The Research & Discussion Forum


This forum follows the regular Wednesday Lunchtime Lecture during university term time. It has evolved from the former 'Research Circle' where the focus was on engaging in research projects and supporting individuals pursuing personal research objectives.
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Mindful of the Continuing Learning Group's aim to promote whole person learning and to encourage engagement at all levels, we have sought to widen participation in our programme by promoting discussions on a range of topics, where all attendees can express their views and benefit from lively rational debate. An active link with research will be retained and use forum time where appropriate.

Those attending the Research & Discussion Forum are offered the opportunity to take further the material and ideas offered during the Lunchtime Lecture. A stimulating lecture invites as many questions as it answers and with the Research & Discussion Forum we aim to explore these further.

On occasion a different topic, suggested by the group, will be explored. This might be philosophical, political or grounded in current affairs.

Everyone who attends the Lunchtime Lecture is welcome to attend. Sessions will take place in the same venue as the Lunchtime Lecture after a short refreshment break (Fylde Lecture Theatre 3) typically concluding at 4.00 pm.

Stay around and explore the themes further.

The Lunchtime Lecture is merely the starting point.

Who knows where we might end up!





Previous Term's Discussions...


22nd April 2015 - Opinion Polls: What do they actually tell us? Do they influence voting intentions?

In the run up to the forthcoming General Election, we look at the true value of opinion polls. What do they tell us? What value do they have? What part do they play in the overall event of an election?

29th April 2015 - The Funding of Political Parties: What is the ideal model?

We discuss why political parties need to be funded, the benefits and pitfalls of the existing system and how it can be improved.

13th May 2015 - Medical Research - what has it to do with patients?

We discuss public and patient participation and how it might be improved.

20th May 2015 - Forum Death Cafe.

In Dying Matters Week, we take the opportunity to enjoy tea and cakes whilst sharing thoughts on end of life planning, death and dying.

27th May 2015 - The Annual General Meeting will take place today in place of the usual Forum.


3rd June 2015 - How Should Overseas Aid be Used?

I this discussion we look at the relevance of overseas aid and debate how best to use it.

10th June 2015 - Are Women Still Seen as a Threat to the Social Order?

The role of Woman has changed dramatically in our lifetime. In this session we examine contemporary perceptions.

17th June 2015 - No R&DF this week due to the performance of The Roadless Trip.


24th June 2015 - What Would You Like to See?

In our final R&DF session of this academic year, we ask you what you would like to see in terms of Lunchtime Lecture themes and Research and Discussion Forum content. Please Note: We cannot guarantee that all suggestions will be honoured but we aim to make tham happen wherever possible. Thanks



More details will be added as they are confirmed





January 14th - Beasts of the Modern Age.
We discuss the images used to influence behaviour and beliefs in the 21st Century. We examine our thoughts about events in Paris over the past week and explore the possible impact of the images and language used.

January 21st - Modern Communication.
We take a light- hearted look at the language, spelling, context and meaning of ‘ keeping in touch ‘ today. Please bring along some amusing examples of contemporary communication.

January 28th - Reflections on Islam.
We discuss aspects of Mary’s lecture and share our feelings about them.

February 4th - The Medicalisation of Human Experience.
We explore this developing trend and discuss the possible consequences of culturally defining behaviour as a treatable medical condition.

February 11th - Islam in Society.
We continue the theme of John Shepherd’s earlier lecture and discuss relevant perspectives.

February 18th - Who Owns Public Art?
We share thoughts and ideas about access to art purchased by the public purse and its role in our culture.

February 25th -The Value of Silence in Communication.
We look at non-verbal communication informs our understanding of 'meaning'.

March 4th - Space Exploration.
We discuss how much of a priority this scientific endeavour should be and contrast it with investment to sustain our own planet for the future of mankind.

March 11th - Discussion on the Film.


More topics will be added as they are finalised.

If you would like to suggest a topic for discussion, just drop us an email to seniorlearners@lancaster.ac.uk