Dr Karen Rowlingson, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath, on 14 May 2004.
The speaker commented that the social security aspect of the Welfare State receives much less attention than other aspects (such as health and education) although it merits as much, despite the complexities involved and its constant changes. She would give an overview of the system and the problems it tries to address, using many charts and graphs.
January 11th 2003 Initially the discussion focused on problems concerning policy towards Iraq, Israel and North Korea, as in earlier sessions, but later dealt with a more domestic issue – formal education in Britain. Some views expressed follow.
Dr Elizabeth Poskitt, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, on 18 July 2003
The speaker is an eminent pediatrician, specializing in malnutrition and obesity, who has founded the European Childhood Obesity Group in order to co-ordinate research on that condition. She has worked in Birmingham, Liverpool and now London, and teaches on higher degree courses. Following extensive clinical work in Africa (which she discussed at the Institution at a lunch meeting last year) she continues to visit overseas medical centres.
Dr Laura Camfield, University of Bath, on 20 June 2003
Dr Laura Camfield is a member of an Environmental and Social Research Council (ESRC) sponsored research group at the University. Dr Camfield, an anthropologist, is concerned primarily with one aspect – ‘people’s experience of subjective well-being’ – of the ‘Well-being in Developing Countries’(WeD) project. (1)
Ruth Knagg, Public Fundraising Manager for Action on Disability and Development, on 15 May 2003
Action on Disability and Development is a non-governmental organization operating in 12 countries in Africa and Asia in order to promote self-help by groups of disabled people in pursuit of their economic, social and political rights.
At the outset the speaker affirmed that she is no expert on the topic, but that she wanted it discussed because various organisations with which she is involved are very concerned about the developing situation in Afghanistan. Since the Taleban take-over of 1996 such concerns have been brought to the attention of both our government and the UN. Now, progress may be possible.
Amy Barkshire, a member with an academic background in medical sociology, began her talk by asking whether we are witnessing economic imperialism since the decline of the nation state? The term `new imperialism' is being used by some writers in that context.
A regular Coffee Morning is held at the Institution on every Saturday morning from 10.30 to noon. At this, members and visitors frequently form informal groups to discuss current events or subjects raised by one of them.
Geoffrey Catchpole decided to find out how many people would be interested in a separate, small meeting for an hour during this period for a more structured discussion on one or more current events. He arranged a series of four meetings to find out what response he would get. Reports by him on each of the meetings follow.
Dr Greg Mahony, Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of the West of England, on 19 January, 2000
The speaker argued that the integration of world trade, finance, industry, etc., makes independent macroeconomic policies of national governments increasingly difficult. Policies addressing output, employment and growth (and thus welfare) are affected. Although global inter-connectedness is not new, qualitative and quantitative changes are evident. Views and policies before and after the 1973 oil `crisis' should be considered.
Professor Ian Gough, Department of Policy Sciences, University of Bath, on 20 April 2001.
Views on the effect of globalisation on human welfare tend to stress either that a market economy will eliminate poverty or that some Western interests, e.g. of multinationals, will dominate and distort societies. The speaker argued that neither view is correct circumstances and situations differ.
Dr Matthew Reed, University of Plymouth, on 20 July 2001.
The speaker began by reminding us that every modern decade has faced ecological problems of one kind or another, from concerns over a new ice-age, loss of rain forests, pollution, to food shortages, etc. While each fear succeeds its predecessor, the dangers become cumulative, until today the Bonn discussions take place against fears of a climate out of control. Despite global anxieties, the speaker believes that positive action is possible.