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      From the Director

I’m delighted to announce that the Institute of Ideas has been awarded a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award to support the development of our two flagship projects over a five year period. The award is predominantly aimed at funding and expanding the Institute of Ideas’ debating competition for sixth formers in the UK and India. Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, explains: ‘Both Debating Matters and the Battle of Ideas have shown tremendous success at getting young people to engage with contemporary biomedical issues. We hope this Strategic Award will help cement the future of these two important projects, in encouraging scientific literacy and inspiring the decision-makers of tomorrow.’ We at the IoI are delighted to receive continued support from the Trust in ensuring important ethical, scientific and social issues raised by biomedical advances are widely debated in the public arena. 

Meanwhile, Regional Finals of this year’s Debating Matters Competition are about to begin. Everyone is welcome to come along to debate the issues at the eight regional events being held before Easter. We have also had an excellent response to the announcement of our new summer residential event, The Academy. A limited number of places are still available - see below. We are also looking ahead to this year’s Battle of Ideas festival, which takes place at the Royal College of Art in London on the weekend of 29-30 October. We are currently considering dozens of session proposals on everything from the uprisings in the Arab world to the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, and look forward to announcing the full programme in the summer.

If you are not already an IoI associate, why not join the IoI? We really do need your financial, intellectual and moral support to continue our work.

Claire Fox

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The Academy 2011
Saturday 23 - Monday 25 July @ Wyboston Lakes, Bedfordshire

In July 2011, the Institute of Ideas will launch a new initiative: The 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. This year’s themes are the Classics and history.

Provisional schedule:

Day One (Saturday 23 July, 11am start)

Plenary: Humanism – problems and opportunities

Classics: Greek philosophy and thought

History: What is history?

Plenary: The emergence of consciousness in the ancient and medieval world

Day Two (Sunday 24 July)

Classics: Greek politics
History: The English Revolution

Classics: The Roman tradition
History: The Age of Empire

Plenary: The establishment of historical consciousness in the 17th century

Day Three (Monday 25 July)

Classics: The rise and fall of Rome
History: The origins of welfare thinking

Classics: The Renaissance: old wine; new bottles
History: Fascism and anti-modernity

Plenary: Enlightenment and Anti-Enlightenment thought

Further details, including prices, can be found on the Academy web page.

This event is for IoI members only. To join the IoI, or for more information on how to attend, please contact geoffkidder@instituteofideas.com.









      IoI FORUMS
The next meeting is to be announced. Contact Jane Sandeman at parents@instituteofideas.com.
The next forum is on Monday 21 March when we discuss the new English Baccalaureate with Kevin Rooney and David Perks. Contact Mark Taylor on education@instituteofideas.com. Also contact Mark for a free copy of the pamphlet 'A defence of subject-based education'.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday 29 March - details to be announced. Contact: Martin Earnshaw.
On Tuesday 29 March, Richard Stubbs will introduce Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Contact: geoffkidder@instituteofideas.com
The next meeting will be on global imbalances, on Thursday 24 March. Further details on the forum web page Contact: emergingeconomies@instituteofideas.com.
The next meeting will be at 7pm on Tuesday 15 March - topic to be announced. Contact: patrickhayes@instituteofideas.com.

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

On Tuesday 22 March, we will discuss 'The New Culture of Protest - What do we want?' with Patrick Hayes and Laurie Penny. For details contact Dan Travis.
On Tuesday 22 March, Brendan O'Neill and Louise Bolotin will introduce a conversation about recent changes in journalism and how the future of online publishing can be shaped. More information at: manchestersalon.org.uk
The next meeting will be 'The Middle East Uprising: Why Now? What Next?', introduced by Karl Sharro, on Wednesday 16 March. www.leedssalon.org.uk
The next meeting will be on 6 April - details to be announced. For more information, see www.birminghamsalon.org
The next meeting of the East Midlands Salon will be in Derby on Wednesday 30 March, when Professor Dennis Hayes will discuss 'The "limits" of Academic Freedom' (his inaugural lecture). Book online or contact Dennis Hayes on d.hayes@derby.ac.uk..
The next meeting of the Croydon Salon is on Wednesday 16 March. Further details at: croydonsalon.com


Wednesday 2 March: Claire Fox was on a Question Time panel at Leicester Grammar school alongside Dr Alistair Jones, from De Montfort University, Lib Dem Zuffar Haq, Owen Jones of NUS at Leicester University and James Poland from Conservative Future.

