St Mary's co-sponsors lecture series on ethical standards in public life

St Edmund's College

St Edmund's College

St Mary’s University, Twickenham is to co-host a series of public lectures with the Von Hügel Institute (VHI), St Edmund's College, Cambridge University. The Von Hügel Institute is an interdisciplinary research institute founded to preserve the Roman Catholic heritage of St Edmund’s.

The series, called 'Ethical Standards in Public Life' will begin on Wednesday 8 October and will be held at Cambridge University. The Seminars are also co-sponsored by the European Centre, the Centre for International Studies and the research project on e-Democracy, all of which are based in the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge.

Guest speakers of the nine seminars will address one fundamental question: what ethical standards should underpin public life and how these can be restored if they are missing?

The series aims to interrogate those at the upper levels of the European UK political and administrative systems on the ethical basis of their activities. For instance, many public institutions have experienced serious scandals in recent years, including Parliament, the BBC, the police and some of the Churches.

The opening seminar will take place on Wednesday, 8 October. It will be jointly delivered by Dr Rowan Williams (Lord Williams of Oystermouth, Master of Magdalene College, former Archbishop of Canterbury), Prof Paul Bew (Lord Bew, Chair of the Committee on Standards in Public Life) and Paul Vallely (Journalist and writer on religion and ethics). It will set the basis for the series and the speakers will discuss more generally why recent events have caused problems of credibility for
public institutions in the eyes of the public, what is meant by 'ethical values' and how these can be restored.

Further lectures will be delivered by the likes of Prof Andrew Gamble (former Head of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge), Baroness Williams of Crosby (former Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords and Professor Emeritus of Elective Politics at Harvard University), Prof Joseph Weiler (President of the European University Institute) and Field Marshal Lord Guthrie.

St Mary’s Vice-Chancellor Francis Campbell, who will be delivering a lecture in the series, commented: “We are delighted to work with the Von Hügel Institute on this lecture series. As an Honorary Fellow of St Edmund’s I am pleased that we have
developed such a platform between St Edmund’s and St Mary’s.”

For more information visit:

Full Lecture Series schedule:

Michaelmas Term

8 October 2014: Inaugural Seminar.
4 November 2014: The Place of Religion in the European Public Square, delivered by
Professor Joseph HH Weiler (President of the European University Institute in Florence).
28 November 2014: The Crisis of the UK Political Class, delivered by Professor Andrew Gamble FBA (former Head of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge).

Lent Term 2015

16 January 2015: Are Political Parties fit for purpose? Lessons from parliamentary scandals, delivered by Baroness Williams of Crosby (former Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords and Professor Emeritus of Elective Politics at
Harvard University). 

5 February 2015: The Challenges of Bio-ethics in UK decision-making, delivered by Claire Foster-Gilbert (Director of Westminster Abbey Institute).
20 February 2015: Has Globalization changed the nature of diplomacy? This will be delivered by Francis Campbell (Vice-Chancellor of St Mary's University College, Twickenham, and former UK Ambassador to the Holy See).
26 February 2015: Reforming the European Union: what ethical standards? This will be delivered by Dr Martin Westlake (Visiting Professor, College of Europe, Bruges; Senior Visiting Fellow, European Institute, London School of Economics and former Secretary-General of the European Economic and Social Committee).

Easter Term 2015

(TBA) The Ethics of Surveillance
28 May 2015: Is Just War theory still relevant in the 21st century? Confirmed speakers are: Field Marshall Lord Guthrie and Professor Nigel Biggar, McDonald Centre, Christchurch, Oxford.

All events are free and will take place at St Edmund's College, Cambridge.


Tags: Cambridge University, ethics, Francis Campbell, Rowan Williams, Shirley Williams, St Edmund's College, St Mary's University, Twickenham, Von HC3BCgel Institute VHI

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