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Iconoclasts - age of consent

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Christine Morgan Christine Morgan 15:34, Tuesday, 22 September 2009

law books

Going against the grain in front of your peers takes some doing in any sphere and one of the reasons Iconoclasts has provoked such interest is because our well-known, heavyweight speakers come on and present genuinely iconoclastic views which attract robust challenge - not least from other experts in their own field. So at least we know it's working.

When we were shaping the series we wanted to find people who could talk passionately from a position of experience and knowledge so that even the most provocative views could be the start of serious debate from a less predictable place. And, of course, as important has been including the views and comments of the Radio 4 audience while the show is live on air. And they've certainly been letting us know what they think during the last couple of shows.

When we were considering this subject area, we'd talked to Clive Murray, Assistant Chief Constable of Tayside, who had made comments about the age of consent earlier this year and received a strong reaction from the media, but it was while researching through the areas that we discovered the legal academic John Spencer from Selwyn College, Cambridge who is on record taking a similar line.

He plans to use his opening 5 minutes at the top of tomorrow night's programme to set out his argument - which will include looking at other European countries where for example the age of consent is lower than here.

He'll then have to brace himself for the challenge from studio panellists and comments from the listeners as the debate gets underway. The programme goes live from just after the 8 O'Clock news and Edward Stourton will be in the chair to direct what we expect to be a lively discussion - including those e-mails and texts. So if you've got something to say make sure you get your views to us and you can do that by sending them to iconoclasts@bbc.co.uk.

Christine Morgan is Head of Religion, Radio at the BBC


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