Dec
18
Mon
Proclus on Dialectic – a Life of Vision
Dec 18 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

The pursuit of truth through dialectic lies at the heart of the Platonic tradition: Plato himself called it the “capstone of philosophy” and in one of his most important dialogues, the Parmenides, he shows a young Socrates learning from an aged Parmenides this art. Centuries later, Proclus, one of the last heads of the Athenian academy, wrote a masterly treatise on the dialogue and its exploration of dialectic.  This evening we’ll read a couple of extracts from Proclus and look at what he called the “three energies of dialectic” and the outline of the basic steps of dialectic. We will see that treated in the right way, the would-be philosopher uses dialectic to pass beyond mere logic to an interior vision, for, says Proclus, “the whole of our life is an exercise to the vision of this; and the wandering through dialectic hastens to that as its port.”

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.)

Dec
21
Thu
Festive Candlelit Tours of Benjamin Franklin House
Dec 21 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Festive Candlelit Tours of Benjamin Franklin House @ Benjamin Franklin House | England | United Kingdom

Step back in time and experience the House in true eighteenth-century style this winter, with our cosy festive candlelit tours. Come and join us for a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie in Franklin’s parlour before exploring the House at these special after-hours openings. 6:30pm arrival for a 7:00pm tour.

Jan
4
Thu
Happily Ever After: The Romance Story by Catherine M. Roach
Jan 4 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Happily Ever After: The Romance Story by Catherine M. Roach @ Barnard's Inn Hall | England | United Kingdom

This talk delves into one of the most powerful and omnipresent cultural storylines: Find your one true love and live happily ever after. How does this narrative function in popular culture and especially in the massive global market of women-oriented romantic fiction? Catherine Roach uncovers what we learn from the romance story about today’s changing norms for gender and sexuality and about the nature of happiness and love.

No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture.

Jan
6
Sat
Gifts and Stars: The Music of Epiphany w/@pazzeck
Jan 6 @ 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Gifts and Stars: The Music of Epiphany w/@pazzeck @ St Paul's Cathedral | England | United Kingdom

Epiphany is a feast of abundance and transformations, set in the very dead of winter.

On Epiphany itself, the Magi, led by a star, bring extravagant gifts to a young mother and her baby in the stable, and the meeting changes everything. The Church Season of Epiphany also includes Jesus’ Baptism, when he goes into the Jordan to be baptised and emerges to find out who he really is, and the Wedding at Cana, transformed when he turns water into huge quantities of the best wine.

We will explore the season’s meanings through its wonderful music, which portrays camels, stars and much more, as well as its poetry and stories.

Patrick Craig is a professional singer who is a long-standing member of St Paul’s Cathedral Choir and The Cardinall’s Musick, and who recently completed a thousand concerts with The Tallis Scholars. He is also the Founder-Director of the all-female professional choir Aurora Nova who sing regularly at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Jan
9
Tue
Inside, Outside – The World of the Artist (Nicholas Hilliard)
Jan 9 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
Inside, Outside - The World of the Artist (Nicholas Hilliard) @ The Course at The University Women's Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, THE COURSE offers innovative and exciting lectures in Art History, Literature, Music and Opera.

In INSIDE, OUTSIDE, The World of the Art, Nicole Mezey will look at how creativity reflects the personal and professional experience of the artist. This series focuses on a different artist each week, looking first at the life behind their creations – the mental asylum in which Richard Dadd produced some of his greatest works, the pressure of eight children on the output of Frans Hals – before moving on to explore their work and the way it reflects that experience.

Nicholas Hilliard (c.1547 – 1619), A Romantic Englishman

Nicholas Hilliard was miniaturist to Queen Elizabeth, but he had trained, like most artists before him, in the profession of his father, a goldsmith, and was, in turn, to pass his knowledge on to his son. Traditional in many ways, he nonetheless was innovative not only in his painting but also in his practice – driven to open a shop by the notorious penny-pinching of the monarch, he made the new art available beyond the court to the merchant classes.

Maths is Coded in Your Genes by Christopher Budd
Jan 9 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Maths is Coded in Your Genes by Christopher Budd @ Museum of London | England | United Kingdom

We live in an information age, with vast amounts of data constantly sent around the world. This lecture will introduce you to the mathematics of information.

