Social Science blog

Exploring Social Science at the British Library

03 January 2013

From Myths and Realities to Equality and Egalitarianism (and more besides…)

Robert Davies highlights some of the social science events scheduled for the early part of 2013, including public lectures by Professors Danielle Allen and Noam Chomsky as well the return of the 'Myths and Realities' series.

The Social Sciences department at the British Library hold a wide programme of events linked to the subject areas we cover.  Each year we hold in the region of 30-40 events: from one day workshops, seminars and conferences aimed at academics, early-career researchers, PhD students and practitioners (for example in the business, management and third sectors), to public talks and debates.

In the first four months of this year we already have five events planned. Our season of the ‘Myths and Realities' series of public debates, which aims to explore significant public and social issues and to challenge some of the common myths and assumptions we make, starts again on the 11th February 2013 with 'Are ‘friends’ the new ‘family’?', followed by 'Addictive Personality: Myth or reality?' on the 18th March and 'Work to live or live to work' on the 29th April. These events can be booked via our 'What's On' pages.

Image  Cc-by Gwennypics

Each year we hold the Annual Equality Lecture in partnership with the British Sociological Association. This year the speaker will be UPS Foundation Professor Danielle Allen, from the Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton. Professor Allen is a political theorist who has published broadly on democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought. Her lecture will discuss whether the success of egalitarian politics depends on an underlying art of association; explore the egalitarian benefits of a connected society and how to cultivate the necessary habits and skills of association. The event will be chaired by Professor Judith Burnett, Chair of the British Sociological Association and Dean of the School of Law, Social Sciences and Communications at the University of Wolverhampton.

This year the library will also be hosting a very special event linked to the forthcoming ‘Propaganda: Power and Persuasion’ exhibition. The philosopher, cognitive scientist and political activist, Noam Chomsky, will discuss the roles of the state and the mass media 25 years on from the publication of ‘Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the mass media’.


Noam Chomsky

This is a foretaste of what’s to come this year.  If you wish to keep up-to-date with our forthcoming events you can visit the social science events page here which gives further details of each event and provides links through to the appropriate booking pages. We also aim to upload recordings of most of our events to the Social Sciences Podcast page.

The Annual Equality Lecture is also filmed and uploaded to the British Sociological Association’s Youtube pages.

Another good way to keep informed about forthcoming events is via our various twitter feeds (listed under ‘About this blog’). Finally, and by no means least, it is also worth visiting the British Library Eccles Centre for American Studies webpages to keep informed of other events and conferences being held across the year.

This post was written by Robert Davies, Engagement Support Officer for Social Sciences. For news of our events and activities, please follow Robert on Twitter @BLRobertDavies.The Myths and Realities Series is held in partnership with the Academy of Social Sciences and is supported by the ESRC.


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