All members of Darwin are encouraged to present their research at informal seminars held on Tuesdays and Thursdays during term. Everyone is welcome, whatever your degree or discipline.
Darwin members pick up lunch from 12:00, taking it into the Richard King Room (on the left at the top of the stairs leading to the dining hall) or 1 Newnham Terrace (straight through at the far end of the dining hall). Wine is served. Non-Darwin members are welcome to attend, although lunch is only available to guests of members. The talk begins at about 1:15 and lasts for about 20 minutes and is followed by questions over coffee. We adjourn at 2:00pm at the latest.
[NOTE CHANGE OF SPEAKER AND TOPIC] Ever since the beginning of the 21st century, Žižek has been considered both a worldwide prominent thinker and a militant intellectual. Deemed by some as the most dangerous philosopher is the West, and by others as one of the world's best-known public intellectuals, he has a journal, dictionary, and a nightclub named after him. How can we account for the rise to prominence of the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek? From peripheral Slovenia, lacking prestigious academic credentials, without proper intellectual elegancy, this quirky Hegelo-Lacanian has nevertheless firmly placed himself at the epicentre of today’s global intellectual landscape. By using a performative framework and positioning theory I will explore this phenomenon sociologically, and will render it intelligible by carefully tracing the causal links of this exceptional emergence. Walking between the (battle-) lines of biography and history, the sociological account which highlights interventions might, in turn, also inform us about the societal condition under which such intellectual activity is taking place.
In the last decades, there has been a rapid demographic shift, where populations in both developing and developed countries live far longer. Although an indication of medical advances and overall improved health, an increase in lifespan comes with great costs too. Individuals over the age of 65 have an increased chance of developing dementias and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and the chances increase every year. Despite numerous clinical trials and funds invested in testing for new cures and treatments, nothing has yet been found. These diseases, which are still incurable, progressive and eventually fatal, currently represent a tremendous burden on our social systems, as well as the patients’ and their families’ lives. The primary reason why no significant development in treating these conditions has occurred is that we do not really understand their molecular origins. In the Centre for Misfolding diseases we have been working to develop a ‘gene signature’ for such conditions, which will provide us with a tool to gain insight and allow us to recapitulate these diseases, which will test our fundamental understanding of their causes, as well as enabling effective drug discovery programs to be carried out.