The East Midlands Salon by Jan Bowman


About the East Midlands Salon

*The East Midlands Salon exists to promote open, public debate. All our events are public and – especially now when social life is curtailed – all recordings, photos and comments will be publicly available. Your consent to this is given if you participate in any Salon activity.*

The origins of the Salon 

The idea of a Salon was developed in 17th and 18th Century France. Typically they were created and organised by the aristocratic ladies, to hear the ideas of the great thinkers of the time, to debate their meaning, for entertainment, because they believed ideas were important and because they wanted to know where the world was going, and of course to flirt. The Salon was central to the intellectual ferment of the end of 18th Century. They hosted the great thinkers of the time; Diderot, Rousseau, Voltaire. They were the scenes of excitement, outrage, and the shock of the new in a time when ‘the new’ still seemed possible. They signalled a time when the future was still an unwritten book. The East Midlands Salon is organised in homage to those days which only came to end with the eruption of the French Revolution and the arrival of a new constellation: the age of revolutions. Many historians think that Salons helped develop the ideas that ushered in that age.

Inspired by the Academy of Ideas

The East Midlands Salon, like those that currently exist in Brighton, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Scotland, Dublin and Zurich, is inspired by the Academy of Ideas (AoI) and its flagship event the Battle of Ideas Festival. The AoI is committed to:

  • The legacy of the Enlightenment: scientific and social experimentation, intellectual ambition and curiosity
  • Embracing change and making history
  • Art for art’s sake, knowledge for its own sake, and education as an end in itself.
  • Freedom. To think, to act, to say what needs saying – even if it offends others
  • Challenging irrational social panics
  • Open and robust debate, in which ideas can be interrogated, argued for and fought over
  • Civil liberties, with no ifs or buts

Details of AoI Membership are available here: