Most of us would like to be happier. Dolan defines this as experiencing more pleasure and/or purpose for longer. He describes how being happier means allocating attention more efficiently; towards those things that bring us pleasure and purpose and away from those that generate pain and pointlessness. Easier said than done, of course, and certainly easier said than thought about. But behavioural science tells us that most of what we do is not so much thought about; rather, it simply comes about. So by clever use of priming, defaults, commitments and social norms, you can become a whole lot happier without actually having to think very hard about it. You will be happier by design.
Our memories make us who we are. But what is memory? What is it to remember a person or a place? Author Mark Rowlands grew up not far from Hay-on-Wye, but has lived much of his adult life in America. Returning to a place that is full of memories, he examines the idea of remembering through the medium of two of his books, the international bestseller The Philosopher And The Wolf, and his new book Running With The Pack.
In The Savages and sequel American Savage, Matt Whyman introduces readers to a family with VERY particular eating habits, while in Say Her Name, James Dawson dares to summon Bloody Mary from beyond the grave. Find out how to be funny and scary at the same time.
12+ years (YA)
There are a handful of cock-ups that we remember all too well, from the Poll Tax to the Millennium Dome. However, the list is longer than most of us realize and it is growing. King explains why the British political system is quite so prone to appalling mistakes. Chaired by Martin Chilton.
Are you willing to venture into the depths of your brain? Dr Critchlow will shock your senses, read your mind and explore how current neuroscience is shaping how we see our lives. Suitable for intrepid adventurers of all ages.
Is it possible to manage resources fairly and equitably? A strong local economy is important to sustainability, but how large is a local economy and how self-reliant can it be? What part does the law play in ensuring a resilient environment for all and preventing exploitation by the few? The Telegraph’s Geoffrey Lean chairs.
The author of The Compatibility Gene introduces the revolutionary new science of the immune system with its breakthrough medical cures. He discusses how stress, sleep and ageing affect our health. “As David Attenborough opens our goggling eyes to the natural world without, so Daniel Davis brings us face to face with the stunningly clever and, yes, beautiful world within” – Stephen Fry. Davis is Professor of Immunology at the University of Manchester.
Chaired by the Adam Rutherford, presenter of BBC Radio 4's Inside Science.
The journalist and historian examines the ways in which women’s lives changed during WWI and what the impact has been for women in the hundred years since. Chaired by Jesse Norman.