For the 3,000 children in London’s Science Museum and the many thousands of others around the country, 15 December 2015 was a day filled with pride and excitement. Major Tim Peake’s successful International Space Station mission confirmed the UK as a Space-faring nation, and is inspiring a generation of young people. The Commercial Director of Virgin Galactic describes the challenges involved, the progress made and the potential benefits to life on earth as the company strives to create the world’s first commercial Space line.
Photo: Zoe Norfolk
Meet Jamie Thomson, author of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize-winning Dark Lord series, as he talks about his latest book Dark Lord: Eternal Detention. Jamie will teach the audience how to laugh like a Dark Lord.
This inspiring storyteller introduces her No. 1 Car Spotter series – bright and plucky adventures set in West Africa. Trouble is brewing in No. 1’s village – cars are being stolen from outside Mama Coca-Cola’s chop house. No. 1 – never one to sit back and let bad things happen soon comes up with a plan. Hear all about it from the storyteller herself – Atinuke.
10–13 years with parents
The cultural historian demonstrates the rise of China-phobia in popular culture with the help of some film clips. Frayling chronicles the entry of Dr Fu Manchu, known as ‘the yellow peril incarnate in one man’, into world literature a century ago and asks why the idea developed unfairly that China was a threat to Western civilization, and why such images continue to distort our image of its people. Frayling also explains how we neglect the history of popular culture at our peril if we are to understand our deepest desires and fears. Chaired by Sarah Crompton.
On Sunday 31 May, BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House comes live from Hay Festival with presenter Paddy O’Connell, for an hour of interviews and entertainment.
Broadcast every Sunday morning on BBC Radio 4 at 9am.
New technology with the potential to reduce and mitigate our impact on the environment is emerging on every scale from the global to the domestic. Geo-engineering could counteract climate change by intervening in Earth’s natural systems, while new consumer technology offers greener cars and smarter homes. What are the latest ideas? And which technologies will be the most effective at securing a sustainable future? Mark Shorrock is the CEO of Tidal Lagoon Power. Davenport is CEO of Good Energy.
Kalfar’s The Spaceman of Bohemia is an extraordinary vision of the endless human capacity to persist and risk everything in the name of love and home. Nors’ Mirror, Shoulder, Signal is a witty, gut wrenching, lyrical tale of one woman’s journey in search of herself when there’s no-one to ask for directions. The Danish novelist is longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize. They talk to Rosie Goldsmith.
Join the stand-up comedian and presenter of BBC Radio 4's The Infinite Monkey Cage, and the author of The Many Worlds of Albie Bright, as they tackle questions of science and creativity, puzzling over mysteries such as black holes, the Big Bang and the nature of reality as explored in their books The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day and How to Build a Universe Part I.
Celebrate everyone’s favourite patchwork elephant, on the very first Elmer Day. Listen to the wonderful stories about Elmer, and share in the funny adventures he and his friends get up to. Come dressed in your brightest clothes.
What happens when fossil fuels run out? How do communities and cultures survive? After Coal profiles inspiring individuals who are building a new future in the coalfields of Eastern Kentucky and South Wales. Stories of coalfield residents who must create new careers illustrate the challenge of creating a sustainable future. Introduced by the film’s director.
You can book this event together with events  and  at a discounted price of £12. Please call the Box Office on 01497 822629 to proceed with this offer, and we will remove the £3 booking fee.
Highly-acclaimed spoken word artist Steven Camden, aka Polarbear, will engage, entertain and provoke your creative side in a session built around his debut YA novel, TAPE.
12+ years (YA)
Thrilling and terrifying, The Things We Lost in the Fire takes the reader into Enriquez’s world of Argentine Gothic: of sharp-toothed children, of women racked by desire, of demons who lurk beneath the river, of stolen skulls and secrets half-buried under Argentina’s terrible dictatorship. McInerney follows her Baileys Prize-winning debut The Glorious Heresies with The Blood Miracles. The novel is set again in Cork with her vital, brilliant language and storytelling playing out the life and misdemeanours of Ryan Cusack.
Craig Russell has worked as a police officer, proof-reader and creative director in a advertisement agency. He is the author of a popular series set in Hamburg featuring Jan Fabel and the only foreign author awarded the prestigious Polizeistern Prize given by the Police of Hamburg. He has been finalist of the CWA Duncan Lawrie Golden Dagger, as well as the SNCF Prix Polar in France. He speaks with Rod Pryde, Director of The British Council in Spain.
Co-organised with The British Council and the collaboration of Editorial Roca.
The Director of the Festival Cumbre Tajin at the spectacular pre-Hispanic Mexican world heritage site in Veracruz explains the culture of the Totonac people, their relationship with Cortez and the Aztecs, the elemental power of the thunder god and the relationship of the people and the sacred city, with its Mesoamerican pyramids and rituals.
Initiator of Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage Mabel van Oranje reflects on lessons learned from two decades of fighting for human rights and development, what it means to make the impossible possible and how to create coalitions for lasting social change. Mabel has co-founded numerous peace foundations and is a member of the Dutch royal family.
Exploring, questioning, working systematically, visualising, conjecturing, explaining, generalising, justifying, proving…all are at the heart of mathematical thinking. Come and take part in some stimulating activities designed to develop your capacity to work as a mathematician. Parents and teachers will enjoy this too!
Rather than continually making more clothes using more materials, there should be a greater emphasis on how clothes can be repaired, adapted and upcycled. The Professor of Sustainability, Design and Fashion at University of the Arts London presents an inspiring manifesto for improving durability and resourcefulness in the fashion industry.
Many of our everyday activities, such as looking up information on the internet and journey planning, are supported by sophisticated algorithms. Some of our online activities are supported by the fact that we don’t have good algorithms for some problems: the encryption scheme that supports the privacy of credit cards in online transactions is believed to be secure precisely because there is no known fast algorithm for factoring large numbers. The Oxford Computer Science Professor explains a little of what we know about the limitations of algorithms, and also the famous P vs NP problem. This is the most important open problem in computer science and is one of the seven Millennium Problems of the Clay Mathematics Institute, which has offered a million-dollar prize for its solution.