The Future of Humanity is an in-person hybrid event taking place in London on Saturday 26 October 2024 from 9.45am to 7.00pm.

Organisers: Channel McGilchrist and The Scientific and Medical Network

HostDavid Lorimer, Programme Director, The Scientific and Medical Network

Featured speaker Dr. Iain McGilchrist

Guest speakers Elizabeth Oldfield, Professor Mattias Desmet

VenueThe Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS

TicketsSee below

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About the conference

At stake right now is nothing less than the future of humanity.

In this full day conference, Dr Iain McGilchrist will address the most pressing questions at the heart of our existence, and invite his guest speakers — Professor Mattias Desmet, author of The Psychology of Totalitarianism, and Elizabeth Oldfield, broadcaster, author, and host of The Sacred podcast — to share their views.

The theme of this conference is that the ever-proliferating crises we are experiencing can be seen to stem ultimately from a breakdown in our understanding of what it is to be a human being and to lead a fulfilling life:

  • what the world is like,
  • how we are in the process of destroying all that it has of value to give us, and
  • what we would need urgently to do in order to alter the course on which we appear, despite ourselves, to be set.

Central to this enquiry are the concepts of purpose and values. These are not invented by us, but have roots beyond ourselves: they are literally dis-covered (or not) by us. A common theme of the speakers will be how to re-engage with the values that alone bring meaning to life; and above all to resist the onslaught on truth and trust without which a society cannot stand.

Topics include:

  • The attack on nature.
  • The tyranny of ideology and propaganda.
  • The effects of AI.
  • The denigration and abandonment of intuition and imagination.
  • The need to regain a disciplined spirituality.

After the lectures there will be a panel discussion, followed by an audience Q&A.

Speakers and talks

Dr Iain McGilchrist

Iain McGilchrist

Psychiatrist, neuroscience researcher, philosopher, literary scholar and author of books including The Master and His Emissary and The Matter with Things. Read more about Dr. Iain McGilchrist

The Sovereignty of Truth

The Triumph of the Machine

Elizabeth Oldfield

Elizabeth Oldfield

Broadcaster, author and host of The Sacred podcast. Read more about Elizabeth Oldfield

Attending to our Formation
How monastic Rules of Life, liturgy and collective spiritual practices can help us be the people the world needs.

Professor Mattias Desmet

Mattias Desmet

Professor of Clinical Psychology at Ghent University, psychoanalytic psychotherapist and author of The Psychology of Totalitarianism. Read more about Professor Mattias Desmet

Truth in the Era of Propaganda
In order to overcome the metaphysical crisis we find ourselves in, our society — obsessed with rational knowledge — will have to reappreciate the act of sincere speech and intuitive knowing.

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9.00am Registration
10.00am Introduction by David Lorimer
10.20am Dr. Iain McGilchrist: The Sovereignty of Truth
11.15am Professor Mattias Desmet: Truth in the Era of Propaganda
12.15pm Break
12.35pm Elizabeth Oldfield: Attending to our Formation
1.35pm Lunch
2.35pm Dr. Iain McGilchrist: The Triumph of the Machine
3.20pm Panel discussion mediated by David Lorimer
4.20pm Break
4.40pm Audience Q&A
5.40pm Book signing
7.00pm Close

Ticket prices

In-person tickets:
Patrons of Channel McGilchrist and The Scientific and Medical Network – FREE
Members £80 | Standard £95

Livestream tickets:
Patrons of Channel McGilchrist and The Scientific and Medical Network – FREE
Members £30 | Standard £35

Book your place