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Public Lecture


What has happened to our culture today that strangers to our shores are not welcomed, not given the protection of our laws and the warmth of our hospitality. What has happened to civilization?  Refugees, displaced persons and desperate would-be migrants are treated as creatures of no consequence, no interests and no rights. Great Britain, a nation built on migration: Celts, Saxons, Danes, Romans, Normans, Huguenots, Jews, West Indians, Asians from India, Pakistan, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) Singapore and so many others has turned its back on contemporary strangers and on ancient values. To understand this tragedy and both the origins and possible solutions to its disastrous effects, we need to start in the bronze age, nearly three thousand years ago, with one of the most complex and human of humans ever imagined, Odysseus of Ithaca.

About the speaker

John Harris FMedSci., Member, Academia Europaea., FRSA.,  B.A., D.Phil., Hon. D.Litt. is Professor Emeritus,  University of Manchester and Visiting Professor in Bioethics, Department of Global Health & Social Medicine, School of Global Affairs, King’s College London. His many books Include: The Value of Life, Routledge, London, 1985; On Cloning, Routledge, London, 2004; Enhancing Evolution, Princeton University Press 2007; and How to be Good published by Oxford University Press in April 2016. He is the author of more than 350 peer reviewed papers.

John Harris has served on many advisory bodies, he was a member of the United Kingdom Human Genetics Commission (HGC) from its foundation in 1999 until 2010 and was a member of The Ethics Committee of the British Medical Association for more than fifteen years. He was a member of The United Kingdom Government Advisory Committee on Genetic Testing from its inception in 1996 until its closure in 1999. He served on the Working Group of the United Kingdom Academy of Medical Sciences on Animals Containing Human Material.  He was a member of The United Kingdom Committee on Ethical Aspects of Pandemic Influenza and of The Royal Society Project “Brainwaves” on which he served on two working parties. He was a member of The Working Group of the Academy of Medical Sciences, The Medical Research Council, The Royal Society and The Wellcome Trust on the use of non-human primates in research 2006 and of the Working Group of the Academy of Medical Sciences on Interspecies Embryos 2007.


Followed by drinks reception.