Autumn 2018 programme
OUR CHANGING CLIMATE: PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE, 17 October 2018, 19:30
The hot and dry summer of 2018 was a reminder of just how vulnerable society can be to unusual weather through overheating buildings, transport disruption, lower crop production and risks to human health. Such heatwaves are now hotter because the planet has warmed over the past century, largely due to human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases. Other consequences of a warming world are that extreme rainfall events have become more frequent and sea levels have risen as the oceans expand and the glaciers melt.
This lecture will outline how our climate has already changed, and what we might expect in the future. Further changes are inevitable. The Paris Agreement aims to stabilise global temperatures but society's choices will decide how much change we should expect.
Professor Ed Hawkins is a climate scientist in the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, based in the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading. He is a Lead Author for the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 6th Assessment Report and was awarded the Royal Society's Kavli Medal in 2018.
HUMAN RIGHTS, GLOBAL WRONGS: THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AT 70, 21 November 2018, 19:30
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was created in 1948, as a method to combat the horrors of Nazi Germany ever happening again. The Declaration sets out that there are fundamental rights that all people have by virtue of being born human. 70 years later and we see violations of those rights across the world. Torture, enforced disappearances, gender-based violence, repression of political dissidents, and many more. Recent years have seen the rise of totalitarian regimes and of state-sponsored racism and xenophobia.
In this talk Professor Rosa Freedman will explain what human rights are, why they matter, and the challenges we face in ensuring that individuals have their fundamental rights protected.