Speakers at Forthcoming Discussions
Joanna Williams is an author, academic and writer. She is the education editor of spiked. Joanna began her career teaching English in secondary schools and further education. She started working as a lecturer in higher education and academic practice at the University of Kent in 2007. Most recently, she was director of Kent’s Centre for the Study of Higher Education.
Pauline Hadaway has worked in arts administration since 1990 and was director of Belfast Exposed Photography between 2000 and 2013 where she oversaw its transformation from a small scale, though politically significant, city based project into an internationally renowned gallery of contemporary photography which not only develops, supports and commissions new work, but also maintains a substantial photography archive and back catalogue.
Pauline is currently undertaking doctoral research at the University of Manchester, examining definitions of the public and private in arts policy and practice. Her research and consultancy interests include: the impact of policies, which employ the arts as a tool for social change in the UK, Ireland and in post Good Friday Agreement Northern Ireland and shifting relationships between citizens, civil society and the state, including restrictions on photography in public space; photography and protest and impact of policy both on artistic autonomy and management practice. Pauline also manages to help coordinate the Liverpool Salon discussion forum. You can follow Pauline's tweets from @
Ken McLaughlin’s book ‘Social Work, Politics and Society: From radicalism to orthodoxy’ (2008, The Policy Press) highlighted the authoritarian consequences of the ‘therapeutic turn’ in contemporary political life, with particular focus on social policy development and social work practice. His recent work looks at the rise of identity politics, and of how, in contemporary society, concepts such as trauma and vulnerability are increasingly ascribed to, and often embraced by, both individuals and political groups alike, and of the way such forms of personal or political identification entail a corresponding demand for the identity to accorded wider cultural recognition.
Speakers at Recent Discussions
Edwina currently runs the High Peak Business Club as a keen advocate of everyone running their own business - as well as running her own business, Currie Jones Associates Limited. Having trained as an economist, taught and lectured in economics, history and business studies before entering Parliament, she genuinely encourages people to take part in the political process, whatever their leaning. Edwina was MP for South Derbyshire from June 1983 to May 1997, playing a prominent role in government as Junior Health Minister, subsequently been a successful novelist and broadcaster, campaigning for the interests of Britain in general and the North West in particular as she sees it. Follow Edwina's tweets from @Edwina_Currie.
Dr Christopher Bickerton is University Lecturer in politics at POLIS and an Official Fellow at Queens’ College, Cambridge. He obtained his PhD from the University of Oxford in 2008 and has held teaching positions at Oxford, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and Sciences Po in Paris. He has published widely in academic journals including Political Studies and the Journal of Common Market Studies, and has published two research monographs, one with Palgrave-Macmillan and another with Oxford University Press. Chris also writes for Le Monde Diplomatique, and has articles in the New York Times, The Nation and The Guardian. His latest book is The European Union: A Citizen's Guide. Follow Chris Bickerton's tweets from @cjbickerton.
Professor Wendy Olsen joined Manchester University in 2002, currently teaching statistics and PhD research methodology as well as computerised qualitative data analysis, the comparative method, the case-study method, and topics in political economy (e.g. child labour in India). Her own research focuses on the sociology of economic life, specialising in the study of economic institutions from sociological and moral economy vantage points. Wendy has lived in Salford since 1988, and is the Green Party candidate for the Irwell Riverside Ward. Follow Wendy's tweets from @Sandhyamma.
ChrissieDaz - March 2016: Transgressions in sex and relationships
Chrissie Daz has worked as a teacher for over twenty years in both the primary and the secondary sectors. Having studied Fine Art and Design Technology at Nottingham Trent University, he has written two unpublished novels, several plays, short stories and a musical. Chrissie often performs cabaret, music and comedy - in and out of drag.
He is currently writing a book about transgender and gender variant identity; focusing on how these issues impact upon the ways in which sex and gender are understood and their wider implications for society.
Born in London to a runaway teenager, Rosie Garland has always been a cuckoo in the nest. She's an eclectic writer and performer, ranging from singing in post-punk gothic band The March Violets, through touring with the Subversive Stitch exhibition in the 90s to her alter-ego Rosie Lugosi the Vampire Queen, cabaret chanteuse and mistress of ceremonies.
She won the Mslexia Novel competition in 2012 and her debut novel 'The Palace of Curiosities', published in March 2013 by HarperCollins. Set in 1850s London, this is the story of Eve and Abel; both freaks of nature searching for escape. It explores what it's like to be different, and traces their struggle for self-discovery on the boundaries of what is perceived as human. Her second novel, 'Vixen', (Borough Press 2014) is now available in all formats.
Luke is a Solicitor working in criminal law with Hughmans Solicitors. He founded and chair's the London Legal Salon which meets every month in London to discuss legal issues in the news. Luke writes about the law and politics for the online current affairs website spiked. He is a regular commentator on the law and issues around freedom of expression for Russia Today.
Professor Andy Miah - October 2015: Welcome to the Drone Age?
Andy Miah joined Salford University in October 2014 from the University of the West of Scotland where he was Director of the Creative Futures Institute. Andy has an Honours degree in Science, a PhD in Bioethics and a Master Degree in Law, but within these degrees he also studied sociology, cultural studies, history of medicine, philosophy of technology and media theory. He has a world leading reputation for research into the ethical, legal, and social issue surrounding emerging technologies. The two principal categories of ideas that inform his work are biology and computing. Andy has recently focused on the convergence of scientific technological systems and the modification of biological matter through nanotechnology and gene transfer, with these studies being transdisciplinary and characterised as NBIC (nano-bio-info-cognitive) studies. Since joining Salford Professor Miah has been involved extensively with the Manchester Science Festival, chairing its opening debate, speaking about such issues as human enhancement, bionics, and humanity 2.0, and brings to Salford a major project funded by the National Endowment for Science,Technology, and the Arts experimenting with the use of drones within creative contexts. You can follow Andy's tweets from @andymiah.
Anna Frew is a Manchester based researcher whose work explores how the way we tell stories is transforming within digital media. Currently undertaking a PhD at Manchester School of Art, Anna’s design led research questions the essence of what makes a narrative engaging. Closely linked to her PhD is her role as a Creative Producer and Research Assistant at Abandon Normal Devices and The University of Salford. Here she is working on Project Daedalus to explore the potential of drone technology in cinematic and digital arts contexts. Also working at Manchester School of Art as an Associate Lecturer, Anna is chiefly concerned with what’s next? With her vision firmly faced towards to future of technology and storytelling. You can follow Anna's tweets from @al_frew.
James Woudhuysen's formative years were in the 1960s and early 1970s, before the end of the Vietnam War. Inspired by the Space Race, he wanted to be an astronaut so decided to read physics at university. James went to Sussex, where he followed his degree with an MA at the Science Policy Research Unit. After that he pursued journalism, before going on to coordinate postgraduate studies at what is now London’s University of the Arts.
James Woudhuysen is now a visiting professor at London South Bank University. For more than 20 years, he's consulted for major corporations and for government, including advising on the development plans for the creation of the pioneering East London's Science School opened in September 2013. You can follow James' tweets from @jameswoudhuysen.
Jonathan Schofield qualified as a Blue Badge Guide for the North West of England in 1996. In 2005 he was Highly Commended at the Manchester Tourism Awards 2005 for the Best Tourism Experience of the Year in Greater Manchester (awarded for guiding services) - amusing him because he beat Cowparade, an art project with more than 160 life size fibre glasses cows decorated by local artists; and came runner up to Manchester Pride, the Gay and Lesbian festival with a cast of tens of thousands. Jonathan's other work includes being editor in chief of Manchester Confidential and the other Confidential sites – which have more than 300,000 readers per month. He is a public speaker and broadcaster, a town and city identity consultant and a freelance writer on tourism, architecture, public art, history and food and drink. He has written more than ten books on related subjects, and his latest book can be bought by clicking on Manchester, the Complete Guide. You can follow Jonathan's tweets from @JonathSchofield.
Michael Taylor is the founder of ThinkMore, a new business formed to encourage the people of the North to think more about what they do, who they are and what the future holds. He does this through events and books, and is also the chairman of Downtown Manchester in Business. Since June 2012, Michael has coordinated the combative discussion forum called DISCUSS. Michael is Labour's parliamentary candidate for his home constituency of Hazel Grove, and is campaigning for the NHS, a fair deal for young people and will, as ever, support entrepreneurs who take risks and create jobs. You can follow Michael's tweets from @MarpleLeaf.
Niall Crowley studied History of Design at the University of Brighton where he specialised in the redevelopment of Birmingham in the 1960s and the 1990s. He is a practicing graphic designer and founder member of the Birmingham Salon. Niall is also a singer in the amateur chorus of Birmingham Opera Company. He is producing a discussion on regionalism at this year’s Battle of Ideas in October. Niall blogs at On the Real Side and tweets from @nialldcrowley.
Dr Sorcha Ui Chonnachtaigh, is Lecturer in Ethics at Keele University having graduated from the National University of Ireland, Galway with a BA in Philosophy and Classical Civilisations in 2003. Sorcha pursued an interest in equality and justice at the Equality Studies Centre, University College Dublin, where she completed a thesis entitled, “Social problems and punitive measures: Capital punishment and the burden on African-American men” in 2004. Her PhD in philosophy (bioethics), with the Centre of Bioethical Research & Analysis (COBRA) and the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) examined the ethical considerations arising from embryonic stem cell research, in the Irish context. Sorcha joined the Centre for Professional Ethics (PEAK) and the School of Law as a Lecturer in September 2009. You can follow Sorcha’s tweets from @sorchauc.
Steve Fuller, Professor of Sociology at Warwick University, graduated from Columbia University in History & Sociology before gaining an M.Phil. from Cambridge and PhD from Pittsburgh, both in the History and Philosophy of Science. Since 2011, he has held the Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology. Fuller is most closely associated with the research program of ‘social epistemology’, which is the title of a journal he founded in 1987 and first of his 21 books. He has spoken in more than 30 countries, often keynoting professional academic conferences, and has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts since 1995. He was awarded a D.Litt. by Warwick in 2007 for significant career-long contributions to scholarship. Fuller is a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. His writings have been translated into twenty languages. His book Kuhn vs Popper was named book of the month (Feb 2005) by the US magazine, Popular Science, The Intellectual was named a book of the year by the UK magazine New Statesman for 2005, and Dissent over Descent was named book of the week by Times Higher Education in July 2008. You can follow Steve’s tweets from @ProfSteveFuller.
Anna has been a Lecturer of Philosophy at Manchester Metropolitan University since January 2012. Before arriving at MMU she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Glasgow and Stockholm University, two institutions which Anna retains strong links with. Before that Anna completed an AHRC funded PhD student at the University of Reading where she worked with Professor Jonathan Dancy on the epistemology of Moral Particularism. Currently, Anna supervises doctoral work on Particularism and Wittgenstein.
Shirley Dent was Communications Director for the Institute of Ideas, before taking up a communications role in the telecoms industry. Shirley is now an Associate Fellow of the Institute of Ideas, and writes and comments widely on arts and literature, including a regular blog at Guardian Arts Unlimited, and reviews for the Times Literary Supplement. Shirley researched the editorial and bibliographic history of William Blake’s works for her PhD, co-authoring a book with Jason Whittaker, Radical Blake: afterlife and influence from 1827.
Shirley has contributed to Battle of Ideas debates on the arts since the festival’s launch in 2005, including debates on poetry and dance. In 2008, Shirley was the launch director for the Battle Satellites programme.
Jonathan Ali is a BBC journalist by day for BBC Radio Manchester and has worked in the area for nearly two decades covering many nationally important stories. He also has a BA in Modern History from the Queen’s College Oxford where he specialised in 17th century society and architecture. Since then he has broadened his interests to the Impact of the Great War in Lancashire and the effect on ordinary people and also has an interest in the effects of the Great War and its aftermath in modern day Iraq. He describes himself as a product of war, as without it – his Muslim grandfather would not have met his Assyrian Catholic grandmother on military service in Northern Iraq. You can follow Jonathan's tweets from @jalilancs.
John Greening studied at Swansea, and for a year at the University of Mannheim where he spent more time teaching himself about English poetry than he did in studying German. While taking his MA at Exeter, he corresponded with Ted Hughes who managed to convince him that his poetry had some merit. He began to publish with journals such as Emma Tennant’s Bananasand South-West Review. He married Jane Woodland in 1978 and, after a spell as a part-time children’s conjuror, joined BBC Radio Three to work as Hans Keller’s Clerk, New Music. Keller gave him an empty office and let him spend much of his time writing.
John Greening's latest collection To the War Poets, was published by Oxford Poets (Carcanet Press) in November 2013. For the past seven years John has judged, on behalf of the Society of Authors, for the Eric Gregory Awards for poets under thirty. He is currently editing a new edition of Edmund Blunden’s memoir, Undertones of War, for Oxford University Press. You can follow John's tweets from @GreeningPoet.
Jane's research and teaching focuses on book and literary history. Her monograph Boys in Khaki, Girls in Print: Women's Literary Responses to the Great War 1914-1918 (OUP 2005; paperback 2007) was joint winner of the 2006 Women’s History Network Book Prize and she has published widely on many aspects of war literature, book history, and women's writing. Her current research is a collaborative project with Dr Carol Acton (St. Jerome's, University of Waterloo, Canada) entitled Working in a World of Hurt: Trauma and Resilience in the Narratives of Medical Personnel in Warzones (forthcoming, Manchester University Press, 2015). A Trustee of the Wilfred Owen Literary Estate, she is the author of Wilfred Owen: An Illustrated Life (Bodleian Library Publishing, 2014) and is currently working on a new edition of Owen's Selected Letters for Oxford University Press, due to be published in 2015. You can follow Jane's tweets from @drjanepotter.
Rania Hafez is the Director of the professional network Muslim Women in Education and is a researcher, commentator and consultant on teacher education and the Islamic philosophy of Education. In 2011 she was profiled as one of six 'Women of the World' by the German magazine TUSH. She has uniquely been twice elected council member and non-executive director of the Institute for Learning (IfL). She is Chair of the Standing Committee for the Education and Training of Teachers (SCETT).
Dr Angelica Michelis is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of English at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her current research interest and publications focus on the meaning of food and how the process of eating can be understood as a complex exchange between the self and what is considered as its other, with the effect that any concept of identity is directly intertwined with the way we regulate our orifices.
