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1969 and all that. In the 50 years since Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon, what have we learnt about the Solar System – and the chance of life beyond Earth? Monica Grady is Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences at the Open University.
Part of The Open University’s 50th anniversary celebrations
Cadwalladr has won the Orwell Prize and the Reporters Without Borders Award for her investigative journalism in The Observer into the subversion of the democratic process and the impact of big data analytics and interventions on the EU Referendum and the American Presidential Election. She discusses her work with Oliver Bullough.
The Nobel Prize-winning chemist in conversation with the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Inside Science and author of The Book of Humans.
Everyone knows about DNA. It is the essence of our being, influencing who we are and what we pass on to our children. But the information in DNA can’t be used without a machine to decode it. The ribosome is that machine. Older than DNA itself, it is the mother of all molecules. Virtually every molecule made in every cell was either made by the ribosome or by proteins that were themselves made by the ribosome.
A fascinating insider account, Gene Machine charts Ramakrishnan’s unlikely journey from his first fumbling experiments in a biology lab to being at the centre of a fierce competition at the cutting edge of modern science.
The author of What I Loved introduces her new novel. Fresh from Minnesota and hungry for all New York has to offer, twenty-three-year-old S.H. embarks on a year that proves both exhilarating and frightening – from bruising encounters with men to the increasingly ominous monologues of the woman next door. Forty years on, those pivotal months come back to vibrant life when S.H. discovers the notebook in which she recorded her adventures alongside drafts of a novel. Measuring what she remembers against what she wrote, she regards her younger self with curiosity and often amusement. Anger too, for how much has really changed in a world where the female presidential candidate is called an abomination?
Perhaps best known as one half of a husband and wife duo who have written more than fifteen psychological thrillers under the name of Nicci French, author Nicci Gerrard is an award-winning journalist in her own right. Her books appeal to readers who acknowledge that we all inhabit the fringes of some very dark places. Unafraid to cover difficult topics, her book Soham asks what we can learn from a recent notorious child murder case in the UK and questions how our response to evil is often manipulated by the media. Her latest book What Dementia Teaches Us About Love is a candid and thought-provoking investigation into the medical, moral and personal issues caused by a condition that now touches millions of us but that we still find it hard to speak about. She talks to George Alagiah.
Join Julia Donaldson, Chris Riddell and Michael Rosen in this original and action-packed event showcasing each of their amazing stints as UK Children’s Laureate. There will be singing, acting, drawing and performing – and plenty of inspiration for audience creativity too. Chaired by Horatio Clare.
The most powerful thing you can be when you grow up is yourself. Mental health activist, bestselling author and journalist Bryony Gordon will share the crucial life lessons she wished she had known when she was a teenager. Join Bryony as she chats about self-respect, body positivity, love, mental health and confidence with Holly Bourne, author of Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes? Together they will be covering all the tools that any teen needs to grow up happy.
Cook School is pitching up at Hay Festival to offer hands-on, fun cookery sessions, preparing a couple of Italian classics to take home for dinner along with an easy step-by-step recipe card, written by renowned children’s cookbook author Amanda Grant. Cook School is on a mission to teach as many children and young people to cook as possible. Head to cookschool.club to find out more.
Come and join Rooted Forest School (rootedforestschool.co.uk) for an outdoor family session inspired by the Forest School approach. We will be making charcoal on the fire, using natural pigments to create our own paint, making brushes from found materials and creating communal land art. These sessions are aimed at families and will run whatever the weather, so make sure you’re wrapped up for the conditions.
The historian tells the story of extraordinary, transformative projects helping refugee stonemasons to begin to rebuild the shattered treasures of Syria. The new, trainee masons, artisans and artists are both women and young men. The lecture is illustrated with film footage from Hughes’ documentaries about the project. Chaired by Peter Florence.
