Fri 19th Feb – Easter break

We still havent worked out how rabbits lay eggs, but we are working on it!

see you all soon!

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Fri 5th April – “The role of reading…its delights and dangers” – Matt Holland

Two hundred years ago, it would have been impossible to communicate through writing with 88% of the world’s population, because they could not read.

Today, the ratio has almost reversed. Now, 85% of people in the world can read.

Being able to read has changed the world, or at least changed people’s lives in it.

The benefits of reading are clear and many but we cannot take the positive value of reading for granted.

We may be informed, educated, and entertained by reading but we must still beware the power of words and the risks involved in reading them!

Matt is the organiser of Swindon’s long running and fantastic literature festival.  Expect a great talk!

29 March – “Jordan Peterson on Conservatism” – Paul Archer

The extraordinary popularity of Jordan Peterson is partly the result of his being a great exponent of the lost political philosophy of conservatism.  The language of popular politics tends to assume that there is a left/right divide between the free market economic liberals and the state planning socialists.  But the political philosophy of conservatism is coming from somewhere else and regards both liberalism and socialism as dangerous and misguided.  I want to reflect on the conservatism of Jordan Peterson in the context of two important conservative thinkers – Edmund Burke writing against the French Revolution and Roger Scrutton writing against the market liberalism of the Margaret Thatcher era.  What does the philosophy of conservatism have to offer and what dangers lurk in its hidden corners?

Fri 22 March – “The Goodness Paradox” – John Little

On Friday John Little will be talking about  recent research into the evolution of human behavior and particularly the recent book by Richard Wrangham “the Goodness Paradox” .  

Some recent reviews include:

This is the new book from British anthropologist and Harvard University professor Dr. Richard Wrangham who has spent decades in the forests of Africa observing our primate cousins with Jane Goodall and others. He is the author of Demonic Males on violence in primates and humans and Catching Fire about the role of cooking in human evolution. But he isn’t just a field biologist. He also doubles as an accomplished scholar, who voraciously digests historical works and cutting edge research in the attempt to solve the riddles of what makes us human.
In The Goodness Paradox  Wrangham provides the first compelling explanation for how and why humans can be so cooperative, kind and compassionate, yet simultaneously so brutal, aggressive and cruel.
“This will prove to be one of the most important publications of our time. Fully supported scientific information from many directions leads us to a new and compelling analysis of our evolutionary history. Every page is fascinating, every revelation is unforgettable. It will change how we see ourselves, our past, and our future.” —Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
Want to find out more – see you Friday
all welcome – just turn up on the night !

15th March – “Geopolitics and Mental Health” – Albert Persaud

Geopolitics and Global Mental Health. ” putting mental health into foreign policy”

Albert.Persaud1   Geraint.Day2

1Co-Founder: The Centre for Applied Research and Evaluation- International Foundation. (careif): Centre for Psychiatry: Barts and The London, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine & Dentistry: London UK. & creator of Geopsychiatry.  @geopsychiatry 2Health & Social Policy, London, UK

Globally, more than 150 million people suffer from depression at any point in time; nearly one million people commit suicide every year; approximately 25 million people suffer from schizophrenia, another 60 million people struggle with bipolar disorder and more than 90 million people suffer from an alcohol or drug-use disorder. The number of individuals living with mental illness is likely to increase further, with the increase in an ageing population, for whom the development of dementia, physical illness, as well as co-morbidities are much more likely.

Around the globe, hundreds of thousands of people living with mental illness die prematurely every year – sometimes 15-20 years earlier than those who do not have a mental illness. People living with mental illness are at high risk of developing respiratory and chronic physical diseases, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease and cancers and in some places experience serious human rights abuses like chaining and exploitation.

Globalisation has changed and is changing the relationships of nation states, corporations and international organisations. Violent conflict, including war and terrorism, is a major cause of mental ill health

Natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis along with public health crises like Ebola and Zika and climate change, also carry with them largely invisible, often crippling, mental scars that have an impact on millions of lives and often create large numbers of refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people. In 2016 the global number of refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people reached 67.3 million – equivalent to the population size of either France or the United Kingdom. Many were fleeing the brutality of their own government and or terrorist groups like DAESH, Taliban, Boko Harem and al Qaeda. Large portions of these communities  survived torture, witnessed murder, experienced political or religious oppression, been raped or exposed to traumatic violence.

Mental illness will cost the global economy US $16.1 trillion in lost economic output by 2030,  yet the amount invested in treating mental health problems is barely a fraction of this – globally, spending is less than two US dollars per year per capita and less than 25 cents in low income countries

This presentation will provide an overview of the global evidence, outline how  the CAPE Vulnerability Index will influence the shaping of foreign policy and identifies the most vulnerable communities (Failed States) so that international aid may be more appropriately targeted.

References:

World Bank. 2016. Forcibly Displaced : Toward a Development Approach Supporting Refugees, the Internally Displaced, and Their Hosts. Washington, DC: World Bank. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/25016 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.

UNHCR: UN Refugee Agency UK. http://www.unhcr.org.uk

Persaud.A, et al: DÉCLARATION SUR LA CRISE MONDIALE DES MIGRANTS

http://www.recherche-clinique-psy.com/IMG/article_PDF/D-CLARATION-SUR-LA-CRISE-MONDIALE-DES-MIGRANTS_a246.pdf

Centre for Applied Research & Evaluation International Foundation (CAREIF) Position Statement:

Mental Health, Human Rights and Human Dignity “Magna Carta for people living with Mental Illness” http://careif.org/magna-carta-people-living-mental-illness/

Persaud, A., Day, G., Gupta, S., Ventriglio, A., Ruiz, R., Chumakov, E., … Bhugra, D. (2018). Geopolitical factors and mental health I. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 64(8), 778–785. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020764018808548

Persaud, A., Day, G., Ventriglio, A., Gupta, S., Ramachandran, P., Ruiz, R., … Bhugra, D. (2018). Geopolitical factors, foreign aid and mental health II: Value for money. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 64(8), 786–798. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020764018808552
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Albert.Persaud

Looks like it will be a fascinating talk, from someone with great experience in this area. Here’s other publications by Albert Persaud.

http://www.nurturingthenation.org.uk/biography/health-policy/2.10/albert-persaud/17.html

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/292606976_In_Conversation_with_Compassion_and_Care

https://journals.rcni.com/nursing-standard/european-convention-on-human-rights-effects-on-psychiatric-care-ns2001.07.15.44.33.c3057

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/10755390/Ethnic-minority-groups-at-increasing-risk-of-developing-diabetes.html

https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130124045059/http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_093677.pdf

 

Fri 8th March – The Legitimate use of Lethal Force – Jeremy Holt

Jeremy writes:

“Lethal Force” is an accepted euphemism for killing someone.  Soldiers and police marksmen are allowed – in appropriate circumstances – to kill someone.  What rules are there to ensure that this allowance is used properly?  What problems are encountered in practice?  This talk will consider these important issues and will be based in part on extensive interviews with people who have had to make such life and death decisions.

As an ex-military person and solicitor acting for a number of ex-military clients Jeremy brings a unique perspective to this very difficult subject.