Christopher Budd will explain how data is transmitted and received over vast distances by using carefully designed codes, and how work by a young French mathematician in the 19th century plays a vital role in this. He will then show how a huge amount of information is encoded in your genes and how maths can make sense of it.

No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture.

Will Bitcoin and the Block Chain Change the Way We Live and Work? w/@mctfreng
Jan 9 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Will Bitcoin and the Block Chain Change the Way We Live and Work? w/@mctfreng @ Museum of London | England | United Kingdom

The block chain is the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) that underlies the successful Bitcoin cybercurrency. What is it, how does it work, and why does a Government report say that DLTs have the potential to be radically disruptive to financial services, healthcare, real estate, public services and much more?

No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture.

Lacunae in the law: Profound gaps psychology might patch (w/ Leslie Cuthbert)
Jan 9 @ 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

Criminal courts regularly make decisions as to whether one witness should be believed over another and the most serious cases are decided by untrained jurors not professional judges. This talk will examine: the directions Judges give to jurors on subjects such as assessing identification evidence and dealing with lies, the conflicting views as to whether witnesses are allowed to give evidence wearing a niqab or veil, the wording of the standards of proof jurors must apply, the different models of statutory interpretation applied to laws and what may unconsciously influence decision making in criminal courts.

With a background as a Criminal Defence Solicitor-Advocate, Leslie is currently engaged in a number of diverse roles. These include judicial work sitting as a Recorder in the Crown Court, Tribunal Judge of the Mental Health Tribunal and Special Education Needs and Disability Tribunal, adjudicating appeals regarding the London Congestion Charge, acting as one of the Independent Adjudicators for Companies House and being a Legally Qualified Chair of the Police Misconduct Panel. Until recently, he was also a Chair for the Conduct and Competence Committee of the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Leslie is a consultant trainer for Bond Solon and Central Law Training training both investigators and lawyers in a variety of skills, is the Lead Advocacy Trainer of the Solicitors Association of Higher Court Advocates and trains other Judges for the Judicial College.

He is the author of two books: ‘Effective Interviewing for Disciplinary, Grievance and Complaints investigations’ and ‘365 Daily Advocacy Tips’.

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/

Jan
10
Wed
Your Own Care Pathway w/@profmjelliott
Jan 10 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Your Own Care Pathway w/@profmjelliott @ Museum of London | England | United Kingdom

Personalised care pathways describe the process of care you can expect for a given condition. Usually successful, they are not used everywhere and are often poorly monitored. This lecture considers the risks and benefits of such an approach.

No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture.

Jan
11
Thu
OPERA (What to listen for)
Jan 11 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
OPERA (What to listen for) @ The Course at The University Women's Club | England | United Kingdom

THE COURSE offers innovative and exciting lectures in Art History, Literature, Music and Opera.

In this course we will examine the impact that Verdi and Wagner had on the opera world and the composers who attempted to emulate or follow them and lay the foundations for modern opera. We will start by looking at Verdi and Wagner’s work, examining some of the operas in detail and we will follow the continued rise in popularity of Wagner’s Ring Cycle after the composer’s death. Wagner was followed by his own son, Siegfried Wagner, who composed 18 operas most of which are unperformed today, and by Engelbert Humperdinck whose opera Hansel and Gretel remains a popular cornerstone of the repertoire. But the most successful post-Wagner composer in Germany was Richard Strauss who created a remarkable body of work moving away from Wagner. In Italy, the search for a successor to Verdi took in the Verismo operas of Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, as well as composers such as Cilea, and Giordano some of whose works still keep a toehold in the repertoire. But it was Puccini who forged his own path, writing some of the most popular operas today. There is one composer who is essential to this narrative, Debussy, and we will look at how Debussy developed his own ‘third way’.

Each lecture will concentrate on just one or two composers, and we will spend half the lecture listening to and discussing the music from one or two key operas.

In order to lay the ground work for our lectures, there will be two introductory sessions where we will talk in greater detail about how operas are put together, and about the various voices that sing them.

Opera – what to listen for

An introduction as to how an opera is put together. With musical examples we will look at the different ways composers use the building blocks of opera, recitative, arioso, aria, duets, ensembles and so forth, in order to help listeners understand what composers were trying to achieve.

