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Institute of Advanced Study

IAS to feature on BBC Radio 4's 'Thinking Allowed'

(23 December 2010)

Laurie Taylor talks to IAS Executive Director, Professor Ash Amin; the Bishop of Whitby, Martin Warner; and IAS Fellows Professors Russell Jacoby and Barbara Graziosi about whether we can imagine 'utopia' in the 21st century.

In an age that some describe as filled with anxiety and uncertainty, are we breeding a kind of fatalism towards the future that excludes any notion of utopia? How indeed might we define and describe utopia? Can utopian ideas be not only practical and pragmatic but also democratic? When considering utopia where does religious faith and thinking intertwine with the secular world? Can we even talk about commonly held utopian ideals or are we condemned to imagine utopia only as fantasy, as an intellectual or artistic exercise that is, ultimately, futile.

The programme will be broadcast on Wednesday 29 December 2010, 16.00 and again on Monday 3 January 2011.  It can also be found on the BBC's iplayer.