• Book Group: Stephen Hawking's Brief Answers to the Big Questions

    South Bank Centre - Royal Festival Hall

    March's Book is Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking The Number 1 Bestseller. The Sunday Times Science Book of the Year ‘Stephen Hawking was the most renowned scientist since Einstein, known both for his groundbreaking work in physics and cosmology and for his mischievous sense of humor. He educated millions of readers about the origins of the universe and the nature of black holes, and inspired millions more by defying a terrifying early prognosis of ALS, which originally gave him only two years to live. In later life he could communicate only by using a few facial muscles, but he continued to advance his field and serve as a revered voice on social and humanitarian issues. Hawking not only unraveled some of the universe’s greatest mysteries but also believed science plays a critical role in fixing problems here on Earth. Now, as we face immense challenges on our planet—including climate change, the threat of nuclear war, and the development of artificial intelligence—he turns his attention to the most urgent issues facing us. Will humanity survive? Should we colonize space? Does God exist? These are just a few of the questions Hawking addresses in this wide-ranging, passionately argued final book from one of the greatest minds in history. Featuring a foreword by Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar for playing Stephen Hawking, an introduction by Nobel Laureate Kip Thorne, and an afterword from Hawking’s daughter, Lucy, Brief Answers to the Big Questions is a brilliant last message to the world.’ Why read Brief Answers if you have already read A Brief History? According to The Guardian’s review: ’Those who followed Hawking the writer after 1988 will find much that seems familiar. For those readers who invested in A Brief History and perhaps never quite finished it, there is good news: almost everything in Brief Answers is effortlessly instructive, absorbing, up to the minute and – where it matters – witty. ... “Our future is a race between the growing power of our technology and the wisdom with which we use it. Let’s make sure that wisdom wins.” He warns that human aggression and new technologies – nuclear warheads, AI, genetic engineering, global warming – could destroy the entire human race and much of the rest of life on Earth. ... People who argue for good education for all, a decently funded NHS and serious investment in research will rediscover him as a friend. He doesn’t think much of the anti-immigration ideologies of Brexit or Trump, but says so with brevity. If you can please support your local booksellers or check out Hive: https://www.hive.co.uk While we are very social and welcoming, the book group's primary focus is discussing books. Feel free to turn up if you haven't managed to finish this month's book but note that the group works best when we have all read at least some of the book and are prepared to share our opinions. Katia:[masked] --------------------------------------------------------------------------- We kindly ask for £3 cash per head to help cover the costs of our speaker meetings, venue hire, our annual Meetup subscription fees, and the CLHG membership of various international humanist bodies. The collection is made during each meeting. You can also make an online donation (https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=ZWCNRJ25BDL96) at any time. Events are advertised on multiple online portals, and through email, so the RSVP numbers on any one portal will not reflect the actual greater attendance on the day. We encourage dialogue, debate and sharing of information on our site but ask people to keep their comments cordial. Any views expressed here are those of the individual posting them and may not reflect those of the CLHG.

  • Theatre Trip: Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train at the Young Vic

    Young Vic Theatre

    £43.00

    Join us at the critically acclaimed Young Vic Theatre for Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train From the Pulitzer winner Stephen Adly Guirgis, comes this critically-acclaimed dark comedy about the American justice system and the contradictory nature of faith. The Story: Inside the lockdown wing of Rikers Island prison, a frightened young man accused of murdering a cult leader is confronted with a charismatic born-again serial killer and a sadist guard. Will one man’s redemption lead to another’s damnation? From the critics: 'Shocking, shattering, stunningly well-written' The Telegraph 'Like a shot of caffeine straight in the veins' Lyn Gardner for The Guardian Let's meet before the play at the the Young Vic's The Cut pre-theatre bar from 6pm. You do not have to arrive at 6pm but some of us will be there from 6 pm to chat, eat and have a drink before the play. Please arrive by 7:15 pm at the latest to collect your ticket directly from me. Tickets are £43 (this includes a £3 donation to Central London Humanists). As tickets will sell out fast for this play, I am closing RSVPs Sunday February 3rd at midnight. If you have any questions call Katia[masked]

  • CLH Sunday Lunch

    Penderel's Oak, J.D. Wetherspoon

    £3.00

    Our casual lunch meetings are on the last Sunday of every month at the Penderel's Oak pub in Holborn. These lunches are ideal if you are unfamiliar with the humanist community and want to find out more over a chat in a quieter sit-down event, as compared with our busier, noisier, weekday evening drinks socials. You can expect to meet like-minded people, make friends, and network with activists/volunteers — there are always CLH committee members present at these lunches. — Penderel's Oak has wheelchair access. Nearest tube station is Holborn. Post on this page if you need help with directions. There will be tables inside the pub reserved for "Humanists". £3 cash per person to attend. CLH FAQ: http://bit.ly/2KEAE62

