Category: Uncategorized

Dignity in dying – 21-September-2018

About Nikkan Woodhouse:

Nikkan Woodhouse started the Brighton and Lewes branch of Dignity in Dying two years ago. Dignity in Dying is a national campaign which seeks to support legislation that would enable terminally ill people in the UK an assisted death in certain, safeguarded circumstances. The branch supports the work of the campaign by educating regional politicians and the public about the issues around assisted dying legislation, often a discussion which is highly emotive and raises legitimate concerns.

About the presentation:

Nikkan will be presenting the current position in the UK on assisted dying; what is now the law, what proposed legislation has been debated, and what is happening in an important legal case which may challenge the status quo. She will explain some of the legislation that is in place in other countries and share the reports of how some more liberal regimes have found this to work in practice.

Nikkan has always been a supporter of Dignity in Dying legislation; believing in choice and from a social justice perspective. Her early career was based in the law and lobbying and she continues some of this experience with this campaign as a volunteer.

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The venue:
The Elephant And Castle
White Hill
Lewes
BN7 2DJ

Tickets:
They are £3 and you can purchase them on the door or about a week before in the venue. Please note that the capacity of the venue is limited, we recommend to buy the ticket in advance to avoid disappointment.

Dr Philip Wallek – Foundry Healthcare, Lewes primary care fit for the future of the NHS – 13th of July 2018

About the talk:

Dr Wallek will be talking about the challenges of working in the current environment of the NHS and how bringing together existing NHS organisations can create a better service. Foundry Healthcare is a new model of Primary Care being created by the existing GP practices for a purpose built building fit to provide a co-ordinated approach to care for the residents of Lewes for the future of the NHS.

Brief bio:

Dr Philip Wallek MBBS MRCGP BSc DPD MSc

Dr Wallek is a GP partner at School Hill Medical Practice in Lewes where he has worked for the past 9 years. He has a specialist interest in dermatology and runs the local community dermatology service. He is leading on the merging of the Lewes GP practices and the development of new models of primary care for the Lewes area. He is part of the faculty of the Primary Care Home supporting other areas in primary care development.

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The venue:
The Elephant And Castle
White Hill
Lewes
BN7 2DJ

Tickets:
They are £3 and you can purchase them on the door or about a week before in the venue. Please note that the capacity of the venue is limited, we recommend to buy the ticket in advance to avoid disappointment.

Guy Standing – Basic Income: And how we can make it happen – 5th June 2018

About the talk:
The presentation will consider the ethical and economic arguments for moving towards an income distribution system in which a basic income, paid as a regular sum, as a right, without behavioural conditions, would be the base or anchor. The lecture will consider why basic income has become more of a mainstream policy option, and then review the standard objections that have been raised by critics.

The presentation will draw, in part, on a recent book, Basic Income: And how we can make it happen (London: Pelican), and on a series of basic income pilots in which the author has been engaged.

Brief bio:
Guy Standing is Professorial Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies< University of London. He is a Fellow of the British Academy of Social Sciences and co-founder and now honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), an international NGO that promotes basic income.

He was previously Professor of Development Studies in SOAS, Professor of Economic Security, University of Bath, Professor of Labour Economics, Monash University, and Director of the ILO’s Socio-Economic Security Programme. He has been a consultant for many international bodies, including UNICEF, UNCTAD, UNDP, the European Commission and the World Bank, has worked with SEWA in India for many years, and was Director of Research for President Mandela’s Labour Market Policy Commission.

His career has combined being in the United Nations, being an activist (working for SEWA, et al, and steering BIEN), and being an academic. He is on the editorial boards of various academic journals, including Development and Change, Work, Employment and Society and the Indian Journal of Labour Economics. He has been invited to give lectures in over a hundred universities around the world, and has twice been invited to be a speaker at Davos.

His recent books include The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (2011), translated into 20 languages; A Precariat Charter (2014); with others, Basic Income – A Transformative Policy for India, and The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay (2016). His latest book is Basic Income: And how we can make it happen (Pelican, Penguin, 2017).

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The venue:
The Elephant And Castle
White Hill
Lewes
BN7 2DJ

Tickets:
They are £3 and you can purchase them on the door or about a week before in the venue. Please note that the capacity of the venue is limited, we recommend to buy the ticket in advance to avoid disappointment.

