About: Battle of Ideas 2010 committee
Richard E Ashcroft professor of bioethics, Queen Mary University of London

Lexy Barber freelance writer; creative writing tutor; publishing assistant, Drink and Drugs News

Simon Belt IT consultant; coordinator, Manchester Salon

Helen Birtwistle history and politics teacher, South London school

Tim Black editor, Spiked Review

David Bowden associate fellow, Academy of Ideas; culture writer

Sarah Boyes freelance writer and editor; assistant editor, Culture Wars; editor, Battles in Print 2010

Justine Brian director, Debating Matters Competition

Sharmini Brookes freelance writer and blogger based in Johannesburg; contributor Artslink and spiked

Andrew Calcutt principal lecturer in journalism, University of East London; editor, Proof; co-author, Journalism Studies: a critical introduction

Dave Clements adviser to local government; blogger, Guardian, Huffington Post; convenor, IoI Social Policy Forum.

Robert Clowes chair, Mind & Cognition Group, Nova Institute of Philosophy, Lisbon University; chair, Lisbon Salon

Joel Cohen communications manager, BeyondMe

Dolan Cummings associate fellow, Academy of Ideas; author, That Existential Leap: a crime story (forthcoming from Zero Books)

Neil Davenport sociology and politics teacher; writer on culture; former music journalist

Suzy Dean freelance writer; blogger, Free Society

Shirley Dent communications specialist (currently working with the British Veterinary Association media team); editor, tlfw.co.uk; author, Radical Blake

Ceri Dingle director, WORLDwrite & WORLDbytes

Alastair Donald associate director, Future Cities Project; architecture programme manager, British Council

Martin Earnshaw co-editor Future of Community: reports of a death greatly exaggerated; chair, IoI Social Policy Forum

Craig Fairnington associate fellow, Academy of Ideas; university finance and accommodation officer

Claire Fox director, Academy of Ideas; panellist, BBC Radio 4's Moral Maze; author, I Find That Offensive

Tony Gilland associate fellow, Academy of Ideas

Luke Gittos criminal lawyer; director of City of London Appeals Clinic; legal editor at spiked; author, Why Rape Culture is a Dangerous Myth: From Steubenville to Ched Evans

Philip Hammond professor of media and communications, London South Bank University

Dennis Hayes professor of education, University of Derby

Patrick Hayes director, British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA)

Bríd Hehir writer, researcher and traveller; retired nurse and fundraiser

Alex Hochuli communications consultant, researcher and blogger based in São Paulo

Tiffany Jenkins writer and broadcaster; author, Keeping Their Marbles: how treasures of the past ended up in museums and why they should stay there

Angus Kennedy convenor, The Academy; author, Being Cultured: in defence of discrimination

Geoff Kidder director, membership and events, Academy of Ideas; convenor, IoI Book Club; IoI’s resident expert in all sporting matters

Shirley Lawes researcher; consultant and university teacher, specialising in teacher education and modern foreign languages; Chevalier dans l’ordre des Palmes Académiques

Kirk Leech interim director, European Animal Research Campaign Centre; government affairs, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry

Toby Marshall A Level Film Studies Teacher; PhD researcher in sociology of education, UCL Institute of Education

Tessa Mayes investigative journalist; director, The Queen & Us

Tara McCormack lecturer in international politics, University of Leicester; author, Critique, Security and Power: the political limits to emancipatory approaches

Sally Millard co-founder, IoI Parents Forum

Para Mullan senior project manager, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development; FCIPD

Anwar Oduro-Kwarteng promotions manager, Academy of Ideas; writer on politics and ideology

Martyn Perks digital business consultant and writer; co-author, Big Potatoes: the London manifesto for innovation

David Perks founder and principal, East London Science School; director, the Physics Factory

Paul Reeves engineering software designer, SolidWorks R&D (part of Dassault Systèmes); convener, manufacturing work group for Big Potatoes: the London manifesto for innovation

Viv Regan managing editor, spiked

Johannes Richardt head of PR and communication, NovoArgumente

Abigail Ross-Jackson speakers' agent, Ed Victor Speakers Bureau LLP

Nathalie Rothschild freelance journalist; producer and reporter for Sweden's public service radio

Jane Sandeman convenor, IoI Parents Forum; contributor, Standing up to Supernanny; director of finance and central services, Cardinal Hume Centre

Stuart Simpson financial services professional; researcher and writer, emerging economies and quantitative finance

Peter Smith director of tourism, St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham, London; co-author, Volunteer Tourism: the lifestyle politics of international development

Sandy Starr communications officer, Progress Educational Trust; webmaster, BioNews

Mark Taylor vice principal, East London Science School; London convenor, IoI Education Forum

Dan Travis director, Brighton Salon; tennis coach; author How to teach Young Children Tennis and In Defence of Competitive Sport.

Robin Walsh graduate medical student; co-founder, Sheffield Salon

Austin Williams associate professor in architecture, XJTLU University, Suzhou, China; director, Future Cities Project; convenor, Bookshop Barnies; founding member of New Narratives

Festival Buzz

America, Obama and the recession

"Only the Battle of Ideas could provide the platform for a discussion about a GCSE Science exam where the atmosphere was so electric. It felt like a battle for the soul of British education."
Philip Walters, chairman, Rising Stars educational publishers