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Tickets on sale for the 2019 Festival of Ideas

The Intellectual Forum runs a number of events in College throughout the year, and are offering free tickets to five events in this year’s Cambridge Festival of Ideas.

Information about individual events can be found below. Tickets for all Festival of Ideas events are now available - these events are popular and sell out quickly.


Behind the Ring-pull: Understanding industry influence on what we know about health and nutrition

7.30pm on 15 October 2019, Frankopan Hall, West Court, Jesus College

In this talk for the Cambridge Festival of Ideas, Professor David Stuckler and Dr Sarah Steele explore the levels of influence industry exercises over what we know about health and nutrition. They work through their recent study that considered over 100,000 pages of emails between academics at public institutions, food and beverage executives and policy makers, revealing the network of influence that controls what the public comes to know about our food and drink. 

Common Sense with Knobs On? Discovering Principles of the Common Law

7.30pm on 17 October 2019, Frankopan Hall, West Court, Jesus College

The public have a real appetite for learning about things which they intuitively feel are important to them. And in a liberal democracy like our own, nothing is more important than the content of our law. However, when lawyers talk about law to non-lawyers, the conversation usually goes over the non-lawyer’s head, or descends into trivia. In this talk for the Cambridge Festival if Ideas Julius Grower, Jesus College Lecturer and Yates Glazebrook Fellow in Law, will show that there is another way of proceeding.

Swears, Bears and Mother-in-laws: Forbidden Words

7.30pm on18 October 2019, Frankopan Hall, West Court, Jesus College

In this talk for the Cambridge Festival of Ideas James Clackson, Professor of Comparative Philology, will show how processes of linguistic taboo work across different societies, and how they change over time. He will demonstrate how some of our current English vocabulary reflects our ancestors’ avoidances of unspeakable words.

The Parthenon Mosque

7.30pm on 22 October 2019, Webb Library, West Court, Jesus College

Despite its present-day abuse as a universal symbol of democracy or local symbol of nationhood, the Athens Parthenon has enjoyed a conspicuously diverse history, more so perhaps than any other building in the world. The scrubbed white columns we immediately recognize tell little of the temple’s varied afterlife as first an Orthodox and then a Catholic cathedral, next a mosque, and finally an archaeological monument. 

At a time when the whole Acropolis complex is acquiring a new skin and even shape, join us for this Cambridge Festival of Ideas talk by Dr Elizabeth Key Fowden, Jesus College and Classics, to find out why might the Muslim strand in the Parthenon’s history and identity be retrieved and meaningfully incorporated in the interpretation of the building for its millions of visitors.

No admission: An exploration of identity, artistry and humanity

7pm on 26 October 2019, Frankopan Hall, West Court, Jesus College

“Too frequently we are put in this box… shunned as monsters, demons, the worst of the worst. But I’m a son, a father and a friend. And I can paint. I am kind. I am compassionate. I am human too”  

Ellie Brown has spent the last few months in HMP Whitemoor working with the residents to develop photography self-portraits and to explore identity in prison.  In this event for the Cambridge Festival of Ideas Ellie will – through the medium of film and photography - take you behind the walls of this high security prison to understand more about the individuals, their stories and their identities. 

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