We flatter ourselves about the nature of free will. And yet the most enormous forces – biological, physical, metaphysical – constrain our every action. Instead of embracing our condition we battle against it, with everyone from world conquerors to modern scientists dreaming of a ‘human dominion’ almost comically at odds with our true state. The philosopher talks to Francine Stock.
The extraordinary life of Cambridge’s first professor of Spanish; an undergraduate peer of Keynes and Rupert Brooke, he fought at Ypres before falling in love with Spain in the ’20s and ’30s, where he became a close friend of Manuel de Falla, Federico García Lorca, Salvador Dali and Luis Buñuel.
Grand Designs icon Ben Law discusses a more sustainable approach to buildings with Passivhaus expert Janet Cotterell and Green Consumer guru, Julia Hailes. Chaired by Hay-on-Earth Director Andy Fryers.
From Chilean revolutionaries and Russian punks to Iranian journalists, one of the most vocal and tenacious campaigners of her generation introduces inspiring stories from all around the world. Women are reinventing what it means to be female in cultures where power, privilege or basic freedoms are all too often equated with being male.
In C17th Italy, the number of girls and young women entering convents rose rapidly as dowries became increasingly expensive. Not all the girls went willingly and some left powerful written accounts of their experiences.
Entry to this event is free but you must reserve a ticket.
A conversation with the legendary British cyclist, gold medallist in the Barcelona Olympics, Tour de France hero, and latterly the backroom ‘marginal gains’ genius of British cycling in his role as head of the R&D team, The Secret Squirrels.
The author of The Serpent’s Promise, Almost Like A Whale, The Language of the Genes and In the Blood conducts an evolutionist’s exploration.
Women Today, Women Tomorrow
Murray Edwards College, Cambridge, a college for women, recently surveyed its alumnae over its 60-year existence. The 1,000 respondents were women from all backgrounds but with a common University experience. The women described the biggest challenge in their careers, whether they were in their twenties or fifties, to be an unsupportive work environment. The college President and several alumnae will explore what women are experiencing, and most of all what changes are needed and what young women need to face the challenges in the workplace. She is joined by Telegraph fashion journalist Ellie Pithers (matriculated 2008), singer-songwriter Polly Paulusma (1994) and the author and comms expert Frances Edmonds (1970).
The lawyer examines the options that the world faces as it stumbles like a sleepwalker into the perils of a new nuclear age, while Iran, Israel and America face-off over nuclear capability. Chaired by Nik Gowing.
The new dark fairytale by the author of The Time Traveler’s Wife is being produced as a Royal Ballet show by legendary choreographer Wayne McGregor. The work premièred on 24 May.
The Everyday Sexism founder reflects on the true scale of the challenge to our aspirations to equality. From Weinstein to Westminster, from banter to consent, and from the President’s Club to equal pay, she makes a passionate argument for stepping back, opening our eyes and allowing ourselves to address the bigger picture.
She talks to the writer Owen Sheers, author of The Men You'll Meet.