We are pleased to announce the full programme for Hay Festival 2018.
Was Diana killed by the Secret Services? Is climate change a hoax? Did man not walk on the moon? Who shot JFK? Drawing on a nationwide survey about belief in conspiracy theories, Drochon will explore what factors –religious, economic, political – make some and not others believe in conspiracy theories and what impact that has had on contemporary political events. Drochon is a political theorist and historian of modern political thought.
A persuasive and inspiring argument exploring the subject matter of his radical and brilliant book Lost Connections. Across the world, Hari found social scientists who were uncovering evidence that depression and anxiety are not caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, as we are often told. In fact, they are largely caused by key problems with the way we live today. Once he had uncovered nine real causes of depression and anxiety, they led him to scientists who are discovering seven very different solutions – ones that work.
Adam, an editor at Nature, explores the ground-breaking neuroscience of cognitive enhancement that is changing the way the brain and the mind works – to make it better, sharper, more focused and, yes, more intelligent. Sharing his own experiments with revolutionary smart drugs and electrical stimulation, he delves into the sinister history of intelligence tests, meets savants and brain hackers, and reveals how he boosted his own IQ to cheat his way into Mensa.
Drawing on her research about human rights reporting in the digital age, the Co-Director of the Centre of Governance and Human Rights at the University of Cambridge argues that digital fakery’s consequences for democracy arise not because we are duped, but because of what we do to not be duped. Chaired by Rachael Jolley, editor of Index on Censorship.
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.
When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming a grown-up, journalist and former Sunday Times dating columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir, she vividly recounts falling in love, wrestling with self-sabotage, finding a job, throwing a socially disastrous Rod-Stewart-themed house party, getting drunk, getting dumped, realising that Ivan from the corner shop is the only man you've ever been able to rely on, and finding that that your mates are always there at the end of every messy night out. Alderton’s captivating memoir is about bad dates, good friends and – above all else – about recognising that you and you alone are enough.
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. They discuss why men might be vulnerable and how communities might rise to the challenge of male suicide. Benna Waites, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, facilitates.
In troubling times, it’s tempting to retreat to our comfort zones, to be with people just like us. But what if actively seeking the unfamiliar was proven to be the key to a brighter future – both personally and for society at large? In this fierce, empowering call to arms, Sarpong uncovers how a new approach to how we work, learn and live can help us reach our maximum potential, lessen the pressure on the State and solve some of the most stubborn challenges we face.
It is as old as Adam and Eve: who’s to blame? Who’s innocent and praiseworthy? Apter discusses why these questions are not reserved just for big moral issues, but inform daily interactions with our family, our partner, our best friends and our bosses. She also shows that how we praise and blame our children, our colleagues, our friends and our partners may sustain or break our relationships with them. Apter is a psychologist, writer and Fellow of Newnham College. Chaired by Sameer Rahim of Prospect magazine.
This series of novels, written by the artist-in-residence in Psychology at University of Cambridge, explores the subjective experience of thinking and the fundamental role that storytelling plays in understanding our past and determining our futures. Clayton is Professor of Comparative Cognition.
It’s not surprising that how we look matters in an increasingly visual and virtual world. Whether you get 'likes' or make a good first impression matters and the pressure to be perfect is something which young men and women increasingly feel. Indeed body dissatisfaction and anxiety are so prevalent that we regard them as normal. The extent of such anxiety is in part explained by recognising the ethical nature of the beauty ideal. Individuals increasingly judge themselves and others according to whether they measure up in the beauty stakes, and feel like failures if they do not. The University of Birmingham’s John Ferguson Professor of Global Ethics explores the ethical nature of the beauty ideal to make sense of why such feelings run so deep.
Comedian, writer and performer Ruby Wax, with some help from monk Gelong Thubten and neuroscientist Ash Ranpura, has delved deeply into what it means to be human in an age obsessed with the latest technology. She now provides a manual to upgrade our minds so that they don’t get left behind. In this event Ruby, Ash and Thubten talk about brains, bodies and mindfulness.
Growing up in a violent household is one of the most traumatic experiences a child can go through. It can leave a lifetime of problems affecting education, relationships and everyday activities. Survivors and experts talk about how they used their experiences for positive change and how society can help lead transformation for the future. Frances Howie, Director of Public Health at Worcestershire County Council, is in the chair.
There is a burgeoning literature on end-of-life writing, on grief, bereavement and memorial. Edmund de Waal talks about mortality and how it is reflected across different genres and art-forms from the poetry of Anne Carson and Max Porter, the memoirs of Paul Kalanithi and Marion Coutts, to the writings of Atul Gawande and Julia Samuel. He will also discuss his own porcelain installations and collaborations that explore ideas of memorial. The Wellcome Book Prize lecture aims to celebrate the place of medicine, science and the stories of illness in literature, arts and culture, and how these stories add to our understanding of what it means to be human. Edmund De Waal, chair of judges for the 2018 prize, is an artist and writer, author of The Hare with the Amber Eyes and The White Road.
Louisa first met Robert Lockhart when they were both 17. Their stop-start romance lasted decades, in which time he became a celebrated composer and she, an acclaimed novelist. Always snapping at their heels was Robert’s alcoholism, a helpless, ferocious dependency that affected his personality before crippling and finally, despite five years of hard-won sobriety, killing him.
Young’s other books include My Dear I Wanted to Tell You, The Heroes’ Welcome and Devotion.
The great England cricket captain, in later life a psychoanalyst, talks about the game, the players and the gentlemen. He is the author of The Art of Captaincy and On Form.
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 writers look at how 'prescribing nature' and a daily dose of wildness can help our mental health, and explore themes of nature deprivation and social isolation. Isabel Hardman, assistant editor of The Spectator, found relief from depression in being outdoors (and is author of the forthcoming The Natural Health Service: What the Great Outdoors can do for Your Mind), talks with Patrick Barkham, author of Badgerlands, Coastlines and Islander. They are joined by Rob Pickford, Chair of Wildlife Trust Wales. After the conversation there will be a a walk around a flagship Brecknock nature reserve, Pwll-y-Wrach, led by Gwent Wildlife Trust CEO Ian Rappel, in the Black Mountains.