Tag Archives: Middlesex University

Event News: Democracy Conference 2015

Getting under the skin of democracy

Rabbi Sacks and Bettany Hughes among speakers

Rabbi Sacks

Some of society’s top thinkers, researchers and academics came together at Middlesex University to discuss and get under the skin of democracy in today’s society.

Historian, author and broadcaster Bettany Hughes and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks were among the cast of speakers the University brought together to shine a light on what democracy is in 2015.

They were joined by leading experts including Councillor Dr Devra Kay, Harris Bokhari and members of The Patchwork Foundation, which promotes and encourages the positive integration of under-represented, deprived and minority communities into British political society.

Click here to watch the video from the event.

Are religion and democracy compatible?: Rabbi Sacks

Speaking about whether religion is compatible with democracy and quoting Alexis de Tocqueville, Rabbi Sacks said: “Religion has no power at all but it has an enormous amount of influence, de Tocqueville wanted to work this out and he asked religious leaders, who said the reason we have influence is because we never get involved in politics, because politics is divisive so if we got involved in it we too would become divisive.”

Click here to listen to the full audio clip of Rabbi Sacks.

The birth of democracy: Bettany Hughes

Bettany Hughes said: “Suddenly in Athens you have a space where farmers, and cheesemakers, and perfumers, and road sweepers, and generals all have the ability to stand with one another in the democratic assembly to not only vote together but decide on what they are voting.”

Click here to listen to the full audio clip of Bettany Hughes.

Engaging young people in democracy: Patchwork Foundation

Chidi Amadi, from Patchwork Foundation, said: “Government should have a role and responsibility to come towards young people in the sense of having the right policies to appeal to them and ensuring that they have a large body of voters that they need to encourage to vote for them.”

Temi Shogeloa, also from Patchwork Foundation, added: “Decisions that are made for them, affect them, and if you’re removed from that decision making process you have ultimately lost out on your chance to make a decision and bring about a longevity change.”

May I say thank you to the delegates that attended the Democracy Conference. If you could please spare 2 minutes to fill in the survey below regarding your experiences it would greatly help us improve our events for the future:



Event News: Creative Economies

Middlesex puts creative economies on the agenda

Creative economies were on the agenda when Middlesex University brought together top creative thinkers to share thoughts on the future of arts, cities and media in an increasingly digital world.

BBC Creative IndustriesDSC_0153

The event at BBC’s Broadcasting House, organised by Middlesex University’s Centre for Ideas, saw the BBC, Middlesex University, The Mayor’s Office and Thames and Hudson Publishing discuss the opportunities, threats and futures creative economies bring.

Creative economies: media

Alan Yentob, Creative Director of the BBC told the audience: “The opportunity of digital media has been phenomenal. It’s very important we understand the role of creativity.

“Creativity is also about collaboration, it’s about teamwork. You need practical tools, you need insight, you need imagination, you need people with different perspectives on the world.”

Will Saunders, Creative Director, Digital, BBC TV talked about trends in video. He said: “BBC has always been at the heart of technological innovation, content innovation has been a big part of everything we do.

“Strategy changes a lot in my environment, you don’t necessarily need to drive people to your website, they will find it in their timelines. Radio 1’s mantra now is listen, watch, share.”

Creative economies: art

Middlesex University Professor of Fine Art Sonia Boyce said: “Despite this idea that there’s this huge creative energy taking place here in the country, a kind of optimism you might say of how the creative industries are not only creating an enormous amount of money. But there is this other side about what

BBC Creative IndustriesDSC_0218

“The problem here is this tension between writers and artists about having to supply money for the use of images. Artists rely on writers to disseminate not only ideas but reinforce the sense of the intellectual and cultural value of the works that artists are making, but writers depend on artists too.”

Creative economies: cities

Kirsten Dunn, Senior Culture Strategy Officer at The Mayor’s Office, pointed out that creative economies bring jobs. She said: “While the Fourth Plinth attracts a huge amount of comment on social media, it also provides jobs. It’s the perfect illustration of the close links between art and manufacturing and art and the creative industries.

