Guest lecture given by Garrath Williams, Lancaster University
His paper summarises a longer piece of research that he has recently undertaken as part of the EU-funded I.Family Study http://www.ifamilystudy.eu .
He will present and defend the following claims:
(1) corporations are not free market actors, but arise thanks to a specific form of state intervention;
(2) contemporary food markets are structured by corporate activity (e.g. the well-known ‘hour-glass’ between producers and consumers);
(3) the resulting markets are bound to promote processed foods, which are invariably less healthy than whole foods;
(4) though very powerful in some regards, corporations are powerless to resist this logic; hence
(5) the only tenable way to uphold public health is greater statutory regulation of corporate activity;
(6) such regulation should not be understood as restrictive, but rather as enabling corporate actors to respect important public goods.
At a more philosophical level, he also wants to make this overarching argument: we should resist the careless (or disingenuous) assumption that government interventions (e.g. to create or modify corporate markets) are opposed to freedom; any sensible ‘restriction’ will uphold some sort of freedom; the crucial question is always what sorts of freedom we should value.
He is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Lancaster University. His research interests fall across ethics, political theory and applied ethics. One of his main interests, in all three of these areas, is responsibility – both conceptually and in terms of its practical aspects. For the past ten years, he has been involved in collaborative research on children, health and public policy, including the EU-funded I.Family study, which investigates diet and health-related behaviours in a large cohort of families across Europe.
His recent interest in corporations touches on all of these areas: corporate responsibilities and accountability, their relation to political authority, and their impact on public health.
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor - Economy Hustings
Tony Caldeira, Conservative
Carl Cashman, Liberal Democrat
Steve Rotheram MP, Labour
Tom Crone, Green
More candidates to be confirmed.
As the campaign for the election gains momentum, Centre for Cities and the Liverpool and Sefton Chamber of Commerce are organising a hustings for candidates to set out their plans to drive growth in the city.
From May, Liverpool City Region will have a new mayor with powers over transport, planning and skills. The new mayor will be given the opportunity to set out and implement a strategic vision for the economy of the metro area, supporting people, firms and institutions to build a more prosperous Merseyside in the decades to come.
Law and the Political Economy of Animals
by Dr Yoriko Otomo
Lecturer in Law, SOAS, University of London
'Why look at animals?' asked the late John Berger. For us legal scholars, it is important to look at animals because they tell us a great deal about how the law constructs our human selves (and our political community). In this talk I look at the symbolic, narrative and ideological power of animals by examining legal discourse and the operation of international law agreements. In thinking about how we regulate our relationships with animals (and animal parts), we can trace another story about the development of today's globalised and urbanised law.
The next Professorial Lecture will be delivered by Dr Graeme Close, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences
About Graeme Close:
Being an academic is certainly not something that came naturally to me. My days at school were somewhat testing and I could not wait to leave to embark upon a professional rugby career. With thanks to some very special teachers, plus my parents, I somehow survived. Due to many twists and turns in my rugby career, I did return to university and start what I could only describe as the most amazing adventure - an adventure that becomes more exciting every day.
There are two consistent themes throughout my life, these being 'muscle' and 'rugby' and I am very fortunate that I get the opportunity to research these areas daily. My early research investigated the role of free radicals and antioxidants in exercise-induced muscle damage. This PhD, under the guidance of Professor MacLaren at LJMU, sparked my interest in free radicals and I was very fortunate to then move to the world-renowned laboratories at The University of Liverpool to work with Professors McArdle and Jackson. Using mouse models, I was extremely fortunate to learn novel techniques in the assessment of free radicals in skeletal muscle where we investigated the basic mechanisms as to why we lose muscle mass with ageing.
In 2009 I returned to LJMU to translate some of this research into human ageing muscle where we performed muscle biopsies on elderly highly trained athletes. The research has demonstrated that exercise training does prevent some of the deleterious effects of ageing on muscle. I also developed a new area of interest, this being the role of vitamin D deficiencies on muscle function and repair following damaging exercise. We have provided mechanistic insights as to how vitamin D may influence muscle recovery. Being in a world class sport science department has allowed me to combine my childhood hobby (rugby) and career (science) and we have performed the first ever muscle biopsy studies on elite rugby players. These studies are now changing the nutritional guidelines in elite rugby. Finally, I am very fortunate that as well as being a research scientist, LJMU also allows me to deliver nutrition support to elite athletes. I currently work with England Rugby and Everton FC which allows me to take real world questions back to the laboratory to find novel solutions.
My inaugural professorial lecture will show my transition from rugby player to academic, outline some of my key research findings and give insights as to how I use this research to influence practice in professional sport, especially rugby giving thanks to some very influential people in my journey. The focus will be on muscles, mice and very big men.
Using Genomics to understand who is at risk and how to improve treament.
Glaucoma has been known since antiquity and is still the leading cause of blindness, affecting 60 million people worldwide. There are treaments to delay vision loss, but no cure. Genomic technologies offer insights into the causes of glaucoma and can help scientists develop better treatments.
Prof. Colin Willoughby, University of Liverpool, is an Eye Surgeon and Professor of Molecular Ophthalmology. His lab is working on the genetic basis of glaucoma and developing new molecular and stem cell therapies to tackle this devastating condition.
More events next week...