Forthcoming Talks

Past Talks

On 20 May 2024 – International Academic Freedom Day – I chaired a Free Speech Seminar at the University of Buckingham when Professor Umut Ozkirimli discussed Is there a left way out of woke?  Dr Lawrence Patihis (University of Portsmouth) and co-convenor of the Portsmouth AFAF branch made a response.

On Wednesday 24 April (16.30) The AFAF Branch at the University of Derby had a successful showing of the film Adult Human Female followed by a discussion with the film’s directors which I chaired. The event was supported by the Derbyshire Branch of the Women’s Rights Network. Free, but registration is required.

On Tuesday 26 March (18.00) – Buckingham Universities AFAF held a special Free Speech Seminar when Professor Jo Phoenix was in conversation with me about her employment tribunal triumph and its implications for gender-critical voices in higher education.

On Tuesday 23 January at 16.00 I spoke at the launch meeting for Dublin Universities AFAF followed by speaking at a public meeting in the evening, organised with with Free Speech Ireland, on Speech Regulations in 2024.

Thursday 18 January 2024 Sheffield Universities AFAF held its first public meeting.  I spoke on ‘The Challenges to Free Speech and Academic Freedom in 2024‘.

At the 3rd Buxton Battle of Ideas Festival on Saturday 25 November, There were debates on cancel culture, education or indoctrination, hate speech and more. As well as an AFAF stall we launched a new AFAF Branch – Welcome Sheffield Universities AFAF!

Mo Lovatt and I  co-convened the third Buxton Battle of Ideas Festival (sponsored by the University of Derby) on Saturday 25 November 2023.

On Saturday 11 November, at City University, London, I will be welcomed AFAF members to the first AFAF Conference.

On Sunday 29 October 2023 I chaired a panel discussion on the work of Academics For Academic Freedom at the Battle of Ideas, London.

July 2023

On Wednesday 26 July I debated Free Speech Advocacy with Professor Gavan Titley at the Cambridge Union in a Pre-Summit debate.

June 2023

Daniel Silveira and I will be organised, through the University of Buckingham branch of Academics For Academic Freedom, the first of  series of Free Speech Seminars.   Our first speaker on 7 June was author and academic, Joanna Williams, who introduced a lively discussion of ‘Freedom of speech in a time of woke’.

February 2023

On Thursday 23 February, I will be chaired a discussion at the East Midlands Salon, in Derby,  on Rethinking Anti-Semitism.

January 2023

On Friday 13 January 2023, I joined in a panel debate ‘Is academic freedom under threat?’ at the University of Hull.

November 2022

On Tuesday the 29 November I was interviewed by Lee Hall as part of the British Thought Leaders NTD TV Programme. Watch the interview on YouTube.

At the Buxton Battle of Ideas Festival on Saturday 5 November, I spoke in the panel debate Is there anything worth fighting for?

In Canterbury Christ Church University on Wednesday 2 November at 6 PM, I spoke on The Importance of Academic Freedom.

October 2022

At the London Battle of Ideas festival (16-17 October), I spoke  in a session on mental health or social meltdown, and chairing a debate on academic freedom.  He is also judging a Debating Matters twentieth anniversary debate on Are too many people going to university?

May 2022 

I spoke at a conference on Non-Crime Hate Speech in central London on 7 May (a follow-up book is planned)

December 2021

I took part in a Q and A at the International Conference on Men’s Issues on 16 December.

October 2021

I was the co-convenor of the first ever Buxton Battle of Ideas festival held in the magnificent Devonshire Dome in Buxton, Derbyshire, on Saturday 30 October. The discussion Should we cancel Cancel culture?‘ had a great panel including Dennis Hayes (AFAF), Andy Shaw (Comedy Unleashed), and Sophie Watson (Free Speech Champions) and Adam Whittaker (Beauty in the Universe). Ella Whelan chaired. The debate was sponsored by Academics For Academic Freedom (AFAF)

I chaired a discussion on Selling Out: the McDonaldisation of universities at the Battle of Ideas festival in London on Sunday 10 October.

Professor Eric Kaufmann and I debated the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill live on Andrew Doyle’s Free Speech Nation programme on GN News on 10 October. It was filmed at the Battle of Ideas Festival in Church House, Westminster, London.

September 2021

I was a speaker at a panel discussion organised by Dont Divide Us on Tuesday 21 September to discuss the implications for free speech of the ‘Race Equality Charter’ produced by Advance HE for UK universities.

I talked about The Dangerous Rise of Therapeutic Education in the ‘Uncancelled’ segment of the Mark Dolan Show on GB News on Saturday 11 September.

August 2021

Professor Dennis Hayes talked about free speech and the therapeutic turn in education on GB News on Thursday 5 August at 17.45.

July 2021

I discussed whether the government’s Free  Speech Bill will effectively challenge campus censorship at the Battle of Ideas festival Open for Debate day on Saturday 31 July at Church House, Westminster, London.

March 2021

I chaired a discussion with Oxbridge academics, Arif Ahmed, David Butterfield and Paul Yowell on ‘Defending academic freedom: culture and governance’ at the online forum Academic Freedom Under Threat organised by Taylor Vinters and The University of Buckingham on Friday 19 March.

