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Meetings, January-March, 2008

All meetings in the Three Horseshoes Inn, Llanfaes, at 7.30 p.m.
Admission free but there will be a discreetly placed bowl for donations. Suggested donation £3.00, but less (or more) will be welcome.

Thursday January 3rd. Angus Clarke: Genetic screening - one (big) step forward or two steps back?
Angus Clarke is Professor of Medical Genetics at Cardiff University and represents the Chief Medical Officer for Wales on the Human Genetics Commission. He has a great deal of experience both as a researcher and as a practical clinician. He has a particular interest in 'genetic counselling' and in the ethical interests raised, for example on the choices facing parents whose children are likely to born with genetically determined problems. This will be a new and I think potentially very difficult but interesting departure for our group.

Thursday, January 10th. Mike Douse: The Weird World of International Development Aid
Over the last three decades, Mike has designed, implemented and evaluated international development programmes in the education sectors of some 60 countries. He is currently in the Sudan and has recently worked in Burma and in Zimbabwe. Prior to all of that he was Head of secondary schools in Cardiff and in Nigeria; he was the first Director of Australia's Disadvantaged Schools Programme. Mike has recently fulfilled a lifelong ambition of moving to Brecon where, with his wife Patricia, he is currently establishing Brecon Speakers Club, "soon to be the best in the whole UK"

Thursday, February 7th. Nina Fishman: Prospects for Europe in the first half of the 21st century. CANCELLED due to a death in the speaker's family (we hope to hold it on June 19th).
Nina Fishman is a labour historian, author of The British Communist Party and the Trade Unions, 1933-45 (Scolar Press, 1995). She is presently working on a biography of the Welsh miners' leader Arthur Horner. She has long argued that the British labour movement should take much more heed of what is happening in mainland Europe. This is the meeting that was postponed from last November.

Thursday, February 21st. Peter Brooke: Defending Genesis, or How to believe in the Bible without looking like an idiot.
An attempt to explain and defend the traditional patristic method of interpreting scripture.

Thursday, 6th March. Martin Vegoda: Judaism - an introduction.
Martin gave us the very interesting talk last November on the joint Muslim/Jewish radio station, Salaam Shalom in Bristol, when some of us realised that our ignorance about Islam was matched only by our ignorance about Judaism.

Wednesday 12th March. Joint meeting with the Brecknock Peace and Justice Group in the BISHOP BEVAN HALL, 7.30 pm.
Peter Coleridge: Israel and Palestine - A Wake-up call.
Peter studied Arabic and Middle East history as his first degree, and learnt Palestinian spoken Arabic as a volunteer in Palestine in the early sixties. He has related closely to the situation of Palestine and Israel ever since, and worked for Oxfam in the Middle East in the eighties and early nineties, helping to develop programmes in the West Bank and Gaza among other places. He has recently been to the West Bank to review a project on mental health for young people.

Thursday, 20th March. Howard Kimberly: Why I am a secular humanist.
Howard is based in Builth Wells where he organises non-religious ceremonies, marriages, funerals etc