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International speakers visit London for a battle of ideas

International speakers visit London for a battle of ideas

Published: 29.09.10 at 11:28

This year's Battle of Ideas festival will feature an unprecedented number of top-class speakers from across the world, travelling to London to debate the key ideas of our time at the Royal College of Art on the weekend of 30-31 October.

Speakers will discuss contemporary issues ranging from 'Is the West still the best?' to 'Africa and oil' and 'Obama's America: is racism history', alongside in-depth looks into Post Lula Brazil, how South Africa is coming to terms with its past, the use of alternative medicine and the ethics of financial incentives in organ donation in the UK and India.

International speakers at the Battle of Ideas festival include:

  • Dara Akala (senior programme manager, Living Earth Foundation promoting sustainable community development in Niger Delta) - Africa and oil
  • Ann Bernstein (executive director, Centre for Development and Enterprise, South Africa) - Whose social justice is it anyway?
  • Dr Debanjan Chakrabarti (head, Intercultural Dialogue Programme, British Council India) - A helping hand? Sportsmanship and cheating
  • Sukanta Chaudhuri (emeritus professor of English, Jadavpur University, Kolkata) - What are universities for?
  • Bill Durodié (senior fellow, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; associate fellow, international security programme, Chatham House) - Engineering the future: cautionary tale or utopia?
  • Gerry Feehily (editor, Presseurop.eu; arts critic, France Culture) - An inspector calls: why are crime novels so popular?
  • Dr Christian Fiala (founder and director, Museum of Contraception and Abortion) - Your conscience, my health: the right to refuse?
  • Anil Gupta (professor, Indian Institute of Management; founder, Honey Bee Network)- Whose social justice is it anyway? AND Alternative medicine: the pros and cons
  • Fredrick C. Harris (professor of political science, Columbia University; award-winning commentator on US racial politics) - Obama's America: is racism history?
  • Ellen Hume (Annenberg Fellow in Civic Media, CEU, Budapest) - Stop the press: journalism in jeopardy?
  • Wendy Kaminer (US-based writer on law, liberty, feminism, religion and popular culture) - Trust in an age of cynicism AND The Catholic Church: more sinned against than sinner?
  • Nikola Matisic (opera singer and founder, Operalabb Sweden) - Worth three tenors? The value of opera
  • Ian Morris (Willard Professor of Classics, Stanford University) - Is the West still the best? AND Archaeology: a load of old rubbish?
  • David J. Nolan (Catholics for Choice, Washington DC) - Your conscience, my health: the right to refuse?
  • Karl-Erik Norrman (founder and secretary-general, European Cultural Parliament) - Fans or financiers: who should own football? AND Losing our marbles? Who owns culture?
  • Tim Parks (Booker-shortlisted novelist; essayist and translator; author, Teach Us To Sit Still: a sceptic's guide to health and healing) - What science can and cannot tell us AND Alternative medicine: the pros and cons
  • Abid Raja (chair, Minotek, Norway) - From banning burqas to B&B bigots: can Europe tolerate religious tolerance?
  • Dipo Salimonu (journalist, Africa Confidential) - Africa and oil
  • Trevor Steele Taylor (film programmer, Grahamstown Film Festival; curator, South African Season, BFI)- Negotiating South Africa's Past: can we forgive and forget?
  • Dan Subotnik (professor, Touro Law School, USA; author, Copulemus in Pace: a meditation on rape, affirmative consent to sex and sexual autonomy) - Rape and the law: he said, she said?
  • Gáspár Miklos Tamás (visiting professor, CEU, Budapest; president, Green Left; Hungarian dissident)- Is the West still the best?
  • Tarun J. Tejpal (founder and editor, Tehelka; former editor, India Today)- Is the West still the best? AND Stop the press: journalism in jeopardy?
  • Dr George Thomas (editor, Indian Journal of Medical Ethics) - Alternative medicine: the pros and cons AND Debating Matters International Final: Organ Donation - UK versus India
  • Bruno Waterfield (Brussels correspondent, Daily Telegraph; author, No Means No!) - Electoral Reform: purple revolution or middle class obsession?; Whose social justice is it anyway? AND From banning burqas to B&B bigots: can Europe tolerate religious tolerance?

As well as increasing the number of international speakers at the Battle of Ideas festival weekend, the Battle of Ideas is expanding internationally, running satellite events in cities across three continents, including New York, Mumbai, Chennai, Oslo, Lisbon, Frankfurt, Berlin, Stockholm and Budapest.

For further information, visit www.instituteofideas.com.

Photo credit: Rodrigo Favera

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