To watch Hay Festival Digital 2020 please subscribe to Hay Player.
Four exceptional innovators in the field of vaccination introduce their work on some of the world's biggest medical challenges, and discuss the scope and scale of vaccine development and its importance for global health.
Dr Julia Fan Li is CEO of Micrographia Bio, a London-based venture backed company working at the intersection of software and biology. Our proprietary technology mines multidimensional data acquired during pharmaceutical research. Whereas traditional drug discovery asks the question: “which of these million molecules can cure this specific disease?” We ask the opposite question: "given this specific chemical compound, which disease is it best suited to cure?". By mapping each chemical to its true activity, we are engineering the chemical atlas for modern drug discovery. If Micrographia had existed 12 months ago, we would have a potential therapeutic candidate for COVID-19 in real time.
Samir Ali Khan [2007 - https://www.gatescambridge.org/members-area/connect/directory/scholar/6082] did his PhD in Pharmacology. Co-founder of Lighthouse Innovations: an Oxford-based innovation and access strategy house advising health start-ups and entrepreneurs on market access, pricing and payer value strategy within and beyond the NHS in the UK. Samir has previously advised top 10 FTSE global life sciences and healthcare companies and >50 start-ups on market access strategy for drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and AI. He is also a co-inventor of a vaccine candidate for Hepatitis E in India and drug targets in neurological and cardiovascular diseases in the UK.
Emma Glennon is an infectious disease epidemiologist who examines why new diseases emerge, working at the intersections of ecology, data science, and the social and economic determinants of disease. She is interested in how technology in an unequal world can counteract or contribute to the spread of disease. She has worked on epidemiological research and outbreak response around the world, including in the UK, India, Australia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Dan Storisteanu is a co-founder of Simprints, where he focuses on research, testing, and deployment of a biometric system for global health applications. In his work with another Cambridge start-up, DIOSynVax, Dan supports efforts to develop Ebola, influenza, and Covid vaccines. He is a Research Fellow at Darwin College, University of Cambridge and a Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur.
Dan Davis is Professor of Immunology at the University of Manchester and author of The Beautiful Cure.
In the bestselling tradition of Stuff Matters and The Disappearing Spoon: a clever and engaging look at materials, the innovations they made possible, and how these technologies changed us. In The Alchemy of Us, scientist and science writer Ainissa Ramirez examines eight inventions-clocks, steel rails, copper communication cables, photographic film, light bulbs, hard disks, scientific labware, and silicon chips-and reveals how they shaped the human experience. Ramirez tells the stories of the woman who sold time, the inventor who inspired Edison, and the hotheaded undertaker whose invention pointed the way to the computer. She describes, among other things, how our pursuit of precision in timepieces changed how we sleep; how the railroad helped commercialize Christmas; how the necessary brevity of the telegram influenced Hemingway's writing style; and how a young chemist exposed the use of Polaroid's cameras to create passbooks to track black citizens in apartheid South Africa. These fascinating and inspiring stories offer new perspectives on our relationships with technologies. Ramirez shows not only how materials were shaped by inventors but also how those materials shaped culture, chronicling each invention and its consequences-intended and unintended.
Ainissa Ramirez is a materials scientist and sought-after public speaker and science communicator. A Brown and Stanford graduate, she has worked as a research scientist at Bell Labs and held academic positions at Yale University and MIT. She has written for Time, Scientific American, the American Scientist, and Forbes, and makes regular appearances on PBS's SciTech Now.
The historian explores the isolations and protections of our current situation in a time of Coronavirus, and reflects on the clear and present dangers to society and the world.
China’s history is one of the richest and most thrilling narratives in the world. At a time when anti-Chinese feeling is rising across the globe, even in the UK, it is all the more important to see China from its own point of view- a big theme of this year’s “Imagine the World” Hay Festival. In this talk Michael Wood previews his forthcoming book, The Story of China: A Portrait of a Civilisation and its People: a riveting grand sweep narrative which is the product of four decades of travel and filming in China. Packed with big ideas, landscape and travel, and peoples' stories, it depicts Chinese history from multiple viewpoints, from clan histories and oral reminiscences, poetry and letters, village diaries, personal memoirs and imperial memoranda, along with the latest archaeological finds, telling a story of intense drama, fabulous creativity, and deep humanity.
Film maker broadcaster and historian, Michael is the author of many highly praised books including the Sunday Times Number One bestsellers In Search of the Trojan War, Domesday and In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great. He has also made some 120 documentary films, which have been seen around the world, among them The Story of India (’the gold standard of documentary history making” - Wall Street Journal) and The Story of England ( ‘the most innovative history series ever made for TV' -Independent). Michael is Professor of Public History at Manchester University.
Do busier hospitals have higher survival rates? How many trees are there on the planet? Why do old men have big ears? David Spiegelhalter reveals the answers to these and many other questions - questions that can only be addressed using statistical science.
Statistics has played a leading role in our scientific understanding of the world for centuries, yet we are all familiar with the way statistical claims can be sensationalised, particularly in the media. In the age of big data, as data science becomes established as a discipline, a basic grasp of statistical literacy is more important than ever.
In The Art of Statistics, David Spiegelhalter guides the reader through the essential principles we need in order to derive knowledge from data. Drawing on real world problems to introduce conceptual issues, he shows us how statistics can help us determine the luckiest passenger on the Titanic, whether serial killer Harold Shipman could have been caught earlier, and if screening for ovarian cancer is beneficial. Chaired by Rosie Boycott.
'Shines a light on how we can use the ever-growing deluge of data to improve our understanding of the world' – Nature.
A festival special preview of the new novel published later this year by the Booker-winning author of Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha, and the Barrytown Trilogy.
One summer’s evening, two men meet up in a Dublin restaurant.
Old friends, now married and with grown-up children, their lives have taken seemingly similar paths. But Joe has a secret he has to tell Davy, and Davy, a grief he wants to keep from Joe. Both are not the men they used to be. Neither Davy nor Joe know what the night has in store, but as two pints turns to three, then five, and the men set out to revisit the haunts of their youth, the ghosts of Dublin entwine around them. Their first buoyant forays into adulthood, the pubs, the parties, broken hearts and bungled affairs, as well as the memories of what eventually drove them apart.
As the two friends try to reconcile their versions of the past over the course of one night, Love offers up a delightfully comic, yet moving portrait of the many forms love can take throughout our lives.
The superstar physicist thinks about the nature of time and our emotions. He reflects upon his native Italy’s response to the coronavirus; and on what we really fear - the fact we may all die.
Rovelli is a theoretical physicist who has made significant contributions to the physics of space and time. He has worked in Italy and the US, and is currently directing the quantum gravity research group of the Centre de physique théorique in Marseille, France. His books Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Reality Is Not What It Seems, and The Order of Time are international bestsellers which have been translated into forty-one languages. Chaired by John Mitchinson.