The independent discovery of evolution by natural selection by Darwin and Wallace is one of the most famous episodes in the history of science. Wallace’s story has been told many times in recent years, but almost always by amateurs rather than historians. Alarmingly, almost everything you have heard about Wallace is wrong. The image of a cheated working-class hero whitewashed from history by the patrician Darwin and his establishment supporters may be irresistible, but it is also pure myth.
The Norwegian writer’s six-volume autobiographical novel My Struggle is one of the great masterpieces of contemporary literature. He discusses volume 3, Boyhood Island. ‘It’s unbelievable. I need the next volume like crack. It’s completely blown my mind.’ – Zadie Smith. He is the winner of the 2014 Hay Festival Medal for Prose.
Samuel Johnson – with a little help from his dachshund Boswell and a very unlucky demon named Nurd – has sent the demons back to Hell. But the diabolical Mrs Abernathy is not one to take defeat lying down. When she reopens the portal and sucks Samuel and Boswell down into the underworld, she brings an ice-cream van full of dwarfs as well. And two policemen. Can this eccentric gang defeat the forces of Evil? And is there life after Hell for Nurd?
Sister to Anne Boleyn and seduced by two kings, Mary Boleyn has long been the subject of scandal and myth. Her affair with Henry VIII fuelled the shocking annulment of his marriage to Anne, and Mary is rumoured to have borne his child in secret. Chaired by SJ Parris.
Where do we belong? What passport and what papers do we carry? The international human rights lawyer proposes a new form of internationalist identity, and the adoption of the Tobin Tax that would help fund a universally available Citizenship of the World. Chaired by Guto Harri.
The costs of preventable physical and mental health challenges in Wales are already unmanageable and getting worse. The gross cost to the NHS of treating mental health is £7.2bn a year. There are multiple, proven links between the benefits of active time outdoors, increased wellbeing and reductions in the social cost of health solutions. Wales’ outdoor industry is poised to become a Natural Health Service that improves health with active time in nature. Evans is the CEO of The Outdoor Partnership, Fauvel is co-founder of Nudjed, which works with public health bodies aiming to effect change. Chaired by entrepreneur and adventurer Andy Middleton.
An exclusive emphasis upon efficiency leads to a fundamental misunderstanding of the true nature of a national health service. Viewed as a ‘civil association’, it is through the NHS that we, as a community, express and put into practice our sense of morality.
The 1918 global flu pandemic wiped out around 50 million people. In the last 300 years there have been around three flu pandemics every century. We must constantly be on alert for the next one. Global efforts, including those of Professor Derek Smith, to understand how pandemics are caused, will help us mitigate and even prevent future pandemics. However this work has the perverse downside of also generating new, potentially deadly, viruses in the laboratory. Professor Derek Smith will talk about the ethical issues this raises. Chaired by Dan Davis.
A conversation about the penal system. Pryce served time for perverting the course of justice. She is the author of Prisonomics: Behind Bars in Britain’s Failing Prisons. Both former Prison Governors and now criminologists, Wilson is the author of Out of Sight Out of Mind and Pain and Retribution. They talk to Erwin James, author of A Life Inside and The Home Stretch.