For the one life we have
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What's On

Tues 7 December 2021

No more Faith Schools with Alastair Lichten.

Alastair Lichten

Around a third of publicly funded schools are faith schools, with a wide range of abilities to discriminate and to promote their religious ethos.

These schools also influence practices across the education system. From coercive worship and confessional RE to faith-based sex education, our school system is full of inappropriate religious influence, privilege and discrimination.

But it doesn't need to be this way, our many fantastic community schools show how we can move towards a secular, inclusive education system.

Alastair, will talk about the National Secular Society's No More Faith Schools campaign, along with their other education focused campaigns. The talk includes advice on activism and is engaging and informative for those with all levels of pre-existing knowledge on the subject.

Alastair Lichten is the Society's head of education. He joined the NSS in 2014 to work on a variety of their campaigns, before focusing on education and he currently coordinates the No More Faith Schools campaign.

7.30pm in the Priory Street Centre, York YO1 6ET.

Tues 4 January 2022

Extinction Rebellion - Community, Chaos and Change with Victoria Wild.

Victoria Wild

Extinction Rebellion can seem like a disorderly rabble but behind the chaos is an organised, horizontal structure and a theory of change drawn from other successful non-violent movements.

The communities within it are its most vital element, providing support, ideas and training, but also by their very nature presenting a challenge to the destructive economic model which is fuelling climate change.

Victoria Wild works in fair trade and has been involved in the local green movement for the last few years, including setting up the XR group in Harrogate.

7.30pm in the Priory Street Centre, York YO1 6ET.

Tues 1 February 2022

Faith in Science on Darwin’s Birthday with Professor Tom McLeish.

Tom McLeish

I am a scientist deeply concerned at the loss of ‘faith in science’ as a human, cultural, vital and also trustworthy (in the main) activity.

To some extent, the pandemic has pointed once more to the essential importance and role of science, but the anti-vaxx movement has at the same time underlined the trouble.

This is especially painful on the day when we remember the insightful leap of Charles Darwin into the ‘Tree of Life.’

How to make good? One way is to shine greater light on the very ancient ideas that have led to what we call science now, but which were called by different names in the past. ’Natural Philosophy’ - the pre-19th century label points to the much earlier tradition of ‘wisdom’. We go right back to the most striking and profound ancient nature-wisdom poem, to be found in the Hebrew Bible book of Job, looking at it in a new light, and also alight on a passage in the later Hebrew Book of Wisdom which imagines the transmutation of species, and ask whether one route to ‘faith in science’ might be a reappraisal of the role of 'Faith in science’ (with a capital ‘F’).

Tom McLeish, FRS, is Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Department of Physics at the University of York, the Centre for Medieval Studies and Humanities Research Centre.

His research in ‘soft matter and biological physics’ draws on interdisciplinary collaborations to study relationships between molecular structure and material properties. He leads the UK ‘Physics of Life’ network and holds a 5-year research fellowship focusing on the physics of protein signaling and the self-assembly of silk fibres.

Other academic interests include the framing of science, theology, society and history, education and philosophy, leading to the recent books Faith and Wisdom in Science (OUP 2014) and The Poetry and Music of Science (OUP 2019). He co-leads the Ordered Universe project, a large interdisciplinary study of13th century science.

From 2008 to 2014 he served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at Durham University and was from 2015-2020 Chair of the Royal Society’s Education Committee.

Tom is also a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day.

7.30pm in the Priory Street Centre, York YO1 6ET.

Wed 16 February

Book Group - The Plot, by Madeleine Bunting.

7.30pm in the Oak Room of The Black Swan, 23 Peasholme Green, York, YO1 7PR.

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