Meet the Children’s Laureate, who will live-draw the answers to your questions. The children he chooses can take their doodle-answers home with them and own a unique piece of art from one of our greatest illustrators.
With overdue homework, overdue pocket money and a bag full of overdue newspapers, can life get any more unfair for Norm? Abso-flipping-lutely.
Duration 45 mins.
The applications of artificial intelligence lie all around us: in our homes, schools and offices, in our cinemas, in art galleries and - not least - on the internet. The results of artificial intelligence have been invaluable to biologists, psychologists and linguists in helping to understand the processes of memory, learning and language from a fresh angle. Boden is Research Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of Sussex, and one of the best-known figures in the field of artificial intelligence. She is the author of Mind as Machine: a History of Cognitive Science.
Author and zoologist Nicola Davies and illustrator/artist Cathy Fisher introduce swifts – amazing birds that sleep and eat on the wing and never stop flying. Learn how to look out for them, listen for their cries and how to tell if they might be nesting where you live. Help Cathy draw a swift, see how she made the stunning artwork for Perfect, and listen to a story about how swifts helped a boy to understand his new baby sister.
Anne Enright escaped from a career in television to become one of Ireland’s national literary treasures. She won the Man Booker Prize in 2007 for her fourth novel The Gathering. The newly-appointed Irish Fiction Laureate will discuss and read from her latest novel The Green Road.
Photo by Hugh Chaloner
The true story of a young serviceman on active duty in 1915 who finds and keeps a tortoise. One of our most highly-acclaimed illustrators, Michael is best known for War Boy and War Game and for his extensive work with Michael Morpurgo. Find out why the tale of Ali Pasha was such an inspiration to him.
In the early 1880s the Mahdi unleashed a spectacularly successful jihadist uprising against Egyptian colonial rule in the Sudan. Major General Charles Gordon was despatched to evacuate Khartoum and turn the Sudan over to self-rule. The mission backfired and Sir Garnet Wolseley was sent to relieve him…
All aboard The Leaky Battery! In Rise of the Slippery Sea Monster the ever-popular Steampunk Pirates are attacked by a sea monster hungry for gold. Will the pirates by able to defend themselves? The author reveals the amazing powers of these remarkable seafaring heroes with the help of his ukulele and accordion and the singing of some rousing sea shanties. Pirate dress optional.
The poignant story of Boabdil, the last Muslim king of Granada. Betrayed by his family and undermined by faction and internal conflict, Boabdil was defeated in 1492 by the forces of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of the newly united kingdoms of Castile and Aragon. The Christian victory marked the completion of the long Christian reconquest of Spain and ended seven centuries in which Christians, Muslims and Jews had, for the most part, lived peacefully and profitably together in La Convivencia.
Ursula Martin was diagnosed with ovarian cancer aged 31 and walked around Wales to raise money for a cancer charity: she recorded the experience in One Woman Walks Wales. Hannah Engelkamp’s book and film Seaside Donkey were based on her experience travelling with this companion around Wales. Hannah’s meanders are now accompanied by her toddler, Osian, who inspired her current writing on ‘wilding’ childhood and what the ‘dériving’ and colonialist habits of infants can teach us about travel. They talk to Gwen Davies.
In the 18th century India’s share of the world economy was as large as Europe’s. By 1947, after two centuries of British rule, it had decreased six-fold. British imperialism justified itself as enlightened despotism for the benefit of the governed. Tharoor, an historian, novelist and politician, takes on and demolishes this position, demonstrating how every supposed imperial ‘gift’ - from the railways to the rule of law, was designed in Britain’s interests alone and funded Britain’s Industrial Revolution.
From awe-inspiring Norman castles to the homes we live in, Thurley explores how the architecture of this small island influenced the world. He tells the fascinating story of the development of architecture and the advancements in both structural performance and aesthetic effect. Chaired by Justin Albert.
One of the UK’s most imaginative and entertaining authors creates hilarious, often absurd but always compelling adventures within bizarre and zany worlds. Find out all about The Eye of Zoltar, the third novel in his hugely popular Last Dragonslayer series, packed with Jasper’s trademark magic and invention.
Food is an important theme in Jane Austen’s novels: it is used as a commodity for showing off, as a way of showing kindliness among neighbours, as part of the dynamics of family life, and – of course – for comic effect. Dinner With Mr Darcy takes authentic recipes from the period, inspired by the food that features in Austen’s novels and letters, and adapts them for contemporary cooks.
Excavation of two quarries in the Preseli hills in Pembrokeshire by a UCL-led team of archaeologists and geologists has confirmed that they are sources of Stonehenge’s ‘bluestones’ and shed light on how they were quarried and transported. “We have dates of around 3400 BC for Craig Rhos-y-felin and 3200 BC for Carn Goedog, which is intriguing because the bluestones didn’t get put up at Stonehenge until around 2900 BC,” says Professor Parker Pearson. “It could have taken those Neolithic stone-draggers nearly 500 years to get them to Stonehenge, but that’s pretty improbable in my view. It’s more likely that the stones were first used in a local monument – somewhere near the quarries – which was then dismantled and dragged off to Wiltshire. Stonehenge was a Welsh monument from its very beginning. If we can find the original monument in Wales from which it was built, we will finally be able to solve the mystery of why Stonehenge was built and why some of its stones were brought so far…”
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.
Sagar is a performance poet in the Kannada language, the Keralan poet Thampi writes in Malayalam. They’ve created a multi-lingual performance translating and writing together with the Cymraeg (Dafydd) and English-language (Davies) poets from Wales.
The impact of social media on society today is undeniable - sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin have millions and even billions of users. Nurse, an academic at Oxford's Department of Computer Science, considers the positive uses of social-media information, while also explaining the various security and privacy risks associated with having a digital footprint. Shedding light on what social media is, as well as how it works, he will show how to understand what you are telling the world when you join in with social media, and how to recognise good information from bad, as a reader.
In this first event celebrating the centenary of the Welsh poet Alun Lewis, Owen Sheers will read the poetry and Juliet Aykroyd will reveal how he and her mother, Freda, fell in love in India during World War II. Lewis’s letters to Freda, published in A Cypress Walk, prove him to be one of the great letter-writers.