The BBC’s Middle East Editor returns home to bring the news from Mosul, Gaza and Jerusalem. His 25-part series for Radio 4 about the region’s history starts on 15 May. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with analysis of the politics, economics and societies he’s reported on since he first arrived in the Gulf in 1990. Chaired by Peter Florence.
Follett’s third novel in the Kingsbridge Series, A Column of Fire, went straight to the No.1 position on bestseller lists in the USA, Spain, Italy, Germany and France. In A Column of Fire, voices of tolerance struggle to be heard under authoritarian rule as England faces challenges from Europe. The social and political concerns of the first Elizabethan era resonate loudly in the second. Following the screening of a short film, Follett discusses with the audience how the themes of his Tudor-time novel echo in today’s political theatre.
The brilliantly entertaining and inspiring Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science explores The Mathematical Limits Of Science.
The Professor of Neuroscience discusses the process of normal decision-making – our strategies, biases that affect us and influential factors. She will describe the abnormal patterns found in patients with conditions such as severe depression, Alzheimer’s and accidental brain damage. Examining how the brain can be manipulated to improve cognitive function in these patients, she will consider the use and the ethical questions of ‘smart drugs’.
We each possess a similar set of around 25,000 human genes. Yet a tiny, distinctive cluster of these genes plays a disproportionately large part in how our bodies work. The immunologist argues that these few genes hold the key to who we are as individuals and our relationship to the world: how we combat disease; how our brains are wired; how attractive we are; even how likely we are to reproduce. Chaired by Liz Hunt.
Six years on from his landmark Climate Change Report, Lord Stern thinks he underestimated the predictions of global temperature rise and that we may now be looking not at 2/3° but at 4/5°. On the up side, he sees potential for economic growth in green industries. Chaired by Nik Gowing.
The actor reminisces in an intimate self-portrait, with stories and photographs from her long career – from classic movies Georgy Girl and The Night Porter to Broadchurch and The Sense of an Ending.
What kind of past is it that Michael Gove’s proposed history curriculum offers to schoolchildren and their teachers? Can it be taught? Should it be taught? And what are the consequences for our national culture and identity? The historian leads the conversation and welcomes contributions from primary and secondary school teachers.
Walter Scott praised Austen for her ordinariness. But according to the OED she was a linguistic innovator, the earliest printed source for nearly 300 words and senses, including ‘of the moment’ and ‘nice-looking’. What does this tell us about Austen – and the OED?