Public Lecture Series will explore critical questions facing society

07 August 2015

Canterbury Christ Church University's new season of free public lectures will explore some of the critical issues currently facing societies and governments around the world.

From the role of human rights in a post 9/11 world order, racism and fundamentalism in a democratic education, environmental global business, the role of museums in society and involving children in environmental issues, the series promises to be diverse and thought provoking.

The exciting programme of talks starts on Friday, September 25 when former Children’s Laureate, acclaimed novelist and Honorary Doctor Michael Morpurgo is welcomed back to the University.

Public Lecture Series will explore critical questions facing society

Michael Morpurgo

Michael’s many books have been read and loved by thousands of children around the world, with many being transferred to the stage and screen, including his most famous creation, War Horse.

In his lecture, The Best of All Possible Worlds, Michael will explore the subject of writing about the environment for children. It is a subject that he has continued to return to through his books and believes that connecting children with the environment is of critical importance if we are to turn the tide of environmental literacy.

At the end of September Dr Ted Malloch, Professor and Fellow in Management Practice at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, will argue that we have a responsibility to care for all of the resources that we have been given for the sake of future generations.

His talk, A Responsible Way to Reorient Global Business, will argue that as humans, even in our business lives, we are effectively trustees. Prudent businesses, like prudent and responsible people, should employ good self-governance as personal responsibility. Global business needs to remember this to secure a sustainable future.

In November Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, the UK’s leading civil rights organisation, will maintain that our fundamental rights and freedoms are indispensable, regardless of the pressures they are under today.

Public Lecture Series will explore critical questions facing society

Shami Chakrabarti

Drawing upon her own work in high-profile campaigns, from privacy laws to anti-terror legislation, her talk, On Liberty, will expand upon the threats to our democratic institutions and why our rights are paramount in upholding democracy.

Every day brings troubling news about the Islamic State and of young people seduced by the idea of Jihad, as well as racism on the rise. Professor of Education at Canterbury Christ Church University, Linden West, will offer us an insight into his work, speaking on Racism, Fundamentalism and a Democratic Education: A Challenge for Us All.

Professor West is an internationally renowned expert whose research aims to understand the complexity of being human, and of educational processes, through the eyes of those most intimately involved. His talk in February 2016 will use research on a post-industrial, economically declining city where racism has gained a foothold and argues that where there are examples of Islamic extremism and racist gangs there are sources of hope too. The recovery of forgotten histories like the Lidice Shall Live campaign can inspire a democratic education today.

The final lecture takes place at the beginning of March and the University is delighted to welcome back Honorary Doctor Gillian Wolfe, Director of Learning and Public Affairs at Dulwich Picture Gallery.

Gillian has been at Dulwich since 1984 when she was instrumental in setting-up the gallery’s Education Department. This education programme has become a national model of excellence with in-house and community programmes reaching out to diverse social and ethnic communities across London. She has also consulted to arts and educational organisations in the UK, US, Japan and Canada and has received over 30 awards and commendations for bringing fine art into the lives of ordinary people.

There has been much debate about the social role of the museum to fulfil its charitable purpose. What is that charitable purpose, apart from opening the doors to the public and conserving the collections? Her richly illustrated talk, Developing a Caring Art Museum, will draw on both the origins of the museum in the UK and current multi-award winning programmes that rearticulate the purpose of a museum as a caring community, where people from every walk of life can find meaning. The evidence is that it’s not what you do but the way that you do it that matters.

Friday, 25 September 2015, 4.00 – 5.00pm
Michael Morpurgo OBE, The Best of All Possible Worlds
Old Sessions House
North Holmes Campus CT1 1QU

Wednesday, 30 September 2015, 6.00-7.00pm
Dr Ted Malloch, A Responsible Way to Reorient Global Business
Old Sessions House
North Holmes Campus CT1 1QU

Thursday, 26 November 2015, 6.00-7.00pm
Shami Chakrabarti, On Liberty
Augustine Hall
Augustine House CT1 2YA

Thursday, 11 February 2016, 6.00-7.00pm
Professor Linden West, Racism, Fundamentalism and a Democratic Education: A Challenge for Us All
Old Sessions House
North Holmes Campus CT1 1QU

Tuesday, 1 March 2016, 6.00-7.00pm
Gillian Wolfe CBE, Developing a Caring Art Museum
Sidney Cooper Gallery
St Peter’s Street CT1 2BQ

All public lectures are free but places must be reserved. For more information on the public lecture series or to book a place visit:

Notes to Editor

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

With almost 18,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 95% of our UK undergraduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.

*2013/14 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey


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Last edited: 05/12/2017 04:14:00