Vol. 117 No. 10

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THE SIMULTANEOUS POLICY (SIMPOL): John Bunzl
Given the dominance and competitive character of the global economic system, politicians in individual countries are currently powerless to implement policies aimed at producing global co-operation. Such policies would only be possible if all countries were in favour of co-operation. The way to achieve this international co-ordination is for citizens in the various countries to tell the politicians that they will vote for them only if they commit themselves to co-operative policies. Hence citizens would be the ones to define political programmes, and it would be up to politicians to accept the latter, on pain of losing votes. This is the principle on which the SIMPOL campaign is based. Abstract by Tom Rubens. 

A SCIENTIFIC ODYSSEY ACROSS AMERICA Neil Denny
A vividly detailed comparison between the genuinely scientific community and the creationist community in the United States. On the former, information is given about, for example, the SETI Institute and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory: both in California. On the latter, there is material about, for example, the Creation Museum in Kentucky. The article concludes with details on efforts to combat creationism. Abstract by Tom Rubens.

EPIGENETICS: THE MISSING LINK? Nessa Carey
The frequently lasting effects of psychological damage in early childhood may be due to changes, stress-induced, in the gene activity of the person’s brain. If so, these changes are epigenetic, since they are not derived from the innate genetic code. Also, because epigenetic, they may be reversible through treatments of various kinds. However, in considering these issues, we should remain mindful of the enormous complexity of the human brain and of psychological processes. Abstract by Tom Rubens.

VIEWPOINTS: Donald Rooum, Denis Cobell

MUSIC-UP-CLOSE – Report Tom Rubens
A report on the activities at Conway Hall of the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance: focussing on the performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, which the Conservatoire gave on October 30th, 2012.

CHOOSING TO DIE – Book review by Barbara Smoker
The book reviewed is ‘Physician-Assisted Death in Perspective’ (eds. Younger and Kimsma), pub. 2012. The writers are more concerned with actual medical practice than with philosophical debate, and most contributors are physicians with direct experience of euthanasia-practice. The book is required reading for all those engaged in the euthanasia debate and in possible legislation on the issue.

OBITUARIES:
Paul Kurtz (1925 – 2012) by Suresh Lalvani
Known as the ‘Father of Secular Humanism,’ Paul saw humanism as a route to wisdom, happiness and moral awareness. He founded several humanist institutions, notably the Centre for Inquiry and Prometheus Books. He was unfailingly supportive, generous and witty. In addition, he had a great affection for CHES and for Conway Hall. With his death, humanism has lost one of its pivotal figures.

Martin Lincé (1915 – 2012) by Mary Lincé
Martin came from a multinational family, and taught modern languages. Though not a skilled musician, he had a strong interest in music; and, from 1947, was extensively involved in the South Place Concerts’ programme. This included being Honorary Treasurer. He is survived by his wife Mary and their two children.

Victor Monger (1929 – 2012) by David Morris
Victor was a many-sided figure: a music-lover, an anti-racist, a repair-man, a printer, and a boys’ club leader. Also, he was for many years a member of CHES’s General and Concert Committees.

Stella Freed (1929 – 2012) by David Morris
Stella was a long-standing member of the South Place Sunday Concerts Cttee, along with her husband Stan, to whom she had been married for 59 years. She and Stan also ran joint poetry and music events. Her general love of books began with childhood access to a large private library.

ETHICAL SOCIETY EVENTS

 

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