A legendary singer, folklorist and music historian, Shirley Collins has been an integral figure in the English folk music scene for more than 60 years. In her autobiography, All in the Downs, Collins tells the story of that lifelong relationship with English folksong – a dedication to artistic integrity that has guided her through the triumphs and tragedies of her life.
Fascinated by the wonders of the night sky? Join the Space scientist and BBC 4’s The Sky at Night presenter as she speaks about her passion for the stars. Take a journey through the constellations and find out how to begin stargazing with her new book. A must for budding astronomers.
Step aside, Holmes and Watson – there’s a new crime-busting duo in town! There is a thief in Tuptown and Pigsticks is determined to solve the crime and catch the baddie. Armed with his magnifying glass and a monocle, and with his sharp-eyed sidekick Harold, Pigsticks dons his waterproofs and sets to work. But can he find the thief in time to stop the Butterfly Ball from being cancelled?
Alex will show you how to draw your very own Pigsticks and Harold cartoons in this interactive drawing workshop.
If we want a world that is beautiful, kind and fair, shouldn’t our activism be beautiful, kind and fair? The campaigner and founder of the global Craftivist Collective shows how to respond to injustice not with apathy or aggression, but with gentle, effective protest. With thoughtful principles, practical examples and honest stories from her own experience as a once burnt-out activist, Corbett shows how activism through craft can produce long-lasting positive change.
The French novelist introduces his masterpiece The French Art of War, which won the Goncourt Prize in 2011 and is published now in English. It’s a journey through France’s military history in Indochina, Algeria and at home. The novel is told through the eyes of a war veteran who becomes a painter, Victorien Salagnon, and the young man he teaches to paint in exchange for writing his story.
This event is part of a European Writers’ Tour, an initiative proudly delivered by EUNIC London in partnership with the Royal Society of Literature and the British Library. The programme is supported by the European Commission Representation in the UK and EUNIC Global.
In French with translation available.
Take part in an interactive session with the storyteller exploring eight amazing habitats above and below the Earth’s surface, recreated in Patricia Hegarty and Hanako Clulow’s book. Delve into the rainforest, dive into the ocean and learn about the sustaining connections between the two.
Our lungs are exposed to airborne particles in all aspects of everyday life, and global research suggests that they can cause serious health problems, especially in people with pre-existing lung and heart disease. Kelly Bérubé, Reader in Biosciences at The Lung and Particle Research Group, shares the latest findings.
The story of how humans first started building the globalised world we know today. Set on a huge continental stage, from Europe to China, it is a tale covering more than ten thousand years from the origins of farming around 9,000 BC to the expansion of the Mongols in the C13th AD. Cunliffe brings into clearer focus those basic underlying factors that have driven change throughout the ages: the acquisitive nature of humanity, the differing environments in which people live and the dislocating effect of even slight climatic variation. The Emeritus Professor of Archaeology is the author of The Ancient Celts, Facing the Ocean, and Britain Begins.
Come and enjoy a dramatic reading with the author/illustrator of the hilarious story about the Prince, his Pants and how they all go missing. Join in an interactive drawing session where you can share your ideas about the Prince and what might have happened to his pants.
One of the most influential poets in contemporary China reads his poems and talks to Jose Felix Valdivieso, who also reads Xi Chuan ‘s poems in Spanish.
Consecutive translation from Chinese into Spanish.
Co-organised with Cosmopoetica, Centro Cultural Chino in Madrid and Bibloteca Nacional de España.
Wagner presents her riveting biography of one of the most important figures in American civil engineering history, Washington Roebling, builder of the Brooklyn Bridge. Introduced by Philip Davies, Director of the Eccles Centre.
Humans are the slightest of twigs on a single family tree that encompasses four billion years, a lot of twists and turns and a billion species. All of those organisms are rooted in a single origin with a common code that underwrites our existence. Rutherford explores how many of the things once considered to be exclusively human are not: we are not the only species that communicates, makes tools, utilises fire or has sex for reasons other than to make new versions of ourselves. Evolution has, however, allowed us to develop our culture to a level of complexity that outstrips any other observed in nature. Rutherford presents Inside Science on BBC Radio 4. His previous books are Creation and A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived.
From the Yangtze to the Yellow River, China is traversed by great waterways, which have defined its politics and ways of life for centuries. Water and irrigation have been so integral to China’s culture, economy, growth and development that it provides a window on the whole sweep of Chinese history. Chaired by Oliver Bullough.
Big Data knows where you’ve been and who your friends are. It knows what you like and what makes you angry. It can predict what you’ll buy, where you’ll be the victim of crime and when you’ll have a heart attack. Big Data knows you better than you know yourself, or so it claims. But how well do you know Big Data? Now, thanks to comedian and broadcaster Timandra Harkness, you can grasp the whole subject in an hour, complete with bad puns, audience participation and an electric shock machine.
Taking us through the seasons in England’s apple-growing heartlands, Brown uncovers the stories and folklore of our most familiar fruit. An orchard is not a field. It’s not a forest or a copse. It couldn’t occur naturally but it demonstrates that man and nature together can create something beautiful.
Reading maps or reading emotions? Barbie or Lego? We live in a gendered world where we are bombarded with messages about sex and gender. On a daily basis we face deeply ingrained beliefs that your sex determines your skills and preferences, from toys and colours to career choice and salaries. The neuroscientist interrogates what this constant gendering means for our thoughts, decisions and behaviour. And what does it mean for our brains? Chaired by Bronwen Maddox.