Monthly Public Lectures

HSV Lecture Archive:  2016   2015   2014   2013   2012

Humanist Society of Victoria public lectureThe Humanist Society of Victoria hosts a series of monthly public lectures by guest speakers raising questions of public interest and importance. We welcome everyone interested in fostering a more rational and caring society. You will find a link to a summary of each lecture as they become available.

Entry is by donation at the door. For enquiries, contact Stephen Stuart on (03) 9857 8318 or at victorianhumanist@gmail.com

Where: Hawthorn Community Precinct (upstairs), 584 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria (Melways: 45 D11) Find on Google Maps

When: Fourth Thursday of each month, 7:30 pm for 8:00 pm start

The New Naturalists: What Can We Learn from Them

Thursday 12 October 2017, 8:00 pm

Photo of Jacques BouletDr Jacques Boulet

The ‘new naturalists’ share a growing and exciting focus on the ways in which ‘everything’ is really related with everything else and that we are not getting an adequate understanding of any phenomenon without also examining the relational—and dynamic—context in which that phenomenon finds its living expression.

Bio: Jacques is Director of Borderlands.

Why the Greens Are the Party for Now and the Future

Thursday 28 September 2017, 8:00 pm

Photo of Clare OzichClare Ozich

Bio: Clare has been involved in green politics for over a decade. She previously worked as an advisor to Senator Rachel Siewert and as the Director of Policy for Greens leaders Bob Brown and Christine Milne in federal parliament. She is the current convenor of the Victorian Greens campaign committee. Clare edits the online political publication Green Agenda and runs the Australian Institute of Employment Rights, an independent think tank focused on issues of work and workplace relations.

Living with the Digital Dead

Thursday 31 August 2017, 8:00 pm

Photo of Patrick StokesPatrick Stokes

The internet, especially social media, is changing the ways in which the dead figure in the lives of the living. These new practices raise important questions about the reality and the ethical and social standing of the electronically-mediated dead and of their digital ‘remains’.

Bio: Patrick is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Deakin University and a former Research Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Hertfordshire.

Researchers Behaving Badly

Thursday 27 July 2017, 8:00 pm

Photo of David VauxProfessor David Vaux AO

One key difference between science and pseudoscience is that science is self-critical, and therefore capable of self-correction. The efficiency with which science progresses depends on the integrity of the scientific literature and the integrity of the researchers themselves. In this talk, Professor Vaux will provide some evidence that scientists can, and should, do better, and say why science in Australia would benefit from establishment of an Office for Research Integrity. Read Lecture Summary …

Bio: David is Deputy Director and Joint Division Head of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.

Trump and the Fascist Prospect?

Thursday 22 June 2017, 8:00 pm

Photo of John HinksonJohn Hinkson

In this lecture, our speaker considers the links between Trump’s rise to power and fascism. In particular, he asks us to think what might we learn from historical fascism. Is this the right concept for Trump? What are the conditions in western techno-capitalist culture that might tend towards fascism? What are the geopolitical forces at work? Come to hear a fascinating discussion on the leader of the ‘free world’. Read Lecture Summary …

Bio: John is Publications Editor for Arena Journal and Arena Magazine.

Measuring the Future We Want

Thursday 25 May 2017, 8:00 pm

Photo of Mike SalvarisDr Mike Salvaris

Bio: Mike is chair of the national committee of the Australian National Development Index; the Expert Reference Group for the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ project ‘Measures of Australia’s Progress’; and the Steering Committee for Community Indicators Victoria. He has been a long term participant and adviser in the OECD Global Project ‘Measuring the Progress of Societies’. Formerly a community lawyer and political adviser, Mike has worked extensively over 30 years in the measurement of progress and wellbeing; democracy, social justice and human rights; community engagement and development; and strategic public policy. Read Lecture Summary …

Education in Victoria – From Schools of the Future to Gonski and Beyond. Where Are We Now?

Thursday 9 March 2017, 8:00 pm

Photo of Dionne Wright and Nick BastowDionne Wright (former state school principal) in conversation with Nick Bastow (speech writer)

Education is one of the most important, complex and contentious services delivered by the public sector. Our guest speaker for the March meeting is Dionne Wright, a recently retired state school principal. Dionne is a widely respected practitioner and her career has given her a unique perspective on trends in the public sector education system. Dionne will be in conversation with Nick Bastow, speechwriter and great great grandson of Victoria’s first education Education Department architect. This will be an informal discussion, with plenty of time for questions. Read Lecture Summary …

Is Morality a Matter of Taste?

Thursday 23rd February 2017, 8:00 pm

Photo of Leslie AllanLeslie Allan (philosophy writer)

It may seem that a naturalistic view of humankind renders ethics as a matter of taste. Science seems to dictate that there can be no objective standards for how we ought to behave. In fact, both of these positions misconstrue the nature of ethical reasoning and greatly impoverish our view of ourselves and of our social norms. In this talk, Leslie Allan invites you to consider how both objectivity and subjectivity are essential elements of moral discourse. Read Lecture Summary …

Bio: Over a decade, Leslie studied philosophy and history of religions at La Trobe University. Now largely retired from a business career, he devotes his time to exploring the boundaries between science and philosophy on his Rational Realm web site.