We need a revolution in the way we both use and generate energy. Howard Johns puts forward the case for community energy systems with Mark Shorrock, founder and CEO of Swansea’s Tidal Lagoon Power scheme, Good Energy's CEO Juliet Davenport and Caplor Energy’s Gareth Williams. They discuss with Andy Fryers.
Over thirteen centuries, Baghdad has enjoyed both cultural and commercial pre-eminence, boasting artistic and intellectual sophistication and an economy once the envy of the world. It was here, in the time of the Caliphs, that the Thousand and One Nights were set. Yet it has also been a city of great hardships, beset by epidemics, famines, floods, and numerous foreign invasions that have brought terrible bloodshed. This is the history of its storytellers and its tyrants, of its philosophers and conquerors. Chaired by Oliver Bullough.
It’s two decades since the author of Driving Over Lemons moved to his farm on the wrong side of a river in the mountains of southern Spain. In this latest, typically hilarious dispatch from El Valero we find Chris, now a local literary celebrity, using his fame to help his old sheep-shearing partner find work on a raucous road trip; cooking a TV lunch for visiting British chef, Rick Stein; discovering the pitfalls of Spanish public speaking; and, most movingly, visiting famine-stricken Niger for Oxfam.
The maritime strategist and former Rear Admiral argues that in the second decade of the 21st century, the sea is set to reclaim its status as the world’s pre-eminent strategic medium. Parry makes the case that the next decade will witness a ‘scramble’ for the sea, involving competition for oceanic resources and the attempted political and economic colonisation of large tracts of what have, until now, been considered international waters and shipping routes. Chaired by Horatio Clare.
While it is common to hear about the problems of overpopulation, might there be unexplored benefits of increasing numbers of people in the world? How can we both consider and harness the potential benefits brought by a healthier, wealthier and larger population? May more people mean more scientists to discover how our world works, more inventors and thinkers to help solve the world’s problems, more skilled people to put these ideas into practice?
The historian analyses the Great War and asks: was the sacrifice worth it? Was it all really an inevitable cataclysm and were the Germans a genuine threat? Was the war, as is often asserted, greeted with popular enthusiasm? Why did men keep on fighting when conditions were so wretched? Was there in fact a death wish, driving soldiers to their own destruction? In the Great War’s centenary year, the historian offers a provocative analysis: that going to war in 1914 was the biggest mistake in British history.
Two of the contributors to Ian Goldin’s overview of the world’s population and resources address key issues. Malhi takes a metabolic perspective on our human-dominated planet in Bigger Than The Biosphere? Godfray examines the practicality of food production in Can the World Feed 10 Billion People (Sustainably & Equitably)?
The visionary Earth scientist suggests two new big ideas: the first is that three hundred years ago, when Thomas Newcomen invented the steam engine, he was unknowingly beginning ‘accelerated evolution’, a process which is bringing about change on our planet roughly a million times faster than Darwinian evolution. The second is that as part of this process, humanity has the capacity to become the intelligent part of Gaia, the self-regulating Earth system whose discovery Lovelock first announced nearly 50 years ago.
‘I went into the newsagent’s for a packet of fags and I saw the exercise book, and I thought, yes, that’s got your name on it. Or it soon will. Buy it and fill it with your thoughts, which are many and beautiful and frequently in service to the Lord. Make a diary of your time at St Saviour’s. Maybe, in two hundred years’ time, you’ll be celebrated as the Samuel Pepys of the Church of England. Or a sort of Reverend Bridget Jones. Is that too much to hope for, Lord?’ The creators of the glorious television comedy present the thoughts of Rev. Adam Smallbone.
Hitler claimed in Mein Kampf that his years as a soldier in the First World War were the most formative years of his life. Weber looks at what really happened to Private Hitler and the men of the Bavarian List Regiment of which he was a member. It is a radical revision of the period of Hitler’s life that is said to have made him. Chaired by Rosie Goldsmith.
