Accessibility statement

You're viewing an archived page from a previous Festival of Ideas. See this year's festival »

Sir Thomas Browne in the 21st Century
Hugh Aldersey-Williams

Sir Thomas BrowneStatue of Sir Thomas Brown, by Elliott Brown, ( used under CC BY 2.0


Wheelchair accessible.

Event details

Sir Thomas Browne was a much loved and respected 17th Century doctor who lived in the heart of Norwich.  He wrote several books on a wide range of subjects – from the entertaining myth buster Pseudodoxia Epidemica to the confessional honesty of Religio Medici.  He was fascinated by everything from nature to religion, new medical practices to the lives of his patients.  His wit, intelligence, curiosity and the beauty of his writing inspired writers such as Sebald, Virginia Woolf and Borges.

In this fascinating and entertaining talk, Hugh Aldersey-Williams reveals what we can learn about our lives now by re-examining how Sir Thomas Browne understood the times in which he lived.  How we might apply Browne’s questioning curiosity to our contemporary beliefs and how surprising the results could be.

Speaker biography

Hugh Aldersey-Williams was born in London and has an MA in natural sciences from Cambridge.  He is passionate about both science and the arts and has written books about architecture, design and science.  He was the design critic of the New Statesman, and is member of the Society of Authors and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.  


Festival tweets