Hay Festival Digital #Imaginetheworld

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Event 3

Naomi Oreskes talks to Nick Stern

The British Academy Lecture: Why Trust Science

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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Do doctors really know what they are talking about when they tell us vaccines are safe? Should we take climate experts at their word when they warn us about the perils of global warming?  Oreskes shows how consensus is a crucial indicator of when a scientific matter has been settled, and when the knowledge produced is likely to be trustworthy.

Naomi Oreskes is professor of the history of science and affiliated professor of Earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University. Her books include The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future and Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. Oreskes is on Twitter @NaomiOreskes

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Event 9

Erika Stockholm, Jemma Wadham and Raul Loayza Murotalk to Andy Fryers

TRANS.MISSION II: In hot water - Peruvian glacial retreat and its impact on water security

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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Hay Festival and the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) present Trans.MISSION II, a new global project pairing leading environmental researchers with award-winning storytellers to communicate cutting-edge science to new audiences.

The Peruvian strand of the project features Peruvian writer Erika Stockholm, Professor Jemma Wadham from the University of Bristol Cabot Institute, Dr Raul Loayza Muro from Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Peru and a team of glaciology experts. Jemma researches hydrological and biogeochemical processes that occur within glacier and ice sheet systems and in their fore fields, which have a potential regional or global impact. Erika Stockholm is a writer, theatre producer and actress and President of the Asociación Cultural ¡Al teatro por primera vez!.

Using Professor Wadham’s work as inspiration, Erika created a story to spotlight Peruvian glacial retreat and its impact on water security and resilience to natural hazards. The story is called "Glacier Shallap - or the sad tale of a dying glacier" and it can be watched here.

At a time of unprecedented public interest in how human actions affect the environment, Trans.MISSION II pairs NERC researchers from Peru, Colombia and the UK with artists and storytellers in each country to create new stories about ongoing research projects.

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Event 14

Sally Davies

The John Maddox Lecture - The Drugs Don't Work

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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Antibiotics add, on average, twenty years to our lives. For over seventy years, since the manufacture of penicillin in 1943, we have survived extraordinary operations and life-threatening infections. We are so familiar with these wonder drugs that we take them for granted. The truth is that we have been abusing them: as patients, as doctors, as travellers, in our food. No new class of antibacterial has been discovered for twenty six years and the bugs are fighting back. If we do not take responsibility now, in a few decades we may start dying from the most commonplace of operations and ailments that can today be treated easily.

Professor Dame Sally C. Davies was the Chief Medical Officer for England and the first woman to hold the post. She holds a number of international advisory positions and is Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. Introduced by Magdalena Skipper, Editor in Chief of Nature.

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Event 18

Paul Dolan and Magdalena Skipper talk to Rosie Boycott

Covid-19: What do we mean when we say we're guided by the Science?

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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What are the medical imperatives? What are the dangers of the virus, isolation, domestic abuse, mental health crises and poverty? By focusing on the most vulnerable and elderly, are we doubling down on generational injustice? The behavioural economist Paul Dolan, author of Happy Ever After discusses the societal pressures and implications with Magdalena Skipper, the editor of Nature magazine.

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Event 19

Naomi Millner, Ted Feldpausch and Juan Cárdenas in conversation with Andy Fryers

TRANS.MISSION II: The history of life - understanding the natural resources of Colombia

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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Hay Festival and the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) present Trans.MISSION II, a new global project pairing leading environmental researchers with award-winning storytellers to communicate cutting-edge science to new audiences.

The Colombian strand of the project features Colombian writer and activist Juan Cárdenas and a team of experts led by Dr Naomi Milner and Dr Ted Feldpausch. Using the research work as inspiration, Juan has created a piece of creative writing to communicate the socio-ecological systems within Colombia and their response to environmental change. Dr Naomi Millner is Lecturer in Human Geography at  the University of Bristol and is working on one of three linked research projects under The Exploring & Understanding Colombian Bio Resources programme. Dr Ted Feldpausch is an Associate Professor at the University of Exeter whose research focuses on tropical forest and savanna ecology. Juan Cárdenas is a writer, creative writing teacher and activist who has worked extensively with Afrocolombian and indigenous communities mapping oral traditions. 

The story that Juan created using the research is called “Espiral” and can be watched here

At a time of unprecedented public interest in how human actions affect the environment, Trans.MISSION II pairs NERC researchers from Peru, Colombia and the UK with artists and storytellers in each country to create new stories about ongoing research projects.

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Event 21

Adam Rutherford

How to Argue with a Racist

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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The great deceit of evolution is that it has bestowed characteristics upon us that are visible but not meaningful. We are obsessed with categorisation, plagued by an innate and tyrannous desire to group things together, and this includes one another. One of the easiest ways is by skin colour, but as Adam Rutherford shows this is a terrible way to categorise people. The way we talk about race is not reflected in our modern understanding of the genetic basis of human variation. 'Black' is an identifier that says very little about the similarities of billions of people apart from a very imprecise reference to pigmentation. Variation in skin tone predated humans' emergence in Africa and is moderated by a handful of genes out of 20,000. And - crucially - there is more genetic diversity within Africa than in the rest of the world put together. These are scientifically uncontroversial things to say. Yet scientific racism is back, and increasingly part of the public discourse on politics, migration, education, sport and intelligence. How to Argue with a Racist is a short, crisp manifesto for a 21st-century understanding of human evolution and variation, and a timely weapon against the use of science to justify bigotry.

Rutherford presents BBC Radio 4’s weekly programme Inside Science, and with Dr. Hannah Fry, The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry. He has written and presented several award winning television documentaries, including The Cell (2009), The Gene Code (2011), the Beauty of Anatomy (2014), and Playing God, on the rise of synthetic biology for the BBC’s long-running science series Horizon. His first book, Creation was shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize. 

