Why do zombies walk with their arms outstretched? How can newborn babies grip an adult finger tightly enough to dangle unsupported from it? From early tools to machinery, from fists to knives to guns, from papyrus to QWERTY to a swipeable screen; the history of civilisation is a history of what humans do with their hands. Mankind’s story is marked out by profound changes in how we use our hands; and it is also marked by underlying patterns that never change. And as much as the things we do with our hands reflect our psychological state, they can also change that state profoundly…The psychoanalyst is the author of Why do Women Write More Letters Than They Post? and Promises Lovers Make When It Gets Late. Chaired by Daisy Leitch.
Fortey presents his wood, deep in the Chiltern Hills, as an interwoven collection of different habitats rich in species. His attention ranges from the beech and cherry trees that dominate the wood to the flints underfoot; the red kites and woodpeckers that soar overhead; the lichens, mosses and liverworts decorating the branches as well as the myriad species of spiders, moths, beetles and crane-flies. The 300 species of fungi identified in the wood capture his attention as much as familiar deer, shrews and dormice. The great palaeontologist is the author of Fossils: A Key to the Past, The Hidden Landscape, Life: An Unauthorised Biography, Trilobite! and The Earth: An Intimate History. Chaired by Dan Davis.
One hundred years ago Einstein predicted the esoteric phenomena of gravitational waves. Last September they were directly detected for the first time, from the violent collision of two black holes. That event marked the beginning of a new chapter in our study of the cosmos. Cardiff University scientists heavily involved in the LIGO project (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) will discuss the experience of making this landmark observation, the incredible science and fascinating personal stories behind it, and what it means for the future of our understanding of the universe. The speakers are both based at the School of Physics and Astronomy. The event is chaired by their colleague Professor Haley Gomez.
Not even Arthur’s dragon suit and favourite toy can cheer him up when he is separated from his mummy for the first time. Luckily help is at hand…
The creator of the Eddy And The Bear stories, which became a Bafta Award-winning television series, is here to bring you Nat The Cat’s Sunny Smile.
With dozens of wars going on in various places around the world, Marc Marginedas and Gervasio Sánchez are two examples of journalists who cover them. Their mission is to remove the curtain of opacity from conflicts, keeping information flowing and letting society know what is going on, even though they might personally suffer in wartime situations.
In a time of extreme stress for the NHS, is there another way to deliver healthcare in the UK? Should we go back to traditional roles, like matrons? Or should we innovate with new professions like Physician Associates? Which new systems can we find for dealing with an ageing population? Baroness Hollins is Emeritus Professor in Psychiatry of Disability at St George’s, University of London; Perry is Associate Head of the Institute of Health & Society at the University of Worcester; Thrush is a Consultant at Worcestershire Royal Hospital and Wilkie, is a GP and Professor of Primary Care; Charlotte Scott-Wilson is a Physician Associate Graduate.
The editor of The Amorist magazine chairs a conversation about love and sex in fiction and asks: is erotic passion the hardest form of literary endeavour? Get one line wrong and there’s laughter, or disgust. Gardner writes erotic fiction under the pen name Wray Delaney. Delaney’s first erotic novel, An Almond for a Parrot, is set amidst the brothels of 18thcentury London. Huston is the author of Say My Name, an account of a love affair between a married woman and a much younger man, while Jacobson’s most controversial novel was The Act of Love.
Andrew Gant unravels the captivating, and often surprising stories behind the origin of some of our best loved carols. Tales of great musicians and thinkers, saints and pagans, shepherd boys, choirboys, monks and drunks. It is a fittingly joyous account of one of our best-loved musical traditions.
Aliens, dinosaurs, monsters, pirates – everyone loves underpants. Join the illustrator who helped to create Aliens Love Underpants and celebrate its tenth anniversary. Watch as Ben brings the aliens to life in this interactive event suitable for all the family. And catch a special guest appearance from somewhere far away. Alien fans can come dressed in their favourite alien outfit or in funny pants.
In April 1917, the exiled leader of the Bolsheviks, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, travelled back to Russia by train. His country was at war and his route would take him through enemy territory; the plan was controversial from the start. The destination was the Finland Station and the first steps on the road to Soviet power. Merridale, the great Russia scholar, follows in the leader's tracks, creating a gripping account of events in Russia and Europe at one of the tensest moments of the First World War. Chaired by Peter Hennessy.
The never-before-told story of radical suffragette Kitty Marion. The historian Fern Riddell finds a hidden diary and uses Kitty's own words to tell the story of her sensational life and explosive actions. Chaired by Rosie Goldsmith.
In the popular imagination, as in her portraits, Elizabeth is the image of monarchical power. The Virgin Queen ruled over a Golden Age: the Spanish Armada was defeated and England's enemies scattered; English explorers reached almost to the ends of the earth; a new Church of England rose from the ashes of past conflict, and the English Renaissance bloomed in the genius of Shakespeare, Spenser and Sidney. But the image is also armour. In her illuminating new account of Elizabeth’s reign, Castor shows how England’s iconic queen was shaped by profound and enduring insecurity – an insecurity which was both a matter of practical political reality and personal psychology. But, facing down her enemies with a compellingly inscrutable public persona, the last and greatest of the Tudor monarchs would become a timeless, fearless queen.
What do neuroscience, tuberculosis and the humble fruit fly have to do with cancer? At the Francis Crick Institute, London’s new biomedical discovery centre, scientists from across the biomedical spectrum are being brought together under one roof. They are revolutionising research into cancer by speaking across specialisms and towards scientific innovation in the C21st. Chaired by Francine Stock.
Horrid Henry and Dennis the Menace go head-to-head in a battle to find out who is the more terrible of the two. Join the creators of two of the best-loved bad guys as they send their characters into the fight, then vote for the winner in this deadly contest.
In 1613 a beautiful Stuart princess married a handsome young German prince. This was a love match, but it was also an alliance that aimed to weld together Europe’s two great Protestant powers. Before Elizabeth and Frederick left London for the court in Heidelberg, they watched a performance of The Winter’s Tale. In 1943, a group of British POWs gave a performance of that same play to a group of enthusiastic Nazi guards in Bavaria. When the amateur actors suggested doing a version of The Merchant of Venice that showed Shylock as the hero, the guards brought in the costumes and helped create the sets. Nothing about the story of England and Germany is as simple as we might expect. Chaired by Rosie Goldsmith.
Have you seen Spot? This storytelling session includes games, dancing, plus a chance to meet the world’s most lovable puppy.
Duration 40 mins.
In celebration of Little Tiger Press’ 30th birthday, illustrator and paper engineer Jonny Lambert demonstrates how he creates his amazing animals. Join his workshop as he talks about Tiger Tiger and the art of illustration and storytelling. Discover the art of creating a character with the Tiger Tiger mural and create a mini 3D tiger cut-out to take home.
The prize aims to reward the best work of literature published in the UK in any given year, regardless of form. Chair of the judges, Ahdaf Soueif, will discuss the challenge of judging fiction against non-fiction and how the jury arrived at its decision. She’ll be in conversation with the newly inaugurated winner, who will have been announced just three days previously.
We have been repeatedly told that the UK will be looking to create new free-trade partnerships following Brexit, above all with the 'Anglosphere'. Why then do we need to study or learn other languages? Everyone speaks English. This session will unpack some of the monolingual attitudes that sit behind such views and ask participants to think about the role of languages and language learning for Britain's relationships with a brave new world post-Brexit. #unpack