Vaughan Open Research Forum

A series of talks, workshops and interactive sessions which are open to anyone who is curious and wants to find out more.

Themes for sessions relate to our core teaching topics, arts, humanities, social sciences and counselling, and also discuss adult education and co-operative issues.  The Forums take place on the second Tuesday of the month.

The Venue for the Open Research Forum is the Satta Hashem Hall in the Leicester Adult Education College, 54 Belvoir Street. Tea and cake will be available from 5.45 pm with the session running 6.15- 7.15 pm.


Our next forum:

Tuesday, 13 November 2018, 5.45 pm – 7.15 pm

Dr Alexander Hall ‘The Stream of Life: evolution, Julian Huxley, and humanism on the BBC’

Since the first half of the 20th century humanist and rationalist  organisations have regularly petitioned the BBC to receive more dedicated airtime for their worldviews. Regularly snubbed by mainstream BBC bigwigs, humanist views nonetheless made it to air by  being parachuted into science productions, by figures such as the biologist and science populariser Julian Huxley. In this talk, I will introduce these early connections between scientific shows discussing evolution and what Huxley called his “scientific humanist” worldview. Going beyond the post-war decades, I will explore the legacy of this connection between humanism and scientific programming at the BBC, asking the question whether any of its effects can still be felt in  the blockbuster documentaries produced by the Beeb today?

Alexander Hall is a historian based at the University of Birmingham whose primary area of interest is the intersection between scientific knowledge, the media, and the environment. Dr Hall’s current research  explores how the media have represented evolutionary theory and religion during the second half of the twentieth‐century. Previously, his research explored how scientists have gained positions of expertise in society and used the media to communicate complex theories to the public. He is President of the International Commission for the History of  Meteorology, and Recorder for the History of Science section at the British Science Association.

To book your free ticket click here.


Tuesday, 9 October 2018, 5.45 pm – 7.15 pm

Sir Alan Tuckett, ‘Barking in the wilderness? : Making the case for adult learning’

Bust of Sir Alan Tuckett in the Leicester Adult Education College.

“How is it that at a time when there has never been a greater need for adult learning, there is so little public commitment to securing an informed democracy with critically engaged citizens. The onset of the fourth industrial revolution, greater longevity, climate change, and Brexit all pose challenges that cry out for opportunities to understand, adapt to and to shape change. Yet governments continue to be wedded to an exclusive and utilitarian focus on initial education and training. The talk will consider this conundrum and how best we can make the case for adult learning in challenging times.”

To book a free place at this event (to help us know who much tea and cake to provide) use the contact form on the right-hand-side of this page; email contact@vaughan.coop;or book via Eventbrite.