Helen Nugent is a journalist based in Manchester. After 14 years in London, working mostly for The Times as a reporter, specialist, lobby correspondent, investigative journalist and editor, she returned to her Northern roots in 2010. Now a freelance journalist, she is working for a wide variety of organisations. Current roles include freelancer for The Guardian, contributor to the Creative Tourist website, business correspondent for the Yorkshire Post, culture contributor to The Big Issue in the North and media commentator. Her main interest is Northern Soul, a cultural webzine about the North of England which she founded, is editor of, and heads up a team of more than 30 people.
Reviews: Sugar Daddies, The Bubbler, Sailing to Byzantium, The Heretic, Table Table, Ministry of Craft, Ramsbottom Bop Local, Oliver, Can't Take it with You, Antonia Fraser, Ramsbottom Festival, Look Back in Anger
Alan Shelston taught English Literature at the University of Manchester for many years and now in retirement is an Honorary Research Fellow of John Rylands University Library. Alan's research has focussed on Gaskell, authoring in a short biography of Elizabeth Gaskell in the Brief Lives series, various articles and editions of her work, notably an edition of North and South published by Norton in USA. His wider interests generally include Victorian fiction and illustration, notably Dickens, George Eliot, Henry James. Alan has been a member of the Portico Library for Manchester, and sometime editor of the Gaskell Society Journal and Chair of the Gaskell Society.
Dr Vanessa Pupavac is a lecturer in International Relations at the University of Nottingham. Vanessa has previously worked for the UN Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia and other international organisations. Her research encompasses international human rights and development politics. Vanessa has just completed a book on Language entitled 'Rights: From Free Speech to Linguistic Governance', which will be published by Palgrave in October 2012.
In recent years she has been examining the international politics of trauma, that is, the influence of Western therapy culture on the rise of international psychosocial programmes. Vanessa is currently involved in a project LINGOS, which is examining NGOs translation policies, risk management and the growing gap between internationals and locals. You can follow Vanessa's tweets from @
Like every other London-based middle-aged man these days, Mark is a keen cyclist. He’s also an enthusiastic frequenter of the Institute of Ideas’ literature discussions, book clubs and Academy, having decided it’s never too late to (try to) get cultivated. Perhaps one day he’ll learn to play the piano, but for now he has to earn a living: he consults on internet software, big data and the semantic web. You can follow Mark's tweets from @markbirbeck.
Gabriele is currently managing the Manchester Cycling Lab at The University of Manchester and has been cycling around the city since she arrived from Germany. She is now starting her PhD on the digital economy for sustainable transport transitions to continue her research on crowd sensing, multi-stakeholder engagement and innovation. Gabriele also loves travelling, photography & running. You can follow Gabriele’s tweets from @GabrieleSchliwa.
Nick Vaughan - September 2014 Cycling: four wheels good, two wheels better?
Nick Vaughan has spent all his working life as a transport planner, with almost 25 years at Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and its predecessors. Since April 2011, when TfGM took on a responsibility for the strategic co-ordination of cycling, Nick has led on cycling, and the successful Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) Commuter Cycle and Cycle City Ambition Grant bids.
Keith McCabe has a track record of providing transport solutions by drawing on ideas and processes that emerge from academia and technological innovation. He draws on his strengths in divergent and convergent thinking alongside systems thinking techniques to identify appropriate solutions. Keith is Managing Director of KAM Futures and also involved in a number of committees and initiatives in the UK and internationally, which include: Chair of Manchester IET Transport Technical Interest Group; Chair of US Transport Research Board Regional Transport Systems Management and Operations subcommittee on Sustainability in Transport Operations; Joint Chair of EU Cost Autonomic Road Transport Systems working group on Human Factor in Autonomic Transport Systems; Honorary Secretary of ITS UK Smart Environment Interest Group; Member of Conference Committee for the Joint IET ITS UK 2014 Road Transport Information and Control Systems Conference, and Member of the US Transport Research Board Regional Transport Systems Management and Operations Committee.
Sarah Perks is an international curator, film programmer and producer with over ten years' experience of contemporary visual art, independent film and engagement. A specialist in artist feature length film (setting up Cornerhouse Artist Film in 2011), performance and participatory art, Sarah has worked extensively with international established artists and filmmakers including Phil Collins, Jeremy Deller, Rosa Barba, Rashid Rana, Brillante Mendoza, Gillian Wearing, Jamie Shovlin and David Shrigley.
Recent curatorial credits include group show ANGUISH AND ENTHUSIASM: WHAT DO YOU DO WITH YOUR REVOLUTION ONCE YOU’VE GOT IT? and Los Angeles performance and video artist STANYA KAHN: IT’S COOL I’M GOOD. Forthcoming exhibitions include QASIM RIZA SHAHEEN: AUTOPORTRAITS IN LOVE-LIKE CONDITIONS and PLAYTIME, the final exhibition at Cornerhouse before HOME opens in Spring 2015. You can follow Sarah's tweets from @
Dr Wendy Earle is an educator and researcher with a strong interest in issues relating to the arts and cultural value, cultural education and audience engagement. After working in educational publishing and at the British Film Institute for many years, she now works across Birkbeck School of Arts and School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy to promote knowledge exchange and public engagement. Wendy is also convenor of the Institute of Ideas Arts and Society Forum, and active in promoting discussion around how we understand the place of arts and culture in relation to our experience as individuals in society. You can follow Wendy's tweets from @.
Terry Jackson is a Chartered Surveyor by profession, though by way of other interest, he is Chairman of the Lancashire and Cheshire Branch, Western Front Association. MA Military History (University of Leeds), BA (Hons) Open University. Interested in the Great War especially the land war in Flanders and France.
Writer and lecturer James Heartfield is a founding Director of the development think-tank, audacity. He lives in north London, and is currently based at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster where he studied for his Ph. D. in European Union, International Relations. James enjoys public debate and speaks widely in support of industrial development.
James co-edited the collection of essays in Sustaining Architecture in the Anti-machine Age, (2001). He is the author of The 'Death of the Subject' Explained, (2002) Let's Build! - Why we need five million new homes in the next 10 years, (2006), The Creativity Gap, (Blueprint, 2005) and Green Capitalism - Manufacturing Scarcity in an age of abundance, (2008). His latest book is The Aborigines' Protection Society: Humanitarian Imperialism in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Canada, South Africa, and the Congo, 1837-1909, (2011).
Ann Jackson - May 2014: There's art in them there hills
Ann Jackson leads the New Mills University of the Third Age (U3A) Art History / Art Appreciation Group and teaches Literacy at New Mills and Glossop Adult Education Centres. She has been a Voluntary Gallery Guide at Manchester Art Gallery for ten years and has an Honours Degree in Art History and Classical Studies.
John Siddique FRSA is the author of 6 books, the most recent being Full Blood, Recital - An Almanac, Poems From A Northern Soul, and The Prize. His poetry collection Don't Wear It On Your Head is a perennial favourite with younger readers. He is the co-author of the story/memoir Four Fathers. His poems, essays and articles have featured in Granta, the Guardian, Poetry Review, The Rialto and on BBC Radio 4. The Spectator refers to him as 'a stellar British poet.’ The Times of India calls him 'Rebellious by nature, pure at heart.’ Acclaimed novelist Bina Shah says he is 'One of the best poets of our generation.’ He is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, and is the Honorary Creative Writing Fellow at Leicester University.
Michelle is an experienced Family Law Specialist with over 20 years dealing with Family Law issues, and currently an Associate Solicitor with Chafes. Appreciating that family disputes can be a time of high emotion, Michelle prides herself for providing constructive, personable and realistic advice. A Member of the Law Society and a Family Panel Resolution Accredited Specialist, Michelle aims where possible to keep matters out of Court and assisting clients to achieve a quick and affordable solution to their family problems.
