Major General Arthur Denaro commemorates the centenary of the death of Herefordshire’s only Great War recipient of the Victoria Cross, cited for exemplary leadership and ‘a splendid disregard of danger’ in single-handedly disabling enemy machine gun placements that had been enfilading his entire battalion at Ronssey during the Battle of Épehy.
In 1902 HG Wells wrote ‘Humanity has come some way, and the distance we have travelled gives us some earnest of the way we have to go. All the past is but the beginning of a beginning; all that the human mind has accomplished is but the dream before the awakening.’ The astronomer boldly explores post-human evolution and offers a SWOT analysis of mankind’s short- and longer-term futures. He considers the risks of asteroid impact, climate change and, most worrying of all, the downsides of biotech, AI and other fast-advancing technologies. Chaired by Dan Davis.
In a time of international turbulence and insecurity; a time when the world is seeing migrations of people escaping from the immediate terrors of war and the disruptions of climate change; at a time of multiple and fluid identities, the novelist from Bangladesh interrogates the notion of national borders. Where do you draw the line? She re-imagines the walls and checkpoints as places of welcome and refuge. Anam is the author of A Golden Age, The Good Muslim and The Bones of Grace. Chaired by Oliver Balch.
A connection with trees and woods helps people find inspiration, inner calm and mental balance. Author and journalist Tobias Jones and poet Zaffar Kunial are both featured in Arboreal, a Common Ground collection of woodland writing. They are joined by the illustrator Jackie Morris to discuss the role of trees and woods in finding inspiration and mental balance in our lives.
The economic crisis offers an opportunity for capitalism to re-imagine itself again, to maximise efficiency, entrepreneurship and new sectors for growth. Chaired by Jesse Norman.
The esteemed fashion commentator has produced a sumptuous and comprehensive study of clothing design that explains from head to toe why and how we wear what we wear. He pays brilliant and fascinating attention to how the great couturiers work with human anatomy. Come and enjoy the clothes – and his conversation with the editor-in-chief of Mr Porter.
There are huge differences in how childhood is experienced in various cultures. One central riddle, in particular, has captured Griffiths’ imagination: Why are so many children in Euro-American cultures unhappy – and why is it that children in many traditional cultures seem happier?