See all press articles for Intelligence Squared, or use the links below to browse by year.

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Blair attacks recycling

The Times, 5 March 2016

“On Monday, Intelligence Squared will hold a debate titled “Tony Blair on Trial” at which Tom Bower, who has just published a biography of the former PM, will prosecute Blair against our own David Aaronovitch. Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell were invited to defend their old boss but said they’d be washing their hair.”

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Teasing out the two sides of Tony Blair

Evening Standard, 8 March 2016

“To a packed Emmanuel Centre in Westminster last night for The Trial of Tony Blair, a debate hosted by Intelligence Squared. Self-styled Lord Chief Justice for the evening was the BBC’s Nick Robinson, asking a panel whether the ex-PM had been a “blight” on Britain. ”

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Revenge of the greats

New Statesman, 1 January 2016

“When the discussion forum ­Intelligence Squared announced the event in March, it planned for 1,000 tickets at £50 each. They sold out in three weeks. Relocating the debate from a smaller auditorium to the large hall at Westminster, the company released a further 1,200 tickets. When these, too, were snapped up three days later, an arrangement was made to stream the event on Curzon Home Cinema.”

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Clash of the titans: when Boris Johnson met Mary Beard

New Statesman, 3 December 2015

“The thousands shivering in a queue outside the Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, aren’t Adele fans or Corbynistas. They’re public school boys, City workers and Barbour-wearing couples up from the Home Counties, here to watch Boris Johnson and the academic Mary Beard debate that most heated of historical questions: Greece or Rome?”

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What’s the best way for Zuckerberg to give away his billions?

BBC, 2 December 2015

“Earlier this week, I chaired an event with Mr MacAskill organised by Intelligence Squared…It was about the organisation Mr MacAskill co-founded – the effective altruism movement.”

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“The Romans were bastards”: Boris Johnson is your dream history teacher

GQ, 27 November 2015

“Well this would make History lessons more fun. Boris Johnson has taken down the Romans in his own inimitable way. He launches a scathing attack on Roman cultural, recreational and democratic pursuits while lauding their Ancient Greek counterparts. Watch below and sigh as your A-levels come flooding back.”

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The Times Diary (TMS): Beard beats Boris (£)

The Times, 21 November 2015

“Quality sanitation beat democracy this week as Mary Beard trounced Boris Johnson in a debate pitting Rome against Greece. Guests at the Methodist Central Hall were initially behind Boris, who was extolling the virtues of Ancient Greece. They came round to be 56-44 behind Beard, convinced when she scuppered Boris with one of his own…”

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Endstand 66 zu 44 (German)

Die Welt, 21 November 2015

“2200 Zuhörer in Londons großer Vortragsarena, der Westminster Hall, wollten es durchaus und hatten 50 Pfund Eintritt bezahlt, um einem Kampf zweier intellektueller Titanen der britischen Gegenwart um “Griechenland oder Rom” zu lauschen.”

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A Don’s Life: Greece versus Rome

TLS, 20 November 2015

“This evening I did a gig with Boris Johnson at Intelligence Squared:  a cultural combat of ancient Greece versus ancient Rome. It was partly an event in benefit of “Classics for All”, the charity that gets Classics teaching into state schools. Boris was supposed to be sticking up for Greece, Beard for Rome — and there was a couple of thousand people there in Central Hall Westminster to hear and vote.”

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Boris shows a hint of Euroscepticism — but he still can’t beat Mary Beard

Spectator, 20 November 2015

“It’s rare to see Boris Johnson lose a popular vote. Last night, [Mary] Beard trounced him at the Intelligence Squared Greece vs Rome debate, winning the day for Rome with a 9% swing. This was also a fundraiser for one of the most worthy educational charities I know: Classics for All encourages access to ‘elite’ classical subjects in state schools, teaching teens that you don’t have to be Bullingdon material to ‘get’ Boethius.”

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Londoner’s Diary: Mary Beard wins as debate is all Greek to Boris Johnson

Evening Standard, 20 November 2015
“The title of the debate was Greece v Rome for Intelligence Squared but the crowd was really there for another fight, that of Boris Johnson v Mary Beard, a gladiatorial pairing that would be any Colosseum-owner’s dream.”

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Looking Back to Move Forward: A Conversation With Mary Beard

Comely Magazine, 20 November 2015
“On 19th November, a debate took place between Classics Professor Mary Beard, and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson…The debate not only sold out – forcing its host, Intelligence Squared, to locate to the biggest venue in central London, Westminster’s Central Hall…”

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Robert Caro: ‘Power reveals – and not always for the better’

Evening Standard, 2 November 2015

“During his brief stay, [Robert Caro’s] schedule included a visit to No 10, a dinner hosted by George Osborne, an Intelligence Squared debate with William Hague and a press gallery lunch at which he was interviewed by Michael Gove.”

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Eton’s former head leads calls for fewer exams and an end to the ‘tyranny of testing’

Express, 6 October 2015

“”The tyranny of the test has overtaken the true purpose of education and all our children are poorer for it,” [Tristram Hunt] told the audience during the Intelligence Squared debate at the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster.”

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Ex-Eton head: Schools run the risk of becoming ‘slaves to statistics’ because of the ‘tyranny of testing’

Daily Mail, 3 October 2015

“Tony Little said the drive to get pupils to pass exams had gone too far and that children are now restricted by the ‘great age of measurement’…Speaking at a debate hosted by Intelligence Squared on the exam system, he said that while all schools needed rigour, exams should not be all-encompassing.”

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Franzen confesses a guilty secret

Evening Standard, 1 October 2015

“Discussing his latest novel, Purity, with Sarah Churchwell at an Intelligence Squared event at the Royal Geographical Society last night, Franzen revealed that, at a similar event in Texas, one erudite reader asked him: “How can you get up in the morning after what Joyce and Proust did?””

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Roberto Saviano interview: ‘Gomorrah’ author on how writing a mould-breaking book on organised crime cost him his freedom

Independent, 4 July 2015

Fatally (and we must dearly hope not literally), he can’t help giving a damn, and on Wednesday last week [Saviano] spent an evening exorting a not obviously radical but adoring Intelligence Squared audience to lobby the UK government about money laundering.

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Is the Internet a failed utopia?

Ars Technica, 13 June 2015

“At Shoreditch Town Hall on Thursday, at an event hosted by Intelligence Squared and Vanity Fair, the longevous British broadcaster Jeremy Paxman of University Challenge fame asked the audience of few hundred: “Is the Internet a failed utopia?””

