Lecture with Dr Nicholas Cowen
6:00 pm18:00

Lecture with Dr Nicholas Cowen

As part of our Practical Liberalism series Dr Nicholas Cowen will speak about his ASI report "Nothing to Hide: The case against banning extreme pornography".

Nicholas is political scientist with interests in political theory, law and public policy. I wrote my doctoral dissertation at King's College London on the political economy of distributive justice. He has BA in Philosophy from University College London and an MPhil in Political Theory from the University of Oxford. He is currently a Fellow at the NYU School of Law. Before entering academia, he was a policy researcher and communications manager at the British think-tank, Civitas.

Our Practical Liberalism series showcases radical, evidence-based liberal ideas from leading philosophers, economists and politicians.

We're accepting RSVPs via events@adamsmith.org. 

The ASI presents Forum
9:30 am09:30

The ASI presents Forum

The Adam Smith Institute presents 'Forum'

At the Adam Smith Institute, we advocate for ideas that will make the world a freer, better, richer place. We aim to be radical and reasonable – pushing for bold reforms but backing it up with cold, hard evidence. 

In that spirit, we've decided to host the first (of what we hope will be many) Forum. We're bringing together leading economists, philosophers, scientists and even an architect for a day of talks on the underappreciated, underrecognised ideas they believe help explain and improve the world around us. 

To give you a taste – we've got Tim Harford, The Undercover Economist defending messiness, evolutionary psychologist Diana Fleischmann attacking disgust, psychologist Stuart Ritchie explaining why IQ matters, and our own Executive Director Sam Bowman arguing why we should all be neoliberals.

We're keeping the talks short (most won't go on for longer than 15 minutes) so we can squeeze as many great ideas as possible into the day.


Tim Harford (The Undercover Economist, BBC More or Less) on 'The Value of Messiness'
Patrik Schumacher (Director, Zaha Hadid Artchitects) on 'Governing private cities'
Dr Stuart Ritchie (Post-doctoral fellow, Dept of Cognitive Ageing, University of Edinburgh) on 'Why IQ Matters'
Dr Diana Fleischman (Senior Lecturer, Dept of Psychology, University of Portsmouth) on 'Why disgust is a useless emotion'
Prof Janet Radcliffe Richards (Professor of Practical Philosophy, University of Oxford) on 'Why we should allow organ sales'
Prof Mark Post (Professor of Physiology, Maastrict University) on 'Making a lab grown burger'
Dr Madsen Pirie (President, Adam Smith Institute) on 'Trial and Error'
Steve Moore (Volte Face) on 'How markets are winning the drug war'
Nicholas Boys Smith (Create Streets) on 'How to build beautiful cities'
Pedro Serodio (Teaching Fellow, University of Warwick) on 'Why Economic Models are not complete bullshit'
Stian Westlake (Executive Director, Nesta) on 'The problem with intangible investment'
Tom Holland (Historian) on 'What gay marriage owes to St Paul and the papacy'
Prof John Harris (Lord Alliance Professor of Bioethics, University of Manchester) on 'Why gene-editing must not be stopped'

In the Edmond J. Safra Lecture Theatre at King's College London. 

Nearest Tube is Temple.


9.30am to 6pm, Saturday December 3rd


We want to reach as many students and young people as possible, so we're offering discounted tickets for under-30s. Of course, if you're over 30, we'd still love for you to come along provided you pay a little extra and help subsidise some of our younger attendees. And as King's College London's Libertarian Society were so helpful in getting this organised we've decided to give all KCL students a 50% discount on top of our under-30's discount.

If you do take advantage of a discounted rate you may be asked to prove your identity at the door so please do bring along ID on the day!

To purchase a ticket, please visit our Eventbrite page.


8.45am - Registration

9.15am - Introduction from Sam Bowman

Session One

9.20am - Madsen Pirie - Trial and Error and The Idea of Progress

9.40am - Dr Stuart Ritchie - Why IQ Matters

10.00am - Dr Mark Vries - Making Lab Grown Burgers

10.20am - Dr Diana Fleischman - Why Disgust is Useless

10.40am - Q & A session

11.00am - Break for Tea and Coffee

Session Two

11.20am - Steve Moore - How Markets are Winning the War on Drugs

11.40am - Nicholas Boys-Smith - How to Build Beautiful Cities

12.00pm - Patrik Schumacher - Governing Private Cities

12.20pm - Q & A Session

12.35pm - Lunch

Session Three

13.20pm - Ben Southwood - Why Markets Beat Discrimination

13.40pm - Stian Westlake - How Capital’s Vanishing Act Explains Everything

14.00pm - Dr. Pedro Serodio - Economic Models are not Complete Bullshit

14.20pm - Tim Harford - In Defense of Messy

14.50pm - Q & A

15.10pm - Break for Tea and Coffee

Session Four

15.30pm - Michael Story - How to Predict the Future

15.50pm - Eric Kaufman - Extremes

16.10pm - Tom Holland - What Gay Marriage owes to St Paul and the Papacy

16.30pm - Prof. John Harris - Why Gene-Editing Must Not Be Stopped

16.50pm - Q & A    

17.10pm - Closing Speech: Sam Bowman - Why We Are Neoliberals

17.30pm - Forum's over - time to go to the pub.

