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All items | LSE Public lectures and events | Audio


Audio files from LSE's programme of public lectures and events, for pdf documents see the corresponding audio & pdf RSS feed, or Atom feed.


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Audio files from LSE's programme of public lectures and events, for pdf documents see the corresponding audio & pdf RSS feed, or Atom feed.




Economics, Hayek, and Large Language Models

Contributor(s): Professor Tyler Cowen | For the first time, Large Language Models give us a direct and effective means of conversing with Artificial Intelligence on substantive questions of our choosing, including matters of economics. How do Large Language Models change our conception of how economies work? Are economies better described by words than we thought, or less well described? Given this new power of text, is Michael Polanyi's phenomenon of inarticulable knowledge more or less important?


Social Capital and Economic Mobility

Contributor(s): Professor Raj Chetty | This talk will discuss recent research using data on billions of friendships from Facebook that identifies economic connectedness -- the degree of social interaction between low- and high-income people -- as a key predictor of economic mobility. It will then discuss what factors determine the degree of interaction across class lines and policy implications to increase the forms of social capital most relevant for upward income mobility.


Ontological Polyglossia: the art of communicating in opacity

Contributor(s): Professor Charles Stépanoff | In these three cases, we engage in opaque communication that is far from the standard psycholinguistic model of transparent discussion between adults. Yet anthropologists know that these asymmetrical situations can be some of the most emotionally intense in human lives. This willingness to build sociality beyond linguistic humanity (with infants, deceased and non-humans) allows humans to have a future, a past and a rich relationship with their living environment. This lecture argues that our ontological polyglossia is not a deviance but an intrinsic feature of the human condition. In these asymmetrical situations, the mind of our interlocutor remains opaque to us, which requires exploratory imagination and communicational creativity from us. We will explore this polyglossia in ritual language and in the kinship relationships Siberian peoples build with animals and the dead.


How Web 3.0 Technology and Data Policy Combine to Promote Data Sovereignty, Privacy, and Trust

Contributor(s): Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Professor Ken Benoit | Tim Berners-Lee, an Oxford graduate and British computer scientist, invented the World Wide Web in 1989. Named one of Time Magazine’s ‘100 Most Important People of the 20th Century,’ he is the co-founder and CTO of Inrupt, which uses pioneering Solid technology to put individuals in control of their data, and give organisations new opportunities to create value for customers in an open marketplace of innovation. Sir Tim is the Founder and Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and the Web Foundation whose mission is that the World Wide Web serves humanity. He co-founded, and is President of the Open Data Institute in London and is a Professor of Computer Science at Oxford University, and an Emeritus Professor Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 2004, Sir Tim was knighted by Queen Elizabeth and in 2007, he was awarded the Order of Merit. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science and the National Academy of Science. He has been the recipient of several honorary degrees. In April 2017, Sir Tim was awarded the Turing Prize which is considered the "Nobel Prize of Computing”, and most recently in 2022, he was awarded the Seoul Peace Prize.


Global Governance in an Age of Fracture

Contributor(s): Professor Cornelia Woll, Dr C Raja Mohan, Professor Charles A Kupchan, Dr Selina Ho | Support for traditional international institutions such as the UN and the WTO is weakening in the Global North as well as the Global South. Can these institutions be revived and if so, how? Or is the postwar rules-based order now so fractured that we are likely to get more international and domestic “buy in” starting anew?


Time to Think

Contributor(s): Hannah Barnes, Professor Lucinda Platt | In this event investigative journalist Hannah Barnes speaks about her book: how she came to investigate the Tavistock’s gender service for children, the testimony she received, and her attempts to understand how safeguarding concerns got lost and the service unraveled.


Patriarchy: where did it all begin?

Contributor(s): Bee Rowlatt, Angela Saini | Join us as Angela reveals the true roots of gendered oppression, and the complex history of how male domination became embedded in societies across the globe. Travelling to the world’s earliest known human settlements, and tracing cultural and political histories from the Americas to Asia, she overturns simplistic universal theories to show that what patriarchy is and how far it goes back really depends on where you are. Despite the push back against sexism and exploitation in our own time, even revolutionary efforts to bring about equality have often ended in failure and backlash. Saini examines what part every one of us plays in keeping patriarchy alive, and asks that we look beyond the old narratives to understand why it persists.


