Welcome to the Leeds Salon

The Leeds Salon is a public discussion forum founded in February 2009. The Salon organises discussions around political, cultural and scientific issues, with the aim of challenging any orthodoxies along the way, defending and developing the legacy of the Enlightenment and, above all, providing a space where free speech can take place. Find out more.

next salon

Tuesday 24 March 2020

Heroes, Legends, Champions: Why Does Heroism Matter? – POSTPONED

DUE TO THE CURRENT FLIGHT RESTRICTIONS FROM THE US, WE HAVE HAD TO POSTPONE THIS EVENT. Leeds Salon hosts American philosopher and author Andrew Berstein discussing his latest book Heroes, Legends, Champions: Why Heroism Matters with regular salon speaker Nikos Sotirakopoulos of York St John University. Heroes, Legends, Champions is not a self-help book. Its purpose is not to show us how to apply the […]

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forthcoming salons

Monday 4 May 2020

Stop Mugging Grandma: Will ‘Boomer Blaming’ Solve Anything? – POSTPONED

DUE TO THE CURRENT RESTRICTIONS, WE HAVE HAD TO POSTPONE THIS EVENT. The so-called ‘generational divide’ seems to inform much political debate today. Millennials have been encouraged to regard their parents’ generation as entitled and selfish, and to blame the baby boomers of the Sixties for the cultural and economic problems of today – whether it’s unaffordable housing, a plundered planet, or the prospect of […]

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salon & school debating news

Leeds International Festival 2020

In 2020, Leeds Salon will be taking part in Leeds International Festival for the first time with our discussion on the ‘generation wars’ on 4th May.

Leeds International Festival is a metropolitan celebration of new ideas and innovation, that invites world-leading thinkers, creators, and pioneers to Leeds to share new ideas and discuss the world of tomorrow. This year’s festival take place between 30th April and 9th May on the theme of ‘Generation Futures’. For more information and to buy tickets visit: https://leedsinternationalfestival.com/

Headingly Festival of Ideas Logo

Headingley FoI Years 10&11 Debating Competition 2020

In January, the qualifying rounds for Leeds Salon’s seventh, annual Years 10&11 Debating Competition as part of Headingley Festival of Ideas took place.

The Final will be between the two North Leeds qualifying round winners – Cardinal Heenan Catholic High and Allerton High School – and the winners of The Tetley competition for south and central Leeds schools – Mount St Mary’s Catholic High – to be declared 2020 champions.

Due to the current coronavirus situation, the final will not now take place on Wednesday 1st April, but on a later date to be confirmed.

Event Sponsor

Switalskis Solicitors

Prize Sponsors

Thackray Medical Museum

University of Law (Leeds)

The Bauman Institute

The Tetley Years 10&11 Competition 2020

Tuesday 21st January, Leeds Salon hosted the fifth, annual Tetley Debating Competition for years 10&11 pupils from south and central Leeds Schools.

Big congratulation to the winners, Mount St Mary’s Catholic High. And congratulation also to Jack Ashew of Outwood Grange Academy who was nominated ‘Best Individual’ by the judges. All received copies of Oxford Very Short Introductions and Vue Cinema vouchers – see details here.

As well as being crowned ‘Tetley Champions’, Mount St Mary’s will also go on to compete in the final of the Headingley Festival of Ideas Years 10&11 Competition against the north Leeds qualifying round winners on Wednesday 1st April.

This is the final year of the competition, and it was agreed all round that it was the best yet. We had three high quality and closely fought debates on tough issues, two won on a split decisions – which is testament to the work the students had put in. So, well done too Outwood Grange Academy and Woodkirk Academy, and for all the contributions from the floor. And thank you to all the schools that have taken part and supported this competition over the years.


Carmella Messu, Faith Odeyo, Johanna Jermy & Bradley Barker. with teacher Ms Evans.
Jack Ashew of Outwood Grange Academy receives his ‘Best Individual’ prizes.