Commencing as Personnel Assistant in the NHS in 1988, Tanya progressed through various Medical Personnel roles to become Senior HR Manager at Regional Health Authority covering 30 NHS Trusts in 1996. Tanya has extended her HR experience in the private sector, and is currently a HR & Training Manager FCIPD at Swizzels Matlow in Derbyshire. Following the rise of more formalised mediation in the workplace, Tanya is trained as an Accredited Workplace Mediator (OCN Level 3 Certificate in Workplace Mediation), and also operates as a Community Mediator.
Dennis Hayes is Professor of Education at the University of Derby and a visiting Professor at Oxford Brookes University and was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2010. He is the founder and director of the campaign group Academics For Academic Freedom (AFAF). Since moving to Derby in 2009 he has helped organized the East Midlands Salon which meets monthly, alternating between Derby and Nottingham.
Dennis is the author or editor of many books including: The McDonaldization of Higher Education (2002); The RoutledgeFalmer Guide to Key Debates in Education (2004); Teaching and Training in Post-Compulsory Education (4th Edition 2011); A Lecturer’s Guide to Further Education (2007) and The Dangerous Rise of Therapeutic Education (2008), co-authored with Kathryn Ecclestone. He is currently working on a book on Academic Freedom.
Claire Beecroft joined Sheffield Univerity's School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) in 2003 as an Information Officer for Research Support, chiefly provding to support to NHS Researchers via the former Trent Institue and Trent RDSU. In January 2010 Claire became a University Teacher/Information Specialist and currently teach on a variety of courses within ScHARR and the wider university including the MPH and MSc in Health Informatics. Her teaching covers a wide range of informatics-related topics including literature searching, critical appraisal and e-Health.
Claire's key research interests are around e-learning, e-Health, applications of web2.0 to healthcare, teaching of health informatics and information skills, and support for NHS Librarians and staff to develop key informatics skills.
John Hutchinson - February 2014 - MOOCs: extending education to all?
John Hutchinson is an associate lecturer for the Open University tutoring 1st and 2nd year modules at undergraduate level for the OU Business School. He specialises in courses on leadership and change and professional communications skills. John also examines economics for national exam boards and has worked in many contexts from scrap metal processing, waste management and recycling to FE and language schools. In addition to an educational career, he continues with private consultancy in waste management and training and with SMEs.
John reviews and writes for Manchester Salon from time to time on themes ranging from current affairs to Hispanic cinema. He has an active interest in the arts, Spanish and South American cultures and is also a Classically trained amateur singer.
Joe had a successful managerial career in finance with two of the North West’s leading financial institutions, and went on to gain a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and began his career in higher education. Joe went on to obtain his professional accounting qualifications with an MSc in Management and recently completed his PhD in Enterprise and Entrepreneurial Learning, going to to successfully managed a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Ann Furedi is the Chief Executive Officer of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service BPAS, the UK's largest independent abortion provider. Bpas specialises in later abortions and provides almost 70% of all those that take place in Britain. Ann has worked in pro-choice organizations for more than 20 years, mainly in policy and communications. She ran the press office of the UK Family Planning Association before leading Birth Control Trust, a charity that advocated the need for research and development in methods of contraception and abortion. Before joining BPAS, she was Director of Policy & Press for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the UK’s regulator of embryo research and assisted conception. Ann has written extensively in defence of women’s autonomy of reproductive choice.
Peter D. Williams is a senior officer for the UK's premier pro-life political lobby group, Right to Life (RTL), a secular pluralist organisation that campaigns on humanist and feminist principles and, using evidence-based argumentation, for the human right to life. RTL tackles issues affecting the most vulnerable people inside and outside the UK, including assisted death and euthanasia, abortion and embryo-destructive stem cell research, and population control.
Christine Fidler - January 2014 - Abortion: a choice for a woman or society?
Christine is the Chief Executive Officer at Image is a Christian charity concerned about abortion, euthanasia, human embryo experimentation and human cloning. Image are evangelical and nondenominational believing that every person is made in the image of God, with a life of value from conception to death. Image has recently been incorporated into image and pregnancy helpline, a charitable company limited by guarantee. To read more about this and to view our charitable objects, please click here.
Raymond Tallis was Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester until 2006, has 200 research publications in the neurology of old age (epilepsy and stroke) and neurological rehabilitation, and original articles in Nature Medicine, Lancet and other leading journals. In 2000 he was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. Many awards in including the Lord Cohen Gold Medal for Research into Ageing. He is Chair of Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying.
He has published fiction (a novel and short stories), three volumes of poetry, and many books on the philosophy of mind, philosophical anthropology, literary theory, the nature of art, and cultural criticism. For this he has been awarded two honorary degrees: DLitt (Hon Causa) University of Hull, 1997; and LittD (Hon Causa) University of Manchester 2002. He writes op-eds for The Times and has a column in Philosophy Now. A regular at the leading literary and science festivals. He is a frequent broadcaster, with appearances on Start the Week, Nightwaves, Inside the Ethics Committee and The Moral Maze. Recent books include Aping Mankind. Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity (2011), In Defence of Wonder and Other Philosophical Reflections (2012), and Reflections of a Metaphysical Flaneur and Other Essays (2013) and (edited with Jacky Davis) NHS SOS. He speaks internationally on neuroscience - for example at the Zurich Salon's 'Limits and potential of neuroscience'.
Professor Philip Davis is the Director of Centre for Research into Reading, Information and Linguistic Systems at the University of Liverpool. His most recent publications include 'Shakespeare Thinking (Shakespeare Now!)', 'Bernard Malamud; A Writer's Life', 'Why Victorian Literature Still Matters' and 'The Victorians 1830-1880, vol 8'. Philip is also general editor of a new series, The Literary Agenda from Oxford University Press, and author of the forthcoming Reading and the Reader, in that series - due out in October. He works in close collaboration with The Reader Organization in bringing literature to a wide variety of groups and persons outside the University. He is also editor of The Reader magazine.
Professor Rhiannon Corcoran is a cognitive psychologist who obtained her PhD at the Institute of Neurology, UCL. She holds a chair at the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society and co-directs the University of Liverpool’s Heseltine Institute of Public Policy and Practice. Rhiannon’s main research interests lie in the psychological determinants of mental health where she uses diverse scientific methods to address questions relating to the aetiology, maintenance and recovery from mental distress. In particular she focuses on social cognition, exploring theory of mind, empathy and social decision-making.
Rhiannon has used fMRI to explore how we understand non-literal language like metaphors and poetry, and believes that the cognitive and affective skills required to understand such language overlap with those that we rely on everyday to understand other people’s thoughts intentions and feelings and are thus central to mental health and wellbeing. Rhiannon co-directs the innovative interdisciplinary Prosocial Place Programme. The programme aims to address the toxicity of cities for mental health and wellbeing by promoting and facilitating cooperative communities through sympathetic connected design of the urban fabric and best practice collaborative working.
George Szirtes was born in Budapest in 1948 and came to England as a refugee in 1956. He was brought up in London and studied Fine Art in London and Leeds. His poems began appearing in national magazines in 1973 and his first book, The Slant Door, was published in 1979. It won the Faber Memorial prize the following year. Beside his work in poetry and translation he has written Exercise of Power, a study of the artist Ana Maria Pacheco, and, together with Penelope Lively, edited New Writing 10 published by Picador in 2001.