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The 10 best things to do this week

Guardian, 5 June 2015

Highlights of this summit, hosted by Vanity Fair and Intelligence Squared, include a discussion on the internet as a platform for self-realisation, and Jeremy Paxman chairing a session on whether the internet is a failed utopia.

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Piketty: ‘I Want To Contribute To A Democratization Of Economic Knowledge’

Huffington Post, 20 May 2015

“”I want to contribute to a democratization of economic knowledge,” Piketty said at an Intelligence Squared discussion at London’s Emmanuel Centre. “The main thing is that the history of income in the West is not simply an economic history. This is a political history. This is a social, a cultural history.””

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Starkey ruffles feathers over Magna Carta

Evening Standard, 6 February 2015

“Who’d have thought a discussion about an 800-year-old legal document could get so heated? Historian David Starkey was taking no prisoners at last night’s Intelligence Squared debate on the Magna Carta, provoking a cascade of titters whenever he disagreed with his onstage opponents at the Royal Institution.”

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Men have never been so preoccupied by their appearance

The Telegraph, 10 May 2014

“Alongside the programme of events aimed at women, there are several promotions aimed specifically at men, including a debate hosted by Intelligence Squared to be chaired by Dylan Jones, the editor of GQ, on the subject of male vanity.”

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The Times Diary (TMS): Humphrys gets pedantic, ‘autocorrect’ hazards, long-haul exams and Spitting Image

The Times, 11 March 2014

“John Humphrys thinks politicians are degrading the English language with their meaningless newspeak and said young people who use street slang actually sound cleverer. “Tony Blair made a magnificent speech at party conference in 2000,” he told an Intelligence Squared debate, “but 163 of his sentences contained no verb.”

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Media Monkey’s Diary: John Humphrys, Charles Saatchi and BBC3

The Guardian, 9 March 2014

“Forming an all-curmudgeon dream team in an Intelligence Squared debate last week, John Humphrys and Simon Heffer took on Mary Beard and Oliver Kamm as they proposed the motion, The English language is going to the dogs.”

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The Pedant: “Between You and I the English Language is Going to the Dogs

The Times, 8 March 2014

“I had the opportunity of debating the issue with Humphrys this week in front of a large audience at an Intelligence Squared event.”

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John Humphrys and Mary Beard’s English argument

The Evening Standard, 6 March 2014

“John Humphrys took on Professor Mary Beard last night at an Intelligence Squared debate at the Royal Geographical Society. Beard opposed the motion that the English language is going to the dogs, recalling her confusion at reading the tendency of Jane Austen’s characters to make love by the fire.”

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Jane Austen v Emily Brontë: who’s the queen of English literature?

The Guardian, 6 March 2014

“John Humphrys took on Professor Mary Beard last night at an Intelligence Squared debate at the Royal Geographical Society. Beard opposed the motion that the English language is going to the dogs, recalling her confusion at reading the tendency of Jane Austen’s characters to make love by the fire.”

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The TLS blog: Austen vs. Brontë

TLS, 6 March 2014

The billing was Jane Austen vs. Emily Brontë: the Intelligence Squared Queens of English Literature debate. The auditorium was completely full. Professor John Mullan (UCL) spoke for Austen, novelist Kate Mosse was for Emily Brontë; actors Mariah Gale, Eleanor Tomlinson, Dominic West and Sam West played out the advocates’ favourite scenes. Polite and genteel it was not.

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Jane Austen vs Emily Bronte – who wins this costume drama?

The Independent, 6 March 2014

The billing was Jane Austen vs. Emily Brontë: the Intelligence Squared Queens of English Literature debate. The auditorium was completely full. Professor John Mullan (UCL) spoke for Austen, novelist Kate Mosse was for Emily Brontë; actors Mariah Gale, Eleanor Tomlinson, Dominic West and Sam West played out the advocates’ favourite scenes. Polite and genteel it was not.

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Modern takes on Austen and Brontë

The Independent, 27 February 2014

Hearts of many a woman (and perhaps a few men) were set a-flutter as Dominic West howled in Yorkshire heartbreak for his Cathy last night. The actor brought the dark and tortured soul of Heathcliff to life while reading from Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, as part of Intelligence Squared’s Austen vs Brontë debate.

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Modern takes on Austen and Brontë

The Evening Standard, 26 February 2014

Yevhenia Tymoshenko is speaking at Intelligence Squared’s debate One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Democracy is Not Always the Best Form of Government at Cadogan Hall on March 11.

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The Big Debate: Too much of a shouting match

The Evening Standard, 12 February 2014

The Big Debate would do well to take a leaf from the BBC’s Intelligence Squared debate, where the audience votes on a topic before and after the debate to see whether the debate has changed the minds of participants and whether have learnt anything new or not.

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Lebrecht vs Hensher face off in titanic opera face-off

Classical Music, October 2013

‘The legacies of two operatic behemoths were pitted against each other on 15 September in the Paul Hamlyn Hall of the Royal Opera House, as Stephen Fry chaired the first ever musical-themed debate staged by discussion forum Intelligence Squared…’

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Bryan Appleyard on “Eric Schmidt on the New Digital Age”

Sunday Times, 2 June 2013

‘For Schmidt this British jaunt had been a fantastic success. You may think the news that Google pays almost no tax in Britain had soured the atmosphere. Far from it. Schmidt sailed through those criticisms with talk of “fiduciary responsibility” and expressed himself “perplexed” at all the fuss. During my one-on-one discussion with him at an Intelligence Squared event, the audience applauded his answer to the tax question.’

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“We’ve lost our intimate touch”: Germaine Greer on the Intelligence Squared porn debate

Sunday Times, 28 April 2013

‘The proposition debated by Intelligence Squared at the Royal Institution in London last Tuesday evening was “Pornography is good for us: without it we would be a far more repressed society”. Sixty per cent of the audience supported the motion; after the debate 50% still supported it, although the number who did not agree had doubled. The motion was therefore carried.’

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Anthony Fry on the Intelligence Squared bankers debate

Financial News, 26 April 2013

‘Appearing at a debate hosted by Intelligence Squared on whether London should love its bankers, Fry launched a spirited defence of bankers’ value to the economy, arguing that tax bonuses from revenues ended up boosting London’s cultural institutions.’

