LONDON DEBATES at the School of Advanced Study

Thursday 18 June 2009

The School of Advanced Study hosts the first in a series of international debates for outstanding early career researchers in the humanities and social sciences

Date released: 26 May 2009

On 14 May, a small select group of early career researchers arrived at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study for the first London Debates workshop. The reason: to participate in an intimate workshop with invited senior researchers and guest speakers and to contribute to debate in an important cross-disciplinary area. The subject of the debate: what role do museums play in the globalisation of culture?

The workshop was opened by the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Sir Graeme Davies, and featured talks from leading figures in museology, including: Professor Sir Mark Walport, the Director of the Wellcome Trust; Dr Cilly Kugelmann, Program Director of the Jewish Museum in Berlin; Professor Sharon MacDonald, Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester; Lars Tharp, Director of the Foundling Museum; and Dr Paul Basu, Reader in Material Culture and Museum Studies at University College London.

The 15 candidates, mainly EU/EEA-based scholars in their final-year of doctoral study or early career researchers, were further treated to private exhibition viewings and presentations by experts at a selection of local world class museums: the British Museum, the Wellcome Collection, and the Foundling Museum.

Two sessions of the workshop were dedicated to the drafting of a report on emerging themes identified during discussions and a set of proposed action points. It is planned that this report, edited by the workshop participants, will be produced and disseminated to stakeholders and policy-makers at local, regional, national and European level.

London Debates are three-day discussion workshops at which a subject of broad concern in the humanities and social sciences is debated by a small group of invited senior academics and 15 outstanding early-career researchers, chosen by open competition. Further information on the 2009 Debate as well as future Debates is available from the School website

Professor Naomi Segal, Director of the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies at the School, was delighted to see the first of the London Debates, a series that she had devised, take off so well: “The event was a great success with an excellent atmosphere and a brand new network generated. The aim was to provide the opportunity for early career researchers to meet one another, to have access to senior researchers, and to make a significant contribution to debate in an important cross-disciplinary area. It succeeded.”

For more information, please contact Rosemary Lambeth at the School of Advanced Study, University of London on 020 7862 8695 /

The School of Advanced Study at the University of London is a unique scholarly community in the heart of London. It brings together the specialised scholarship and resources of ten prestigious postgraduate research Institutes to offer academic opportunities across a wide range of subject fields in the humanities and social sciences. The School is the only institution in the UK nationally funded to facilitate and promote research in the humanities and social sciences.