The new format for Wednesday evening discussion will be:
18:30: NEWER PEOPLE/First Timers at a Meetup; MEET & GREET (all members (new & 'veteran') welcome, but this extra time will be dedicated for our newer members to meet, socialise, to discuss their thoughts etc. Would be great to get some regulars along as well, to help welcome our new friends!)
19:00- 19:20 Arrival for all, social chat, get drinks/ order food if you like, and get seated
19:30 Discussion /Talk starts PROMPTLY
21:00 (flexible): Social, nibbles. Till 22:30 (Pub close)
Lorna Mumford is a PhD student in anthropology at University College London. For the past year she has been conducting research among Meetup groups in the London area which cater for nonreligious people (LAAG being one of them).
Her research explores the experiences, concerns and opinions of atheists, Humanists and ex-Muslims and, in particular, asks 'Why do people come together socially based on a shared lack of something' (in this case a lack of religious belief)? And what do people mean when they talk of 'living a good life without God'?
Lorna's presentation will present some of the preliminary findings of her research. It will explore the idea of these groups forming a moral, or value-based, community; reflect on whether differences exist between atheists and Humanists; and discuss how the official divergent discourses of scientific and Humanistic atheism are often utilised by nonreligious people 'on the ground'.
But more importantly it will offer YOU the chance to give feedback and opinions on Lorna's preliminary research results, and on current ideas and theories within the field of non-religion studies. The session will take the form of a part-presentation/part-debate giving people lots of opportunity to share their own opinions and ideas on these topics.
Lorna is just about to finish the field research phase of her project and the next stage will involve many months of careful analysis of data and producing the written outcome of her research. Come along to the meeting and help her figure out if she is on the right track and have an opportunity to have your ideas included in her project (n.b.your real name, or other identifying data, will never be included in any published article or public presentation of this research).
Though these Wednesday events are usually structured debates/discussions, they are nevertheless fairly informal; so the bar is usually open upstairs and feel free to order food and have it during the discussion (it's simple food but pretty good apparently).
We aim to start the discussion promptly at 19:30. Please try to turn up in plenty of time to order drinks and get seated by 19:30 ... if at all possible :-) ... a courtesy to others. If a late arrival can't be helped, no worries, just come in quietly :-)
Directions: map showing route here: http://www.meetup.com/London-Atheist-Activist-Group-friendly-community/photos/9242882/#[masked]
'Official' end time for discussion is 9-9:30pm, but this is flexible if people want to continue with the discussion; usually we have some social time afterwards till 10:30 (until the pub throws us out!)
The £2 fee either goes towards costs of running the group, including prizes etc, or towards specific campaigns and causes. The latter are specified on the appropriate events page.