Which tree is often used in the treatment of cancer? Which everyday condiment is the most widely traded spice on the planet? Plants are an indispensable part of our everyday lives. From the coffee bush and grass for cattle (which give us milk for our cappuccinos), to the rubber tree that produces tyres for our cars, our lives are inextricably linked to the world of plants. The Curator of the Oxford University Herbaria identifies the plants that have been key to the development of the western world.
Val McDermid is one of the best selling crime writers in the English-speaking world. Her prolific literary work, which has been translated into more than 30 languages, includes titles such as The Wire in the Blood, The Distant Echo and her latest work The Retribution. She has been awarded the prestigious Cartier Diamond Daggerprize for her contribution to the genre throughout her career. She speaks with the writer Tiffany Murray.
Event in English.
Co-organised with the British Council and the Arts Council of Wales and the collaboration of RBA publishing house.
Writer and activist Saci Lloyd’s acclaimed Carbon Diaries is in development with the BBC. Quantum Drop lurches between a shadowy urban sprawl and a dangerous cyberworld. Which is real?
How did humans turn themselves from insignificant African apes into the rulers of planet earth? Our secret of success is that we are the only animals that can talk about things that exist purely in our own imagination, such as gods, nations, money, and human rights.
Thrilling and terrifying, The Things We Lost in the Fire takes the reader into Enriquez’s world of Argentine Gothic: of sharp-toothed children, of women racked by desire, of demons who lurk beneath the river, of stolen skulls and secrets half-buried under Argentina’s terrible dictatorship. McInerney follows her Baileys Prize-winning debut The Glorious Heresies with The Blood Miracles. The novel is set again in Cork with her vital, brilliant language and storytelling playing out the life and misdemeanours of Ryan Cusack.
Come and be inspired by some great heroes. Clinton’s new picture book, with illustrations by Alexandra Boiger, celebrates 13 women from around the world who have used their voices and determination to create change and to shape history. The women whose stories she tells include: Marie Curie, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Leymah Gbowee, Caroline Herschel, Wangari Maathai, Aisha Rateb, J.K. Rowling, Yuan Yuan Tan and Malala Yousafzai.
When Adam Smith wrote that all our actions stem from self-interest and the world turns because of financial gain he brought to life ‘economic man’. But every night Adam Smith’s mother served him his dinner, not out of self-interest but out of love. Today, our economics focuses on self-interest and excludes all other motivations. It disregards the unpaid work of mothering, caring, cleaning and cooking. It insists that if women are paid less, then that’s because their labour is worth less. How could it be otherwise? Marçal tackles the biggest myth of our time and invites us to kick out economic man once and for all.
We explore AI’s history, technology and potential; its manifestations in intelligent machines; its connections to neurology and consciousness, as well as – perhaps most tellingly – what AI reveals about us as human beings. Zarkadakis is the author of In Our Own Image: Will Artificial Intelligence Save or Destroy Us?
Mungo, a cheeky monkey, and Claude, a rather stylish dog, are brought to life alongside a host of colourful characters in this live drawing session with two of our favourite illustrators. Paper and pencils provided so everyone can join in.
Taylor presents the newest research into the cause and cure of the life-changing neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s and dementia. She focuses on insights arising from the relatively new field of neuro-immunology: the increasing recognition of the important role of the immune system in the brain. Chaired by Rosie Boycott.
The peerless connoisseur and wine writer, author of Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book and co-author of The World Atlas of Wine,savours his craft and tastes and introduces Royal Tokaji.
As Mohammed Siddique Khan led his group of fellow-believers into London on the morning of 7 July 2005 it is unlikely that they were thinking much beyond the immediate impact of their actions. Driven by anger at the West’s treatment of Muslims worldwide, ideas fed to them by foreign extremists, and a sense of extreme rejection of the society in which they were born, they sought to reshape the world in an image they thought would be pleasing to God. Pantucci offers an insight into the motivations behind Khan and his group, as well as the hundreds of young British Muslims who have been drawn by jihadist ideas to fight on battlefields at home and abroad. Pantucci is Director of International Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies.