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Peter Atkins

On Being

Hay Festival 2011, 
While acknowledging the comfort some find in belief, and with his usual economy, wit and elegance, unswerving before awkward realities, the Professor of Chemistry presents A Scientist’s Exploration of the Great Questions of Existence.

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John Julius Norwich and Patricia Hodge

Darling Monster

Hay Festival 2014, 

Lady Diana Cooper was an aristocrat, Jazz Age society darling and actress of stage and screen. Sharing the letters she wrote to her only son, John Julius Norwich discusses the dazzling life his mother led as the original ‘It’ girl. He’s joined by the actress who played Lady Diana in the original 1970s TV drama, to bring to life some of the most moving and entertaining of the letters.

John Julius Norwich and Patricia Hodge

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Jamie Bartlett talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

The Dark Net

Hay Festival 2015, 

The dark net is an underworld that stretches from popular social media sites to the most secretive corners of the encrypted web. It is a world that frequently appears in newspaper headlines, but one that is little understood, and rarely explored. The Dark Net is a revelatory examination of the most innovative and dangerous subcultures of the online world: trolls and pornographers, drug dealers and hackers, political extremists and computer scientists, Bitcoin programmers and self-harmers, libertarians and vigilantes. Bartlett is the Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the think tank Demos.

Jamie Bartlett talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

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Peter Moore talks to Daniel Hahn

The Weather Experiment

Hay Festival 2015, 

In an age when a storm at sea was evidence of God’s great wrath, C19th meteorologists had to fight against convention and religious dogma. But buoyed by the achievements of the Enlightenment, a generation of mavericks set out to explain the secrets of the atmosphere and learned to predict the future. Among them were Luke Howard, the first to classify the clouds, Francis Beaufort who quantified the winds, James Glaisher who explored the upper atmosphere in a hot-air balloon, Samuel Morse whose electric telegraph gave scientists the means by which to transmit weather warnings, and Admiral Robert FitzRoy himself, master sailor, scientific pioneer and founder of the Met Office.

Photo: Ula Soltys

Peter Moore talks to Daniel Hahn

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Iain Sinclair

The Gwyn Jones Lecture: Unstitching The Borderland

Hay Festival 2011, 
A consideration (and celebration) of the concept of borderland, that mysterious fold in the map. Geography. Literature. Myth. Language. The peculiar pleasure of facing in two directions at one time.
 
 Profile of Iain Sinclair
 
Iain Sinclair website: www.iainsinclair.org.uk

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Cornelia Parker talks to Jacky Klein

Matter

Hay Festival 2013, 

A conversation with the artist whose sculpture and installation touches on the fragility of human experience and is rich with visual and literary allusions. Projects which have included blowing up a shed, steamrolling musical instruments and sending meteorites back into space have captured the public imagination since she first came to prominence in the 1990s.

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Our Betty

Liz Smith talks to Sandi Toksvig

Hay Festival 2006, 
From the WRENS, the plastic bag factory, her first film with the young Mike Leigh, and on through a glittering career (pretty much every Dickens and The Royle Family), the actress has remained wonderfully amused.

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Kate Williams

England's Mistress: The Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton

Hay Festival 2007, 
The spectacular trajectory of our first supernova celebrity, from Northern slums to Nelson’s bedchamber. Chaired by Corisande Albert.

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Derek Landy

Skulduggery Pleasant and Beyond

Hay Festival 2015, 
The brilliant series created by Derek Landy has sales to date of five million copies worldwide and left fans heartbroken as it ended with The Dying of the Light. Derek has recently revealed that his next book, Demon Road, will be out later this year and is the first in a YA trilogy of supernatural thrillers. Come along and find out more.
11+ years
Derek Landy

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Martin Driscoll, John Perkins, Daphne O'Doherty and Alec Ross

Innovation and Skills

Hay Festival 2015, 

New challenges need new skills. How do we ensure that we provide young people with the skills they’ll need to deal with the rapid developments in engineering? How can we help them adapt to unforeseen innovations? John Perkins is the Government's Chief Scientific Advisor for Business, Innovation and Skills, Martin Driscoll is HR Director for Tata Steel and Daphne O’Doherty is Director of Learning and Teaching at the School of Engineering, Cardiff University. Chaired by Secretary Hilary Clinton's senior advisor on innovation.

Martin Driscoll, John Perkins, Daphne O'Doherty and Alec Ross

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Mario Vargas Llosa in conversation with J. J. Armas Marcelo

Segovia 2013, 

The Nobel Prize-winning Mario Vargas Llosa has a conversation with the writer JJ Armas Marcelo about his latest published novel, El héroe discreto (Alfaguara). Two literary leading lights deal with the analysis of this melodrama, full of extortion and revenge in a humorous tone.