“We don’t want a city where there are no artists and creative, creative people give cities their authenticity. The creative economy in London requires a balance – you have to play to the city’s strengths. To maintain London as a world city we need to keep its cultural edge.”

Graeme Evans, Professor of Urban Cultures at Middlesex University said: “The balance between place, economy and culture is the holy grail that all cities are trying to triangulate and achieve some balance between the three.”

Democracy Conference 2015

Centre for Ideas, Middlesex University London
C219-C220 Executive Boardroom, The College Building, The Burroughs, Hendon NW4 4BT

Time: 10.00am – 5.00pm
Date: 28th May 2015

Talented thinkers, researchers and academics from across disciplines at Middlesex University will join keynote speakers including Dr Bettany Hughes and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks to debate and discuss the topic of Democracy on the 28th May 2015.

Draft Programme

09.30am – 10.00am  Registration and Refreshments

10.00am – 10.15am

Welcome Professor Waqar Ahmad, DVC Academic, Middlesex University

10.15am – 11.30am

Dr Bettany Hughes discusses the relationship between Democracy and Culture and the different aspects of democracy presented in her television programmes.

11.30am – 12.00pm  Tea & Coffee

12.00pm – 13.00pm

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks in conversation with Aaqil Ahmed, Religion and Ethics Editor at the BBC.

13.00pm – 14.00pm  Lunch

14.00pm – 15.30pm

Democracy for Young and Old – A discussion between Harris Bokhari, members of The Patchwork Foundation and Councillor Dr. Devra Kay

15.30pm  Tea and Close


Dr. Bettany Hughes is an award-winning historian, author and broadcaster, who has devoted the last 25 years to the vibrant communication of the past, especially ancient and medieval history and culture. Her many TV programmes include Athens: The Truth about Democracy (Channel 4, 2007). She is currently working on a series Socrates, Confucius and Buddha for the BBC.


Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is a frequent contributor to radio, television and the press both in Britain and around the world. He is the author of many books and his latest work Not In Gods Name: Confronting Religious Violence will be published in June 2015. Rabbi Sacks’ most recent views on Democracy were broadcast on BBC Radio 4 ‘Thought for Today’ on 23rd April.


Harris Bokhari and members of The Patchwork Foundation –        The Patchwork Foundation aims to promote and encourage the positive integration of under-represented, deprived and minority communities into British political society. The foundation seeks to facilitate a positive interaction for under-represented, deprived and minority communities in British society, empowering citizens to play a role in the social and political arenas. It is not affiliated to any political party and does not promote a particular political view.


Councillor Dr Devra Kay is Labour Councillor for West Hendon and a Member of St Cross College, Oxford. She has held a number of academic posts and is the author of numerous articles on Tkhines and Yiddish women’s literature with particular interest in older people’s issues and she blogs on the subject. She will speak about the relationship between democracy and old age.

Please watch The Democracy Conference Video here



Event: Creative Economies

This event will be hosted by Aaqil Ahmed, Commissioning Editor Religion and Head of Religion & Ethics at the BBC

Venue: The Council Chamber, BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA

Date: 11th March 2015
Time: 09.30am – 12.30pm

The relationship between economy and culture has traditionally been presented as one of opposites. Yet, the creative industries, including the arts, heritage, media and other forms of cultural production, are now increasingly recognised as important agents in economic growth and social progress. These industries rely on individual talent and have the potential to create wealth through the generation of intellectual property. The dynamic nature of the creative economy generates opportunities but at the same time the continual evolution of new technologies, creative partnerships, and cultural dialogues makes the definition of the creative economy as elusive and it is enticing.

Prompted by an opening address from Alan Yentob, Creative Director of the BBC, this event provides a forum for dialogues between creative practitioners, researchers, journalists, and those engaged with the cultural industries. Attention will focus on the importance of the creative industries and their cultural and economic significance together with the role of collaborative partnerships and how best to deliver for a range of publics. The morning will comprise a series of individual short talks and a panel session plus an audience-led Q&A and open discussion.

