To celebrate the centenary of the birth of RS Thomas, eleven poets have written poems in response to works of his, which will be published as a limited edition by Hay Festival Press. The gala reading is chaired by the Hay Festival International Fellow for 2012–2013 Eurig Salisbury.
The First World War followed a period of sustained peace in Europe during which people talked with confidence of prosperity, progress and hope. But in 1914, Europe walked into a catastrophic conflict that killed millions of its men, bled its economies dry, shook empires and societies to pieces, and fatally undermined Europe’s dominance of the world. It was a war that could have been avoided up to the last moment – so why did it happen? Macmillan is a previous winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize and won the International Affairs Book of the Year at the Political Book Awards 2014 for this book. Chaired by Nik Gowing.
The online Everyday Sexism Project exists to catalogue instances of sexism experienced by women on a day-to-day basis. It shares stories from women around the world. The founder reports on the last year’s work.
The distinguished economist examines the inexorable growth of the world’s second largest economy as it makes the transition from central planning and faces the challenges of a developing country. Chaired by Guto Harri.
The Professor of Global Ethics explores the idea of perfection as exhibited in contemporary ideals of beauty. She questions the ways the aspiration can be read: as an individual’s aspiration to perfect themselves (‘I want to be perfect’), as assertion of what being perfect is (‘this is what I would be if I were perfect’), and as a command which a woman feels she should obey (‘you should be perfect’).
In his widely-acclaimed book Strategy: A History, Freedman considers the history of non-violence as a deliberate strategy, from Gandhi to Martin Luther King. He extends his analysis to Nelson Mandela, considering why the South Africa leader abandoned the armed struggle and chose a path of reconciliation.
Football has always been a numbers game: 4-4-2, the big number 9 and 3 points for a win. But what if up until now we’ve been focusing on the wrong numbers? What if the numbers that really matter, the ones that hold the key to winning matches, are actually 2.66, 53.4, 50/50, and 0 > 1? What if managers only make a 15% difference? What if Chelsea should have bought Darren Bent? Chaired by Gooner Clemency Burton-Hill.
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.
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?
From King Alfred and the Normans to Chaucer, Shakespeare and Wordsworth, this fabulously entertaining guide to the English language unites the warriors whose invasions transformed the language with the poets, scholars and reformers who helped create its character.