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      From the Director

Happy New Year from everyone at the Institute of Ideas! Seasonal predictions for 2012 have generally been very bleak when it comes to politics and economics, but the IoI is committed to making a difference by engaging in wide-ranging and serious public debate about everything from the fate of the Eurozone to the US elections, and from the Olympics to opera. This year’s Battle of Ideas will be on the weekend of 27-28 October - make sure the date’s in your diary. And watch this space for details of events between now and then. In the meantime, whether or not you were at our Christmas event on the crisis in the Eurozone, you can read Phil Mullan’s lecture on spiked. A video of the whole event is also available on our YouTube channel.

Also see below for details of this year’s three-day residential Academy in July. Following the success of last year’s event, we will be running strands on history and the Classics again in 2012, while adding another on literature. This year’s unifying theme will be free will and determinism. The Academy is exclusively for Institute of Ideas associates - if you haven’t done so already, why not make it your New Year’s resolution to join the Institute of Ideas? Apart from the benefits for associates, we really do need your financial, intellectual and moral support to continue doing what we do.

Claire Fox

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The Academy 2012
Saturday 21 - Monday 23 July 2012 @ Wyboston Lakes, Bedfordshire

In July 2012, the Institute of Ideas will run its second Academy. The Academy is a three‐day residential event for Institute of Ideas members aiming to remind us just what universities should be like and to demonstrate the importance of scholarship through an examination of subjects in depth.

The first Academy featured two parallel lecture series over the course of three days – one on Classics and one on History – and a third series, for everyone – on the historical development of consciousness. The second will add a third parallel lecture series – on Literature – in addition to Classics and History while the plenary lecture series will concentrate on the overall theme of the event: free will and determinism.

See the Academy web page for a provisional programme and booking information. This event is for IoI members only. To join, or for more information on how to attend, please contact geoffkidder@instituteofideas.com.









      IoI FORUMS
On Tuesday 24 January, Sally Millard will introduce a discussion on 'Social mobility, education and parenting'. Contact Jane Sandeman at parents@instituteofideas.com.
On Monday 16 January, the forum will discuss and formulate a response to the expert panel review, 'A framework for the national curriculum'. Contact Mark Taylor on education@instituteofideas.com.

Major National Roles for Education Forum Members: In December 2011 Professor Dennis Hayes was appointed to the Mayor of London’s Education Inquiry; Dr Shirley Lawes joins the Ministerial Steering Group for Languages in January 2012, and David Perks continues to work on the National Curriculum Review for Science.
Next meeting to be announced. Contact: Martin Earnshaw.
The next Institute of Ideas Book Club will be at 7pm on Tuesday 17 January. Penny Matheson will introduce the Man Booker Prize winning novel The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. Contact: geoffkidder@instituteofideas.com
On Tuesday 28 February, Angus Kennedy will introduce a discussion of Arthur Okun's 'Equality and Efficiency: the big tradeoff'. See the forum web page for details. Contact: emergingeconomies@instituteofideas.com.
Next meeting to be announced. For information, contact: patrickhayes@instituteofideas.com.
The next meeting will be on Monday 30 January, when Dolan Cummings will introduce a discussion on ‘The Death of the Critic’. For details contact Tiffany Jenkins.

The Salons advertised below are inspired by the Institute of Ideas but run independently by groups and individuals across the country.

Next meeting to be announced. For details contact Sean Bell.
The next meeting will be on 'Nostalgia: ain't what it used to be', on Monday 16 or Wednesday 18 January, TBC. More information at: manchestersalon.org.uk
The next meeting is to be announced. www.leedssalon.org.uk
On Wednesday 8 February, Alastair Donald and Nikki Pugh will discuss The Sanitised City: How public is public space?. For more information, see www.birminghamsalon.org
The next meeting will be on Wednesday 25 January in Derby. Ciaran Guilfoyle will introduce a discussion on 'The Simpsons versus Shakespeare'. Contact Dennis Hayes on d.hayes@derby.ac.uk or see www.eastmidlandssalon.org.
Next meeting to be announced. For details, contact Luke Gittos.
The next meeting will be on Thursday 12 January 2012, on 'Fat, Food Fads and Fears'. Further details at: croydonsalon.com
On Wednesday 18 January, Rob Lyons will discuss his book, Panic on a Plate, at the inaugural meeting of the Oxford Salon in Oxford, 7-9 pm - follow link for details.


Monday 9 - Tuesday 10 January: Claire Fox will be co-chairing a St George’s House consultation on ‘Inequality: Moral Obligations and Economics 

Saturday 21 January: David Bowden will be chairing a panel debate at the Tromsø International Film Festival, held in partnership with the British Council Norway. ‘Present Tense: Europe’ will explore how themes around identity and immigration have been explored in contemporary European film, including La Haine (France) and All White in Barking (UK).