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Event 23

Afua Hirsch

The Christopher Hitchens Lecture

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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What is the future of journalism in our newly wrangled world? Hirsch is Wallis Annenberg Chair at The University of Southern California. She is the author of Brit(ish) and Equal to Everything, and hosts the About The British Empire podcast on audible. She writes for the Guardian, and broadcasts internationally. Chaired by Rosie Boycott.

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Event 39

Devi Sridhar

The Covid-19 Pandemic

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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An exacting analysis of the responses to the covid-19 pandemic from one of the world's most respected experts. Professor Sridhar is chair of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, and co-author with Chelsea Clinton of Governing Global Health: Who Runs the World and Why? Chaired by Daniel Davis.

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Event 41

Daniel Davis

Immunity & covid-19

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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The immune system holds the key to human health, and is perhaps the greatest asset we have in dealing with the coronavirus. In The Beautiful Cure, leading immunologist Professor Daniel Davis describes the scientific quest to understand how it works – and how it is affected by stress, sleep, age and our state of mind. He explains how this knowledge is now unlocking a revolutionary new approach to medicine and well-being, and what we are discovering about our natural ability to cope with the covid-19 pandemic.

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Event 45

James Peebles

Cosmology's Century

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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A spectacularly illustrated lecture by the Nobel Prize-winning physicist P. J. E. Peebles, tells the story of cosmology from Einstein to today. Modern cosmology began a century ago with Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity and his notion of a homogenous, philosophically satisfying cosmos. Cosmology's Century is the story of how generations of scientists built on these thoughts and many new measurements to arrive at a well-tested physical theory of the structure and evolution of our expanding universe.

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Event 47

Dan Storisteanu, Julia Fan Li, Emma Glennon and Samir Ali Khan, chaired by Dan Davis

Vaccination - Future of Global Health

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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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.

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Event 49

Ainissa Ramirez

The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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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.

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Event 52

David Spiegelhalter

The Art of Statistics

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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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

THE CROWDCAST REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT IS FULL. WE WILL BE STREAMING IT LIVE ON OUR OVERFLOW YOUTUBE PAGE - HERE

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Event 54

Carlo Rovelli

The Order of Time

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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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.

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Event 55

David Jarrett talks to Guto Harri

33 Meditations on Death: Notes from the Wrong End of Medicine

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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What is a good death? How would you choose to live your last few months? How do we best care for the rising tide of very elderly?

In a series of reflections on death in all its forms: the science of it, the medicine, the tragedy and the comedy. Dr David Jarrett draws on family stories and case histories from his thirty years of treating the old, demented and frail to try to find his own understanding of the end. And he writes about all the conversations that we, our parents, our children, the medical community, our government and society as a whole should be having.

Profound, provocative, strangely funny and astonishingly compelling, it is an impassioned plea that we start talking frankly and openly about death. And it is a call to arms for us to make radical changes to our perspective on ‘the seventh age of man’.

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Event 56

John Troyer

Technologies of the Human Corpse

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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Troyer explains how technologies of the nineteenth century including embalming and photography, created our image of a dead body as quasi-atemporal, existing outside biological limits formerly enforced by decomposition. He describes the “Happy Death Movement” of the 1970s; the politics of HIV/AIDS corpse and the productive potential of the dead body; the provocations of the Body Worlds exhibits and their use of preserved dead bodies; the black market in human body parts; and the transformation of historic technologies of the human corpse into “death prevention technologies.” The consequences of total control over death and the dead body, Troyer argues, are not liberation but the abandonment of Homo sapiens as a concept and a species. Troyer forces us to consider the increasing overlap between politics, dying, and the dead body in both general and specifically personal terms. John Troyer is Director of the Centre for Death and Society and Associate Professor in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences at the University of Bath. He grew up in the American funeral industry.

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Event 58

Jim al Khalili

The British Pugwash Lecture: The World According to Physics

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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Where does fundamental physics research stand today? Are we closing in on a theory of everything or is the true nature of reality still a mystery? Based on his latest book, Jim Al-Khalili takes us on entertaining tour of modern physics: what we know about the universe and what we have yet to figure out.

Jim Al-Khalili OBE FRS is a quantum physicist, author and broadcaster and one of the best-known science communicators in Britain. He holds a Distinguished Chair in Physics at the University of Surrey where he teaches and conducts his research. He has written twelve books on popular science, between them translated into over twenty-six languages, as well as his first novel, Sunfall. He is a regular presenter of TV science documentaries and the long-running Radio 4 programme, The Life Scientific. He is a recipient of the Royal Society Faraday medal, the Institute of Physics Kelvin Medal and the Stephen Hawking Medal.

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Event 59

Claudia Hammond talks to Guto Harri

The Art of Rest

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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The Art of Rest draws on ground-breaking research Claudia Hammond collaborated on - 'The Rest Test' - the largest global survey into rest ever undertaken. It was completed by 18,000 people across 135 different countries. Much of value has been written about sleep, but rest is different; it is how we unwind, calm our minds and recharge our bodies. And, as the survey revealed, how much rest you get is directly linked to your sense of well-being.

Claudia Hammond is an award-winning writer and broadcaster and Visiting Professor in the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Sussex. As the presenter of All in the Mind she is BBC Radio 4's voice of psychology and mental health.

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Event 70

Fernando Savater

Imagine the World in the time of the Coronavirus: Solidarity and Science

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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The renowned Spanish philosopher, an expert on Ethics and a prolific writer, reflects from his Basque Country home about the immediate effects of the covid19 crisis on our psyche, how solidarity is probably the most relevant concept now for human beings, and how we need to trust the scientific method.

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In Spanish, subtitled in English
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