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Think at Oxford 2019

From Fri Apr 05 2019 to Sun Apr 07 2019
Add to Calendar04/05/2019 16:0004/07/2019 16:00Europe/LondonThink at Oxford 2019

Balliol College, Oxford


Balliol College, Oxford OX1 3BJ Oxford
United Kingdom
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Think at Oxford 2019

Balliol College, Oxford

5-7 April



Thinking at Oxford … 

For many centuries, generations of enquiring minds have quietly and steadily made their way to Oxford. Mensans – being quick of mind themselves – have picked up on this tradition, and established for themselves a similar pilgrimage. For several years now, a springtime gathering of Mensans has met to forge friendships through intelligent conversation ….. and even to forge intelligence through friendly conversation.

For the past few years we’ve been exploring the history of ideas, taking each decade of the twentieth century in turn, and reviewing its significant events, achievements and tragedies – and their resonance for our lives today. This approach allows for a great variety each year: we select topics from literature and the arts, the sciences and philosophy, politics, economics, sociology and psychology. To help frame this we remind ourselves of key influences from the past as we move towards the possibilities of the future.

The choice of topics within these categories is informed by members’ wishes. The general format is to have a guest speaker for the Saturday evening talk, with Mensans giving the other talks. The aim is to fulfil the participatory ideal of Mensans drawing on their own expertise, debating with each other on equal terms. The standard of questions has always been impressive, and we promote the practice of discussion amongst the audience – which always seems to extend to wide-ranging conversations over coffee breaks, meals, quadrangles and walks in Oxford.

So the tenor is participatory. Feedback is consistently that there is a friendliness and expectation of intelligent conversation, somewhat more so than at other organised Mensan gathering.

Click here for the full weekend programme 

The Venue The Topics

This year we are once again at Balliol College.

Founded in 1263, Balliol College is one of the oldest colleges in Oxford.

It is named after John de Balliol, lord of Barnard Castle, located in present-day Teeside.

1970s and Beyond

“Over the Saturday and Sunday we will have seven talks on topics ranging from economics, evolution, undecidability, nationalisation and the politics of chess. We will have our Saturday evening event “The Roger Farnworth Discourse and Dinner”, this time our guest speakers who will continue to explore the question raised last year about taste in the 1970s style and design, emphasising the subcultures and lifestyle shifts that mark the decade . 

As usual, on Friday there is an informal gathering at one of the local pubs for a philosophy café

1 Saturday night B&B only, dinner, standard room. Includes all Sat &Sun talks, tea/coffee/biscuits, Saturday evening dinner and Sunday breakfast.  £155.00
2 Saturday night B&B only, dinner, en-suite room. Includes all Sat &Sun talks, tea/coffee/biscuits, Saturday evening dinner and Sunday breakfast.  £170.00
3 To include Option 1, adding Friday night B&B (5 April) B&B standard room and Saturday breakfast.   £215.00

To include Option 2, adding Friday night (5 April) B&B en-suite room and Saturday breakfast. 

5 Saturday night B&B standard room. Includes all talks, tea/coffee/biscuits, but NOT Saturday dinner. £110.00
6 Saturday night B&B en-suite room. Includes all talks, tea/coffee/biscuits, but NOT Saturday dinner.  £120.00
7 Includes all Saturday (incl. evening speaker) & Sunday talks, Saturday dinner, and tea/coffee/biscuits. No accommodation. £99.00
8 Saturday talks (+evening speaker) only. Includes tea/coffee/biscuits. £35.00
9 Sunday talks only. Includes tea/coffee/biscuits. £25.00