Welcome to our Early Bird programme. The full programme will be released at the end of March.
Testosterone Rex: Unmaking the Myths of our Gendered minds
A timely contribution to the gender debate, psychologist and author Cordelia Fine overhauls the idea that a single molecule could rule the gender divide. Fine uses the latest scientific evidence to challenge – and ultimately overturn – dominant views on both masculinity and femininity, calling for readers to rethink their differences and play their part in closing the gender gap. Fine won the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize in 2017, joining Stephen Hawking, Andrea Wulf, Jared Diamond and Stephen Jay Gould on a winners’ list dedicated to the best in science writing. “The mistress of ‘It’s a bit more complicated than that’ delivers a brilliant and witty riposte to the ‘boys will be boys’ bores.” – Caroline Criado-Perez
In the classic literary tradition of Bruce Chatwin, Atkins offers a rich and exquisitely written account of travels in eight deserts on five continents that evokes the timeless allure of these remote and forbidding places. From the Gobi Desert and Taklamakan deserts of north-west China to the man-made desert of the Aral Sea in Kazakhstan and the Black Rock and Sonoran Deserts of the American south-west, each of Atkins’ travel narratives effortlessly weaves aspects of natural history, historical background and present-day reportage into a compelling tapestry that reveals the human appeal of these often inhuman landscapes.
The Oxford Professor of European Studies examines the best interests of the United Kingdom, the European Union, global trade and western democracy in this lecture, part of a series curated by Geraint Talfan Davies, who chairs. Garton Ash’s many books about world affairs include Freedom of Speech, The File, The Magic Lantern and Free World.
Every day, scientists make discoveries that shape our idea of who we are and where we are in the universe, but these theories often originated in the medium of science fiction. Before Stephen Hawking was talking about multiple universes, Douglas Adams was creating them in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. This fascinating conversation between CERN physicist Professor Akram Khan and author S. F. Said will explore the interaction between works of the imagination and cutting-edge science. Chaired by Anita Sethi.
Suicide is the biggest cause of death in men under 50. Kate Harding, a hospice doctor and part- time GP whose anaesthetist husband, Richard, committed suicide last year, explores the legacy that suicide leaves to those left behind. Along with Kate and other panellists, Benna Waites, Joint Head of Psychology in Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, looks at what sense can be made of this troubling loss of life, and what could be done to change it.
The great climber charts not only his many triumphs in the climbing world – from the Alps to the Eiger, and the Himalaya – but also the struggles he has faced in his life bringing up a family and maintaining a successful and loving marriage over the decades of travelling the world to conquer mountains. An evening with a legend.
As chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 campaign, Brazile had a front-row seat to the wildest, craziest, and most disturbing presidential race in American history. She was called to take over a party riven by scandal and allegations of corruption, and then thrust into the international spotlight after the DNC email system was hacked by the Russians, a brazen and wholly unprecedented attempt by a foreign power to influence a presidential election. She talks about the roles played by Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and President Obama with an insider’s knowledge and looks forward to the 2018 November mid-terms and the potential Democrat runners for 2020.
The Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson employs his trademark draughtsmanship and wit to this lively graphic novel adaptation of Marx and Engels’ revolutionary pamphlet. Published to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Marx’s birth, at a time of deep mistrust in The Establishment, The Communist Manifesto is both a timely reminder of the politics of hope and a thought-provoking guide to the most influential work of political theory ever published. He introduces his pictures and talks with the comedian Phill Jupitus.
A funny, frank conversation about embracing both feminism and our imperfections with the host of the hit comedy podcast The Guilty Feminist (22 million downloads). From confidence to the secret power of rom-coms, from effective activism to what poker can tell us about gender, Nat and Yassmin explore what it means to be a 21st century woman, and encourages us to make the world better for all women. guiltyfeminist.com
The wish to protect wildlife is now a central goal for our society, but where did these ‘green’ ideas come from? And who created the cherished institutions, such as the National Trust or the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, which are now so embedded in public life and attract millions of members? Cocker asks searching questions such as who owns the land and why? And who benefits from green policies? Why do the British seem to love their countryside more than almost any other nation, yet have come to live amid one of the most denatured landscapes on Earth? He tries to map out how this overcrowded island of ours could be a place fit not just for human occupants but also for its billions of wild citizens. Chaired by Andy Fryers.