Mike Garry is a Manchester performance poet who is as dedicated to words now as when he trained as a librarian. His work focuses upon the beautiful ugliness of the city and its people. His heroes are the underdogs, the outsiders, the people the glossies airbrush out. His first book, Men’s Morning tells the tale of an inner city sauna and his second book, Mancunian Meander is a poetic journey around a city, its suburbs and people. He has worked on residencies in Strangeways prison, the Big Issue and Trafford Mental Health and most recently six children’s homes in Manchester. Mike has been on tour with John Cooper Clarke for the last 2 years.
Akala is a 26-year-old rapper, label-owner, and educator. He began his career as a grime artist, but has evolved to become a hip hop artist, with many tracks containing historical facts and deep messages. In 2006 he was voted the Best Hip Hop Act at the MOBO Awards. Akala's lyrics focus upon class struggle, social conditioning and alienation, and is seen as a driving force in a new generation of British Music that focusses on disseminating ideas of social change, whilst exposing the harsh truths of British and Western social systems.
Akala (Kingslee Daley) has made it his life's work to challenge preconceptions and buck prevailing trends; and he isn't the sort to allow himself to be fitted into any kind of mould. Breaking down the culture of cliché and stereotype that smothers the genre he loves is a major part of the mission he's taken on, and gives impetus to this third album. His music, blog and lyrics are available via the Akala website.
Norman Warwick, formerly a freelance journalist in the music industry, is now a Rochdale based poet, writer and broadcaster. When studying for his BA at The University of Leeds as a mature student, he learned to argue that the works of his heroes like Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, John Stewart and Bruce Sprinsteen could talk to the poetry of Blake, Wordsworth, Donne and Robert Frost. He feels poetry is a place ‘where imagination begins’ and calls his weekly newspaper page and community radio programme All Across the Arts. He has also appeared on BBC Radio Lancashire, BBC GMR and worked for BBC TV as a judge on the Off By Heart series.
Norman's own work questions his settling for domesticity. Speaking for the disaffected and disenfranchised, his first non-poetry book was a biography of a sufferer from mental health and Parkinson’s Disease that brought about the subject’s re-union with his family. His work in progress, Virginia Moon, is peopled by characters from the Americana music he loves, whilst he continues to facilitate theTouchstones Creative Writing Group.
Ian Parker is Co-Director (with Erica Burman) of the Discourse Unit, Managing Editor of Annual Review of Critical Psychology, Secretary of Manchester Psychoanalytic Matrix, member of the Asylum Magazine editorial collective, and supporter of the Fourth International. He is a researcher, supervisor and consultant in critical psychology and psychoanalysis, practicing in Manchester. Ian's latest book is Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Revolutions in Subjectivity (Routledge, 2011).
Joanne Green - September 2013 Fracking: a technological innovation too far?
Joanne is academically trained in her passion of environmental management, and currently works in Business Services & HR at Salford PCT. Joanne makes good use of her interest in science by being secretary of the British Science Association's Manchester branch, helping to organise and deliver science activities for the general public, ensuring they comply with the BSA's Environmental Policy, and organising fundraising activities. She is an active member of Equity Housing Group’s Customer Panel (since April 2011) and the Going Green Group (since February 2011). As if that isn't enough, Joanne is also a committee member with Sustainable Living in the Heatons (Heaton Mersey, Heaton Chapel, Heaton Norris and Heaton Moor). As well as being an avid organiser, Joanne enjoys writing about the environment whether it be fiction or fact and is a regular participant of Stockport Writers.
Erik Bichard is Professor of Regeneration and Sustainable Development at the University of Salford’s School of the Built Environment. His career, entirely spent in the area of sustainable development has spanned the public, private, third and now the academic sector. Until June 2007 he was Executive Director of The Co-operative Bank inspired National Centre for Business & Sustainability. In addition to his role at Salford, Erik has been sustainability advisor to the City of Liverpool and Co-operatives UK. He is on the Board of the Liverpool-based social enterprise the FRC Group, and Migrant Workers North West. He is a member of the UK Sustainable Development Panel and has been working with the Environmental Agency, and the Energy Saving Trust to motivate communities to invest in measures that will lessen the impact of climate change using incentive strategies. His book ‘Positively Responsible’ deals with tactics that overcome the reluctance of individuals and groups to take action in the face of the threat of environmental and social decline.
Tony Bosworth is a Climate & Energy Campaigner at Friends of the Earth, where he co-leads the organisation’s work on unconventional gas. He has worked for Friends of the Earth for nearly 20 years, campaigning on a range of issues including transport, climate change, air pollution, housing and recycling. He lives in West Yorkshire.
Anna Percy - June 2013: Sex sells: promoting images of women
Anna Percy Completed a Creative Writing and Contemporary Culture Joint Hons BA at Cumbria Institute of the Arts in 2007 and a Creative Writing MA at Manchester University in 2009. Anna has been performing her poetry around the country for six years, her poems usually being concerned with love, loss, losing your mind, the natural world and the surreal. She has been a performer of racy feminist poetry for some years, and has won Manchester's poetry pillow (a cuddly slam) three times, and participated in the Hammer and Tongue Slam at 2010's Edinburgh Festival.
Anna has two chapbooks; In Photographs (2007), and Ghosts at the Dinner Table (2010) and has been published in Libertine, Unsung Magazine, How Many Roads and BlankPages. She is a workshop facilitator, has collaborated with visual artists, runs (with her co host Rebecca Audra Smith) Stirred: For Women Who Write - a monthly poetry event, and also with Simon Rennie she helps facilitate Innverse - a poetry event that has just celebrated its third birthday. A fair sample of Anna's work can be seen at http://writeoutloud.net/profiles/annapercy.
Nina recently completed her PhD in moral psychology and is a research fellow at the Birmingham University funded by the Leverhulme Trust. Nina investigates moral asymmetry in judging virtue and vice and how moral condemnation and moral praise affect wellbeing. She also has research projects investigating the development of children’s understanding of morality and blame. Nina has written and presented on a wide range of topics including whether people enjoy being morally outraged, whether foetuses and fish feel pain and whether feminism is progressive or repressive.
Emily Pitts - June 2013: Sex sells: promoting images of women
Emily Pitts graduated from Manchester School of Architecture with a BA Hons in 2008 and now practices as a full time artist from her home in Manchester. She combines busy community-led arts practice with development of personal ideas-based work, running art classes & craft fairs, delivering training and assessing NVQs. Her creative artworks involves creative enquiry around themes including relationships, the role of women and internal dialogues.
Reviews: Buy Art Fair
Kevin is a researcher and lecturer in twentieth century American history and a writer on contemporary issues affecting American society. He is the author of a book on the intellectual history of affirmative action and is now preparing a book on the 1924 Immigration Acts and their impact on American identity and history in the twentieth century. Previously, Kevin has worked on the rise of therapeutic methods of governing during the Nixon administration, the history of post-war liberalism, immigration policy in the early twentieth century, the development of policy, especially of affirmative action, and the development of American culture between the wars. He also maintains an interest in current American political and cultural issues and has published material on assisted suicide, gun control and other current American political issues.