What We Owe the Future: in conversation with William MacAskill

Contributor(s): Dr William MacAskill | Does what we do today determine the happiness or misery of trillions of people in the future? MacAskill proposes that by making wise moral decisions today, we can navigate a multitude of crises – bioengineered pandemics, technological stagnation, climate change, and transformative AI – more fairly for generations to come.


Putting Bourdieu and Marx in Dialogue

Contributor(s): Dr Gabriella Paolucci, Dr Poornima Paidipaty, Professor Bridget Fowler | This book is the first sustained work reflecting on the relations between these two major theorists, and includes contributions from major writers drawing from both scholarly traditions. This new book especially focuses on "the practice of critique" that both thinkers exercised vigilantly throughout their careers. We reflect that ongoing dialogue with the entire body of Marxian critique is a constant in Bourdieu's writings, most clearly evidenced by the adoption of a critical perspective on the social world, and reinforced by the repeated references to Marx’s texts.


Central Bank Balance Sheet Expansion and Financial Stability: why less can be more

Contributor(s): Professor Raghuram Rajan | When the Federal Reserve expanded its balance sheet via large-scale asset purchases (quantitative easing) in recent years, we find an increase in commercial bank deposits with a shortening of their maturity, and also an increase in outstanding bank lines of credit to corporations. However, when it halted the balance-sheet expansion in 2014 and even reversed it during quantitative tightening starting in 2017, there was no commensurate shrinkage of these claims on liquidity. Consequently, the past expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet left the financial sector more sensitive to potential liquidity shocks when the Fed started shrinking it, necessitating Fed liquidity provision in September 2019 and again in March 2020. If the past repeats, the shrinkage of the central bank balance sheet is not likely to be an entirely benign process and will require careful monitoring of the size of on- and off-balance-sheet demandable claims on the banking sector. It is reasonable to ask whether the prior expansion and then shrinkage of the central banks balance sheets had left the private financial sector more vulnerable to such disruptions, and as a result, dependent on further liquidity interventions.


What Would a Fair Society Look Like?

Contributor(s): Polly Toynbee, Professor David Runciman, Professor Margaret Levi, Daniel Chandler | In his new book, Free and Equal: What Would a Fair Society Look Like?, Daniel Chandler argues that the ideas we need are hiding in plain sight, in the work of the twentieth century's greatest political philosopher, John Rawls. Although Rawls revolutionised philosophy — he is routinely compared to figures such as Plato, Hobbes and Mill – his distinctive vision of a fair society has had little impact on politics, until now. In this talk Daniel Chandler explores how Rawls’ ideas can rehabilitate liberalism as a progressive public philosophy, and point the way towards a practical agenda that would reinvigorate democratic politics and transform, or even transcend, capitalism.


Blood and Power

Contributor(s): Professor John Foot | But how much does the contemporary period of political upheaval compare to the past? And what does this mean for the left in Italy and beyond? To find out, we're joined by John Foot to discuss his new book Blood and Power: The Rise and Fall of Italian Fascism.


Anti-globalism and the Future of the Liberal World Order

Contributor(s): Professor Brian Burgoon, Professor Michael Cox, Professor Sara Hobolt, Professor Peter Trubowitz, Dr Leslie Vinjamuri | In Geopolitics and Democracy, Peter Trubowitz and Brian Burgoon provide a new explanation of why the liberal international order has buckled under the pressures of anti-globalist political forces. They trace the anti-globalist backlash to foreign policy decisions made by Western leaders in the decade after the Cold War’s end. These decisions sought to globalize markets and pool national sovereignty at the supranational level while undercutting social protections at home—a combination of policies that succeeded in expanding the Western liberal order, but at the cost of mounting public discontent and political fragmentation. This roundtable will discuss the book and its broader implications for democracy and the liberal order going forward.


Shaping a 21st Century Policy Consensus

Contributor(s): Professor Leonard Wantchekon, Professor Lord Stern, Professor Diane Coyle, Professor Pranab Bardhan | A generation ago, the so-called Washington Consensus laid out a series of do´s and don’t´s for policymakers around the world, and particularly in emerging and developing countries. The world has changed a great deal since 1989 and so has the collective wisdom on what sound policies look like. Today, goals such as sustainability, equity and cohesion play a much bigger role in orienting policy design than they did in the 1980s. There is a growing sense that states should take a more proactive role in confronting all these challenges, but is also likely that many states lack the capacity to do the job well, and will need to be reformed and made fit for purpose. This panel brings together experts discussing key emerging priorities and challenges across a number of policy areas, reflecting on not just what these policy priorities are and why, but also on how they can be implemented.


