In an annual series of four lectures in Hilary Term, the Green Templeton Lectures explore a given contemporary theme through a number of different perspectives, whether it be historical, political, educational or philosophical. Previous themes have included the pharmaceutical industry in 2009 and the sources and forms of uncertainty in modern life.
High-profile guest speakers have included Dame Helena Kennedy, leading barrister and expert in human rights law and civil liberties, and Sir Michael Rawlins, Chairman of the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
The theme of the Green Templeton Lectures 2014 was The Tyranny of the Normal. More information here.
Is normality - or conformity to certain parameters of behaviour and appearance - a necessary condition of all advanced societies or a tyranny which constrains individual aspiration and social evolution? Do conceptions of normality have any objective basis or are they merely social constructions, inexorably tied to the exercise of political and economic power? These questions have troubled some of the influential minds of the last two centuries but are they still relevant today, as conceptions of normality are challenged by advances in genomics and new technologies of human enhancement? Are we moving towards new regimes of normality or has the border between the normal and the pathological become blurred and irrelevant in an increasingly individualized and culturally reflexive global community?
Monday 27 January
Adam Mars-Jones, novelist
Monday 3 February
"I Don't Like the Way I Look": the Psychological Consequences of Appearance Norms
Professor Nichola Rumsey, Co-Director of the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR), University of the West of England
Monday 10 February
Feeling Norms, Feeling Normal?
Sara Ahmed, writer and professor in race and cultural studies at Goldsmiths, University of London
Monday 24 February
Ordinary People do Extraordinary Things: What Do the Lives of Olympians Tell Us About the Champion in Us All?
Peter Keen, Director of Sport at Loughborough University
Past lecture series:
Green Templeton Lectures 2013: Feeding a Better Future
Green Templeton Lectures 2012: States in Crisis
Green Templeton Lectures 2011: Living with the Coalition
Green Templeton Lectures 2010: Uncertainties and Insecurities
Green Templeton Lectures 2009: Addicted to Big Pharma? Reconciling Business, Medical and Ethical Needs