Rev. Jane Barraclough is the Minister at the Unitarian chapel on Cross Street, where there has been a Unitarian chapel for over three hundred years; although it is now in its third incarnation as a simple, white chapel at the base of a modern office block. Unitarians are non-credal, and there is a wide diversity of belief at Cross Street. Some believe in God, some don't. Some believe in life after death, some don't. It doesn't matter. They are bound together by love and respect, not a shared creed, and draw on the teachings of Jesus the man, as well as the other major world faiths. For Jane, divine revelation and human learning are a never-ending process, who describe the congregation as a lively, inclusive community and believes it may be the spiritual home you have been looking for.
Rev. Bob Pounder is the Minister at the Oldham Unitarian Chapel and One World Centre. The Oldham Unitarian Chapel, is open to all who wish to worship in a spirit of free inquiry with a congregation that is self-governing on democratic principles and is affiliated to the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches and the Manchester District Association. Although founded in 1813, the present chapel was built in 1970 the chapel holds a central place in Oldham not only as a religious meeting house but as a community centre. It also provides regular support for local people from the refugee and asylum seeking community. Oldham Unitarian Chapel is committed to peace and social justice, and provides a meeting place for Buddhist groups as well as other organisations. The centre's 'One World of Music' organise a variety of different events throughout the year.
Dr Dominic Standish, a British citizen, has been living in the region of Venice since 1997, now with his wife, Laura, & 2 sons. Dominic lectures for the University of Iowa (USA) at its sites in Asolo and Paderno (Italy) (CUIS/CIMBA). His first book 'Venice in Environmental Peril? Myth and Reality' was published by UPA in the USA in January 2012. Blog posts about problems, challenges and improvements related to Venice are added regularly to his website at http://dstandish.wordpress.com. His writing publications are also added to themed pages.
Angela Connelly is a researcher at the School of Environment and Development at the University of Manchester. She is interested in technological and social adaptation in the built environment. Her career began with an architectural history of Methodism's Central Halls. More recently, she has looked at contemporary challenges to the built environment, such as climate change adaptation in Greater Manchester, as well as flood risk and the promise of new flood technologies.
You can read about her work on Methodist Central Halls here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19341345
Tom joined the Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios Bath office in 2006 after completing his studies at Bath University. He has worked on a wide range of projects in both the private and public sectors including PPS 7 Country Houses, University Buildings and Zoos. Tom undertook a project for MyPlace to design a new Youth Centre in Torbay in 2009. Tom is currently running a project on site for a major new 23m Arts facility at Manchester School of Art.
Alex Solk is an Associate Partner in Sheppard Robson. He leads the Sustainability team for Sheppard Robson in the north. He says that "as buildings emit over 50% of UK carbon emissions, architects have the greatest opportunity to make a real difference to improve the environment". His role sees him carry out research with his team, and applying a sustainability ethos across all their projects, in the commercial, healthcare, residential, education, science, interior and urban regeneration sectors. Alex was 'Highly Commended' in the Construction Future Leaders Awards in 2008. If not an architect, then he'd like to be a racing driver, though at the other end of the speed scale, his hero is the Dali Lama.
Jane Leach set up her architecture practice i architect in 2009 and is a Green Register listed Eco Refurbisher. Previously Jane was Chair of the Manchester Women's Design Group, a freelance architect in Barcelona and lead project architect at Aedas Manchester in the education team, where she designed a number of large BSF Secondary Schools incorporating BREEAM accreditation requirements.
Professor Mukesh Kapila - April 2013: Getting away with murder: genocide and politics
Professor Kapila has extensive experience in the policy and practice of international development, humanitarian affairs, and diplomacy, including human rights, disaster and conflict management, and in global public health.
Dr Rony Brauman - April 2013: Getting away with murder: genocide and politics
Qualified as a medical doctor, Rony Brauman has worked in the field of international medical assistance since 1977. Initially serving as a field physician in developing countries with Médecins San Frontières (France), he became the President of the organisation from 1982 -1994.
Daniel Ben-Ami has worked as a journalist and author for over 20 years, specialising in economics and finance. His work has appeared in general and specialist publications including most of the UK's broadsheets and popular europen talk radio stations. His day job is to edit Fund Strategy, a specialist weekly magazine on investment funds and financial markets, and also writes a blog on economics.
His book on global finance, Cowardly Capitalism (Wiley, 2001), argues that the financial markets are characterised by risk aversion rather than the aggressive risk taking generally assumed. Although it was published almost a decade ago it provides a foundation for developing a critique of the way in which the more recent financial crisis is generally understood, and was recommended by the Baker Library of Harvard Business School. His new book Ferraris For All, defending economic progress, will be published in July 2010.
Danny Dorling was educated at The University of Newcastle upon Tyne in Geography, Mathematics and Statistics leading to a PhD in the Visualization of Spatial Social Structure (1991), and since 2003 is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Sheffield. Danny has lived all his life in England, but to try and counter his myopic world view, in 2006, he started working with a group of researchers on a project to remap the world (www.worldmapper.org) which shows who has most and least in the world. He has worked in Newcastle, Bristol, Leeds and New Zealand.
He has published with many colleagues more than a dozen books on issues related to social inequalities in Britain and several hundred journal papers. Before a career in academia Danny was employed as a play-worker in children’s play-schemes and in pre-school education where the underlying rationale was that playing is learning for living. He tries not to forget this. He is an Academician of the Academy of the Learned Societies in the Social Sciences, Honorary President of the Society of Cartographers and a patron of Roadpeace, the national charity for road crash victims.
Much of Danny’s work is available open access (see www.dannydorling.org). His work concerns issues of housing, health, employment, education and poverty. His recent books include, co-authored texts "The Atlas of the Real World: Mapping the way we live" and "Bankrupt Britain: an atlas of social change". Recent sole authored books include, "Injustice: why social inequalities persist” in 2010; "So you think you know about Britain" and “Fair Play”, both in 2011; and The No-nonsense guide to equality and The Visualization of Social Spatial Structure in 2012.
Dr Paul Taylor - November 2012: Learning to pay for Education
Dr Paul Taylor is a Senior Lecturer in Communications Theory, Institute of Communication Studies, at the University of Leeds. Paul has authored several books including the recent Žižek and the Media, providing a systematic and approachable introduction to the main concepts and themes of Zizek′s work, and their particular implications for the study of the media. As co-author of Critical Theories of Mass Media: Then and Now, he explores the intimate relationship between the mass media and commodity culture. The authors cast a fresh perspective on contemporary mass culture by comparing past and present critiques.
Paul regularly contributes as a cultural commentator for various BBC Radio 4 programmes.
With over ten years experience in Telecoms innovation, Norman Lewis is recognised worldwide as an expert on future trends and user behaviours with regard to technology adoption. He has spoken on these topics at events all over the world. Norman is currently working on innovation at PwC. He was the Chief Innovation Officer at Open-Knowledge – a global consultancy on the emerging Enterprise 2.0 paradigm. He is a co-author of Big Potatoes: the London manifesto for innovation.
Mindy Gofton began working in SEO in 2003 as part of a team tasked with building traffic and increasing community engagement at ReviewCentre.com. Having gone on to a series of agency roles, she is currently Head of Search at Manchester online marketing agency I-COM, overseeing the firm’s search engine optimisation (SEO) and social media departments. She regularly blogs on topics relating to online marketing and has delivered guest lectures and talks at MMU’s Search School, SAScon and Social Media Café Manchester on a diverse range of topics within the fields of SEO and social media.
