Old Citizens invited to TED-style talks at CLS


18 April 2018
If you would like to come to any of these talks places must be booked in advance. Please book no later than midday on the day before the talk. To book please email alumni@cityoflondonschool.org.uk and name which talks you would like to attend. Light refreshments will be provided at all talks. Adult Price: £10 p/talk and Alumni Price: £5 p/talk - money will be collected on the door. All proceeds go to Amref Health Africa



Alan Bird - The Nine: The Supreme Court and Hidden Power in American Politics - 25th April at 17:00 - Asquith Room


The US President is often lauded as “the most powerful person in the world”. And yet, domestically, their power is limited by a 4,000 word document dating from 1787, and the way in which that document is interpreted today by nine members of the Supreme Court. On topics as diverse and controversial as gun rights, abortion, same-sex marriage, campaign finance, immigration reform and corporate power, it is the decisions of an unelected Court which often trump (if you’ll forgive the pun) an elected President and Congress. Learn more about how the role of the Court, how it fulfils its responsibilities, and the modern-day controversies that result.


Adrian Jackson - The History of Astronomy 1st May at 07:50

Astronomy has taken giant technological leaps since humans first started star-gazing, developing from just looking at the sky with the naked eye, through to using larger and larger telescopes, to finally putting telescopes in orbit. In parallel with how these technological advances have enhanced our views of distant objects, this talk will look at how our ideas of the Universe have changed over time, culminating in how the new tool of gravitational waves will enhance our understanding even further.


Noeleen Murphy - Tudor Beheadings 2nd May at 07.50

Betrothed age 5, married age 15, widowed at 18 and married twice more thereafter, Mary, Queen of Scot's life reads life a bodice ripper. By just 24 she had been married three times (at least one of which was a very poor decision), given birth to the future King of England and miscarried twins. She then spent 19 years as a captive, was the focus of many a Catholic plot and 431 years ago on February 8, 1587 was executed at Fotheringhay Castle, leaving behind a haggard-eyed cousin who felt cajoled and tricked into legitimising her cousin's death.


Adam Zivanic - Synthetic Biology - Genetic Engineering on Steroids? – 8th May at 07.50

When almost everyone has heard of Genetic Engineering and the field has been debated in the media extensively a new branch of Biology appears that promises to deliver where GE has failed. Engineering completely new DNA sequences, new gene circuits, as well as whole new metabolic pathways whilst upholding strict safety standards, SynBio really does promise to transform the future. Is this our best scientific shot at solving some of the biggest problems that we are facing?


Tom Robinson - The Science of Sleep and Dreams – 9th May at 07.50

Sleep is one of the most important aspects of our life, health and longevity and yet it is increasingly neglected in twenty-first-century society, with devastating consequences: every major disease in the developed world - Alzheimer's, cancer, obesity, diabetes - has very strong causal links to deficient sleep. The purpose of sleep has long remained elusive, however in the last twenty years, there has been ground-breaking research carried out, which has managed to shed light on the myriad of benefits sleep can provide. This talk will cover sleep in creatures across the animal kingdom, what happens to our brains and bodies when we dream, to how caffeine and alcohol affect sleep, and why sleep patterns change across a lifetime.


Andrew McBroom – Counterfactualism – 14th May at 07.50

What if the Spanish Armada had landed in England? What if Charles I had won the Civil War? What if the Archduke Franz Ferdinand had not been assassinated? What if Lenin had been shot at Finland Station? What if Hitler had died in childbirth? Counterfactuals (or what ifs?) of this kind are often posited by teachers of History. However, the historical community is bitterly divided over whether or not counterfactualism is a worthwhile pursuit. This lecture will address this debate and seek to take issue with E. H. Carr’s contention that counterfactual History is a mere ‘parlour game’. It will also explore the pros and cons of us imagining alternative scenarios in our own lives. Is it worth thinking of what might have happened, if only we had or had not?


Grant Woolner - The Theology of Superheros – 15th May at 07.50

Why do superheroes (usually) fight for truth and justice? Does great power really necessitate great responsibility? Who are all these characters my children keep talking about?! This talk will explore enduring theological, philosophical, and ethic quandaries through the lens of the modern gods among us. BANG! POW!

Ollie Davies - Seven Deadly Sins – 23rd May at 07:50 - Library Seminar Room

As we enter the 21st century the human race is at a cross roads. Our capacity for innovation and development is incredible, however, as we evolve we create new issues that threaten our existence. We have cost effective technology that can address the major environmental problems, and there are sufficient resources on the planet to meet the needs of an increasing global population. So what are the hazards threatening our survival, what are the factors hindering solutions and why do they still pose such a risk?