March 2021

Universal basic income is not a solution to our social and economic problems

INTRODUCTION Government policies in response to the Covid-19 pandemic have reignited interest in the idea of a universal basic income (UBI). [Ref: France 24] The UK government has paid millions of workers 80 per cent of their wages when they are unable to work due to government-imposed restrictions. Yet this still left millions more people …

March 2021

Vaccine passports benefit society

This topic guide builds on a thread of Twitter posts by Adam Wagner, a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers and Visiting Professor of Law at Goldsmiths University. For the purposes of this debate, the term ‘vaccine passport’ means some form of immunity certificate, for use both domestically and for international travel. INTRODUCTION Almost as soon …

updated November 2020

In the digital age, we should not expect our online activities to remain private

Author: Kaja Molinksa INTRODUCTION Has the expectation of privacy become outdated? Over half the world’s population uses social media [Ref: Datareportal] and there are now many official ‘track and trace’ apps to combat coronavirus infections [Ref: The Atlantic]. Many today declare they are worried about privacy, but continue to use services that hoover up their data, a contradiction termed the …

September 2019 September 2019

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 November 2018

Tourism benefits the world

View a PDF version of this topic guide here. INTRODUCTION Tourism has traditionally been seen as a way of showing appreciation for different places, peoples and cultures, but mounting fears about the impact of mass tourism have led many to question whether tourists are actually ruining the places they love. A debate about the effects …

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