Why does public debate and policy treat the application of genetic technology differently when we are discussing medicine and food? Why is our concept of what is ‘natural’ so controversial and the idea of GM food so alarming? Scientists and sociologists come together with Daniel Davis to discuss what’s being ventured and how it is perceived.
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.
The Chilean anthropologist introduces the colonial history and culture of the Polynesian island, and the islanders’ relationship with food, language and the renowned stone sculptures.
Join in story-time and craft activities with Belle & Boo, the bob-haired little girl and her adorable bunny friend.
Discover the future of screen technology with computer scientist Matt Jones. His team at Swansea University is exploring displays that mutate to create textures and change shape to reveal controls like dials and switches depending on our needs. See some of the early prototypes that are enhancing our digital interactions with the physical world.
At a time when migrations and borders are again central to our politics and national identity, the archaeologist looks back in time, to the creation of what was then Europe’s largest earthwork, Offa’s Dyke. He examines the role of the Mercian kingdom as a European power, and the ways in which Alfred and the Saxon kings rewrote that history. Chaired by Jesse Norman, MP for South Herefordshire, through which Offa’s Dyke approaches Hay.
Chernobyl is as much a symbol of nuclear risks as a distraction from other problems: some 70 years into the age of nuclear power, we do not have a single reactor that would have a chance without huge public subsidies. Nor do we have words for, or even a proper picture of, those who suffered most from Chernobyl and Fukushima: the people who clean up. Now that Britain is banking on a nuclear revival we need to learn about the long path to a new generation of reactors. Uekötter is a Reader in Environmental Humanities at University of Birmingham. He talks to journalist and author Mark Lynas.
With its taut narrative and its wincingly visceral portrait of a man locked in an uneven struggle with the forces of nature, Jones’s Cove is a powerful new work from one of the most distinctive voices in British fiction. Jufresa’s Umami is a quietly devastating novel of missed encounters, missed opportunities, missed people, and those who are left behind. Compassionate, surprising, funny and inventive, it deftly unpicks their stories to offer a darkly comic portrait of contemporary Mexico, as whimsical as it is heart-wrenching.
The mathematician discovers how the ancient Babylonians used their bodies to count to 60 (which gave us 60 minutes in the hour), how the number zero was only discovered in the seventh century by Indian mathematicians contemplating the void, why in China going into the red meant your numbers had gone negative, and why numbers might be our best language for communicating with alien life. But for millennia, contemplating infinity has sent even the greatest minds into a spin. Then at the end of the 19th century mathematicians discovered a way to think about infinity that revealed it is a number that we can count. They also found that there are an infinite number of infinities, some bigger than others…
Ever wondered how robots work, what they do and why we even have them? Join the Science Museum as they take you on an amazing interactive journey into the world of robots. Discover how we program them, how they’re engineered and which is better – robot technology or human biology. This exciting and engaging science show features incredible live robot demonstrations and experiments that will blow your circuits.
A fun-filled frantic session with the creator of the Astrosaurs and Cows In Action series.
Long before the Enlightenment sowed the seeds of disbelief in a deeply Christian Europe, atheism was a matter of serious public debate in the Greek world. But history is written by those who prevail, and the Age of Faith mostly suppressed the lively, free-thinking voices of antiquity. The A G Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at Cambridge brings to life the fascinating ideas of Diagoras of Melos, perhaps the first self-professed atheist; Democritus, the first materialist; and Epicurus and his followers. He shows how the early Christians came to define themselves against atheism, and so suppress the philosophy of disbelief.
The authors of the first three books in the rebooted Ladybird series join forces for an all-star feast of ideas and stories. Hay favourites Steve Jones and Jim-Alkhalili introduce Evolution and Quantum Mechanics; Emily Shuckburgh and Tony Juniper introduce the book about Climate Change they’ve co-authored with the Prince of Wales. Perfect for anyone aged 7 or older. #weloveexperts
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.
Leaving her garden to the mercy of the slugs, award-winning writer Alys Fowler set out in an inflatable kayak to explore Birmingham’s canal network, full of little-used waterways where huge pike skulk and kingfishers dart. Her memoir is about noticing the wild everywhere and what it means to see beauty where you least expect it. What happens when someone who has learned to observe her external world in such detail decides to examine her internal world with the same care? Chaired by Lucy Cotter.
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…
Sally McKenna’s new book Extreme Greens reveals the culinary, health and cosmetic wonders of seaweeds, one of our greatest natural resources. Sally will also give an insight into being one of Ireland’s most noted food writers and critics. She talks to Olivia Duff.