James Panton, Christopher Frayling and George Brock deliver the keynote at the Institute of Ideas' The Battle of Ideas Conference 2006.
The Battle of Ideas 2005 was an interdisciplinary festival at which hundreds of people had the opportunity to get to grips with and discuss the key ideas of our time.
The Battle of Ideas 2006 promises to continue in this vein, presenting new issues and themes in urgent need of public debate. As the title Battle of Ideas deliberately suggests, this weekend of discussions avoids being anodyne in the name of consensus, reflecting instead the Institute of Ideas' commitment to open and robust debate- Institute of Ideas
Camera by David Dunbar for http://www.18doughtystreet.com
George Brock is the Saturday Editor of The Times. As the paper's Managing Editor (1997-2004), he was the launch editor of the first compact edition of The Times in late 2003; he converted the Saturday edition to compact format in November 2004.
George was educated at Winchester College and Oxford University, where he took a degree in History. He worked on an evening paper in Yorkshire, and from 1976 to 1981 as a reporter on the Observer. He joined The Times in 1981, and has been a features writer and editor, Opinion Page Editor, Foreign Editor (1987-90), Bureau Chief in Brussels (1991-5) and European Editor (1995-7). He has contributed to newspapers across the world and broadcasts frequently on the BBC.
He is current president of the World Editors Forum (part of the World Association of Newspapers) and sits on the British committee of the International Press Institute. He is a governor of the Anglo-American Ditchley Foundation, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Sir Christopher Frayling
Sir Christopher Frayling is professor of Cultural History and rector of the Royal College of Art, the only wholly postgraduate university of art and design in the world. In addition, he is chairman of Arts Council England, the largest funding body for the arts in the UK.
Frayling is well-known as an historian, critic and an award-winning broadcaster, with his work appearing regularly on network radio and television. He has published fifteen books and numerous articles on the arts, popular culture, design and the history of ideas, two of the most recent being his vast biography of the Italian film-maker Sergio Leone, Sergio Leone: Once Upon a Time in Italy and Mad, Bad and Dangerous?, which traces the genealogy of the filmic scientist.
Frayling is the longest-serving Trustee of the Victoria and Albert Museum and was until recently chairman of the Design Council, a Trustee of the Design Museum, chairman of the Crafts Study Centre and a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Board. Christopher was knighted for 'services to art and design education' in January 2001.
James Panton is a tutor in politics at St John's College, Oxford and co-convenor of the Battle of Ideas. He is co-founder of the Manifesto Club and sits on the steering committee of Pro-Test, the Oxford-based group which campaigns in defense of vivisection.
Panton's research looks at historical and contemporary debates around ideas of politics, democracy and rights. He is currently working on a research project investigating changing conceptions of the public and the private in post-war political thinking in the UK and the USA, and is writing a book investigating elite attitudes to political apathy in the 20th century.
Panton writes and comments regularly in the media on issues around vivisection, politics and education, and is the author of a number of academic articles on politics, education and the state of intellectual life in the 21st century. He is the editor of a forthcoming book on contemporary attitudes to science, Science and Superstititon: the case for a new scientific enlightenment (Policy Exchange, 2006).
Panton previously taught politics and sociology at Lady Margaret Hall and Exeter College, Oxford. He has held a number of awards, most recently Carlyle Scholar in the History of Ideas in the Modern History Faculty, University of Oxford. From 2003 to 2004 James was national co-ordinator of the Institute of Ideas and Pfizer Debating Matters schools debating competition. In January 2004 he established the IoI Post-Graduate Forum, an interdisciplinary research group for post-graduate students working in the arts, humanities and social sciences.