  • Opera Screening: Verdi's La Forza del Destino

    Vue West End Cinema

    £26.00

    Only 3 days left to RSVP for a LIVE screening of Verdi's La Forza del Destino. Join us in Convent Garden for drama and music in the comfortable seats of the Leicester Square Vue cinema. Christof Loy directs a star-studded cast of singers, including Anna Netrebko, Jonas Kaufmann and Ludovic Tézier, in Verdi's epic opera, conducted by Antonio Pappano. Live Screenings are a wonderful way to experience the Opera at a more reasonable price. The best professionals capture the action in Covent Garden's Royal Opera House and this is transmitted live to a cinema screen; the excellent camera work at the ROH and the enveloping sound system in the movie theatre insure that you get the full experience of the drama and music with the best view. The Story of La Forza del Destino: The Marquis of Calatrava forbids his daughter Leonora to marry the South American nobleman Don Alvaro. The lovers attempt to elope, but the Marquis catches them. In the ensuing altercation, Alvaro accidentally kills the Marquis, who curses his daughter as he dies. Leonora and Alvaro become separated during their escape. Leonora's brother Don Carlo di Vargas decides to find them and avenge his father. Don Carlo joins the Spanish army under a false name, little knowing that Don Alvaro has done the same thing. The men become close friends while fighting in Italy. But friendship turns to enmity when Don Carlo discovers Leonora's portrait among Alvaro's possessions, and realizes who his new 'friend' really is. His subsequent actions lead the men back to Spain, and to the remote monastery where a disguised Leonora lives as a recluse. Tickets are £26 (this includes a £3 donation to Central London Humanists). Please sign up before Sunday the 17th. If you have any questions call Katia[masked]

  • CLH Weekday Social

    Penderel's Oak

    £3.00

    Every first Wednesday of the month we meet for a social evening at the Penderel's Oak pub in Holborn. Whether you're non-religious, questioning your previously-held beliefs, or just an open-minded person looking to mingle, these socials could be just right for you. You can expect to meet like-minded people, make friends, network with community activists, and have a lively discussion on the issues of the day. Some people arrive at 6pm, but there is no specific time to be there and people continue to arrive throughout the evening. Invariably quite a few of us are still engrossed in discussion come closing time (~11:30pm). Normally around 40 of us turn up, so we aren't too hard to find. We are a really friendly, diverse group and love to welcome new faces, so please do come and join us. — Penderel's Oak has wheelchair access. Nearest tube station is Holborn. Post on this Meetup event if you need any travel information from the organisers. There will be 5-6 tables inside reserved for "Humanists", ask the bar staff as well if you are not sure where we are. £3 cash per person to attend. CLH FAQ: http://bit.ly/2KEAE62

  • CLH Discussion Group: topic TBC (please vote)

    Penderel's Oak

    £3.00

    We welcome your input into the choice of topic, please vote here: http://bit.ly/2DfRhTQ — In the Discussion Group programme, we encourage and support you to explore current affairs issues face-to-face (as opposed to on social media or other online bubbles), together with other open-minded and curious people. We will not look to 'solve' every question, nor to persuade you. Rather, we will exchange and evaluate sources of news and commentary, learn and develop critical thinking skills, and improve our understanding of the current history and context behind the topics. To the extent that we touch on political divides, it is with the hope of transcending them, using humanist principles of morality and compassion, as well as sceptical reasoning. Often we cannot match our monthly talk topics to coincide with issues in the public spotlight in any given month. The Discussion Groups are there to fill that gap. You don't need to prepare, but it is recommended, even if it's just coming ready with a few key topical questions that interest you. The organiser (who is of course also there to learn) will facilitate and guide the discussion according to a rough plan intended to cover the major relevant themes, provoking thought using Socratic questioning. After each meeting there will be a summary of the discussion uploaded here: http://bit.ly/2KA1v3d — Attendance £3 per person. Nearest station is Holborn. Please post on this page if you have trouble finding our tables inside the pub. CLH FAQ: http://bit.ly/2KEAE62

  • FUNDAMENTALISM RISING: HUMANISM UNDER THREAT IN INDIA AND BANGLADESH

    *The CLHG would like to inform you this event is a Humanists International & Conway Hall Ethical Society event. Tickets are available from the Conway Hall site https://conwayhall.org.uk/event/fundamentalism-rising-humanism-under-threat-in-india-and-bangladesh/ FROM HUMANISTS INTERNATIONAL & CONWAY HALL ETHICAL SOCIETY: There may be a long-term global trend toward humanism, but in some regions of the world we are witnessing a reverse trend, with an alarming rise of religious and nationalist fundamentalist groups. India and Bangladesh are one theatre of a backlash of violence and discrimination against the rationalist and atheist society. Wednesday, 24 April 2019 Conway Hall 19:00 to 21:30 FROM CLHG: LET’S MEET UP before the event and stay together for drinks afterwards. Together we can learn about this important issue and share ideas in discussion. BEFORE from 17:30: The Square Pig 30-32 Procter Street (Red Lion Square) Holborn WC1V 6NX We’ll be easy to see, look for CLHG signs. 18:30 We walk to Conway Hall (event starts at 19:00). AFTER the event (finishes 21:30) meet us OR walk with us to: The Enterprise 38 Red Lion Street Holborn WC1R 4PN Very near Conway Hall, tables booked at the back. Again, look for CLHG signs.