Previously a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire, Maria joined the University of Salford in 2004. She is Director of postgraduate taught courses in International Operations & Information Management. Maria was Chair of the University Research Ethics Panel 2009 – 2011, and has contributed significantly to the academic review and development of both undergraduate and postgraduate provision in Salford Business School.
Martyn Perks has written about design, technology and innovation for a number of publications including spiked, Blueprint, New Media Age, the Guardian‘s arts&entertainment blog and The Big Issue magazine. He has also organised and spoken at numerous events including at the Design Council and the Design Museum. He was a contributor to The Future of Community: reports of a death greatly exaggerated, published in 2008, as well as a co-author of Big Potatoes: The London Manifesto for Innovation.
Rob Lyons - October 2012: Feeding a growing world
Rob Lyons is deputy editor of Spiked, the online current affairs magazine that aims to challenge conventional thinking on everything from major world events to the nitty-gritty of everyday life. Since Spiked launched in 2001, Rob has specialised in writing about science and risk, including the regular column 'Don't Panic', which aimed to challenge the endless stream of scare stories in the media. Rob visited Chernobyl in January for a feature article in The Australian entitled 'Chernobyl: when truth went into meltdown'. He is author of shortly to be published Panic on a Plate: How Society Developed an Eating Disorder.
Louise Bolotin - October 2012: Feeding a growing world
Louise has worked as a journalist since 1978. She started out as a rock writer on a regional listings magazine and is now a freelance journalist and copy-editor. She has covered topics as diverse as technology, cookery, finance, disability and social issues, TV, consumer/lifestyle, culture and media, business, food and health. She has written for a very wide range of publications including The Guardian, The Observer, Fabulous, Candis, Screenjabber, New Consumer, Sweet, Your Home, How-Do and Skin Two, to mention just a few. In 2010, she co-founded Manchester’s independent news site, Inside the M60.
Carol is a senior lecturer at the University of Reading, where she leads the ‘crops in the food chain’ theme in the Centre for Food Security. Her expertise is in plant sciences and she is based in the department of Food and Nutritional Sciences. Carol’s research team are working on a variety of projects linked to improving nutritional quality, flavour and yield of horticultural and arable crops. The team recognise that simply providing the population with fruit and vegetables isn’t enough; understanding consumer preferences and finding ways to encourage consumption are a key part of what we do.
Carol’s research team are multinational, and address issues of global food security and nutritional security. She works closely with the Crops for the Future Research Centre in Malaysia, where she also has researchers based, and where she is a leader of the FoodPlus programme. Through these links the teams are able to explore some of the world’s underutilised crops, for the benefit of the local communities that cultivate them, and to unlock some of the nutritional and agronomic benefits that they contain.
Dave Clements is a writer on social policy and a former public servant with 13 years experience working in local government, predominantly social care. He now works as a consultant in the public, voluntary and community sectors. Dave manages Neighbourhoods Connect, a flagship social media and community development project in Haringey.
Dr Katherine Runswick-Cole is Research Fellow in Disability Studies and Psychology in the Research Institute for Health and Social Change at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research focuses on the lives of disabled children, young people and their families; she has published extensively in publications for academics, practitioners and parents/carers. She is the mother of a disabled child and advocates for disability rights.
Denis Joe is a poet and freelance writer in Liverpool. He teaches poetry for the Liverpool charity North End Writers as well as co-editing their journal The Accent. He is a supporting member of the Spider Project and Edits the client magazine, Serus for Nugent Care.
His blog, Talking Verse, was set up early in January (2011) as a forum to discuss issues around poetry.
Articles: Art for our sake, To The War Poets, This Thing of Memory, Madame X, Competition, Poetry and Music, Among the Ghostings, Fracking Art, Wagner Dream, Assisted Suicide, Suicide is NOT Painless, Opera funding, Madam Butterfly, Lulu, Delia Derbyshire Day, Lecture upon the Shadow, Barb Jungr, Feast for the Senses, Così fan tutte, Treasured, Jephtha, Chatterton and McCright, The Swerve, Kick up the Arts, Plague Lands, Niet Normaal, Adropiean Galactic, Full Blood, Glass is Elastic, Tristan and Isolde, La Boheme, Busking in Liverpool, Halle Pops, Favela, Role of Reviewer, Topophobia, Life is a Dream, You Are Being Watched, Ensemble 10/10, The Marriage of Figaro, Beatrice et Benedict, La Traviata, Donating Human Tissue, My Five New Friends, Liverpool Poetry Cafe, Also Ran, Gina Czarnecki, 50 Words for Snow, No Thyself, Magazine, Ensemble of St. Luke's, Welsh National Opera, Democratic Promenade, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, On Tolerance, Museum of Liverpool, Gorgeous Gershwin, Mersey Ports, The King's English, St Lukes Ensemble, Philharmonic 2011/12, St John Passion, Fusion Wind Quintet, Liverpool Philharmonic, Lunchtime Recital, Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder, Capstone, Howl, Liverpool Uni recital, Fauré Piano Quartet, David Jacques, Oedipus, Phantom of the Apple, Nam June Paik
Billy Cowan - September 2012 Is there a new Renaissance in the Arts?
Billy is an award-winning playwright and Artistic Director of Manchester based theatre company, Truant. His first play Smilin’ Through won the 2003 Writing Out award for best new gay play organised by one of London’s foremost new writing companies, The Finborough Theatre. The play went on to be produced by the Birmingham Rep and Contact and was nominated for Best New Play of 2005 by the Manchester Evening News. In 2010, he also won Warehouse Theatre’s International Playwriting competition for his play Transitions.
Clare Howdon - September 2012 Is there a new Renaissance in the Arts?
Clare Howdon is a freelance theatre director based in Manchester and has directed for the 24 7 Theatre Festival, Not Part of Festival, The Actors Lab, Contact Theatre, Library Replay Festival, The Lowry Studio and Salford City College. She won a prestigious Manchester Evening News Theatre Award in 2010 for her production of Dick Curran’s ‘Islanders’, which went on to secure ACE funding and embarked on a successful regional tour. Clare also works as a Performing Arts Teacher at Pendleton College.
Professor Inderjeet Parmar is Professor of Government and Head of Politics at the University of Manchester. He has published several monographs and is the co-editor of the 'Studies in US Foreign Policy' series published by Routledge. He studied Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Sociology at the University of London, obtaining his doctorate at the University of Manchester, and joined the Department of Government at Manchester University as a lecturer in 1996.
His research interests focus on the history, politics and sociology of Anglo-American foreign policy elites over the past 100 years, specifically embodied in organisations such as philanthropic foundations, think tanks, policy research institutes, university foreign affairs institutes, and state agencies. He has, more recently, become interested in Anti-Americanism, post-9-11 US foreign policy shifts, and the changing character of the US foreign policy Establishment. Finally, he is working on a long-term project on why Britain almost invariably backs the United States in wars, from Korea 1950 to Iraq 2003. To keep up with Inderjeet's latest insights on US foreign policy, click on this Anglo-American relations link.
Alastair Donald is associate director of the Future Cities Project,and co-editor of The Lure of the City: From Slums to Suburbs (Pluto Press, 2011). He is an urban designer and researcher, and a writer on urbanism and architecture issues for a range of publications including Urban Design, Blueprint, World Architecture, Culture Wars, The Independent, The and Guardian. He was co-editor of the Future of Community: Reports of a Death Greatly Exaggerated (Pluto Press 2008). Alastair is a founder member of mantownhuman and co-author of the Manifesto: Towards a New Humanism in Architecture. He was convenor of Critical Subjects Architecture and Design Winter School and the architecture debates Challenging the Orthodoxies.
