As part of Salisbury 2020: City on the move, a year-long initiative to mark the spirit, skill and endeavour that led to Salisbury Cathedral’s move from Old Sarum to its present site and the development of modern Salisbury, the Cathedral and BBC Wiltshire are working together on Salisbury Conversations 2020, three one-hour panel discussions that will take place in front of a live audience inside the Cathedral.
Following the overarching theme of movement in thought, technology and physical movement that lies behind all Salisbury 2020 events, the Conversations will explore issues and ideas that have dominated the 20th and 21st century so far. Each Tuesday from 3-17 March four experts guided by a facilitator will explore feminism, technology and the challenge of climate change. Each programme will be recorded live between 19.00-20.00 in the Cathedral and transmitted later, as well as being uploaded to BBC Sounds. Dan O’Brien, BBC Wiltshire’s BBC Wiltshire’s Political Reporter produces.
Audience members are welcome to join us for 17.30 Evensong before the recording or Compline in the Chapter House afterwards.
TUESDAY 3 MARCH
What has feminism done for you?
From the right to vote to #MeToo, feminism in various guises has been around for well over a century. Where has it got us and what’s the plan for the future? Fifty years on from the first Women’s Liberation conference in the UK, we discuss whether feminism is essential to a healthy society – and if there is a way forward on which we can all agree?
- The Bishop of London, The Rt Hon and Rt Revd Dame Sarah Mullally DBE
- Ella Whelan, journalist and author of What Women Want: Fun, Freedom and an End to Feminism
- Jade Bentil, historian and author of Rebel Citizen: A History of Black Women Living, Loving and Resisting (due to be published next year by Penguin/Allen Lane)
- Zelda Perkins, campaigner fighting for changes to the way NDA’s (non-disclosure agreements) are used to abuse power. In 1998, Zelda signed a nondisclosure agreement with Harvey Weinstein, which she publicly broken in 2017 to highlight the “unethical” nature of these type of agreements.
TUESDAY 10 MARCH
Are algorithms controlling your life?
How do you feel about a machine determining your future? Would you trust a robot? Algorithms are behind the technology we rely on to shape our decisions and our lives. From Woebot, a CBT app created to combat anxiety and depression to big data used to tackle national emergencies, the coder can help - but how far should we take it?
- Professor John Wyatt, medical ethicist and Emeritus Professor of Neonatal Paediatrics, Ethics and Perinatology at UCL
- Dr Karen O’Donnell, practical theologian and author of Digital Theology: Constructing Theology for a Digital Age. Karen is the Coordinator for the Centre for Contemporary Spirituality at Sarum College
- Professor Sarvapali Ramchurn, Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Southampton
- Dr Mike Veale, Lecturer in Digital Rights and Regulation at University College London and author of Slave to the Algorithm (with Professor Lilian Edwards).
TUESDAY 17 March
How are you going to save the world?
We know the climate is in peril and many of us experience daily climate anxiety – but what can we or what will we do to make a difference? How can the climate conundrum be solved and who are the people to do it?
- Professor Hugh Montgomery, Director of the UCL Institute for Human Health and Performance and a founding member of the UK Climate and Health Council
- Dr Ruth Valerio, social activist, environmentalist and theologian
- Professor Katherine Willis, Professor of Biodiversity at Oxford and former Director of Science at Kew Gardens
- Professor Myles Allen, Professor of Geosystem Science, Oxford and Head of the Climate Dynamics Group in the University's Department of Physics. Professor Allen also leads the climateprediction.com project.
Tickets are £5 (£3 for students and U/16's) and are available here and on the door on the night.