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.
What’s Macbeth without the witches? Quite possibly the play Shakespeare wrote. Macbeth was not published until after Shakespeare’s death and it is highly likely that it was his great contemporary Thomas Middleton who wrote most of the supernatural scenes. The Goldsmiths Shakespeare scholar will consider the role of the witches in Macbeth; their lasting legacy of psychosexual drama and the problems of ‘normal’ in a play that features a homicidal thane, a woman who wants to be unsexed, and a collection of bearded women babbling on a heath. Chaired by Peter Florence.
The dynamic and inspiring activist, advocate and hero won the Nobel Peace Prize for her International Campaign To Ban Landmines. She describes her life and work in My Name Is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl’s Winding Path To The Nobel Peace Prize.
“Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it.” Since Niels Bohr said this many years ago, quantum mechanics has only been getting more shocking. We now realise that it’s not really telling us that “weird” things happen out of sight, on the tiniest level, in the atomic world. Rather, we can now see that everything is quantum: our everyday world is simply what quantum becomes at the human scale. But if quantum mechanics is right, what seems obvious and right in our everyday world is built on foundations that don’t seems obvious or right – or even possible. The writer Philip Ball was formerly an editor at Nature.
Ellie’s father Sven and uncle Jacob, both leading scientists, led the XU Norwegian Resistance movement against the Nazi occupation in WW2. She tells a mesmerising story of espionage and heroism illustrated with artefacts and documents as she traces the survival of the XU all the way through the Cold War until 1988.
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.
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The National Trust chairman presents his rhapsodic celebration of the landscapes and cityscapes of England, informed with his insightful historical, geographical and architectural commentary. Chaired by Justin Albert.
Why does public debate and policy treat the application of genetic technology differently when we are discussing medicine and food? Why is our concept of what is ‘natural’ so controversial and the idea of GM food so alarming? Scientists and sociologists come together with Daniel Davis to discuss what’s being ventured and how it is perceived.
Gwyn has edited a magnificent anthology of Contemporary Latin American Poetry, fabulously translated into English. The poems are at once exotic and other, yet recognisably drawing on a poetic tradition that includes Nobel prize-winners Octavio Paz and Pablo Neruda. They conjure big landscapes and moments of tenderness, celebrate the individual but also engage with the politics of many repressive regimes in Latin and South America. He is joined for a reading by the Argentinian writer Andres Neuman and the Welsh poet Clare Potter.
When Kapka Kassabova was a child, the border zone between Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece was rumoured to be an easier crossing point into the West than the Berlin Wall, so it swarmed with soldiers, spies and fugitives. Today she sets out on a journey to meet the people of this triple border – Bulgarians, Turks, Greeks, and the latest wave of refugees fleeing conflict further afield. She discovers a region that has been shaped by the successive forces of history: by its own past migration crises, by communism, by two world wars, by the Ottoman Empire, and – older still – by the ancient legacy of myths and legends. Border has won multiple awards including the British Academy’s Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding 2018.
The dearly treasured Booker Prize-winning novelist, screenwriter and dramatist discusses his work. His books include The Barrytown Trilogy, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, Oh Play That Thing, The Woman Who Walked Into Doors and Two Pints. He also co-wrote Roy Keane’s memoir The Second Half. His stage adaptation of The Commitments is now running on the West End in London. In the television series Father Ted, the character Father Dougal Maguire’s unusual sudden use of (mild) profanities is blamed on his having 'been reading those Roddy Doyle books again.' Roddy talks to Sean Rocks, presenter of Arena on RTÉ Radio 1.
An expedition to Mars goes terribly wrong. A seaside pier collapses. A 30-stone man is confined to his living room. One woman is abandoned on a tiny island in the middle of the ocean. Another woman is saved from drowning. Two boys discover a gun in a shoebox. A group of explorers find a cave of unimaginable size deep in the Amazon jungle. A man shoots a stranger in the chest on Christmas Eve. The author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and The Red House plays out his dark and wild imagination in his first collection of short stories.
The way the body moves, feels, breathes, and engages with the world has been viewed very differently across times and cultures. For centuries, we were believed to be composed of souls that were part of the body and inseparable from it. Now we exist in our heads, and our bodies have become the vessels for that uncertain and elusive thing we call our true selves. The way we understand the material structure of the body has also changed radically over the centuries. From the bones to the skin, from the senses to the organs of sexual reproduction, every part of the body has an ever-changing history, dependent on time, culture, and place. Fay Bound Alberti is a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow and Senior Research Fellow in History at Queen Mary University of London.
What is this for? And how do I clean it? The National Trust’s Director of Curatorship and his team of expert conservator colleagues display and demonstrate some of the most wonderful and eccentric household items from their collections. They’ll offer advice on anything you’d like to bring along.
Drawing on her research about human rights reporting in the digital age, the Co-Director of the Centre of Governance and Human Rights at the University of Cambridge argues that digital fakery’s consequences for democracy arise not because we are duped, but because of what we do to not be duped. Chaired by Rachael Jolley, editor of Index on Censorship.
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.
The cultural historian talks about and shows clips from his latest BBC Two series on post-war culture, Let Us Entertain You. In it he argues that Britain’s cultural contribution has been second to none, from music and fashion to art, film, literature and theatre, James Bond to Agatha Christie, Andrew Lloyd Webber to John Lennon, and it is through our culture that the world now sees us.
Not for broadcast.
The new star of Israeli literatura speaks with the journalist and editor in chief of the international section of El País, Guillermo Altares, about her book The People of Forever Are Not Afraid: A Novel (La gente como nosotros no tiene miedo, Alfaguara) in which she captures the frustration, cruelty, rage and pain depicted in the military service of young soldiers. Translated into 23 languages, awarded with the «5 Under 35» and finalist of the 2013 Sami Rohr and the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013.
Simultaneous translation from English into Spanish.
Co-organised with the Embassy of Israel in Spain.
William Nicholson’s new novel, The Lovers of Amherst, interweaves the stories of a young, contemporary researcher into the life and work of the reclusive American poet, Emily Dickinson, with that of the poet’s milieu during a turbulent period in the 1880s. The story from the past revolves around an illicit love affair conducted by Emily Dickinson’s married brother, in which the poet colluded. The theme stems from William Nicholson’s long-standing fascination with Emily Dickinson’s work as well as his interest in the wellsprings and consequences of erotic passion. Nicholson’s plays include Shadowlands and Life Story. He co-wrote the script for the film Gladiator and he has scripted Les Misérables and Mandela. Emily Dickinson’s poetry will be read by actress Lisa Dwan.