Home > Centre for the Study of Human Rights > Events > 2011 > Migrants and Intellectual life

Migrants and Intellectual life

The Migration Museum Project in conjunction with the London School of Economics Centre for the Study of Human Rights/Matrix Chambers Public Seminar

  • Wednesday 13 July 2011 
  • Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Speakers: Sir Harry Kroto, Philippe Sands QC, Mike Phillips, Gita Sahgal. Introduction by Barbara Roche

Chair: Rabinder Singh QC


Migrants are often presented as a burden, but no one can deny the impact they have had on Britain's intellectual life. One quarter of Britain's Nobel Prize winners in science were born abroad. Our religious, philosophical and ideological heritage has often been inspired by migrants, from royal patrons (Prince Rupert, Prince Albert) to refugees (Ralf Dahrendorf, Isaiah Berlin). It is rarely noticed on the migration balance sheet, but our science, philosophy, critical and spiritual life has been repeatedly shaped and reshaped by newcomers.


Sir Harry Kroto is a Professor of Chemistry at Florida State University who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1996.

Philippe Sands QC is a barrister at Matrix Chambers and Professor of Laws and Director of the Centre of International Courts and Tribunals at University College London.

Mike Phillips is a journalist and writer who has worked for the BBC.

Rabinder Singh QC is a barrister at Matrix Chambers, deputy High Court judge, and Crown Court Recorder.

Gita Sahgal is a writer and journalist.

Barbara Roche chairs the Migration Museum Project and is a former Immigration Minister.

Visit the Migration Museum Project website at www.migrationmuseum.org

Event Recording

An audio recording of this event is available on the Centre's podcast page.