Thinking

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Arianna Huffington

THRIVE: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Happier Life

Hay Festival 2014, 

The Huffington Post founder argues that a successful life is made up of more than just money and success and must also include what she calls The Third Metric: personal care, health, and fulfillment. She talks to Georgina Godwin.

Arianna Huffington

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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

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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Yuval Noah Harari talks to Anita Anand

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Hay Festival 2015, 

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?

In Sapiens, Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, palaeontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?

This event was recorded for broadcast on the BBC World News programme Talking Books.

Yuval Noah Harari talks to Anita Anand

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Stephen Fry, Sandi Toksvig and guests

What Do We Want?

Hay Festival 2015, 

Eight hundred years after a gang of barons met in a tent by a river, which Rights do we want to fight for today? A fortnight after what looks like a rough old election, let’s dream about what a better world might look like and talk about how that might be achieved.

The festival President hosts this first in a Magna Carta series of twenty events at Hay Festival 2015, and is joined by international guests to discuss equalities.

Stephen Fry, Sandi Toksvig and guests

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Alain de Botton

Religion for Atheists

Hay Festival 2012, 
The essayist suggests that the supernatural claims of religions are entirely false, but that religions have much to teach the secular world.

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Germaine Greer

Shakespeare’s Women

Hay Festival 2015, 

The inspiring and provocative writer and scholar talks about Juliet, Beatrice, Ophelia, Cleopatra, Ann Hathaway and the Dark Lady of the Sonnets with festival director Peter Florence.

Germaine Greer

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Daniel Kahneman

Hay Festival 2012, 
The Nobel Economics laureate explores human rationality and irrationality. Chaired by Jesse Norman.

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Germaine Greer talks to Martha Kearney

The Annual Hamlin Lecture: Liberation

Hay Festival 2015, 
A conversation with the teacher, writer and grand provocateur about what would make life better. ‘I’m a liberation feminist, not an equality feminist. Equality is a profoundly conservative aim and it won’t achieve anything.’
Germaine Greer talks to Martha Kearney

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Ian Robertson

The Winner Effect

Hay Festival 2012, 
The Professor of Psychology analyses how and why success changes the chemistry of the brain, making us more focused, smarter, more confident – and aggressive.

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Bettany Hughes

Divine Women

Hay Festival 2012, 
The historian and broadcaster unveils the hidden history of women in religion, from dominatrix goddesses to feisty political operators and warrior empresses. She reveals what her favourite women in religion tell us about the lives of the real flesh-and-blood women of their day.

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Salman Rushdie, Niklas Frank, Elif Shafak, Tishani Doshi and Jim Al-Khalili talk to John Kampfner

Hay 25 - The Way We Live Now 1

Hay Festival 2012, 
In this first conversation about our big anniversary project, the panel discuss 3 of the 25 questions:
 
What freedoms are you prepared to trade for security?
If you became the leader of your country what would you fix first?
We’re building a library of literature, music and cinema. Which one book, film and album would you contribute to it?

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Alain de Botton, Philippa Perry, Roman Krznaric and Tom Chatfield

The School of Life - short ‘How To’ lectures

Hay Festival 2012, 
Chatfield on How To Thrive in the Digital Age; Perry on How to Stay Sane; Krznaric on How To Find Fulfilling Work; and de Botton gives us the skinny on How to Think More About Sex.

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Richard Holloway talks to AC Grayling

Leaving Alexandria: A Memoir of Faith and Doubt

Hay Festival 2012, 
The former Bishop of Edinburgh examines how anyone can claim a complete understanding of the mystery of existence; Why is the Church, which claims to be the instrument of God’s love, so prone to cruelty and condemnation? And how can a man live with the tension between public faith and private doubt

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Laura Bates talks to Anita Anand

Everyday Sexism: The Project That Inspired a Worldwide Movement

Hay Festival 2014, 

In 2012 after being sexually harassed on London public transport a young journalist started to collect stories for a piece she was writing on the issue. Astounded by the response she received and the wide range of stories that came pouring in from all over the world, she quickly realised that the situation was far worse than she’d initially thought. Sexism is endemic – socially, politically and economically. And enough is enough. Welcome to the fourth wave of feminism.

Laura Bates talks to Anita Anand

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Max Hastings, Peter Oborne, Simon Schama, Val McDermid, Kate Williams and Emily Perkins talk to Jon Gower

Hay 25 – The Way We Live Now 4

Hay Festival 2012, 
The panelists discuss two more of the questions from the Festival's big silver jubilee project.
 
Are you happy? -- If yes, why? If not, is there something you can do about it?
What piece of writing has most changed your heart and mind?

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AC Grayling

Reading and Thinking

Hay Festival 2012, 
The philosopher talks about the conversation of humankind, the true nature of education, the candle in the dark. Our story changed when literacy extended beyond the few. Grayling explains how, and conjures the possibilities this opened up.

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Daniel M Davis

The Compatibility Gene

Hay Festival 2014, 

We each possess a similar set of around 25,000 human genes. Yet a tiny, distinctive cluster of these genes plays a disproportionately large part in how our bodies work. The immunologist argues that these few genes hold the key to who we are as individuals and our relationship to the world: how we combat disease; how our brains are wired; how attractive we are; even how likely we are to reproduce. Chaired by Liz Hunt.

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Steve Peters

The Chimp Paradox

Hay Festival 2015, 

The consultant psychiatrist to Liverpool FC, Sky ProCycling, Ronnie O’Sullivan and the England football team introduces The Mind Management Programme to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness. Chaired by Martin Chilton.

Steve Peters

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Paul Dolan

Happiness by Design

Hay Festival 2014, 

Most of us would like to be happier. Dolan defines this as experiencing more pleasure and/or purpose for longer. He describes how being happier means allocating attention more efficiently; towards those things that bring us pleasure and purpose and away from those that generate pain and pointlessness. Easier said than done, of course, and certainly easier said than thought about. But behavioural science tells us that most of what we do is not so much thought about; rather, it simply comes about. So by clever use of priming, defaults, commitments and social norms, you can become a whole lot happier without actually having to think very hard about it. You will be happier by design.

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Hannah Critchlow

Cambridge Series 4: Explore Your Mind

Hay Festival 2016, 

Are you willing to venture into the depths of your brain? Dr Critchlow will shock your senses, read your mind and explore how current neuroscience is shaping how we see our lives. Suitable for intrepid adventurers of all ages.

Hannah Critchlow

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Steve Silberman

The Baillie Gifford Lecture: NeuroTribes

Hay Festival 2016, 

What is autism? A lifelong disability, or a naturally occurring form of cognitive difference akin to certain forms of genius? In truth, it is both of these things and more,; and the future of our society depends on our understanding it. The winner of the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize talks about his research and investigations. Chaired by Stuart Proffitt.

Steve Silberman

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Nassim Nicholas Taleb

AntiFragility

Hay Festival 2012, 
The visionary probability guru and Black Swan author previews his study of How to Live in a World We Don’t Understand.

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Danny Dorling and Mary O’Hara

Inequality and Austerity

Hay Festival 2015, 

Few would dispute that we live in an unequal and unjust world, but what causes this inequality to persist? Dorling, author of Inequality and the 1%, examines who is most harmed by these injustices and why, and what happens to those who most benefit. O’Hara, author of Austerity Bites, takes us on a journey to the sharp end of the cuts in the UK. Hard-hitting and uncompromising in its call to action, this analysis is essential for everyone concerned with social justice.

Danny Dorling and Mary O’Hara

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Monty Don, Marcus du Sautoy, Andrés Neuman, Jim Naughtie and Rosie Boycott talk to Francine Stock

Hay 25 – The Way We Live Now 6

Hay Festival 2012, 
The panellists discuss three of the 25 Questions.
 
25 years from now climate change will have created over 100 million refugees. Where should they go?
What was the last thing you made with your hands?
Would you like the United States of America to a) grow stronger? b) stay more or less the same? c) grow weaker? Why?