The Great Debate

The Great Debate is an umbrella title for a series of courses and public discussions on a variety of topics organised by Caspar Hewett, Dave O’Toole, Jon Pugh, Mo Lovatt and Jon Bryan. Our aim is to facilitate lively, open debate on scientific and social issues. We are committed to public participation and to facilitating topical discussions through which we hope to encourage critical thinking and a willingness to challenge current orthodoxies. We engage with the general public in the broadest sense and aim to develop a deeper shared understanding of science and society.


What does it mean to be a liberal today?

"I was impressed by the intensity of the debate and the high level of intellectual engagement, not least by the audience. It was an invigorating, even exhilarating experience to be part of a festival based on the conviction that disagreement is good. The Battle of Ideas is a fantastic concept, may it spread epidemically to the rest of the world. I am already looking forward to next year's event."
Thomas Hylland Eriksen, professor of social anthropology, University of Oslo; novelist

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