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Viv Groskop on the Intelligence Squared EU debate

Daily Mail, 21st March 2013

‘Both Britain and the EU would be happier if they got divorced.’ This was the motion for last week’s Intelligence Squared debate at London’s Cadogan Hall which pitted pin-striped rottweiler Nigel Farage against elderly statesman Leon Brittan…

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Snubbed by Berlusconi – who’s complaining?

Evening Standard, 21st March 2013

One ally UKIP’s Nigel Farage has yet to make is former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi. “I’ve not been to any of his beach parties and house parties, because he’s never invited me,” he sniffed at last night’s Intelligence Squared Europe debate. What an oversight.

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Drones Save lives

Douglas Murray, Spectator, 8th March 2013

“…readers might be interested in a debate I did last week on the same subject for Google and Intelligence Squared. The motion was ‘America’s drone campaign is both moral and effective’. I was lucky in having David Aaronovitch on my side.”

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“Open web courses are massively overhyped”, 13th March, 2013

All 30 debates and talks hosted over the past year by Intelligence Squared, the UK organisation that has licensees in New York, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Athens and Singapore, sold out even though you can watch them online.

Why do people like being there? Because a public event has atmosphere, and because you learn from those around you what is worth listening to.

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Modern family(£)

The Sunday Times, 18th January 2013

Philippa Perry, psychotherapist and wife of Grayson, says it’s time to stop idealising the married-with-children model and embrace domestic diversity

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Israel’s settlement policy is ‘destroying’ the country

The Jewish Chronicle, 18th January 2013

A London audience this week voted decisively in favour of a motion that Israel was “destroying itself with its settlement policy”. he resolution at a packed public debate was proposed by New Israel Fund board member Daniel Levy, director of the Middle East and North Africa programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations, and William Sieghart, chairman of the dialogue group Forward Thinking. Opposing them were Dani Dayan, chairman of Yesha, the Jewish settlers’ council in Judea and Samaria, and Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick.

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Has the traditional nuclear family had its day?

Guardian, 18th January, 2013

The modern family structure is in flux. Psychotherapist Philippa Perry discusses parenting, marriage and masturbation with Christian broadcaster Anne Atkins

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How effective is overseas aid?

Guardian, 14th December, 2012

An interview with Ha-Joon Chang and Clare Short, who took place in the Intelligence Squared and Google+ Versus debate “Don’t give a goat for Christmas. The aid system does not work”, on 17th December 2012.

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A festive gift gives food for thought

Financial News, 10th December 2012

“Was Karl Marx right? Should Neville Chamberlain have pursued a policy of peace with Adolf Hitler? Should the European Union be left to fall apart? Such oft-debated questions are among the issues that an exclusive society is hoping to tackle in a series of events next year.”

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Fantasy Politics – A review of “Jesus would have voted Democrat”

The Tablet, 3rd November 2012

How would Jesus have voted in the US presidential elections? According to human-rights expert and regular Tablet contributor Conor Gearty, he is definitely a Democrat.

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The Pope Pius XII debate in London promises to be compelling and educational

Catholic Herald, 1st November 2012

As evidence continues to mount purporting to show the “Pius Wars” moving in favour of the wartime pontiff and his record in saving Jewish lives during World War II, a forthcoming London debate promises to be timely, compelling and, above all, educational.

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Bonkers for bankers? All in favour say Aye

City A.M., 11th October, 2012

“LONDON should love its bankers” was the motion debated at the Royal Geographical Society on Tuesday evening. Over 700 City folk, plus literary man Sebastian Faulks, headed west to Kensington to hear the Ayes and the Nays have it out.

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Red Ken and red faces all round (£)

The Times, 11th October, 2012

His political career now over, Ken Livingstone resurfaced on Tuesday night for an Intelligence Squared debate titled “London Should Love Its Bankers”.

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Bankers Finally Get a Bit of Love From Londoners

eFinancial News, 10th October, 2012

Ben Wright, our colleague at Financial News, attended a debate at the Royal Geographical Society in London in which the motion – ‘London should love its bankers’ – was carried with 338 votes for, 281 against and four don’t knows. Is the tide of popular opinion against bankers finally turning?

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Is it time to stop bashing bankers?

Guardian, 9th October, 2012

Banker bashing is still a national pastime following the financial crash and Libor-fixing scandal. But could we be approaching a time when we have to acknowledge that banks might be good for Britain? Former London mayor Ken Livingstone, who earlier this year quipped, “Hang a banker a week until the others improve”, takes on investment banker Anthony Fry. Aida Edemariam referees.

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To love or not to love (bankers)

eFinancial News, 20th September, 2012

A debate next month on October 9 will pit speakers backing a motion that bankers deserve to be loved, including Fraser Nelson, editor of The Spectator Magazine, against figures including former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who will voice their arguments against the motion. The event will be chaired by William Wright, Financial News’s investment banking columnist and a commentator on banking and the financial markets.

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Why doesn’t Roger Scruton want to be labelled as “of the right”?

New Statesman, 19th September, 2012

It’s a rare thing, seeing Roger Scruton squirm…All the more intriguing, then, when I witnessed just such a thing occur during a recent appearance at the Royal Institution. The occasion? An Intelligence Squared debate entitled “The Culture Wars” where Scruton was slated to do battle to the death with Terry Eagleton over the true definition of culture…

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Guardian, 18th September, 2012

The internet has created a new industrial revolution

Makers: The New Industrial Revolution by Chris Anderson is published by Random House Business Books, priced £20. Anderson will be speaking for Intelligence Squared at 7pm on Wednesday 19 September at the Royal Institution.

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The Vagina: Naomi Wolf gives her only London talk

Evening Standard, 24th August, 2012

“As part of the Intelligence Squared’s lecture series, she will argue that they are integral to female identity and creativity. Using cutting-edge science and and her knowledge of cultural history, she has constructed an explanation of “the mind-vagina connection”.

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Hip hop vs hip hop: Why we must defend rap music from itself

Drowned in Sound, 13th July, 2012

Not everyone has to like it, and often that’s kind of the point, but rap music’s portrayal of the uglier side of life is not to be avoided or apologised for.’

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Debate Review: Hip-hop on trial

Ceasefire, 13th July 2012

‘Dyson slipped seamlessly from Tupac Shakur quotations to the violence of US foreign policy and the degradation of the state school system. His response to Courtenay’s opening gambit was at once entertaining, insightful and academic.’