Book Launch: Legislating Instability by Tyler Beck Goodspeed
6:00 pm18:00

Book Launch: Legislating Instability by Tyler Beck Goodspeed

Tyler Beck Goodspeed will be launching his book Legislating Instability – Adam Smith, Free Banking, and the Financial Crisis of 1772 at the Adam Smith Institute.

Introducing Tyler's book will be Conservative politician and friend of the ASI Steve Baker MP.

About Legislating Instability:

From 1716 to 1845, Scotland’s banks were among the most dynamic and resilient in Europe, effectively absorbing a series of adverse economic shocks that rocked financial markets in London and on the continent. Legislating Instability explains the seeming paradox that the Scottish banking system achieved this success without the government controls usually considered necessary for economic stability.

About the Author:

Dr. Goodspeed is a Junior Fellow at the University of Oxford and has just started as a Lecturer in Economics in the Department of Political Economy at King's College London. Prior to earning his Ph.D. from Harvard University in May 2014, he received his A.B. from Harvard College, summa cum laude, in 2008, and from 2008-2009 was a Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge.

His first book, Rethinking the Keynesian Revolution, analyzes the debates between John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Hayek, and considers the relevance of those debates to contemporary macroeconomic theory. Tyler's current research focuses on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British and North American economic history, with particular attention to informal banking and the political economy of financial regulation, as well as long-run economic development.

About Steve Baker MP:

Steve Baker is MP for Wycombe. He co-chairs Conservatives for Britain, as well as serving on the Treasury Select Committee and the Executive of the Conservative 1922 Committee.

TNG with Joseph Sternberg
6:00 pm18:00

TNG with Joseph Sternberg

November's speaker will be Joseph Sternberg, who'll be talking on "The US Election: What free marketeers should think". 

Joseph is a columnist and an Editorial-Page Editor for The Wall Street Journal Europe. An opinion writer, he typically engages with ideas from a free-market perspective. Joseph also writes a biweekly column on the political-economy of Western Europe.

His areas of expertise include the economic crises in Greece and Portugal, monetary policy, tax affairs and the digital single market. Joseph has worked around the world - living in places such as Vermont, Washington D.C and Hong Kong - but he now resides in London. 

As usual, TNG events are for under 30s only.

There will be free wine.

Please don't arrive before 6pm as we won't let you in.

RSVP on Facebook.


Lecture with Robert Lawson
6:00 pm18:00

Lecture with Robert Lawson

Robert Lawson speaks to us about the "Economic Freedom of the World Index".

Robert Lawson holds the Jerome M. Fullinwider Endowed Centennial Chair in Economic Freedom and is director of the O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom at the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Cox School of Business. 

Lawson is a co-author of the widely-cited Economic Freedom of the World annual reports, which present an economic freedom index for over 150 countries.  Lawson has numerous professional publications in journals including Public Choice, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Cato Journal, Kyklos, Journal of Labor Research, Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, and European Journal of Political Economy. Lawson is past-president of the Association of Private Enterprise Education, a Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute, and a member of the Mont Pelerin Society.

His research has been cited over 6000 times, according to Google Scholar.

Ayn Rand Lecture with Julie Meyer
6:00 pm18:00

Ayn Rand Lecture with Julie Meyer

On Tuesday 25th October, we will be honouring Ayn Rand and her ideas with a special guest lecture room at the Royal Institution in Mayfair.

Julie Meyer MBE, Chairman and Chief Executive of Ariadne Capital will be giving our annual Ayn Rand Lecture on "Why Society Works Best When It’s Organised Around the Entrepreneur".

This event is strictly invite only.

Liberty Lecture with Prof. Hillel Steiner
6:00 pm18:00

Liberty Lecture with Prof. Hillel Steiner

Prof. Hillel Steiner will give a lecture on the subject of "Free Markets and Exploitation".

This event is one of the Adam Smith Institute's Liberty Lectures: a series of talks aimed at students and young professionals from leading economists, politicians and philosophers, engaging with classically liberal and libertarian thought in a more in-depth and formal environment than the TNG. 

