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Ben Russell

The Rise of the Robots

Hay Festival 2017, 

The lead curator of the Science Museum’s blockbuster show explores this very human obsession to recreate ourselves, revealing the remarkable 500-year story of humanoid robots.

Ben Russell

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Philippa Malmgren

Signals – How Everyday Signs can Help us Navigate the World’s Turbulent Economy

Hay Festival 2016, 

The rising price but shrinking size of a steak, a bar of chocolate, and an apartment not only cause pain at home, they also propel some nations to deploy their militaries to secure resources and protect their citizens from higher prices. The economist, global strategist and presidential adviser reveals how our daily lives are informed and affected by the on-going battle, created by central bankers, between inflation and deflation.

Philippa Malmgren

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Jonathan Meres

The World of Norm: May Require Batteries

Hay Festival 2013, 

 

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.

9+ years

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Mark Lynas

Nuclear 2.0

Hay Festival 2014, 

Is nuclear power the only realistic solution to our energy crisis? Using the latest world energy statistics Lynas shows that with wind and solar still at only about 1 percent of global primary energy, asking renewables to deliver all the world’s power is ‘dangerously delusional’.

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Adam Nicolson

The Seabird’s Cry: The Lives and Loves of Puffins, Gannets and Other Ocean Voyagers

Hay Festival 2017, 

Modern science has begun to understand sea birds: their epic voyages, their astonishing abilities to navigate for tens of thousands of miles on a featureless sea, their ability to smell their way towards fish and home. Only the poets in the past would have thought of seabirds as creatures riding the ripples and currents of the planet, though that is what the scientists are witnessing now, too. But a global tragedy is unfolding. The number of seabirds is in freefall: a 70% decline, a billion fewer now than there were in 1950.

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James Holland

The War in the West, Volume 2

Hay Festival 2017, 

In the second volume of his acclaimed new history of the Second World War, Holland examines the momentous turning points of 1941–1943: Hitler’s invasion of Russia; America’s entry into the conflict; the devastating Thousand Bomber Raids over Germany; the long struggle in the deserts of North Africa and the defeat of the U-boats in the crucial Battle of the Atlantic.

James Holland

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Virginia Nicholson

Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes: The Story of Women in the 1950s

Hay Festival 2015, 

Nicholson tells the story of women in the 1950s: a time before the Pill, when divorce spelled scandal and two-piece swimsuits caused mass alarm. She is the author of Among the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900–1939, Singled Out: How Two Million Women Survived Without Men after the First World War and Millions Like Us: Women’s Lives During the Second World War. Chaired by Rosie Goldsmith.

45 mins
Virginia Nicholson

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James Cary, Rebecca Welsh, Juliet Davenport and Catherine Davies

Greening the Box

Hay Festival 2017, 

An all-star group of entertainment and sustainability industry pioneers come together to debate the role content plays in focusing world attention on global warming. Writer James Cary’s comedy hits include Bluestone 42 and Miranda; Rebecca Welsh is a producer of Strictly Come Dancing and Come Dine With Me. Juliet Davenport is CEO of Good Energy and Catherine Davies is the Development Director at Shire Oak Films.

James Cary, Rebecca Welsh, Juliet Davenport and Catherine Davies

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Michael Foreman

The Amazing Tale of Ali Pasha

Hay Festival 2014, 

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.
7+ years

Michael Foreman

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Mark Tully

India’s Unending Journey: Finding Balance in a Time of Change

Hay Festival 2007, 
A fascinating, deeply personal account of the impact the Subcontinent has had on the life and beliefs of the broadcaster.

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Bruce Robinson

They All Love Jack: Busting the Ripper

Winter Weekend 2015, 

The iconoclastic writer and director of the classic Withnail & I returns to London in a decade-long examination of the most provocative murder investigation in British history, and finally solves the identity of the killer known as ‘Jack the Ripper’.

Bruce Robinson

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The Delightful World of Jeremy Strong

Hay Festival 2016, 

The best-selling author has jokes a-plenty as he talks about Vikings, Romans, My Brother’s Famous Bottom, a karate princess and Streaker, the world-famous, hundred-mile-an-hour dog.

6+
The Delightful World of Jeremy Strong

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Food Bloggers Forum

Our Passion For Irish Food – Nutrition, Economics or Culture?

Kells 2014, 

Some of Ireland’s leading food bloggers discuss what drives their passion for food. A panel debate featuring Kristin Jensen (Edible Ireland), Imen McDonnell (Modern Farmette), Aoife McElwain (I Can Has Cook), Caitriona Redmond (Wholesome Ireland), and Lily Ramirez-Foran (A Mexican Cook). Chaired by Kevin Sheridan.