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The Telegraph on The Elders in conversation with Jon Snow

The Telegraph, July 4, 2012

“[President Jimmy] Carter, along with Desmond Tutu and Mary Robinson, were taking part in an Intelligence Squared debate at the Barbican in the City. It wasn’t just Carter who got it in the neck…

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The Guardian’s Hugh Muir on The Elders in conversation with Jon Snow

The Guardian, July 3, 2012
“Finally, to the Barbican where Archbishop Desmond Tutu tells an Intelligence Squared debate of his particular method as a member of the Elders – the travelling band of statesmen and women – for gaining the co-operation of world leaders…

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We think, therefore we are, 29th June, 2012

Philosophy today has moved a long way from that stereotype of the lonely thinker. Its practice is becoming ever more communal. As well as attending discussion circles, salons, debating clubs, literary-philosophical societies and events from the likes of TED, 5×15, the School of Life and Intelligence Squared, people are gathering in philosophy clubs, Socrates cafés, Enlightenment cafés, even “death cafés” (for those who want to reflect together on mortality).

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Old is the new young (on Intelligence Squared Presents The Elders in conversation with Jon Snow)

Cultural Insight, 28th June, 2012

It also reminds us of the upcoming Intelligence Squared event “The Elders”, which similarly hails the eminent elders of our culture for their wisdom. The event has sold out, a fact which disappointed us (we wanted tickets) and heartened us in equal measure.

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Debate Review: Hip Hop on trial debate

GlobalGrind, 28th June, 2012

‘The audience was buzzing, and varied in age, background and style, with suits, trainers, hoodies and heels in attendance.’

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Watch “Hip Hop On Trial” Global Hip Hop Debate Live

Global Hip Hop Battles, 26th June 2012

“The debate takes place today, and is expected to ask the following questions: Is hip-hop the authentic voice of the oppressed that turns anger into poetry and political action? Or is it a glorification of all that holds back oppressed minorities and hinders them from mainstream assimilation?'”

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Jay-Z at Hackney Weekend: but does hip-hop degrade or enhance?

Guardian, 24th June, 2012

Billed as the “first ever global debate on hip-hop”, speakers from rapper KRS-One to Victorian literature expert and hip-hop fan John Sutherland, David Cameron’s youth adviser Shaun Bailey and hip-hop convert Jesse Jackson will gather at the Barbican on Tuesday for a debate organised by Intelligence Squared in partnership with Google+, bringing in voices from around the world via the company’s “hangout” technology.

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Feeling brainy? Join in London’s new wave of intelligent socialising

Evening Standard, 18th June, 2012

Sure to get everyone worked up is their debate next week: ‘Hip-Hop on trial: Hip-hop doesn’t enhance society, it degrades it’ with speakers including Estelle, Jesse Jackson and David Cameron’s advisor on youth and crime, Shaun Bailey.

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Stephen Fry calls for Britain to return Parthenon Frieze to Greece

The Telegraph, 12th June, 2012

Speaking at a debate on the future of the Elgin Marbles, hosted by Intelligence Squared, Fry said: “Let’s be a classy country and return the marbles to Greece. We would be admired by the rest of the world, offering friendship to a country in dire need…In Greece, there are men queuing up for food and when the cameras are turned on them, they turn away because they are so ashamed.”

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Missing Marbles still rankle (£)

The Times, 28th April, 2012

The comedian Stephen Fry recently argued that Britain should “redress a great wrong” by returning them as a gesture for the London Olympics…Fry is due to argue for the Marbles’ return in a televised Intelligence Squared debate at Cadogan Hall, London, on June 11, along with Greek minister Anna Diamantopoulou. Tristram Hunt MP and history professor Felipe Fernandez-Armesto will oppose the motion. (£)

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Richard Branson on the “Versus” drugs debate

The Huffington Post, March 19, 2012

“In a debate sponsored by Google + and Intelligence Squared last week, I supported the motion that “it is time to end the war on drugs”…For over 40 years, global efforts to punish drug users have failed to stem the drug trade and instead caused epidemics of violence and crime…Can and should the drug war be replaced with drug regulation that supports individuals with health issues and focuses law enforcement on serious criminals? This debate should be taken up by President Obama and his Republican rivals as well…

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The Telegraph’s Tim Stanley on the “Versus” drugs debate

The Telegraph, March 17, 2012

“We’re losing the war on drugs, so let’s give up. That seemed to be the conclusion of this week’s high profile debate on illegal narcotics hosted by Intelligence Squared in London…

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The Guardian on the “Versus” drugs debate

The Guardian, March 16, 2012

“It is more than 40 years since the war on drugs was declared. Ian Blair, former commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, and Richard Branson, entrepreneur and member of the Global Commission on Drugs Policy meet – over a glass of wine – to discuss whether it’s time to decriminalise…Sir Richard Branson and Lord Blair also took part in an Intelligence2 and Google+ debate this week, “It’s time to end the war on drugs”..

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Peter Hitchens on the “Versus” drugs debate

The Daily Mail, March 15, 2012

“‘First I blamed drug-takers for their own actions, and also blamed them, and their hedonistic selfishness, for the disasters which have befallen the narco-states, disasters about which that very good man Ed Vulliamy is rightly incensed, though I don’t share his solutions.’..

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The “Versus” drugs debate in the Londoner’s Diary

Evening Standard, March 14, 2012

“AN array of characters gathered both in person at Kings Place and on the digital airwaves for last night’s Intelligence Squared debate on the War on Drugs. Among the speakers for decriminalisation were Julian Assange, Russell Brand and Sir Richard Branson…

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The Telegraph on the “Versus” drugs debate

The Telegraph, March 14, 2012

“…so it was immensely refreshing to attend a debate last night hosted by Intelligence Squared and Google which wasn’t sixth-form at all. It was opened by the president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, who said that while Colombia has been successful fighting the “war” on drugs recently, it has come at high cost. “We have lost our best judges, our best journalists, our best politicians, our best police officers and our best soldiers… And our success means that this problem has moved to other countries”…

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The Huffington Post on the “Versus” drugs debate

The Huffington Post UK, March 14, 2012

“Did you see the debate? A debate with a host of celebrities: Russell Brand, Sir Richard Branson; world leaders, and eminent opinion formers. Oh, and Peter Hitchens was in attendance. A debate of such magnitude would surely not creep under the radar? Especially given the gravitas of the contested subject?

