The fascinating story of discovery, scientific curiosity and adventure by the German explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt in the Americas is a story that is intimately linked to the history of Colombia, in whose territory he carried out some of his explorations. The British historian and writer Andrea Wulf gives a masterful version of this encounter with nature in The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science. The book has received awards such as the 2016 Royal Society Science Book Prize and was selected by The New York Times as one of the ten best books of 2015. She will talk to Gabrielle Walker about this extraordinary work.
A life of Matilda – empress, skilled military leader and one of the greatest figures of the English Middle Ages. Matilda was a daughter, wife and mother. But she was also empress, heir to the English crown and the first woman ever to hold the position; and she was an extremely able military general. Hanley’s new biography explores Matilda’s achievements as military and political leader, and sets her 12th-century life and career in full context. Chaired by Sameer Rahim of Prospect.
Mark Lynas was one of the original GM field wreckers. Back in the 1990s – working undercover with his colleagues in the environmental movement – he would descend on trial sites of genetically modified crops at night and hack them to pieces. Two decades later, most people around the world – from New York to China – still think that GMO foods are bad for their health or likely to damage the environment. But Mark has changed his mind. He lifts the lid on the anti-GMO craze and shows how science was left by the wayside as a wave of public hysteria swept the world.
In the summer of 2017 a team of interviewers travelled up and down the Wye in Herefordshire, recording the experiences of the people who have lived and worked on the river or simply been drawn to its waters in search of recreation or a jam jar of minnows. O’Mahony has collected their stories. River Voices is filled with stories of the Wye told through the words and photographs of those who have known the river all their lives – ferrymen and ferrywomen, boat builders and bridge builders, rowers and swimmers, anglers and poachers, ghillies and river bailiffs, otter hunters and more. Chaired by Adrian Lambert.
Erika McGann, author of The Demon Notebook, The Broken Spell and The Watching Wood, conducts an interactive talk about writing books for pre-teen readers and aspiring authors.
The last year has seen an explosion of public outrage over plastics pollution, triggered by images of straws in turtles’ noses, whales dying after eating shopping bags, and the ugliness of a blue planet disfigured by a throwaway society. It’s sparked tougher regulation on single-use plastics and has shamed supermarkets into action. What would an end to plastic pollution mean in practice? And how do we get there?
Natalie Fee (author and campaigner, founder of City to Sea), Lucy Siegle (journalist and author) and Paula Owen (founder of Green Gumption) talk to award-winning environment journalist Martin Wright.
From India to Turkey, from Poland to the United States, authoritarian populists have seized power. Two core components of liberal democracy, individual rights and the popular will, are at war, putting democracy itself at risk. In plain language, Yascha Mounk, Harvard lecturer on government, describes how we got here, where we need to go, and why there is little time to waste.
The walker discusses her mesmerising and inspirational memoir: just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of thirty-two years, is terminally ill, their home is taken away and they lose their livelihood. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall. Carrying only the essentials for survival on their backs, they live wild in the ancient, weathered landscape of cliffs, sea and sky. Yet through every step, every encounter and every test along the way, their walk becomes a remarkable journey.
Juan Bonilla es autor de novelas, poemas, ensayos y relatos; su obra Prohibido entrar sin pantalones fue la ganadora de la primera edición de la Bienal de Novela Mario Vargas Llosa en 2014 y está protagoniza por el poeta revolucionario ruso Vladimir Maiakovski. Escritor, catedrático y periodista colombiano, Mario Mendoza ha escrito novelas como La ciudad de los umbrales, Satanás, galardonada con el Premio Biblioteca Breve, Lady Masacre y Paranormal Colombia.
Con el apoyo de la Cátedra Vargas Llosa