Welcome to our Early Bird programme. The full programme will be released at the end of March.
AI is going to transform society over the next couple of decades, and we can’t wish it away. But can we ride the robot tiger and make it serve, rather than enslave, us? Can AI be a tool of liberation and sustainability, not just a scarily efficient way of making rich corporations richer, while robbing us of all our privacy? Do we need an ethical code for computers – a Hippocratic Oath for the algorithms? And if so, how do we go about creating one – and getting it adopted? Chaired by Writer and Green Futurist, Martin Wright.
Peace and justice: who could be against them? But as soon as we begin to unpack these much-invoked notions, tensions emerge. How does international law resolve these tensions? We'll discuss emerging international norms in light of the challenges facing mediators trying to end civil wars. Nouwen is Co-Deputy Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law. Chaired by Tom Clark of Prospect magazine.
The human rights lawyer, author of East West Street and President of English PEN examines the state of the contemporary world in the context of the convulsive traumas of the 20th Century that resonate today across Europe, Asia, America and the Middle East. How do we find the language to tell these truths? What do we say? And how might we listen?
A ground-breaking examination of a terrifying murder and its aftermath by the bestselling author of Hanns and Rudolf and The House by the Lake. The trial of the Chinese dissident accused of murdering Allan Chappelow was the first in modern British history to be held ‘in camera’ – closed, carefully controlled, secret. Wang Yam was found guilty but has always protested his innocence. “Meticulous and gripping – a thriller that disturbs for revelations about a singular act of murder, and the national security state which we call home” –Philippe Sands.
The novelist discusses contemporary American culture, so presciently imagined in his latest novel The Golden House, freedom of speech, language, literature, love and death. Few writers have such a keen sense of human absurdity, and such a spectacular gift for telling its stories.
Growing up in a violent household is one of the most traumatic experiences a child can go through. It can leave a lifetime of problems affecting education, relationships and everyday activities. Survivors and experts talk about how they used their experiences for positive change and how society can help lead transformation for the future. Frances Howie, Director of Public Health at Worcestershire County Council, is in the chair.
“Centuries of writing and thinking about rape – as inflicted by men on women – have got us nowhere. There are those who, like Quentin Tarantino, think it is one of the most violent crimes in the world, and others for whom it is simply what happens when a woman endures sex she doesn’t want. Bestial or banal, a proven rape may carry a prison sentence of many years, even life, but very few rapes ever find their way into a court of law. The prosecution of a selected minority of cases seldom results in a conviction. The crucial issue is that of consent, which is thought by some to be easy to establish and by others as impossible. Rape statistics remain intractable. Again and again crime surveys tell us that one woman in five will experience sexual violence. Despite all efforts to root sexual assault out of workplaces and colleges, predatory individuals still inflict lasting damage with apparent impunity. The only result of desperate attempts to apportion blame and enact chastisement has been an erosion of the civil rights of the accused. Sexual assault does not diminish; relations between the sexes do not improve; litigation balloons. There has to be a better way.” Chaired by Rosie Boycott.
Terrorist attacks are designed to 'terrorise, polarise and mobilise' their multiple audiences. In a sense, then, they function as teachable moments, where the perpetrators try to teach 'a lesson' to their 'adversaries'. At the same time, however, governments use these events to instruct the wider public about the risks that have to be managed, and how public life and values will not be modified by them. The Director of the Crime and Security Research Institute shows how by applying cutting-edge social media analytics, we can learn from past attacks about how terrorist violence tries to work.
The islands of the Pacific and Indian oceans and the people who inhabited these seas are some of the most marginalised places and people in Western historical memory. Yet they played a crucial role in modern political, intellectual and cultural thought, and may be sites to watch for the future of humanity even as environmental change takes its course. Dr Sivasundaram is Reader in World History.
The Irish Referendum on abortion will take place on 25 May 2018. Since 1983 an estimated 170,000 Irish women have travelled to the UK to terminate their pregnancies, incurring high costs, logistical difficulties and emotional strain. Another 2,000 women a year end pregnancies by taking the abortion pill, illegally obtained online. Whatever the result of the referendum, the impact on Ireland’s society will be huge. Professor de Londras’ research concerns constitutionalism, human rights and transnationalism. Máiréad Enright researches in feminist legal studies and religion.
The lecturer in modern Indian history and global political thought explores the origins of modern anti-terror legislation in India’s struggle for independence and the reverberations today.
Keshavjee will explore the ideas of internationalism and engagement mapped in Higgins' visionary world affairs books The Seventh Enemy and Plotting Peace: The Owls Reply to the Hawks. The distinguished academic received the Gandhi-King-Ikeda Peace Award for his work in conflict resolution. Patrick Pietroni will pay tribute to Ronald Higgins who died in December. Chaired by Felicity Bryan.
The destruction of cultural heritage has grabbed headlines worldwide. Does it matter? This talk will explore the dynamics of violence, reconstruction and repair that underlie these dramatic acts of destruction. Dr Viejo is a Lecturer in Heritage and the Politics of the Past.
One morning in October 2013, 19-year-old Ayan Juma and her 16-year-old sister Leila left their family home in Oslo. Later that day they sent an email to their parents. "Peace, God's mercy and blessings upon you, Mum and Dad ... Please do not be cross with us..." Leila and Ayan had decided to travel to Syria, "and help out down there as best we can". While their father, Sadiq risks his own life to bring his daughters back, at home his wife Sara begins to question their life in Norway. How could her children have been radicalised without her knowledge? How can she protect her two younger sons from the same fate? Seierstad - with the complete support of the Juma family - followed the story from the beginning, through its many dramatic twists and turns. It's a tale that crosses from Sadiq and Sara’s original home in Somalia, to their council estate in Oslo, to Turkey and to Syria - where two teenage sisters must face the shocking consequences of their decision.
The investigative journalist’s previous books include The Bookseller of Kabul and One of Us. See also .
The United Nations Security Council’s agenda on Women Peace and Security seeks the inclusion of women’s experiences into decision and policy-making about conflict and its aftermath, encompassing women’s participation, preventing and protecting against sexual violence and post-conflict relief and recovery. Chinkin will consider the challenge presented in making a top down Security Council agenda meaningful to women on the ground. Professor Christine Chinkin, CMG, FBA, is the Director of the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security and a leading human rights and international law expert. Chaired by Stephanie Boland of Prospect magazine.