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Cultural Highlights: Extinction exhibit at the London Natural History Museum

This weekend, Members of Chartwell’s London office sought refuge from the sweltering heat in the vaults of London’s museums. Among the highlights was the latest exhibit at the Natural History Museum: Extinction: Not the End of the World?

The exhibition distinguishes itself by raising some challenging questions. Do current extinction rates fit the ever present static of “background extinction”, or is it suggestive of a larger “mass extinction event”; Is the passing of a unique species always a potential loss? Does an answer there apply to smallpox?

The exhibition raises awareness of just how little we know about the complex interactions of environmental diversity and the potential for innovation from studying unique evolutionary adaptations, with both consequence and opportuntiy for humanity today.

The exhibition runs until the 8th September 2013 and is well worth a look.

Matt Ridley on the value of science and culture

It was a joy last Friday evening to catch a lively debate on Radio 4 featuring one of our finest speakers, Matt Ridley. The discussion, hosted by Melvin Bragg, centered on the significance and value of culture in the twenty-first century, with specific reference to Matthew Arnold’s famed quote that culture is “the great help out of our present difficulties”.

Matt’s inspirational speeches and talks often focus on the necessity of culture and the beauty of collective human intellectual achievement, so he was on his home turf. To paraphrase Boris Johnson’s review of Matt’s book, ‘The Rational Optimist’, his contributions to the show were most certainly a “triumphant blast on the vuvuzela of common sense”. You can listen to this show yourself by clicking here.

If you’d like to book Matt, or indeed any of our other exclusive speakers, please email Alex Hickman.

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