Press Release

17 October 2014

Canterbury Christ Church University has announced this year's Public Lecture Series, with another diverse line-up of speakers including the Chairman of the Royal Institution, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and eminent other speakers.

Canterbury Christ Church University has announced this year's Public Lecture Series, with another diverse line-up of speakers including the Chairman of the Royal Institution, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and eminent other speakers.

Professor Sir David Watson, Principal of Green Templeton College and Professor of Higher Education at the University of Oxford, will open the Public Lecture Series on Tuesday 11 November and will explore The Ethical Idea of the University. The talk builds on the analysis in his book, The Question of Conscience: higher education and personal responsibility. Sir David Watson will examine the case for and against universities as sites for moral leadership.

Following Sir David Watson is Professor Nigel Biggar, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology whose lecture, 1914-1918: Was Britain Right to Fight?, takes place on Thursday 27 November.

Professor Biggar will echo his recent controversial book, In Defence of War, in which he uses the criteria of Christian 'just war' thinking to argue that Britain was right to fight in defence of Belgium and France against the unprovoked German invasion in August 1914. He also contends that it was right to carry on fighting until November 1918 and that the costs, although appalling, were not manifestly disproportionate.

Later in the academic year, Baroness Onara Sylvia O’Neill, of Bengrave, and Mark Hammond, will hold a joint lecture on Freedom of Speech, on Tuesday 3 February.

Baroness O'Neill is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, a former President of the British Academy and founding President of the British Philosophical Association.

Mark Hammond is a Visiting Professor of Public Administration and Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The lecture series then returns to its initial theme of higher education through the last century with Sir Richard Sykes exploring The Roles of Universities in Social and Economic Development on Thursday 26 February.

Sir Richard Sykes’ lecture will look at the role of a university and how this has developed over the years, including topics such as commercialisation, the change in research base practice and social development. Sir Richard Sykes will discuss his own experiences, from working in both industry and academia.

Closing the series is the Founder Director of Forum for the Future and eminent writer Johnathon Porritt. Jonathon Porritt’s lecture, Will we ever understand the true value of Nature? will look at how knowledge about the natural world, for example how we value eco-system services, can be embedded as the ‘norm’ in all key economic development and planning decisions.

Johnathon Porritt will close the series on Thursday 26 March.

All of the public lectures will take place at 6pm in the Old Sessions House building on the North Holmes Campus, Canterbury. To book tickets, visit the University's Online Shop.

Notes to Editor

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 93% of our most recent UK graduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2013 UCAS).
  • We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.

*2012/13 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey

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Last edited: 05/12/2017 04:31:00