The Travelling Salesman Problem

Contributor(s): Professor William Cook | The general setting is the following. Complexity theory suggests there are limits to the power of general-purpose computational techniques, in engineering, science and elsewhere. But what are these limits and how widely do they constrain our quest for knowledge? The TSP can play a crucial role in this discussion, demonstrating whether or not focused efforts on a single, possibly unsolvable, model will produce results beyond our expectations. We discuss the history of the TSP and its applications, together with computational efforts towards exact and approximate solutions.


The Dialogical Roots of Deduction

Contributor(s): Professor Catarina Dutilh Novaes | Catarina Dutilh Novaes gives a public lecture on her Lakatos Award winning book, The Dialogical Roots of Deduction. Catarina is known for her research on the history and philosophy of logic, philosophy of mathematics, social epistemology, reasoning and cognition, and argumentation theory.


Russian War on Ukraine: the death of a soldier told by his sister

Contributor(s): Paul Mason, Dr Luke Cooper, Dr Olesya Khromeychuk | Before February 2022 Ukraine was already at war with Russia. This conflict, which began in February 2014 as Russia responded militarily to the "Revolution of Dignity", had already cost thousands of Ukrainian lives by the time of the second Russian invasion. One of them was Olesya Khromeychuk's brother Volodymyr, who died from shrapnel on the frontline in eastern Ukraine. Her book, "The death of a soldier told by his sister", combines memoir and essay, in a poignant account of the costs of the human costs of war, empire and authoritarianism. The book provides a vivid answer as to why, facing a full-scale military onslaught from Russia in February 2022, the people of Ukraine chose to resist. In this public lecture, Olesya discusses the book in light of the events of this year. Her lecture is followed by a discussion with Luke Cooper and Tim Judah.


Should Monarchy Be Abolished?

Contributor(s): Dr Cleve Scott, Geoffrey Robertson, Dr Bob Morris | What can we learn from recent constitutional changes in the Caribbean? And what are the lessons from Britain’s own Republican experiment?


What is it like to be an animal?

Contributor(s): Dr Jonathan Birch, Professor Kristin Andrews, Dr Rosalind Arden | Since this episode was recorded the UK Animal Welfare Act 2022 has become law. This extends animal welfare protections to animals such as octopuses, lobsters and crabs - a direct result of the findings of LSE academic Dr Jonathan Birch – featured in this episode - that animals are sentient. They have the capacity to experience pain, distress or harm.For this episode, James Rattee travels to the local park to find out how smart dogs are, he’ll hear about a campaign arguing that chimpanzees are animals deserving of their own rights and, finally, he’ll ask whether insects and other invertebrates have feelings. The episode features Jonathan Birch, Associate Professor in LSE's Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, Professor Kristin Andrews, the York Research Chair in Animal Minds at York University (Toronto) and Dr Rosalind Arden, Research Fellow at the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science. Research Foundations of Animal Sentience Project Chimpanzee Rights: The Philosophers’ Brief, Kristin Andrews, Gary L Comstock, Crozier G.K.D., Sue Donaldson, Andrew Fenton, Tyler M John, L. Syd M Johnson, Robert C Jones, Will Kymlicka, Letitia Meynell, Nathan Nobis, David Pena-Guzman and Jeff Sebo. A general intelligence factor in dogs, Rosalind Arden, Mark James Adams, Intelligence Volume 55, March–April 2016, Pages 79-85


A Complex Relationship: religiosity and science in a historical perspective

Contributor(s): Dr Mara Pasquamaria Squicciarini | Dr Mara Pasquamaria Squicciarini (@mara_squi) is based in the Department of Economics at Bocconi University and is currently a visiting academic at Harvard. Her research interests include economic history, economic growth and development, and applied macroeconomics. Patrick Wallis is Professor of Economic History at LSE. His research explores the economic, social and medical history of Britain from the 16th to 18th century.