SHDP runs a number of types of event depending on the topic, audience, speakers, and outcomes desired.
Venice Biennale 17th International Architecture Exhibition - The Majlis
SHDP is working with the Caravane Foundation to produce a series of symposia at the 2021 Venice Biennale - 17th International Architecture Exhibition. The Biennale's theme 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 Foundation is exhibiting the first of the buildings it has commissioned to form a new desert village and art and innovation residency. The building, the Majlis, is made from bamboo 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, and deepen their connection with one another.
The Venice symposia will address the Biennale theme: How will we live together? from a number of perspectives, including sustainability; living together in increasingly harsh climates; maintenance of traditional crafts to promote stronger communities; traditional architecture as a solution for living together; food security and biodynamic agriculture. Fundamentally, we would like to examine the deeper root causes of today’s ecological, social, and spiritual crises and see if we can suggest solutions for living together better. Speakers will come from an interdisciplinary mix of expertise and backgrounds.
Please note the Biennale and symposia are now taking place in 2021. On 18 May 2020, the decision was taken to postpone (for a second time) the opening of the Biennale from the end of August 2020 until end of May 2021 because of the COVID pandemic.
23 May - 29 November 2021
Abbey and Gardens 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, and exploring the extent to which we surrender personal data to technology platforms, governments and businesses, willingly or otherwise. We will consider the idea of the impact of technology on democracy as negative (has technology completely de-coupled from society's needs?), as well as the prospects for science and technology to respond positively to these threats. Post-Covid-19, should there be a bigger role for technocrats and scientific experts at the heart of government and in response to crises? Or are the most important questions and decision perhaps best left to Artificial Intelligence?
We will employ the use of surveys to assess public opinion on these questions, then elicit responses from experts in technology, social sciences, politics, the media, ethics, as well as from young people. We will also aim to approach these questions from popular and accessible perspectives, for example by looking at the use of technologies, platforms, products and services used by the general public. We are working on ideas for presenting our work and these conversations in new formats to reach larger audiences.
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
The SHDP team have produced conferences and reports on a wide range of topics including: 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.
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 - SHDP Report
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 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 - SHDP conference report.AI in SciFi Film and Literature – SHDP 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 conference was held in association with City University Journalism School and brought together a group of young scientists and experienced journalists to discuss the problems and constraints, the scope and potential, of careers in science journalism at a time of rapid media change and challenge. Each segment was introduced briefly by two seasoned practitioners: followed by open-floor discussion. High quality, responsible science reporting is crucial both to public understanding of a range of issues as well as the decisions of government. Over the past two decades the Science and Human Dimension Project at Jesus College, Cambridge, has convened conferences as a contribution to public understanding of science. Our aim has been to enhance the quality of the science media and to encourage scientists to participate in outreach to the public.Find out more
The Irrelevance of Ethics - Lecture by Alasdair MacIntyre
3 June 2010
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 2007
A workshop for an exchange of views on media coverage of ethical and religious issues, and to discuss the launch of a forum for ethics in the public space called Ethicscope. A constituency of leading journalists, ethicists and representatives of different faiths discussed the access, fairness, balance and quality of ethical perspectives in print, radio, TV, photojournalism and online media. Our aim: to explore ways in which media practitioners at every level can develop and enhance their ethical insights and presentation of issues. This meeting occured at a time when the domains of politics, medical science, business, economics, the environment, social and human rights, face increasingly complex choices and judgments. At the same time, the world’s leading faiths are experiencing mounting challenges and scrutiny from secular and pluralist standpoints. The conference report is available here.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 the anthropic 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 the conditions, while extraordinary, are right for life - by chance rather than by design.
“Copenhagen”: Science, War, and the Devil’s Pact
SHDP Conference 2002
The conference explored the ethics of science, using as a focus Michael Frayn’s playCopenhagen 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
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 education.Find out more
Explanations: Styles of Explanation in Science
SHDP Conference 2000
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 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. Proceedings are published as Consciousness and Human Identity, edited by John Cornwell, Oxford University Press, 1998.Find out more
Science - The Next Generation
SHDP Conference 1996
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. The conference proceedings are published in Nature's Imagination: The Frontiers of Scientific Vision, edited by John Cornwell, Oxford Unversity Press, 1993.Find out more