Editorial: A Heretics' Feast

From Galileo to Darwin, the heresies of today become the truths of the future. That has always been one of the principles of the Institute of Art and Ideas. It was a guiding theme in this year’s HowTheLightGetsIn festival, and it is at the forefront of our minds once more as the key thread that ties together the various strands of this issue of IAI News.

The focus this fortnight is how those defending the status quo respond to the heretics who challenge them. Particularly worrying is Nikolai Tolstoy’s account of his treatment by a politically-influenced judiciary in the 1980s and ‘90s. Such behaviour is not confined to history, however, as psychologist David Healy’s case demonstrates. This issue sees Healy speak out on the way dissenting doctors – of which he is one – are being intimidated into silence.

Meanwhile, art-activists Kevin Smith and Hannah Davey explain why Tate is appearing before the Information Tribunal, and we hear from biologist Rupert Sheldrake on his theory of morphic resonance. Sheldrake’s heretical A New Science of Life was once described as a "book for burning" by Nature and he’s often been shunned by the scientific community for his research into the fringes of biology.

60 years on from the foundation of CERN, particle physicist John Ellis defends the Large Hadron Collider from charges that it’s an expensive white elephant; and Diana Wallis posits radical constitutional reform: home rule for Yorkshire.

We hope there’s something provocative for everyone in this issue of IAI News. If you have any comments or would like to contribute your own views, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

 

 Image credit: St Dominic and the Miracle at Fanjeaux. Photo: Lawrence OP

 

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