Posts Tagged 'Bristol Festival of Ideas'

What is the future of social justice? A Policy Press event

Answers to this question were offered at the Policy Press The Future of Social Justice event held on Monday 5th December in association with the Bristol Festival of Ideas.

The Great Hall in the University of Bristol’s Will’s Memorial Building was packed with over 800 audience members who heard Danny Dorling, Owen Jones, Kayleigh Garthwaite and Melissa Benn speak about the most significant successes, challenges and opportunities for social justice.

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The exciting event began with the official launch of University of Bristol Press by Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol.

Inspiring contributions from the speakers followed, expertly chaired by Alison Shaw, Director of Policy Press and University of Bristol Press.

Amongst the many points made, Melissa Benn focused on segregation in schools and the way this feeds into a lack of understanding and knowledge about others. Danny Dorling examined housing policy, highlighting the urgent need for rent control. Kayleigh Garthwaite highlighted that allowing charity to become ‘normal’ and acceptable is not the way forward. Finally, Owen Jones reminded us that we need a collective thought process in order to solve collective issues. One of the key message of the evening was that we need to step out of the ‘bubble’ and into communities.

2016 has been a dark year but this event inspired optimism and hope. What will we say to future generations when they ask what we did at at time like this? It’s time to come together and be active in our opposition to injustice.


Didn’t get a chance to attend? You can listen to the event in full on Soundcloud here.

Read Danny Dorling’s full speech on the housing crisis and hope for the future from the event.

Read Kayleigh Garthwaite’s full speech on foodbanks and why we need a new conversation about poverty.

Keep up-to-date with Policy Press/University of Bristol Press news and events by signing up to our newsletter. Subscribers also receive a code for 35% discount on all our books.

Wikipedia: should academics be involved?

Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, spoke today at the University of Bristol in an event held by the Bristol Festival of Ideas. Several of us from the Policy Press attended, along with 700 others and 3000 watching a live webcast. It was his only public lecture in the UK, timed to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Wikipedia and an exciting event to be a part of.

Jimmy started with a few comments about the purpose of Wikipedia – free access to knowledge for all – and revealed that it is now the fifth most popular website in the world with over 408m visitors each month. Articles are written in around 200 languages, with articles in English making up less than 20% of the total. Wikipedia employs only around 50 people, but has around 100,000 volunteer editors, 87% of whom are male with an average age of 26. Part of his mission is to widen participation by encouraging more women and a wider variety of age groups to participate. He spoke of a generation for whom an encyclopedia is “something like Wikipedia” rather than the other way around.

After his lively and interesting talk, Jimmy took questions both from the floor and those watching the webcast. In answer to a question about whether universities should allow Wikipedia to be used as a resource, he spoke of the need for more academic editors to contribute to Wikipedia and the importance of quality in the articles. It would be great to hear your thoughts about this – is Wikipedia a useful resource for students and academics, or should it be best avoided? And should academics get involved in editing it, or concentrate on other forms of information dissemination?

Kathryn King, Marketing Manager, The Policy Press

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