Letters on Liberty: Why Debating Matters - cover image


Mo Lovatt argues that debating matters because ideas matter. We need to reject the idea that any moral and political question has become a settled fact, she says, and that successive generations can forgo the process of democratic persuasion, discussion and the chance to consider and freely debate ideas for themselves. Using formats like Debating Matters, Mo argues that we must also defend the idea that children should cultivate the cognitive muscles required for dealing with the complex challenges of the adult world. The freedom to debate is the freedom to develop your own moral conscience, she writes. Rather than shying away from controversial or difficult topics, we should embrace them and encourage young people to do the same.

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Mo Lovatt is the national coordinator for Debating Matters, a debating competition for sixth-form students, and co-convenor of the Buxton Battle of Ideas festival. Mo is an experienced cultural events manager as well as a public speaker and a political commentator on TV and radio. Mo completed her doctoral research examining the application of arts and culture policy in areas of economic deprivation. As a postgraduate, she developed two core modules and taught on the Master’s degree programme in Creative and Cultural Industries Management at Northumbria University.

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