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Talks

Talks‌

The Festival of Ideas presents a wide array of talks from experts in various fields. Ranging from Jacobean theatre to polar exploration, the diverse and ecclectic mix of talks and lectures is sure to entice and inform.

Past talks

Discovering ancient Greece

Saturday 29 June 2013

How and why do we know what we know about ancient Greece? Historian and TV presenter, Michael C Scott, follows the lives of the people in the 17th to 21st centuries who put ancient Greece quite literally back on the map, and who have shaped the legacy that ancient Greece still holds in our society today.

Fabulous Fictional Females

Saturday 29 June 2013

Four literary experts - Wendy Moore, Heidi Thomas, Bharat Tandon and John Bowen - will each stand as an advocate for one of four classic novels written by women: Cranford, Emma, Belinda and Jane Eyre. Following their debate, the audience will be asked to vote on which novel they think has the most long-lasting legacy.

British Library literature online

Saturday 29 June 2013

In 2014 the British Library is launching a major new web portal entitled English Online. The site will provide a rich digital research environment for English literature students, using primary source material to shed light on the social, political and cultural contexts in which key literary works were written. Focusing on the 19th century, this digital exhibition will showcase a number of artefacts that will appear on the site, including manuscripts, diaries, etiquette manuals, and juvenilia. The exhibition will be accompanied by a talk given by Professor John Bowen and members of the British Library Learning team.

Passions and parsonages

Saturday 29 June 2013

For many, the archetypal Georgian rectory beside an ancient church evokes a scene from Jane Austen. For others it conjures up something much darker and elemental, such as the parsonage on the Yorkshire Moors where the Brontë sisters led such confined yet creative lives. Editor of Emma, Bharat Tandon; Charmian Knight of the Brontë Parsonage Museum, and Deborah Alun-Jones author of The Wry Romance of the Literary Rectory will discuss how these environments nurtered creativity.

3Graces: Victorian women, visual art and exchange

Saturday 29 June 2013

Victorian women artists’ works are often omitted from accounts of 19th-century art, leaving an incomplete and damaged picture of artistic developments. This virtual exhibition, and related talks, offers a rare opportunity to engage with Victorian women artists’ paintings, sculptures, textiles and costume designs together, and in relation to, works by their male counterparts.

North and South: The legacy of Elizabeth Gaskell

Saturday 29 June 2013

Hear an exploration of the life and works of Elizabeth Gaskell by the President of the Gaskell Society, Shirley Foster, and dramatist Heidi Thomas, who adapted Cranford for the BBC.

3Graces: Victorian women, visual art and exchange

Saturday 29 June 2013

Victorian women artists’ works are often omitted from accounts of 19th-century art, leaving an incomplete and damaged picture of artistic developments. This virtual exhibition, and related talks, offers a rare opportunity to engage with Victorian women artists’ paintings, sculptures, textiles and costume designs together, and in relation to, works by their male counterparts.

Seeking perfection: The quest for an ideal woman

Saturday 29 June 2013

Thomas Day was a poet, a philanthropist and a radical activist – he campaigned against slavery and supported independence for America – with one major peculiarity. While still in his teens he fixed his sights on marrying his notion of a perfect woman and when he could not find her in Georgian society he set out to create her. Find out more about his ambition and its outcome in this talk by Wendy Moore.

Grace and Mary: A new novel by Melvyn Bragg

Friday 28 June 2013

Join the writer and TV presenter Melvyn Bragg as he talks about his new novel, Grace and Mary. In the novel, John visits his ageing mother Mary in her nursing home by the sea, and mourns the slow fading of her mind. Hoping to shore up her memory, he prompts her with songs, photographs and questions about the 1940s, when she was a young woman and he a child in a small Cumbrian town.

The history of food in 100 recipes

Friday 28 June 2013

One of Britain’s best food writers and editor of the award-winning Waitrose Kitchen magazine, William Sitwell celebrates the great dishes, culinary techniques and chefs over the centuries. His journey takes him from the earliest bread recipe in Ancient Egypt, through the greatest party planner of the Middle Ages and on to the history of the roast dinner.