Under the heading of ‘The War on Drugs Has Failed’ – and hosted by Intelligence Squared, the debate is a must watch for anyone remotely interested in societal issues…

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Mashable on the “Versus” IQ2/Google+ debates

Mashable, March 3, 2012

“Google…announced a “series of global debates” on Thursday that will “connect people on opposing sides of the social and political spectrum.” The project, named Versus, will include controversial, opinionated figures discussing and debating vital current events topics…Versus is being done in connection with Intelligence Squared. Intelligence Squared is based in the UK with a U.S. offshoot and bills itself as the “the world’s premier forum for debate and intelligent discussion.”..

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The Jewish Chronicle on the IQ2 Israel-Palestine debate

The Jewish Chronicle, March 1, 2012

“A peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians would stand a better chance if America pulled out of the process. That was the conclusion of a London audience at an Intelligence Squared debate at a packed Cadogan Hall on Monday…

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Intelligence Squared on The Independent’s Top Ten Best Lecture Series

The Independent, February 23, 2012

“Possibly the world’s premier debating forum, Intelligence Squared pull in the biggest names with the sharpest minds around…

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Rosamund Irwin on the IQ2 religion debate

Evening Standard, February 16, 2012

“”Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you … for my sake. Rejoice and be glad.” I was reminded of this passage watching a video of the Benedictine monk Dom Antony Sutch in an Intelligence Squared debate…

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Daniel Knowles on the IQ2 economy debate

The Telegraph, February 8, 2012

“At an Intelligence² debate I was at last night, John Kay, the FT columnist, had a marvellous way of explaining this problem: “We want to run the casino, but not to let anyone in Britain gamble in it.” In other words, we want the security and stability of a small, conservative banking system but the rewards that big, global, highly leveraged finance delivers…

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Stephen King on the IQ2 economy debate (£)

The Times, February 7, 2012

“Stephen King is HSBC’s group chief economist and will be taking part in tonight’s Intelligence2 debate, What hope for the economy?..

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The Commentator on the IQ2 baby boomers debate

The Commentator, February 6, 2012

“Only last October [Laurie Penny] was invited by Intelligence Squared to take part in a debate sold as ‘Baby Boomers Have Stolen The Family Silver’. Proposing the motion with her was Universities Minister, David Willetts MP, lest we forget, author of The Pinch: How the Baby Boomers Took Their Children’s Future – And Why They Should Give It Back…..

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Terence Blacker on Intelligence Squared

The Independent, January 31, 2012

“”Where has slowness gone?” asks a contributor to a new book by John Brockman, How Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?. The answer is not so hard to find. It is in the success of a slow-burn TV series like Borgen. It lies behind the popularity of David Hockney’s exhibition of landscapes at the Royal Academy, of Melvyn Bragg’s uncompromisingly thoughtful In Our Time series on Radio 4, of public debating groups like Intelligence Squared…

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The Guardian on the IQ2 Religion debate with Grayson Perry and Alain de Botton

The Guardian, January 26, 2012

“To the Intelligence Squared debate. The subject: The world needs religion even if it doesn’t need God. Alain de Botton and Grayson Perry argue against religion, Anne Atkins and Dom Antony Sutch for. Perry appeared in a dashing polka dot dress: “I stand before you, a man in a dress, delivering a lecture,” he said. “Nothing unusual about that. It happens in churches across the country every day.” Asked by Atkins what could make him believe in God, he said: “Even if God plopped down in front of me, I would take some hard persuading that he existed. I’ve taken so many drugs in my life that I’d assume my mind had simply, finally, gone.”..

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Simon Jenkins on Christopher Hitchens

Guardian, December 16, 2011

“When last month Intelligence Squared staged a down-the-line interview with Hitchens at the Royal Festival Hall, compered by Stephen Fry, they wondered if anyone would come. When Hitchens proved too ill to do more than text his replies, they feared a flop. The hall was sold out. Not many journalists could do that, even with the help of such friends and admirers as Richard Dawkins, Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, Sean Penn and others. The caricature tales of drinking, womanising and U-turning were familiar enough, but what clear was something else, a widespread appreciation of a free spirit that owed nothing to anything but its own turbulent thought processes…

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Ian McEwan on Christopher Hitchens

Guardian, December 16, 2011

“While I was with him another celebration took place in faraway London, with Stephen Fry as host in the Festival Hall to reflect on the life and times of Christopher Hitchens. We helped him out of bed and into a chair and set my laptop in front of him. Alexander delved into the internet with special passwords to get us linked to the event. He also plugged in his own portable stereo speakers. We had the sound connection well before the vision and what we heard was astounding, and for Christopher, uplifting. It was the noise of two thousand voices small-talking before the event. Then we had a view from the stage of the audience, packed into their rows.

They all looked so young. I would have guessed that nearly all of them would have opposed Christopher strongly over Iraq. But here they were, and in cinemas all over the country, turning out for him. Christopher grinned and raised a thin arm in salute. Close family and friends may be in the room with you, but dying is lonely, the confinement is total. He could see for himself that the life outside this small room had not forgotten him. For a moment, pace Larkin, it was by way of the internet that the world stretched a hand towards him…

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The Periscope Post on Intelligence Squared

The Periscope Post, December 12, 2011

“And if “membership” sounds a bit too much like commitment, debate forum Intelligence Squared may even be a better option: Featuring debates on religion, politics, Facebook, nuclear power, Christopher Hitchens, Intelligence Squared events are where smart people go on dates…

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China Digital Times on the IQ2 China debate

China Digital Times, December 12, 2011

“Intelligence²…recently hosted a debate entitled ‘Beware of the Dragon: Africa Should Not Look to China‘. Ghanaian economist and writer George Ayittey and Portuguese MEP Ana Maria Gomes argued for the motion, with American University and SOAS professors Deborah Brautigam and Stephen Chan speaking against…

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Channel 4 News on the “Beware of the dragon” debate

Channel 4 News, November 29, 2011

“Last night I took time out from writing my book on Libya to chair an Intelligence Squared debate called Beware the Dragon: Africa should not look to China.