Why do believers hate reality so much? – w/ @Aron_Ra
Jan 11 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

NOTE: the date and time of this event is slightly different from that of most events held by the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit.

“Why do believers hate reality so much?”

Exploring the apparent motives and behaviors of defenders of the faith.

Aron Ra is a science communicator and secular activist with over 150,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel. His videos promoting scientific skepticism, secular politics and humanist values have been mirrored, featured, referenced, and recommended by many professional scientists, secularists, and educators. He is Director of the Phylogeny Explorer Project—a navigable online encyclopedic depiction of the entire taxonomic tree of life. He produces the Living Science Lessons classroom supplement video series teaching high school biology according to the “Next Generation” national standards, and unapologetically includes explanations of evolution, climate change, deep-time and other culturally controversial topics in America’s “Bible belt”. Aron Ra is best known for contesting the Texas State Board of Education in their attempts to denigrate evolution and teach notions of conservative Christian creationism in both science and history classrooms of public schools. He is Southwest Regional Director of American Atheists, former President of Atheist Alliance of America, and author of Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism.

If you are attending an event and need the College to help with any mobility requirements you may have, please contact the event organiser in advance to ensure we can accommodate your needs.

Jan
16
Tue
Inside, Outside – The World of the Artist (Fra Angelico)
Jan 16 @ 10:45 am – 11:45 am
Inside, Outside - The World of the Artist (Fra Angelico) @ The Course at The University Women's Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, THE COURSE offers innovative and exciting lectures in Art History, Literature, Music and Opera.

In INSIDE, OUTSIDE, The World of the Art, Nicole Mezey will look at how creativity reflects the personal and professional experience of the artist. This series focuses on a different artist each week, looking first at the life behind their creations – the mental asylum in which Richard Dadd produced some of his greatest works, the pressure of eight children on the output of Frans Hals – before moving on to explore their work and the way it reflects that experience.

Fra Angelico (c. 1395 – 1455), A rare and perfect talent

Famously devout, John of Fiesole was known as the Angelic Friar, or Fra Angelico, long before his official beatification in 1982. Alongside the demanding routine of a Dominican friar, he painted manuscripts, altarpieces and frescoes and was said to pray before he painted and to weep whenever he painted a Crucifixion.

The eXcrement Factor: The Natural History of Dung w/@georgecmcgavin
Jan 16 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
The eXcrement Factor: The Natural History of Dung w/@georgecmcgavin @ Museum of London | England | United Kingdom

Getting rid of waste products is the one thing that all animals do almost from the instant they are born until they die.

On the surface of the Earth a truly enormous amount of excrement is deposited every single day. The question is, where does it all go? How did dung change world history and what can we learn from studying animal droppings?

No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture.

A map of the invisible with @jonmbutterworth
Jan 16 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Join pioneering physicist Jon Butterworth at the Royal Institution for a journey into the world of the unseen in search of atoms and quarks, electrons and neutrinos, the forces that shape the universe and the mysterious territory currently being explored at the energy frontier.

 

 

Jon Butterworth is the head of Physics and Astronomy at UCL. He works on the ATLAS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider and has written several books on particle physics.

Book cover by Chris Wormell

Jan
17
Wed
The Guitar in the Age of Charles I by Christopher Page
Jan 17 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
The Guitar in the Age of Charles I by Christopher Page @ St Sepulchre's  | England | United Kingdom

The courts of James I and his son Charles I were more cosmopolitan than their Elizabethan forebears. Many courtiers had now visited the Continent in early adulthood with a tutor, mostly after a period of residence at a university.

The guitar at the English court entered a new and very lively phase, as sketched in a scenery design by Inigo Jones and played in a masque by a leading court musician. On the verge of the Civil War, the guitar rapidly became the fashionable instrument of elite London from Covent Garden to Westminster.

No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture.

London Merchants and Their Residences by Simon Thurley
Jan 17 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
London Merchants and Their Residences by Simon Thurley @ Museum of London | England | United Kingdom

During the Middle Ages London was home to one of the largest and richest merchant communities in the world. These men and their families invested heavily in fine architecture both for business and pleasure. Simon Thurley, Visiting Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College unearths the lost mercantile buildings of medieval London and shows how influential they were.

