience in Forensic Psychology (risk assessment of violent young offenders; Investigative Psychology consultancy; anti-FGM campaigner, RJ advocate). His parapsychology research, however, has focused on testing mediums and psychics in the lab and also fieldwork examining ghostly experiences. Additional research has included psychic criminology, UFOs, Alien Abduction and ‘Christian’ parapsychology (i.e. exorcism, miracles & stigmata). It has been reported in The Psychologist, The Times, The Independent, in addition to various TV documentaries, and docutainment programmes, on a number of channels (BBC, ITV, C4, C5, Living TV, Yesterday, Travel Channel, Discovery etc.). He has also provided accounts of his daily activities in order to inform the lead (Andrew Lincoln, now on AMC’s “The Walking Dead”) in a popular ITV paranormal drama, Afterlife. Ciaran also provides a sceptical voice to various paranormal shows (e.g. Living’s Most Haunted, and Jane Goldman Investigates) in addition to providing expert input on Applied Psychology. He has been involved in many unusual projects: physiological effects of infrasound (Royal Festival Hall); ghost investigation of Hampton Court Palace; an exorcism ‘training day’; and lie detecting for the film Spy Game.

All APRU talks are open to staff, students and members of the public. Attendance is free and there is no need to book in advance. You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the APRU’s “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of venue, etc.). Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

Corridors: Passages of Modernity
Mar 5 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Corridors: Passages of Modernity @ Conway Hall

We spend our lives moving through passages, hallways, corridors and gangways, yet they do not feature in architectural histories, monographs or guidebooks. They are overlooked, undervalued and unregarded, seen as unlovely parts of a building’s infra-structure rather than ‘architecture’.

Roger Luckhurst has written the first definitive history of the corridor, from its origins in country houses and utopian communities in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, through reformist Victorian prisons, hospitals and asylums, to the ‘corridors of power’, bureaucratic labyrinths, and housing estates of the twentieth century.

Luckhurst takes in a wide range of sources, from architectural history to fiction, film and television, to explore how the corridor went from a utopian ideal to a place of unease: the archetypal stuff of nightmares.

Roger’s is the author of Corridors: Passages of Modernity which will be available on the night.

Roger Luckhurst is a British writer and academic. He is Professor in Modern and Contemporary Literature in the Department of English and Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London and was Distinguished Visiting Professor at Columbia University in 2016. He books include Corridors: Passages of ModernityZombies: A Cultural History and Alien (BFI Film Classics).

Mar
6
Wed
The Course/20th Century London: A City in Flux (Millenial Fever) 10/10
Mar 6 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course/20th Century London: A City in Flux (Millenial Fever) 10/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

The Course offers exciting lectures in art history, music and literature.

London has transformed almost unrecognisably since 1900. At the beginning of the period the capital of a truly global empire and its largest port. At the end, the centre of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan societies, a great financial centre and a cultural hub. This twenty part series of lectures and walks will trace the forces that transformed London, from Imperial pomp through wartime catastrophe, to the vibrant but nervous metropolis of the 21st century.

Millenial Fever

The approach of a new millennium, and the appearance of the heritage lottery fund, which started in 1994, transformed the face of London, turning previously unregarded areas into cultural centres and paving the way for the rapid changes in the social character of many areas of London which are continuing to this day.

The Rise of Thomas Paine and the Case of The Officers of Excise
Mar 6 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
The Rise of Thomas Paine and the Case of The Officers of Excise @ Benjamin Franklin House

Wednesday March 6th at 6:30pm

Introducing his new book, The Rise of Thomas Paine, Paul Myles will tell the story of how the relatively unknown Englishman-Paine- came to be thrust onto the international stage and his literary role in the American War of Independence.

Tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite

Reviews

“This original and scholarly work explains the rise of Thomas Paine, who was chosen by a Commissioner of Excise, George Lewis Scott, to write The Case of the Officers of Excise, a work which identified and condemned the deep corruption within the English excise service, and called for the organization of workers to improve their pay and conditions. The origins of Paine’s links with figures such as Benjamin Franklin, so important when Paine moved to North America, is thereby explained”
-Professor Richard Whatmore University of St Andrews School of History

“Paul Myles has become the custodian of the reputation of Thomas Paine and this book is part of a remarkable job he is making of it.”- Melvyn Bragg

Time to tell: A look at how we tick (w/ Ronald Green)
Mar 6 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Time seems to flash by when we’re enjoying ourselves, and slows to a crawl when we’re bored. Why? Does time exist, or is it an illusion? How real are our memories? When is now? These are just some of the questions that we will ponder in our foray into what time is for us, and how we live and relate to it in our daily lives.

Rattling the comfort of instant satisfaction, of reality shows, celebrity worship and the self-glorification of the I-generation, we will go on a journey that goes to the core of what it means to be human – a journey replete with twists and turns and “aha!” moments. Challenging what is naturally taken for granted (“the willingness to be puzzled by things that look obvious,” as Chomsky put it), we will forge a link between philosophy and science, blowing away the cobwebs that obscure both.

How Things Really Are. Can we even refer to that? That is the question.

Ronald Green is the author of “Time To Tell: a look at how we tick” (iff Books, 2018) and “Nothing Matters: a book about nothing” (iff Books, 2011). Philosopher, linguist, university lecturer and ESL teacher, with 13 ESL books published, Ronald has lectured and given workshops in Europe, North and South America and the Middle East on linguistics, ESL and the use of the Internet in education. His short stories have been published in Nuvein magazine, Tryst, Aesthetica, the Sink and Unholy Biscuit. He has completed a philosophical novel and co-authored a psychological thriller with strong philosophical underpinnings. After thinking about nothing for five years, he spent the following five years thinking about everything, i.e. time, culminating in his recently-published book and his theory of time.

Mar
10
Sun
Plato and the pursuit of Truth – Drama as an instrument of truth
Mar 10 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Plato and the pursuit of Truth – Drama as an instrument of truth

“Suddenly, a loud knocking was heard at the door, together with intoxicated voices
and the sound of the pipe” – Plato, in the Symposium

Plato’s dialogues have challenged readers to explore questions of truth and reality for the last 2,400 years: during that time humankind’s view of truth and the universe we inhabit has undergone many changes – but Plato’s philosophy remains alive with his profound questions.

For many specialists in Platonic philosophy the arrangements of logical questioning in the speeches of the characters of the dialogues constitutes the whole of his approach to philosophy: but is this really the case? We need to ask why Plato wrote dramatic dialogues rather than straight-forward treatises, and why the philosophical questions are shaped by his drama rather than by the themes he explores.

The first of three Sunday afternoons on Plato’s approach to truth-seeking, we aim to explore the insights that the dramatic action brings to the dialogues. We will spend an hour looking at some of the most powerful dramatic moments in the Platonic body of work and, after a short break, open up the meeting to an open discussion about the ideas we can see emerging from this approach.

Each workshop will be self-contained, so if you can’t make all three Sunday afternoons (March 10, 17th and 24th) do come along to those you can make.

Details of all three workshops can be found on both the New Acropolis website (see contact details) and the Prometheus Trust website – www.prometheustrust.co.uk (go to the “lectures” page)

Mar
12
Tue
The Course / Homes and Gardens (Stately Homes, Suburbs and Skyscrapers) 10/10
Mar 12 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Homes and Gardens (Stately Homes, Suburbs and Skyscrapers) 10/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Music and Literature.

In this 10 part series, we ask when does a house become a “home”? When does a food plot become a “garden”? How do staircases and corridors reflect a new way of life? From the defensive architecture of the moat and keep to the 21st century urban fortresses of glass and concrete, from the monastic herbal garden to Chelsea show gardens for the urban terrace, we look not only at buildings, interiors and nature but, above all, at what they tell us about how people use their spaces to manage their lives.

