Promoting a positive, caring outlook, for the one life we have

Mormonism: The Invention of a Religion

15/04/2021
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Mormonism: The Invention of a Religion

John Adams will give a talk on the extraordinary story of the creation of the Mormon religion which, within a couple of generations, spread from a small town in New York State to become a world religion. He will use the story to reflect on the spread of all religions, past and present.

John is a retired academic and past Chair of North Yorkshire Humanists. He is currently a trustee of Humanists UK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who: John Adams

When: Thursday April 22nd at 7pm (Zoom opens at 6:45)

What: 45-minute online lecture plus plenty of time for interactive Q&A afterwards

How: Register using the Eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mormonism-the-invention-of-a-religion-tickets-148434370197.

If you prefer not to use Eventbrite, you can send an email to Susan Walker at northeasthumanist@gmail.com and she will send you a Zoom link directly.

 

You don’t need to be a member. All are welcome to this free event!



Darwin Day Lecture — How To Become A Wise Manager of Evolutionary Processes

18/02/2021
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Darwin Day Lecture — How To Become A Wise Manager of Evolutionary Processes

Distinguished Evolutionary Biologist, Professor David Sloan Wilson will deliver this year’s North East Humanists Darwin Day Lecture.

Many people use words such as “evolve” and “adapt” to describe positive change, but seldom think to consult the actual science of change—evolutionary science. That’s because the study of evolution was confined largely to the study of genetic evolution for most of the 20th century, relegating the study of personal and cultural change to other disciplines. More recently, an expanded view of evolution as any process that includes the three ingredients of variation, selection, and replication provides a new set of practical tools for improving the human condition at all scales, from individuals to the planet. Anyone can begin learning these tools to become wise managers of evolutionary processes.

David Sloan Wilson is trained as an evolutionary biologist and is at the forefront of the expansion of evolutionary thinking described in his talk. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Binghamton University, New York, and president of Prosocial World, a new nonprofit and spinoff of his previous nonprofit, the Evolution Institute. His books include Darwin’s CathedralEvolution for EveryoneThe Neighborhood ProjectDoes Altruism Exist?, This View of LifeProsocial (with Paul Atkins and Steven C. Hayes) and his first novel, Atlas Hugged. An extended conversation between David and North East Humanists trustee Ed Gibney about Atlas Hugged and Evolutionary Philosophy is available here.

 

Who: Professor David Sloan Wilson
When: Thursday February 18th at 7pm (Zoom opens at 6:45)
What: 45-minute online lecture plus plenty of time for interactive Q&A afterwards
How: Register using the Eventbrite link:
If you prefer not to use Eventbrite, you can send an email to Susan Walker at northeasthumanist@gmail.com and she will send you a Zoom link directly.
You don’t need to be a member. All are welcome! There is no charge to join us for this talk. However, if you would like to make a donation to our Charity of the Year as a thank you for the event, you can do so at our JustGiving page for Crisis Skylight Newcastle. (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nehumanists)
NOTE: We will be giving away 3 copies of David’s new novel Atlas Hugged at this event. Winners will be selected randomly from the online participants. So, be sure to sign up and attend for your chance to win!


Smart Cities (But Not Too Smart)

21/01/2021
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Smart Cities (But Not Too Smart)

 

Despite many of our cities claiming to be “smart” these days, they would be largely recognisable to our great-great grandparents in their layout, structure, organisation, and day-to-day operations. Scratch away at most smart city projects and you find that they are very limited in their objectives, outcomes, and durability. Where implemented, many have come to be rightly criticised for being driven by technological availability rather than need or insight. They are also blighted by reasonable and wholly understandable concerns about privacy and data ownership. To make things even worse, infrastructure and service providers see the opportunity to silo and lock away data from smart systems preventing interoperability of data.

So, what role could this new paradigm of data play in future cities? What are the opportunities and risks of highly observed cities? What types of data can we collect, and should we be collecting it? In this talk, Professor Phil James will discuss some of the lessons we have learnt and the role this new data could play in re-imagined cities. The COVID-19 pandemic has generated both opportunities and new questions but also demonstrated some of the benefits of these new data sources.

Phil James is a professor of Urban Data at Newcastle University and director of the Newcastle Urban Observatory, which is the UK’s largest urban environmental monitoring programme. His research is at the intersection of engineering and computer science with a focus on the Internet of Things and environmental monitoring.

 

Who: Professor Phil James

When: Thursday January 21st at 7pm (Zoom opens at 6:45)

What: 45-minute online lecture plus plenty of time for interactive Q&A afterwards

How: Register using the Eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/smart-cities-but-not-too-smart-tickets-134648734991. If you prefer not to use Eventbrite, you can send an email to Susan Walker at northeasthumanist@gmail.com and she will send you a Zoom link directly.