February 2021

Professor Dennis Hayes and Professor Eric Kaufmann debated ‘UK Government’s Free Speech Champion: Hero or Oxymoron?‘ at the first Free Speech Champions ‘Drop In’ workshop on Thursday 11 March.

January 2021

I was the UK respondent to the new Freedom to Learn policy paper from the National Association of Scholars (US) at an international online event held on Wednesday 13 January.

December 2020

I gave a talk entitled ‘Je suis Samuel‘ asking people to remember Samuel Paty at the Freedom Babbleon orgnaised by WorldWrite on Saturday 19 December

July 2020

I introduced a discussion about Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 at the AoI Book Club (online) on 30 July: Who are today’s firemen and what are they burning?

June 2020

I chaired an East Midlands Salon discussion on 4 June with Vanessa Puppavac and Mladen Pupavac on What is a citizen – Global or National?

May 2020

I chaired an East Midlands Salon (online) discussion on 7 May on Jo Herlihy’s book Alchemy: a search for truth

I was to debate the ‘decolonisation of universities’ at the SOAS Festival of Ideas, in London, on Saturday 24 May. He is speaking against the motion to decolonise. (Postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions)

March 2020

I was to give a Keynote Lecture in Kristiansand, Norway at the Norwegian Conference on Quality Enhancement in Higher Education on  Tuesday 24 March. (Cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions)

February 2020

I spoke on ‘Education and Schools’ at the Resilient Communities Conference at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor on Friday 28 February.

November 2019

I discussed What’s the point of going to university? on a panel with Professor Baroness Alison Wolf and others at the Battle of Ideas festival on Sunday 3 November.

October 2019

I was ‘in conversation’ with Professor Nigel Biggar (University of Oxford) about The Dangerous Rise of Academic Mobbing at the East Midlands Salon on Thursday 17 October.

September 2019

I give a keynote lecture How the university lost its way: sixteen threats to academic freedom at the Higher Education Institutional Research (HEIR) Network Annual Conference at the University of Wolverhampton on Thursday 12 September.

April 2019

I introduced Plato’s Republic at the 2nd Annual Education Studies Conference The three greatest books on education: how relevant are they today? at the University of Derby on Wednesday 10 April 2019.

March 2019

I discussed the betrayal of Brexit by parliament on The Kay Burley Show, Sky News on 14 March.

February 2019

I  spoke at the launch of the Midlands Higher Education Policy Network at the University of Wolverhampton on Wednesday 27 February.

I was a speaker at a plenary panel debate at the ICDE Lillehammer Lifelong Learning Summit 2019 in  Lillehammer, Norway on 13 February.

January 2019

I was interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme on  10 January about an attempt by students to remove Emeritus Professor John Finnis from his teaching at the University of Oxford because of this views on homosexuality.

December 2018

I was interviewed by SKY News  on 11 December for a special roadshow debate on Brexit from the leave heartland of Mansfield.

November 2018

I talked about Teaching with Academic Freedom and Teaching Without Academic Freedom at Queen Mary University of London on Wednesday 14 November at 13.00.

October 2018

I challenged the belief that there is a ‘mental health crisis’ on BBC Sunday Morning Live on 14 October in a debate with Alistair Campbell and others.

Professor Dennis Hayes  discussed ‘The Dangerous Rise of Therapeutic Education: Ten Years On’ at the Battle of Ideas on 13 October at the Barbican, London.

September 2018

Professor Dennis Hayes took part in a US debate on the McDonaldization of higher education organised by EdSurge on Tuesday 25 September at 22.00 UK time.

Professor Dennis Hayes spoke on Reversing the therapeutic turn in education at the ResearchED National Conference in London on 8 September.

June 2018

I reviewed the papers on Sky News Sunrise on Monday 18 June at 6.40, 7.40 and 8.40.

April 2018

I gave a talk on  ‘Why Hate Speech is Free Speech‘ at the University of Bedfordshire  on 26 April.

October 2017

I  discussed Groupthink Universities with Nick Hillman (Director, HEPI), Paul A. Taylor (University of Leeds) and Cathy Young (US journalist and commentator) at the Battle of Ideas festival at the Barbican on Saturday 28 October (Cinema 3 10 AM).

I argued for the proposition ‘This house regrets no platforming policies in universities’ at the Warwick Debating Union on Thursday 26 October at 7 PM.

September 2017

I  spoke on What is the purpose of a university? at Abertay University in Dundee on Wednesday 20 September 2 PM- 4 PM .

June 2017

I spoke at the Festival of Higher Education 2017 at the University of Buckingham on Thursday 29 June at 2.50 in the Marquee on  Free Speech on Campus; Rights and Responsibilities. Respondent: Professor Anthony Glees, Director, Centre for Security & Intelligence Studies, University of Buckingham. Chair: Professor Sue Edwards, University of Buckingham.

My speech was widely reported in the national press, including the TelegraphIndependentand many local papers. He appeared on High Noon Newstalk Radio Dublin on Wednesday 5 July (12.00) discussing ‘Safe Spaces’ in universities with George Hook.