Monthly Public Lectures

Humanist Society of Victoria public lectureThe Humanist Society of Victoria hosts a series of monthly lectures on a variety of current social and philosophical issues. We welcome everyone interested in fostering a more rational and caring society.

Entry is by donation at the door. For enquiries, phone (03) 9857 8318.

Where: Hawthorn Community Precinct, 584 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria (Melways map ref. 45 D11)
When: Fourth Thursday of each month, 7.30 pm for 8.00 pm start

Thursday 12 October 2017

Photo of Jacques BouletThe New Naturalists: What Can We Learn from Them

Dr 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.

Thursday 31 August 2017

Photo of Patrick StokesLiving with the Digital Dead

Patrick 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.

Thursday 27 July 2017

Photo of David VauxResearchers Behaving Badly

Professor David Vaux

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.

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

Thursday 22 June 2017

Photo of John HinksonTrump and the Fascist Prospect?

John 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’.

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

Thursday 25 May 2017

Photo of Mike SalvarisMeasuring the Future We Want

Dr 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.

Thursday 9 March 2017

(Note: This lecture is on 2nd Thursday of the month) Photo of Dionne Wright and Nick BastowEducation in Victoria – From Schools of the Future to Gonski and Beyond. Where Are We Now?

Dionne 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.

Thursday 23rd February 2017

Photo of Leslie AllanIs Morality a Matter of Taste?

Leslie 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.

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.

Thursday 24 November 2016

Teaching Humanism in Schools

Panel: Dr Harry Gardner, Stephen Stuart, John Russell (HSV)

Thursday 27 October 2016

The Memory Code — How Do Indigenous Societies Orally Transmit Knowledge?

Dr Lynne Kelly (writer)

Thursday 22 September 2016

Homelessness: The Problem and Some Solutions

Jacqueline Gibson (Council to Homeless Persons)

Thursday 25 August 2016

Lessons from Iraq: What has Australia Learnt?

Dr Margaret Beavis (Medical Association for the Prevention of War)

Thursday 28 July 2016

Reducing Domestic Violence: What Does the Evidence Tell Us?

Professor Thea Brown (Monash University)

Thursday 23 June 2016

Effects of Religion on Prosocial Behaviour

Katja Petrovic (PhD student)



2 Responses to Public Lectures

  1. Jim says:

    I’d like to attend but it’s too difficult from where I live by public transport. Are there still lectures in the city? I’ve been to one in Melbourne/Fitzroy before, some years ago.

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