Getting fiscal consolidation right: Lessons from Sweden [Audio]
Speaker(s): Anders Borg | Faced with a record deficit and an accelerating debt, the UK will have to embark on a process of massive fiscal consolidation in order to bring public finances back to sustainability. How is this best done and what lessons can be learned from the Swedish experience of fiscal consolidation in the 1990s? Anders Borg is Minister for Finance in Sweden and has chaired the ECOFIN Council during the 2009 Swedish EU Presidency. He has previously worked as an advisor on monetary
Climate Crunch: making the economics fit [Audio]
Speaker(s): Jonathon Porritt | At the beginning of this new decade more people in the US and UK remain unpersuaded by the science of climate change than this time last year. Could it be that people have spotted the yawning gap between the politicians' apocalyptic rhetoric and the bland lifestyle advice to change your light bulbs or drive more slowly? What if there's no solution to climate change without freeing ourselves from our obsession with economic growth?
2010: Marking a New Beginning - Bosnia & Herzegovina and South East Europe [Audio]
Speaker(s): Dr Zlatko Lagumdzija | Dr Zlatko Lagumdzija is leader of the Social Democratic Party and a former Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Mind-Body Problems: Science, Fiction, and God [Audio]
Speaker(s): Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, Professor Steven Pinker | What happens when a novelist and philosopher talks to a cognitive neuroscientist about faith, reason, fiction, and God? Listen in as Rebecca Newberger Goldstein and her husband Steven Pinker explore what Spinoza would say about Darwin, what role fiction should play in intellectual life, whether any of the arguments for the existence of God are any good, and other topics at the interface of literature, science, and philosophy.
Lionel Robbins Memorial Lectures - Economic Growth, Human Welfare and Inequality [Audio]
Speaker(s): Lord Turner | Lord Turner will deliver the 2010 Lionel Robbins Memorial Lecture Series, running for three consecutive evenings (11/12/13 October). The overall theme of the 3 lectures is Economics after the Crisis. Amid the financial crash there was much talk of a crisis of capitalism and the need for a revolution in economics. Two years on much work is in hand to reform global financial regulation, but it is not clear that the crisis will produce change as radical as initially suppos
Trying to Quantify Uncertainty [Audio]
Speaker(s): Professor David Spiegelhalter | Editor's note: We apologise for the poor audio quality in the question and answer session of this podcast. There has been a traditional division between 'risk', which can be quantified using probability distributions, and 'uncertainty', which is the surrounding mess of doubt, disagreement and ignorance. Spiegelhalter will use examples from swine flu to climate change to illustrate different approaches to dealing with uncertainty, from ignoring it to tr
Literary Festival 2011 - Science Fiction and International Orders [Audio]
Speaker(s): Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Paul McAuley, Ken McLeod | The study of popular culture has always been a feature of the social sciences as well as of the humanities – indeed, the social sciences have often been in advance of the humanities in this area, more willing to recognise the importance of genres that are frowned upon by the arts establishment. This event will bring together a number of writers of imaginative fiction and academics who have written in this field. Jon Courtney Grimwo
Literary Festival 2011 - The Immortalization Commission: Science and the Strange Quest to Cheat Deat
Speaker(s): Professor John Gray | During the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century science became the vehicle for an assault on death. The power of knowledge was summoned to free humans of their mortality. Science was used against science and became a channel for faith. John Gray is most recently the acclaimed author of Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia, and Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals. Having been Professor of Politics at Oxford, Visitin
Literary Festival 2011 - Literature and Islamophobia: Muslima Authors Speak Out [Audio]
Speaker(s): Shelina Zahra Janmohamed, Senay Özdemir, Naema Tahir | There are few places in Europe in which the voices of multiculturalism and Islamophobia have clashed more forcefully than in the Netherlands, often in the most dramatic ways. To name just a few, Pim Fortuyn, Theo Van Gogh, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and most recently Geert Wilders have been very much in the international press over the last decade. In the UK we are now 14 years on from the publication of the influential Runnymede Trust rep
Income Distribution and Social Change after 50 years [Audio]
Speaker(s): Professor Sir Tony Atkinson | Fifty years ago, it was believed that income inequality was falling and that poverty had largely been eliminated. This lecture returns to Richard Titmuss' masterly crossexamination of the evidence about income inequality and argues that we have much to learn, but also to add. Tony Atkinson is the centennial professor at LSE. His most recent book is Top Incomes: a global perspective.
