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

Conway Hall is Where Ethics Matter.

Owned and operated by Conway Hall Ethical Society, Conway Hall is a membership organisation and educational charity (no.1156033) with a history spanning two centuries.

The building is named in honour of Moncure Daniel Conway (1832–1907), anti-slavery advocate, peace campaigner, an early supporter of women's suffrage and biographer of Thomas Paine.

It is also renowned as a hub for free speech and independent thought, hosting suffragettes, political radicals, scientists, philosophers, artists, performers; campaign, charities and other non-profit organisations.

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 (4+)

I Contain Multitudes / Whitman on Walls!

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Join us at Conway Hall for an evening of poetry and prose, as we delve into the world and works of Walt Whitman, America’s ‘poet of democracy’. Author of the revolutionary Song of Myself and considered by some to be America’s first gay icon, Whitman’s radical vision of democracy and universal themes of equality, comradeship and love inspired, and continue to inspire, freethinkers worldwide.

Karen Karbiener, author and professor at New York University, will open the event with her talk Moncure Conway and Walt Whitman, Pilgrim Souls, which will explore the relationship between Whitman and historic leader of the South Place Ethical Society, Moncure Conway, after whom Conway Hall was named.

Following a thirty-minute interval, theatre company Compagnia de’ Colombari will present London’s first performance of Whitman on Walls! – a new show bringing to together over 50 performers from all over the world in a series of films inspired by the words of Whitman. The films will be interspersed with live performances from London-based poets, weaving together film and live recitation into an unforgettable experience.

- Info & tickets: bit.ly/WhitmanCH

Doors will open at 6pm, and the event will begin at 6.30pm. Our pop-up bar, provided by Too Many Bars, will be open throughout the evening, serving a selection of ethically and sustainably produced drinks.

Thinking on Sunday: Expansion Rebellion - Stop the Third Runway, Save the World

A story of hope in the face of widespread consternation over the global climate crisis. For many people concerned about global warming, the 2018 vote by UK parliamentarians to proceed with the plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport was a devastating blow. Aviation was predicted to make up some 25% of the UK’s carbon emissions by 2050 and so the decision seemed to fly in the face of the UK’s commitment to be a climate leader.

Can the UK expand Heathrow airport, bringing in 700 extra planes a day, and still stay within ambitious carbon budgets? One legal case sought to answer this question. Campaigning lawyers argued that plans for a third runway at one of the world’s busiest airports would jeopardise the UK’s ability to meet its commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

Celeste Hicks traces the dramatic story of how the case was prepared – and why international aviation has for so long avoided meaningful limits on its expansion.

Celeste Hicks is a freelance journalist and author. She was the BBC correspondent in Chad for many years and has lived in Chad, Mali, and Somalia. Her book, Expansion Rebellion: Using the Law to Fight a Runway and Save the Planet, is available to purchase here.

- Info & tickets: bit.ly/ExpansionRebellionCH

- This event will be held with an in-person audience at Conway Hall *AND* online, via Zoom. Everyone wishing to join this event must register for a ticket in advance.

Polling UnPacked - The History, Uses and Abuses of Political Opinion Polls

Mark Pack gives you the full story, from the first rudimentary polls in the nineteenth century, through attempts by politicians to ban polling in the twentieth century, to the very latest techniques and controversies from the last few years. In equal parts enlightening and hilarious, his book, Polling Unpacked needs no prior knowledge of polling or statistics to understand. Hardened pollsters will find much to enjoy, from how polling has been used to help plan military invasions to why an exhausted interviewer was accidentally instrumental in inventing exit polls.

Polling UnPacked shows you which opinion polls to trust, which to ignore and which, frankly, to laugh at. It will change the way you see political coverage forever. It also features alien invasions, Sherlock Holmes, a politician disguised as a chicken farmer, the slaying of popular polling myths and more.

Mark has extensive experience of conducting, commissioning and analysing political opinion polls, and his previous books include Bad News: What the Headlines Don’t Tell Us (2020) and 101 Ways To Win An Election (2021).

- Info & tickets: bit.ly/PollingUnPacked

- This event will be held with an in-person audience at Conway Hall and online, via Zoom. Everyone wishing to join this event must register for a ticket in advance

Thinking On Sunday: Charged - How the Police Try to Suppress Protest

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As the UK government tries to suppress all forms of dissent, in their pursuit of more control, how do the police manage crowds, provoke violence and even break the law?

Since the 1980s under successive governments the police have been allowed to suppress protests, using aggressive tactics — from batons to horse charges to kettling. The landscape of how police deal with protest changed following criticism of the police during the 1981 Brixton riots. New military-style tactics were sanctioned by the Thatcher government, in secret.

Over the next forty years, those protesting against racism, unfair job losses, draconian laws, or for environmental protection were subject to brutal tactics. Through undisclosed documents and eyewitness accounts the authors reveal organised police violence against miners at Orgreave, print workers at Warrington, anti-poll-tax campaigners, student protestors and Black Lives Matter. In the aftermath, media attention denigrates protesters while the police are praised and continue to act with impunity. The voices of protesters have been undeterred.

Matt Foot is a criminal defence Solicitor. He specialises in representing protestors and victims of miscarriages of justice. As a campaigning lawyer, he co-founded Justice Alliance to protect legal aid and Asbo Concern. He has also written in the Guardian and the London Review of Books.

Morag Livingstone is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, writer and internationally published author. She is also a lecturer and tutor in photojournalism, moving image and storytelling.

Their book Charged: How the Police Try to Suppress Protest is published by Verso books.

- Info & tickets: bit.ly/ChargedCH

- This event will be held with an in-person audience at Conway Hall and online, via Zoom. Everyone wishing to join this event must register for a ticket in advance

Past events (422)

London Fortean Society: A History of Delusions

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Photos (240)