Freedom and the Digital Revolution: the freedom trap

11 October 2010, 17:00 - 19:00

Palmerston Room, Fisher Building, St John's College, Cambridge

Humanitas Visiting Professor in Media 2010

The Humanitas Chair in Media has been made possible by the generous support of the Blavatnik Family Foundation

Dr Mathias Döpfner (Chairman, CEO Axel Springer AG)

Freedom and the Digital Revolution

Lecture 1: The freedom trap

According to several studies and surveys, liberty is on the retreat worldwide. Western societies find themselves in a freedom trap. They take their civil liberties for granted and find collectivist concepts increasingly acceptable – a phenomenon which can be best observed with regard to Germany. Though Germany looks back on a great tradition of liberty culminating in the events of 1989, the German mentality can also be characterised by a strong confidence in the authority of the state which may be seen as the residue of Nazi ideology and the collectivist Student Movement. On a global scale, our civil liberties are being challenged by totalitarian capitalism as well as by religious fundamentalism. On the threshold of a digital era, it is of paramount importance to remind ourselves of our tradition of liberty - a tradition which is worth defending.


Further lectures in the series are:

A symposium entitled, The Digital Revolution and its Futures, will take place on Tuesday 2 November.

The lectures are free and open to all. (Please note the different locations of each lecture.)
Registration is required for the symposium

About the Professorships

Humanitas is a series of Visiting Professorships at Oxford and Cambridge intended to bring leading practitioners and scholars to both universities to address major themes in the arts, social sciences and humanities. Created by Lord Weidenfeld, the Programme is managed and funded by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue with the support of a series of generous benefactors, and administered in Cambridge by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH). Humanitas Visiting Professors are held by distinguished academics and leading practitioners who have contributed to interdisciplinary research and innovation in a broad range of contemporary disciplines in the arts, social sciences and humanities. Covering areas of urgent or enduring interest in today's society as well as the performing arts, Humanitas Visiting Professors will present their pioneering work through a series of lectures or performances open to University audiences and the wider public.