Set on the fictional Caribbean island of Sans Amen, Roffey’s House of Ashes tells the story of three characters, a gunman, a hostage and a boy soldier, caught up in a botched coup d’etat. Cullin’s A Slight Trick of the Mind introduces a nonagenarian Sherlock Holmes. In the twilight of his life, as people continue to look to him for answers, Holmes revisits a case that may provide him with answers of his own to questions he didn’t even know he was asking – about life, about love, and about the limits of the mind’s ability to know. The authors talk to Georgina Godwin.
A Life in Biology
In 2001 Sir Tim Hunt FRS was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Paul Nurse and Leland H Hartwell for their discoveries of protein molecules that control the division of cells. He talks with Roger Highfield about his Nobel Prize-winning work and his life in biology.
At QI’s very core is ‘the astonishing fact’: painstakingly researched and distilled to a brilliant and shocking clarity. Pigs suffer from anorexia. Wagner always wore pink silk underwear. Rugby School’s first official rugby kit in 1871 included a bow tie. Lord Kitchener had four spaniels called Shot, Bang, Miss and Damn. It is impossible to whistle in a spacesuit. Join in the fun with the QI writing team.
Women Today, Women Tomorrow
Murray Edwards College, Cambridge, a college for women, recently surveyed its alumnae over its 60-year existence. The 1,000 respondents were women from all backgrounds but with a common University experience. The women described the biggest challenge in their careers, whether they were in their twenties or fifties, to be an unsupportive work environment. The college President and several alumnae will explore what women are experiencing, and most of all what changes are needed and what young women need to face the challenges in the workplace. She is joined by Telegraph fashion journalist Ellie Pithers (matriculated 2008), singer-songwriter Polly Paulusma (1994) and the author and comms expert Frances Edmonds (1970).
An exclusive preview and discussion of National Theatre of Wales' new ambitious WWI site-specific production, with writer Owen Sheers and Creative Associate Prof. Chris Morris.
Mametz, directed by Matthew Dunster, tells the story of the 38th Welsh Division's July 1916 battle for Mametz Wood. Drawing on the work of writers who fought at the battle, including Robert Graves, Siegfried Sassoon, Llewelyn Wyn Griffith and David Jones, the play will take audiences into the heart of the frontline, no man's land and the lives of those who fought and died within Mametz Wood. With readings, video and discussion Owen and Chris will tell the story of the play's genesis from the discovery of an out-of-print book in Hay in 1998, to its current design and development.
Mametz will be performed at Great Llancayo Upper Wood near Usk, Monmouthshire, 24 June–5 July. Tickets and info at http://nationaltheatrewales.org/mametz
Mametz is co-commissioned by National Theatre Wales and 14-18 NOW, WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund
The historian offers a wide-ranging chronicle of the politics and military action of 1914. Hastings gives a blistering critique of German and Austrian aggression in the run-up to war, and a new vision of the first months of the conflict. He describes how the French Army marched into action amid virgin rural landscapes in uniforms of red and blue, led by mounted officers, with flags flying and bands playing.
In her new collection Bark the great short story writer Lorrie Moore explores the passage of time, and summons up its inevitable sorrows and comic pitfalls. Gimlet-eyed social observation, the public and private absurdities of American life, dramatic irony, and enduring half-cracked love wend their way through each of these narratives. Moore’s characteristic style is always tender, never sentimental and often heartbreakingly funny. Ferris’s dazzling new novel To Rise Again at a Decent Hour is about the meaning of life, the certainty of death, and the importance of good oral hygiene. They talk to Ted Hodgkinson.
Samuel Johnson – with a little help from his dachshund Boswell and a very unlucky demon named Nurd – has sent the demons back to Hell. But the diabolical Mrs Abernathy is not one to take defeat lying down. When she reopens the portal and sucks Samuel and Boswell down into the underworld, she brings an ice-cream van full of dwarfs as well. And two policemen. Can this eccentric gang defeat the forces of Evil? And is there life after Hell for Nurd?
Ian McEwan’s recent work displays his interest in science and public affairs. His latest novels tackle climate change (Solar) and espionage (Sweet Tooth). In talks and articles he articulates a strong humanist position on the issues of the day. In a rare pre-publication conversation, he discusses his fiction in progress. His forthcoming novel highlights the ethical dilemmas when religious conviction seeks to prevent medical intervention. He talks to Raymond Tallis.