Rachel Oliver – Positive Money – 18th May 2018

About Rachel:

Rachel works to grow, strengthen and mobilise our fantastic network of supporters around the UK. She helps supporters to take action together online and in local groups, keeps the network updated with the campaign, and works to build relationships and leadership within our Positive Money community.

Rachel gained a first class honours degree in modern languages and International Relations at Leeds University, before getting stuck into people-powered campaigning. After stints at Stop Aids and Crisis Action, she campaigned for a few years at 38 Degrees, before joining Positive Money. Rachel is passionate about getting ordinary people involved in politics and economics, to build a society that puts people and planet first.

About the talk:

To deal with the big social, economic and environmental challenges we’re facing today, we need to transform our money and banking system. Positive Money’s goal is for a money and banking system that serves a fair, democratic, and sustainable economy.

In this presentation, Positive Money’s Head of Campaigns and Organizing, Rachel Oliver, will explain how our current money and banking system is flawed, how it needs to change, and how the Positive Money movement is working to change it.

Rachel

The venue:
The Elephant And Castle
White Hill
Lewes
BN7 2DJ

Tickets:
They are £3 and you can purchase them on the door or about a week before in the venue. Please note that the capacity of the venue is limited, we recommend to buy the ticket in advance to avoid disappointment.

Alison Pike – Limits of Parental Influence: The Nature & Nurture of Children’s Development – 20th April 2018

About the talk:

Twin and adoption studies yield a surprising finding: brothers and sisters have some similarity due to their shared genes, but growing up in the same family does not lead to sibling similarity. Identical family environments can affect children, even within the same family, in very different ways. At the same time, socialisation researchers tell us that family factors such as marital conflict, divorce and economic disadvantage put children at risk for poor developmental outcomes. Together, the behavioural genetic and socialisation approaches yield a shared environment paradox. On the one hand, behavioural geneticists insist that the shared family environment plays little to no role in human development. On the other hand, socialisation research documents robust prediction from a variety of shared environmental factors to important developmental outcomes. How can both of these statements be true? I argue that parents may not be as influential as we think, and that idiosyncratic pathways are the essence of children’s development.

About Prof Alison Pike:

Alison Pike is a Professor of Child & Family Psychology in the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex. Her research focuses on the antecedents and consequences of family relationships, with a particular focus on siblings, and differential experiences of children within the same family. This work has used cross-cultural, family and twin designs to facilitate an understanding at multiple levels of analysis. Prof Pike has appeared as an expert on the BAFTA-nominated documentary series Secret Lives of 4-, 5-, & 6-year-olds, and the Secret Lives of Brothers & Sisters.

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The venue:
The Elephant And Castle
White Hill
Lewes
BN7 2DJ

Tickets:
They are £3 and you can purchase them on the door or about a week before in the venue. Please note that the capacity of the venue is limited, we recommend to buy the ticket in advance to avoid disappointment.

Shaughan Dolan – Taxes for Peace – 9th of March 2018

About Shaughan Dolan:

Shaughan Dolan is the Campaigns Manager for the peacebuilding NGO Conscience: Taxes for Peace not War. Conscience works for a world where taxes are used to nurture peace, not pay for war.

We campaign for a progressive increase in the amount of UK tax spent on peacebuilding, and a corresponding decrease in the amount spent on war and preparation for war. We also campaign for the legal right of those with a conscientious objection to war to have the entire military part of their taxes spent on peacebuilding.

Shaughan Dolan campaigns to protect and promote UK peacebuilding initiatives across the world. I have also frequented the offices of the Electoral Reform Society, West Berkshire Liberal Democrats, Lynne Featherstone MP and the Local Government Information Unit.

About the talk:

The talk will be about the Minister for Peace Campaign Conscience which is running the Campaign for the UK government to adopt a Minister for Peace and Disarmament.
For more information you can visit:

http://www.conscienceonline.org.uk/

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The venue:
The Elephant And Castle
White Hill
Lewes
BN7 2DJ

Tickets:
They are £3 and you can purchase them on the door or about a week before in the venue. Please note that the capacity of the venue is limited, we recommend to buy the ticket in advance to avoid disappointment.

