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John Sulston

The Royal Society Lecture; The People And The Planet

Hay Festival 2013, 

The Nobel Laureate discusses the links between global population, consumption and the environment, and the implications for sustainable development. How can we all live and flourish on a finite Earth?

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Richard Dawkins talks to Joan Bakewell

An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist

Hay Festival 2014, 

An intimate and personal decoding of the nature and nurture of the famous and infamous geneticist, author of The Selfish Gene, Unweaving the Rainbow, The God Delusion and The Blind Watchmaker.

Richard Dawkins talks to Joan Bakewell

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Stephen Fry

Reformations 2: The Internet

Hay Festival 2017, 

The writer and tech-geek reimagines Tim Berners-Lee’s invention and asks how the mantra 'This is for Everyone' can play now in a digital sphere of social media, hacking and global connectivity. With BBC Click's Spencer Kelly.

Stephen Fry

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Kathleen Taylor

The Brain Supremacy: Notes From The Frontiers Of Neuroscience

Hay Festival 2013, 

Funds are pouring into brain research, but what does this relatively new science mean for us? Taylor looks at the promise of drugs that could boost our brain-power, at the potential for more subtle marketing techniques and even at the prospect of machines that could read our minds. She looks at the science behind these claims and at how scientists look inside the human brain.

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Garry Kasparov talks to Stephen Fry

Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins

Hay Festival 2017, 

20 years ago, in May 1997, the world watched as Garry Kasparov, the greatest chess player in the world, was defeated for the first time by the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue. He talks to the Hay Festival President about a watershed moment in the history of technology: machine intelligence had arrived at the point where it could best human intellect. 

It wasn’t a coincidence that Kasparov became the symbol of man’s fight against the machines. Chess has long been the fulcrum in development of machine intelligence; the hoax automaton ‘The Turk’ in the 18th century and Alan Turing’s first chess program in 1952 were two early examples of the quest for machines to think like humans a talent we measured by their ability to beat their creators at chess. As the pre-eminent chessmaster of the ’80s and ’90s, it was Kasparov’s blessing and his curse to play against each generation’s strongest computer champions, contributing to their development and advancing the field. 

Like all passionate competitors, Kasparov has taken his defeat and learned from it. He has devoted much energy to devising ways in which humans can partner with machines in order to produce results better than either can achieve alone. During the 20 years since playing Deep Blue, he has played both with and against machines, learning a great deal about our vital relationship with our most remarkable creations. Ultimately, he has become convinced that by embracing the competition between human and machine intelligence, we can spend less time worrying about being replaced and more thinking of new challenges to conquer.

Kasparov tells his side of the story of Deep Blue for the first time – what it was like to strategize against an implacable, untiring opponent – the mistakes he made and the reasons the odds were against him. And he tells his story of AI more generally, and how he has evolved to embrace it, taking part in an urgent debate with philosophers worried about human values, programmers creating self-learning neural networks, and engineers of cutting-edge robotics. 

His previous book was Winter is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped. 

Garry Kasparov talks to Stephen Fry

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Trevor Robbins, Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Paul Howard-Jones and Barbara Sahakian

The Royal Society Platform 1: Learning And The Brain

Hay Festival 2013, 

How could what we know about the brain influence how we learn and teach? What are the challenges and opportunities?

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Niall Ferguson

The Barclays Wealth Lecture: Civilization – The West and The Rest

Hay Festival 2011, 
If the West’s ascendancy over the last 500 years is based on six ‘killer applications’ – competition, science, democracy, medicine, consumerism and the work ethic – then what happens now?
 
Read an article by Niall Ferguson www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/

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Stephen Fry

More Fool Me

Hay Festival 2015, 

Ultra-high-functioning addict meets gravity in this latest volume of autobiography. The writer and actor talks to Peter Florence.

Stephen Fry

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John Sulston, Martin Evans, Michael Morgan chaired by Robin McKie

The Guardian and Wellcome Trust Science Debate: Ten Years of the Human Genome

Hay Festival 2010, 
The Nobel Laureates who pioneered work on sequencing the human genome and stem cell research ponder on a decade of discovery and what’s yet to come, with the former Chief Executive of the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus. Chaired by Robin McKie, the Observer's Science Editor.
John Sulston, Martin Evans, Michael Morgan chaired by Robin McKie

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Brian Cox

The Royal Society Lecture 1: Wonders of the Universe

Hay Festival 2011, 
The laws of light, gravity, time, matter and energy that govern us here on Earth are the same as those applied throughout the Universe. Chaired by Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society.

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Peter Hitchens and Johann Hari

A Rational Debate About Drugs

Hay Festival 2015, 

It’s 100 years since drugs were first banned, and drug use and drug crime have continued to grow steadily across the world. What are people addicted to? Are any of the policies adopted around the world based on scientific data? Are any of them working? Hari is the author of Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War Against Drugs; Hitchens is the author of The War We Never Fought. Chaired by Hernando Alvarez, editor of BBC Mundo.

Peter Hitchens and Johann Hari

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Martin Rees, Maggi Dawn, Richard Harries

The Guardian Debate: Is Reason Always Right?