Stately homes, Suburbs and Skyscapers

The dominant focus of the 20th C is urban – and so, therefore, is its architecture. Towns spread, buildings rise ever higher and private gardens are a privilege – the 20th century takes us from P. G. Wodehouse to “Digging for Britain” and the Shard.

 

Tasting words, seeing music, and feeling the pain of others: What can synaesthesia tell us about the human mind? (w/ Prof. Michael Banissy @mbanissy)
Mar 12 @ 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

What does the name Brian taste of? What colour is the number 3? These may sound like unusual questions, but for people with synaesthesia they are a very real way to experience the world. Synaesthesia refers to a blending of the senses that are normally experienced separately. In this talk, I will explain what synaesthesia is, how we think synaesthesia happens, and what synaesthesia can tell us about mechanisms of perception in us all.

Michael is a Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths, where he is Co-Head of Department. He has contributed to several diverse research areas, including social perception, social cognition, creativity, synaesthesia, and brain stimulation. The breadth of his work is not only seen in scientific contributions, but also in his engagement to bring science to the public and industry (e.g. he is a Royal Society Short Industry Fellow). His work resulted in him being awarded the British Psychological Society Spearman Medal (2016), and the Bertelson Award (2017) for outstanding contributions to psychological research.

All APRU talks are open to staff, students and members of the public. Attendance is free and there is no need to book in advance. You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the APRU’s “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of venue, etc.). Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

Mar
17
Sun
Plato and the pursuit of Truth – Story-telling as an instrument of truth
Mar 17 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Plato and the pursuit of Truth: Story-telling as an instrument of truth –

“Be as children, and listen” – Plato, in the Statesman

Plato’s dialogues have challenged readers to explore questions of truth and reality for the last 2,400 years: during that time humankind’s view of truth and the universe we inhabit has undergone many changes – but Plato’s philosophy remains alive with his profound questions. But why didn’t Plato write straight text-book philosophy, and simply present his thoughts in reasoned arguments, rather than mixing that element with a range of vivid stories?

The second of three Sunday afternoons of Plato’s approach to truth-seeking, we aim to explore some of the stories his characters tell during the dialogues. What does story-telling add to the rational arguments from which they arise? What advantage is there in myth and story to compensate for the loss of precision when dialogues move from dialectical argument to the strange tales Plato has speakers relate?

We will spend an hour looking at examples of his stories, and the way they are embedded in the dialogues; after a short break we will open up the meeting to an open discussion about this way of philosophizing, and what it adds to the rational element of the dialogue.

Each workshop will be self-contained, so if you can’t make all three Sunday afternoons (March 10, 17th and 24th) do come along to those you can make.

Details of all three workshops can be found on both the New Acropolis website (see contact details) and the Prometheus Trust website – www.prometheustrust.co.uk (go to the “lectures” page)

 

Mar
18
Mon
A Platonic look at Homer’s Iliad
Mar 18 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Platonic look at Homer’s Iliad

In the glittering and vast stellium that was ancient Greece, the two brightest stars were Plato and Homer: the former is known as the founder of the West’s rational and systematic approach to truth, the latter as the founder of the West’s literary tradition. But perhaps the simple division of philosopher on the one hand, and epic fiction writer on the other fails to capture the range of either: Plato’s use of myth and story, and his power to move the reader in the drama of his dialogues, along with his ability to elevate and initiate those who follow him along the path of philosophy is there for any who are open to such possibilities. And Homer, whose understanding of the human condition and the stage upon which we are required to unfold our mysterious nature has rarely been surpassed, has perhaps obscured his wide-ranging wisdom by hiding it in symbolic and mythic language. 

Can we draw the two together by reading Homer with Platonic eyes? Will Platonic concepts help us to gain a deeper understanding of the two great epics attributed to Homer, and will his verses give us insights into the narrative which Plato offers us, scattered through various dialogues, of the soul’s journey?

