Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

The Exchange Presents: The State of Free Speech

July 4 @ 6:30 pm - 11:00 pm

Join us for a discussion on the state of free speech today, hosted by Ian Skillicorn of The Exchange. Freedom of speech has become one of the most hotly debated issues of our age. Advocates argue that the present socio-political atmosphere stifles freedom of expression and legitimate dissent, fuels cancel culture and leads to censorship. Critics claim that free speech advocacy is being used as an excuse to spread hate and disinformation.

During this event, Dr Jan Macvarish, Education and Events Director of the Free Speech Union, will discuss the work of the FSU, some of the individual cases they have represented, and the current state of Free Speech in the UK and further afield.

The Exchange organises and hosts public conversations about the important issues of our age. We encourage debate and the sharing of opinions and experiences in a welcoming and respectful environment. The Exchange events take place in The Athenaeum in the heart of Liverpool. The Athenaeum was founded in 1797 to provide a meeting place where ideas and information could be exchanged in pleasant surroundings. The Exchange continues this long tradition of debate and enquiry in the twenty first century.

About Dr Jan Macvarish
Dr Jan Macvarish is the Education and Events Director of the Free Speech Union. Before joining the FSU, Jan was an academic sociologist at the University of Kent and Birkbeck, University of London, with a particular interesting in the study of interpersonal relationships, parenting, family life, family and health policy, sex and intimacy. She is the author of the book Neuroparenting: The Expert Invasion of Family Life and co-author of two editions of the bestselling book, Parenting Culture Studies.

The Free Speech Union is a non-partisan public interest body that stands up for the speech rights of its members and campaigns for free speech more widely. Launched in 2020 by journalist Toby Young, the FSU has since grown to just under fourteen thousand members and has achieved successful outcomes in over 70% of its casework.

Following the discussion, we will enjoy a three-course dinner in the Dining Room, after which we can relax in the Newsroom until closing time.

Tickets: £37


Event Schedule

6:30pm  – Arrivals & Welcome

6:45pm  – Discussion with Dr Jan Macvarish, hosted by Ian Skillicorn

8:00pm – Dinner (menu tbc)

10:30pm – Last Orders



July 4
6:30 pm - 11:00 pm


The Athenaeum Liverpool
Church Alley
Liverpool,L1 3DDUnited Kingdom
+ Google Map
+44 151 709 7770