  • CLH Sunday Lunch

    Penderel's Oak, J.D. Wetherspoon

    £3.00

    Our casual lunch meetings are on the last Sunday of every month at the Penderel's Oak pub in Holborn. These lunches are ideal if you are unfamiliar with the humanist community and want to find out more over a chat in a quieter sit-down event, as compared with our busier, noisier, weekday evening drinks socials. You can expect to meet like-minded people, make friends, and network with activists/volunteers — there are always CLH committee members present at these lunches. — Penderel's Oak has wheelchair access. Nearest tube station is Holborn. Post on this page if you need help with directions. There will be tables inside the pub reserved for "Humanists". £3 cash per person to attend. CLH FAQ: http://bit.ly/2KEAE62

  • Book Group: In Your Defence, Stories of Life and Law

    South Bank Centre - Royal Festival Hall

    April's book is Sarah Langford's In Your Defence. Stories of Life and Law A look at our legal system through 11 cases handled by a thoughtful and passionate barrister. I read it and loved it. It makes for gripping reading and, I think, will give us plenty to discuss in the group. From Goodreads: 'A thoughtful, elegant book. ... often as thrilling as a detective novel. ' - Thomas Grant, QC The Times. Sarah Langford is a barrister. Her job is to stand in court representing the mad and the bad, the vulnerable, the heartbroken and the hopeful. She must become their voice: weave their story around the black and white of the law and tell it to the courtroom. These stories may not make headlines but they will change the lives of ordinary people in extraordinary ways. They are stories which, but for a twist of luck, might have been yours. To work at the Bar is to enter a world shrouded by strange clothing, archaic rituals and inaccessible language. So how does it feel to be an instrument of such an unknowable system? And what does it mean to be at its mercy? Our legal system promises us justice, impartiality and fair judgement. Does it, or can it, deliver this? With remarkable candour, Sarah describes eleven cases which reveal what goes on in our criminal and family courts. She examines how she feels as she defends the person standing in the dock. She tells compelling stories - of domestic fall out, everyday burglary, sexual indiscretion, and children caught up in the law – that are sometimes shocking and often heart-stopping. She shows us how our attitudes and actions can shape not only the outcome of a case, but the legal system itself. If you can please support your local booksellers or check out Hive: https://www.hive.co.uk While we are very social and welcoming, the book group's primary focus is on discussing books. Feel free to turn up if you haven't managed to finish this month's book but note that the group works best when we have all read at least some of the book and are prepared to share our opinions. Katia:[masked] --------------------------------------------------------------------------- We kindly ask for £3 cash per head to help cover the costs of our speaker meetings, venue hire, our annual Meetup subscription fees, and the CLHG membership of various international humanist bodies. The collection is made during each meeting. You can also make an online donation (https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=ZWCNRJ25BDL96) at any time. Events are advertised on multiple online portals, and through email, so the RSVP numbers on any one portal will not reflect the actual greater attendance on the day. We encourage dialogue, debate and sharing of information on our site but ask people to keep their comments cordial. Any views expressed here are those of the individual posting them and may not reflect those of the CLHG.

  • CLH Weekday Social

    Penderel's Oak

    £3.00

    Every first Wednesday of the month we meet for a social evening at the Penderel's Oak pub in Holborn. Whether you're non-religious, questioning your previously-held beliefs, or just an open-minded person looking to mingle, these socials could be just right for you. You can expect to meet like-minded people, make friends, network with community activists, and have a lively discussion on the issues of the day. Some people arrive at 6pm, but there is no specific time to be there and people continue to arrive throughout the evening. Invariably quite a few of us are still engrossed in discussion come closing time (~11:30pm). Normally around 40 of us turn up, so we aren't too hard to find. We are a really friendly, diverse group and love to welcome new faces, so please do come and join us. — Penderel's Oak has wheelchair access. Nearest tube station is Holborn. Post on this Meetup event if you need any travel information from the organisers. There will be 5-6 tables inside reserved for "Humanists", ask the bar staff as well if you are not sure where we are. £3 cash per person to attend. CLH FAQ: http://bit.ly/2KEAE62