Francis Ratnieks – How endangered is the honey bee and how can we help? 23-02-18

Talk/discussion title and brief information

Title: How endangered is the honey bee and how can we help?
When people hear that I am a professor who studies honey bees they usually reply “I hear the bees are all dying”. The press have done a marvelous job of making people think that honey bees are all dying, yet there are almost certainly more honey bees alive on planet Earth today that at any previous time, something like 500 million colonies and 5 trillion individual bees. This is not to say there are no challenges. Honey bees face increased pests and diseases and reductions in their food supply, and like all wildlife share a planet with an increasingly dominant primate species whose civilization may well be passing beyond the bounds of moderation. These challenges especially affect commercial beekeeping. That is, beekeepers with hundreds even thousands of hives who produce most of the 1.6 billion kg of honey per year, which, along with crop pollination, worth c. £50 billion per year, are two reasons why honey bees are important to humans. The myth of the endangered honey bee has led to some bizarre and quixotic outcomes, such as the London council giving away free bee hives to anyone who wanted one (imagine if we tried to help endangered elephants in the same way), and all kinds of organizations, including the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh and DEFRA in London, signalling their environmental credentials by locating hives on the roof of their HQ building. Unfortunately, the signal is more one of spin over substance. In addition, cities such as London probably now have more bee hives that the local flowers can easily support. A better way to help bees would be to encourage people to plant flowers, not to keep more hives. The Laboratory of Apiculture & Social Insects (LASI), at the University of Sussex, has been carrying out research on helping honey bees. We can now advise beekeepers how to control several of the major pests and diseases affecting honey bees, and we can also advise gardeners and local authorities how to chose flowers that provide more pollen and nectar to bees and flower visiting insects in general.

Ratnieks biography material
Francis Ratnieks grew up in south east England and has a life long interest in science and insects. As a boy spent a lot of time chasing butterflies and moths, something he still does. He began his Biology BSc at Sussex University in 1971, but as was the fashion in those days, he dropped out. He then spent 8 years living in Ireland, initially in Co. Kerry where he was a licensed pedlar, made jewelry and worked on fishing boats, later enrolling in the University of Ulster where he took a BSc in Ecology and where his enthusiasm for insects resurfaced. From Ulster, by way of Panama, he went to the Department of Entomology at Cornell University where he took MS and PhD degrees in honey bee biology and also spent time doing research in Mexico on “killer bees” and working for the New York State Apiary Inspection Program doing research and giving talks to beekeepers on honey bee diseases. He then did postdoctoral research on honey bees and social insects at the University of California, Berkeley and Riverside, and also taught at the University of Aarhus in Denmark. In 1995 he returned to the UK, to Sheffield University, and set up the Laboratory of Apiculture (LASI) and became the UK’s first Professor of Apiculture. In 2008 he returned to Sussex where he remains the UK’s only Professor of Apiculture and head of LASI. He has studied honey bees and social insects on all continents except Antarctica and has given seminars in two foreign languages. While in the USA he kept up to 180 bee hives making honey and comb honey, queen rearing and pollinating almonds. He is author of 270 research articles on honey bees and social insects, including c. 10 in Nature & Science magazines, and has trained c. 20 PhD students and 20 postdoctoral researchers in his lab. He is also the author of 100 outreach articles for beekeepers and others, and makes an effort that both he and LASI are always involved in the public communication of science to the general public and outreach to beekeepers. He has found that the most useful things he learned at school were woodwork (for making bee hives) and algebra (for modeling social evolution). He has also found that the most useful scientific instruments are eyes and an enquiring mind, and the most important thing in a laboratory are the people.

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The venue:
The Elephant And Castle
White Hill
Lewes
BN7 2DJ

Tickets:
They are £3 and you can purchase them on the door or about a week before in the venue. Please note that the capacity of the venue is limited, we recommend to buy the ticket in advance to avoid disappointment.

Blay Whitby – Artificial Intelligence, loss of jobs and policies – 12th January 2017

Life in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

What has come to be called The Fourth Industrial Revolution is now well under way. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will bring widespread social and economic changes in the next two decades. However, little or no provisions have been made to deal with these changes or to protect those who may be displaced, exploited, unemployed, or otherwise disadvantaged. We need to completely rethink employment and taxation models and probably also place strong legislative controls on the new ‘Information Barons’.

Regulating AI for the UK alone will not work – it will simply drive AI-based industries overseas. If the AI industry follows the current practices of the data-farm industry that will be to third-world countries with little or no regulation.

It is time to start the process of enacting world-wide standards and controls on Artificial Intelligence and related technologies. Nor is it the case that such controls will inhibit research and development. Regulation is clearly necessary to protect vulnerable users from exploitation and to protect humanity in general from potential misuses of these very powerful technologies. Serious risks are already evident.

