Why can some people achieve greatness when others can't, no matter how hard they try? What are the secrets of long life and happiness? The New Scientist Managing Editor takes us on a tour of the peaks of human achievement. Drawing on interviews with a wide range of superhumans as well as those who study them, Hooper assesses the science of peak potential, reviewing the role of genetics alongside the famed 10,000 hours of practice.
Suicide is the biggest cause of death in men under 50. Andy Bradley, founder of Frameworks 4 Change, recognised by the Observer and NESTA as one of Britain’s Most Radical Thinkers, talks about his own experience of depression and suicidality, and explores the role of shame. Sarah Stone is currently Executive Director for Wales for Samaritans. Luke Woodley is a British Army veteran who has pieced his life back together having developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after serving under the UN in Bosnia in 1993. Dr Roger Kingerlee is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist in the NHS and specialises in addressing male defence mechanisms, engaging male civilians and military veterans in care, and suicide prevention.
They discuss why men might be vulnerable and how communities might rise to the challenge of male suicide. Benna Waites, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, facilitates.
One of the most versatile broadcasters currently in the UK, multiple award-winning Gemma started her career at BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra and has since become a BBC Radio 6 Music and Radio 4 firm favourite. She has also hosted the Glastonbury Festival coverage and BBC Music Awards. Her first book, Open: A Toolkit For How Magic and Messed Up Life Can Be was published in 2017. With her prolific music background and love of disco dancing, Gemma will grace the decks at Hay this year, spinning her famous multi genre party set including ole skool, hip-hop, garage and '90s classics, peppered with pop bangers and perhaps some Motown and soul… Who knows what will happen? Come and find out.
Hardy is in his fourth decade as a stand-up this year. That’s a more dramatic way of saying he started 33 years ago and, without a lottery win, probably has at least another 33 years to go. The tenth series of Jeremy Hardy Speaks to the Nation was broadcast on Radio 4. He is also well known for his appearances on The News Quiz and I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. “In an ideal world, Jeremy Hardy would be extremely famous, but an ideal world would leave him without most of his best material” - Guardian.
Innovative British singer-songwriter, two-time Mercury Prize nominee and two-time MOBO award winner, Laura Mvula grew up in Birmingham. She first sang in church and later with all female acapella group Black Voices. By 2008 she had formed and was composing for her own jazz/neo-soul outfit Judyshouse. Her debut album Sing to the Moon was released in 2013 and garnered multiple award nominations and critical acclaim. Discussing her follow-up, 2016 album The Dreaming Room the Guardian described how Mvula “pulls the listener along with her through the most serpentine songs: however, winding their routes, the melodies are almost always beautiful.” Her live gigs are joyful, soulful, and unforgettable.
Britain’s best-loved performance poet will share stories from his remarkable life. He befriended Nelson Mandela, fought in the 1980s race riots and recorded radical and relevant reggae music with Bob Marley’s former band. In a compelling and inspiring show, Zephaniah will explain how he fought injustice and discrimination to lead a remarkable life, while sharing a selection of favourite stories and poems.
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. Wye Valley Yoga
What is the best Booker winner? To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the fiction prize, five judges have each selected what they think is the best winner of each decade since 1968. The shortlist result will be announced at Hay on 26 May. Wood, the Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, hosts an all-star panel who will have read the shortlisted books and will pick a Hay winner. Sands won the non-fiction Baillie Gifford Prize for East West Street. Turkish author Shafak’s novels include Honour, The Forty Rules of Love and Three Daughters of Eve. The Colombian novelist Gabriel Vasquez won the Premio Alfaguara and the IMPAC award for The Sound of Things Falling. His latest novel is The Shape of the Ruins.
Imagine a future in which humans fundamentally reshape the natural world using nanotechnology, synthetic biology, de-extinction and climate engineering. Emerging technologies promise to give us the power to take over some of nature’s most basic operations. It is not just that we are exiting the Holocene and entering the Anthropocene; it is that we are leaving behind the time in which planetary change is just the unintended consequence of unbridled industrialism. The philosophy professor argues that a world designed by engineers and technicians means the birth of the planet’s first Synthetic Age. Chaired by Gabrielle Walker.
A rare interview with the former Prime Minister of Israel, the most decorated soldier in his country’s history and author of a new memoir. Barak is a fierce proponent of a two-state solution for a lasting peace with Palestinians, with a shared capital in Jerusalem. He reflects on the current state of the peace process, on Israeli, Arab and American politicians and on the opportunities that are still available.
Bronwen Maddox is the director of The Institute for Government. She was previously editor of Prospect and Foreign Editor of The Times.
Can art and business coexist, or does a drive for profit lead to the end of creative integrity? From art to literature, fashion to ceramics, four creative pioneers discuss the tensions between art and the corporate world with former Minister for Culture, Ed Vaizey, jewellery designer Theo Fennell, economist Linda Yueh, Jo Jo Maman Bebe founder Laura Tenison and curator at The Wedgwood Museum Gaye Blake-Roberts.
The Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford leads a walk through ancient woodland at Whitney-on-Wye talking about her acclaimed book, The Long, Long Life of Trees, a lyrical tribute to the diversity of trees, drawing on material from folklore, natural science, literature, cultural history, European art, ancient mythology and modern medicine to illuminate each tree’s central place in Western civilisation. Walk accompanied by naturalist and forester Tom Fairfield and Lydia Robbins.
Join the author and illustrator for a dinosaur event with a difference. Hear Rob talk about how he became a children’s author and illustrator, listen to him read from his latest book and take part in creating some dinosaurs of your own.
What does it take to be a Dragonsitter? Could you be one? This is your opportunity to find out. Join the author and illustrator to learn about The Dragonsitter series in a fun-filled event packed full of storytelling and live-drawing.
Come to our extraordinary hand-writing workshop. Learn all there is to know about the science behind ink and quills, make your own colours from vegetables, follow the trail of ink on paper with chromatography and lose yourself in the realm of optical illusions and STEM.
Create the wildest creature you can imagine and make it come to life and run loose over the Hay Festival site in this exciting digital animation and projection workshop. You will design your own 2D digital creature on an iPad and animate it, then you’ll learn about video mapping and projection and have a chance to see your creations projected 30ft high. In the evening MASH Cinema will be in guerrilla mode projecting your monsters all over the Festival site and we'll make a film of the projections that will be available to watch later.
Come to this family and children's nature adventure session run by Rooted Forest School in the Hay Festival Wild Garden. Join in a range of outdoor, Forest School-inspired activities including nature games, natural crafts and making, fire skills, foraging and cooking.
(parents must attend but do not require a ticket)
Join Sophy for a storytelling session and live draw-along where children will learn how to depict some of the adorable animal characters from her book Almost Anything, and then make their own magic hats; materials provided.
The eminent neurologist examines the stories of people whose symptoms are so strange that even their doctor struggles to know how to treat them. A man who sees cartoon characters running across the room; a teenager who one day arrives home with inexplicably torn clothes; a girl whose world turns all Alice in Wonderland; another who transforms into a ragdoll whenever she even thinks about moving. The brain is the most complex structure in the universe and neurologists must puzzle out life-changing diagnoses from the tiniest of clues – it’s the ultimate in medical detective work. O’Sullivan’s book about psychosomatic illness, It’s All in Your Head, won both the Wellcome Book Prize and the Royal Society of Biology Book Prize. She talks to Rosie Boycott.