The Hay 30 – Hannah CRITCHLOW

With a Doctorate in neuropsychiatry from the University of Cambridge, Dr Hannah Critchlow is an expert at stripping down the brain. Using Radio, TV and Festival platforms she designs, produces and presents brainy interactive experiences for the public. She has featured on BBC, Sky and ITV channels, broadcast to millions of people across the globe. Her live stage shows have been delivered at schools and festivals internationally and enjoyed by tens of thousands.

In 2014 Hannah was named as a Top 100 scientist by the Science Council for her work in science radio and in delivering talks to school students. In 2015 Hannah was hailed as the ‘star of the Festival’ following her formidable tour of the brain at the prestigious UK Hay Literary Festival. In 2013 she was named as one of Cambridge University’s ‘inspirational and successful women in science’. During her PhD she was awarded a Cambridge University Fellowship and as an undergraduate received three University Prizes as Best Biologist. More recently, this year Hannah was elected as Outreach Fellow for Magdalene College, Cambridge University - helping to inspire and raise aspirations. 

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The Hay 30 is made possible by the generous support of the CASE foundation.

All Events for this artist

Hay Festival 2019

Adi Kliot, Aquila Mavalankar and Jackie Rosette

The Royal Society Platform 3: The Next Big Things

Hay Festival 2019, 

From the genetics of insects and groundbreaking x-ray technology to measuring the world’s forests with lasers, three Royal Society Research Fellows discuss their work at the forefront of science with neuroscientist and broadcaster Hannah Critchlow.

Hay Festival 2015

Bettany Hughes and Hannah Critchlow

The Raymond Williams Dialogue: The Ideas That Make Us

Hay Festival 2015, 

A classicist and a neuroscientist explore the Ancient Greek words Liberty, Comedy, Charisma, Xenia, Wisdom and Peace and travel both forwards and backwards in time, investigating how these ideas have been moulded by history and have made an impact on history and the human experience. Hughes is the author of Helen of Troy – Goddess, Whore and The Hemlock Cup. Critchlow is named as a British Council's Top 100 UK Scientist for her work in communication.

Hay Festival 2018

Hannah Critchlow and Rowan Williams

What is Consciousness?

Hay Festival 2018, 

A theologian and a neuroscientist explore the concept of consciousness: is it unique to humans? Are we all simply machines? Do we have free will? Can we invoke an enhanced collective consciousness? Bringing together findings from science and insights from religion they unpick what it means to be conscious. Williams is Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge and a former Archbishop of Canterbury. Critchlow is named as a British Council's Top 100 UK Scientists for her work in communication and author of Consciousness: A LadyBird Expert book, which will be launched at Hay.

Hay Festival 2016

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.

Hay Festival 2017

Hannah Critchlow

Increasing Consciousness...

Hay Festival 2017, 

Join the superstar neuroscientist on a voyage of conscious discovery. A 1.5 kg brain tissue mass magically produces our individual view of the world, our myriad emotions, memories, associations and thoughts that make each of our lives unique. Why are neuroscientists only able to properly probe consciousness now? And what are we yet to discover? Come with an open mind... 

Hay Festival 2019

Hannah Critchlow

The Science of Fate: Why Your Future is More Predictable Than You Think

Hay Festival 2019, 

So many of us believe that we are free to shape our own destiny. But what if free will doesn’t exist? What if our lives are largely predetermined, hardwired in our brains, and our choices over what we eat, who we fall in love with, even what we believe are not real choices at all? Neuroscience is challenging everything we think we know about ourselves, revealing how we make decisions and form our own reality, unaware of the role of our unconscious minds.

Chaired by Bettany Hughes.

Hay Festival 2018

Helen Thomson

Unthinkable: An Extraordinary Journey Through the World’s Strangest Brains

Hay Festival 2018, 

The neuroscientist and writer explains how the mind works – from memory to emotion, navigation to creativity, through nine extraordinary case studies.

Hay Festival 2019

Jerry Brotton, Hannah Critchlow, Catherine Fletcher and Germaine Greer

Leonardo 500

Hay Festival 2019, 

We celebrate the 500th anniversary of the death of the incomparable Renaissance man – artist, scientist, inventor and lover. Brotton and Fletcher are Renaissance historians, Critchlow is a neuroscientist and Greer is a scholar and art historian. Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most inspiring figures of European history.

Hay Festival 2018

Rachel Lowe and Gemma Modinos

The Royal Society Platform: The Next Big Things

Hay Festival 2018, 

From planetary exploration and micro-sensors to tropical disease and psychosis, two Royal Society Research Fellows discuss their work at the forefront of science. Lowe’s research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine involves understanding how environmental and socio-economic factors interact to determine the risk of disease transmission. Modinos’ work at King’s College London attempts to understand the neural mechanisms of emotion and stress response in schizophrenia. Chaired by Hannah Critchlow.

Hay Festival 2019

Rosie Boycott, Hannah Critchlow, Fiona Fox, Bronwen Maddox and Magdalena Skipper

Nature 150 Platform: Separating Science Fact from Science Fiction

Hay Festival 2019, 

How do we guard against fake news about true science? President Trump tweeting “HIV is cured” isn’t anywhere close to the story. How do we ensure that the science that is published is robust and stands up to scrutiny as well as ensuring that this science is accurately and responsibly reported? Boycott is a cross-bench peer, who has edited both tabloid and broadsheet newspapers; Critchlow is a neuroscientist; Fox is Director of the Science Media Centre; Maddox is a journalist and Director of the Institute for Government; Skipper is Editor of the scientific journal Nature, which celebrates its 150th anniversary at Hay.

Hay Festival 2019

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore and Daniel Davis

The Royal Society Platform 1: Who We Are, and Why

Hay Festival 2019, 

A conversation between two of the most inspiring contemporary science writers. Davis’ The Beautiful Cure: Harnessing Your Body’s Natural Defences describes the scientific quest to understand how the immune system works – and how it is affected by stress, sleep, age and our state of mind. Blakemore’s Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain won the 2018 Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize. They talk to Hannah Critchlow.