To register to attend please book your place through Eventbrite:


*All attendees must bring a print out of their ticket and any form of identification i.e. Drivers Licence, Passport, Photo I.D etc. Security is extremely tight at the BBC, bags will be checked before entry and there will be no entry without your ticket and identification. The event takes place in Old Broadcasting House on the first floor which entails taking a lift then stairs; if you have any issues regarding access please let the event organiser know beforehand so that prior arrangments with the venue can be made.

Enquiries to Miss Mita Vaghji, Events Co-ordinator Cfi, Middlesex University London, E: m.vaghji@mdx.ac.uk

Urban and Cultural Heritage Symposium 2015

Urban and Cultural Heritage Symposium 2015:

This symposium presented current research by members of the Urban and Cultural Heritage research group. Expertise and interest in Cultural Heritage, especially in an urban context, is evident across all Schools – in Business, Law, Art and Design, Media, Health, Education, Computer Science. The Urban and Cultural Heritage Research Group is actively developing cross-University collaboration and inter-disciplinary research and is creating a distinctive profile for ongoing cultural heritage research at Middlesex.

A positive and open environment to test new ideas and challenges in a multidisciplinary setting. – Giuseppe Primiero – School of Science and Technology

Some very stimulating papers given. I feel a great deal of potential brewing and common themes developing – bodes well! – Reza Gholami – School of Health and Education

A truly inspiring and inspirational event; such a stimulating way to re-energise inter and cross-disciplinary debates about cultural, urban and heritage themes in a dialogic and constructive context! – Anastasia Christou – School of Law

Please find the programme and abstracts from the day below:

U&CH Symposium – Programme

U&CH Symposium Abstracts

Social Media Analytics Day Event

Date: 13 November 2014

Supported by the School of Media and Performing Arts and the Centre for Ideas

Facilitated by Professor Jane Arthurs. Administered by Mita Vaghji

Developed by the Social Media Research Group.

The day was a great success. Experts Carl Miller from the think tank Demos and Farida Vis from Sheffield University were described as ‘fascinating’ and ‘inspiring’ by attendees. There was a strong sense of the exciting potential for computer and social scientists to collaborate in view of what Carl described as ‘the datafication of the social world’ as he went on to explain research in the field of politics and civic life being developed at Demos. While Farida offered insights into how the increasingly visual nature of social media is being studied in her ESRC funded Picturing the Social research.


Carl and Farida drew on their extensive experience to offer advice on experimental methods for researching social media and pointed to some of the pitfalls to avoid when working in a fast developing and interdisciplinary field that is still in the process of formation. They also pointed to the future and the kind of issues that are likely to find funding for further research, emphasising the need for academics from across the disciplines to get involved rather than leaving commercial companies to mine this data for their own purposes without any external scrutiny, disinterested ethical debate, or open source development of new research tools and techniques.


The afternoon workshop used a structured sand-pit process to generate fundable research projects for further development. Carl and Farida offered invaluable advice throughout the afternoon and in the final stages selected a number of ideas to form three broad thematic groups, namely: Anti-Social Media; Doing Politics with Social Media; and Social Media in the HE Curriculum. Follow-up meetings for these project groups are taking place on December 11th at 10.0, 12.0 and 16.0 respectively.

Please find the presentation links below:

Carl Miller Presentation – Middlesex

Carl Miller Video – Middlesex

Farida Vis Presentation – Middlesex_Farida

Farida Vis Video – Middlesex

Anyone who would like to be included in the mailing list for the Social Media Research Group or would like to be involved in any of the research project development groups please get in touch with Jane Arthurs by email: jane.arthurs@mdx.ac.uk

Academics in ‘Europe’ discuss the Ottoman Legacy

Britain’s leading academics teaching at Middlesex University organised a one-day “Turkey Symposium” in Europe the Ottoman’s “Legacies” were discussed.

30 years as a faculty member at the University of Middlesex, Dr. Mehmet Ali Dikerdem presented with some 20 prominent academics to discuss Turkey. As the Director of the Centre for Ideas, Professor Dana Arnold made the symposium’s opening speech.

