Autism and scientific talent are linked. Scientists have more autistic traits, mathematicians have higher rates of autism and people with autism score higher on ‘systemising’. So is autism a ‘disease’ or ‘disorder’ or is the framework of ‘neurodiversity’ a more humane and accurate lens through which to view autism?
The Wellcome Book Prize lecture aims to celebrate the place of medicine, science and the stories of illness in literature and culture, and how these stories add to our understanding of what it means to be human. Baron-Cohen is a judge of the 2017 prize and Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the University of Cambridge.
The oracle and sanctuary of the Greek god Apollo at Delphi were known as the omphalos – the centre or navel – of the ancient world for more than a thousand years. Individuals, city leaders and kings came from all over the Mediterranean and beyond to consult Delphi’s oracular priestess; to set up monuments to the gods in gold, ivory, bronze, marble and stone; and to take part in athletic and musical competitions.
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.
What is the role of the writer in a deeply divided sectarian society? How does the writer ‘speak truth to power’ in such a society? And how does he or she contribute to the transformation of consciousness? How can writers exit their individualities and enter into a larger national space?
Event in Arabic
Low-level dishonesty is rife everywhere, in the form of exaggeration, selective use of facts, economy with the truth, careful drafting - from Trump and the Brexit debate to companies that tell us, ‘your call is important to us’. How did we get to a place where bullshit is not just rife but apparently so effective that it's become the communications strategy of our times?
The 2015 Nobel Literature Laureate talks about Russia and the USSR. Her Nobel citation was for “her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time”.
“I don’t ask people about socialism, I ask about love, jealousy, childhood, old age. Music, dances, hairstyles. The myriad sundry details of a vanished way of life. This is the only way to chase the catastrophe into the framework of the mundane and attempt to tell a story. Try to figure things out. It never ceases to amaze me how interesting ordinary, everyday life is. There are an endless number of human truths... History’s sole concern is the facts; emotions are out of its realm of interest. It’s considered improper to admit feelings into history. I look at the world as a writer, not strictly an historian. I am fascinated by people…”
This event will be conducted in Russian, with consecutive translation
Dystopian futures, weird science, war. It’s all here. Be challenged, engaged and entertained with three uncompromising writers for young adults – Gemma Malley, Caroline Green and Phil Earle.
The three writers talk about why we love the dark side of life – at least in our stories. What would happen if everything was really awful? It seems to be our favourite topic. And some really awful stuff happens in all these books…
Gemma Malley’s dystopian trilogy began with the much praised The Killables and is followed by The Disappeared. Citizens of The City are graded according to how ‘Pure’ they are. Those labelled ‘K’ are deemed the most deviant and are never seen again… What happens to them, and what is happening beyond the perimeter of The City?
Caroline Green’s futuristic thriller, Cracks, was published to rave reviews. It has a very likeable protagonist whose whole past is beginning to look like fiction. Could he really be the subject of a weird scientific experiment? If he can’t even believe his own memories, what can he trust?
Phil Earle’s background working with troubled teens informed his novels Being Billy and Saving Daisy – stories of young people trying to cope with big problems in their lives which touched a chord with many readers. Heroic is also a tale of troubled lives, but this time it is the lives of young soldiers fighting in Afghanistan that take centre stage, and the difficulties a family has to cope with when a much loved brother comes home a very different person to the one who left.
Engineers are fantastic – they are the people who change the world. Engineers put a man on the moon, develop the internet, build skyscrapers, rebuild bodies…and so much more. Yet not many people know what engineers actually do. This talk will reveal – in just ten words – the secrets of what engineers really get up to as they work hard to build a better future for us all.
Please note this event is aimed at secondary school age children