Hawes takes a long view to ask: did the Germans destroy the culture of Rome or inherit it? Did Bismarck unify Germany or conquer it? Where are the roots of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich? Why did it lose? By what miracle did a better Germany arise from the rubble? Is Germany now the last Western bastion of industrial prosperity and rational politics? Or are the EU and the Euro merely window-dressing for a new German hegemony?
“Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it.” Since Niels Bohr said this many years ago, quantum mechanics has only been getting more shocking. We now realise that it’s not really telling us that “weird” things happen out of sight, on the tiniest level, in the atomic world. Rather, we can now see that everything is quantum: our everyday world is simply what quantum becomes at the human scale. But if quantum mechanics is right, what seems obvious and right in our everyday world is built on foundations that don’t seems obvious or right – or even possible. The writer Philip Ball was formerly an editor at Nature.
The ever-popular Sir Charlie Stinky Socks in now deep in the desert on a mission to return a sack of stolen Egyptian gold back to its rightful owner. Join the writer for a musical, storytelling journey. There are mummies, pharaohs and a live performance of songs from the Sir Charlie Stinky Socks books.
Following the drought of 2012, the community of Gumbi in rural Malawi decided they needed to diversify to protect their families from further famine and create a brighter future for their children. They decided that education was the key. Today, thanks to the support of the Gumbi Education Fund, Book Aid International and others, Gumbi has a small library, three villagers are qualified teachers, and three more are going to university. John Vidal, who covered the famine in the Guardian,and Patrick Kamzitu from Gumbi, will tell this inspiring story. They are joined by broadcaster and historian Bettany Hughes, a long-term supporter of the Gumbi Education Fund and Emma Taylor, Book Aid International’s Head of Communications.
A radical look at Jane Austen as you’ve never seen her – as a lover of farce, comic theatre and juvenilia. Byrne celebrates Britain’s favourite novelist 200 years after her death and explores why her books make such awesome movies, time after time.
A nostalgic look back to the imaginative and often frivolous world of William Heath Robinson, one of the few artists to have given his name to the English language. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the expression ‘Heath Robinson’ is used to describe ‘any absurdly ingenious and impracticable device of the kind illustrated by this artist’. Writer and broadcaster Adam Hart-Davis explores the ingenious contraptions.
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.
The author of The Tulip and The Curious Gardener explores the different ways in which we have, throughout the ages, responded to the land. While painters painted and writers wrote, an entirely different band of men, the agricultural improvers, also travelled the land and published a series of remarkable commentaries on the state of agricultural England. They looked at the land in terms of its usefulness as well as its beauty and, using their reports, Pavord explores the many different ways in which land was managed and farmed, showing that what is universal is a place’s capacity to frame and define our experience.
On 20 June 1998 Temple-Morris, Conservative MP for Leominster, crossed the floor to join his rivals on the Labour party benches. What drove a seasoned Conservative politician, one of the so-called Cambridge Mafia, with 24 years’ experience at Westminster, to change his allegiance so radically? He discusses his disillusionments and inspirations, his adventures in ‘the art of the possible’, and his colleagues on both sides of the House with the veteran BBC anchor.
Growing up on the Cambridgeshire Fens, Will Millard never felt more at home than when he was out with his granddad on the riverbank, whiling away the day catching fish. As he grew older, his competitive urge to catch more and bigger fish led him away from that natural connection between him, his grandfather and the rivers of his home. That is, until the fateful day he let a record-breaking sand eel slip through his fingers and he knew that he had lost the magic of those days down by the river, and that something had to change. The Old Man and the Sand Eel is at its heart the story of three generations of men trying to figure out what it is to be a man, a father and a fisherman.
The Hay International Fellow 2011–2012 will talk about growing up with rock stars, and her novel Diamond Star Halo (shortlisted for the Bollinger Prize and the London Award) to political journalist Ken Murray.
How does the physics we know today, a highly professionalised enterprise, inextricably linked to government and industry, link back to its origins as a liberal art in Ancient Greece? What is the path that leads from the old philosophy of nature and its concern with humankind’s place in the universe to modern massive international projects that hunt down fundamental particles and industrial laboratories that manufacture marvels? Heilbron is one of the most revered physicists in the world, and has written books about Galileo and Niels Bohr. Chaired by Dan Davis.
Join the historian for the dramatic and captivating story of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon’s divorce, told through the eyes of their daughter, Lady Mary. Expect costumes, trivia and tips on how to get a princess out of jail.
The global strategist and author travels from Ukraine to Iran, Mongolia to North Korea, London to Dubai and the Arctic Circle to the South China Sea – all to show how C21st conflict is a tug-of-war over pipelines and internet cables, advanced technologies and market access. Yet Connectography offers a hopeful vision of the future. Khanna argues that new energy discoveries and innovations have eliminated the need for resource wars; that global financial assets are being deployed to build productive infrastructure that can reduce inequality; and that frail regions such as Africa and the Middle East are unscrambling their fraught colonial borders through ambitious new transportation corridors and power grids.
In this entertaining and interactive talk, bestselling maths author Rob Eastaway demonstrates the fun side of maths for mums, dads and kids, with mind-reading tricks, curiosities and games that you can explore at home.
Slow Fashion offers creatives, entrepreneurs and ethical consumers a glimpse into the innovative world of the eco-concept store movement. It focuses on sustainable design and businesses that makes people, livelihoods and sustainability central to everything they do. Minney is founder and CEO of fairtrade and sustainable fashion label People Tree. Williams is Director of The Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion.