In a digital society we will neither need nor want doctors, teachers, accountants, architects, the clergy, consultants, lawyers, and many others, to work as they did in the C20th. The Oxford thinkers explain how “increasingly capable systems’, from tele-presence to artificial intelligence will bring fundamental change in the way that the practical expertise of specialists is made available in society. The authors argue that our current professions are antiquated, opaque and no longer affordable, and that the expertise of the best is enjoyed only by a few. In their place, they propose six new models for producing and distributing expertise in society. Chaired by Bronwen Maddox.
The writer, traveller and television programme-maker runs through the pleasures and pitfalls of travel writing.
Tallis is inspired by EM Forster’s thought that ‘Death destroys a man but the idea of it saves him’. He looks back on his world from the standpoint of his future corpse. He reflects on the senses that opened up his late world, the elements they reveal, the distances, divisions and intimacies of space, the multifarious activities that occupied his days; his possessions, his utterances, his relationship to others, the extinguished flame that was his self, his journey towards the end, and his afterlife either side of the grave.
Please click here to prebook lunch at Relish Restaurant on site
In this illustrated lecture the art historian explores our obsession with the human body and compares the classical perfection of the nude with the raw, intensely human representation of the C20th and C21st. Chaired by Sarah Crompton.
To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the deaths of Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare we have commissioned six English language and six Hispanic writers to create stories to celebrate both writers and to offer new and intriguing perspectives on them. In this first of three sessions chaired by Rosie Goldsmith, the first three writers introduce their tales. “Yuri Herrera must be a thousand years old. He must have travelled to hell, and heaven, and back again. He must have once been a girl, an animal, a rock, a boy, and a woman. Nothing else explains the vastness of his understanding” – Valeria Luiselli. Marcos Giralt Torrente is the winner of the Spanish National Book Award, whose The End of Love is published in English. Poet and novelist Ben Okri won the Booker Prize for The Famished Road.
In d’Ancona’s book Post-Truth: The New War on Truth and How to Fight Back he examines how the art of the lie is shaking the very foundations of democracy and the world as we know it. Brexit, Trump, the rejection of climate change science, and the vilification of immigrants have all have been based on the power to evoke feelings and not facts. In The Retreat of Western Liberalism Luce argues that we are on a menacing trajectory brought about by ignorance of what it took to build the West, arrogance towards society’s economic losers, and complacency about our system’s durability. Our faith in history teaches us to take democracy for granted. Reality tells us something troublingly different.
The trio of poets bill themselves as ‘conversations between a recovering love addict, a born again nihilist and an emotionally naked feminist’.They’re clever and inventive and they give good show.
England is the most complicated place in the world. And, as the journalist and humorist travels through each of the historic English counties, he discovers that’s just the start of it. Every county is fascinating, the product of a millennium or more of history: still a unique slice of a nation that has not quite lost its ancient diversity.
He finds the well-dressers of Derbyshire and the pyromaniacs of Sussex; the Hindus and huntsmen of Leicestershire; the goddess-worshippers of Somerset. He tracks down the real Lancashire, hedonistic Essex, and the most mysterious house in Middlesex. In Durham he goes straight from choral evensong to the dog track. As he seeks out the essence of each county – from Yorkshire’s broad acres to the microdot of Rutland – Engel always finds the unexpected. Chaired by Justin Albert.
Do we need a First Amendment? What’s the best we can argue for in terms of independence, regulation, ownership, and authority? Bell is a member of the Scott Trust and Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism; Sambrook was Director of the BBC World Service and now runs Cardiff School of Journalism. Tony Phillips is Commissioning Editor, Documentaries, World Service. Chaired by Jon Snow.
Frida Kahlo transformed the emotional and physical pain of her life into art. Her paintings make visible the invisible, interior experiences of many women. They speak of loss, loneliness, her struggle to have children, her lovers, a bus accident that shattered her body and spirit. But they are also full of passion and warmth, each canvas a defiant celebration of what it is to be human. The author of Pip Pip – A Sideways Look at Time, Wild – An Elemental Journey and Kith – The Riddle of the Childscape reimagines Kahlo’s life and art in a passionate prose poem.
We often joke that teenagers don’t have brains. For some reason, it’s socially acceptable to mock people in this stage of their lives. The need for intense friendships, the excessive risk taking and the development of many mental illnesses – depression, addiction, schizophrenia – begin during these formative years. Drawing upon cutting-edge research in her London laboratory, the neuroscientist explains what happens inside the adolescent brain, what her team’s experiments have revealed about our behaviour, and how we relate to each other and our environment as we go through this period of our lives. She shows that while adolescence is a period of vulnerability, it is also a time of enormous creativity – one that should be acknowledged, nurtured and celebrated. Chaired by Claire Armitstead.