The SHDP director was the founder of the Rustat Conferences based at Jesus College, Cambridge. The topics covered by the conferences and reports between 2009-17 include: Cyber Security, Food Security, Inequality, Infrastructure, the Financial Crisis, Big Data, Blockchain and Bitcoin, the Future of Research-based Universities, the North-South divide, Ageing in the UK, and the Future of Work.
SHDP runs a number of types of event depending on the topic, audience, speakers, and outcomes desired.
The Majlis - Venice Biennale 17th International Architecture Exhibition
23 May - 29 November 2020 – San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, Italy
SHDP has partnered with the Caravane Foundation to produce a series of symposia at this year's Venice Biennale - 17th International Architecture Exhibition. The Biennale's theme this year is: How will we live together?
The Caravane Foundation is an international movement for social, cultural, and ecological transformation. Its mission is to practice and promote ethical values and wellbeing through craftsmanship, art, innovation in sustainability, agriculture and education. Caravane is exhibiting the first of the buildings it has commissioned to form a new desert village and art residency. The building, the Majlis, is made from bamboo, a sustainable material, and designed by Simón Vélez and Stefana Simic. Traditionally, a majlis is the place where people come together in the Arabian Gulf to discuss local events and issues, exchange news, receive guests, socialise, be entertained and deepen their connection with each other.
The symposia will explore a range of topics including use of sustainable materials in building, living together in harsh climates, and traditional architecture as a solution for living together. Speakers will come an interdisciplinary mix of expertise and backgrounds.
23 May - 29 November 2020
Abbey of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice
The Science and Technology of Populism
Jesus College, Cambridge
SHDP is developing a new conference series based on the role played by science and technology in underpinning and reenforcing populism and populist messages. We will consider both the idea of the impact of technology on democracy as negative, as well as the prospects for science and technology to respond positively to these threats. Should there be a bigger role for technocrats and scientific experts at the heart of government? Can we retain trust in democratically elected politicians or are the most important questions best left to Artificial Intelligence? In keeping with SHDP's close links to journalism, we will also consider the impact of technology and populism on news media. Research, technologists, AI, social scientists, politicians, journalists, ethicists, regulators, and young people's voices will contribute to this forum.
To be announced
About SHDP Events
SHDP runs a number of types of event depending on the topic, audience, speakers, and outcomes desired. Examples of SHDP events include:
- One-day roundtable conferences for 50-70 people
- Conferences of up to 200 people from one to several days
- Academic seminars
- Lectures in various venues
- Dinners with keynote speakers
- Briefings for the media
- Art exhibitions with talks and events
How Technology is Changing Journalism – Media in the Post Truth Age
13 September 2019 – Frontline Club, London
In this conference journalists, editors, technologists and researchers from a range of disciplines will discuss a number of vital questions, including how technology is changing the media the landscape, the role of the data journalist, new business models; the manipulation of the media and the public using technology, the use of technology in political campaigning, the role of technology platforms, censorship, and regulation – even legislation – to counter fake news.
SHDP worked with Russian Readings, an academic project based at Oxford and Leeds Universities, to produce this event.
Cultural Tourism Salon – Berlin
12 September 2019 – Tempelhof Airport, Berlin
SHDP co-organised the workshops at this one-day conference with Visit Berlin and LCD, bringing together leaders from major European cultural institutions (curators, museum directors, artists, architects, town planners) and tourism organisations (city councils, hotels, travel groups, airlines, hospitality) to discuss trends and key questions around place making, cultural destinations, including planning, architecture, technology, and climate change. Can one and should one aim to design, curate and create a cultural destination, or is this something that evolves naturally over time through the interplay of a number of factors?
AI – Ethical and Religious Perspectives: Will advances in machine intelligence serve to enhance or diminish our moral and spiritual selves? Will these advances serve to create better or worse societies?
16-17 May 2019 – Jesus College, Cambridge
In this conference we asked what impact future AI is likely to have on notions of the soul, religious faith, religious practice, and the virtues. Does AI pose a threat, or encouragement, to religious belief and practice? In turn, we asked how religion might guide and inform attitudes towards, and relationships with, future intelligent machines.AI – Ethical and Religious Perspectives
AI and the Future of Humanity Project – The Singularity Summit: Imagination, Memory, Consciousness, Agency, Values
26-27 September 2018 – Jesus College, Cambridge
Topics for discussion included: Definitions of the Technological Singularity, The Self, Identity, Agency and free will, Gödel and Kripke (Computational Brain), Embodiment, Consciousness, Imagination, Moral behaviour, Aesthetics, Radical Enactivism. This conference provided a much-needed opportunity for interdisciplinary discussion between these groups who do not often find themselves around the same table.Singularity Summit – SHDP Conference Report
AI and the Future of Humanity Project – AI in Science Fiction Film and Literature - SHDP Conference Report
15-16 March 2018 – Jesus College, Cambridge
AI in Science Fiction Film and Literature conference report.AI in Science Fiction Film and Literature – SHDP Conference Report
Memory & Imagination in Humans & Machines
21-22 September 2017 – Cambridge
DeepMind and SHDP Conference
Artificial Intelligence and neuroscience in discussion with the humanities – philosophy, psychology and the arts. This conference was a collaboration of SHDP and DeepMind and was by invitation.