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Simon Wessely

The Mental Health Of The UK Armed Forces After Iraq And Afghanistan: Myths And Realities

Hay Festival 2013, 

It’s now ten years since the invasion of Iraq, and the UK Armed Forces have been fully engaged in a decade of war. What has been the mental health impact? If you listen to many media accounts you might conclude that nearly everyone who has served in Iraq or Afghanistan ends up in a psychiatric clinic, on the streets or in prison. But what are the facts? What do we know about the actual impact of deployment now, and what can we expect in the future?

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Stewart Pollens

Stradivari

Hay Festival 2010, 
The tools, techniques and flourishes of the greatest violin-maker of all time – Antonio Stradivari of Cremona (1644–1737).
Stewart Pollens

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Toby Wilkinson

The Nile: A Journey Downriver Through Egypt’s Past and Present

Hay Festival 2014, 

The award-winning Egyptologist tells a story of ancient gods, pharaohs, emperors, adventurers, archaeologists and historians whose fates were all entwined with the river. Chaired by Paul Greatbatch.

Toby Wilkinson

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Jeremy Leggett

The Triple Crash and the Green New Deal

Hay Festival 2009, 
The Solar Century founder and Peak Oil expert finds hope in a new environmental responsibility.

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Owen Sheers talks to Alex Clark

Fictions – I Saw a Man

Hay Festival 2015, 

The event that changed all of their lives happened on a Saturday afternoon in June, just minutes after Michael Turner – thinking the Nelsons’ house was empty – stepped through their back door.

Moving from London and New York to the deserts of Nevada, Sheers’ new novel is a brilliant exploration of violence, guilt and attempted redemption, written with the pace and grip of a thriller. He takes the reader from close observation of the domestic sphere to some of the most important questions and dilemmas of the contemporary world.

Sheers is a poet and playwright whose latest works include the National Theatre of Wales’ Mametz, the award-winning poem Pink Mist and Calon.

Owen Sheers talks to Alex Clark

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Ian McEwan talks to Stig Abell

The Deborah Rogers Foundation Conversation

Hay Festival 2018, 

The novelist talks about his writing and reading, and the translation of his books into film. The movie of On Chesil Beach is released on 18 May. Towards the end of this event McEwan will introduce the winner of the 2018 Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers’ Award, Deepa Anappara. Her winning entry is a work of fiction called Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line.  

Ian McEwan talks to Stig Abell

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Gwernyfed Cluster Schools Showcase

Hay Festival 2011, 
Join pupils from a range of local schools as they sing their hearts out.

Entry to this event is free but you must reserve a ticket.
Donations towards the Gwernyfed Cluster School Music Fund.

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Patrick Barkham

Butterfly Isles: A Summer in Search of Our Emperors and Admirals

Hay Festival 2011, 
A joyful celebration of the extraordinary physical beauty and amusingly diverse character of our 59 species of butterfly.

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Louise Rennison

A Midsummer Tights Dream

Hay Festival 2012, 
Laugh your tights off with the wickedly fabulous creator of Angus, thongs and full frontal snogging, as Tallulah Casey and her mates return for a new term at Dother Hall Performing Arts College. Chaired by Paul Blezard
 
12+ years

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Clive Gifford and Anil Seth

Eye Benders: The Science of Seeing and Believing

Hay Festival 2015, 
Astound your eyes and boggle your brain, as award-winning author Clive Gifford and neuroscientist Anil Seth take you on a journey through fascinating optical illusions and the science behind them. They talk to Martin Chilton.
9+ years
Clive Gifford and Anil Seth

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Janet Todd

Jane Austen and Money

Hay Festival 2013, 
Jane Austen knew the value of money, what it could and could not buy. ‘A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of,’ says a charming but tainted character.  Austen marketed herself as a solitary writer, but great wealth could only come from the professions, trade and speculation-- from which women were barred.  The books display bitterness at women’s dependence on men but also ambivalence over any female control of money. 

FREE BUT TICKETED

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Rebecca Stott

Darwin’s Ghosts: In Search of the First Evolutionists

Hay Festival 2012, 
The story of Darwin’s many predecessors back to Leonardo and Aristotle, who advanced theories of evolution in times when it was exceptionally dangerous to do so.

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Lauren St John

The One Dollar Horse

Hay Festival 2012, 
The creator of the White Giraffe series introduces her new equestrian thriller series, about making the impossible possible and reaching the top on a one dollar horse.
 
10+ years

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Sadakat Kadri talks to Helena Kennedy

Heaven on Earth

Hay Festival 2012, 
A timely and eye-opening investigation into one of the most disputed but least understood topics of recent times - the history and reality of shari’a law.