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.
Was Diana killed by the Secret Services? Is climate change a hoax? Did man not walk on the moon? Who shot JFK? Drawing on a nationwide survey about belief in conspiracy theories, Drochon will explore what factors –religious, economic, political – make some and not others believe in conspiracy theories and what impact that has had on contemporary political events. Drochon is a political theorist and historian of modern political thought.
Do space and time truly exist? What is reality made of? Can we understand its deep texture? Taking us on a wondrous journey, Rovelli invites us to imagine a whole new world where black holes are waiting to explode, space time is made up of grains and infinity does not exist: a vast universe still largely undiscovered.
‘The man who makes physics sexy. The new Hawking. His writing is luminous.’ – The Times. Chaired by Marcus du Sautoy.
In nearly every moment of our waking lives, we face a barrage of advertising enticements, branding efforts, sponsored social media, commercials and other efforts to harvest our attention. The lawyer and Columbia professor analyses who’s monetising us in the digital realm, and how to resist.
Human Rights, Equality, Free Speech, Privacy and the Rule of Law: the battle to establish these five ideas in law was long and difficult, and Anthony Lester was at the heart of the 30-year campaign that resulted in the Human Rights Act, as well as the struggle for race and gender equality that culminated in the Equality Act of 2010. Today our society is at risk of becoming less equal. From Snowden’s revelations about our own intelligence agencies spying on us, to the treatment of British Muslims, our civil liberties are under threat as never before. The internet leaves our privacy at risk in myriad ways; our efforts to combat extremism curtail free speech; and cuts to legal aid and interference with access to justice endangers the rule of law.
The medic/philosopher takes a wry look at a variety of topics such as stupidity (including the author’s own), fashions in academe, and the human propensity for mission drift. His latest book of essays is Epithemean Imaginings.
A portrait of Prussia’s charismatic and domineering Iron Chancellor, who dominated C19th Europe, and who caused Kaiser Wilhelm to observe that ‘it was hard being Emperor under a man like Bismarck’.
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.
The consultant transplant surgeon reviews how organ transplantation is being transformed by innovations in organ donation, stem cell technology, bio-engineered tissues and machine perfusion of organs. He explores what is now possible and discusses the ensuing ethical and legal dilemmas.
Head-Up Display (HUD) technology can help drivers with a safer and more comfortable and enjoyable driving experience. It can provide ‘immersive entertainment’ and protection for human wellbeing in the autonomous cars of the future. Professor Chu is Director of the Centre for Photonic Devices and Sensors at Cambridge. He presents his work with two colleagues from Jaguar Land Rover.
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.
The novelist discusses her new book set in C19th America. In this rich, powerful story, Chevalier is at her imaginative best, bringing to life the urge to wrestle with our roots, however deep and tangled they may be.
On Mother’s Day 2004 the artist Henny Beaumont gave birth to her third child. For the first few hours, her baby seemed no different from her two other little girls. With stunning art and refreshing honesty, Henny describes how family life changed the moment the registrar told her and her husband that their daughter might have Down’s syndrome. Henny’s wit and irony transform a deeply traumatic personal experience into a story that will resonate with every parent. She shares her family’s journey - in beautiful black and white drawings – from hospital to home, and from early years to school, in this moving, wise and unsparing graphic memoir.
Calling all children and adults: Do you have a loud voice? Are you a giggler? Do you have an eardrum-shredding scream? If so, Lissa Evans, Carnegie-shortlisted author of Small Change for Stuart, Big Change for Stuart and Wed Wabbit, would like to recruit you for her Wimbley Woo Workshop. Along the way, you can also learn what Lissa’s real name is, and what it’s got to do with the plot of Small Change for Stuart, what she learned in Year 5 at Primary School (clue: nothing) and how to talk like a Yellow Wimbley.
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.
Stroud tells the true stories of the SOE heroines who fought with the Resistance to free Nazi-occupied France. He is joined by Tania Szabó, who has also written a book about one of those agents, her mother: Young, Brave and Beautiful: The Missions of Special Operations Executive Agent Lieutenant Violette Szabó, George Cross, Croix de Guerre avec Étoile de Bronze.
Introducing a new literary geography based on the assumption that novels and stories cannot be confined by the covers of a book, but through the reader’s imagination become part of the lived experience of the world around us. Explaining how this new cartography of page and place will be developed is Jon Anderson from the School of Geography and Planning at Cardiff University.
Warsan Shire (Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth) won the Brunel University African Poetry Prize. Dr. Neal Hall (Nigger for Life) has won over 10 prizes for poetry in book festivals around the world. Mongane Wally Serote (Yakhal'Inkomo) has won the Ingrid Jonker Poetry Prize, the Noma Award for Publishing in Africa and was a Fulbright Scholar. These multiple-award-winning poets read from their work and talk to Kenyan Poet, Njeri Wangari (Mines and Mindfields) about asylum, war, love, loss, borders, insanity, race, identity and inequality.
Bread, chocolate and pasta are year-round comfort foods. Meet an artisan baker, a chocolatier and a Welsh-Italian cook who set up family food businesses, and learn how you can do the same from your kitchen table. Chaired by former Country Living Deputy Editor Kitty Corrigan.
In the summer of 1381 England erupted in a violent popular uprising as unexpected as it was unprecedented. Sceptical of contemporary chroniclers’ accounts, Barker draws on the judicial sources of the indictments and court proceedings that followed the rebellion to offer a new perspective on the so-called Peasants’ Revolt. She introduces us to the loyal rebels who believed they were acting in the king’s best interests, and suggests that the boy-king Richard II sympathised with their grievances. Had it been implemented, their radical agenda would have transformed English society and anticipated the French Revolution by four hundred years. In conversation with Stephanie Merritt.
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Environmentalists are good at scare stories; but is a diet of doom and gloom turning people off? Would it be better to inspire people with positive news? Or would that fail to win headlines in a media that still follows the old adage, ‘If it bleeds, it leads’? Pilita Clark, Financial Times Environment Correspondent, Sean Dagan Wood, Editor of Positive News and Futurologist Mark Stevenson talk to Forum for the Future's Martin Wright.
Ex-robbers now bakers, Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam star in a new collection of stories about their comical adventures. The two dogs are best friends but they look like being in danger of falling out when a tempting looking package arrives at the café. Corderoy and Lenton entertain with comic rhymes and illustrations about their well-loved characters.
This year’s lecture is given by the distinguished biographer and critic, author of Housman Country: Into The Heart of England, The Old Lie: The Great War and the Public-School Ethos and biographies of J.R. Ackerley and Christopher Isherwood.