Martin Bryant is Managing Editor at The Next Web, a leading online publication covering Internet technology, business and culture. Martin has a particular interest in European startups and spends much time travelling the continent to meet the people behind the technologies that will shape the future. A Broadcasting graduate, he has a passion for media and closely follows traditional media organizations' shifts online and the startups looking to disrupt them.
Lisa Raynes is Managing Director of Raynes Architecture and employs 3 young architectural assistants. She established her business in October 2010 out of the firestorm of recession and redundancy - and has not looked back. An architect with 15 years experience in housing and listed building refurbishment, the physical city is her bread and butter, and, finding social media to be a driving force in her own business, has an equal interest in the technological infrastructure that underpins it.
Mother of 3, Lisa is Chairman of the RIBA NW Solo-Practitioners Group, Trustee of Outreach, a charity providing residential care to people with learning disabilities and mental health issues. As past Chairman of Women in Property North West she has an understanding of the particular challenges facing women. Lisa seeks to help fellow architects wanting to start up or return to what is a notoriously un-work-life-balanced profession.
Ian Betts is a Teacher of English and Media Studies in a Cheshire comprehensive school. For several years, he worked in international schools in Mexico and then Portgual before returning to Manchester where he studied. Ian is an aspiring writer, currently redrafting his first novel, The Fakers, about gangsters and revenge killings in Mexico, having also worked as a freelance journalist in previous years by contributing to magazines such as The Face and City Life. He is studying towards an MA in Education and also coaches a local rugby team.
Patrick Hayes is a political commentator and journalist for current affairs magazine spiked. He blogs regularly for the Independent, Huffington Post and Free Society. He is a producer of the international Battle of Ideas festival, which he helped to establish in 2005. Previously he was head of research and development at TSL Education, publishers of The TES and Times Higher Education.
Patrick regularly comments on politics and current affairs for a range of local, national and international media programmes, which have included: Newsnight, Sunday Morning Live, The Big Questions, Radio 5 Live, BBC World Service, Sky News and Russia Today.
Mike Koefman - March 2012 Energy Crisis: how can science help?
Mike Koefman is the outreach worker for Planet Hydrogen, a Manchester-based NGO which advocates the supplanting of all fossil fuels by hydrogen, produced solely by the electrolysis of water using renewable electricity. Mike undertakes education on climate change with the public, and between 2002 and 2008 ran an evening course at the Friends Meeting House in Manchester. He is also involved with citizen groups, secondary schools and university groups, and enjoys meeting people, discussing matters which are important with them, and listening to what they say.
Lauren Collins represented the UK's Nuclear Institute Young Generation Network at the MENA nuclear conference held in Dubai 2011. She was instrumental in setting up the first MENA Nuclear Institute branch, which is now based in the UAE. Lauren has presented at the 4th International Symposium on Nuclear Energy held in Jordan in 2011 covering the increased importance of public engagement and communications in the nuclear industry post-Fukushima. She was also invited to represent young science and technology professionals from the UK as part of the Fulbright Academy of Science and Technology delegation at the 2011 World Science Forum in Budapest.
David Lewin is currently Lecturer in Philosophy of Education at Liverpool Hope University. After an initial degree in Theological Studies, David Lewin took an MA in the Study of Mysticism and Religious Experience at Kent University where he first developed his interest in Heidegger. He later did an MSc in Computer Science followed by working in various IT roles (Cisco Systems). Returning to Kent to pursue a PhD in Religious Studies entitled 'Technological Thinking and the Withdrawal of Essence', he looked particularly at Heidegger’s philosophy of technology but also drew upon the likes of Herbert Marcuse and Albert Borgmann.
David's current research involves developing a theology of technology by a consideration of agency in technology. My recent work hopes to show that Paul Ricoeur’s philosophical hermeneutics provides an important approach to understanding personal and social agency in relation to technological development.
Richard taught subjects ranging from Classics to History, Mathematics to De Bono’s Thinking Skills in independent and maintained schools, finally becoming a deputy head in a secondary school in Kent. Richard has also taught in several universities, working in primary, secondary and post-compulsory teacher education, and as a law lecturer.
Charles Brickdale taught English and Religious Studies for thirty years in secondary schools in Leeds and Bradford. He is now a one-to-one intervention tutor in two schools helping students struggling with English or let down by what he sees as an increasingly dysfunctional state system. On Saturday mornings in term time he runs the supplementary school established by Civitas Schools in Keighley to promote traditional, subject-centred approaches to education.
Charles wants to work with all those who seek to expand massively the scope of liberty in Britain so that people can take back responsibility for their own lives and communities. In the interests of consistency, therefore, he is involved in the life of his own community but, in the interests of sanity, leaves time for listening to music (very catholic taste), reading, writing and going abroad. He likes talking a lot.
Kevin Warwick is Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading, England, where he carries out research in artificial intelligence, control, robotics and biomedical engineering. He is a Chartered Engineer (CEng.), a Fellow of The Institution of Engineering & Technology (FIET), and is the youngest person ever to become a Fellow of the City & Guilds of London Institute (FCGI). In 2000 Kevin presented the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, entitled “The Rise of The Robots”.
Kathleen's postdoctoral research is a study of special kinds of robots for the therapeutic assistance for children and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). These robots are termed social and humanoid, robotic machines and persons with ASD are said to lack social capacities – yet Kathleen will follow their interactions in the clinical and lab spaces in the UK and US. Studies have suggested that the mere presence of a humanoid robot can enhance the social capacities of persons with ASD. This presents an interesting issue for anthropological theorizing of the social – what does it mean to be social? Who or what can or cannot be said to have it?
Kathleen completed her doctoral studies in the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge and conducted fieldwork in robotics labs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her thesis, 'Annihilating Difference? Robots and Building Design at MIT' examined relationalities between humans and nonhumans through a study of robots and buildings on the MIT campus.
Dr John Roberts is the Nuclear Fellow at the Dalton Nuclear Institute at The University of Manchester and a visiting academic at Imperial College London. As well as lecturing on nuclear energy to university students he is also engaging with industry, schools and the general public to educate them on nuclear energy and radiation. He has established the Nuclear Education website (http://www.nucleareducation.co.uk/) and is the Director of Science, Technology and Education of Nuclear Liaison TV. He has visited many countries worldwide working as an IAEA Technical Expert on Nuclear Knowledge Management, Education and Outreach.
Sue is a Non-Executive Board Member at the government's Health and Safety Laboratory, and was previously Group Director of Technology for British Nuclear Fuels Limited, responsible for the Group's entire technology portfolio and playing a leading role in government and regulatory issues. With a first class honours degree and a PhD from Imperial College, Sue joined BNFL in 1979 where she made her career in materials science and metallurgy. She has an extensive knowledge of the nuclear fuel cycle, especially fuel manufacture, reprocessing and recycling technologies.
In 2004, Sue was invited to become a member of the Council of Science and Technology, advising the Prime Minister and First Ministers of Scotland and Wales on strategic, longer-term issues. Sue holds fellowships with a number of learned societies and has maintained strong links with academia and academic research. She is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and was awarded the OBE in 2002 for services to the nuclear industry. Sue was appointed Dame Commander of the British Empire in the Queen's New Year Honours List 2010 for her services to science and engineering.