It’s been a topic that raises passions for several years now. The US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Johnnie Carson, said last year that he thought China had “no morals” in its dealings with Africa. Unlike everyone else who has always had scrupulous morals, I’m sure. He and many others believe Chinese investment is shoring up corrupt and abusive African governments. The opposing view is that Africa is benefitting from China’s growth, at a time when Europe and the USA see the continent only in terms of aid…

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Sarah Sands on Stephen Fry & friends

Evening Standard, November 15, 2011

“A cause needs champions, and Stephen Fry and Richard Dawkins make an irresistible argument for the rationalism of atheism over the hocus pocus of religion. I watched them at the Royal Festival Hall the other evening, celebrating their comrade in arms, Christopher Hitchens…Both Fry and Dawkins combine a charm of manner with relentless powers of persuasion, so they would have won round the audience at the Intelligence Squared event, even had they needed to…

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Harry Eyres on IQ2, November 11, 2011

“Last summer I found myself speaking at a debate for Intelligence Squared with Brendan O’Neill, the editor of the online magazine Spiked, and heard him argue, in effect, that environmental despoliation was something to be celebrated…

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IQ2’s Christopher Hitchens night: a review

New Statesman, November 10, 2011

“Hitchens, who I interviewed for the New Statesman last year, was too ill to appear in conversation with Stephen Fry at the Royal Festival Hall in London last night. But rather than cancelling the event, the organisers assembled an extraordinary selection of Hitchens’s comrades and friends to pay tribute to the great essayist and polemicist…

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IQ2’s evening of Christopher Hitchens

The Spectator, November 10, 2011

“‘Christopher Hitchens in conversation with Stephen Fry’ this wasn’t — Hitchens had been struck down with pneumonia. No matter, ‘Stephen Fry and friends on the life, loves and hates of Christopher Hitchens’ at the South Bank didn’t disappoint…

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Friends bridge the Atlantic to hail Hitchens in IQ2 event

Evening Standard, November 10, 2011

“Martin Amis, James Fenton and Sir Salman Rushdie were beamed in from New York to join Stephen Fry and Richard Dawkins for an evening celebrating the “life, loves and hates” of hard-drinking polemicist Christopher Hitchens at the Royal Festival Hall last night organised by Intelligence Squared…

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Tom Chivers on Steven Pinker’s talk for Intelligence²

The Telegraph, November 2, 2011

“‘I went to see Steven Pinker and Matt Ridley last night at Intelligence Squared, talking about Pinker’s new book The Better Angels of our Nature in which he shows, powerfully, that we are now living in the safest time to be alive in the history of humanity. It’s a fascinating read and was a fascinating talk: I’ll write on it more fully later.’..

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IQ2 in The dangerous guide for girls

Evening Standard, October 20, 2011

“Intelligence Squared, Notting Hill Gate, W11. From Jimmy Carter to P J O’Rourke, you’re in the company of some of the world’s sharpest minds…

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Roger Highfield on Wilderness Festival

The Telegraph, September 6, 2011

“We were at last month’s Wilderness Festival in deepest Oxfordshire, opposing the motion that “new technology is creating more serious problems than it solves”. Despite the disadvantage of our being overweight, middle-aged, and stereotypical tools of the Establishment, the festival-goers warmed to our technophilic arguments, and we won the debate…

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Harry Eyres on Wilderness Festival, September 2, 2011

“High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email to buy additional rights.

I was appearing in [a debate] curated by Intelligence Squared on the dangers of new technologies. I think it could do with even more, plus a concert or two by some young Venezuelans, to show that high art and youthful high spirits are not incompatible…

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Has Online Debate Come of Age?

The Huffington Post UK, August 18, 2011

“Online debate is merging with traditional debate and this change from a one-way street could increase the quality and relevance of both: More and more discussion is being made available online; whether with TED, Intelligence Squared – or indeed our own effort…..

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Fidelity and Other Feisty Affairs – the IQ2 fidelity debate, July 4, 2011

“Intelligence Squared, which hosted the [fidelity] debate, is my discovery of the month. The group organises weekly live and lively debates on political, social, historical and scientific hot topics. Two teams of figureheads from the worlds of politics, media and the arts contest each other on stage in front of a well-heeled crowd…Tickets are £25, which for two hours of mind candy, a comfortable seat, and a chance to laugh and listen to great minds observe our current zeitgeist, is better value than a couple of large Pinots and a saucer of olives in a City wine bar…

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Ideology makes film comeback – Intelligence Squared Slavoj Žižek talk

Evening Standard, July 4, 2011

“George VI might never have known he was an ideologue if it wasn’t for Slovenian philospher Slavoj Žižek. At the weekend he argued ideology was alive and kicking, and being disseminated via the medium of cinema. Speaking at an Intelligence Squared debate at Cadogan Hall, he explained how the two recent big Oscar winners, The King’s Speech and Black Swan, are prime examples of ideology. “The problem of the stupid king is his inability to pursue his symbolic function,” says Žižek. Meanwhile, he says of Black Swan: “You have two films, one where a man is encouraged to believe his own authority, and a second that tells women don’t play with career — you will die.”..

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Music festivals for the middle classes

The Telegraph, June 20, 2011

“I’d bet on Wilderness [Festival] winning in the hip stakes; Mercury-award winner Laura Marling is headlining and there will be an “intellectual hub” curated by Intelligence Squared and Tom Hodgkinson’s The Idler. “It’s going to be extraordinary,” Lady Rotherwick says…

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Gideon Rachman on the art of public speaking, June 15, 2011

“Despite the alleged “dumbing-down” of our culture, there is a startlingly large audience for public lectures and debates. The most striking example of this that I have come across was when I spoke at an Intelligence Squared debate in London, a few months ago, opposing the motion “Latin America will be the 21st century’s superpower” … the Royal Geographical Society in London was packed. The audience ran into hundreds…

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The modern salon circuit: Champagne for the brain

The Telegraph, April 28, 2011

“Intelligence Squared, which describes itself as the “global forum for live debate”, is another important player in the sphere of intellectual advancement. It provides a platform for leading figures in politics, journalism and the media, and operates with regular meetings in London, New York, Sydney, Kiev and Abuja – and online as podcasts…

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Haddock over Heels: IQ2 and Project Ocean

The Sunday Times, April 24, 2011

“Next month Selfridges launches Project Ocean…on board are celebrity chef Mark Hix and Intelligence Squared, which will be staging talks, as well as high-profile artists to dress the windows and create installations…

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Rowan Pelling on Intelligence Squared

The Telegraph, March 1, 2011

“The Idler Academy isn’t alone in its passion for pedagogy…there’s the Last Tuesday Society, with its lectures from academics, the 5X15 talks at London’s Tabernacle, where five eminent thinkers talk for 15 minutes, and the Intelligence Squared debates at the Royal Geographic Society…

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Preview to William Gibson on ‘Zero History’

Wired, September 23, 2010

“William Gibson, the US writer who perfected the cyberpunk genre of sci-fi, will be coming to London in early October to talk about his latest work, Zero History.