RSVP on Facebook.

TNG with Norman Lamb MP
6:00 pm18:00

TNG with Norman Lamb MP

October's speaker will be Norman Lamb MP, who'll be speaking on "The case for creating a legal, regulated market for cannabis in the UK". 

Norman has been the MP for North Norfolk since 2001 and is the Liberal Democrats' health spokesman. Earlier this year, he proposed a cross-party bill that would have legalised cannabis on the grounds of public health.

In 2015 Norman launched a campaign to become leader of the Liberal Democrats party, eventually losing to Tim Farron despite gaining the endorsement of Dappy from N Dubz.

As usual TNG events are for under 30s only.

There will be free wine.

Please don't arrive before 6pm as we won't let you in.

RSVP on Facebook.

The ASI at the Conservative Party Conference Fringe
Oct 4

The ASI at the Conservative Party Conference Fringe

  • IET Austin Court

If you're planning on making the journey to Britain's second city (sorry, Manchester) for this year's Conservative Party Conference, you might like to come along to one, two or five of the Adam Smith Institute's Conference Fringe events. We've got five excellent panel discussions lined up, covering everything from taxes and planning to marijuana and hangover-free alcohol. We're even offering a free lunch. 

All of our events will take place just three minutes outside the Secure Zone in the Boulton-Faraday Room at the IET Austin Court Hotel (where I'm informed Theresa May launched her leadership bid). 

Here's what we've got lined up:

Monday 3rd October

Rebooting Britain: Why Britain needs simpler, flatter taxes
: 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Speakers, including Steve Baker of the Treasury Select Committe and Angela Knight, Director of the Office of Tax Simplification, will discuss the case for radical tax reform that cuts the worst, most anti-growth taxes and simplifies the tax system to encourage innovation and let Britain boom after Brexit. Which is worst – corporation tax, stamp duty, inheritance tax? Come along and have your say.

Steve Baker MP, Treasury Select Committee
Angela Knight, Office of Tax Simplification
Ben Southwood, Adam Smith Institute
Alex Wild, Taxpayers' Alliance (Chair)

Planning Reform: Is green the new brown?
: 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Everyone agrees that we need to build more houses. But what kind, and where? This panel assembles one of Parliament's leading thinkers on housing and planning, John Howell MP, whose book was an inspiration for the National Planning Policy Framework, along with former advisor to George Osborne Nicholas Boys-Smith whose group, Create Streets, campaigns for beautiful neighbourhoods that people actually want to live in – not modernist monstrosities that only an architect could love. Other panelists include LSE's Prof Paul Cheshire, a firebrand critic of the green belt who believes that we need to totally rethink our approach to planning in a free market way to build the houses we need.

John Howell MP, Author of “Open Source Planning”
Nicholas Boys Smith, Create Streets
Prof. Paul Cheshire, London School of Economics
Rory Meakin, Taxpayers' Alliance
Jonn Elledge, CityMetric (Chair)

Legalising Cannabis: Lessons from Abroad
In partnership with VolteFace
Time: 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Cannabis isn't just for the Dutch anymore – a tide of legalisation is rising across the developed world. Following in the footsteps of US states like Colorado and Washington, Canada looks set to become the first major Western nation to fully legalise and regulate cannabis. But can this be done without encouraging problem use, and if we are going to regulate cannabis, how should we do it? A range of speakers from across the Conservative Party, including Crispin Blunt MP and former Cameron speechwriter Ian Birrell, will discuss where we should draw the line. This event is co-hosted with VolteFace Magazine.

Crispin Blunt MP, Foreign Affairs Select Committee
Ian Birrell, Mail on Sunday
Steve Moore, VolteFace
Sam Bowman, Adam Smith Institute
Francesca Washtell, City AM (Chair)

Tuesday 4th October

The Border After Brexit: Securing Britain's borders
Free Lunch Provided
Time: 1:00pm - 2:00pm

We're joined by senior MPs to discuss one of the most pressing issues in post-Brexit politics: how do we control our borders. Following the ASI's widely-covered report, The Border After Brexit, the panel will include Ed West, best known for his book "The Diversity Illusion" and his writing for the Spectator and Evening Standard, and leading Members of Parliament on this issue, Ranil Jayawardena MP and Charlie Elphicke MP, to discuss how to make the border secure and efficient – and how to implement the post-Brexit immigration policies we decide on. We'll be serving a free, hot buffet lunch, so get there early to make sure you get a seat (and a plate).

