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.
Empathy is the power of understanding others, imaginatively entering into their feelings. It is a fundamental human attribute without which mutually co-operative societies cannot function. In a revolutionary development, we now know who has it, who lacks it and why. With the MRI scanner, we are mapping the human brain. This is a new frontier that reveals a host of beneficial ideas for childcare, teens challenged by the internet, the justice system, decent healthcare, tackling racism and resolving conflicts.
Jane Austen’s comic masterpiece was published 200 years ago by John Murray. Our awareness of her heroine’s limitations is one of the great joys of the book. The Guardian’s Digested Read satirist is joined by UCL’s Emeritus Professor of English, John Sutherland – co-author of The Connell Guide to Jane Austen’s Emma, Lives of the Novelists and How To Be Well Read – to celebrate the book.
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.
How did our mariners manage without digital GPS? Captain Wells, master of Cunard’s QM2, traces the history of navigating the oceans by measuring the heavens using sextants and astrolabes; and author and broadcaster Ridpath, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, explores the mythology surrounding key constellations.
University of Worcester Series
Our ability to treat bipolar disorder is hampered by the limits of our understanding of its causes. In conversation with Clare Dolman of Bipolar UK, The Professors of Psychological Medicine and Psychiatry who lead the Bipolar Disorder Research Network explore the highs and lows of bipolar disorder. They consider factors that can lead to both mania and depression, and examines recent and future advances in the treatment of this mental illness.
The best-selling author describes the age-old cycle of a farming year and the constant challenges of life at Ravenseat, the remote Yorkshire hill farm she shares with husband Clive, nine children and 1,000 sheep. Chaired by Oliver Balch, author of Under the Tump.
Susan Jane White is a specialist cook, food columnist with The Sunday Independent, former President of Oxford University’s Gastronomy Society, author of current bestselling cookbook The Extra Virgin Kitchen and a popular broadcaster on healthy eating. For a fraction of the price of a GP appointment, Susan Jane White will motivate you to embark on your own journey to glowing health on a diet free of wheat, sugar and dairy.
The third volume of Alan Johnson's bestselling and award-winning memoirs takes us to the corridors of Westminster and lifts the lid on the life of a hard-working constituency MP in the first Blair administration.
Ukraine: What Should The West Do?
150 years on, Crimea is again the centre of a geo-political crisis that threatens to destabilize East–West relations. How should the West react to Putin’s decisive intervention? Rausing works in the human rights field around the Caucasus, Butler is an energy expert, frontline journalist Bullough has newly returned from Ukraine. They talk to the editor of Prospect.
A multi-media performance presenting a striking record of Welsh gravestones coupled with prose and poetry responses by two prominent writers from Wales, Hopwood and Walford Davies, and photographed by White.