Many people consider freedom of expression as a universal right that must not be compromised. In an age of cultural relativism and complex relations between religion, culture and the state, what is the right way to move forward on this debate? Three international heavyweights, Baroness Helena Kennedy (UK), Fawaz Traboulsi (Lebanon) and Hanif Kureishi (UK) discuss with John Kampfner.
Event in English
Four internationally acclaimed jurists discuss which rights might be argued into a new charter for the C21st. Buergenthal serves as a judge at the ICJ in the Hague; Goldstone served as a prosecutor at the ICT after running the Goldstone Commission in South Africa; Leveson is President of the Queens Bench Division and chaired the public inquiry into press ethics in the UK; Sands is Professor of Law at UCL.
Digital disruption and innovation are like any tools: capable of being used and abused. How are these technologies already influencing our attitudes, beliefs and behaviours and how do we ensure that these tools bring real and lasting benefits to society? Rahaf Harfoush is a digital anthropologist and best-selling author of The Decoded Company, and Yes We Did: An Insider’s Look at How Social Media Built the Obama Brand. Rahaf is the founder of Red Thread, a think-tank specialising in digital culture. She is currently working on her third book called Hustle and Float about the intersections of technology, contemporary work culture and a post-work society. Formerly, Rahaf was the Associate Director of the Technology Pioneer Programme at the World Economic Forum, and the Research Coordinator on Don Tapscott’s Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. She was recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Shaper, and by the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society as a Rising Talent for her thought-leadership in the fields of digital culture and technology.
A portrait of the great Venetian artist of the Renaissance, his life and times and context.
Art has always been part of history. But we often think of it as outside history. When we look at a painting by Raphael, Rembrandt or Rubens it speaks to us directly, but it’s also an historical document, part of a living world. The Oxford art historian takes us on an extraordinary trip through art, from devotional works to the revolutionary techniques of the Renaissance, from the courtly Masters of the C17th through to the daring avant-garde of the C20th and beyond.
Ben Miller is, like you, a mutant ape living through an Ice Age on a ball of molten iron, orbiting a supermassive black hole. He is also an actor, comedian and approximately one half of Armstrong and Miller. He explores The Exciting and Extraordinary Science Behind Our Search for Life in the Universe.
Rome was first ruled by kings, then became a republic. But in the end, after conquering the world, the republic collapsed. So terrible were the civil wars that the Roman people finally came to welcome the rule of an autocrat who could give them peace. Augustus, their new master, called himself “the divinely favoured one”. The lurid glamour of the dynasty founded by Augustus has never faded. No other family can compare for sheer unsettling fascination with its gallery of leading characters. Tiberius, the great general who ended up a bitter recluse, notorious for his perversions; Caligula, the master of cruelty and humiliation who rode his chariot across the sea; Agrippina, mother of Nero, manoeuvring to bring to power the son who would end up having her murdered; Nero himself, racing in the Olympics, marrying a eunuch, and building a pleasure palace over the fire-gutted centre of his capital.
In the next hundred years, the world will need to deal with the same amount of social development witnessed in the past 43 centuries – the rebirth of the city state, the battle for new energy, disappearing borders, the desire of the world’s people to move to developed nations. The former ambassador explores the core principles of a progressive C21st foreign policy: how to balance interventionism and national interest, and to use global governance to achieve national objectives. He discusses smart power, soft power and the new interventionism alongside lessons from the most notorious leaders and diplomats across the world including Talleyrand, Kissinger, Mandela and the Kennedys.
A former frontman, teacher, boxer and salesman, at 36 Tom Fletcher became the youngest senior British ambassador for 200 years. He pioneered using new technology to connect with people across a Middle East in upheaval. He is now a Professor of International Relations, and a campaigner for global education, the creative industries and coexistence.
Arguing that string theory has veered away from physical reality by positing six extra hidden dimensions, Penrose cautions that the fashionable nature of a theory can cloud our judgment about its plausibility. In the case of quantum mechanics, its stunning success in explaining the atomic universe has led to an uncritical faith that it must also apply to reasonably massive objects. Turning to cosmology, he argues that most of the current fantastical ideas about the origins of the universe cannot be true and that an even wilder reality may lie behind them. Penrose is one of the world’s foremost theoretical physicists.
Mainlander is the thrilling debut set on Jersey from comedy writer Will Smith (Veep, The Thick of It) – a novel about loneliness, about not belonging and about the corroding effects of keeping secrets. Evocative and romantic, Ampuero’s The Neruda Case spans lies and truth, travelling between uneasy peace and political coup, from life to death. Brulé, a daydreamer and reluctant detective, is lost among Latin America’s uncertainties, venality and corruption while his first case introduces one of the great characters of international crime fiction. They talk to Rosie Goldsmith.
The multi-award-winning teen innovator and scientist overcame the skepticism of the academic world, depression and homophobic bullying to invent, at the age of 15, an early-detection test for pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancers. It has the potential to be over four hundred times more effective than the medical standard and it costs only 5p per use. Chaired by Alice Key.
Photo: Mark Tucker
The writer’s new novel has immigration at its heart. It is the story of Joe’s struggle to save the family-run café in Bryn Mawr that was started before the war by his Italian great-great grandfather. He vows to keep it open, and find out more about his past at the same time, as well as trying to bring a diverse town together through good food and fine times.
The Vanity Fair journalist and biographer of Rupert Murdoch discusses and updates his classic work The Man Who Owns The News.
Join picture-book genius Polly Dunbar to find out what Tilly’s friends Hector, Doodle, Tumpty, Tiptoe and Pru have been up to.
Owen’s The Quick is a macabre gothic mystery set in Yorkshire and fin de siècle London. Sedgwick’s A Love Like Blood is a dark, compelling thriller about how a man’s life can change in a moment; about where the desire for truth – and for revenge – can lead; about love and fear and hatred. And it is also about the question of blood. They talk to Sameer Rahim.