In conversation: The voices of servants

Friday 28 June 2013

Discover the social history of the last century through the eyes of those who served. From the butler, the maid and the cook of 1900 to the au pairs, cleaners and childminders who took their place seventy years later, author Lucy Lethbridge will bring to life the voices of servants and domestic staff, largely ignored by history.

The Sitwells

Friday 28 June 2013

William Sitwell, great-nephew of Dame Edith Sitwell, gives a talk on his illustrious forebears. During a witty history of his family, he’ll discuss the impact that they had on the literary scene of the 20th century and investigate the family’s unique links with Scarborough.

Who's on top? Flipping the map in contemporary fiction

Friday 28 June 2013

Novelist Maggie Gee looks at how settled ideas of a rich, powerful North and a poor, fecund South are overturned in some contemporary novels, from her The Ice People, a future fiction where the onset of global cooling sends south-north economic migration into reverse, to the destabilising fictions of Hisham Matar and Selma Dabbagh, where the old South/North distinctions no longer work because the characters are in perpetual, restless motion.

Owenvarragh: A Belfast circus on "The Star Factory"

Thursday 27 June 2013

A new realisation of John Cage's 1979 score "Roaratorio, an Irish Circus on Finnegan's Wake", Ciaran Carson's wonderful elegy to Belfast, The Star Factory, performed as a circus of sound, words, and images, featuring live recitation by Professor Carson, recordings and images of places and sounds from the book, and music from Belfast's traditional musicians.

‘It’s a building and a boat’- Some new discoveries from the Hungate Excavation

Thursday 27 June 2013

From the autumn of 2006 to the end of 2011 a team from York Archaeological Trust investigated the archaeology of the Hungate area of York, as part of the regeneration of an often overlooked corner of the city.

Grim Tales: How literature has demonised the north of England

Thursday 27 June 2013

Writing about the north of England has for years woefully concentrated on the bleak and dour. This is one of the themes of True North, a book by Northern Editor of The Guardian, Martin Wainwright. In this talk he shows that where authors have achieved a balanced, contextual description of the North, their good work has been undone by critics, the media and others via the selection only of the glum side. Wainwright presents a contrary image and argues that it is important to do so if the present, shameful, imbalance between northern and metropolitan England is to put right, as it must be.

Servants: A downstairs view of 20th century-Britain

Thursday 27 June 2013

Discover the social history of the last century through the eyes of those who served. From the butler, the maid and the cook of 1900 to the au pairs, cleaners and childminders who took their place seventy years later, author Lucy Lethbridge will bring to life the voices of servants and domestic staff, largely ignored by history. This presentation will include a delicious Cream Tea, which includes home-made scones, jam and cream.

A reading by Seamus Heaney

Wednesday 26 June 2013

An exclusive and rare opportunity to hear Irish poet and Nobel Laureate, Seamus Heaney, read from a selection of his poetry.

The YorkshiresDNA project

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Hidden in our DNA are the origins of our lineages, when and where they first arose and the immense journey our ancestors took to reach Britain’s shores. Join Alistair Moffat as he reveals the rich mosaic of ancient lineages found so far, with some very interesting results for Yorkshire.

Austin Wright, dryads and the lure of the North

Wednesday 26 June 2013

The career of York-based sculptor Austin Wright (1911–1997) is said to have been limited by his decision to live and work in the North of England rather than court favour in the South. One of his works, Dryad (1984), situated by Heslington Hall, will provide a focus for a discussion around the importance of place and the pull of the metropolis as defining factors in how artists develop their ideas and reputations.

North v South: England’s Health Divide

Wednesday 26 June 2013

The North-South divide is one of England’s most powerful and enduring myths: an ancient and indelible line separating the country politically and culturally into beautiful South and grim North. Tim Doran of the University of York discusses the reality of the divide and its effect on peoples’ lives and health.

Ireland: North and South

Wednesday 26 June 2013

A panel of experts, comprising Lucy Caldwell, Eamonn Hughes, Margaret Kelleher and Keith Ridgway will debate the polarity of Ireland, revealing the nuances of North and South in an Irish context.

North and South: Gaskell vs today

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Scenes from Elizabeth Gaskell’s "North and South" and contemporary times, read by local actors, will stimulate a discussion a discussion lead by Helen Shay which will look particularly at the issues which may have affected, and continue to affect, women.

Grand challenges for engineering and architecture

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Panel discussion on the global grand challenges for technology, architecture and design with contributions from Andy Hopper (IET), Leo Hollis, Paul Newby (Shepherd Group), Martin Mayfield (Arup), Rodric Yates (IBM) and Bill Price (WSP).

Computing for the future of the planet

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Digital technology is becoming an indispensable and crucial component of our lives, society, and environment. Andy Hopper, President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, will explore the framework for computing in the context of problems facing the planet will be presented. The framework has a number of goals: an optimal digital infrastructure, sensing and optimising with a global world model, reliably predicting and reacting to our environment, and digital alternatives to physical activities. Practical industrial examples will be given as well as research goals.

Minster of Mystery

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Join us to find out how recent excavations beneath the cathedral have developed ideas based on earlier archaeological work. Ian Milstead, Field Officer at YAT, who directed the recent excavations at York Minster, will reveal new evidence of York's landscape before the Minster was built.

The place of high-rise in historic cities

Tuesday 25 June 2013

The Shard in London is the tallest building in Europe. Designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano the structural design for the building was provided by WSP, one of the world’s leading engineering and design consultancies. Bill Price from WSP will talk about the place of high-rise buildings in historic cities and the engineering challenges faced, drawing from experience of The Shard in London and Ground Zero in New York.

Cities are good for you

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Over 50% of the world’s population now live in urban centres and over the coming decades it will increase. But this is not necessarily a bad thing. Blending anecdote, fact and first-hand encounters - including exploring the slums of Mumbai, visiting roof-top farms in Brooklyn, and attending secret dinner parties in Paris – author Leo Hollis reveals that we have misunderstood how cities work for too long.

Stratified medicine in diabetes - the Scotland experience CANCELLED

Monday 24 June 2013

This event is now cancelled. Apologies for any disappointment.

From South to North: A vocal pi

Monday 24 June 2013

David Howard (presenter of BBC4 TV's "Voice" and "Castrato” programmes) with members of the Audio Research Laboratory at the University of York and singing friends, takes us on a journey ‘from South to North’ exploring our voices from lungs to head! The acoustics of the NCEM will be altered during our journey and our singers will be spread out around the audience to ‘bake’ a special vocal π for your listening pleasure.

Deep underground science at Boulby Mine – the search for dark matter and beyond...

Monday 24 June 2013

Observations of the night sky suggest there is much more matter out there that we cannot see, ‘Dark Matter’ - the missing mass in the universe - and the race is on to find out exactly what it is. For more than a decade UK astrophysicists have been operating experiments in a dedicated 'low background' facility at Boulby potash mine. Find out more about the experiments taking place there from Dr Sean Paling of the University of Sheffield

Hearing the York Mystery Plays

Monday 24 June 2013

We know that the York Mystery Plays were performed on wagons thoughout the city, but we have very little information on staging or stage directions. Marianna Lopez reveals what acoustic measurement techniques can tell us about the performance spaces of the plays.

Beryl Bainbridge: Artist, Writer, Friend

Monday 24 June 2013

Whilst Beryl Bainbridge is extremely well known and respected as a writer, she is hardly known as a painter. Author, Psiche Hughes, will talk of Beryl’s painting, and how it interlinked with her writing and her life. She will draw upon her very close friendship with Beryl Bainbridge for over 35 years.

Fair shares for all? Black market Britain, 1940-54

Monday 24 June 2013

Between 1940 and 1954 Britons lived with food rationing. As a result, many consumers’ diets became less varied. The quality, if not the quantity, of what they ate deteriorated also. While food rationing reduced health inequalities with a noticeable impact on baby boomers’ health, it did little for public morale. Cravings for meat, poultry and fresh eggs in particular, created demand for black market foods that unscrupulous businesses and criminal entrepreneurs readily exploited. In this lecture the historian Mark Roodhouse, author of Black Market Britain: 1939-1955, reveals how these illegal markets in rationed foods worked, highlighting parallels with today’s illicit trade in horsemeat.

Richard III: History's man and Shakespeare's villain

Sunday 23 June 2013

What do we know about the real Richard III, and how has he provided such wonderful material for tales of villainy to subsequent ages? Historians Chris Skidmore and Mark Ormrod reveal more about Richard III the historical figure and his relationship with York; with the help of actor Nick Armfield, Shakespearean and film expert Judith Buchanan considers a history of performances of Shakespeare's Richard on stage and screen.

Bob Dylan: Northern roots, Southern music

Sunday 23 June 2013

Exploring Dylan’s biography and influences, Michael Gray will deliver a talk, featuring rare footage.

Slavery on Film: Exposure or Exploitation?

Sunday 23 June 2013

Most forms of modern slavery occur far from the public gaze. Slavery takes place in a secretive world, physically out of view, denied by slave owners, and with documented evidence that the victims of slavery are subject to threats and worse. So how is it possible to film such vulnerable people - many of them children as young as seven or eight - without making their lives even more dangerous? David Hickman talks about three films he shot and directed - on child slavery on Haiti, bonded slaves in Pakistan and bride trafficking in India - and how he attempted to negotiate some of the profoundly difficult ethical dilemmas in telling slaves` stories.

York Sunday Politics Show

Sunday 23 June 2013

Leading commentators Greg Dyke (Chairman of the Football Association) and Peter Hitchens (Author and Columnist at the Mail on Sunday) will debate topical issues, with an opportunity for audience input. The event will be chaired by Steve Richards (Chief Political Commentator, The Independent).

Think global, act local: Art and social value

Saturday 22 June 2013

What is the relationship between art and social value? Robert Teed and Paula Jackson examine the capacity of art as a vehicle for social change, as an advocacy tool for human rights, and in a relational sense as a means of developing the self. Beginning with case studies from the New School House Gallery, the presentation extends to ask how art can engage communities and change societies for the better.

Cracking animation: An audience with Peter Lord CBE

Saturday 22 June 2013

Film producer, and co-founder of Aardman Animations, Peter Lord, will be interviewed by Judith Buchanan on film production, the history of animation, winning an Oscar, his plans for the future and more…

Sound workshop

Saturday 22 June 2013

Want the chance to put your own spin on an Aardman Animation classic? Record your own dialogue and sound effects in our fabulously equipped sound lab to scenes from The Wrong Trousers and The Pirates! Band of Misfits, then mix them like the pros using our industry standard software and equipment.

The longest and most dangerous of all chronic diseases

Friday 21 June 2013

Which disease did French clinician Gaspard-Laurant Bayle refer to in his lectures to the Paris Medical Faculty in 1809/10 as “the longest and most dangerous of all chronic diseases"? Surprisingly for us, Bayle was describing pulmonary tuberculosis. In this talk, author Helen Bynum uses the experiences of three tuberculous patients Tobias Smollett (1721-71), John Keats (1795-1821) and George Orwell (1903-1950) to explore pulmonary tuberculosis as a chronic disease of the past and reflect on its modern face. Get ready for tales of travel and confinement to bed, bloodletting and bloody sputum, and not enough happy endings.

21st-century diet: Healthy fast food?

Friday 21 June 2013

Nutritionist Mike Lean and Technical Director for Quorn Foods Tim Finnegan discuss different approaches to good health through healthy eating. Find out more about the nutritionally balanced pizza and how it came about, and the role that Quorn has to play in health, the environment and protein security.

Jacobean theatre now

Friday 21 June 2013

Setting the stage for the evening performance, leading theatre critic Michael Billington discusses Jacobean plays on the contemporary stage with Dutch Courtesan director Mike Cordner.

Barnes Wallis: His life and work

Thursday 20 June 2013

Barnes Wallis’ reputation suffers from being dominated by the ‘bouncing bomb’, but there was much more to his inventive mind. Peter Rix from the Barnes Wallis Memorial Trust will cover some of Barnes Wallis’ most significant inventions and will try to give some insight into what sort of man he was.

In praise of Eric Bloodaxe: Viking poetry from York

Thursday 20 June 2013

Eric Bloodaxe was the last, and most famous, Viking king of York, driven out and killed in 954. He is also the only Viking king of York for whom we possess Norse poetry composed in his honour. Enjoy a goblet of mead as Dr Matthew Townend explores this unique northern poetry to see what we can learn about kingship and culture in Viking Age York.

What has the North ever done for social policy - then and now?

Thursday 20 June 2013

The famous York-born social reformer, Seebohm Rowntree, was an early contributor to social policy in the North of England. Important contemporary contributions are still being made to the development of social policy through the work of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Find out more about the role of the North in social policy.

Polar science: History, modern research and film-making

Thursday 20 June 2013

Scientists have long looked to the Polar regions to find answers to complex global questions, but what conclusions did they reach? What is the reality of Antarctic research today? And how easy is it to explain this to the viewing public in programmes such as Frozen Planet? Polar experts and an academic advisor to the BBC series discuss.

Exploring the Poles: Above, in and below the snow

Thursday 20 June 2013

The Polar regions are a rich resource for science. Join three scientists, from York and the British Antarctic Survey, whose research takes place above, in and below the snow, to explore climate change, microbes and life in Antarctic sub-glacial lakes.

Dick Turpin in reality and myth: South, North and North again

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Despite the associations which the city of York has built with him, Dick Turpin, who was executed at York in April 1739, was born in Essex, and came north under an assumed name when things got too hot for him in the London area. Join historian Jim Sharpe as he explores the life and subsequent legend of this famous highwayman.

‘King of all Britain’: New light on King Athelstan

Wednesday 19 June 2013

When Alfred the Great’s grandson, Athelstan, occupied York in 927 he became the first king of all the English. In a talk richly illustrated from the king’s own manuscripts, and a clip from a new TV documentary, the historian Michael Wood offers some clues towards an Anglo-Saxon royal biography with a special focus on the king’s relations with the Northumbrians-and a new Yorkshire location for the ‘Great War’ of the tenth century, the Battle of Brunanburh.

The North Began: How Lloyd George solved the Irish problem

Wednesday 19 June 2013

The core of the Irish problem since 1886 was the Ulster issue. Lloyd George had always supported excluding Unionist Ulster from Dublin’s domination but postponed addressing this until 1919, and by then the 1918 election had led to Sinn Féin’s displacing the Home Rule Party. His response was the Government of Ireland Act 1920 which gave the Ulster Unionists what they wanted: a monopoly of government in what became Northern Ireland.

York's Awkward Angles

Tuesday 18 June 2013

What happened in York between the decline of the Roman city and the arrival of the Viking raiders? Archaeology can tell us – and new discoveries are provoking new thinking about the rebirth of this historic town.

Brian Sewell in conversation

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Author and art critic, Brian Sewell, talks about his life and his thoughts on English contemporary art in conversation with James Boaden from the University’s History of Art Department.

A history of the world in twelve maps

Monday 17 June 2013

Throughout history maps have helped to shape our view of the world and our place in it. But, as author and TV presenter Jerry Brotton demonstrates, world maps are unavoidably ideological and subjective and reflect the ideas of their age - whether the Jerusalem-centred Christian perspective of the 14th-century Hereford Mappa Mundi or the Peters projection of the 1970s which aimed to give due weight to the 'third world'.

The Synod of Whitby (664) and its ramifications in Northumbria

Monday 17 June 2013

The seventh century was a crucial period for the formation of the Christian kingdom of Northumbria. The second half of that century was also a period of controversy, although that is partially masked by Bede's account. In this lecture we will be exploring the significant issues at stake that lay behind the seemingly arcane debate about whether Irish/British or Continental Easter practice should be followed. These issues had a bearing on such important topics as the relationship of Deira to Bernicia and the creation of a unified kingdom of Northumbria, and on the question of whether or not continuity with the Christianity of the Irish missionaries and continuing British communities should be pursued, and what the repercussions were.

Identity, Romanisation and regionality in Roman Britain

Monday 17 June 2013

What did the Romans ever do for the North? By examining the spread of coinage and coin use, the nature and persistence of Iron-Age tribal exchange systems, and the presence and role of the army, Barry Crump will consider the prospect of a North-South divide in Roman Britain.

Accent the positive?

Monday 17 June 2013

The way people speak tells a lot about their origins–geographical and social. But when someone can only speak with the aid of an artificial voice, then conventional expectations are subverted. Speakers, Alistair Edwards, and Christopher Newell will explore some of the limitations–and new possibilities–of speech technology. Their talk will be accompanied by a number of interactive exhibits on which people will be able to experience the technology in practice.

The histories of nations

Monday 17 June 2013

Why write the history of the world? Many attempts have been made by western scholars to create order from the chaos of the past. Maybe there are other ways of doing it. Author and former Editor of History Today, Peter Furtado, explores the options in this thought-provoking talk.

Art out of crisis: A play from the Theresienstadt Ghetto

Sunday 16 June 2013

The UK premiere of The Smoke of Home, a play written in the World War II Jewish Ghetto at Theresienstadt, forms the centerpiece of an afternoon of engagement with the question: in times of crisis, why do some societies respond with art?

The Historic Atlas of York: 2,000 Years of Urban Development

Sunday 16 June 2013

The Historic Atlas of York, now nearing completion, will trace the urban development of York from Roman times to the present, identifying every street and named structure accompanied by a sheaf of illustrations and reproductions of early maps.

BBC Radio 3 - Free Thinking: England's other Civil War

Sunday 16 June 2013

Free Thinking is BBC Radio 3’s hugely popular festival of ideas, and this summer, they're taking events across the UK. In the year that Richard III's remains were identified beneath a Leicester car par, Free Thinking will be in York, the seat of his power, to debate how the Wars of the Roses shaped the country from the 15th century right up to the present day.

BBC Radio 3 - Free Thinking: Ethical business

Sunday 16 June 2013

Radio 3’s Rana Mitter will be asking a panel of business people, economists and historians if ethical business is affordable today, or whether wealth creation itself is really the ethical action.

Living up North

Saturday 15 June 2013

An exploration of living in the North. Judith O’Reilly, author of "Wife in the North", recounts one woman’s attempt to move her family and her life from cosmopolitan London to rural Northumberland; while journalist Paul Morley, author of "The North (and almost everything in it)" explores what it means to be northern, and why those who consider themselves to be so, believe it so strongly.

Granta, Great Young British Novelists 2013

Saturday 15 June 2013

For three consecutive decades, Granta has foreseen the brilliant careers of the British literary scene, showcasing an array of talent. Join us as three of these stellar Great Young British Novelists from the 2013 list talk about their new novels and their experiences: Jenni Fagan The Panopticon, Kamila Shamsie Burnt Shadows, and Ross Raisin, God’s Own Country.

New writers session three

Saturday 15 June 2013

Join writers Claire King (The Night Rainbow), Abigail Tarttelin (Golden Boy) and Leonie Frieda (The Deadly Sisterhood) to hear reading from their works, and an opportunity to ask them about their interests and careers and how they got published.

New writers session two

Saturday 15 June 2013

Join New Writers Kate Worsley (She Rises), D W Wilson (Ballistics), and Matthew Reynolds (The World Was All Before Them) for a reading from their debut novels, and an opportunity to ask them about their works and how they got published.

Renaissance Reincarnations on the Page

Saturday 15 June 2013

This event explores how Renaissance afterlives are created in Historical Fiction and Biography Open to all, ‘Renaissance Reincarnations on the Page’ on Saturday, 15 June at St William’s College, offers a chance to hear Germaine Greer and Robert Hutchinson as they discuss the process of re-creating early modern personalities for a modern audience.

New writers session one

Saturday 15 June 2013

Join New Writers Susie Steiner (Homecoming), Elizabeth Day (Home Fires), and Gavin Weston (Harmattan) for a reading from their debut novels, and an opportunity to ask them about their works and how they got published.

Puffin Peter

Saturday 15 June 2013

Come along to a workshop based on the Kate Greenaway shortlisted book Puffin Peter. Hear some stories from author and illustrator Petr Horacek and then have a go at creating your very own little picture book about a puffin! Suitable for 4 to 7 year olds.

The global challenge for Britain and British business

Friday 14 June 2013

Panel debate, chaired by David Goodhart, featuring Paul Ormrod, Hugh Bayley, Barry Dodd, Charles Cecil, Angela Darlington and Mark Buchanan.

Progressive capitalism

Friday 14 June 2013

In an interview with David Goodhart, "Prospect" magazine, Lord Sainsbury of Turville looks at why the growth rates of countries differ, what firms have to do to achieve competitive advantage in today’s global economy and how the new, progressive political economy, which is replacing progressive capitalism, can be used by politicians and policymakers to produce a programme of economic reform for a country.

Climate change: Does it all add up?

Friday 14 June 2013

Chris Budd will take a light hearted view of the many issues concerned with predicting climate change, and (using audience participation) will look at the strengths and weaknesses of various climate models and what they tell us about the future of the Earth's climate.

Skivers vs Strivers - the implications of re-branding the welfare state

Friday 14 June 2013

Panel debate, chaired by Professor Karen Mumford, featuring Zoe Williams, Paul Johnson, Harriet Sergeant and David Goodhart

Managing finance: For the common good

Friday 14 June 2013

The recent expansion of the financial sector has been fuelled by financial engineering and communications technology resulting in systemic instability and an increase in system complexity. Mark Buchanan gives a brief snapshot of research inspired by physics which identifies key areas where regulation could help avoid market instabilities and let finance play a productive role for the larger economy.

The York Helmet: Biography of an iconic object

Friday 14 June 2013

The York helmet is perhaps York’s most well-known Anglian object, but what do we really know about it? This talk uncovers how, through its examination and conservation, the fascinating story of the helmet, from its manufacture in the 8th century to its discovery in 1982, was pieced together.

Supporting business and growing the economy

Friday 14 June 2013

A panel debate, chaired by Julia Unwin, featuring Jonathan Portes, Ed Cox, Kersten England and Kevin Brennan.

Two-speed Britain - myth or reality?

Friday 14 June 2013

Panel debate, featuring Danny Dorling, Kate Pickett, Martin Vander Weyer, Stephen Lee and Bob Doherty. Chaired by Peter Smith.

North - South: from divide to chasm

Friday 14 June 2013

The North/South divide opened up again in the 1980s. Throughout the 1990s we knew the divide was growing. In the 2000s policies planned to narrow economic and social fortunes were not enough to stop the gulf growing even greater, but all that appears of only historical interest as compared to events since May 2010. This lecture tells a story of where we have come from and offers several suggestions as to where we may be going in Britain as Scotland prepares to decide whether to stay and as the geographical divides between us in England and Wales deepen.

North, South, East and West and civilisation

Thursday 13 June 2013

In his groundbreaking exploration of the progress of human history, Peter Watson identifies how the the development of humankind in the ‘old’ and ‘new’ worlds-between 15,000 BC and 1,500 AD-has been shaped by geography.