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Pip Jones

Daddy’s Sandwich

Hay Festival 2015, 
If you were going to make a sandwich with all your favourite things, what would you include? Join Squishy McFluff author Pip Jones in a fun-filled event to find out what happens when one little girl makes a sandwich just a little bit out of the ordinary for her daddy.
4+ years
Pip Jones

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The RSPB Cymru Lecture: Saving Special Places

Hay Festival 2008, 
Graham Wynne talks about why the RSPB, a UK-based conservation charity, is involved in saving the Harapan Rainforest? Find out how the destruction of this special place is not only a disaster for the local people and wildlife, but also for the world's climate.

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Roy Hattersley

The Catholics: The Church and its People in Britain and Ireland, from the Reformation to the Present Day

Hay Festival 2017, 

The survival of Catholicism in Britain, in the face of persecution and institutionalised discrimination (‘the enemy within’ again…) is the triumph of more than simple faith. Hattersley argues that it is the victory of moral and spiritual unbending certainty. Catholicism survives because it does not compromise. It is a characteristic that excites admiration in even a hardened atheist.

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John Guy

Would the Real Thomas More Please Stand Up?!

Hay Festival 2017, 

Who was Thomas More, the author of Utopia? The distinguished historian of Tudor England parses the propaganda and More’s writings to read behind the myth. He examines the ways in which More’s legacy has been contested or resisted. And he suggests which aspects of his thought are likely to continue to influence the world in the future.

John Guy

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David Lodge

Deaf Sentence

Hay Festival 2008, 
Comic maestro David Lodge introduces his brilliant, elegiac novel about one man’s effort to come to terms with deafness and death, ageing and mortality.

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Mark Shorrock and Juliet Davenport talk to Andy Fryers

Tackling Climate Change with Technology – Good Energy Series

Hay Festival 2016, 

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.

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Michelle Paver and Damian Walford Davies

Fictions: Wakenhyrst and Docklands

Hay Festival 2019, 

A reading and discussion for an after-dark audience. A painted medieval devil in a graveyard awakens unhallowed forces in Paver’s gothic thriller set in Edwardian Suffolk: Wakenhyrst. Walford Davies’ Docklands is a ghost story told in fifty poems, set in Victorian Cardiff as an architect pursues his commission to level three terraces to make way for a new square. Chaired by Tiffany Murray, author of Sugar Hall.

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Nik Gowing

Thinking The Unthinkable

Hay Festival 2016, 

Brexit? DAESH? President Trump? Europe’s migration crisis? Oil prices crashing? The ‘unusual extremes’ causing UK flooding? The international affairs analyst, a Visiting Professor at King’s College, London introduces new research revealing why top leaders in big corporates and governments struggle to handle the scale of new unthinkables.

Numbers are limited for this seminar. The full report, co-written with Chris Langdon, can be downloaded from here: http://www.thinkunthinkable.org

Nik Gowing

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James Holland

Burma ’44: The Battle That Turned Britain’s War in the East

Hay Festival 2016, 

In February 1944, a rag-tag collection of clerks, drivers, doctors, muleteers, and other base troops, stiffened by a few dogged Yorkshiremen and a handful of tank crews managed to hold out against some of the finest infantry in the Japanese Army, and then defeat them in what was one of the most astonishing battles of the Second World War. What became know as The Defence of the Admin Box, fought amongst the paddy fields and jungle of Northern Arakan over a fifteen-day period, turned the battle for Burma. Holland is the author of Fortress Malta, Battle of Britain, and Dam Busters and runs Chalke Valley History Festival.

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Rebecca Cobb

The Something

Hay Festival 2015, 
Rebecca Cobb is rapidly establishing herself as one of the most talented new names in the world of children’s books. When a little boy’s ball disappears down a mysterious hole in the garden, he can’t stop thinking about what could be down there – a little mouse’s house? The lair of a hungry troll? Whatever it may be, he’s determined to find out! Join Rebecca for some storytelling and drawing, and maybe find out if there’s a Something down that hole after all…
5+ years
Rebecca Cobb

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Juno Dawson

The Gender Games

Hay Festival 2017, 

Gender isn’t just screwing over trans people, it’s messing with everyone. From exclusionist feminists to ‘alt-right’ young men; from men who can’t cry to the women who think they shouldn’t. Juno tells not only her own story but the story of everyone who is shaped by society’s expectations of gender –and what we can do about it. A frank, witty and powerful manifesto for a world where what’s in your head is more important than what’s between your legs. Chaired by Daniel Hahn.

Juno Dawson

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John Parrington talks to Daniel Davis

Redesigning Life: How Genome Editing will Transform the World

Hay Festival 2017, 

Genome editing has already been used clinically to treat AIDS patients by genetically modifying their white blood cells to be resistant to HIV. In agriculture, genome editing can be used to engineer species with increased food output, resistance to pests, drought and harsh environments. But these powerful new techniques also raise important ethical dilemmas. To what extent should parents be able to manipulate the genetics of their offspring? Can we effectively weigh up the risks from introducing synthetic life forms into complex ecosystems? Parrington is an Associate Professor in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology at the University of Oxford.

John Parrington talks to Daniel Davis