The horticultural historian and novelist considers how the lotus, lily, sunflower, rose and tulip have enflamed hearts and minds around the world. She shows how the opium poppy returned to haunt its originators in the West and how Confucius saw virtue and modesty in the orchid while the Greeks saw only sex. Above all, Potter demonstrates how these seven flowers have come to be metaphors for life, death, purity, passion, greed, envy, virtue, hope and consolation.
Codex Sinaiticus, copied in the middle of the C4th, is both the oldest surviving Christian Bible and one of the first to be made. Parker describes this beautiful and remarkable manuscript, discussing the religious significance of the technological revolution from which it emerged and suggests parallels with other momentous happenings in the history of the book, which have shaped belief.
Consider a world where gold is worthless, everybody earns the same amount, banks do not exist and international trade is banned. Would our lives be better if all work was fun, debt was wiped out and anybody could live wherever they wanted? The New Economics Foundation fellow and the co-author of What If Money Grew On Trees talk to Hay Festival’s Sustainability Director.
In his latest curious adventures into human eccentricity the humorist investigator goes on patrol with America’s real-life superheroes, nerds a UFO convention in the Nevada Desert with Robbie Williams, and asks a robot whether it has a soul.
The brilliantly entertaining and inspiring Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science explores The Mathematical Limits Of Science.