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About The Great Debate

The Great Debate is a group of like minded people who organise courses, workshops, seminars and public discussions on a variety of topics. Our aim is to facilitate lively, open debate on scientific and social issues. We are committed to public participation and to facilitating topical discussions through which we hope to encourage critical thinking and a willingness to challenge current orthodoxies. We engage with the general public in the broadest sense and aim to develop a deeper shared understanding of science and society. We hope that you will find our website to be a useful resource for information on a range of subjects.

Since its inception in 1998, The Great Debate has organised more than 160 events including courses, day schools, public discussions and workshops on topics including Darwinism, theories of human nature, the human mind, consciousness, Evolutionary Psychology, internet freedom, biodiversity, development, sustainability and environmentalism (see Previous Events).

We have engaged with over 180 prominent speakers from Europe and the UK who have spoken at our events and provided ongoing contributions to the debates on our website. These speakers have included journalists, best-selling authors and academics from the Universities of Newcastle, Northumbria, Durham, Sunderland, Wageningen, Lancaster, Manchester and the London School of Economics (see Previous Contributors).

Last year, events hosted by The Great Debate attracted over 250 attendees. We have a core subscription mailing list of over 1000 people who attend our events. We have convened events at a number of venues in the North East including Newcastle and Gateshead Civic Centres, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Discovery Museum, The International Centre for Life and Newcastle Playhouse.

Hits per months at The Great Debate website currently run at well over 60,000. Regularly updated with current research information, articles and discussions, the site is now widely used as a resource for academics, students and the general public.

Previous collaborators with The Great Debate have included The Space of Democracy and the Democracy of Space network, North East Centre for Transformative Education and Research (NECTER), RSA, Institute for Research on Environment and Sustainability, The International Centre for Life, Peer Review for European Sustainable Urban Development (PRESUD), Newcastle Local Agenda 21, WORLDwrite, Christian Aid, Northern Stage, Oxfam, Water Resource Systems Research Laboratory (WRSRL), Transport Research Group (TRG) and Institute of Ideas. Sponsorship has been received from Economic and Social Research Council, PRESUD, The Well Read Bookshop (University of Northumbria), Hodder & Stoughton, Polity Press, Weidenfield & Nicholson and Newcastle Science Festival (see Sponsors).

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