About The Academy

16 & 17 July 2022, Wyboston Lakes, Bedfordshire
The Academy returns in 2022 in its regular format of an in-person, residential event. An outline of the event, along with readings, are now available at The Academy 2022 page

Together with people from all walks of life, the Academy revolves around big ideas, historic books, engaging lectures and great discussions. The Academy aims to explore the history, philosophy, literature and sociology of our current moment, through a series of lectures and discussions on a range of foundational themes. Each event aims to examine the historical development of a key contemporary trend or idea.

The Academy is a summer residential weekend at Wyboston Lakes Conference Centre, Bedfordshire – something of an intellectual holiday, a chance to step back from contemporary politics and delve into ideas. Attendees can read as much or as little as they like from reading lists given out in advance and the format of the weekend is three to four lectures a day covering philosophy, history and culture. The only qualification required is a desire to learn, discuss and engage with big ideas.

Previous lecturers include: Professor Frank Furedi, Professor Roger Scruton, Professor Timothy O’Hagan, Dr Tiffany Jenkins, Professor Angela Hobbs, Kenan Malik, Dr Teresa Bejan, Professor John Haldane, Professor Neville Morley, Professor Ken Gemes, Dr Joel Rasmussen, Ivan Hewett, Professor Barry Ife, Professor James Tooley and Professor David Jones.

Each Academy has a theme linking the lectures together. The lectures are up to 45 minutes with the balance of the session time of 90 minutes reserved for questions and points from the floor. The audience is of all ages and levels of education. What attendees have in common is that they are all bright and serious and are not afraid of discussing and exploring ideas and sharing their thoughts about what they have read. Some two hundred people attend on average each year.


Recordings of sessions from previous years are available to provide a flavour of the event:

2020-1 Academy Online (four events on Psychology, Racism, History and the Elite)

2019 (on the emergence of the culture wars)

2018 (on popular sovereignty)

2017 (on The Self)

2016 (on Europe)

2014 (on morality)

2013 (on man and nature)

2012 (on free will and determinism)