Good Life in Hard Times [Audio]
Speaker(s): Archbishop Vincent Nichols | Archbishop Nichols will be speaking about the importance of religious freedom, and arguing that promoting religious freedom increases our capacity to do good in the public square. He will also be drawing out some implications from Catholic social teaching for a richer understanding of human dignity and the role of the state and the market in serving human needs. Vincent Nichols is the 11th Archbishop of Westminster. He was elected president of the Catholi
Israeli Society and the Occupation [Audio]
Speaker(s): Gideon Levy | Editor's note: We apologise for the poor audio quality of the podcast. Gideon Levy is a Haaretz columnist and a member of the newspaper's editorial board. In his lecture he will explore how Israeli society deals with the occupation and with the international criticism of this. He will also examine the role of the Israeli media in supporting the occupation. Gideon Levy joined Haaretz in 1982, and spent four years as the newspaper's deputy editor. He is the author of the
The End of Remembering [Audio]
Speaker(s): Joshua Foer | Once upon a time remembering was everything. Today, we have endless mountains of documents, the Internet and ever-present smart phones to store our memories. As our culture has transformed from one that was fundamentally based on internal memories to one that is fundamentally based on memories stored outside the brain, what are the implications for ourselves and for our society? What does it mean that we've lost our memory? Joshua Foer studied evolutionary biology at Ya
Zero Degrees of Empathy: a new theory of human cruelty [Audio]
Speaker(s): Professor Simon Baron-Cohen | World-expert Simon Baron-Cohen presents new discoveries on the importance of empathy, and the problems with evil. Simon Baron-Cohen, expert in autism and developmental psychopathology, has always wanted to isolate and understand the factors that cause people to treat others as if they were mere objects. In this book he proposes a radical shift, turning the focus away from evil and on to the central factor, empathy. Unlike the concept of evil, he argues,
The Greek bail-out one year on: how can Greece return to growth? [Audio]
Speaker(s): Professor Costas Meghir, Professor Herakles Polemarchakis | One year after Greece agreed a rescue package with the EU and the IMF, this debate considers how best Greece can secure future economic growth. Is the austerity plan working? Can Greece avoid a sovereign debt default? What new reform measures might be desirable in the future? Costas Meghir is Professor of Economics, University College London; Douglas A. Warner III Professor, Yale University; and co-director ESRC Research Cen
Turkey and Europe [Audio]
Speaker(s): Professor Norman Stone | Joined to Europe by geography and linked to it byhistory and trade, can politics overcome religious and cultural differences so that Turkey ceases to be Europe's 'Other'? This event celebrates the publication of Turkey: A Short History| published by Thames & Hudson. Norman Stone was born in Glasgow in 1941, and is a British academic, historian and currently a Professor in the Department of International Relations at Bilkent University, Ankara. He is a former
The Most Human Human: A Defence of Humanity in the Age of the Computer [Audio]
Speaker(s): Brian Christian | Author Brian Christian will talk on the subject of his debut book The Most Human Human a superbly engaging re-evaluation of what it means to be human in the light of breathtaking advances in artificial intelligence. Brian Christian is an Author and Poet. He holds a dual degree in computer science and philosophy and an MFA in poetry.
The Future of Power [Audio]
Speaker(s): Professor Joseph Nye | Joseph Nye is a long-time analyst of power and a hands-on practitioner in government. His concept of "soft power" has been adopted by leaders from Britain to China and "smart power" has been adopted as the bumper-sticker for the Obama Administration's foreign policy. In this lecture, drawn from his new book The Future of Power, Nye outlines the major shifts of this century: new transnational challenges such as the financial crisis, global epidemics, and climat
Literature and History in European post-Cold War Memory [Audio]
Speaker(s): Professor Dan Stone | In this series, an historian, a novelist and a literary critic explore the ways in which memory, literature and history shape contemporary Europe. Dan Stone is professor of modern history at Royal Holloway, University of London. This event is part of the Jean Monnet 'Europe Beyond Governance' Lecture Series.
How Not to Keep Bees [Audio]
Speaker(s): Bill Turnbull | Bill Turnbull's light-hearted introduction to the world of beekeeping highlights the ups and rather more frequent downs of his ten years attempting to produce honey and keep his colonies alive. Definitely not a masterclass on the art of apiculture; more a survival guide for beginners and the casual bystander. BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull first joined the BBC in 1986, where he has remained as an investigative journalist and presenter ever since. He is a keen b