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April 2020
Event Title Venue Date Availability
Creating a Charter for Responsible Public Debate
Democratic politics has always been a place of discussion, disagreement and debate. However, recent politics – especially in the age of social media – seems to be increasingly polarised. This raises the question of whether there are better and worse ways to debate controversial topics with each other – not just in public settings such as parliaments and the media, but also in ordinary discussions amongst family members, in schools, at workplaces, as part of community organisations, and online. For the last year, the RSE Young Academy of Scotland (YAS) has been working with academics, journalists, social media experts, politicians, advocates of citizen assemblies and members of the public to try to identify a set of principles that might renew the culture of debate in Scotland. These principles are grounded in an ideal of public debate as informed, respectful and inclusive discussion amongst those who may initially disagree but who listen well to each other. Such debate involves rethinking what it means to be ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ and opens up more space for concession and collaboration. It aims to build consensus and a sense of common purpose amongst a wide group of people from diverse backgrounds with different experiences, abilities, and knowledge. (You can check out YAS’s draft charter here:https://www.youngacademyofscotland.org.uk/creating-a-charter-for-responsible-public-debate/). YAS now needs your input to help road-test and refine this set of principles! At this joint CEPPA/YAS event, two members of the YAS Responsible Debate team (Prof. Matthew Chrisman, Edinburgh, and Dr Alice König, St Andrews) will introduce the draft charter, followed by responses and reflections from two CEPPA members (Dr Adam Etinson and Dr Ben Sachs). Plenary discussion will follow, and we will be joined by Jenny Gilruth, MSP and Minister for Europe and International Development, who will share her perspective from the world of politics. Audience feedback on the charter will inform YAS’s further development of this project. The wider aim of the event is to stimulate discussion about the roles that we can play as individuals, groups and institutions to change the culture of public debate for the better. Date: April 22nd, 11am-2pm Venue: School 6 (United College). Lunch will be provided.
School of Chemistry
School of Chemistry, University of St Andrews
North Haugh
ST ANDREWS
KY16 9ST
UNITED KINGDOM
22 April 2020 Places Available
The Future of Foreign Policy
18:00 - 19:30

Seasoned diplomats say that they have never known so many issues that need to be addressed. As Britain moves from the formal structures of Europe to the more informal this is an opportunity to reflect on the future of foreign policy and how best to address the issues that most concern us – climate change, pandemic, nuclear proliferation and war. Crises have affected the lives of millions, many of whom seek a better life free from fear. How do we respond ? Do we have the leadership we need to respond effectively ? How does Scotland develop its contribution to determining the priorities we should address in the future and the way we should work together?
Royal Society of Edinburgh, Edinburgh
Royal Society of Edinburgh
22-26 George Street
EDINBURGH
EH2 2PQ
UNITED KINGDOM
27 April 2020 Places Available


May 2020
Event Title Venue Date Availability
Bringing Space Down to Earth
Satellite data services are integrated into many aspects of our lives, from satellite navigation through to environmental monitoring. A panel of experts will discuss the broad range of ways in which space technology is used and how Scotland is helping lead the way in developing the space technologies of the future.
Royal Society of Edinburgh, Edinburgh
Royal Society of Edinburgh
22-26 George Street
EDINBURGH
EH2 2PQ
UNITED KINGDOM
4 May 2020 Places Available
Human Rights and Higher Education
Have you found yourself considering Human Rights issues in your academic work lately? Do you think that Universities are doing enough to champion human rights in their work? Are you interested in finding out more about the ways in which human rights and higher education can intersect? If so, come along to a lunchtime discussion hosted by the RSE Young Academy of Scotland at the Byre Studio on Wednesday 6th May, 12-2pm. Lunch will be provided! Universities pride themselves on championing free speech and open, informed debate about contentious issues. They have also played a significant role historically in promoting equal rights, justice and social values. Many universities also have patchy human rights records, however, and the increasing marketisation and internationalisation of HE is bringing new challenges, as individuals, research groups and universities build collaborations with an increasing range of organisations, institutions and governments, some of which have very different commitments to human rights. The RSE Young Academy of Scotland is running a lunchtime discussion to stimulate conversation about this. It will be an opportunity for academics to share experiences and ask questions about the difficult decisions that we sometimes take when our work intersects with complex human rights issues. Many of us do not know what questions to ask, let alone how to find out answers, when faced with the challenge of working in a very different human rights environment from the one we are used to. We might have worries about our personal safety, or the safety of people we are collaborating with; or we might have moral qualms about who/what our work is supporting, or whether collaborations prevent us from speaking out about important issues. A panel of speakers (Brad MacKay, VP International; Claire Tynte Irvine, from Scottish Government; Ali Watson, IR; and Adam Etinson, Philosophy) will kick-start discussions, helping us to reflect on institutional questions as well as our personal choices, in particular the role that we think universities of the future could/should play in championing human rights around the globe. Plenary discussion will give participants a chance to share views and insights from different disciplinary perspectives. This event is free to attend, but booking is essential.
School of Chemistry
School of Chemistry, University of St Andrews
North Haugh
ST ANDREWS
KY16 9ST
UNITED KINGDOM
6 May 2020 Places Available


June 2020
Event Title Venue Date Availability
The Enlightenment in the Twenty-First Century
18:30 - 20:00

What is the Enlightenment and why is it relevant to the modern world? Anthony Pagden, Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Political Science and History at the University of California, Los Angeles, explores the ideals of the Enlightenment, drawing on the Marquis de Condorcet’s unfinished, but widely read Sketch for a Historical Progress of the Human Mind (1794) to explore the importance of a free mind and ‘sympathy’ as envisioned by David Hume in realizing these ideals today. Aside from our own world, these ideals might ultimately inform the development of human society beyond the Earth.
Royal Society of Edinburgh, Edinburgh
Royal Society of Edinburgh
22-26 George Street
EDINBURGH
EH2 2PQ
UNITED KINGDOM
11 June 2020 Places Available
At Risk Academic Refugee: a portrait
14:00 - 15:30

This talk will offer an in-depth discussion that aims to raise awareness of Scotland’s refugee and displaced migrant communities; how these individuals have established themselves as ‘New Scots’; and how they are now contributing to the future prosperity of Scotland.
The Bank, ISLE OF BUTE
The Bank
17 High Street
Rothesay
ISLE OF BUTE
PA20 9PS
UNITED KINGDOM
13 June 2020 Places Available