This is the story of the celebrated poet Yrsa Daley-Ward, and all the things that happened – “even the Terrible Things (and God, there were Terrible Things)”. It’s about her childhood in the north-west of England with her beautiful, careworn mother Marcia, Linford (the man formerly known as Dad, “half-fun, half-frightening”) and her little brother Roo, who sees things written in the stars. It’s about growing up and discovering the power and fear of her own sexuality, of pitch grey days of pills and powder and encounters. It’s about damage and pain, but also joy. Told with raw intensity, shocking honesty and the poetry of the darkest of fairy tales, The Terrible is a memoir of going under, losing yourself, and finding your voice.
The Show of Hands success story tells a vivid account of more than two decades of international touring, 25 album releases, three BBC Folk Awards, and four Royal Albert Hall sell-outs. A sorcerous combination, Steve Knightley, Phil Beer and Miranda Sykes blend captivating songwriting with flawless musicianship and a ceaselessly innovative approach to remain steadfastly at the top of their game. Expect the songs you love, and prepare to fall for the ones you’ve not yet met. “Formidable operators…a class act.” – The Independent.
Brexit. Trump. Nuclear apocalypse. Environmental catastrophe. Is rolling news affecting your ability to enjoy the simple things? Like baking, gardening and autoerotic asphyxiation?
Then this new show from multi-award winning member of the Metropolitan Liberal Elite, and star of her own Netflix special, is for you. Join Bridget (Room 101, Have I Got News for You, Harry Hill’s Alien Fun Capsule) for a night of hope and despair. Winner of Rose D’Or, Edinburgh Comedy Award and Southbank Sky Arts Award.
Pale Sister, written by Colm Tóibín for the great Beckett actress Lisa Dwan, is a dramatisation of the voice of Ismene, the sister of Antigone, who recounts her sister's defiance of the king as pressures mount on Ismene herself to act to vindicate her sister, or even follow her example. It arises from The Antigone Project, a course taught at Columbia University by Dwan and Tóibín, which examined the ways in which this story – a woman’s powerlessness emerging as power, conscience versus law, defiance versus might, protest versus order, individual versus authority. It runs for one hour and 15 minutes and will be followed by a discussion.
Wake up and re-energise with our morning yoga class. Iyengar yoga is characterised by precision, alignment and attention to detail and is an inclusive and accessible yoga practice. Mats are provided; wear comfortable clothing; all abilities welcome.
The Cold War is one of the furthest-reaching and longest-lasting conflicts in modern history. It spanned the globe - from Greece to China, Hungary to Cuba - and lasted for almost half a century. It has shaped political relations to this day, drawing new physical and ideological boundaries between East and West, that have suddenly and dramatically resurfaced with Russian resurgence and interventions. Kendall was foreign correspondent for the BBC in Moscow during the collapse of the Soviet Union. Formerly the BBC's diplomatic correspondent, she is now Master of Peterhouse College, Cambridge.
Sixty-six million years ago the dinosaurs were wiped from the face of the earth. One of the leading scientists of a new generation of dinosaur hunters, armed with cutting edge-technology, is piecing together the complete story of how the dinosaurs ruled the earth for 150 million years. At a time when Homo sapiens has existed for less than 200,000 years and we are already talking about planetary extinction, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is a timely reminder of what humans can learn from the magnificent creatures that ruled the earth before us. Chaired by Gabrielle Walker.
An all-star panel gather to talk about birth rights, inequality, working motherhood, (lack of) diversity in (social) media, body image and post-natal depression, physical extremity and joy. Brathwaite is the co-founder of Make Motherhood Diverse, Schiller is director of Birthrights, the human rights in childbirth charity, Telford is creator of the parenting site Mother of all Lists, Thorn is a Scummy Mummy and Burton-Hill is a broadcaster and writer.