While discussing the Ottoman Heritage Dr. Emma Dick “the Ottomans re-fashioning” exhibited by the Ottoman Golden Age of the textile and clothing laid out with photographs. Cemil Ipekci’s creations outweigh the Ottoman costumes filled out a slide show.

Bharain Mac An Bhreithiún-Bertapelli, “the Ottoman heritage of the Balkans in the City” described Sarajevo and Bucharest from the streets and gave examples of Sarajevo’s political graffiti, the Turkish Muslim Bosniaks effect and Turkey-Bosnia and close political relations were stressed.

keyif (Turkish) – the choice to enjoy life without hurrying”.

BBC in 2013 as the “The Ottomans: Europe’s Muslim Emperors” series, the film director Mike Smith, talked about the impact of the Ottomans in Europe.

Dr. Tunç Aybak “The Geopolitical Turn in Turkish Foreign Policy: From Westernization to Grand Strategy” when processing, Keele University, Politics, International Relations and Philosophy Head of School Professor Bulent Gokay “Turkey’s new geopolitic innovations”.

Professor Graeme Evans and Dr. Ozlem Edizel “Space and Place in the Turkish Metropolis” issues while urbanisation in Istanbul, population, culture and discussed the developments in the industry.

Offering one of the most important film projects Ergin Cavusoglu work on submarines in the years 1914-1918, was noted.

Middlesex University’s Symposium dialogue on Turkey when describing the academic infrastructure Dr. Mehmet Ali Dikerdem, I have good relations with Middle East Technical University and Koç University that I have come into contact with. Discussions of Turkish schools in England for Kelami Dedezade in an article describing the left. Dr. Peter Ryan, raised the issue of mental health care in Turkey, Dr. Maggie Butt talked about academic partnerships.

Middlesex Univeristy in Hendon, Symposium started at 9.30am and ended at 5pm.

Written by Faruk Zabcı, Flas Haber Londra

Urban & Cultural Heritage – One Day Workshop

The workshop was very interesting and insightful. The multidisciplinary approach towards Urban and Cultural Heritage was particularly helpful and opens up immense research and funding possibilities. The tangible results including future workshops, conference and networking opportunities are of great use to new researchers.

Quote by Dr. Sumeetra Ramakrishnan

‘1914-1918-The Centenary of World War’ – 4th International Canakkale Biennial

Dr. Ergin Cavusoglu, Professor of Contemporary Art, School of Art and Design at Middlesex University will be showcasing his collaborative work previously shown at the 4th International Canakkale Biennial,  at the Symposium on Turkey on Friday 10th October 2014.

The Biennial provided an open communication and a collaboration platform for the international community that enabled a comprehensive revaluation of the impacts of 1st World War and the 20th century at local, national and international levels on today’s political configuration and the historical geography of the Ottoman Empire.

The biennial had invited those artists and experts who are mostly prominent with their specific works of art interpreting the consequences of war and peace cycles and the following political, economical, social and cultural consequences in Europe, the Balkans, the Caucasia and in the Middle-East.

The conceptual framework of the artist’s work (image shown above) is twofold: one screen presents the shipwrecks of the fleet of the Allies, Lundy, Louis and Barge that were sunk in their approach to the strait of Dardanelles in Turkey during the ‘Gallipoli Campaign’ of World War One. The second one shows the bustle of contemporary vessels crisscrossing the blue waters above. The edit of the footage implies that the battleships perished along the same axis one following the other. Through a very particular filming technique of vertically scanning the seabed and the waters above, the work endeavours to signify the importance of the act of sombre remembrance and reconciliation. From an unfamiliar bird’s eye perspective, the camera tracks slowly over the length of the shipwrecks revealing decaying remnants that are both hauntingly beautiful and menacing.

Dr. Ergin Cavusoglu video work of art will be showcased at the Symposium on Turkey on Friday 10th October.

To attend this free event simply register at Eventbrite.