Hay Festival 2010, 
Science and logic are often held up as the only way to answer the modern world’s big questions. But is there a role for instinct, inherited wisdom, or even God? Can religion ever win the intellectual argument? Chaired by Simon Jenkins.
Martin Rees, Maggi Dawn, Richard Harries

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James Watson talks to Ian McEwan

Nobel Series - The John Maddox Lecture

Hay Festival 2012, 
Our annual science lecture is given this year by the 1962 Nobel Laureate, the author of The Double Helix, who in 1953 discovered the structure of DNA with Francis Crick. It will be chaired by Ian McEwan.

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Spencer Wells and Tristram Stuart talk to John Vidal

Food for Thought

Hay Festival 2010, 
It is time for a change in attitudes towards food production and consumption, in the industry and in our own homes. The author of Pandora’s Seed looks to a historical examination of our cultural inheritance for the solutions while the author of Waste spotlights the wastefulness of modern societies. In conversation with the Guardian’s Environment Editor.

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Henry Marsh talks to Ian McEwan

Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery

Hay Festival 2014, 

One of the country’s leading neurosurgeons reveals the fierce joy of operating, the profoundly moving triumphs, the harrowing disasters, the haunting regrets and the moments of black humour that characterise a brain surgeon’s life.

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Bill Bryson and Martin Rees talk to Marcus du Sautoy

The Royal Society Platform

Hay Festival 2010, 
The author of A Short History of Nearly Everything and editor of the magnificent anniversary anthology Seeing Further is joined by the President of the Royal Society to celebrate 350 Years of the Royal Society and Scientific Endeavour. They talk to the Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science.
Bill Bryson and Martin Rees talk to Marcus du Sautoy

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Alison Rust, Zita Martins, Nicole Grobert, Jenny Nelson

The Royal Society Platform 2: The Next Big Thing

Hay Festival 2013, 

From volcanoes to nanotechnology, four researchers talk about what we are only just finding out. Chaired and introduced by Nobel Prize-winning geneticist, John Sulston FRS.

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Noel Fitzpatrick

Reformations 19: Global Health in Man and Animals

Hay Festival 2017, 

Groundbreaking research is driving new technology, drugs, procedures and strategies to fight once-intractable global ailments. Few know that cancer still kills more people in low- and middle-income countries than HIV, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Fourteen million people are diagnosed with cancer every year with a much greater number going undiagnosed.  The cancer in a dog is almost identical to the cancer in a human. Professor Fitzpatrick, 'The Supervet', renowned for his life-saving bionic surgeries and his work investigating disease, passionately believes that a single shared medicine linking human and animal health, a ‘One Health’ approach, is the best model for solving today’s greatest global health problems.

Noel Fitzpatrick

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James Fenton, Maurice Riordan, Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Paul Murdin chaired by Sian Ede

Dark Matter: Poems of Space

Hay Festival 2009, 
A magical reading and conversation with eminent cosmologists and poets celebrates the UNESCO Year of the Astronomer.

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Mark Lynas talks to Andy Fryers

What Have the Greens Got Wrong?

Hay Festival 2010, 
Has ideology blinded the mainstream environmental movement to solutions for some of the major problems facing the world? Mark Lynas, author of Six Degrees and High Tide, discusses why he has changed his views on the big issues including nuclear power, GMOs and organic food with Andy Fryers.

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Chris Hope

Cambridge Series: Climate Change

Hay Festival 2010, 
Chris Hope of Cambridge University, contributor to the Stern review and lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, tackles the current climate change issues and sets out where the priorities should be.

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Joan Bakewell and Alan Walker talk to Nicholas Stern

The British Academy Platform: Our Ageing Population – Benefit or Burden?

Hay Festival 2014, 

Is the welfare generation a myth? What can our economy gain from an older workforce, and how can our politicians and policy makers harness the potential in an ageing population?

Joan Bakewell and Alan Walker talk to Nicholas Stern

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John Browne

Seven Elements

Hay Festival 2013, 

The former BP chief examines the current and future use of the Earth’s natural resources in his fascinating survey, Seven Elements That Have Changed The World: Iron, Carbon, Gold, Silver, Uranium, Titanium, Silicon. Chaired by The Telegraph’s business editor Kamal Ahmed.

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Georgina Mace, Katrina Brown, Bhaskar Vira and Camilla Toulmin

The Royal Society Platform

Hay Festival 2014, 

Resilience to Disaster

How do we prepare ourselves for the impacts of weather-related disasters? What are our options and how do we decide which is the best approach to take? The panel will discuss the evidence that is being analysed in order to inform the important decisions regarding adaptation and risk reduction that are being made at global, national and local levels.

* To book free student tickets please call the Box Office on 01497 822 629.

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Marcus du Sautoy

The Secret Mathematicians

Hay Festival 2011, 
The author of The Number Mysteries examines how the mathematicians' palette of shapes, patterns and numbers has inspired composers, painters, choreographers and writers.
The Number Mysteries - Marcus du Sautoy