Charlie Elphicke, MP for Dover
James Kirkup, The Daily Telegraph
Ed West, The Spectator
Sam Bowman, Adam Smith Institute
Dr Eamonn Butler, Adam Smith Institute (Chair)

Innovate not Regulate: How the nanny state harms public health
: 3:00pm - 4:00pm

The nanny state beats drinkers and smokers over the head for their own good – or so it claims. Following on from a new ASI report, we discuss the technological alternatives to regulation, with a pioneer of "hangover-free alcohol" Prof David Nutt and scourge of nanny statists Christopher Snowdon. E-cigs are just the start – we won't be happy until there's a safe, cheap and enjoyable alternative to every 'vice' under the sun. If you're sick of being told what to put in your body by the state, this is the panel for you.

Lord Callanan, Former Leader of the Conservative Party in the European Parliament
Christopher Snowdon, Institute of Economic Affairs
Prof. David Nutt, Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs
Dr Madsen Pirie, Adam Smith Institute (Chair)

All events are open to the public (you don't need a Conference Pass to come along), so if you're in Birmingham and fancy coming along but aren't at the Conference, please be our guest. There's no need to RSVP, just come along on the day.

Liberty and Technology: Geoffrey Manne in conversation with Dominique Lazanski
6:45 pm18:45

Liberty and Technology: Geoffrey Manne in conversation with Dominique Lazanski

Technological change can be liberating — yet also worrying. The inventions that improve our lives can also extend government’s power over us, both directly and by efforts to “protect” us from the perceived dangers new technology inevitably brings. What should classical liberals think? Can they find common ground across the political spectrum on such issues?

Join us for a wide-ranging discussion with leading American tech policy expert Geoffrey Manne, former law professor and Executive Director of the International Center for Law & Economics, and Dominique Lazanski, a long-time tech policy expert in the UK and veteran of the TaxPayers' Alliance. She will lead a discussion of both the big picture struggle among bottom-up dynamists, top-down technocrats, and pure reactionaries, as well as the most contentious battles currently raging on both sides of (and across) the Atlantic, including those surrounding net neutrality, the sharing economy, digital platforms, government surveillance, privacy, data security, drones and so on.

Please RSVP by emailing samd@adamsmith.org

TNG with Douglas Carswell MP
6:00 pm18:00

TNG with Douglas Carswell MP

After a long TNG free summer, we're finally back.

Douglas Carswell will be speaking to us on "The corruption of capitalism - and how to fix it".

Douglas is UKIP's only elected Member of Parliament. He campaigned on behalf of Vote Leave during the EU Referendum and is the author of multiple books including "The Plan: Twelve Months to Save Britain".

There will be free wine (and free ASI branded Oyster Cardholders) as usual.

Please don't arrive before 6pm as we won't let you in.

RSVP on Facebook

Rebooting Britain with Dr Madsen Pirie
6:00 pm18:00

Rebooting Britain with Dr Madsen Pirie

Dr Madsen Pirie will be launching his new paper Rebooting Britain on Wednesday July 20th – and you’re invited.

As Britain leaves the European Union, Rebooting Britain sets out the radical free market reforms that will allow Britain to prosper and succeed at this time of national renewal. From housing to banking, taxes to drugs, Madsen Pirie outlines radical solutions to the problems facing Britain. Some of them may seem shocking (abolishing the Bank of England), but as Madsen once said “We propose things which people regard as being on the edge of lunacy. The next thing you know, they're on the edge of policy."

Dr Madsen Pirie is President of the Adam Smith Institute, and was one of three Scots graduates working in the US who founded the Institute in 1977. Madsen has authored several books including The Book of the Fallacy, Micropolitics, Privatization, How to Win Every Argument, 101 Great Philosophers, Blueprint for a Revolution, and Freedom 101.

It is also the 20th anniversary of the launch of the ASI website, and Dr Eamonn Butler will say a few words about that - we were the first UK think tank to go online, and have kept ahead of the curve ever since.

Madsen will speak for five minutes and there will be complimentary red and white wine available.

RSVP via events@adamsmith.org to attend.

TNG with Tim Stanley
6:00 pm18:00

TNG with Tim Stanley

This month, historian and journalist Tim Stanley will be talking to us about Trump: Who is he, what does he really believe and will he change the American Right for good?

Doors open at 6:00pm for a 7:00pm start. 

If you are interested, please RSVP via events@adamsmith.org


Lecture with Yaron Brook
6:30 pm18:30

Lecture with Yaron Brook

Yaron Brook will be talking to us about his new book "Equal Is Unfair". 

We've all heard that the American Dream is vanishing, and that the cause is rising income inequality. The rich are getting richer by rigging the system in their favour, leaving the rest of us to struggle just to keep our heads above water. To save the American Dream, we're told that we need to fight inequality through tax hikes, wealth redistribution schemes, and a far higher minimum wage.