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The ASI presents Forum 2017

  • Conway Hall 25 Red Lion Street London, England, WC1R 4PS United Kingdom (map)

The Adam Smith Institute presents 'Forum 2017'

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're hosting our second Forum. Last year’s event attracted around 250 attendees, and this year we’re aiming to make Forum even bigger. We're bringing together leading economists, philosophers, and scientists 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 Johan Norberg, author of Progress making the case against nostalgia, Professor John Harris defending gene editing, Empirical Sex founder Elisa Misu Solaris exploring the science of kink, and Dr. Anton Howes explaining the causes of innovation.

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.

We'll also be heading for drinks afterwards to give you a chance to have a chat with some of our speakers and fellow attendees. The location for post-Forum drinks will be announced closer to the event.

To purchase a ticket, please visit our Eventbrite page.


Johan Norberg (Author of ‘Progress’, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute) on ‘Against Nostalgia

Professor John Harris (Lord Alliance Professor of Bioethics, University of Manchester) on ‘Why Gene Editing Must Not Be Stopped

Dr. Judy Stephenson (David Richards Junior Research Fellow in Economic History, University of Oxford) on ‘Do you want to be paid for your time or your product? The employment contract in historical perspective

Elisa Misu Solaris (Founder of Empirical Sex) on ‘The Science of Kink

Dr. Stuart Ritchie (Postdoctoral fellow, Dept of Cognitive Ageing, University of Edinburgh) on ‘Predicting your IQ from your genes

Dr. Henry Fisher (Science and Health Policy Director, Volteface) on ‘A good night out is worth more than you think

John Myers (Co-Founder of London YIMBY) on 'How to fix the housing crisis'

Dr Diana Fleischman (Senior Lecturer, Dept of Psychology, University of Portsmouth) on 'Sex Differences: Evolution and Equality'

Ben Southwood (Head of Research, Adam Smith Institute) on 'Why you shouldn't read the news'

Dr. Anton Howes (Lecturer in Economic History at the Department of Political Economy, King's College London) on 'How to be a great inventor'

Prof Janet Radcliffe Richards (Professor of Practical Philosophy, University of Oxford) on 'Organs for sale'

Stian Westlake (Executive Director of Policy and Research, Nesta) on 'Capitalism Without Capital: how the rise of a new economy explains the productivity slowdown'

Sam Bowman (Executive Director, Adam Smith Institute)


Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL

The nearest tube station is Holborn (Central and Piccadilly Lines)


9.00am to 5pm, Saturday December 9th 2017


Registration for Forum will begin at 8.45am in the foyer of Conway Hall. We are aiming to have everyone seated in Conway Hall at 9.10am for our first talk of the day.

To speed things up, it'd be great if everyone could bring either a print-out of their ticket or have it ready and open on their phone. Once, we've seen that we'll hand over a beautiful Adam Smith Institute lanyard and a programme.

Tea, Coffee and Lunch

Throughout the day there will be two tea, coffee, and biscuits breaks as well as a longer lunch break. They'll all be served in Conway Hall itself.


At the end of each session we'll be running a Q & A session with the speakers on stage. In order to get as many questions in as possible and to avoid the usual long-winded speeches disguised as questions, we're going to run the Q & A through Twitter. Simply tweet your question along with the #ASIForum.

There is public WiFi access at Conway Hall that does not require a password.


Unfortunately, we are unable to provide any refunds.


8:45-9:10 - Arrival and registration
09:20-11:00 - Session One + Q & A
11:00-11:20 - Break for tea and coffee
11:20-12:20 - Session Two + Q & A
12:20-13:20 - Lunch (provided)
13:20-14:50 - Session Three + Q & A
14:50-15:20 - Break for tea and coffee
15:20-17:00 - Session Four + Q & A
17:00 - Closing remarks


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.

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!

Later Event: 9 January
January TNG with Tim Shipman