The Intellectual Forum runs a diverse programme of events across the year, so please check back regularly and sign up for our mailing list.
We have the following scheduled events upcoming:
In Conversation with Harry Shearer: The Simpsons and Political Satire
6 June 2018, West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge, FULLY SOLD OUT.
The Intellectual Forum is pleased to host Harry Shearer, the voice of popular characters from The Simpsons including Mr Burns, Smithers, Principal Skinner and Ned Flanders, to share the secrets of the hit satirical cartoon show and to explore the use of political satire in today's fast changing world. Some of the comical plots in The Simpsons have turned out uncannily accurate. The series predicted a Donald Trump presidency, back in the year 2000. The extraordinary impact of the series was demonstrated by a BBC poll in 2013 in which Homer Simpson was voted the most famous American, beating great statesmen such as Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln. Timely events such as this give us an opportunity to think about where we are as a society. Tyler Shores, who formerly taught The Simpsons and Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley and is now based at the University of Cambridge, will host Shearer in this hour-long conversation, taking questions from the audience.
Healthcare and Data: How do we get it right?
13 September 2018, West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge, to register go here.
Sir John Bell said recently that AI could “save the NHS”. At the same time, the Government’s sector deal for the Life emphasises the opportunities for the UK to be at the forefront of innovative new treatments and technologies. However, the promise of such data-driven technologies will only be realised if the public have confidence in how they are developed and used, both for delivering care and for research. We know that one of the biggest concerns people have in this area is about companies having access to patient data and inappropriately exploiting patients or the NHS. With the introduction of GDPR, it will be more important than ever to ensure fairness and transparency about how data is used, including how it is protected and regulated. The Information Commissioner has argued that privacy and innovation can go hand in hand, but how can we achieve this in practice in the health sector? Please join us for a day-long public conference to explore these questions. The day will be structured around themed panel discussions with plenty of opportunity to engage, discuss and challenge.
“Against Marriage” with Dr Clare Chambers for the Festival of Ideas 2018
19:30 on 15 October 2018, West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge, tickets available here on 24 September at 11am.
For the 2018 Festival of Ideas we ask: many states have recently expanded their definition of marriage to allow marriage between same-sex couples: a welcome move towards equality, but does this go far enough? Philosopher Dr Clare Chambers argues for a more extreme position: that the state should not recognise marriage at all. State recognition of marriage, she will argue, is a violation of both equality and liberty - no matter how marriage is redefined.
The Ballet of the Nations for the Festival of Ideas 2018
19:30 on 16 October 2018, West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge, tickets available here on 24 September at 11am.
Dance, particularly ballet, is often referenced as a medium of art to which the concepts of grace and control are central. Impermanence Dance Theatre’s film adaptation of Vernon Lee’s 1915 pacifist satire The Ballet of the Nations will explore the aestheticization of war and beauty, and the terrible corporeal reality of historical events. The film begins its distribution at the beginning of nationwide commemorations observing the 1918 Armistice, and foregrounds pacifist and dissenting voices, at a time when these narratives are more than ever in peril of being ignored. The film is part of a larger project and online exhibition, Theatres of War, curated by Dr Grace Brockington and Dr Claudia Tobin and hosted by British Art Studies (Paul Mellon Centre, London). It will explore the material culture and social networks of the London little theatres where the dance developed. The film screening will be followed by a Q&A with Impermanence, and discussion with Dr Claudia Tobin (University of Cambridge) and Dr Grace Brockington (University of Bristol).
Antisocial media - what is social media doing to our society? for the Festival of Ideas 2018
19:30 on18 October 2018, West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge, tickets available here on 24 September at 11am.
For the 2018 Festival of Ideas, we come together to discuss how Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and other social media companies have hit the headlines over the last years, with many people concerned about the effects social media are having on our democracy and society. Hear from our expert panel of Dr Nóra Ni Loideain (Director of the Information Law and Policy Centre at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies), Professor John Thompson (Professor of Sociology, Director of Polity Press and Fellow of Jesus College), and Professor Siva Vaidhyanathan (author of 'Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy’).
Why Net: Can New Media Help Democratic Transformations? for the Festival of Ideas 2018
17:00 on 22 October 2018, West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge, tickets available here on 24 September at 11am.
In the left corner - inefficient state institutions, oligarch controlled media outlets and the military invasion from Russia. In the right corner - Ukrainians lacking money but not enthusiasm, expertise and digital literacy to create digital civic initiatives pushing for reforms and providing public service in the spheres where the state fails to deliver. Who are you betting on? This talk for the 2018 Fstival of Ideas, cohosted by the Intellectual Forum, Jesus College, and the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages, will describe something Europe hasn’t witnessed before - an emerging digital civil society. It will also discuss how the case study of Ukraine shows that we have previously underestimated the potential of the Internet for democracy.
"Extreme Climates: Ice and Environmental Change" for the Festival of Ideas 2018
19:30 on 23 October 2018, West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge, tickets available here on 24 September at 11am.
For the 2018 Festival of Ideas, Professor Julian Dowdeswell, Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute, joins us at the Intellectual Forum, Jesus College to discuss ice and environmental change. Both ice sheets and sea ice are changing rapidly in the polar regions. The Arctic is widely regarded as the most sensitive part of the global climate system. This talk will explore the nature of polar ice, the climate changes which we are experiencing and how these changes are likely to affect issues such as global sea-level over the coming century.
Rustat Conference on Recruitment, Retention, and Diversity
21 September 2018, West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge, attendance by invitation only.
Highly skilled staff are a crucial element of most companies and organisations. Recruiting the right person is a difficult, time-consuming, and expensive task. However, many organisations fail to recruit sufficiently widely, missing out in particular on women, people from ethnic minorities, or people with disabilities. Having recruited people, it is very beneficial to be able to retain them – retraining people is very disruptive. However, again many organisations struggle to be able to retain all the staff they would like to keep. Also, the nature of work is changing. This conference explores how to find, attract, and keep the best people in light of changing work patterns and places, as well as careers. We bring together experts from a range of backgrounds to discuss how we can reconfigure recruitment, retention, and the career “pipeline”, making sure in the future people can find the places best able to support them.