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What is a human ?

9th May 2020, Online lecture
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The Graham Mitchell Memorial Lecture - online for 2020

Each year at our OUPS May weekend we present an evening talk in memory of Graham Mitchell, a very popular OU and OUPS tutor and an academic at the University of Northampton, whose life was tragically cut short following a fall at his home.

In light of the current situation we are holding this year's talk online on Saturday 9th May at 8pm, and making it free to all.

The title of this year's talk is "What is a human being?", presented by Professor Frederick Toates (The Open University):

"I will argue that human brain is a complex mixture of ‘old parts’ and ‘new parts’, when seen from the perspective of evolution and development. The implications of this for a number of behavioural phenomena will be discussed. These include social belonging, empathy, resisting temptation, free will, political decision-making and the nature of reinforcement."

The talk will last for around an hour, followed by the chance to ask questions. We hope you'll join us, and while entry is free, you need to bring your own drink 


There is no booking for this event: to attend, please click between 7.50pm and 8pm on Saturday 9th May 2020. There is a limit of 250 attendees, which hopefully will not be a problem.

If you are asked to register, please enter your name, select "Guest" and then click "Enter room". You will be admitted shortly before the talk starts.

Hardware and software requirements

This lecture will be delivered using Adobe Connect. We recommend that you use a laptop or desktop computer to attend the event, and you may be prompted to install a small software client so that you can see the presentation if this is not already on your computer.

Smartphones and tablets will also work, but the quality of your experience may vary depending on the performance of your device and youur connection speed.