Saturday 5 March: Claire Fox will be speaking on changing community values at Editorial Intelligence’s Names Not Numbers global symposium in Portmeirion. Other panellists include journalist Jenni Russell; Louise Casey, Victims Commissioner; Anwar Akhtar, co-founder of The Samosa, and Fiona Rawes from Business in the Community.

Thursday 10 March: Claire Fox will deliver a lecture, Happy-clappy politics and smiley faces: why the government’s happiness agenda is putting society at risk. British Museum, 6-8pm. Book online.

Monday 14 March: Angus Kennedy will give a lecture to NYU students at SOAS on Wikileaks and (American) diplomacy.

Thursday 31 March: at 6.30pm, Claire Fox will be speaking at Women Like Us, a panel event to celebrate International Women’s Day debate, organised by The Busworks, in collaboration with The Pleasance Theatre and Islington Chamber of Commerce. Speakers include: Gillian Harwood, entrepreneur and former winner of Business Woman of the Year and Jennifer Howze from CyberMummy and founder of British Mummy Blogs. To purchase tickets please contact the Pleasance Theatre box office on 0207 609 1800. Alternatively, you can buy tickets online at www.pleasance.co.uk. Quote ‘Institute of Ideas’ to book for £8 (normal price, £10).



Last month’s Education Forum on history teaching with Professor Gary McCullough and Mark Taylor is now available online.

Videos of all the biomedicine debates at the 2010 Battle of Ideas are now available on WORLDbytes.

Tiffany Jenkins was interviewed by Channel 4 news for an item on the British Museum’s Afghanistan’s Treasures exhibition.

Claire Fox discussed the Welsh referendum on BBC Radio Wales, 25 February 2011.

Claire Fox will be a panellist on BBC Radio 4’s Moral Maze at 8pm on Wednesday 9 March.




Our ‘darling children’ are the new Suffragettes!, by Patrick Hayes, spiked, 7 February 2011

Peddling ancient prejudices about Egypt , by Tiffany Jenkins, spiked, 8 February 2011

Five reasons why CBOs are worse than ASBOs, by Patrick Hayes, spiked, 10 February 2011

The future of Leeds up for debate at Leeds Salon, BBC Local, 16 February 2011

A patronising view by the state, by Claire Fox, LocalGov.co.uk, 16 February 2011

The curse of the vanishing mummies, by Tiffany Jenkins, 16 February 2011

EDL: a wet dream for purposeless lefties, by Patrick Hayes, spiked, 17 February 2011

The political use and abuse of metaphor, by Patrick Hayes, spiked review of books, 25 February 2011

The making of the King James Bible, by David Bowden, spiked, 24 February 2011

‘The artist formerly known as global warming’, by Dolan Cummings, spiked, 28 February 2011

We need a ‘No to ASA’ campaign, by Patrick Hayes, spiked, 2 March 2011

David Bowden on TV, February’s columns on spiked

    February's highlights on CW included extensive London theatre coverage, and Ciaran Guilfoyle reviewing Kwame Anthony Appiah's The Honor Code.  

Over the past eight years, Debating Matters has involved over 12,000 students in engaging debates about a wide range of issues. Debating Matters has become recognised as an exciting schools competition that challenges 16 to 18 year olds to debate real world issues to a high intellectual standard. Biomedical debates – covering everything from organ donation to genetic screening, clinical trials, ageing and human enhancement – provide students with the chance to research, reflect on, and argue over the opportunities and ethical questions thrown up by advances in science. We are delighted that the success of Debating Matters in helping young people to grapple with the big issues of the day has been recognised with a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award.

Most of the award will underpin an ambitious plan to double the capacity of Debating Matters in the UK and India, working with a wide range of existing and new partner organisations in both countries. The planned programme of expansion – from 192 to 384 schools in the UK and from 96 to 192+ schools in India – will involve the development of the Debating Matters alumni programmes in each country as well as the provision of exciting new written and audiovisual resources to support schools in their debating activities; both within the formal competition and in addition to it.

Tony Gilland, director of the Debating Matters Competition, said, ‘We still have significant sums of money to raise, but this award provides us with a substantial platform upon which to build for the next phase of Debating Matters. It is a wonderful vote of confidence in what has been achieved by the large number of individuals and organisations that have participated in and enthusiastically supported the competition to date’.

For further information about Debating Matters, contact: Tony Gilland, tonygilland@instituteofideas.com or 020 7269 9231

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust’s breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests.






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