Saturday 28 January: Claire Fox will be speaking at Better History For All, a day conference for all those interested in the future of history in our schools organised by the Better History Forum, 9.30-4pm at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge

Saturday 28 January: Tiffany Jenkins will be speaking on the political lives of dead bodies - from Jesus Christ to Gadaffi - at Death: Southbank Centre’s Festival for the Living, London



A video of the IoI’s Christmas lecture, It’s Christmas in Euroland, is now available on our YouTube channel.

A number of videos are now available of sessions at last year’s Battle of Ideas, on the BoI website and on WORLDbytes.

Recently added highlights include Is there a ghost in the machine?, Is this Africa’s decade, Eurozonia: too big to fail, to small to succeed?, and Is individualism bad for society?.

Was Cameron right to use the EU veto?, Patrick Hayes on BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours, 12 December 2011

‘Libyans don’t trust Western cronies ruling them’, Patrick Hayes on Russia Today, 14 December 2011

Sex work – easy or tough choice?, Patrick Hayes on Radio 5 Live’s Your Call, 14 December 2011

Will Scottish voters bring an end to the United Kingdom?, Craig Fairnington on Press TV, 17 December 2011

‘Political theatre is a substitute for action’, Tiffany Jenkins on Radio 4’s Today, 29 December 2011




Pitfalls on the road to instilling values, by Bill Durodie, Straits Times, 21 November 2011

The Q&A: Austin Williams, Urbanist, Intelligent Life, 4 December 2011

Hamleys’ baby steps towards gender equality, by Zoe Williams (mentioning the Battle of Ideas), Guardian, 13 December 2011

Time to say the unsayable – European unification needs to restart without the euro, by Phil Mullan, City AM, 14 December 2011

Global Warming: Does it matter? Claire Fox v George Monbiot, Fifth Column, 15 December 2011

Forget drinking by numbers – enjoy your Christmas tipple!, by Sarah Boyes, Independent, 19 December 2011

Dear Santa, please get rid of the Euro, by Phil Mullan, spiked, 19 December 2011

In Defence of Foie Gras, by Kirk Leech, Huffington Post, 20 December 2011

This Christmas, let’s all lift a glass to mark the birth of Homo sapiens urbanus, by Alastair Donald, City AM, 21 December 2011

Political theatre’s final curtain, by Tiffany Jenkins, Independent, 28 December 2011

‘Should science museums dispose of their collections?’, Tiffany Jenkins v Peter Davies, People and Science, January 2011

    December's highlights on CW included Patrick West on Baudrillard, Nicky Charlish on 20th century British painters, and various authors on London theatre.  

Happy New Year to all participants, judges, friends and supporters from all of us at Debating Matters – we look forward to seeing more of you at debates over the coming year.

Debating Matters has a busy few months ahead. In addition to the Regional Finals which will kick off in early March, we are also delighted to announce a one-off day of debates organised in partnership with the global consumer goods company Unilever on 7 February 2012, at Unilever House in London. This exciting programme allows six Debating Matters Schools, knocked out of the competition at the Qualifying Round stage, to participate in a wide-ranging programme of debates, reflecting on issues relating to the global economy and development; the production and distribution of food and energy; and population issues and the environment. At a time of great anxiety and confusion about the future direction of the world, there are important debates to be had about how to improve our lives – from how to employ science and technology to best effect to different models of economic growth. Debating Matters is eager that such issues be explored and discussed in an in-depth, thoughtful and challenging way, so we are delighted that schools have the opportunity to think and argue about some of these important themes.  We are very pleased to be working on the project with Unilever, who will not only be hosting, but will also be involved in the judging of debates. The final debate of the day on the motion “Population growth and rising living standards are unsustainable”, will be open to guests, and will run from 6pm to 7.45pm. If you are interested in joining us, then please email Justine Brian.

Following their early successes at the Qualifying Rounds in the autumn, 48 schools are proceeding to the Regional Finals of the competition, which will take place across March and April. Eight venue partners have confirmed their ongoing support for Debating Matters and we now have four dates to announce, with others following shortly. The confirmed dates are:

South East Regional Final at the Salomons Centre, Kent – 6 March 2012
London and South Regional Final at the Free Word Centre, London – 9 March 2012
North East Regional Final at the University of Newcastle – 13 March 2012
East Regional Final at Cancer Research UK, Cambridge – 26 April 2012

If you are interested in attending any of the Regional Finals as a guest, then please do get in contact, emailing Justine Brian on the email above.

Best wishes to you all in 2012!






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