The Sticky Stuff

Friday, September 6, The Arches, Argyle Street, Glasgow

Today, we often hear politicians, commentators and media pundits speak about how our society is “broken”. No one knows their neighbours. No one cares for the environment. Young people are running wild. Britain is broken.

Or is it? 

Once upon a time, about 250 years or so ago, two very thoughtful men hit upon the same idea: that empathy, or sympathy, as they then called it, acted as a kind of social “glue”, helping hold society together. Those two men being the philosophers David Hume and Adam Smith, this is, of course, a gross simplification of their arguments. However, the basic truth, like the glue, holds: until we can put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, we can never really understand them...or know just how like us they are.

This event looks at a range of ways in which empathy, compassion, community and understanding others is so important - and how it can help us make society a better place to be. 

Among the speakers will be:

  • Sir Harry Burns, Chief Medical Officer for Scotland
  • Mary Clear of Incredible Edible Todmorden
  • Dr Peter Lovatt, aka "Dr Dance" of the University of Hertfordshire's Dance Psychology Lab
  • Alan Bissett, writer, performer & Scotland's 46th hottest man 2008 (as voted for by the Daily Record) fresh from his Fringe show Ban This Filth, in which he plays both himself and radical feminist Andrea Dworkin
  • Performance poet and cultural commentator Mr Gee, former "poet laureate" on Russell Brand's radio show (yes, he was there during Sachsgate)

 To register interest, please email