 

You don’t need to be a member. All are welcome! There is no charge to join us for this talk. However, if you would like to make a donation to our Charity of the Year as a thank you for the event, you can do so at our JustGiving page for Crisis Skylight Newcastle.

 

 

 



Festive Social

17/12/2020
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Festive Social

Time to sign up for this year’s virtual Festive Social! We’ve all gotten pretty good at using Zoom during the pandemic, so we plan to use these skills to host a quiz, play a few party games, enjoy some seasonal music and readings, and much more. If you have any special Zoom game requests, just let us know and we’ll do our best to add them in.

We can’t meet up as usual for a buffet and drinks, but you can have your own favourite holiday drink and food instead and enjoy them along with everyone else during the refreshment break. We’re sad we can’t try everyone’s offerings, but this promises to be a fun substitute.

Whilst there is no ticket charge, we do hope to boost the funds of our Charity of the Year, Crisis Skylight, by inviting you to donate to it instead. You can do so with just a few clicks by visiting our JustGiving page for Crisis Skylight Newcastle.

The party will be Thursday December 17th at 7:00pm.

To request a Zoom invitation, send your name to Susan Walker at northeasthumanist@gmail.com.

We really look forward to spending the evening with you all!



Home Education: Solution or Problem?

19/11/2020
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Home Education: Solution or Problem?

Before the current pandemic, about 1% of UK school children were home educated. Their parents had exercised their legal right to do so, but these rights come with responsibilities. Whilst many home schooling parents make significant personal and financial sacrifices to ensure that the needs of their children are met, some do not. In this talk, Liz Armstrong will discuss the extent of home education, explore the reasons why numbers (pre-Covid) have been increasing, and critically describe the legislative and administrative procedures which are in place to manage it. Now that schools are reopening, early indications suggest that home schooling has increased significantly, making these issues more relevant and urgent than ever.

Liz Armstrong is a trustee of North East Humanists and a longtime member. She worked as a teacher in secondary schools for 15 years and then spent 13 years as a Local Authority Education Advisor contributing to the monitoring of home education. She has also spent the last few months supporting the education of her granddaughter at home.

 

Who: Liz Armstrong

When: Thursday November 19th at 7 PM (Zoom opens at 6:45)

What: 45-minute online lecture plus plenty of time for interactive Q&A afterwards

How: Register using the following link:

Home Education Solution or Problem

 

You don’t need to be a member. All are welcome!

 

There is no charge to join us for this talk. However, if you would like to make a donation to our charity of the year as a thank you for the event, you can do so at our JustGiving page for Crisis Skylight Newcastle.



Richard Wilkinson: How More Equal Societies Improve Wellbeing

15/10/2020
6:45 pm - 9:00 pm
Richard Wilkinson: How More Equal Societies Improve Wellbeing

This lecture will focus on the psychological effects of large income differences between rich and poor. It will show how inequality undermines feelings of self-worth, damages social relationships, and contributes to the heavy burden of stress and mental illness in rich developed countries. The material is taken from the The Inner Level, the new book by Wilkinson and Pickett, which shows that inequality is not merely about economics and living standards, but affects us all intimately, changing the nature of social life and reducing levels of confidence. It describes some of the social and psychological processes which lead to the increased rates of health and social problems shown in their earlier book, The Spirit Level.

Richard G. Wilkinson is a Professor Emeritus of Social Epidemiology. He wrote The Spirit Level with Kate Pickett, a best seller now available in 24 languages.  It won the 2011 Political Studies Association Publication of the Year Award and the 2010 Bristol Festival of Ideas Prize. He co-founded The Equality Trust with support from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, and in the last few years he has given many hundreds of conference addresses and media interviews around the world, including at WHO, the EU, OECD, and the World Bank. His latest book The Inner Level, also co-authored with Kate Pickett, was published in paperback in 2019.

Who:   Richard Wilkinson, Patron and Co-founder of The Equality Trust

When: Thursday October 15th at 7 PM (Zoom opens at 6:45)

What: 45-minute online lecture plus plenty of time for interactive Q&A afterwards

How:   Join us on Zoom using the following link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89631934722?pwd=OVNkdTZnQ3ViMUo0WVJhczh2WnpGdz09

Meeting ID: 896 3193 4722

Passcode: 968035

There is no charge to join us for this talk. However, if you would like to make a donation to our charity of the year as a thank you for the event, you can do so at our JustGiving page for Crisis Skylight Newcastle.



Treating Gambling Addiction

17/09/2020
6:45 pm - 9:00 pm
Treating Gambling Addiction

GambleAware is an independent charity tasked to fund research, education, and treatment services to help reduce gambling-related harms in Britain. Citizens Advice Gateshead have been commissioned by GambleAware to deliver the national Citizens Advice Gambling Support Service (GSS). In this talk, Evan Hook, the regional project lead for this work, will share some facts with us about gambling, and what can be done to reduce the harms associated with it.

