Newnham Conversation: democracy and digital technologies

Newnham Conversation: democracy and digital technologies

Newnham Conversation: democracy and digital technologies
Friday 25 September 2020, 6.30pm to 7.30pm BST
Past event
Past event
Friday 25 September 2020, 6.30pm to 7.30pm BST
  • Newnham College
Open to: 
Alumni and guests
Colleges, Humanities, Science and technology, Social sciences

Early enthusiasts hoped that digital technologies would strengthen democracy, but today, fears that they will damage it have become common. Professor Onora O’Neill and Professor Rae Langton will consider the dangers that democracy faces in light of the growing reliance on digital technologies.


Professor Onora O'Neill

Former Principal and Honorary Fellow of Newnham College
Onora O'Neill

Onora O’Neill combines writing on political philosophy and ethics with a range of public activities. She was Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge from 1992-2006, President of the British Academy from 2005-9, chaired the Nuffield Foundation from 1998-2010, has been a crossbench member of the House of Lords since 2000 (Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve). She has chaired the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission from 2012-16 and served on the Medical Research Council and the Banking Standards Board until 2018. In 2017, she was awarded the Holberg Prize and the Berggruen Prize for Philosophy and Culture. She lectures and writes on justice and ethics, accountability and trust, justice and borders, as well as on the future of universities, the quality of legislation and the ethics of communication. 

Professor Rae Langton

Fellow of Newnham College
rae langton

Rae Langton is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Newnham College. Born and raised in India, she studied Philosophy at Sydney and Princeton, and has taught philosophy in Australia, the USA and the UK. She held professorships at Edinburgh 1999-2004 and at MIT 2004-2013. She works in moral and political philosophy, speech act theory, philosophy of law, the history of philosophy, metaphysics, and feminist philosophy. She is the author of Kantian Humility: Our Ignorance of Things in Themselves (Oxford University Press, 1998), and Sexual Solipsism: Philosophical Essays on Pornography and Objectification (Oxford University Press, 2009). She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2013, to the British Academy in 2014, and to the Academia Europeae in 2017.  She is one of five Cambridge faculty on Prospect Magazine’s voted list of 50 ‘World Thinkers 2014’, chosen for ‘engaging most originally and profoundly with the central questions of the world today’.

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