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The Tanner Lectures on Human Values – archive


2022: Providing for a Nation’s Health, in a Global Context – Professor Allen Buchanan, Professor Emeritus, Duke University; Professor of Philosophy, University of Arizona; Professor of the Philosophy of International Law, Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College, London.
Respondents: Professor Cécile Fabre, Professor of Political Philosophy and Senior Research Fellow in Politics, All Souls College, Oxford; Sir Paul Tucker, Research Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School; author, Unelected Power; Professor Trish Greenhalgh, Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, Oxford University; Professor Ama de-Graft Aikins, British Academy Global Professor, University College London; Professor Alexander Bird, Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge; Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge.

2021: Black Mirror: Race, AI and Inequity in the 21st Century – Professor Ruha Benjamin, Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, Founding Director of the Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab, and author of the award-winning book Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code.
Respondents: Dr Shakir Mohammed, Senior Staff Scientist at DeepMind; Associate Fellow at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, Cambridge; Professor Sennay Ghebreab, Professor of Socially-Intelligent AI, University of Amsterdam; Dr Mónica G Moreno Figueroa, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Cambridge.

2020: Gaining Power, Losing Control – Professor Jonathan L. Zittrain, George Bemis Professor of International Law, Harvard University.
Respondents: Dr Stephen Cave, Executive Director of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, University of Cambridge; Professor Martin Rees, Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics, University of Cambridge; Professor Sophia Roosth, Frederick S. Danziger Associate Professor in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University.
Read a report by David Gosling.


2018: The Free Speech Century: A Retrospective and a Guide – Professor Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia University.
Respondents: Professor Rae Langton (the Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge);
Professor John Powell (Professor of Law and Professor of African American Studies and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley); Fred Schauer (David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia).

2017: Designing for Democracy: Architecture, Urban Space, and the Idea of Collective Self-Determination -Professor Jan-Werner Müller, Professor of Politics at Princeton University.
Respondents: Professor Martin Düchs, Professor David Runciman and Fraser Nelson.

2017: A Gendered Approach to Peace Building – Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.
Respondents: Professor Seyla Benhabib, Professor Willy Brown, Baroness Arminka Helić and Professor Monica McWilliams.
Read a report by Robert Ackerman.

2016: Aerial Violence and the Everywhere War Professor Derek Gregory, Peter Wall Distinguished Professor and Professor of Geography at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
Read a report by Robert Ackerman.

2014: Science, Secrecy and the Private Self – Professor Peter Galison, Joseph Pellegrino University Professor, Harvard University.

2013: The Great Crimes: The Quest for Justice Among Individuals and Groups – Philippe Sands QC, Barrister and Professor of Law and Director of the Centre on International Courts and Tribunals at UCL.

2012: The Viennese Interior: Architecture & Inwardness – Professor Joseph Leo Koerner, Harvard University.

2011: The Psychology and Economics of Authority – Professor Ernst Fehr, Director of the Department of Economics at the University of Zurich.

2010: Care-full Markets: Miracle or Mirage? – Professor Susan J. Smith, Professor of Geography, founding Director of the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University (now Mistress of Newnham College, Cambridge).


2009: Art and Religion in the Modern West – Some Perspectives – Professor Sir Christopher Frayling.

2008: What’s Left of Culture and Society? – Professor Lisa Jardine.

2007: Medicine, Neuroscience, Ethics and SocietyProfessor Judy Illes and Lord Winston.

2006: Germany reunited – a lesson in political transformation – Professor Kurt Hans Biedenkopf, President of the State of Saxony from 1990-2002.

2005: Peace after War: Our Experience – Carl Bildt, Former Prime Minster of Sweden.

2004: The Meanings of Things – Neil Macgregor, Director, British Museum.

2003: Beyond the Social Contract: Toward Global Justice – Professor Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago.

2002: Homiletic Elegy: Beowulf and Wilfrid Owen; On Pastoral Seamus Heaney, poet, playwright and translator.
Respondents: Helen Vendler, Porter University Professor at the Department of English, Harvard University; Professor Neil Corcoran, Head of the School of English at the University of St Andrews; Oliver Taplin, Professor of Classical Languages and Literature, Magdalen College, Oxford University; and Jerzy Jarniewicz, Department of English Literature at the University of Lodz.

2001: The State and the Shaping of Identity – Professor Antony Appiah, Professor of Afro-American Studies and Philosophy at the University of Harvard.

2000:  Tanner Symposium – Culture and Calendar – Lawrence Sullivan, Mary Miller, Liba Taub, Silke Ackermann; Science and the Measurement of Time – Steven Chu, Michael Hastings, Craig Heller, Malcolm Longair, Joseph Taylor, Joseph Vining; The Performance of Time – William Bolcom, Peter Jeffery, Samuel Barrett; The Loss of Time – Toni Morrison.


1999 Happiness: Professor Jonathan Lear, John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago.

1998 The Idol of Stability Professor Stephen Toulmin, Professor, University of Southern California, (formerly Oxford University).

1997: Why Animals Don’t Have Language – Professor Dorothy Cheney, primatologist, University of Pennsylvania.

1996: I. Jazz: A Historical Perspective, II. Duke Ellington, III. Charles Mingus – Gunther Schuller, Jazz historian, performer, arranger and editor.

1995 Space-time and Cosmology – Sir Roger Penrose, Professor of Mathematics, Oxford University.

1993: Problems of Christianization in Rome and the Post-Roman West – Professor Peter Brown, Professor of History, Princeton University.

1992: The Sources of Normativity – Professor Christine Korsgaard, Professor of Philosophy, Harvard University.

1991: On Doing Science in the Modern World – Dr David Baltimore, President of Rockefeller University.

1990: Environmental Challenges of the ippos: our responsibilities towards future generations – Dr Gro Brundtland, Prime Minister of Norway.


1989: Interpretation and Over-interpretation: World, History, Texts – Professor Umberto Eco, writer and Professor, University of Bologna.

1988: Islam in European Thought: The Nineteenth Century and After – Dr Albert Hourani, Oxford University.

1987: The Penalty of Imprisonment – Louis Blom-Cooper, QC, London, formerly Chairman of the Howard League for Penal Reform.

1986: Technology, Bureaucracy and Healing – Professor Roger Bulger, University of Texas.

1985: Architecture: Modernist and Post-modernist – Aldo van Eyck, architect, Netherlands.

1984: The Standard of Living – Professor Amartya Sen, Professor of Political Economy, Oxford University.

1983: Challenges of Neo-Darwinism – Professor Steven Jay Gould, palaeontologist and evolutionary biologist, Harvard University.

1982: Haydn and Eighteenth Century Patronage in Austria and Hungary – Professor H. C. Robbins Landon, Professor of Music, Cardiff University.

1981: A Voluntary Society – Dr Kingman Brewster, President of Yale University; formerly US Ambassador in London.

1980: The Arts as a Source of Truth – Professor John A. Passmore, Australian National University.


1979: Arms Control and Peace Research – Professor Raymond Aron, College de France and Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris.

1978: Morality, Politics and the Press – Dr Conor Cruise O’Brien, editor of the Observer.

For any queries about this archive, please contact our College Archivist.

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