Education

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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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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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Peter Singer talks to Stephen Fry

Things That Matter

Hay Festival 2017, 

The Australian writer and thinker is often described as the world’s most influential living philosopher. He is known especially for his work on the ethics of our treatment of animals, for his controversial critique of the sanctity of life ethics in bioethics, and for his writing on the obligations of the affluent to aid those living in extreme poverty. His books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, The Most Good You Can Do, The Life You Can Save, Famine, Affluence and Morality, and most recently Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter. He talks to the Festival president.

Peter Singer talks to Stephen Fry

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Karen Usher, Eric Thomas, David Landsman and David Willetts

The New University

Hay Festival 2014, 

Britain needs more scientists and engineers, but can our universities deliver? Current proposals for a new university in Hereford focus on employability and economic growth via a highly innovative ‘Liberal Sciences’ approach. If you’re a parent, a teacher, an employer or just interested in the future of education, jump start your day with this lively discussion. Usher is leading the campaign for the New University, Thomas is Vice Chancellor of Bristol University, Landsman is Executive Director of Tata and Willetts is Minister for Universities.
Chaired by Hereford MP Jesse Norman.

Karen Usher, Eric Thomas, David Landsman and David Willetts

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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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Laura Bates talks to Bryony Gordon

Girl Up

Hay Festival 2016, 

“They told you you need to be thin and beautiful. They told you to wear longer skirts, avoid going out late at night and move in groups – never accept drinks from a stranger, and wear shoes you can run in more easily than heels. They told you to wear just enough make-up to look presentable but not enough to be a slut; to dress to flatter your apple, pear, hourglass figure, but not to be too tarty. They warned you that if you try to be strong, or take control, you’ll be shrill, bossy, a ballbreaker. Of course it’s fine for the boys, but you should know your place. They told you that’s not for girls – take it as a compliment – don’t rock the boat – that’ll go straight to your hips. They told you beauty is on the inside, but you knew they didn’t really mean it. Well I’m here to tell you something different…” Hilarious, jaunty and bold, the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project exposes the truth about the pressures surrounding body image, the false representations in media, the complexities of sex and relationships, the trials of social media and all the other lies they told us.

Laura Bates talks to Bryony Gordon

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Simon Schama and teachers

Our Children, Our History

Hay Festival 2013, 

What kind of past is it that Michael Gove’s proposed history curriculum offers to schoolchildren and their teachers? Can it be taught? Should it be taught? And what are the consequences for our national culture and identity? The historian leads the conversation and welcomes contributions from primary and secondary school teachers.

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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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David and Hilary Crystal

Wordsmiths and Warriors

Hay Festival 2014, 

From King Alfred and the Normans to Chaucer, Shakespeare and Wordsworth, this fabulously entertaining guide to the English language unites the warriors whose invasions transformed the language with the poets, scholars and reformers who helped create its character. 

David and Hilary Crystal

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Ewan Fernie

Teaching Shakespeare And The Big Stuff

Hay Festival 2013, 

The author of The Demonic: Literature And Experience examines scenes from Othello, Hamlet, The Tempest and Measure For Measure and discusses how to teach Shakespeare with imagination and intensity.

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Jonathan Savage

Why Music Education Matters

Hay Festival 2013, 

Why a systematic music education should be at the heart of every child’s early educational experience. Examples from contemporary approaches to music education will be shared, and recent political events that have threatened these approaches will be analysed. Chaired by Martin Chilton.

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John Mitchinson, John Lloyd and James Harkin

QI’s Greatest Hits

Hay Festival 2015, 

QI’s very core is ‘the astonishing fact’: painstakingly researched and distilled to a brilliant and shocking clarity. To celebrate the reissue of their backlist, join us for a canter through their best-ever discoveries: Jeeves wasn’t a butler. Coffee isn’t made from beans. Woodlice drink through their bottoms. Light is invisible. Mount Everest isn’t the tallest mountain. Florence Nightingale spent 50 years in bed. There are 613 commandments in the bible. Monkeys pay to look at porn. An hour of endless fun with the QI writing team.

John Mitchinson, John Lloyd and James Harkin

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Kate Raworth

Doughnut Economics

Hay Festival 2017, 

Economics is broken. It has failed to predict or prevent financial crises that have shaken the foundations of our societies and perpetuated austerity and poverty. The Oxford academic identifies the seven critical ways in which mainstream economics has led us astray, and sets out a roadmap for bringing humanity into a sweet spot that meets the needs of all within the means of the planet. En route, she deconstructs the character of ‘rational economic man’ and explains what really makes us tick. Raworth has worked as Senior Researcher at Oxfam, and was co-author of the UN’s Human Development Report.

