“Corporate sponsorship is good for the arts.”

INTRODUCTION In February 2019, the American photographer Nan Goldin threatened to boycott the UK’s National Portrait Gallery if it accepted a £1million donation from the Sackler fund, which was deemed controversial given the Sackler family’s connection to the opioid epidemic in the US [Ref: The Guardian]. Following this, in March, the Tate stopped accepting Sackler …

Climate Emergency: “People should not have more than two children”

INTRODUCTION In July 2019, Prince Harry announced that he and the Duchess of Sussex will not be having more than two children for environmental reasons [Source: New York Times]. Many praised the decision, especially following the creation by Blythe Pepino and Alice Brown of BirthStrike, ‘a voluntary organisation for women and men who have decided …

Updated May 2019 January 2019

“Western museums should repatriate cultural artefacts”

View a PDF version of this topic guide here. INTRODUCTION In November 2018, a report commissioned by French President Emmanuel Macron caused a debate when it concluded that French museums should return to Africa thousands of artefacts taken during colonialism [Ref: Financial Times] . The report’s authors were frank: continuing to hold such treasures amounts …

November 2018 March 2018

“Humanity should fear advances in artificial intelligence”

INTRODUCTION The increasing ability of machines in recent years to replicate or even supersede human abilities in complex tasks has been impressive. Already, artificial intelligence (AI) techniques have been used to allow machines to beat the best players in the world at both chess [Ref: Time] and the Chinese board game Go [Ref: Guardian]. IBM’s Watson system …

May 2017 May 2017 January 2017 August 2016