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Bristol academics share ideas at philosophy festival

Dr Finn Mackay

Press release issued: 7 April 2014

Two University of Bristol academics will be taking part in the world’s largest philosophy and music festival - HowTheLightGetsIn - which will be based in Hay-on-Wye from 22 May to 1 June 2014.

Dr Finn Mackay from the Centre for Gender & Violence Research in the School for Policy Studies and Professor James Ladyman, Head of Philosophy, will be speaking at the event alongside a host of world-leading scientists, musicians, philosophers and politicians.

Dr Mackay will lead a course on the future of the women’s liberation movement, entitled Rethinking Feminism. She will also enter into a debate with Peter Tatchell, equality campaigner, and Niki Adams of the English Collective of Prostitutes, a sub-group of the longstanding organisation Wages for Housework, to debate issues surrounding prostitution law reform in Britain.

Professor Ladyman will be joining pharmacologist, and former Home Office Advisor David Nutt, and the author of the Science Delusion, Rupert Sheldrake, to question whether science is more powerful than it is true. He will give a talk entitled ‘Was Hawking Right?’ which will question whether science has made metaphysics obsolete. 

The festival is spread over six stages and boasts 180 speakers and 150 bands providing talks, courses and live music over the course of the weekend.

The theme for 2014 is ‘Heresy, Truth and the Future’ and the programme of events will focus on investigating current heresies which may become truth in the future.

Dr Mackay said: "The philosophy festival at Hay is a perfect environment for ideas, debate and the growing and changing of minds.

“This year I'll be talking about research from my PhD on British Feminism, and sharing not just findings, but also questions and challenges."

The Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey, described the festival, which is now in its third year, as a ‘world-leading’ forum of ideas.

The festival runs for 10 days from the 22 May and features a mix of thought-provoking debates and music.  Information and tickets can be found on the HowTheLightGetsIn website.

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