He’ll be appearing on 4 October, 2010, at Cadogan Hall in London, in an event that sits him opposite sci-fi author and blogger Cory Doctorow. Gibson will speak about his life and work, and also detail some of the themes and motivations behind Zero History, which examines paranoia and fear following the recent global economic collapse…

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Mamoon Alabbasi on the Middle East peace process debate

Middle East Online, September 22, 2010

“A debate over the seriousness of the Middle East peace process was held in London Tuesday, where six analysts argued for and against the motion that the current Israeli-Palestinian negotiations were merely a charade…

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Howard Jacobson on Intelligence Squared

The Telegraph, September 8, 2010

“He enjoys an argument. “I don’t have the taste for controversy that I did, but I like debating with Intelligence Squared, places like that. I like the fight. And over Israel, I’ll fight until I’m the last man standing.”..

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Charles Sale on the Privacy Debate

The Daily Mail, September 6, 2010

“Wayne Rooney ’s lawyer Rachel Atkins will be making an assault on Press freedom as England play Switzerland in their Euro 2012 qualifier tomorrow. After more lurid newspaper revelations about the striker’s private life, Atkins, a Schillings law firm specialist in privacy and defamation, is joining former Formula One chief Max Mosley in arguing that the private lives of public figures deserve more protection.

The current affairs Intelligence2 Magazine debate tomorrow at London’s Cadogan Hall, near Sloane Square, couldn’t be more timely..

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Max Mosley on the Privacy Debate, in the Independent

The Independent, September 5, 2010

“On Tuesday, he [Max Mosley] speaks at a debate to be aired on the BBC, for the motion: “The private lives of public figures deserve more protection from the press.” Speaking against him is the investigative journalist Tom Bower and former Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Ken Macdonald. But for Mosley this is not just a hobby horse: he has lodged a request with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg asking that, by law, journalists must inform the subject of a story of the private details they intend to print, prior to publication…

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Sarah Sands on Intelligence Squared debates

The Independent, August 29, 2010

“And the reason for the (relative) popularity of Question Time, or the Intelligence Squared debates, is that we like watching an intellectual bust-up…

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Privacy matters: BBC World Service on “Sex, bugs and videotapes”

BBC World Service, July 28, 2010

“This September, BBC World News will be televising an Intelligence Squared Debate proposing that ‘the private lives of public figures deserve more protection from the press’ – and speaking for the motion will be former FIA president Max Mosley, who has brought a case against the UK’s privacy laws in the European Court of Human Rights…

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Nichi Hodgson on ‘Fashion maketh woman’

Standpoint., July 10, 2010

“”To quote Jean Cocteau, ‘Art often starts out as ugly, but becomes beautiful’. With fashion, it’s the other way round.” So began Stephen Bayley as he rallied against the motion, ‘Fashion Maketh Woman’, at Intelligence Squared’s final summer series debate in Westminster last month…

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Dizzying Heights: Roger Alton Reviews the IQ2 Mountain Festival, June 23, 2010

“The veteran Himalayan mountaineer (70 next year) and now indefatigable fundraiser for his Nepalese charity, Doug Scott, held a packed audience spellbound at the Royal Geographical Society in Kensington last week describing the moment he was swept from west ridge of K2, second only to Everest in height but far more dangerous. ‘I thought, this is the first time I have been in an avalanche,’ he said. ‘And then I thought, I am going to die.’..

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You like football, I adore fashion — let’s call a truce

Evening Standard, June 14, 2010

“Frivolous and fickle: that’s fashion, isn’t it? So how silly we women must be to spend our money on summer’s maxi dresses or autumn’s aviator jackets. At least, this is the wisdom I frequently receive — unrequested — from those who discover my obsession with clothes. When they spot a particular style “statement” (six-inch-high daisy print clogs currently), they shake their heads and sigh “fashion” in a scathing tone…

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Charles Moore reviews Intelligence Squared, and laments the decline of proper parliamentary debate

The Telegraph, June 7, 2010

“A big part of Britain’s reputation in the world rests on the idea of debate. From the 18th century, the House of Commons has been the model. The word “Parliament”, after all, means a place where people talk. We British often joked about it. My family’s copy of A Baby Patriot’s ABC, published in about 1900, says: “P is for Parliament – Commons and peers. They will talk, if permitted, for months, nay, for years.” But we were also proud of it. The idea that debate could sway people, and produce good consequences, both intellectual and practical, seemed the mark of a high civilisation…

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Art HK10: the gateway to China, May 29, 2010

“Asia lacked a one-stop fair – and I think this is it!” says Iwan Wirth of Hauser & Wirth of Art HK10, the Hong Kong fair that launched its third edition on May 27. Hauser is just one of a number of prestigious recruits to the fair, along with Paris’s Emmanuel Perrotin, Pace Beijing, and New Yorkers Lehman Maupin, Leo Castelli and Marianne Boesky…

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Philanthropy: Spend big to accrue karma credits

The Telegraph, May 28, 2010

“If you’ve got it, don’t flaunt it. That’s the wise man’s mantra in a recession. When friends are going bankrupt and the house next door is being repossessed, even the most hard-nosed millionaires will think twice about buying another car or adding a servants’ wing to their manor. According to the American press, some expensive shops are now sparing their customers embarrassment by putting their purchases in brown paper bags instead of shiny branded ones…

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‘Why didn’t we think of this before?’

The Catholic Herald, May 28, 2010

“The personable young woman sitting opposite Emily Maitlis on Newsnight keeps her cool. She is being grilled about the Pope’s speech at Westminster Hall. She carefully makes her way through a potential minefield without detonating anything. She avoids both the “I’m a Catholic but I don’t agree with the Pope on this one” staple of one type of Catholic commentator and the angry defence of another type. Instead, she is informative as she lays out what the Church teaches and offers a clear explanation of the Pope’s comments…

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Brain scientist vs novelist: what use is an afterlife?

New Scientist, March 30, 2010

“A noticeboard in the foyer informed me that the Pagan Federation would be meeting in the Brockway Room. They seemed appropriate neighbours for the novelist and the neuroscientist I had come to hear last night at Conway Hall, a central London venue for serious music and firmly humanist lectures. Neither is a follower of any organised religion, but both are preoccupied with one of the biggest questions that religion tries to answer: what should we think about death?..

