Leicester Exchanges

From one of the UK’s leading universities comes a new way to make real progress on some key issues that shape our society. Join some of Britain’s leading academics and highest-profile opinion formers as we seek answers that could change the way we live for the better. So, the floor is yours; will you make the most of it?

Make no mistake: independence will be back as an issue

By Dr Meryl Kenny, Department of Politics and International Relations

Dr Meryl Kenny discusses how the independence issue may potentially return

In many ways, last Thursday’s independence referendum represents a decisive answer to the question of Scotland’s political future, with the majority of Scots voting against independence by a margin of 55% to 45%. While predictions had suggested that it would be a close-run race, the No camp was victorious across most of Scotland, even in some areas considered to be SNP heartlands. Prior to the referendum, Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond declared that independence was a ‘once in a generation opportunity’; David Cameron echoed this words in the aftermath of the No Vote, declaring that the independence issue was now ‘settled for a generation’. Read More »

Billion people hold their breath as India becomes the first Asian country to reach Mars

By Dr John Bridges, Reader in Planetary Science, department of Physics and Astronomy.

Dr John Bridges, from the department of Physics and Astronomy discusses on The Conversation how India has made history and its spacecraft Mangalyaan is now safely orbiting the red planet.   Read More »

Scottish voters have prevented a serious debate about Trident

By Dr Andrew Futter, Senior Lecturer in International Politics, Department of Politics and International Relations.

Dr Andrew Futter discusses on The Conversation, if Scotland had voted Yes, we might have been forced to rethink our relationship with nuclear weapons. No such luck.

Nowhere was the relief over Scotland’s decision last week to remain part of the United Kingdom more acutely felt than with those responsible for Britain’s nuclear deterrent system, Trident.

The Scottish National Party had promised that independence would lead to the removal of Trident submarines and the associated nuclear warhead storage facilities from their bases on the Clyde estuary, not far from Glasgow. Irrespective of various Ministry of Defence contingency plans, it would have been very difficult if not impossible to relocate them. Consequently, a vote for Scottish independence could also have been a vote for UK unilateral nuclear disarmament. Read More »

How to pull the plug on irresponsible capitalism

By Professor Martin Parker, Organisation and Culture, School of Management

Professor Martin Parker discusses on The Conversation that there is a time for a manifesto of measures which can restore calm to capitalism.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has proposed a plan to stop companies from avoiding billions of dollars in taxes. As we know from the scandals surrounding Amazon, Starbucks, Vodafone and others, big companies often hide their profits by pretending to have head offices somewhere with a low tax regime. Putting it mildly, this stinks. Read More »

Tackling gender inequality on stage needs to go further than female Hamlets

By Professor Gail Marshall, Director of the Victorian Studies Centre and Research Director for the College of Arts, Humanities and Law.

Professor Gail Marshall questions on The Conversation why gender roles in theatre, haven’t things progressed further.

Several British theatres have made a pledge to address the levels of gender inequality on the contemporary stage. And a theatre complex in Sheffield has gone a step further, promising to create parts for equal numbers of male and female actors in its in-house productions in the next year. How it will do this remains to be seen – whether in commissioning more modern plays or by featuring more cross-gender roles, as seen in Maxine Peake’s current title role in Hamlet at the Exchange Theatre. Read More »