Why can some people achieve greatness when others can't, no matter how hard they try? What are the secrets of long life and happiness? The New Scientist Managing Editor takes us on a tour of the peaks of human achievement. Drawing on interviews with a wide range of superhumans as well as those who study them, Hooper assesses the science of peak potential, reviewing the role of genetics alongside the famed 10,000 hours of practice.
The writer discusses his two new publications: a history book that chronicles the time of Christopher Wren, Samuel Pepys and Charles II – The Time Traveller’s Guide to Restoration Britain; and a dazzling time-travelling fiction, The Outcasts of Time.
Are businesses better able to address environmental issues than governments and NGOs? Where does genuine motivation to act responsibly need to be backed up by regulation? And how do we ensure that businesses ensure that sustainability isn't just another PR exercise from profit-hungry executives? IKEA’s Sustainability Director, the broadcaster and author Joanna Yarrow, and Good Energy CEO Juliet Davenport, talk to the Festival's Sustainability Director.
The Countryfile star and visionary farmer explores his bond with his life-long hero: his father, Joe. In the 1940s and ’50s Joe, the son of stage and film star Leslie Henson, chose a completely different path and decided to pursue a career as a farmer. Joe overcame a serious stammer to become a regular broadcaster on Country Matters. He became the saviour of Britain’s rare breeds and opened the world’s first Farm Park.
The British government’s own analysis of the economic impact of Brexit forecasts a fall in gross domestic product of 9% for Wales. The role of non-resident Welsh people (the Welsh Diaspora) and their soft power, in bringing new wealth and prosperity to Wales, is of huge importance and could be transformational. With global engagement changing the fortunes of nations and exerting huge influence over many aspects of public life and economic development, it’s time Wales got serious about diaspora. Mark Neale, CEO and founder of Mountain Warehouse, Kingsley Atkins, the founder and CEO of Ireland’s Diaspora Matters, and Rachel Minto, an EU expert based at Cardiff University, talk to Guto Harri.
The charismatic storyteller takes us on a journey into obsession. Inspired by Perrault’s classic Gothic horror story, it’s magnificently dark, erotic and disturbing. But it’s also fiercely life affirming – a celebration of the love of sisters and the resilience of women. This is a defiantly female version of the tale, in which the sister and mother of the bride, Eva, are given far greater prominence. Eva is awarded infinitely more emotional complexity than usual, as she explosively transforms from a victim into a survivor who will not “rake through the ashes for half burned hopes”.
With simultaneous live drawing by Chris Riddell
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 Lost Gods takes up where The Sleeping Army left off, transporting us back to Francesca Simon’s brilliantly-imagined modern Norse England. Freya has been to Hel and back but the gods are looking for celebrity…
You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till it’s Gone: Valuing the NHS
A toxic combination of anxiety, rhetoric and mechanistic solutions can lead to dangerous neglect of the human factors that require attention if the NHS is to survive and thrive as a safe, compassionate and effective service. Penny Campling and John Ballatt have decades of experience in senior roles in the NHS. They are the co-authors of Intelligent Kindness: reforming the culture of healthcare. Their work has been widely influential among clinicians, managers, policy makers and educators in healthcare.
The Elizabeth Bryan Foundation Trust is a charitable trust founded in memory of the eminent paediatrician Elizabeth Bryan, whose work with families with twins, or multiple births, brought together the best of skilled medical practice with a profound commitment to the wellbeing of her patients and their families. Their central focus is on the values she placed highest herself: compassion, empathy and intelligent kindness – not only between staff and patients but among the staff of the NHS, both clinical and non-clinical.
Factories that forage, X-ray glasses that can see energy, why price is not value and lots of stupid stuff as well. The Director of Research in Industrial Sustainability explores how the industrial system is (slowly) changing and why free energy is ignored. He explains how to be an environmental optimist and how to love factories. Chaired by Jane Davidson.
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…
Francis’ re-telling of the first four stories of the Welsh classic is the first to situate it in poetry, and captures the magic and strangeness of this medieval Celtic world: a baby is kidnapped by a monstrous claw, a giant wades across the Irish Sea to do battle, a wizard makes a woman out of flowers, only to find she is less biddable than he expected. Permeating the whole sequence is a delight in the power of the imagination to transform human experience into works of tragedy, comedy and wonder. Chaired by Daniel Hahn.
Alison Hindell, the BBC’s Head of Audio Drama, in conversation with two leading writers of radio drama. Come for some tips on creating memorable stories and characters out of words and sound.
Not for broadcast.
Photo: Alison Hindell by Mark Bassett
Creeping climatic upheaval and corrosive global inequality are like two threads pulling apart civilisation’s fabric. To survive and thrive, we face an unprecedented challenge of rapid transition. But the way we live is locked-in by an economic system, dominated by finance and obsessed with growth. Andrew Simms of the New Weather Institute discusses whether orthodox economics can effect change with Richard Murphy, the architect of Corbynomics.
Patrick Deville a reçu le Prix Femina 2012 pour son dernier ouvrage Peste et choléra. Fondateur de la Maison des Écrivains Étrangers et Traducteurs de Saint-Nazaire (France) et grand voyageur (il a visité le Moyen-Orient, l’Afrique et l’Amérique centrale), il est l’auteur de plus de dix romans traduits dans une douzaine de langues.
Événement en français
Do you think scientists are boring boffins who don’t leave the lab? Think again! The brainiacs of history spent hundreds of years breaking the rules, blowing things up and performing dangerous experiments. Come and celebrate 400 years of rebel antics. Expect plenty of silly wigs and terrible jokes. Dress up as a scientist and be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of Dan Green’s Rebel Science, shortlisted for the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize 2016, which celebrates the best books that communicate science to young people.