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Galileo before the Inquisition in Rome on the charge of 'vehement suspicion of heresy', for his defence of the Copernican view that the earth revolves around the sun.

Galileo before the Inquisition in Rome on the charge of "vehement suspicion of heresy", for his defence of the Copernican view that the earth revolves around the sun.

 Recent popular debates over the relationship between science and religion have too often degenerated into shouted polemics between religious fundamentalists and new atheists. Yet many of the really important historical, philosophical and theological questions call for more careful attention.

This conversation seeks to contribute to this goal, by exploring a range of questions, in particular:

  • To what extent does modern science pose a challenge to belief in the existence of God?
  • What does it mean to have ‘faith’ in an age of science?
  • Can science satisfactorily address the ultimate questions of human existence, which have   traditionally remained within the domain of religion?
  • Is religion of any use to science? Conversely, is science of any use to religion?
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Map of nuclear-weapon-states

NPT(Nonproliferation Treaty)-recognised nuclear-weapon-states in blue; nuclear-weapon-states outside the NPT in red; former nuclear-weapon-states in green; nuclear-weapon-hosting states in dark blue; undeclared nuclear weapon states not shown (Israel). Source:

On January 19 2015, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists reset the Doomsday Clock to 3 minutes to midnight – a disturbing reminder of how close we are coming to the brink of human and planetary catastrophe.

The trigger for resetting the clock is the continuing failure of world leaders to deal with the dual threats to human existence posed by climate change, and by “global nuclear weapons modernizations and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals” in a context where “the disarmament process has ground to a halt” .

This forum explore possible ways out of this impasse, including a number of promising initiatives. 

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Stories of war, crisis and cooperation in world politics are often told through the lens of the politics of the ‘great powers.’ These states, due to their material capabilities and social standing in the global order, have the unique ability to both foment and mitigate instability and insecurity in ways that shape the global order as a whole. 

Whether the role that the great powers play results in greater levels of stability and order or instead in crisis and disorder rests on the degree of managerial responsibility that these states accept. This forum will consider the prospects for a new age of ‘great power management’ in order to peacefully navigate the shift in the distribution of power currently underway in world politics.

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Many are saying that Muslims are parochial, closed-minded, and do not easily fit into multicultural, multifaith societies. Yet a contrary argument can be made that a cosmopolitan ethic is central to Islamic thought and practice.

This is the key proposition to be explored in a fascinating online forum to be chaired by Khairudin Aljunied, Associate Professor in the Department of Malay Studies, National University of Singapore. He will be joined by a distinguished panel of scholars and commentators.

Against the backdrop of violence in Africa and the Middle East, terrorist activity, and the rise of anti-Islamic sentiment in the West, the outlook for Islamic cosmopolitanism is a defining issue of our time.

Join us for this important conversation. 

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Photo credit: PJF Military Collection / Alamy Stock Photo

The UN Security Council was recently told: 

We stand at a critical point in history. Already at the beginning of the year we are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the UN. 

If we need a political solution to address this situation, if could be that the humanitarian enterprise is dead. Political will is thin on the ground, with a trend towards isolationism and reduction of aid budgets.

The international humanitarian system is failing those it seeks to assist, and with 20 million experiencing famine today, that number is too large to ignore.

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With the world on track this century for 3-4 degrees of global warming, accelerating species extinctions, polar melting, the devastation of marine ecosystems and the loss of the Amazon as a tropical ecosystem, planet Earth faces an unprecedented ecological crisis; one that constitutes a profound threat to international security and a seemingly insurmountable political challenge.

This forum follows the publication of the Manifesto of “Planet Politics” in 2016, which argued that a state-centric mentality and world order was failing to both see and respond to this crisis. Our diverse group of experts consider just what it will take to reorient the field and global institutions to support efforts to prevent dangerous levels of climate change and reverse global ecological degradation. We asked them to consider what political, cultural and system change would look like – whether in particular sites or struggles, or in the system as a whole - and how best might it be pursued. What practices of ecological solidarity and resistance can be most effective? How can we imagine and create a different kind of world order, one that truly appreciates the ecologically entangled world which it claims to govern?