The ZEN project is looking into ways of reducing the impact that festivals and events have on the natural and built environment. Drop in, find out more, and share your knowledge and experiences.
The slender-billed curlew is one of the world’s rarest birds. A beautiful, fragile creature, it bred in Siberia and wintered in the Mediterranean basin, passing through the wetlands and estuaries of Italy, Greece, the Balkans and central Asia twice a year. Then, no-one knows why, the population crashed. The slender-billed curlew now exists as rumour, hope, unconfirmed sightings and speculation. The only certainty of its story is that it now stands at the brink of extinction. The author of A Single Swallow tells a story of beauty, triumph, mystery and struggle, in a homage to a creature that may never be seen again.
The TV and radio personality and teen ambassador discusses how magic and messed up life can be. Find out how she was inspired to write a book for young people to help them with all the big, bad and beautiful things that growing up is all about: from mental health to families to first love, and everything in between.
Metaphors, metonymy, irony, hyperbole – non-literal expression is one of the primary tools for achieving economy of expression, clarity, persuasiveness, politeness and the communication of emotions. However, the potential for misunderstanding increases dramatically in situations where participants lack shared background knowledge or have significantly different views of the world. Littlemore is Professor of English Language and Applied Linguistics at University of Birmingham.
A chance to listen to one of the most outstanding British poets reading a selection of his work, confirming him as a poet of many voices, hilarious and surreal. Presented by Rod Pryde, Director of the British Council in Spain.
Simultaneous translation from English into Spanish
Liam Ó Maonlaí is one of Ireland’s best-loved musicians and singers, both in rock and traditional music. Bono once described Liam as ‘The best white boy soul singer in the world’, and he has been also been described as one of Ireland’s best Sean Nos (traditional Irish) singers. Spanning over twenty years, Liam’s career has seen him achieve number one hits in over twenty countries, from playing with Aboriginal musicians in the Australian outback to recording with some of the world’s best-known musicians including Carlos Nunes, Donal Lunny, U2 and Van Morrison, to name but a few. A master pianist, Liam also performs on guitar, harp, tin whistle and bodhrán.
From the rise and fall of empires in China, Persia, and Rome to the spread of the great religions and the wars of the twentieth century, this epic work illuminates how the Silk Roads shaped global history, the axis of East and West. Peter Frankopan is the Director of the Centre for Byzantine Research at Oxford University. Chaired by Peter Florence.
In 1609, the entire Muslim population of Spain was given three days to leave Spanish territory or be killed. In a brutal and traumatic exodus, entire families were forced to abandon the homes and villages where they had lived for generations. An estimated 300,000 Muslims had been removed from Spanish territory, making it – then – the largest act of ethnic cleansing in European history. Chaired by Abdul-Rehman Malik.
We know that, as individuals, we often 'miswant' – that is, want things that will not improve our wellbeing. How can we miswant as citizens, policymakers, or societies? How might some of the 'good' desires also have a darker side to them? Desires around hope, choice, and achievement, for example, can all make things worse as well as better. Dolan is a Professor of Behavioural Science at LSE. Tharoor is an Indian MP with over 1 million constituents in Thiruvananthapuram, and 3 million Twitter followers.
Whether as signposts to an underworld, beacons to ancient mariners or as extraordinary manifestations of the natural world, volcanoes have intrigued many people, who have left records of their encounters in letters, diaries, sketches and illustrations. The Oxford volcanologist shares contemporary accounts of eruptions – from Pliny’s 79 CE report of Vesuvius to 21st century imaging of Santorini.
The human rights lawyer, author of East West Street and President of English PEN examines the state of the contemporary world in the context of the convulsive traumas of the 20th Century that resonate today across Europe, Asia, America and the Middle East. How do we find the language to tell these truths? What do we say? And how might we listen?
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.
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.
The investigative reporter takes us on a journey through the lawless backstreets of cities as diverse as Mumbai, Bogotá, New Orleans, Barcelona and London. He uncovers the people and the scams that keep the global black economy moving. From dice games in steamy southern states to torture in British suburbs; from the sharp end of currency counterfeiting in Buenos Aires to the terrible truth behind antique forgery in the Middle East.
In the second volume of his acclaimed new history of the Second World War, Holland examines the momentous turning points of 1941–1943: Hitler’s invasion of Russia; America’s entry into the conflict; the devastating Thousand Bomber Raids over Germany; the long struggle in the deserts of North Africa and the defeat of the U-boats in the crucial Battle of the Atlantic.
The outrageously funny comedians cover a wide range of parenting topics, from pelvic floors and play dates to farting and fish fingers. Expect songs, sketches, stand-up and very scummy stories! Parental guidance: GO!
Adam, an editor at Nature, explores the ground-breaking neuroscience of cognitive enhancement that is changing the way the brain and the mind works – to make it better, sharper, more focused and, yes, more intelligent. Sharing his own experiments with revolutionary smart drugs and electrical stimulation, he delves into the sinister history of intelligence tests, meets savants and brain hackers, and reveals how he boosted his own IQ to cheat his way into Mensa.
In nature, trickery and deception are widespread. Animals and plants mimic other objects or species in the environment for protection, trick other species into rearing their young, lure prey to their death, and deceive potential mates for reproduction. Cuckoos lay eggs carefully matched to their host’s own clutch. Harmless butterflies mimic the wing patterning of a poisonous butterfly to avoid being eaten. Some orchids develop the smell of female insects in order to attract pollinators, while carnivorous plants lure insects to their death with colourful displays. The Exeter Professor of Evolutionary Ecology considers what deception tells us about the process of evolution and adaptation.
Natural Capital, the world’s stock of natural resources, is a concept with increasing political and economic traction. Paying particular attention to the role of woods and trees, this debate will explore whether it can help deliver an enhanced natural environment for the benefit of everyone, or whether it poses significant risks by making nature conservation a commodity. Juniper is a campaigner, writer, sustainability advisor and environmentalist, Speight is CEO of the Woodland Trust, Andrew Simms is an economist at The New Weather Institute and Shaw is a journalist and broadcaster.