Kate Raworth

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Cedric Villani

Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure

Hay Festival 2015, 

The rock-star mathematician takes us on a mesmerising journey as he wrestles with a new theorem that will win him the most coveted prize in mathematics. Along the way he encounters obstacles and setbacks, losses of faith and even brushes with madness. His story is one of courage and partnership, doubt and anxiety, elation and despair. Blending science with history, biography with myth, he conjures up an inimitable cast of characters including the omnipresent Einstein, mad genius Kurt Gödel, and Villani’s personal hero, John Nash. Chaired by Marcus du Sautoy.

Cedric Villani

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Abigail Rokison

Shakespeare 450 – Romeo and Juliet, Interpretation and Adaptation

Hay Festival 2014, 

The eponymous lovers have become synonymous with intense young love, and the image of a young man wooing his love at a balcony is now iconic. The Shakespeare scholar will explore a range of stage productions and adaptations of Romeo and Juliet, aimed specifically at young people.

Abigail Rokison

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Angela Duckworth

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Hay Festival 2016, 

Why do naturally talented people frequently fail to reach their potential while other far less gifted individuals go on to achieve amazing things? The secret to outstanding achievement is not talent, but a passionate persistence. In other words, grit. The MacArthur Genius Award-winning psychologist shares fascinating new revelations about who succeeds in life and why. Chaired by Corisande Albert.

Angela Duckworth

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Danny Dorling

Reformations 7: Examinations

Hay Festival 2017, 

We have the most relentlessly tested school students in Europe. We have constantly revised SATs and GCSE structures. Is any of this encouraging or cultivating learning? How could we develop better ways of valuing both students and teachers? Dorling is the Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford. Chaired by Peter Florence.

Danny Dorling

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Athene Donald

Cambridge Series: How Gender Stereotypes Damage Innovation

Hay Festival 2017, 

Children as young as six have already developed ideas about what boys and girls can ‘do’. As they progress through school further, cultural messages fix attitudes and are one part of why we have so few women engineers or male vets. Innovation, which thrives on diverse perspectives, is handicapped by the effects of such stereotyping. Our society needs to do better. Athene Donald is Professor of Experimental Physics and Master of Churchill College.

Athene Donald

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Ben Crystal

Springboard Shakespeare – Macbeth

Hay Festival 2013, 

The actor and writer conducts a workshop masterclass working with Shakespeare’s Scottish play. Ideal for students and teachers. Numbers limited.

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Peter Frankopan

Reformations 16: History

Hay Festival 2017, 

The author of the magnificent book The Silk Roads proposes a new way of understanding the past and of connecting context and ideas so that we might learn the lessons of history. Frankopan is Director of the Centre for Byzantine Research at Oxford University. Chaired by Peter Florence.

Peter Frankopan

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Polly Toynbee and David Walker

Dismembered: How the Attack on the State Harms Us All

Hay Festival 2017, 

The two journalists travelled around Great Britain gathering the voices of the people who make up the public sector: nurses and patients, teachers and policemen and civilians. The story they tell is one of society’s dismemberment across our nation state: a fragmented NHS, a reduced police force, divided schools and a vulnerable military.

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David Whitebread, Jenny Gibson and Sara Baker

Cambridge Series 1: All Work and No Play…?

Hay Festival 2016, 

Could the consequences of curtailing play in schools, at home and in the outdoors be catastrophic in terms of healthy child development? Join experts from the PEDAL Centre to explore the role of play in learning, development and wellbeing.  

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Sayeeda Warsi

Reformations 9: Integration

Hay Festival 2017, 

Baroness Warsi’s book The Enemy Within identifies British Muslims as the latest in a long line of ‘others’ to be feared and demonised. The UK’s first Muslim cabinet minister explores questions of cultural difference, terrorism, surveillance, social justice, religious freedom, integration and the meaning of  ‘British values’ with Helena Kennedy. She proffers necessary and inconvenient truths and proposes new ways forward for British Muslims, politicians and society.

Sayeeda Warsi

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David Crystal

Glamorous Grammar

Hay Festival 2017, 

The Language Prof’s Hay lectures are legendary feats of erudition and humour. His latest book is Making Sense: The Glamorous Story of English Grammar.

David Crystal

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Simon Schama

An Enlightenment

Hay Festival 2017, 

Drawing on his work over the past 40 years, the historian considers the context of contemporary Europe’s political upheavals, its challenges and its opportunities.  Schama’s books include Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, A History of Britain, The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age, Landscape and Memory and The Story of the Jews.

Simon Schama