Science – The Next Generation
11 May 2011
This one-day meeting on Wednesday May 11, 2011 (in association with City University Journalism School and BlueSci) brought together a group of young scientists to discuss the problems and constraints, the scope and potential, of careers in science journalism at a time of rapid media change and challenge. The structure of the meeting was designed to promote an exchange of viewpoints and a sharing of experiences. Each segment was introduced briefly by two seasoned practitioners: followed by open-floor discussion.Find out more
The Irrelevance of Ethics Lecture by Alasdair MacIntyre
3 June 2010
On 3 June 2010 Professor Alasdair MacIntyre, author of After Virtue and some thirty books on ethics, gave a lecture sponsored by the Science & Human Dimension Project and Prospect magazine. The text of the article John Cornwell wrote for Prospect magazine’s October 2010 issue on the lecture and its background is available here.Find out more
Ethics and the Media in an Era of Complex Moral Challenge
23 February 2010
SHDP Conference 2007
Following the EU’s granting of funding for human embryonic stem cell research in July 2006, some declared the arguments and debate against it, over whilst others thought it had barely begun. The aim of this conference was to explore the meaning of the term soul within the Judaic-Christian tradition to test the strength of the Cartesian idea which is often taken for granted in the ethical debate: as in a human being is “ensouled” at the moment of conception.Find out more
Report on Media and Development in Africa: A Case Study based on North Kenya
SHDP Conference 2006 – Media & Development in Africa
This conference explored the media coverage of development and aid in Africa. Senior Kenyan development workers discussed poverty, development and the media with specialists from NGOs, the Department for International Development, charities, development academics, and journalists.Find out more
Creativity and Depression
SHDP Symposium 2005 – Creativity & Depression
There has long been a notion that creativity and imagination are associated with forms of depression and even psychosis. This conference explored a wide-ranging approach to the topic, including literary, historical, and psychiatric perspectives.The discussion focused particularly on the way in which depression is reported in the media as well biographically and autobiographically.Find out more
The Anthropic Principle and the Multiverse
SHDP Debate 2003
John Polkinghorne and Sir Martin Rees tackled the notion of theanthropic principle – the existence of numerical accidents in the Universe that were essential for the development of life. The speakers went on to draw contrasting conclusions from this circumstance, and explanations. John Polkinghorne insisted that principle indicated a prime mover or mind in the Universe, which he would call God, while Martin Rees invoked a multiverse in which there is an infinite series of Big Bangs, each resulting in a different set of laws of chemistry and physics. According to this theory we are living in the Universe in which ...
“Copenhagen”: Science, War, and the Devil’s Pact
SHDP Conference 2002 – Copenhagen
The conference explored the ethics of science, using as a focus Michael Frayn’s play Copenhagen which was staged at the conference with Michael Frayn fielding questions. Mark Walker and Paul Lawrence Rose spoke directly to the German historical and biographical background of Heisenberg and Niels Bohr. Other speakers included Walter Gratzer, Lewis Wolpert, Henning Grunwald and John Naughton.Find out more
SHDP Conference 2001 – Virtual Universities
The growth in the use of the internet and related technologies for teaching and learning brought together a variety of distance and e-learning specialists from Europe, and the United States, working mainly in the fields of publishing and tertiary level educationFind out more
Explanations: Styles of Explanation in Science
SHDP Conference 2000 – Styles of Explanation in Science
This meeting brought together philosophers, scientists, mathematicians, and anthropologists to discuss why explanations work, why they vary between disciplines, periods, and cultures, and to discover whether they have any necessary boundaries. The issues engaged the keen interest of the participants from the media, for it is in journalism that the notion of an explanation is often misused or misunderstood. Speakers included Peter Atkins, Sir Martin Rees, Peter Lipton, Colin McGinn and Juliet Mitchell.Find out more
Consciousness and Human Identity
SHDP Conference 1997 – Consciousness & Human Identity
Consciousness has puzzled philosophers, naturalists, and theologians down the ages. Now it has caught the interest of contemporary scientists, some of whom believe they are on the brink of discovering its basis in neurobiological processes. This meeting of neuroscientists, psychologists, philosophers, theologians and novelists, discussed the prospects and consequences for finding a scientific explanation of consciousness. Speakers included Margaret Boden, John Searle, Steven Rose, Mary Midgely, Jeremy Butterfield, Peter Lipton and David Lodge.Find out more
The Next Generation
SHDP Conference 1996 – Science, the Next Generation
The Science and Human Dimension Project brought twenty four young scientists together to discuss the future of their disciplines: physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, computer science, and medicine. This meeting was supported by Wellcome Trust, Chiroscience Ltd, and the New Scientist.Find out more
Science and the Media
SHDP Conference 1995
This specialist forum for participants from the science media was convened to discuss current issues of interest and concern. Speakers included Nigel Hawkes ofThe Times, John Maddox of Nature, Ravi Mirchandani of Penguin¸ Alun Anderson of New Scientist and Duncan Dallas of Café Scientifique.Find out more
Plato and Mathematics
SHDP Symposium 1994
Logicians and philosophers of mathematics discussed the mathematical Platonism with Penelope Maddy, Michael Redhead, Tim Smiley, Jeremy Butterfield, and Peter Smith. Is mathematics created by the mind or does it have an extra-mental existence, and what are the implications for philosophy?Find out more
SHDP Symposium 1993
A group of world-class mathematicians, scientists, and professors of mathematical education explored the role of mathematics in different academic disciplines.Find out more
Reductionism’s Primacy in the Natural Sciences
SHDP Conference 1992
This conference brought together world class neuroscientists, mathematicians, physicists, philosophers, psychiatrists, biologists, engineers, publishers and journalists to discuss to what extent reductionist method is shaping, and “reducing”, psychology, social studies, and even the humanities? Speakers included Nobel Prize Winner Gerald Edelman, Oliver Sacks, Freeman Dyson, Roger Penrose, John D Barrow, Paul M. Churchland, Patricia Churchland, Mary Midgely, and Peter Atkins.Find out more