British Middle East Studies Conference, 16-18 June 2014

3 June 2014

The Annual Conference of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) is a three day event that brings together prominent scholars, publishers, diplomats, non-governmental organisations, and the press to highlight areas of research and share information related to the Middle East.

From June 16 – 18 the University of Sussex is hosting this event as part of its growing investment in the field of Middle Eastern Studies. Plenary sessions include a keynote address by Professor Asef Bayat (University of Illinois), an expert on social movements and the politics of religiosity in the Middle East.

For more details and for contact information, see the BRISMES website.

Also: On 15 June the University of Sussex have got a special screening of the Moroccan film They Are the Dogs by Hicham Lasri, a gritty portrayal of contemporary Casablanca that confronts amnesia and human rights abuses in Morocco.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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