No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture.

Near-death experiences: Real or imagined? w/Vanessa Charland
Jan 17 @ 7:30 pm
Near-death experiences: Real or imagined? w/Vanessa Charland @ The Star and Garter | England | United Kingdom

Near death experiences (NDEs) are increasingly being reported as a clearly identifiable physiological and psychological reality of clinical significance. However, the definition and causes of the phenomenon as well as the identification of NDE experiencers is still a matter of debate. Recent work has shown that NDEs memories cannot be considered as imagined event memories. On the contrary, their physiological origins could lead them to be really perceived although not lived in the reality. Moreover, scientific evidence suggests that all psychological features of the NDE have a neuronal basis; yet the empirical investigation of the NDE phenomenon remains unexplored. We here propose the scientific study of NDE using integration of data derived from both psychological and neurophysiological approaches. We believe that by bridging data from psychology and neurology of NDE this project will open up a new perspective in the science of NDE by providing a rigorous definition and explanation of the phenomenon.

Jan
18
Thu
Opera (Various Voices)
Jan 18 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
Opera (Various Voices) @ The Course at The University Women's Club | England | United Kingdom

THE COURSE offers innovative and exciting lectures in Art History, Literature, Music and Opera.

In this course we will examine the impact that Verdi and Wagner had on the opera world and the composers who attempted to emulate or follow them and lay the foundations for modern opera. We will start by looking at Verdi and Wagner’s work, examining some of the operas in detail and we will follow the continued rise in popularity of Wagner’s Ring Cycle after the composer’s death. Wagner was followed by his own son, Siegfried Wagner, who composed 18 operas most of which are unperformed today, and by Engelbert Humperdinck whose opera Hansel and Gretel remains a popular cornerstone of the repertoire. But the most successful post-Wagner composer in Germany was Richard Strauss who created a remarkable body of work moving away from Wagner. In Italy, the search for a successor to Verdi took in the Verismo operas of Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, as well as composers such as Cilea, and Giordano some of whose works still keep a toehold in the repertoire. But it was Puccini who forged his own path, writing some of the most popular operas today. There is one composer who is essential to this narrative, Debussy, and we will look at how Debussy developed his own ‘third way’.

Each lecture will concentrate on just one or two composers, and we will spend half the lecture listening to and discussing the music from one or two key operas.

In order to lay the ground work for our lectures, there will be two introductory sessions where we will talk in greater detail about how operas are put together, and about the various voices that sing them.

Various Voices

Voice types have changed over the centuries and we have a different perception of how roles should be sung. We will look at some of the key operatic roles, and discuss the different types of voices that sing them. Copious musical examples will enable listeners to compare and contrast voices, both well known and lesser known.

The Age of Tyrants: Sappho via Gounod’s Opera w/@edithmayhall
Jan 18 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
The Age of Tyrants: Sappho via Gounod’s Opera w/@edithmayhall @ Barnard's Inn Hall | England | United Kingdom

The heroine of Charles Gounod’s French opera Sapho (1851) sings her last aria O My Immortal Lyre on a Greek cliff before plunging to her death. Sappho, the most famous poet of the ‘Lyric Age’ of Greece, in the 7th to 6th centuries BC, addressed passionate love poems to women.

This lecture uncovers what we know about the ‘real Sappho’, an aristocrat who lived between 630 and 570 BCE on the island of Lesbos and socialised in the lavish courts of upstart tyrants. This historical context in no way diminishes her songs’ astonishing immediacy and erotic power.

No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture.

Ecotowns or EgoTowns? w/@carolynrroberts
Jan 18 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Ecotowns or EgoTowns? w/@carolynrroberts @ Barnard's Inn Hall | England | United Kingdom

A sustainable solution to the UK’s housing crisis, or a flimsy excuse for high-profile, profitable construction activity in the green belt?

Architects may love them, but most ecologists are sceptical.

Ecotown proposals have attracted controversy, with local residents alleging that their environment will be irrevocably damaged with the arrival of sprawling new estates, thousands of cars and the loss of important wildlife habitats.

Drawing upon live audience opinion, the lecture will weigh up the evidence for and against ‘ecotowns’.

No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture.

