Pleasure and Pain: The Philosophy of Jeremy Bentham

The Forum | 27 January 2022 | 0h 39m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Discusses the life and work of Jeremy Bentham, especially his philosophy of utilitarianism – judging actions by their outcomes, not intentions; and focussing on increasing human happiness. Includes his thinking on prisons, justice, rights of the ruled to hold rulers to account, education, women’s suffrage, and animal rights.

Sailing by the Stars: The Pioneering Voyages of David Lewis

The Forum | 12 August 2021 | 0h 39m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Describes the life of David Lewis, who undertook many sailing voyages to prove that ancient seafaring methods were still valuable. His research helped revive ancient Polynesian navigation methods.

Machiavelli, Master of Power

The Forum | 27 May 2021 | 0h 39m | Listen Later | iTunes
Exploration of the life and impact of Niccolò Machiavelli who wrote The Prince more than five hundred years ago, long read as a priceless guide to power and what holding it truly involves. Discusses the man behind the work, his claim that a leader must be prepared to act immorally, and why his name has become a byword for cunning and sinister strategy.

Elizabeth Fry: ‘The Angel of Prisons’

The Forum | 1 October 2020 | 0h 39m | Listen Later | iTunes
Discussion of the life of Elizabeth Fry whose work in the 19C was a driving force behind a new way of thinking about prisons – one that stressed that improving conditions for prisoners and treating them with humanity would lead to better outcomes and lower re-offending rates.

In Search of the Good Life: Epicurus and his Philosophy

The Forum | 2 April 2020 | 0h 39m | Listen Later | iTunes
Discusses the Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus, who advocated a simple lifestyle, withdrawn from society, where we are content with little. Also describes how Epicurean writings on physics foreshadowed some of the most significant developments in early modern science – including Darwin’s theory of evolution and Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.

Emilie du Chatelet: a Free-Spirited Physicist

The Forum | 27 February 2020 | 0h 39m | Listen Later | iTunes
Discusses the life and work of Emilie du Chatelet, the 18th-century French physicist, mathematician, and thinker. Du Chatelet’s insights into kinetic energy foreshadowed Einstein’s famous equation and her suggestions for experiments with the different colours of light would only be carried out half-a-century after she’d written about them. Plus she was a remarkable personality, determined to live a life of an independent woman, often pushing the boundaries of what was acceptable even in the liberal social circles of her day.

A History of Honey

The Forum | 16 January 2020 | 0h 39m | Listen Later | iTunes
Discusses the history of honey. From sweetening and preserving food, to treating wounds and sore throats, honey has played an important role in nearly every society around the world. In the ancient world, it held religious significance, while in the 21st century, scientists are researching how honey could combat lethal diseases and finding ways to identify so-called fake honey.