No previous experience of formal philosophy is required.

Entrance in free, but donations between £3-5 will be welcomed.

A PDF download of the extract we will be reading is available on our website together with further details of this and other Prometheus Trust’s activities: www.prometheustrust.co.uk (the PDF is on the “London Monday Evenings” page.)

Mar
19
Tue
Diagnosis: Unexplained
Mar 19 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Diagnosis: Unexplained @ The Miller

Early medical journals contain numerous cases which appear inexplicable to modern science. One Victorian patient apparently had an entire family of slugs living in her stomach; another started to emit urine from her eyes, ears and even her navel.

Thomas Morris examines some of the strangest tales ever reported in the medical literature, from exploding teeth to the world’s first amphibious baby.

Thomas is a writer based in London.  He as  worked as a radio producer for the BBC for 17 years, making programmes including Front RowThe Film ProgrammeOpen Book and Night Waves – and spent five years at Radio 4 as producer of Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time.  In early 2015 he left the BBC to write full-time.  His journalism has appeared in publications including The LancetThe Times, the Financial Times and The Cricketer.

Mar
26
Tue
Lucid dreaming (w/ Dr Josie Malinowski)
Mar 26 @ 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

“Lucid dreaming” is a form of dreaming in which the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming, and may be able to control some aspects of the dream. This talk will discuss what lucid dreaming is, the best techniques for inducing lucidity in dreaming, and what can be done once inside a lucid dream.

Josie Malinowski is a oneirologist (dream researcher) and oneironaut (dream explorer) based at the University of East London. She teaches on the BSc (Hons) Psychology degree at UEL, including on the module “The Psychology of Sleep and Dreaming”. Her forthcoming book, “The Psychology of Dreaming,” will be published by Routledge in 2019.

All APRU talks are open to staff, students and members of the public. Attendance is free and there is no need to book in advance. You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the APRU’s “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of venue, etc.). Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

The Gendered Brain: The Neuroscience that Shatters the Myth of the Female Brain
Mar 26 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
The Gendered Brain: The Neuroscience that Shatters the Myth of the Female Brain @ Conway Hall

The new neuroscience that shatters the myth of the female brain. This is not feminist science – it’s just science

Reading maps or reading emotions? Barbie or Lego? We live in a gendered world where we are bombarded with messages about sex and gender. The twenty-first century world is one which seems determined to magnify ‘essential’ differences between men and women’s brains, from (or even before) the moment of birth. This comes via clothes, books, through schools, the workplace and the influence of social media.

Where do these supposed differences come from and how ‘essential’ are they?

Taking us back through centuries of sexism in science, The Gendered Brain shows how we arrived at the idea of an inferior, female brain and how cutting-edge breakthroughs in neuroscience can liberate us from this outdated understanding of what our brains can do. Gina Rippon shows us the reality behind much of the data that is used to justify the gender gap, and explains how major breakthroughs in neuroscience will help us dispel these stereotypes and ‘neurotrash’.

Gina Rippon is the author of The Gendered Brain: an accessible and polemic popular science book with huge repercussions for the gender debate, for education, for parenting and for how we identify ourselves. This is not feminist science – it is science.

Professor Gina Rippon is an international researcher in the field of cognitive neuroscience based at the Aston Brain Centre at Aston University in Birmingham. She is a highly experienced public speaker and a regular contributor to events such as the British Science FestivalNew Scientist Live and the Sceptics in the Pub series and, in 2015, was made an Honorary Fellow of the British Science Association for her contributions to the public communication of science. She is also an advocate for initiatives to help overcome the under-representation of women in STEM subjects and belongs to WISE and ScienceGrrl, and is a member of the Speakers4Schools programme.

The Gendered Brain is her first book for a general reader. It will be available on the night from Newham Bookshop.