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At present we orgainise an annual conference, held in Duns and Chirnside in alternate years. We may also organise or take part in other events and activities which you will be able to read about here.


Don’t miss our Thinking Without Borders conference Thinking About Love on Sat Sept 21st at Chirnside Community Centre TD11 3XR. 

We have fascinating speakers to help us address questions like: What is love? Does it mean different things to different people in different ages, cultures and traditions? Are there different sorts of love and loving? What accounts for our sometimes odd behaviour when we fall head over heels in love? What happens when it’s absent? Are there differences between notions of individual love and loving, and that of and for communities?  How is love affected by perceived differences? We will also address many questions that you as the audience may like to raise with our panel for discussion and reflection.

Philosopher Professor Simon May of Kings College London will help us question and re-think some of our accepted notions of what love might mean as expressed in his acclaimed book, Love: A new understanding of an ancient emotion.  The Financial Times review of it states:

May could just have achieved the seemingly impossible and produced a truly original philosophy of love … May is able to draw out what is true in each age’s perception of love, discard what is misleading, and synthesize the result into the most persuasive account of love’s nature I have ever read.

He's also written a fascinating and brilliant book of aphorisms entitled Thinking Aloud: A Collection of Aphorisms (Alma Books, 2009), which was named a Financial Times Book of the Year. It’s both amusing and sharply insightful, so it’s no surprise that it’s included in Geary’s Guide to the World’s Great Aphorists, published by Bloomsbury. His work has been translated into ten languages and has been reviewed in major publications all over the world.

Neurophysiologist Professor Michael Ludwig, from the University of Edinburgh will explain in lay-terms what goes on in our brains and hormones when we experience the pull of love, why we choose particular partnerships, why our behaviour can go awol when we experience what we call ‘falling in love’, what stimulates individual and social behaviour, appetite, care and bonding.  For his books and biographical details see:  https://www.ed.ac.uk/discovery-brain-sciences/our-staff/research-groups/mike-ludwig

Historian Kenny McLean from the Duns Museum will relate fascinating historical tales about relationships - legal, illegal and those simply frowned-upon - revealing the traditions, attitudes and the social mores of different historical periods, from old parish records from Duns and the Borders environs.

Poetry : There will be amusing, moving and insightful poetry readings about love

Discussion & reflection – there will be a dedicated time for the audience’s questions, discussion and reflection headed up by the speakers addressing issues sparked from the day’s talks – or simply ones you’d like to bring.

And more to come!! More information about any additional speakers in the next notice

Do come and join us for an excellent day exploring the subject of love! It’s a chance to exercise your little grey cells as well as your chuckle muscles! Thinking About Love is on Saturday 21st September, 9.30 for a 10.am start. Refreshments will be available when you arrive. You get teas, coffee, biscuits and a buffet lunch as well as the conference and buzz of being a part of it all for just £15!  The day runs from 10 - 4.30pm.

For more information or to book a place, please email Derek Janes: secretary@thinkingwithoutborders.org.uk or call him on 07979 034 530.

We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you on Saturday Sept 21st.


On April 26 in Duns, we will contribute to the national celebrations to mark the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath by considering the role of John Duns Scotus to the thinking behind the Declaration and looking at issues around nationality, nationalism and borders. The keynote speaker will be Alexander Broadie, Honorary Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow. Professor Broadie gave the introductory lecture for the Duns Scotus events in 2016, which was attended by around 120 people.


To mark the 325th anniversary of the birth of Henry Home, Lord Kames of Kames in Berwickshire, one of the leading exponents of agricultural improvement in Scotland we shall consider his legacy and the moral issues around land, land ownership and farming


If you would like to be kept informed of our activities, please contact the Secretary, Derek Janes, on secretary@thinkingwithoutborders.org.uk or at 10 Currie Street, Duns, TD11 3DL

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