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Robin Waterfield

Why Socrates Died

Hay Festival 2013, 

Socrates’ trial and death together form an iconic moment in Western civilization. The picture we have of it – created by his immediate followers and perpetuated in countless works of literature and art ever since – is that a noble man was put to death in a fit of folly by the ancient Athenian democracy. But an icon, an image, is not reality.

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HAY JOVEN: Carlos Granés sobre los retos culturales contemporáneos

Cartagena 2013, 
El ensayista Carlos Granés, ganador del Premio de Ensayo Isabel Polanco por su obra El puño invisible. Arte, revolución y un siglo de cambios culturales, conversará con estudiantes sobre los cambios culturales de nuestro siglo y los retos culturales del mundo contemporáneo.

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Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe McFadden

Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology

Hay Festival 2015, 

 Life is the most extraordinary phenomenon in the known universe; but how does it work? Even in this age of cloning and synthetic biology, the remarkable truth remains: nobody has ever made anything living entirely out of dead material. Life remains the only way to make life. Are we missing a vital ingredient in its creation?

Drawing on recent ground-breaking experiments around the world, they show how photosynthesis relies on subatomic particles existing in many places at once, while inside enzymes, those workhorses of life that make every molecule within our cells, particles vanish from one point in space and instantly materialize in another.

Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe McFadden

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Con Coughlin

Churchill’s First War: Young Winston And The Fight Against The Taliban

Hay Festival 2013, 

The young cavalry lieutenant wrote a vivid account of his experiences fighting Pashtun tribesmen – the great-great-grandfathers of today’s insurgents – on the North West Frontier. The Telegraph’s defence editor gives an insight into C19th military history that also throws light on a modern conflict that has lasted longer than WWII. Chaired by Mark Skipworth.

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Charles Emmerson

1913: The World Before The Great War – Second Acts In A New World

Hay Festival 2013, 

Told through the stories of 23 cities – Europe’s capitals at the height of their global reach, the emerging metropolises of America, the imperial cities of Asia and Africa, the boomtowns of Australia and the Americas – the historian presents a panoramic view of a world crackling with possibilities, from St Petersburg to Shanghai and from Los Angeles to Jerusalem.

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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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Iestyn Edwards

Madame Galina, Forces Sweetheart

Hay Festival 2010, 
An hilarious account of entertaining troops on base in Iraq and Afghanistan, from comic, singer and appallingly plausible 16-stone balletomane, Iestyn Edwards, aka Madame Galina Prima Ballerina. There may be hoofing…

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Jeremy Leggett, Mark Lynas and David Miliband

Greening Britain

Hay Festival 2007, 
The author of Half Gone: Oil, Gas, Hot Air and The Global Energy Crisis is joined by Lynas (Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet) and the Secretary of State for the Environment. Chaired by Guto Harri.

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Jo Malone talks to Bryony Gordon

Hay Festival 2017, 

Jo Malone has created a globally renowned fragrance and beauty business and, more recently, her new brand Jo Loves. She talks about her incredible journey from modest beginnings as a teenager struggling with dyslexia and leaving school with no qualifications, to being diagnosed with breast cancer at 37 and becoming an international brand name and one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs.

Jo Malone talks to Bryony Gordon

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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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Philip Gross and Valerie Coffin Price

A Fold in the River

Hay Festival 2015, 

A beautiful collaboration between TS Eliot Prize-winning poet Philip Gross and visual artist Valerie Coffin Price. Gross once lived on the banks of the River Taff in Wales and his journals are the source for the powerful poems. Price revisited the walking route along the river, from which evolved the prints and drawings that accompany the poems.

Philip Gross and Valerie Coffin Price

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Luke Clements and Anne Cottringer

Cardiff University Series 4: Does Your Carer Take Sugar?

Hay Festival 2015, 

There are 6.5 million unpaid carers in the UK. There’ll be more soon as the demography changes. The Professor of Law and Director of the Centre for Health and Social Care Law examines the reality of today and the implications for the future with film-maker Anne Cottringer.

Watch the YouTube video here

Luke Clements and Anne Cottringer

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David Bainbridge

Cambridge University Series 6: Curvology: The Origins and Power of Female Body Shape

Hay Festival 2015, 

Why is the human female the only female animal to have curves, and how do these curves rule our lives by influencing not only sexual selection but also social hierarchy and self-image? The Clinical Veterinary Anatomist at the University of Cambridge applies the science of evolutionary biology and cutting-edge psychology to the female shape. Chaired by Sarah Crompton.

David Bainbridge

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Daniel Morden and Oliver Wilson-Dickson

The Fiery Dragon: Storytelling and Fiddle

Hay Festival 2015, 
Daniel, one of the most popular storytellers in the UK, tells traditional stories with passion, wit and gusto. Accompanied by Oliver on fiddle, he will tell a hair-raising Welsh gypsy tale featuring giants, dragons and dwarves. Storytelling for the stout of heart!
7+ years
Daniel Morden and Oliver Wilson-Dickson

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Marc du Bois talks to Clemency Burton-Hill

Humanitarian Negotiations Revealed

Hay Festival 2012, 
The Director of Médecins Sans Frontières analyses the political transactions and balances of power and interests that allow aid activities to move forward, but that are usually masked by the lofty rhetoric of humanitarian principles.

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Signe Johansen

The Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking

Hay Festival 2011, 
Scandilicious treats. The young chef is steeped in Scandinavian traditions and modern British cuisine, having worked for Heston Blumenthal at the Fat Duck at Bray.
 
