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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.