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Susan Greenfield

The Private Life of the Brain

Hay Festival 2000, 
The most intriguing function of the human brain is to generate an inner world of feeling: emotions. Greenfield shows how both positive and negative emotions are with us all the time, but varying in degree. At the extreme she suggests that these entail an abrogation of a sense of self, the individual mind. She looks at what might actually be happening in the brain when you 'lose your mind', 'blow your mind' or 'let yourself go'.

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Cars Are Killing The Planet

The Economist Debate

Hay Festival 2006, 
Channel 4 News' Jon Snow chairs as freedom, practicality and pleasure are set against pollution, asthma, global warming and terrifying geopolitics. Will post-petrol tech save the day? Speakers include Jeremy Leggett of SolarCentury, Vijay Vaitheeswaran of The Economist and Edmund King, Executive Director, RAC Foundation.

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Half Gone: Oil, Gas, Hot Air and the Global Energy Crisis

Jeremy Leggett

Hay Festival 2006, 
The global marketplace is built on the notion of a stable supply of cheap oil and gas. But that bedrock is about to crumble. As geologists, civil servants and the oil industry knows, the end of oil is a lot closer than we think. Leggett is Chief Executive of Solarcentury.

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Graeme Gibson

The Bedside Book of Birds

Hay Festival 2006, 
Folktales, stories and excerpts from a naturalist's journal where creation myths, recipes, and the most stunning illustrations lace Gibson's own graceful and erudite essays telling of the pleasure, fear, confusion, or hope that birds inspire, and their imperiled place in nature.

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The Story of God

Robert Winston

Hay Festival 2006, 
The eminent medic and broadcaster discusses the relationship between religion and science from primitive times to our multi-faith world.

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Martin Rees, Neil Turok and Bernard Carr

Universe or Multiverse?

Hay Festival 2007, 
The pre-eminent astronomers and cosmologists discuss how recent developments in cosmology and particle physics have led to the remarkable realization that our universe – rather than being unique – could be just one of many universes. This multiverse proposal may explain the fine-tunings which appear necessary for the emergence of life, as well as the origin of our universe. Chaired by science broadcaster Quentin Cooper.

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Steve Jones

Why Intelligent Design is Stupid

Hay Festival 2007, 
Scientists are professional pessimists, always dubious about what they find. Believers, in contrast, are certain: full of joy that their own Big Book contains the truth. The geneticist talks about science and faith as conflicting explanations of what we are; and how biology, in the end, is blind.

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Richard Dawkins talks to Rosie Boycott

The God Delusion

Hay Festival 2007, 
The geneticist eviscerates religion, intelligent design, and the idea of a supreme being.

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Richard Dawkins, Steve Jones and Martin Rees

The Guardian Science Experiment: Have We Abandoned the Enlightenment?

Hay Festival 2007, 
Chaired by The Guardian’s Science Editor James Randerson.

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James Fergusson

The Vitamin Murders: Who Killed Healthy Eating in Britain?

Hay Festival 2007, 
How a British scientist taught the nation how to eat well, then taught the food industry how to trick consumers, and paid for the paradox with his life.

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Robert Winston

A Child Against All Odds

Hay Festival 2007, 
Compared to the rabbit, for whom a single act of coitus has a 90% chance of creating a litter of up to 12 kittens, humans are very infertile animals. Here in the UK the average chance of conception is about 18% per month. The fertility expert examines the human condition.

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Rachel Lewis and Polly Ghazi

The Low Carbon Diet

Hay Festival 2007, 
What we all can do towards carbon reduction, offset trading and getting fit for the planet.

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Darian Leader and David Corfield

Why Do People Get Ill?

Hay Festival 2007, 
Case studies and cutting-edge research inform this intriguing inquiry into the unconscious processes that can make us fall ill.

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Gabrielle Walker

An Ocean of Air

Hay Festival 2007, 
Through the eyes and lives of its discoverers, the science writer celebrates the natural history of the earth’s atmosphere and reveals how we came to understand air, the true elixir of life.

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John Parker

Lords of Creation

Hay Festival 2008, 
The Cambridge University Botanic Garden Director and Professor of Plant Cytogenetics brushes against near- immortality, the truth of sustainability, and the awe-inspiring aesthetic of trees.

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Steve Jones

Is Evolution Over?

Hay Festival 2008, 
After Darwin, Utopia evolved. From Eden to Erewhon, society changed but people stayed much the same. The geneticist argues that the agents of evolution have lost their power and that—whatever happens to society— humans are stuck with what we are.

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John Barrow

Cosmic Imagery: The History of Science Through Pictures

Hay Festival 2008, 
The iconic images that embody our understanding of the natural world and the universe from Robert Hooke’s microscope to Hubble, and from human anatomy to Hiroshima.

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Simon Singh & Edzard Ernst

Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial

Hay Festival 2008, 
The science writer and the world’s first Professor of Complementary Medicine analyse which therapies work and why. Rigorous, clear and surprising.

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The Wisdom of Whores

Hay Festival 2008, 
Elizabeth Pisani describes how politics, ideology—and ten billion dollars a year—have bulldozed through scientific evidence and common sense and needlessly failed to fight the AIDS pandemic that has infected 70 million people worldwide. Chaired by Rachel Holmes.

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Richard Fortey

Life: A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth

Hay Festival 2008, 
The palaeontologist introduces his scintillating long view of evolution and cataclysm.

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David King and Gabrielle Walker

Hay Festival 2008, 
The former UK chief scientific advisor and the science writer present their The Hot Topic : How to Tackle Global Warming and Still Keep the Lights On. Chaired by Peter Guttridge.

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Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind

Hay Festival 2008, 
Psychologist Gary Marcus shows how imperfect and ill-adapted our brains really are from their hominid origins. We are prone to rages, addictions and other habits that limit our capacity for rational action in every sphere, from food to politics.

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Joseph Silk

Infinite Cosmos

Hay Festival 2008, 
Oxford astronomer Joseph Silk analyses the Big Bang from the frontiers of technology, and tells of supernovae, dark matter, dark energy, curved spacetime, colliding galaxies, and supermassive black holes.

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Colin Tudge

The Secret Life of Trees

Hay Festival 2008, 
Biologist Colin Tudge reveals trees as the key to humanity’s evolutionary past—and our future.

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Alan Weisman

The World Without Us

Hay Festival 2008, 
Alan Weisman asks how the world would change if human beings vanished from the earth right now, for good. What would the planet be like in a day, a week, a month…a millennium?

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