Find out more about Signe Johansen at her website

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Mohsin Hamid and Owen Martell talk to Jon Gower

Fictions – Metropolis

Hay Festival 2013, 

Hamid follows The Reluctant Fundamentalist with How To Get Filthy Rich In Rising Asia – a vivid and emotionally absorbing tale of a man’s journey from impoverished rural boy to corporate tycoon. It steals its shape from the business self-help books devoured by youths all over ‘rising Asia’. Martell’s new novel is set in New York, June 1961. The Bill Evans Trio, featuring twenty-five year old Scott LaFaro on bass, play a series of concerts at the Village Vanguard that will go down in musical history. Shortly afterwards, LaFaro is killed in a car accident and Evans disappears. Intermission tells the story of what happens next.

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Michael Nyman talks to Francine Stock

Hay Festival 2007, 
The prodigious composer discusses his international cinema work and collaborations with Peter Greenaway and Michael Winterbottom.

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Joe Queenan talks to Tiffany Murray

Closing Time

Hay Festival 2009, 
The witty commentator and critic portrays his childhood in a Philadelphia housing project. He talks to the author of Happy Accidents.

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Jonathan Edwards and Paul Henry

My Family and Other Superheroes | Boy Running: A Reading

Hay Festival 2015, 

Leaping from the pages, jostling for position alongside the Valleys mams, dads, and bamps, and described with great warmth, the superheroes in question are a motley crew: Evel Knievel, Sophia Loren, Ian Rush, Marty McFly, a bicycling nun, and a recalcitrant hippo. Other poems focus on the crammed terraces and abandoned high streets where a working-class and Welsh nationalist politics is hammered out. This is a post-industrial Valleys upbringing reimagined through the prism of pop culture and surrealism. Edwards marries an authentic colloquial voice with sound technique to produce poems that recognize the exotic in everyday life, and a first collection that, remarkably, has won the Costa Prize for Poetry 2014.

Henry’s new collection explores a marital break-up, his childhood in Aberystwyth, and in the final sequence we meet 'Davy Blackrock': washed-up songwriter and modern day alter ego of Dafydd y Garreg Wen (David of the White Rock), alias David Owen (1720–1749), the blind, 18th century harpist and composer who fell asleep on a hill and dreamt the famous song which bears his name.

Jonathan Edwards and Paul Henry

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Edmund de Waal

The Wellcome Book Prize Lecture Memory and Memorial: Writing About the End of Life

Hay Festival 2018, 

There is a burgeoning literature on end-of-life writing, on grief, bereavement and memorial. Edmund de Waal talks about mortality and how it is reflected across different genres and art-forms from the poetry of Anne Carson and Max Porter, the memoirs of Paul Kalanithi and Marion Coutts, to the writings of Atul Gawande and Julia Samuel.  He will also discuss his own porcelain installations and collaborations that explore ideas of memorial. The Wellcome Book Prize lecture aims to celebrate the place of medicine, science and the stories of illness in literature, arts and culture, and how these stories add to our understanding of what it means to be human. Edmund De Waal, chair of judges for the 2018 prize, is an artist and writer, author of The Hare with the Amber Eyes and The White Road.

Edmund de Waal

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Christina Lamb, Helena Kennedy, Rachael Jolley and Joan Bakewell

The War on Women

Hay Festival 2017, 

In a tribute to the late frontline journalist Sue Lloyd-Roberts and her posthumously-published book, a panel of three exceptional and indefatigable heroes talk to Joan Bakewell about The War on Women. Lamb is the Foreign Correspondent of The Sunday Times and the author of Farewell Kabul and The Girl from Aleppo. Kennedy is a world-renowned Human Rights lawyer. Jolley is editor of Index on Censorship.

With thanks to Nick Guthrie

Christina Lamb, Helena Kennedy, Rachael Jolley and Joan Bakewell

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Bernardo Atxaga y Ignacio Martínez de Pisón en conversación con Luis Alemany

Segovia 2008, 
Bernardo Atxaga, el galardonado autor de Obabakoak y El hijo del acordeonista, y Ignacio Martínez de Pisón, autor de más de una docena de obras, entre las que destacan las novelas Carreteras secundarias y Dientes de leche, conversarán con el periodista Luis Alemany y leerán fragmentos de sus respectivas obras.

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John Ralston Saul y Francine Prose en conversación con Jonathan Bastian

Ficción o no ficción.

Cartagena 2013, 
Los escritores John Ralston Saul, presidente de PEN International, y Francine Prose, antigua presidenta de PEN American Center, hablan sobre las maneras en que la escritura creativa puede abordar temas de la realidad que nos rodea. En conversación con Jonathan Bastian.

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Gordon Corera talks to Guto Harri

The Art Of Betrayal

Winter Weekend 2011, 
The British Secret Service has been cloaked in secrecy and shrouded in myth since it was created a hundred years ago. A unique and unprecedented insight into this secret world and the reality behind the fiction.

More about The Art Of Betrayal
From the defining period of the early Cold War through to the modern day, MI6 has undergone a dramatic transformation from a gung-ho, amateurish organisation to its modern, no less controversial, incarnation. Gordon Corera reveals the triumphs and disasters along the way. For the first time, it is possible to draw a picture of what spies really get up to. Corera draws on the first-hand accounts of those who have spied, lied and in some cases nearly died in service of the state. They range from spymasters to the agents they ran, from the families of Britain's spies to their sworn enemies. Most of these accounts are drawn from interviews conducted by the author; many have chosen to speak on the record for the first time. From the Congo to Moscow, from Tehran to Hanoi, from post-war Vienna to the back streets of London, these are the voices of the people who have worked on the front line of Britain's secret wars. And the truth is often more remarkable than the fiction.

Gordon Corera talks to Guto Harri