The changing ‘treescape’ of the UK holds clues to social, political and natural events throughout history. From agriculture to boat building, Dutch elm disease and the great storm of 1987, the state of trees and woods in our landscape tell a story of our past and hold lessons for our future. Author Fiona Stafford and woodland ecologist George Peterken, both featured in Arboreal, a Common Ground collection of woodland writing, talk to Christiana Payne, Professor of History of Art at Oxford Brookes University.
This is science with all the squishy bits left in. Join the author of Horrible Science for funny facts, scary stories and explosive experiments on stage. Horrible Science has amazed children for more than 20 yucky years with blood-curdling biology, frightful physics and crazy chemistry.
A dazzling vision of the future. Many think the first truly smart robots will be brain emulations or ‘ems’: scan a human brain, then run a model with the same connections on a fast computer and you have a robot brain but recognisably human. Applying decades of expertise in physics, computer science and economics, Hanson uses standard theories to paint a detailed picture of a world dominated by ems. Chaired by Daniel Davis.
Mirror, Mirror: The Uses and Abuses of Self-Love
Everyone deplores narcissism, especially in others. The vain are by turns annoying or absurd, offending us whether they are blissfully oblivious or proudly aware of their behaviour. But are narcissism and vanity really as bad as they seem? Can we avoid them even if we try?
Photo: Donny Fitzpatrick
The trailblazing economist, author of The Carbon Crunch, shows the commonly held view that environmental protection poses obstacles to economic progress to be false. He explains why the environment must be at the very core of economic planning. He presents the first real attempt to calibrate, measure and value ‘natural capital’ from an economic perspective and goes on to outline a stable new framework for sustainable growth.
Presenter Paddy O’Connell talks about life behind the scenes at the BBC and programme-making. Plus he’ll give the audience a chance to contribute and influence the running orders of future editions of Broadcasting House.
Not for broadcast.
When Tony Blair became prime minister in May 1997, he was, at 43, the youngest person to hold that office since 1812. With a landslide majority, his approval rating was 93% and he went on to become Labour’s longest-serving premier. What went wrong? #Corruptiooptimipessima. The Chilcot report is expected in June.
Armitage’s acclaimed version of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight confirmed his reputation as a leading poetry translator. This new work is an entrancing allegorical tale of grief and lost love. The narrator is led on a Dantean journey through sorrow to redemption by his vanished beloved, Pearl. Retaining all the alliterative music of the original, a Medieval English poem thought to be by the same anonymous author responsible for Gawain, Pearl is here brought to vivid and intricate life.
A conversation with two giants of European Literature, both of whom have won both the IMPAC Award and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Petterson follows Out Stealing Horses with his new novel I Refuse. Tommy’s mother has gone. She walked out into the snow one night, leaving him and his sisters with their violent father. Without his best friend Jim, Tommy would be in trouble. But Jim has challenges of his own which will disrupt their precious friendship. Bakker follows The Detour with June. On a hot summer’s day in June 1969 everyone is gathered to welcome Queen Juliana. The young boys and girls wave their flags enthusiastically. But just as the monarch is getting into her car to leave, little Hanne Kaan and her mother arrive late – the Queen strokes the little girl’s cheek and regally offers Anna Kaan her hand. It would have been an unforgettable day of celebration if only the baker hadn’t been running late with his deliveries and knocked down Hanne, playing on the roadside, with his brand-new VW van…
The author of The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas and The Absolutist introduces his new novel. Eliza Caine arrives in Norfolk to take up her position as governess at Gaudlin Hall on a dark and chilling night…
A conversation about Gabriel García Márquez and Roberto Bolaño, two great, dead Latin American writers whose work has been read around the world, with three great contemporary writers: the Argentinian novelist Andres Neuman (pictured) is joined by his Colombian colleague Carolina Sanin and the Mexican writer Juan Villoro.
It is as old as Adam and Eve: who’s to blame? Who’s innocent and praiseworthy? Apter discusses why these questions are not reserved just for big moral issues, but inform daily interactions with our family, our partner, our best friends and our bosses. She also shows that how we praise and blame our children, our colleagues, our friends and our partners may sustain or break our relationships with them. Apter is a psychologist, writer and Fellow of Newnham College. Chaired by Sameer Rahim of Prospect magazine.
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.
The geneticist, author of Creation: The Origin of Life/The Future of Life explains how the evolution of music is notably similar to biological evolution: sampling closely mimics synthetic biology, as wholesale pieces of other organisms are swapped to add functions and behaviours for our purposes. And now, as with the copyright issues that strangled creativity in hip-hop, patents in genetics act as crippling hindrances to scientific progress.
The Battle of the Atlantic was crucial to victory in the Second World War. If the German U-boats had prevailed, the maritime artery across the Atlantic would have been severed. Mass hunger would have consumed Britain, and the Allied armies would have been prevented from joining in the invasion of Europe. There would have been no D-Day. Using fascinating contemporary diaries and letters, from the leaders and the sailors on all sides, Dimbleby maps the human stories, the intelligence breakthroughs and the strategic daring of this turning point in European history.