About Dr Blay Whitby:

Dr Blay Whitby is a philosopher and ethicist concerned with the social impact of new and emerging technologies. He is a leading researcher in the field and the author of many books, chapters and papers on the subject including “On Computable Morality”, “Reflections on Artificial Intelligence: The Legal, Moral and Ethical Dimensions and “Artificial Intelligence, A Beginner’s Guide”.

He is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on AI and serves on the the ethics committees of several professional and commercial organisations.

Widening public engagement in science through debate is important to him and he is a regular speaker in community settings as well as having participated in several very high impact science/art collaborations.

He is currently a popular and engaging lecturer at The University of Sussex, leading a number of courses including: “Ethical Issues in Computing”, “Introduction to Cognitive Science”, “Knowledge Based Systems”, “Philosophy of Science” and “Research Ethics”.

Dr Whitby is happy to be involved with and support new research projects, which would benefit from his expertise in ethics and the social effects of emerging technology.

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The venue:
The Elephant And Castle
White Hill
Lewes
BN7 2DJ

Tickets:
They are £3 and you can purchase them on the door or about a week before in the venue. Please note that the capacity of the venue is limited, we recommend to buy the ticket in advance to avoid disappointment.

Radicals – New politics 13th of December 2017

About the talk:

Jamie Bartlett will talk about his new book Radicals, which is an exploration of the individuals, groups and movements rejecting the way we live now, and are attempting to find alternatives.
He will take us inside the strange and exciting worlds of the innovators, disruptors, idealists and extremists who think society is broken, and believe they know how. From dawn raids into open mines to the darkest recesses of the internet, Radicals introduces us to some of the most interesting and important movements today: the US Transhumanist Party, far-right groups seeking to close the borders, militant environmentalists striving to save the planet’s natural reserves by any means possible, libertarian movements founding new countries, autonomous cooperatives in self-sustaining micro-societies, and psychedelic pioneers attempting to heal society with the help of powerful hallucinogens.
He will discuss the prospects for these new political movements, why they are growing now, and whether there is anything the mainstream can learn from them.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Radicals-Jamie-Bartlett/dp/1785150375/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1488876454&sr=8-1&keywords=jamie+bartlett+radical

Bio:

Jamie Bartlett is the Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the think-tank Demos, where he specialises in online social movements and the impact of technology on society. He is also author of Radicals (2017) about political outsiders and The Dark Net (2014) about internet subcultures. He is also a regular commentator on national and international media outlets and recently presented the two-part BBC documentary series ‘The Secrets of Silicon Valley’.

Jamie

The venue:
The Elephant And Castle
White Hill
Lewes
BN7 2DJ

Tickets:
They are £3 and you can purchase them on the door or about a week before in the venue. Please note that the capacity of the venue is limited, we recommend to buy the ticket in advance to avoid disappointment.

A Jewish & Palestinian Israeli in Conversation – 31st March 2017

Two exceptional representatives of Neve Shalom / Wahat al-Salam (NS/WaS) are visiting Lewes to discuss their
experiences in peacemaking. NS/WaS is the only community in Israel where Jewish and Palestinian Israelis have
chosen to live together in peace and equality. Our guests Samah Salaime and Adi Lustigman have dedicated their
careers to advancing peace, protecting human rights, and campaigning for equality.

Samah Salaime is an avid columnist and campaigner for peace and equality in Israel-Palestine. A struggle that she sees as inherently linked to the struggle for gender equality. Samah founded an NGO (Arab Women in the Center) to provide assistance and support for Palestinian women in central Israel, for which she received a Human Rights Award from the New Israel Fund UK. Having moved to NS/WaS with her young family over a decade ago, Samah is now head of the community’s Educational Committee; responsible for the Primary School, School for Peace, and Pluralistic Spiritual Centre.

Adi Lustigman is an eminent human rights lawyer who has handled hundreds of immigration and residency cases, especially for East Jerusalem residents, which has kept families together. Adi also provides legal aid in impoverished areas and has volunteered on several human rights committees including at Amnesty International, where she coordinated a women’s network. Adi moved to NS/WaS because she wanted to raise her children alongside Palestinian Israelis, in an environment where there is equality and respect for all people, religions and cultures

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The venue:
The Elephant And Castle
White Hill
Lewes
BN7 2DJ

Tickets:
They are £3 and you can purchase them on the door or about a week before in the venue. Please note that the capacity of the venue is limited, we recommend to buy the ticket in advance to avoid disappointment.