Deputy Presiding Officer Liam McArthur MSP joins Professor A.C. Grayling CBE, one of the UK’s most prolific philosophers and authors, in conversation to discuss Professor Grayling’s timely book, For the Good of the World: Is Global Agreement on Global Challenges Possible?

Professor Grayling discusses the three most urgent challenges facing the world today: climate change, technology and justice. 

As Master of the New College of the Humanities, and an author of over 30 books, he dissects both the threats and the inspiring solutions. Can human beings collectively agree on a set of values to save the planet from extinction?

This event was recorded live at the Scottish Parliament in August.

The Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone MSP joins Lemn Sissay OBE, one of the nation’s best-loved poets, to discuss his No1 best-selling memoir My Name Is Why, at the Festival of Politics. Now an award-winning PEN Pinter Prize playwright, performer and BAFTA-nominated broadcaster, Lemn reflects on a childhood spent within the institutional care system where bureaucracy and neglect often superseded love.

Having found a powerful creative release in words, Lemn talks about race, family and the meaning of home.

This event was recorded live at the Scottish Parliament in August.

George Monbiot is a writer, activist and environmentalist. As well as having a regular Guardian column, his books include: Feral, Age of Consent, How Did We Get into This Mess? and Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for an Age of Crisis. His latest collection, This can’t be happening (Penguin), is a collection of galvanising speeches and essays, calling on humanity to stop averting its gaze from the destruction of the living planet, and wake up to the greatest predicament we have ever faced.

This event is chaired by Alison Johnstone MSP, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament.

January 21, 2020

Women in science

Recorded as part of the Festival of Politics in partnership with the Royal Society of Edinburgh, this panel looks at the issue of gender inequality in STEM across public, private and education sectors.


Chaired by Deputy Presiding Officer Christine Grahame MSP, this panel includes:

  • Professor Niamh Nic Daéid FRSC FRSE, Professor of Forensic Science and Director of Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science at the University of Dundee
  • Professor Joanna Wardlaw FRSE, Chair of Applied Neuroimaging & Head of Neuroimaging Sciences and Edinburgh Imaging
  • Professor Raffaella Ocone OBE FREng FRSE, Professor of Chemical Engineering at Heriot-Watt University


Join our panel to hear as they consider whether public health laws promote healthy living or undermine freedom of choice.

Chaired by Emma Harper MSP, this event also featured

  • Pennie Taylor, freelance health journalist and broadcaster
  • Professor Linda Bauld, Chair of Public Health at the Usher Institute at the University of Edinburgh
  • Professor John Coggon, Chair in Law at the University of Bristol
  • Dr Iain Kennedy, Representative for the British Medical Association Scotland Council

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 signalled that barriers between people and nations could be broken.

Join the panel as they debate the motivations behind wall building.

This panel was chaired by Professor Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, Anniversary Chair in Law, Queen Mary University of London, and included:

  • Professor Holger Nehring, Chair in Contemporary European History at the University of Stirling
  • Jason Boxt, US pollster (conducts and analyses opinion polls)
  • Dr Nour Halabi, Lecturer of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds
  • Professor Alison Phipps, Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies, UNESCO chair in Refugee integration Through Languages and The Arts at the University of Glasgow

In this podcast, we hear the opportunities and challenges on achieving net-zero carbon emissions in Scotland by 2045.

Chaired by Mark Ruskell MSP, Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee, this panel includes:

  • Anne Johnstone, Head of Environment, Energy and Sustainability service for Hollis Global
  • Dr Martin Valenti, Head of Climate Enterprise for Scottish Enterprise
  • Catriona Patterson, 2050 Climate Group
  • Dr Matthew Brander, Senior lecturer in Carbon Accounting at the University of Edinburgh

This session was recorded as par of the Festival of Politics, in partnership with Edinburgh Science Festival.

Join Baroness Kennedy in conversation with Linda Fabiani MSP, Deputy Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament.

Baroness Kennedy is one of the UK’s most distinguished lawyers. Her high-profile work includes legal reform on sexual and domestic violence and campaigning for progress on equal opportunities within the legal profession.

Recorded at the 2019 Festival of Politics.

Finland is the only country in the EU where homelessness is falling. Now its radical approach is about to be piloted in parts of the UK.

Join the Presiding Officer and panellists Sanna Vesikansa, Deputy Mayor of Helsinki; Ewan Aitken, Chief Executive Officer, Cyrenians; Kate Farrell, Mayoral adviser on homelessness, Liverpool City Region; and Mark Johnson, former rough sleeper and User Voice founder, to discuss whether Finland’s solution will work in the UK.

Recorded at the 2019 Festival of Politics.

In this episode, The Presiding Officer speaks with journalists Brian Taylor, Colin Mackay, Elizabeth Quigley and Katrine Bussey on their experience covering the Scottish Parliament.

To find out more about the Scottish Parliament at 20, please visit our website.


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