The Task of Sciences – iTRUS Workshop

The topic of reducing uncertainty can be somehow considered *the* task of sciences. In a sense, scientific methodology can be understood precisely as the process of reducing epistemic

uncertainty, allowing one to go from the unknown to the justified. In the Platonic vein, justified true belief was obtained by the Socratic method of investigation of analysis, proceeding by selecting one of analytical, definitional choice of the concept. Logically, truth as an objective notion against which languages and systems are defined, was strengthened by the notion of justification from Intuitionistic Logic. And since the XVII century uncertainty was approached in terms of (game-based, but also chance-oriented) problems involving probabilites, with figures of the kind of Cardano, de Fermat, Pascal. Since then, probabilities have become the major methodology to deal with uncertainty. But in the sciences, and in the computational ones as well, uncertainty is a phenomenon that is manifested, analysed and treated in many ways and under different methodological approaches.

The iTRUS workshop and its topic originate from an informal collaboration between the School of Science and Technology at Middlesex University and the Research Group Savoirs, Textes, Langage of the University of Lille3. A first meeting titled “Methods of objectifying uncertainty” was held at the Maison Européenne des sciences de l’homme et de la société (Lille) in June 2014, with a small investigation group that combined an historically-based philosophical approach to biology (Charles Wolfe (University of Ghent, “Chance between holism and reductionism. Tensions in the conceptualisation of life”) and an analysis of uncertainty as determination of auhtorization control in a logical setting (Giuseppe Primiero (Middlesex University), “Proof theories for access control on resources including trust to eliminate uncertainty”). These two apparently very distant topics were the suggestive conceptual setting to consider uncertainty under the axis of both time and science: how did uncertainty-reduction processes changed across different periods and disciplines?

It was decided that this interdisciplinary methodology could have offered more by strenghtening focus. This workshop is the follow-up to the Lille meeting. The programme focuses on methodological differences in reducing uncertainty, in foundational research and applications, with a stronger focus on the computationl science and their history. The programme presents a combination of expertise from Middlesex University and additional speakers from outside, including University of Lille3, the London School of Economics and the University of Cambridge.

Liesbeth de Mol is fellow of the CNRS at Lille3 University and President of the History and Philosophy of Computing Commission of the Division for the History of Science and Technology (ww.hapoc.org). She is an historian of computing and her contribution will set the stage for the day, with an analysis of formalization and calculation techniques in early computing. She will focus on two historical developments and how they deal with problems of uncertainty and unpredictability, viz., formal logic and computational practices and how within one of the first computers they resulted in different practices that have an impact even

Tomas Petricek is a PhD candidate at the Computer Lab at the University of Cambridge. He combines technical research in programming (in particular, functional programming and type systems) with a deep interest in comparing its methodology to the philsophy of science and its paradigms.

Franco Raimondi is reader in Logic and Multiagent Systems at the Department of Computer Science, Middlesex University. His contribution will focus on recent work in combining subjective and objective probabilites in a doxastic logic setting, with applications to avionics and the use of model checking techniques.

Hykel Hosni is a Marie Curie Research  Fellow at the London School of Economics, and an expert in logical foundations of reasoning and decision making. He is the monthly editor of the column “What’s hot in Uncertain Reasoning” in the monthly digest The Reasoner (http://www.thereasoner.org/). His talk will investigate the combination of pure and applied methods and techniques to reduce uncertainty, in a number of key examples connecting various disciplines, including Logic, Mathematics, Decision and Economic Theory, Artificial Intelligence and Philosophy.

Florian Kammueller is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Computer Science, Middlesex University. His contribution, based on joint work with Jaap Boender, Marieta Georgieva Ivanova and Giuseppe Primiero, approaches the problem of modeling the human component in technical systems with a view on the difference between the use of model and theory in sociology and computer science and an application to the uncertainty of user identification in modelling insider threats as a Higher Order Logic theory in Isabelle/HOL.

Chris Rooney is a Researcher at the Department of Computer Science, Middlesex University. He will report on problems related to data representation and uncertainty reduction in the VISUAL ANALYTICS FOR SENSE-MAKING IN CRIMINAL INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS Project (VALCRI), funded under FP7 (http://www.valcri.org/).

Written by Dr. Giuseppe Primiero