The focus of the PEN chapter this year is to defend and support minority languages within ethnic communities in Wales. When we are given the confidence and liberty to speak for ourselves in our mother tongues as much as in our acquired speech, we demonstrate the diversity, persistence and vitality of language. Three Welsh and three refugee writers are here to speak for themselves and to invite you into the local and global PEN alliance of writers working to promote international freedom of expression and linguistic equality.
The new novel from the Booker Prize-winning author of Paddy Clark Ha! Ha! Ha! has all the features for which Roddy Doyle has become famous: the razor-sharp dialogue, the humour, the superb evocation of adolescence, but this is a novel unlike any he has written before. When you finish the last page you will have been challenged to re-evaluate everything you think you remember so clearly.
Philip Barrett is an illustrator, designer and comic artist originally from Co. Donegal. Find Larry the Leprechaun in this illustration workshop, based on his book Where’s Larry?
Join the Cardiff scientist to understand and explore the genetic disorder, a condition that prevents the brain working properly. It gets gradually worse over time and causes motor, cognitive and psychiatric symptoms. Yhnell will discuss the ethical dilemmas of genetic testing and their implications before focusing on current research into novel therapies and her research on computerised cognitive training (brain training) for people with the disease.
Welcome to the World Elite Dance Academy. Billie has dreamed of being a dancer for as long as she can remember. Now she has an audition at WEDA, a world-famous contemporary dance school, but will she be able to get over her nerves and win a place at her dream school? Join superstar Kimberly Wyatt as she dances you through her brand-new series and always remember…be you, be fearless, be authentic.
Is modernity really failing? Or have we failed to appreciate progress and the ideals that make it possible? If you follow the headlines, the world in the 21st century appears to be sinking into chaos, hatred and irrationality. Yet Pinker argues that this is an illusion – a symptom of historical amnesia and statistical fallacies. If you follow the trendlines rather than the headlines, you discover that our lives have become longer, healthier, safer, happier, more peaceful, more stimulating and more prosperous – not just in the West, but worldwide. Such progress is no accident: it’s the gift of a coherent and inspiring value system that many of us embrace without even realising it. These are the values of the Enlightenment: of reason, science, humanism and progress. The leading thinker shows how we can use our faculties of reason and sympathy to solve the problems that inevitably come with being products of evolution in an indifferent universe. We will never have a perfect world, but – defying the chorus of fatalism and reaction – we can continue to make it a better one.
The distinguished science writer explains why the human brain became so clever; how it controls everything from breathing, sleeping and seeing to identity, imagination, pleasure and pain; and what will happen when the brain integrates with computers or the latest genetic discoveries.
At a time when so many aspects of our lives are changing at a relentless speed and on an unprecedented scale, design is increasingly seen as a way to help us benefit from the opportunities created by those changes (and to avoid their dangers). One of the world's leading design and culture commentators maps with resourcefulness and creativity how design is responding to an age of intense economic, political and ecological instability. Public interest is soaring as a new generation of designers is using advanced technologies to pursue their political and environmental objectives in increasingly ambitious projects, as well as to reinvent the objects and spaces we use every day.
The writer introduces the first title in his spookily thrilling new series. Everything about Embassy of the Dead is terrifying as Jake discovers when he opens a strange box and finds a severed finger inside. How will he escape being dragged into the Eternal Void? Join the discussion on creating a world where the living meet the dead.
A message from the Finnish embassy launches Horatio Clare on a voyage around an extraordinary country and an unearthly place, the frozen Bay of Bothnia, just short of the Arctic Circle. Finland is an enigmatic place, famous for its educational miracle, healthcare and gender equality – as well as Nokia, Angry Birds, saunas, questionable cuisine and deep taciturnity. Aboard the icebreaker Otso Clare gets to know the crew, and explores Finland’s history and character. His most recent books include Down to the Sea in Ships and Myths and Legends of the Brecon Beacons. Chaired by Peter Florence.
By and large, environmentalism, at least in Britain, is still seen as the concern of the relatively well off, and the decidedly white, despite the fact that poorer communities often suffer disproportionately from the impact of pollution. In the developing world it can be a different story: where some of environmentalism’s greatest triumphs – such as the replacement of polluting kerosene with clean solar power – have brought huge benefits to such communities. If the fight against climate change and other existential environmental crises is to get the political prominence it needs, then it has to win support from way beyond the ‘usual suspects’. Craftivist Corbett, campaigner Porritt, farmer Emmanuel-Jones and young wildlife hero Mya-Rose Craig reach out with Martin Wright.
Today’s unprecedented pace of change leaves many people wondering what new technologies are doing to our lives. Are the decisions about our health, security and finances made by computer programs inexplicable and biased? Are robots going to take our jobs? And has our demand for energy driven the Earth’s climate to the edge of catastrophe? Browne argues that we need not and must not put the brakes on technological advance. Civilisation is founded on engineering innovation; all progress stems from the human urge to make things and to shape the world around us, resulting in greater freedom, health and wealth for all. Lord Browne trained as an engineer and was CEO of BP from 1995 to 2007. He is Chairman of the Crick Institute, a Fellow of the Royal Society, past President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and former Chairman of Tate. Kelly presents Click on BBC World News.
GDP is up – but whose GDP? (And what is it anyway?) There’s endless free stuff online but is it making anyone any happier? Are the cat videos on the internet distracting us from the prospect of jobs becoming automated and climate change ravaging food supplies? Behind this lies the challenge of how to measure economic progress. How can we tell if our society is becoming more prosperous or not? Coyle is Bennett Professor of Public Policy.
Sarah is the author of five YA books including The Weight of Water, One, and her latest, Moonrise. She has a passion for words: written and spoken, poetry and prose. Join the star of the YA fiction scene for an entertaining and sometimes emotional conversation about her literary heroes, inspiration, research and more. Sarah Crossan will be in conversation with Claire Armitstead, Associate Editor, Culture for the Guardian News & Media. Little Black Fish celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.