Today’s unprecedented pace of change leaves many people wondering what new technologies are doing to our lives. Are the decisions about our health, security and finances made by computer programs inexplicable and biased? Are robots going to take our jobs? And has our demand for energy driven the Earth’s climate to the edge of catastrophe? Browne argues that we need not and must not put the brakes on technological advance. Civilisation is founded on engineering innovation; all progress stems from the human urge to make things and to shape the world around us, resulting in greater freedom, health and wealth for all. Lord Browne trained as an engineer and was CEO of BP from 1995 to 2007. He is Chairman of the Crick Institute, a Fellow of the Royal Society, past President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and former Chairman of Tate. Kelly presents Click on BBC World News.
The art historian forensically retraces the history of Leonardo da Vinci’s small oil painting, the Salvator Mundi, which was sold in 2017 for $450 million. The painting is a prism through which we can understand the highs and lows of the art world, experiencing the passions that drove men and women to own this work, as well as the philistinism that led them to almost destroy and lose it. Lewis tracks the vicissitudes of the highly secretive art market across five centuries, a twisting tale of geniuses and gangsters, double-crossing and disappearances where we’re never quite certain what to believe.
In this second annual lecture, the renowned translator pays tribute to his peerless, multilingual colleague Anthea Bell, who died in October 2018. He explores her work on the Asterix books, translating the original French by René Goscinny and his illustrator partner Albert Uderzo. “She was an elegant stylist, but more than that, a startlingly versatile one,” says Hahn “I first learned her name, as so many people did, because she wrote all those impossible Asterix jokes I loved so much; but to other people she was Sebald, or perhaps Kafka – or sometimes Freud. She was Cornelia Funke or Erich Kästner for children, Saša Stanišić and Stefan Zweig for adults, and so many others besides. Literature struggles to thrive without translation. Today I can’t help wondering how we readers and writers ever could have managed without Anthea Bell.” Chaired by Thea Lenarduzzi of the TLS.
Join us to celebrate this prestigious literary prize for writers aged 39 and under as the 2019 winner talks to Dai Smith, chair of the judging panel and Emeritus Raymond Williams Research Chair in the Cultural History of Wales at Swansea University. The short-list comprised Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Zoe Gilbert, Guy Gunaratne, Louisa Hall, Sarah Perry and Novuyo Rosa Tshuma.
The 2019 Winner has been annouced as Guy Gunaratne with his book 'In Our Mad and Furious City'.
Adam Rutherford is joined by Nobel Prize winning biologist Venki Ramakrishnan, climate scientist Emily Shuckburgh and Steven Strogatz, author of Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe, to discuss the importance of mathematics in science today.
Broadcast Thursday 30th May 1630 and 2100
Join Michael Rosen, Lauren Child and Philippa Perry, friends and colleagues of the best loved author and illustrator Judith Kerr, in an event to celebrate her life and work.
Chaired by Julia Eccleshare, Director, Hay Children's Director.
BBC Radio 4
Tom Sutcliffe presents Radio 4’s flagship programme of ideas, exploring the impact of human ingenuity – from the myth of Frankenstein to geoengineering – with guests Jeanette Winterson, Naomi Wolf and John Browne. This session is slightly longer as it will include a reading for the Radio 3 series The Essay, with a writer responding to the themes of Daniel Defoe’s ‘Robinson Crusoe’.
PLEASE NOTE - this event appears in the printed brochure at 2.30pm, but it is now taking place at 7pm.
Holding her first grandchild in her arms in 2003, Mary Robinson was struck by the uncertainty of the world he had been born into. Before his fiftieth birthday, he would share the planet with more than nine billion people – people battling for food, water and shelter in an increasingly volatile climate. As the UN’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, Robinson’s mission led all over the world, from Malawi to Mongolia, and to a heartening revelation: that an irrepressible driving force in the battle for climate justice could be found at the grassroots level, mainly among women, many of them mothers and grandmothers like herself. Robinson met with ordinary people whose resilience and ingenuity had already unlocked extraordinary change. Robinson is the former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and is now a member of The Elders. This year she was awarded the prestigious Kew International Medal for her work on climate justice.
What happens now? What’s the deal with Europe, America, Ireland, Scotland? The Shadow Brexit Secretary is on the spot. And he’s listening.