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Friendly events at Conway Hall on topics of interest to Humanists, Atheists and Secularists (and anyone else!).

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You can join the Ethical Society and get into the lectures for free (and other events at a substantially discounted rate) by signing up online here: http://conwayhall.org.uk/join

Upcoming events (5+)

Public Discourse - "Debate on Trial."

Brockway Room, Conway Hall

Today we live in difficult times where tensions and animosity have increased. Brexit and other major issues have caused divisions not seen for decades. Is part of the reason that we have an adversarial system of public discourse that favours debate over dialogue and thus encourages conflict rather than consensus? This meeting will look at whether debate has any value in our present society or whether there are other ways of engaging with each other that are more constructive. What we plan to do is put “debate” on trial. GlobalNet21, The Great Debaters Club and Conway Hall Ethical Society would welcome you joining us in this examination of how we converse with each other in public life. We hope to have an advocate for debate and another for alternative forms of dialogue with key witnesses on each side. And you the audience will be the Jury. Details of those involved will appear soon on all involved This meeting is free to all members of GlobalNet21 but there is a five pounds entrance charge to all others. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/public-discourse-debates-are-not-the-answer-tickets-55760500157

The Gendered 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at the idea of an inferior, female brain and how cutting-edge breakthroughs in neuroscience can liberate us from this outdated understanding of what our brains can do. 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 Festival, New 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. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-gendered-brain-tickets-53294737996?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

Denial, Denialism and Post-Denialism: Why is speaking truth so difficult?

The truth hurts. We cannot always acknowledge our desires - even to ourselves. So we deny them. And sometimes we go further: The term 'denialism’ describes a cluster of 'alternative' forms of knowledge, including Holocaust denial, global warming denial, anti-vaxxers, 911 conspiracism, creationism and more. Denialism has been part of the political landscape for decades, but now some (like Donald Trump) are going further, transitioning to ‘post-denialism’ in which almost anything goes. Why do we deny? How does denialism work and why is post-denialism replacing it? And how can they be combatted? In this talk, Keith Kahn-Harris, author of Denial: The Unspeakable Truth, argues that a solution will only be possible when we come to terms with the truth of our darker desires. — Doors 2.45pm. Start 3pm. Entry £8, £4 concessions (free to Conway Hall Ethical Society members, who should book these tickets in advance. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/thinking-on-sunday-denial-denialism-and-post-denialism-why-is-speaking-truth-so-difficult-tickets-56327698663 Event is subject to capacity, without exceptions. Space will be reserved for ticket holders. Brockway Room (Ground floor – accessible. Induction loop audio).

Vagina – A Re-Education

Brockway Room, Conway Hall

We urgently need to talk about women's sexual and reproductive health, about our experiences of sex and pregnancy and pain and pleasure. Lynne Enright, author of Vagina: A Re-Education, does just that. From earliest childhood, girls are misled about their bodies, encouraged to describe their genitalia with cute and silly names rather than anatomically correct terms. In our schools and in our culture, we are coy about women while putting straight men's sexuality front and centre. Girls grow up feeling ashamed about their periods, about the appearance of their vulvas, about their own desires. They grow up without a full and honest sex education, and this lack of knowledge has serious consequences: the number of women attending cervical screening appointments in the UK is at a 20-year low while labiaplasty is the fastest growing type of plastic surgery in the world. Vagina: A Re-Education provides girls and women with information they need about their own bodies - about the vagina, the hymen, the clitoris, the orgasm; about conditions like endometriosis and vulvodynia. It confronts taboos, such as abortion, miscarriage, infertility and masturbation. It tackles vital social issues like period poverty, female genital mutilation and the rights of transgender women. It is honest and moving as Lynn Enright shares her personal stories, but this is about more than one woman - her book will provoke thousands of conversations. — Doors 7.15pm. Start 7.30pm. Entry £8, £4 concessions (free to Conway Hall Ethical Society members, who should book these tickets in advance. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/thinking-on-monday-vagina-a-re-education-tickets-57988287529 The event is subject to capacity, without exceptions. Space will be reserved for ticket holders. Brockway Room (Ground floor – accessible. Induction loop audio).

Past events (330)

Making Evil - The Science Behind Humanity’s Dark Side

Brockway Room, Conway Hall

Photos (139)