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Taking (Up) the Tablets: Simon Baron-Cohen, Michael Bywater, Giles Coren, Anne Karpf and Piers Paul Read

Michael Bywater, Giles Coren, Anne Karpf, Piers Paul Read, Professor Simon Baron-Cohen

05/03/2006 10:30 am
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They are shared by all the religions of the Book but how resonant are the Ten Commandments in our lives today? Even such apparently obvious ones like thou shalt not kill are being questioned by the supporters of euthanasia.

Our glittering panel of writers discussed the relevance of the Ten Commandments today, proposed their own commandments and questioned the need for a common ethical backbone for the 21st century.

Michael Bywater

Michael Bywater is a writer and broadcaster, and writes the Lost Worldcolumn for the Independent on Sunday, published as Lost Worlds“…a glossary of the missing, a cabinet of absent curiosities.” He has written two books, The Chronicles of Bargepole, and Godzone: Over the Outback and Into the Drink. He currently teaches at Cambridge.

Giles Coren

Giles Coren writes opinion columns and restaurant reviews for The Timesand was named Food and Drink Writer of the Year at the 2005 British Press Awards. Under the pseudonym of Professor Gideon Garter, he writes The Intellectual’s Guide to Fashion in The Sunday Times. He has also written forThe Independent on Sunday, Tatler, GQ and The Mail on SundayWinkleris his first novel.

Anne Karpf


Anne Karpf is a sociologist and award-winning journalist, contributing regularly to The Guardian and other publications. Her books include How to Age, translated into ten languages, an acclaimed family memoir The War After: Living with the Holocaust and How Women Can Save the Planet. She is Professor of Life Writing and Culture at London Metropolitan University.

Piers Paul Read

Piers Paul Read is a novelist – The JunkersA Married ManA Patriot in Berlin- and playwright. His non-fiction includes Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors and more recently a biography of Alec Guinness.

Professor Simon Baron-Cohen

Professor Simon Baron-Cohen is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the University of Cambridge and Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. He is Director of the Autism Research Centre (ARC) in Cambridge. He has won many awards for his research on autism. He is the author of The Essential Difference: Men, Women and the Extreme Male Brain.

Helena Kennedy


Helena Kennedy QC has acted in many leading legal cases, including the Brighton Bombers’ trial and the Guildford 4 appeal. A Life Peer, she has received countless awards as an indefatigable fighter for justice.