In this first of the Festival's flagship 30th anniversary project sessions, the Spanish international trade lawyer re-imagines the European Union. González Durántez was previously the Middle East Adviser to the External Relations Commissioner in the European Union, having started her career as a trade negotiator at the World Trade Organisation. Chaired by Matthew d’Ancona.
We are surrounded by an astronomical zoo of familiar and curious objects, from asteroids and zodiacal dust to Alpha Centauri and the centre of the Milky Way. Chris Lintott discusses the many marvels of the cosmos with comedian and impressionist Jon Culshaw, and takes us on a tour of the universe.
Wells introduces his anthology of essays about the actors, playwrights and family members around the bard, throwing new light on Shakespeare’s wealth, his family and personal relationships, his working life and his social status. Wells is one the world’s greatest Shakespeare experts, editor of both the Penguin and OUP editions of his work, President of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and author, most recently of Shakespeare, Sex and Love and Great Shakespeare Actors. He is joined by the great novelist and essayist, Margaret Drabble, who started her working life as an actress at the RSC, and is a contributor to Wells’ new book, The Shakespeare Circle: An Alternative Biography.
The story of Gabriele D’Annunzio: poet, daredevil and Fascist, who in 1919 declared himself Commandante of the city of Fiume in modern-day Croatia to establish a utopia based on his fascist and artistic ideals. It was the dramatic pinnacle to an outrageous career. Chaired by Sarah Crompton.
Did Britain stumble blindly into two world wars? The war historian compares preparations for both conflicts and argues that the lessons learned from the First were crucial to survival in the Second.
How do we identify the true scientific experts? And how do we avoid false scientific‘controversies’ like the MMR debacle and Climategate? The two Cardiff University professors draw on work from Collins’ provocative new book.
The broadcaster introduces his first novel, a riveting espionage thriller set in 1970s Westminster at the height of the Cold War. Can’t give away much about the plot, but it’s horribly plausible and absolutely outrageous!
The newly-conserved Roskilde 6 ship from Denmark measures over 37 metres. It is the longest Viking ship ever discovered and forms the core of the British Museum exhibition Vikings: Life and Legend. The Vikings used their shipbuilding skills to command the sea; their famous ships permitted the exploration, the colonisation and the raids with which they built their wealth. The curator explores the evolution of their sea-going vessels and celebrates this outstanding feature of the Viking Age.
The writers of The Simpsons are so fascinated by mathematics that they have drip-fed morsels of number theory into the series over the last twenty-five years – so many that they could form the basis of an entire university course. The author of The Codebook and Fermat’s Last Theorem uses specific episodes to explain concepts ranging from pi and the paradox of infinity to the origins of numbers.
Join TV presenter Helen Skelton as she introduces her children’s book, the first in a new action-packed adventure series. Helen reveals how her own incredible real-life experiences and adventures have influenced her writing, from cycling to the South Pole to tightrope walking between the towers of Battersea Power Station. Amazon Summer is based on Helen’s own experiences travelling through the Amazon. Chaired by writer and broadcaster Matt Brown.
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.
The author of When God was a Rabbit – selected for World Book Night 2015 – introduces her second novel. Marvellous Ways is 89 years old and has lived alone in a remote Cornish creek for nearly all her life. Lately she’s taken to spending her days sitting on a mooring stone by the river with a telescope. She’s waiting for something – she’s not sure what, but she’ll know it when she sees it.
Drake is a young soldier left reeling by the Second World War. When his promise to fulfil a dying man’s last wish sees him wash up in Marvellous’ creek, broken in body and spirit, the old woman comes to his aid. As an unlikely friendship grows between the two, can Drake give Marvellous what she needs to say goodbye to the world, and can she give him what he needs to go on?