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Green Templeton College | Oxford

Podcasts

McGovern Lecture 2014: John P McGovern and his Oxford Connection: A Biographer's Perspective

Speaker: Dr Bryant Boutwell, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Thursday 6 November

This year's annual McGovern Lecture in the history of medicine will highlight the impact of Sir William Osler and Osler's American student, Wilburt Davison, who trained with Osler at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and became the founding dean of Duke University School of Medicine where a young Jack McGovern came to train in the early 1940s.

Professor Paul Krugman, Green Templeton College Sanjaya Lall Visiting Professor, leads a panel discussion on whether the world's economy is facing 'secular stagnation' five years after the credit crunch.

The discussion also included Lord Adair Turner (former Chairman of the Financial Services Authority) and Lord Robert Skidelsky (Professor Emeritus of Political Economy at the University of Warwick).

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?

Visit the Green Templeton Lectures 2014 web page

The Tyranny of the Normal Lecture 1

Speaker: Adam Mars-Jones, novelist

Monday 27 January

Mainstream Hollywood cinema, the dominant medium of the twentieth century, represented the disabled more fully than most minorities, but what (or who) are these images really about?

This lecture traced a paradoxical cultural history with the help of half a dozen film clips, from directors as different as William Wyler, Robert Altman and John Carpenter.

The Tyranny of the Normal Lecture 2

Speaker: Professor Nichola Rumsey, Co-Director of the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR), University of the West of England

Monday 3 February

This lecture summarised research evidence charting the extensive and damaging impacts of dissatisfaction with appearance on physical and psychological health and the negative consequences for children, young people and adults in key areas of living including social, educational and vocational functioning.

The Tyranny of the Normal Lecture 4

Speaker: Peter Keen, Director of Sport at Loughborough University

Monday 24 February

The traditional narrative of Olympic success emphasises hard work, discipline and sacrifice but above all the unique talents of medal winners.Does this stand up to scrutiny?

This lecture provided an insider's synopsis of the life journeys of successful athletes, exploring the nature of human performance and the apparent need for mastery and autonomy for humans to feel fulfilled.

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