Jan
23
Tue
Inside, Outside – The World of the Artist (Artemisia Gentileschi)
Jan 23 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
Inside, Outside - The World of the Artist (Artemisia Gentileschi) @ The Course at The University Women's Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, THE COURSE offers innovative and exciting lectures in Art History, Literature, Music and Opera.

In INSIDE, OUTSIDE, The World of the Art, Nicole Mezey will look at how creativity reflects the personal and professional experience of the artist. This series focuses on a different artist each week, looking first at the life behind their creations – the mental asylum in which Richard Dadd produced some of his greatest works, the pressure of eight children on the output of Frans Hals – before moving on to explore their work and the way it reflects that experience.

Artemisia Gentileschi (1593 – c.1656), This is a Terrible Woman

It was a rare woman who managed to make a reputation as a painter, let alone become one of the foremost artists in Europe, travelling to England to work for Charles I. Gentileschi’s gender was fundamental to her art, most of which focused on female subjects, often triumphing bloodily over men, a reflection of her early, brutal rape.

The Clockwork God: Isaac Newton and the Mechanical Universe w/alisteremcgrath
Jan 23 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
The Clockwork God: Isaac Newton and the Mechanical Universe w/alisteremcgrath @ Museum of London | England | United Kingdom

Isaac Newton saw his demonstration of the regularity of the universe as having great religious significance. Newton’s ideas were initially seen as very supportive of religion; yet within 50 years, they were being seen in a very different light.

So what are the religious, aesthetic, and scientific implications of Newton’s approach? The latest scholarship will be considered in order to unpack some of the deep questions that are raised by the scientific approach to nature.

No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture.”

Shakespeare’s Lovers w/@provbate
Jan 23 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Shakespeare’s Lovers w/@provbate @ Museum of London | England | United Kingdom

William Shakespeare made his name as a poet before he became famous as a playwright.

His erotic poem Venus and Adonis was the most popular work of literature of the Elizabethan Age, while its dark companion piece The Rape of Lucrece set the mould for Shakespeare’s exploration of the tragic consequences of sexual desire turning to violence.

Sir Jonathan Bate will show how Shakespeare developed these themes from his reading of the great Roman poet Ovid.

No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture.

Exploring the mind of a psychopath (w/ @JenniferRees88)
Jan 23 @ 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

In recent years, psychopathy has risen in prominence in the awareness and interest of the public. TV shows such as ‘Dexter’ and popular books such as Jon Ronson’s ‘The Psychopath Test’ were consumed by millions. Consequently, most are aware that psychopathy is characterised by lack of empathy, guilt and remorse. Jennifer’s talk expands on this common pre-existing knowledge by exploring the lesser-known facets of the condition; what can the field of neuroscience offer to illuminate our understanding of the condition? What are the subtle physiological and behavioural differences present in those who screen positive for psychopathy?

Jennifer will discuss how many psychopaths are not violent or dangerous and will show that many are of great benefit to society. However, given that it is estimated that 1% of the general population would screen positive for psychopathy (Hare, 1994), but approximately 15% of the male prison population (e.g. Ogloff, 2006), this talk will focus on why this condition is a focus in the field of Forensic Psychology, using examples and case studies throughout.

 

Jennifer Rees is a Forensic Science Lecturer at West Herts College and the Programme Manager of the Extended Degree in Science Programme for the University of Hertfordshire’s Consortium. Previously, she has trained Policing recruits teaching on the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP) programme, on topics such as interviewing, as well as dealing with suspects, witnesses and victims.

In 2016, she was one of 50 Healthcare Professionals selected to write a Whitepaper recommendation for the NHS, and was appointed the Vice Chair of the Mental Wealth Initiative, a sub-committee of the Youth Health Parliament. Their proposals were presented in Parliament in December 2016, aimed to improve provision for ‘mid-level’ mental health problems.

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/

Jan
24
Wed
Here Comes the Sun: Sunshine and Its Effects on Health, Sleep and Memory by Steve Jones
Jan 24 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Here Comes the Sun: Sunshine and Its Effects on Health, Sleep and Memory by Steve Jones @ Museum of London | England | United Kingdom

Professor Steve Jones will consider sunshine and its effects on health, on sleep, on memory and more: and why today’s twilight world of tablets and smart-phones is taking us back to the middle ages.

No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture.