Can the pioneering Welsh policy One Planet Development be used as a template for governments and planners? Could it bring in a new attitude to development, planning and land management, to take into account the full environmental impact of human activities? Jane Davidson of INSPIRE talks to author and consultant David Thorpe.
Are governments trying to 'get us out of our cars'? Is better public transport the solution to congestion in cities? Does Britain have a shortage of family housing and what has that got to do with transport? This book dispels myths and presents a sustainable vision for the future. Steve Melia from the University of the West of England talks to the Hay on Earth Director.
We have been treating the Earth as an object to be exploited, and have consequently cut ourselves off from evolving co-operatively with nature. We have to find new ways of doing, knowing and being so that we can live in harmony with all life. Mick Collins, author and occupational therapist, talks to Andy Middleton.
Can climate fiction ever change minds, or does it merely confirm existing attitudes in the mind of the reader who chooses to read a book of that nature? Are more climate-related books aimed at children because their enquiring minds are supposed to be more open? Author and founder of Climate Outreach Information Network George Marshall talks to INSPIRE’s Jane Davidson, and authors Saci Lloyd and David Thorpe.
What really goes on in the long grass? Lewis-Stempel offers a hymn to pastoral beauty with an intimate account of an English meadow’s life from January to December. He records the passage of the seasons from cowslips in spring to the hay-making of summer and grazing in autumn, and the lives of the animals that inhabit the grass and the soil beneath: the badger clan, the fox family, the rabbit warren, the skylark brood and the curlew pair.
What and who do we trust with our sense of nationhood? The NHS, the BBC, the PM, the EU? The new chair of the National Trust has been a CEO and board director of many of Britain’s most successful international companies, and he owns the British Pathé Film Archive. He discusses the ideas of ownership, national identity, the interplay of the public, private and third sectors, and the ethical concerns that drive business in an age of social media.
Could extinct species, like mammoths and passenger pigeons, be brought back to life? The science says yes. The evolutionary biologist and pioneer in ‘ancient DNA’ research guides us through the astonishing and controversial process of de-extinction. From deciding which species should be restored, to sequencing their genomes, to anticipating how revived populations might be overseen in the wild, Shapiro vividly explores the extraordinary cutting-edge science that is being used to resurrect the past.
Few would dispute that we live in an unequal and unjust world, but what causes this inequality to persist? Dorling, author of Inequality and the 1%, examines who is most harmed by these injustices and why, and what happens to those who most benefit. O’Hara, author of Austerity Bites, takes us on a journey to the sharp end of the cuts in the UK. Hard-hitting and uncompromising in its call to action, this analysis is essential for everyone concerned with social justice.
Do our workplaces promote health and well-being? And, if they did, what difference would it make? Dame Carol Black is an Expert Adviser to the Department of Health, the Chair of Nuffield Trust, the leading independent advisory body for healthcare policy in the UK, and the Principal of Newnham College. She was author of a 2008 report for the government on well-being at work.
100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?
In Sapiens, Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, palaeontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?
This event was recorded for broadcast on the BBC World News programme Talking Books.
Project Daniel was launched in January 2014 in Sudan with the establishment of the world’s first 3D-printing prosthetic limb lab, creating artificial limbs for victims of war.
As Mohammed Ali Humanitarian of the Year and named in the Top 50 Most Creative People 2014, Mick Ebeling is the founder and driving force of Not Impossible; making DIY, accessible, tech-based solutions for people around the world and powerfully telling those stories to inspire others to do the same.
Humans don’t always behave as you expect them to. Sometimes their responses and actions are completely irrational – we don’t always make perfect decisions – but the model we base everything on is a rational one. Why? If we design our systems, our government, and all the products and services we use for perfect, rational people, is it any wonder they aren’t working? The Stanford academic and political advisor believes that change is possible and necessary: that we can create a more local, more accountable, more human way of living that will make us more productive, more fulfilled and ultimately happier.
In 1902 HG Wells wrote ‘Humanity has come some way, and the distance we have travelled gives us some earnest of the way we have to go. All the past is but the beginning of a beginning; all that the human mind has accomplished is but the dream before the awakening.’ The astronomer boldly explores post-human evolution and offers a SWOT analysis of mankind’s short- and longer-term futures. He considers the risks of asteroid impact, climate change and, most worrying of all, the downsides of biotech, AI and other fast-advancing technologies. Chaired by Dan Davis.
Alfred Russel Wallace, Henry Walter Bates and Richard Spruce were English naturalists who went to Amazonia 150 years ago. All three explored an unknown river and had many thrilling adventures: violent attacks of malaria, fearful rapids, murder attempts, encounters with newly contacted indigenous peoples, shipwrecks, and many other hardships. In addition to their huge contributions to knowledge of the Amazonian environment, each is particularly famous for one discovery. Wallace is acknowledged as a co-discoverer, along with Charles Darwin, of the theory of evolution. Bates discovered protective mimicry among insects, a phenomenon named after him. Spruce transported the quinine-bearing Cinchona tree, the most important medicinal plant of the nineteenth century, to India, where it saved countless lives from malaria.
Discover two of the most thrilling new voices in fiction. Building to an extraordinary climax over the course of one spring month, Harrison’s second novel At Hawthorn Time is both a clear-eyed picture of rural Britain, and a heartbreaking exploration of love, land and loss. Paull’s debut The Bees is set entirely in a beehive. It is the story of a heroine, Flora 717, a sanitation bee who, in the face of an increasingly desperate struggle for survival, changes her destiny and her world. They read and talk to Mary Loudon.
The risks and costs of climate change are worse than estimated in the landmark Stern Review in 2006; and far worse than implied by standard economic models. The science warns of the dangers of neglect; the economics and technology show what we can do and the great benefits that will follow; an examination of the ethics points strongly to a moral imperative for action. Why are we waiting? Chaired by the science correspondent of ITV News.
Three young female scientists who are recipients of the University of Cambridge’s most prestigious scholarship, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, talk about their research. Julia Fan Li is director of the Global Health Investment Fund, which funds research and development for some of the most pressing global health challenges; Divya Venkatesh researches African sleeping sickness and does cross-disciplinary work in biotechnology; Alexandra Grigore works on an innovative fingerprint identity system for accessing medical records in developing countries.
Many of our own gardens contain an abundance of edible and medicinal plants, grown mainly for their ornamental appearance. Most gardeners are completely unaware that what they have actually planted is a rather exotic kitchen garden. The Garden Forager explores some of the most popular garden plants that have edible, medicinal or even cosmetic potential. Nozedar’s recipes and remedies are exquisitely illustrated in watercolours by Lizzie Harper. She talks while Harper illustrates live.
In 2000, the member countries of the United Nations set themselves a challenge: achieve the targets of the Millennium Development Goals by the end of 2015, to improve the lives of the world’s citizens. What’s next for our global ambitions, our post-2015 goals? How can we describe the world we want, to achieve sustainable development, track our progress and hold governments everywhere to account? The former head of statistics at UNESCO, an adviser to the United Nations, and the CEO of Oxfam talk to Hetan Shah, the chief executive of the Royal Statistical Society.