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25 Ways to Get Smarter in 2010

The Daily Beast, January 5, 2010

“From a brilliant lecture series to a must-have Google Alert to an applied-physics videogame, The Daily Beast interviewed the world’s smartest minds to find new breakthroughs and products aimed at boosting intelligence. Reported by Constantino Diaz-Duran and Gabe Oppenheim…

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Helen Kirwan-Taylor: For the Sake of Argument

Wall Street Journal, December 11, 2009

“This is Intelligence Squared, a debating forum now operating in several world cities that hosts ticketed events in which notables square off on loaded questions. The project is the brainchild of media gurus John Gordon and Jeremy O’Grady, and seats, which cost £25 each and are also available as season tickets, often sell out immediately. Mr. Gordon initially built the Intelligence Squared database on the back of his contacts and those of his friends…

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Nigel Farndale on “Atheism is the new fundamentalism”

The Telegraph, December 5, 2009

“The motion that had them standing in the aisles and dangling from the rafters at Wellington College was: “Is atheism the new fundamentalism?” True, this was an Intelligence Squared debate, and there was a good line-up: Lord Harries, the former Bishop of Oxford, and Charles Moore of The Daily Telegraph for the motion, Professors A C Grayling and Richard Dawkins against. But still. Atheism? When did this become such a crowd-puller?..

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The Atlantic on “The Catholic Church is a Force for Good”

The Atlantic, November 8, 2009

“You can forgive the pro-Catholic side for losing the debate in Britain on whether the Catholic church is a force for good in the world. Ann Widdecombe and Archbishop John Onaiyekan were up against Hitch and Fry. What you cannot forgive is the sheer intellectual shallowness of the defense. Just listen to the small speech above, I mean: really, this is the best we’ve got?..

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Ed West on “The Catholic Church is a Force for Good”

The Catholic Herald, October 23, 2009

“Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens have won a public debate in London in which they argued against a motion that the “Catholic Church is a force for good in the world”. The debate at Cadogan Hall in Chelsea was organised by Intelligence Squared and featured Tory MP Ann Widdecombe and Archbishop Onaiyekan of Abuja in Nigeria defending the motion. But they were routed by Mr Hitchens, the author of God is Not Great, and Mr Fry, who won 1,876 votes against 268…

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James Hannam on “The Catholic Church is a Force for Good”

The Guardian, October 22, 2009

“The Intelligence Squared debate on Monday night saw the supporters of the motion that the Catholic Church is a force for good in the world decisively defeated. As a historian, the fact that the Catholic Church has been a net contributor to human wellbeing is so obvious that it amazes me that it can even be a subject for debate. This realisation was a factor in my deciding to join the Church in the first place. One can reasonably ask whether Catholicism remains a positive influence today, whatever its record in the past. But even here, the arguments that can be made in favour of the Church are far more ponderous than those for the opposition. So why are Catholics so useless at making their case?..

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Pink News on “The Catholic Church is a Force for Good”

Pink News, October 21, 2009

“The Catholic Church is not a force for good in the world: that was the overwhelming verdict after a heated debate this week. Stephen Fry and author/journalist Christopher Hitchens opposed the motion, while Ann Widdecombe and Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, supported it. Adrian Tippetts gives his view of the debate…

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Londoner’s Diary on “The Catholic Church is a Force for Good”

Evening Standard – Londoner’s Diary, October 20, 2009

“Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens would have made few friends in the Catholic community last night after they triumphed in opposing the motion in the Intelligence Squared debate ‘The Catholic Church is a force for good in the world.’ Fry said he had been very nervous as the debate, held at the Methodist Central Hall in Westminster, “really mattered” to him. He was also indignant at being labelled a “pervert” by Catholics whom he described as “these sexually dysfunctional people.”..

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Andrew M Brown on “The Catholic Church is a Force for Good”

The Telegraph, October 19, 2009

“I have just witnessed a rout – tonight’s Intelligence Squared debate. It considered the motion “The Catholic Church is a force for good in the world”. Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry, opposing the motion, comprehensively trounced Archbishop Onaiyekan (of Abuja, Nigeria) and Ann Widdecombe, who spoke for it. The archbishop in particular was hopeless…

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Peter Dominiczak on the “Churchill was a liability to the free world”

The Evening Standard, September 4, 2009

“The row over responsibility for the Second World War broke out again last night at the Evening Standard and Intelligence Squared’s joint debate on Winston Churchill. American Republican politician Pat Buchanan argued that the wartime prime minister was a leading proponent of the conflict and that had he not entered the war, the impact of the Holocaust would have been lessened…

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Sarah Sands reviews “The Future of Parliamentary Democracy”, June 20, 2009

“The hottest entertainment this summer is live and spontaneous. Blur’s secret reunion gig at an east London record store last Monday was announced by guitarist Graham Coxon on Twitter that morning and available only to about 170 in all. I like to think, however, that the Evening Standard/Intelligence Squared joint debate on the future of parliamentary democracy at the Royal Geographical Society the same evening had a rival street appeal. It was put together at short notice and named “The People’s Debate”. The audience was described by Simon Jenkins, the chairman, as a “mobocracy”…

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Benedict Moore-Bridger on “The Future of Parliamentary Democracy”

The taschen, June 16, 2009

“Britain is in desperate need of constitutional reform and should change its electoral methods in the wake of the expenses scandal. That was the view of audience members at last night’s Intelligence Squared debate at the Royal Geographical Society, supported by the Evening Standard…

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Stephen Bayley on “Britain has become indifferent to beauty”

The Guardian, March 22, 2009

“The great thing about the present economic calamity is that it is forcing a thoughtful re-examination of values, rather than the coarse pursuit of acquiring more stuff we don’t need with money we don’t have. So, right on cue, the National Trust, guardian of collective memory, has held its first public “Quality of Life” debate, organised by Intelligence Squared, the business that makes brainy argument into an extreme sport for urban intellectuals…

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Minette Marrin on “Britain has become indifferent to beauty”

The Sunday Times, March 22, 2009

“The touch of spring in the air in the past few days has aroused a longing for beauty and a remembered love of beauty in almost everyone. That was the view of Germaine Greer, speaking poetically at the Royal Geographical Society last Thursday at a debate sponsored by the National Trust, The Sunday Times and Intelligence², in a packed auditorium…

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Henry Porter: Get off that sofa and start an argument

The Guardian, March 22, 2009

“Although only 500 or 600 people can attend an event at the Royal Geographical Society, these debates, pioneered by Intelligence², really make a contribution to the life of the nation. As with the convention three weeks ago, the ripples move out, the ideas in the debate spread into radio and the newspapers…

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