Location: Purcell Room Queen Elisabeth Hall SE1 8XX
Speaker: Andrew Motion, Lisa Appignanesi, Hadley Freeman, Michael Mosley and James Runcie
Information: Tickets £10.00
How has curiosity produced some of science's best discoveries?
Most of our scientific tools – from telescopes to microscopes to x-rays and scanners – are the products of curiosity, of attempting to see more and better where senses didn't suffice. So are most medical discoveries, from the circulation of the blood to the workings of nerves.
Curiosity about individuals – their thoughts and how they think them, their perceptions, their emotional lives – is also what fed every psychologist from Hume to Freud to Kahneman.
The five judges of The Wellcome Book Prize (Andrew Motion, Lisa Appignanesi, Hadley Freeman, Michael Mosley and James Runcie) discuss the state of contemporary fiction and nonfiction writing about science and medicine, and the six shortlisted books that challenge our curiosity, fire our imagination, inspire debate, and help us to think differently about the world around us.
The 2014 Wellcome Book Prize shortlist:
Wounded by Emily Mayhew
Creation by Adam Rutherford
Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon
Inconvenient People by Sarah Wise
Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
Location: Stratford-upon Avon various locations
Information: 9 day event from 26th April to 4th May 2014
Celebrating its 7th year in 2014, The Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival is an exciting mixture of debate, ideas, celebrity author events, workshops and humour. Alongside this is a programme of education events in Stratford and local schools involving favourite authors, poets and illustrators, entertaining and inspiring children from 2 to 18.
The Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival is the highlight of the regional calendar and one of the most significant literary festivals in the UK, attracting thousands of people who share one passion: a love of books, writing and reading.
Location: 14 Bury Place, London, WC1A 2JL
Speaker: Akhil Sharma with David Sedaris
Information: Tickets £25. The ticket price includes a copy of the critically-acclaimed Family Life.
Join us for a very special event in the London Review Bookshop on 29 April, where Akhil Sharma will be in conversation with David Sedaris.
Akhil Sharma was born in Delhi in 1971 and moved to the US at the age of eight. His first novel An Obedient Father (2001) won him a PEN/Hemingway prize, a Whiting Award and praise from the likes of Jonathan Franzen and Joyce Carol Oates. Now, more than a decade later, Akhil will be at the London Review Bookshop in conversation with essayist and humourist David Sedaris to read from and talk about his second novel Family Life (Faber).
David Sedaris said of Family Life: ‘Outstanding … Every page is alive and surprising, proof of [Sharma’s] huge, unique talent.’
Location: The Royal Geographical Society 1 Kensington Gore London SW7 2AR
Speaker: Michael Lewis in conversation with Dominic Lawson
Information: Tickets still available at £25.00 and £35.00(to include book)
Michael Lewis, author of the runaway bestsellers The Big Short, Moneyball, The Blind Side, and the cult classic Liar’s Poker, comes to London for a rare public appearance with Dominic Lawson.
Lewis’s new book, Flash Boys: Cracking the Money Code returns to Wall Street to lay bare the biggest new story since the crash. With the world’s money now traded by computer code, a dark world of high-frequency trading exists. It’s a landscape of cunning, secrecy, and barely measurable milliseconds of speed, in which the stock exchange itself has become complicit in its own corruption. Join us to hear the man Tom Wolfe calls ‘probably the best current writer in America’ for an evening of riveting insight and discussion.
“I read Lewis for the same reasons I watch Tiger Woods. I’ll never play like that. But it’s good to be reminded every now and again what genius looks like.” Malcolm Gladwell
Location: Watershed 1 Canons Road Harbourside Bristol BS1 5TX
Speaker: Owen Hatherley, Gillian Darley and others
Information: £10.00 full / £8.00 concessions. This event, which will last four hours, is followed by a book signing.
One of the greatest writers on architecture and places, Ian Nairn led debate through the 1950s to the 1970s with the publication of Outrage, Nairn's London and many television programmes. Following a screening of some of his TV programmes there will be a panel discussion on Nairn's work and legacy. Panellists include Gillian Darley (co-author of Nairn's biography), Mayor George Ferguson (who inspired by Nairn, helped stop the development of the Avon Gorge), John Grindrod (author of Concretopia, a personal study of postwar building) and Owen Hatherley (architectural writer and editor of Nairn's Towns).
The following films will be shown:
Nairn's Journeys - Finding Follies (1978): episode: 'Twixt London and Bristol
Nairn Across Britain - London to Lancashire
Nairn's Journeys: Orient Express
Nairn's Journeys: Football Towns Huddersfield and Halifax
Ian Nairn, The Pacemakers No.19 (on Pimlico)
Follow @FestivalofIdeas for up to date information about the festival.