 

Gambling-related harms are the adverse impacts from gambling on the health and well-being of individuals, families, communities, and society. We know that in Britain 430,000 people have a gambling problem and another 2 million are at risk of developing one. Reports tell us that 6-10 additional people can be directly affected by someone else’s gambling—putting the number that could be affected at 2.5-4.3 million. The Gambling Commission tells us that 370,000 11-16-year-olds are gambling with their own money and 25,000 are problem gamblers.

 

Who:   Evan Hook, Project Lead for Gambling Support Service in Gateshead

When: Thursday September 17th at 7 PM

What: 45-minute online lecture plus plenty of time for interactive Q&A afterwards

How:   Join us on Zoom using the following link:

 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87640105450?pwd=dGV1eERNTEVRMnkwSTcvVzRjWmlPZz09

Meeting ID: 876 4010 5450    Passcode: 830489

 

There is no charge to join us for this talk. However, if you would like to make a donation to our charity of the year as a thank you for the event, you can do so at our JustGiving page for Crisis Skylight Newcastle.



The Humane League — Is the UK Really a Leader in Animal Welfare?

16/07/2020
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Humane League — Is the UK Really a Leader in Animal Welfare?

Recent legislation in countries around the world are starting to put the UK’s animal welfare laws to shame. In the UK, we like to think of ourselves as the biggest animal lovers in the world, but as laws progress in other countries, we’re quickly beginning to lose our status.

This year in Brussels, for example, the government prohibited the breeding of Scottish Fold* cats and certain hybrids based on concerns about health and welfare. They’re not even the first government to address breed concerns in companion animals. And let us not forget the welfare of farmed animals, with billions of animals suffering every year in intensive farming systems.

 

So, what are governments doing about this? Some are beginning to take action, but in the UK the only legislation recently passed for farm animals was putting CCTV in slaughterhouses. While this is positive, it isn’t raising standards, simply making sure people comply with current ones.

[*Scottish Folds are domestic cats famous for their small floppy ears, but this is the result of a genetic condition that can cause them to have short painful lives.]

 

Who:   Vicky Bond, Managing Director, The Humane League UK

When: Thursday July 16th at 7 PM

What: 45-minute online lecture plus plenty of time for interactive Q&A afterwards

How:   You have three options to join this talk.

  1. Zoom — https://zoom.us/j/98569189183
  2. Google Meet — https://meet.google.com/djz-gama-upn
  3. By phone — 02039 567 137 (PIN: 910164699)

 

There is no charge to join us for this talk. However, if you would like to make a donation to our charity of the year as a thank you for the event, you can do so at our JustGiving page for Crisis Skylight Newcastle.



How More Equal Societies Improve Well-Being

16/04/2020
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
How More Equal Societies Improve Well-Being
Tyneside Irish Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Richard Wilkinson, co-author The Spirit Level and The Inner Level

This lecture will focus on the psychological effects of large income differences between rich and poor. It will show how inequality undermines feelings of self-worth, damages social relationships, and contributes to the heavy burden of stress and mental illness in rich developed countries. The material is taken from the The Inner Level, the new book by Wilkinson and Pickett, which shows that inequality is not merely about economics and living standards, but affects us all intimately, changing the nature of social life and reducing levels of confidence. It describes some of the social and psychological processes which lead to the increased rates of health and social problems shown in their earlier book, The Spirit Level.

Richard Wilkinson has played a formative role in international research and his work has been published in 10 languages. He studied economic history at the London School of Economics before training in epidemiology and is Professor Emeritus at the University of Nottingham Medical School and Honorary Professor at University College London.

Doors open at 6:30, the talk starts at 7pm. The talk and formal Q&A will be finished by 9 but many people stay to chat afterwards.
We charge £1 for NEH members and £2 for non-members, which covers the cost of light refreshments. (Please consider bringing your own mug for a hot drink; help us be as green as we can be.)

 

THIS EVENT HAS NOW BEEN CANCELLED WHILE WE ALL STAY HOME TO FIGHT COVID-19. WE WILL DO OUR BEST TO RESCHEDULE WHEN WE CAN MEET AGAIN.



NEH AGM & Human Population

19/03/2020
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
NEH AGM & Human Population
Brunswick Methodist Hall, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 7BJ

THIS EVENT HAS NOW BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO CONCERNS ABOUT COVID-19.

 

At this meeting there will be reports on NEH activities for the year 2019/20, followed by the election of the Trustees for the year 2020/21. Members of NEH will be able to comment on any aspect of the operation of NEH.
After the formal business of the AGM, Ron Armstrong will give a talk on How the growth of the human population is reducing the number of other species on our planet.

Doors open at 6:30, the talk starts at 7pm. The talk and formal Q&A will be finished by 9 but many people stay to chat afterwards.
We charge £1 for NEH members and £2 for non-members, which covers the cost of light refreshments. (Please consider bringing your own mug for a hot drink; help us be as green as we can be.)