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.
Reason, we are told, is what makes us human, the source of our knowledge and wisdom. But if reason is so useful, why didn’t it also evolve in other animals? If it is that reliable, why do we produce so much thoroughly reasoned nonsense? Mercier’s provocative and brilliant suggestion is that reason helps us justify our beliefs and actions to others, convince them through argument and evaluate the justifications and arguments that they address to us.
Perry was Bill Clinton’s Defence Secretary and has worked on security throughout his career. He explains the development of his thinking on weaponry and security as he journeys from the Cuban Missile Crisis to crafting a defence strategy in the Carter Administration to offset the Soviets’ numeric superiority in conventional forces, presiding over the dismantling of more than 8,000 nuclear weapons in the Clinton Administration, and his creation in 2007 (with George Shultz, Sam Nunn and Henry Kissinger) of the Nuclear Security Project to articulate “a vision of a world free from nuclear weapons and to lay out the urgent steps needed to reduce nuclear dangers”.
The depiction of the Viking world in the Old Norse-Icelandic sagas goes far beyond historical facts. What emerges from these tales is a mixture of realism and fantasy, quasi-historical adventures and exotic wonder-tales that rocket far beyond the horizon of reality. On the crackling brown pages of saga manuscripts, trolls, dragons and outlandish tribes jostle for position with explorers, traders and kings.
The classicist celebrates the spectacular anniversary of the birth of the ‘father of history’. Herodotus was a great, infinitely curious investigator and a digressive storyteller, whose Histories are the source of so much of what we know of the ancient world. Cartledge is AG Leventis Professor Emeritus of Greek Culture at Cambridge. His many books include The Greeks; Thermopylae: The Battle That Changed The World; After Thermopylae: The Oath of Plataea and the End of the Graeco-Persian Wars; The Spartans.
Join Muthoni Garland (Matatu from Watamu) and Clifford Oluoch (Boom Boom Bus) talk about the inspiration behind their stories, and share secrets about the writing process.
6–9 years with parents
Three contributors to the new Logaston anthology charting the history of the Cathedral City recover stories from its past. Heather Hurley recounts the boatbuilding industry and the Wye river trade; archaeologist Nigel Baker introduces new discoveries about the Saxon period; Chris Pullin talks about Hereford as a C12th centre of learning with links to the Arab world. Chaired by Nicola Goodwin of BBC Hereford and Worcester.
Sent to Auschwitz on the first Jewish transport, Rena Kornreich survived the Nazi death camps for over three years. While there she was reunited with her sister Danka. Each day became a struggle to fulfill the promise Rena made to her mother when the family was forced to split apart – a promise to take care of her sister. New research informs this event, based on the original transport list that Macadam found in the archives of Yad Vashem with all 998 names of the first women in Auschwitz on it — 297 of whom were teenagers. Chaired by Sarah Crompton.
Our systems are failing. Old models for education, healthcare, government, food production and energy supply are no longer fit for purpose. As the world’s population heads towards eight billion, it’s clear that we need new approaches. Futurist Mark Stevenson sets out across four continents to find them. From Brazilian favelas to high- tech Boston, and from rural India to a shed inventor in England’s home counties, We Do Things Differently travels the world to find the advance guard re-imagining our future.
Updale writes about the last minute of life for hundreds of people, and McCaughrean about a seaside theatre’s very last performance. Find out what is so absorbing about the end of things.
History has pictured Elizabeth I as Gloriana, an icon of strength and power. But the reality, especially during her later years, was not as simple. In 1583 Elizabeth is 50 and beyond childbearing age, but her greatest challenges are still to come: the Spanish Armada; the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots; and relentless plotting among her courtiers. The pre-eminent Tudor historian presents a gripping and vivid portrait of Elizabeth’s life and times –often told in her own words (“You know I am no morning woman”) and reveals a monarch who is fallible, increasingly insecure and struggling to lead Britain. The London theatre, however, was thriving.
Jones mixes cultural investigation, art appreciation and dental history in an ingenious and wonderfully entertaining account of how we only learned to really smile in Revolutionary France. Colin Jones is Professor of History at Queen Mary University of London. He talks to Rothschild, winner of the Wodehouse Prize and chair of the National Gallery.
Cathedrals are custodians of culture and of the rituals of civic life. They offer welfare and relieve suffering. They uplift spirits with their beauty. In a real sense they are still what they were when first built a millennium ago, a glimpse of the sublime. Illustrated lecture.
The 94-year-old author's creation celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this year. The writer discusses its enduring appeal and her long career as a writer and illustrator with the broadcaster, musician and novelist.