Global meat consumption is on an unhealthy trajectory. Short of cutting meat out of our diet entirely, from mega-farms to self-sufficiency, chicken sheds to free-range and organic, we discuss the options available and their pros and cons. And then of course there are the edible insects…The BBC Food Programme presenter Dan Saladino talks with Louise Gray, author of The Ethical Carnivore, Joanna Blythman from the Sustainable Food Trust and author of Swallow This and farmer Peter Greig, former Food Producer of the Year in Radio 4's Food and Farming Awards.
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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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.
Come along for interactive storytelling with the 2014 World Book Day author-illustrator, and learn how to draw his huggable bear, Hugless Douglas. Watch out for the bear himself…
Duration 45 minutes
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.
Ridley views the Peter Pan stories through the eyes of a neuroscientist and explores J M Barrie's interest in cognition, theory of mind and the nature of consciousness. Barrie's stories are rich in post-Darwinian questions about the origins of human nature and the mental abilities of animals, children and adults. Ridley was Head of the Medical Research Council Comparative Cognition Research Team in the Department of Psychology at Cambridge University.
It is rare to find a landscape untouched by our lines – the hedges, walls, ditches and dykes built to enclose and separate; and the green lanes, roads, canals, railways and power lines, designed to connect. This vast network of lines has transformed our landscape.
In Linescapes, Hugh Warwick unravels the far-reaching ecological consequences of the lines we have drawn. As our lives and our land have been fenced in and threaded together, so wildlife habitats have been cut into ever smaller, and increasingly unviable, fragments. He talks to Oliver Balch author of Under the Tump.
Explorer Maria Leijerstam and world-record-holding athlete Josie Pearson introduce Spark – a new vibrant series of non-fiction books for young readers. Maria relates her epic adventures visiting different parts of the world, including her recent expedition to Antarctica, while Josie shares her experience of winning a Gold medal at the Paralympic Games in London 2012.
The novelist discusses her six-book Wolf Brother series, set among a forest clan in a prehistoric Northern Europe. Torak’s tale is a terrifying quest in a world of wolves, tree spirits and Hidden People, a world in which trusting a friend means risking your life. One of the great masterpieces of children’s fiction, The Chronicles are to continue in three new titles launching with The Viper’s Daughter in spring 2020.
A conversation with the novelist and podcaster. “If I have learned one thing from this shockingly beautiful venture called life, it is this: failure has taught me lessons I would never otherwise have understood. I have evolved more as a result of things going wrong than when everything seemed to be going right. Out of crisis has come clarity, and sometimes even catharsis.”
The acclaimed historian shares his profound love of trees and reverence for nature, rooted in the family estate of Tullynally in Ireland. He travels to the Tibetan border in search of a particular magnolia, to Eastern Patagonia to see the last remaining giants of the Monkey Puzzle tree, while the first of the Chinese-inspired gardens at Tullynally was planted entirely with seeds from south-west China. An expedition to Tibet’s Tsangpo Gorge goes awry only to lead to a fruitful exploration of the Rongchu Valley, which yields more than 100 bags of seeds, including the Tibetan golden oak, the Tsangpo cypress and blue-stemmed maples.
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.
With the world’s population expected to hit 10 billion by 2100, the earth’s capacity to sustain the human population and its increasing demands remains a critical issue. What are the energy implications for Ireland? What will be the balance between technological breakthrough and lifestyle change?
It's the most simple, unassuming, innocent-looking verb: 'to be'. Yet it is jam-packed with more different meanings, forms and uses than any other English word. As he reveals ‘be's’ multiple incarnations, Prof Crystal takes us to the heart of our flexible and changing language. We meet circumstantial be ("how are you?"), numerical be ("two and two is four"), quotative be ("so I was like, 'wow'"), and ludic be ("oh no he isn't!"), and a whole swarm of other meanings.
It is 70 years since the creation of the NHS, and health sector staff face more challenges than ever. How do our health care staff remain resilient, compassionate and continue to innovate in the face of mounting pressures from over-stretched NHS budgets, pay freezes, and a demanding population?