Monthly Talks Online

A series of regular monthly talks that take place normally on the first Tuesday of every month at 11.00 a.m. online via Zoom. A second talk may, on occasion, be organised later in the month.
  To enjoy the talks you must have access to a desktop or laptop PC, or a tablet or a smart phone loaded with the Zoom app.
  Registration is recommended to reserve a place.

February 2021 Talks

Thursday 11 February 2021
Martin Wilkinson : How economic inequality damages minds, bodies and societies

This talk will focus on the psychological effects of large income differences between rich and poor. It will show how inequality increases the importance of class and status, strengthening the tendency to think some people are worth more than others. In so doing, it undermines feelings of self-worth, damages social relationships, and contributes to the heavy burden of stress and mental illness in rich developed countries. The material is taken from Wilkinson and Pickett’s book The Inner Level, showing that inequality is not merely about economics and living standards, but affects us all intimately, changing the nature of social life and reducing levels of confidence. It describes some of the social and psychological processes which lead to the increased rates of the health and social problems shown in their earlier book, The Spirit Level.
Martin has lived in Haringey for over 30 years. He has worked for British Quakers at Friends House, Euston Road, to support African peace-makers. Before he was a teacher for about 20 years, using his qualifications in Materials Science and teaching. As a speaker for the Equality Trust he draws on about 30 years of following the work of his brother Richard Wilkinson, co-author with his wife Kate Pickett, of The Spirit Level and The Inner Level

Thursday 25 February 2021
Martyn Crucefix : Exploring the refugee experience through poetry

Martyn will talk about his recent book of poetry, Cargo of Limbs (2019). It addresses aspects of the Mediterranean refugee crisis through a ‘revision’ of part of Virgil’s Aeneid and photographs by Syrian refugee, Amel Alzakout. Martyn will discuss the creative processes which gave rise to the work and his long-term interest in writing about the refugee experience, in part because of his family’s Huguenot background. On the way, he will touch on Virgil, Seamus Heaney, Carol Ann Duffy, Susan Sontag, Ian McKellen and the photographer Don McCullin.
Martyn Crucefix is a teacher, poet, translator and is currently a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Westminster University. Cargo of Limbs – praised as “a lament and a rebuke, a concise saga of our savage time” by Dan O’Brien – is available from Hercules Editions. Other recent publications include These Numbered Days, translations of poems by Peter Huchel (Shearsman, 2019), currently shortlisted for the Schlegel-Tieck Translation prize 2020 and The Lovely Disciplines (Seren, 2017).

March 2021 Talks

Thursday 11 March 2021
John Pearson : Blessed are the cheesemakers

John has spent all his working life in the food industry, primarily with Marks & Spencer. Since retiring in 2008 he has consulted for a number of suppliers and retailers. His talk describes some of his encounters with suppliers and impossible customers. He is an international cheese judge, having travelled throughout Europe visiting dairies selecting products for Marks & Spencer. He also judges for Which? Magazine. In 2011 he was appointed Cheese Personality of the Year by the British Cheese Board. John’s fee from the talk will go to John’s friend, David Dowdy, who rears milking goats in Uganda and offers apprenticeships to local people.

Tuesday 23 March 2021
Mike Black : The seedy side of life

Seeds are enormously important in plant ecology, agriculture and horticulture so the study of their development, structure, composition, biochemistry, and molecular biology has attracted much scientific attention, including my own! But in addition to the science, seeds feature in many other aspects of human affairs – mythology, history, arts and crafts, toxicology, metrology, ritual practices and terrorism – that we will examine in this talk and which might be an eye-opener to many of you.
Mike is Emeritus Professor of Plant Physiology, King’s College, London where one of his major research interests was the physiology and biochemistry of seeds, e.g. their development, germination, longevity etc. Many research publications on these topics and also Senior Editor of The Encyclopedia of Seeds: Science, Technology and Uses.

Previous monthly talks

Our first virtual monthly talk took place on Tuesday 2 June, when art historian Peter Webb delivered an illustrated lecture: Vincent Van Gogh: a personal journal through the places he painted
Our second virtual monthly took place of Tuesday 7 July, when CEDU3A member and freelance consultant specialising in housing, urbanism and regeneration, Janet Sutherland, presented an array of choices for older people’s housing needs, from home adaptations to co-operative housing schemes, in the interests of independent living.
More on Janet’s research …
On 4 August Gordon Hutchinson delivered a talk on the history of Alexandra Park, followed on 19 August by Peter Webb on European erotic art. The first talk in September was by Sheila Hayman on the subject of artificial intelligence, followed Tess Lugos with a brief history of Chinese medicine. The first offering in October was a talk on the archaeology of the Thames Foreshore by Will Rathouse. Next up was Al Johnson’s presentation on the art of recovery, followed by Avril Nanton’s guide to London’s black statues. Wine lovers enjoyed a talk on the history of wine by our own Luisa Welch in early November. Our programme for 2020 ended with a return visit from Peter Webb who talked about his day with Dali. We began 2021 with a talk by Bernard Lockett on the heritage of Gilbert and Sullivan, followed by Gaye Illsley’s advice session on lasting power of attorney.
Recordings of these *talks are available to members who contact Please include your membership number in your email request. A file will be send for download via the file-sharing service WeTransfer.
*For reasons beyond our control the talks by Al Johnson and Avril Nanton are not available.