School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences

Responsible debate and intelligent ageing explored at Festival of Politics

Political philosopher Matthew Chrisman and the psychology research project on the Lothian Birth Cohorts will feature in the 2019 Festival of Politics (10-12 October)

The festival invites leading experts to reflect on the past and think ahead to debate issues that shape our political and cultural landscape - including Brexit and the 20th anniversary of the Scottish Parliament.

It takes place in the Scottish Parliament and offers people a chance to engage directly in current issues with MSPs, academics and commentators.

Responsible public debate

What rules should govern political debate? Democracies pride themselves on allowing space for free political discussion as a way of peacefully reaching a compromise.

However recent political conversation seems to be increasingly polarised, especially in the age of social media. But can responsible public debate renew democracy? The Royal Society of Edinburgh's (RSE) Young Academy of Scotland is working on identifying the principles for responsible public discussion of controversial issues.

On Saturday 12 October, Professor of Ethics and Epistemology Matthew Chrisman will take part in the panel discussion on how we can find ways to disagree while still achieving common ground. 

Can responsible debate renew democracy? | Festival of Politics

Matthew is leading RSE's Young Academy of Scotland project on creating a charter for responsible public debate.

Responsible Public Debating in Scotland | Young Academy of Scotland

Portraits of healthy ageing

One of two exhibitions at this year's festival, The Art of Intelligent Ageing features portraits of the Lothian Birth Cohort (LBC) participants created by artist Fionna Carlisle.

The LBCs are part of the longest-running study of human cognition in the world, helping Professor of Differential Psychology Ian Deary and his team gain insights into healthy ageing.

Exhibitions | Festival of Politics

Ian and Fionna discuss how they came to collaborate on portraits of the LBCs in this podcast episode:

Related links

Festival of Politics

Healthy mental ageing: the Lothian Birth Cohorts