The full programme is available for this year’s festival, 25 May to 4 June. We very much look forward to seeing you in Hay.
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An hour of the most important speeches and sonnets written by the greatest writer of all time.
The journalist and war historian links tales of high courage ashore, at sea and in the air to the work of the brilliant boffins at home, battling the enemy’s technology. Most of the strivings, adventures and sacrifices of spies, Resistance, Special Forces and even of the code-breakers were wasted, Hastings says, but a fraction was so priceless that no nation begrudged lives and treasure spent in the pursuit of jewels of knowledge. The book tells stories of high policy and human drama, illuminating the fantastic machinations of secret war.
The Professor of Gerontology and Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing looks at population trends to highlight the key issues facing us in the coming decades, including the demographic inertia in Europe, demographic dividend in Asia, high fertility and mortality in Africa, the youth bulge in the Middle East, and the balancing act of migration in the Americas. Harper analyses the global challenges we must plan for, such as the impact of climate change and urbanisation, and the difficulty of feeding 10 billion people. She considers ways in which we can prepare for and mitigate against these challenges.
We know we need money. We tend to want more of it. But why do we behave the way we do with it? And why does it have such a hold on us? Award-winning BBC Radio 4 presenter Claudia Hammond delves into the surprising psychology of money to show us that our relationship with the stuff is more complex than we might think. Exploring the latest research in psychology, neuroscience, biology and behavioural economics, she also reveals some simple and effective tricks that will help you think about, use and save money better: from how being grumpy helps if you don’t want to be ripped off to why you should opt for the more expensive pain relief; from how to shop for a new laptop to why you should never offer to pay your friends for favours.
Long regarded as an impossible dream, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now a reality. Advances in AI regularly make headline news, and the steady advance of AI looks set to change our world dramatically. In this lecture (aimed at anyone from age 16 up), Professor Michael Wooldridge explains the reality of AI today: what makes AI work after half a century of effort, what is possible, and what the implications are for all of us. Wooldridge is Head of Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford. He is one of the world’s most cited AI scientists, and chairs the European Association for AI.
Tony Bianchi won the Prose Medal at the National Eisteddfod last summer for his novel Dwy Farwolaeth Endaf Rowlands! He was brought up in Tyneside speaking only Geordie English. Alys Conran is from north Wales; her first novel Pigeon is in English and published simultaneously in Welsh. Wil Roberts is almost a monoglot Welshman; his prize-winning novels Petrograd and Paris are set in revolutionary Russia and France and are being translated into English with a Pen England Award. Welsh fiction in English and Welsh is in flux; Lleucu Siencyn from Literature Wales asks why and how.
At the end of 10 days of ideas about Britain and Europe, about union and independence, self-interest and security, identity and vision, festival guests argue the ins and outs and we stage a counted vote. Does the audience at Hay want to be part of the EU or not?
Maldives was the first country to experience the Arab Spring with a new democracy in place in 2008. A military coup in February 2012 deposed the President, Mohamed Nasheed. He was tried, found guilty of domestic terrorism charges and jailed for 13 years in March 2015. The proceedings were criticised by the UN and Amnesty International for being politically motivated and arbitrary. Nasheed, currently in the UK on medical leave from prison, continues to vigorously deny the charges and calls for the release of all political prisoners held under the Yameen Government. We discuss the political situation in Maldives, the implications for the wider region, and lessons learned for other Arab Spring countries. Farah Faizal was the High Commissioner in London. J J Robinson is the author of The Maldives: Islamic Republic, Tropical Autocracy. Chaired by Jon Snow.
Rightly celebrated for iconic works such as ‘Adiemus' and 'The Armed Man', Sir Karl Jenkins is now the most-performed living composer in the world, with 17 gold and platinum disc awards. In 2015 he became the first Welsh-born composer to receive a knighthood for services to composing and crossing musical genres. His is one of the most versatile careers in modern music, from a modest upbringing in Penclawdd to the 1960s London jazz scene, the prog-rock band Soft Machine and his huge success in the world of 1980s advertising, composing for brands such as Levi’s, BA and Renault. In 1995 his composition ‘Adiemus’, combini
The sensationally successful historical novelist tells the tale of the game of thrones that were the Wars of the Roses. Ravenspur is the latest in the series that includes Stormbird, Trinity and Bloodline.
The story of Rowland Vaughan and his waterworks provides an insight both into an eager and imaginative but rather litigious family man and into his understanding of the benefits of irrigating farmland and managing floodwater. Such thinking was very new at the end of the Elizabethan era. The extensive field work carried out by the Golden Valley Study Group shows in great detail the traces of Vaughan’s meticulous design for his water management system in the Golden Valley in Herefordshire, still clearly discernible in the landscape today – the very gradual gradients, the gentle curves of the spreader channels, the capacity to set water flowing either up or down the main channel (the Trench Royal) as required, and the groundworks in the meadows themselves.
University of Birmingham series
At the conclusion of the Millennium Development Goals, Ban Ki Moon proclaimed that the MDGs had lifted more than a billion people out of extreme poverty. The standard narrative is that global poverty reduction proceeds apace across the globe and in just a few years very few people will be living in extreme poverty. No. While there has been progress in many spheres of life, global poverty counts are plagued by methodological problems that make any pronouncements on the impending end of global poverty highly dubious. And even according to these flawed measures, almost all the reduction in global poverty is due to growth in China. Wisor is Deputy Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Ethics at the University of Birmingham.
The great percussionist makes her Hay debut with an audio narrative that details nearly 100 scientific discoveries made over the past 10,000 years. In this unmissable event, audiences will hear the extraordinary story of how humans have changed the world, from the first stone tools through to the discovery of Newton’s laws of motion and gravity, the nuclear age and beyond. The WhatOnEarth historian and festival favourite introduces some of the moments featured here using a giant timeline of more than 1,000 inventions. “Throughout the music the piece awakens us to sounds that trigger memories we may have forgotten in our everyday cacophony of sounds. Sounds depicting significant moments in history including the discovery of fire, carving the wheel, connecting us via telephone.” – Evelyn Glennie.
The big actor yarns a riotous journey from his childhood, growing up the son of a miner in Goldthorpe, to finding fame in Z-Cars. He falls for Katharine Hepburn on the set of The Trojan Women, suffers wires strapped around his wotsits as he was hoisted into the heavens on Flash Gordon, almost causes an international incident when meeting the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and wins round George Lucas to get the role of Boss Nass on Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. He punches Harold Pinter, loves and hates Peter O’Toole, woos his beautiful wife Hildegard Neil and braves the shocking death toll on cosy TV drama My Family and Other Animals. Then he climbs Everest.
In a grand finale to our 29th festival, the Welsh legends sing a concert of solos and duets by Purcell, Mozart, Obradors, Clara Schumann, Finzi, Quilter and Meirion Williams.