Forum, The [world Service]

Episodes

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20080511

World renowned thinkers and their ideas.

Sharing knowledge

20080518
20080525
20080601

World renowned thinkers and their ideas.

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20090329

Carl Djerassi, Mary Beard and Harold Varmus challenge each other on their ideas.

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CARL DJERASSI
Austrian-born Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University in the US, Carl Djerassi, was partly responsible for one of the biggest cultural shifts of the 20 century: the idea that sex didn't have to result in pregnancy, with the introduction of the contraceptive Pill in the 1960s. His work was instrumental in bringing about a sexual revolution, but now he’s convinced more sophisticated in vitro fertilization procedures will bring about a new revolution in which the ties between sex and reproduction will be all but broken.

MARY BEARD
One of Britain’s best known classicists Mary Beard has written extensively on ancient Greece and Rome and is currently examining what laughter meant in ancient times. She tells some ancient Roman jokes as she explores how laughter travels across time and culture, revealing the secret ingredients that had the Romans rolling in the aisles, and how far people nowadays share their sense of humour.

HAROLD VARMUS
Harold Varmus, a Nobel prize winning scientist and one of the advisors to President Obama, is leading a revolution to democratise science and change the way in which ideas are shared. He wants to free the flow of scientific discoveries to make the latest findings accessible to everyone via the internet, bypassing academic journals, so that scientists and non scientists the world over can access the information regardless of their ability to pay.

60 SECOND IDEA TO CHANGE THE WORLD
Each week one guest presents an idea to enhance the world. This week classicist Mary Beard believes that we should let all non-violent criminals out of jail. It currently costs the taxpayer more than the rate of a 5-star hotel to pay for one inmate per night in prison. Mary asks why our only response to crime is to impose longer and longer sentences and suggests errant bankers, fraudsters or shoplifters are better employed working their socks off to pay back what they robbed us of.

20090412

Alain de Botton, Paul Fournel and Brian J Ford challenge each other on their ideas.

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THE FORUM, the programme which boldly crosses boundaries scientific, creative and geographic, presented by Bridget Kendall.

ALAIN DE BOTTON
Essayist and thinker Alain de Botton on what our attitude to work tells us about ourselves.

PAUL FOURNEL
Poet and enthusiastic cyclist Paul Fournel on artistry and constraint.

BRIAN J FORD
Research biologist Brian J Ford on why cells make the world go round.

20090419

Ned Lebow, Lisa Appignanesi and Peter Klimek challenge each other on their ideas.

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THE FORUM programme boldly crosses boundaries: scientific, creative and geographic, and is presented this week by TIM MARLOW.

NED LEBOW
Political scientist Ned Lebow reveals why self esteem underpins international relations.

LISA APPIGNANESI
Writer and historian Lisa Appignanesi uncovers changing attitudes to mental health, especially among women.

PETER KLIMEK
Austrian physicist Peter Klimek calculates how efficient we are in the workplace.

20090503

Biologist Robert May, doctor and novelist Abraham Verghese, financial analyst Gillian Tett.

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20090510

Novelist AS Byatt, conductor Semyon Bychkov, political scientist Dominique Moisi.

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THE FORUM, the ideas programme presented by BRIDGET KENDALL.

British novelist AS BYATT reveals why she believes children’s writing to be a dangerous business.

Russian conductor SEMYON BYCHKOV describes the unique social properties of musical harmony.

French political scientist DOMINIQUE MOISI explains the geopolitics of emotion.

2009051720090518

Entrepreneur Iqbal Quadir, epidemics expert Stefan Kaufmann, classicist James O'Donnell

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Bangladeshi entrepreneur IQBAL QUADIR on the magical impact of tiny loans.

German immunologist STEFAN KAUFMANN on why it's hard to keep pandemics at bay.

American classicist JAMES O'DONNELL on the twilight years of the Roman Empire

2009052420090525

Political economist Deepak Lal, writer and comic AL Kennedy, Tatar poet Ravil Bukharaev.

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THE FORUM, the ideas programme presented by Bridget Kendall.

Indian political economist DEEPAK LAL on the origins of capitalism.

Scottish writer and stand-up comedian AL KENNEDY on the paramount importance of words.

Historian and Tatar poet RAVIL BUKHARAEV on the unsung power of minority nations.

2009053120090601

Sociologist WJ Wilson, philosopher Roger Scruton, film-maker Clemens von Wedemeyer

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20090607

Environmentalist Sunita Narain, science historian Arthur I Miller, writer Paolo Giordano.

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THE FORUM, the ideas programme with BRIDGET KENDALL.

Indian environmentalist SUNITA NARAIN on our wasteful attitude to water.

American-British physicist and historian of science ARTHUR I MILLER on the link between scientific genius and the visual arts.

Italian physicist and writer PAOLO GIORDANO on using prime numbers to understand human nature.

THE FORUM, the ideas programme with Bridget Kendall.

Indian environmentalist SUNITA NARAIN on our wasteful attitude to water.

American-British physicist and historian of science ARTHUR I MILLER on the link between scientific genius and the visual arts.

Italian physicist and writer PAOLO GIORDANO on using prime numbers to understand human nature.

2009061420090615

Historian of communism Archie Brown, judge Albie Sachs, literary critic Elaine Showalter.

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20090621

Writer and critic Clive James, mathematician Marcus du Sautoy, philosopher Slavoj Zizek.

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THE FORUM, the ideas programme with BRIDGET KENDALL.

Recorded this week in front of an invited audience as part of a BBC festival held in West London

British mathematician and trumpet player MARCUS DU SAUTOY on music and mathematics

Australian writer and critic CLIVE JAMES on what it means to be a screen icon

Slovenian philosopher SLAVOJ ZIZEK on ‘interpassivity’, the 21st century equivalent of interactivity.

THE FORUM, the ideas programme with Bridget Kendall.

Recorded this week in front of an invited audience as part of a BBC festival held in West London

British mathematician and trumpet player Marcus Du Sautoy on music and mathematics

Australian writer and critic Clive James on what it means to be a screen icon

Slovenian philosopher SLAVOJ ZIZEK on ‘interpassivity', the 21st century equivalent of interactivity.

20091004

Simon Conway Morris, Eva Hoffman and Nicholas Dunlop

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THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented this week by art historian TIM MARLOW.

In the programme: the interconnectedness of life on our earth, from the ancient past to the complexity of the global present.

British paleontologist SIMON CONWAY MORRIS suggests that the future of evolution may be more predictable than we think. He also believes that if extra-terrestrials exist, not only will they be as bright us but they may think like us too.

Polish philosopher and writer EVA HOFFMAN reflects on time and the way we experience it in our modern world. She warns we could be misusing what time we have with potentially damaging psychological consequences.

And founder of The Climate Parliament NICHOLAS DUNLOP outlines a radical new scheme of global political co-operation to save the planet – by creating regional 'supergrids' of renewable energy.

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented this week by art historian Tim Marlow.

In this week's programme: the interconnectedness of life on our earth, from the ancient past to the complexity of the global present.

British paleontologist Simon Conway Morris suggests that the future of evolution may be more predictable than we think.

He also believes that if extra-terrestrials exist, not only will they be as bright us but they may think like us too.

Polish philosopher and writer Eva Hoffman reflects on time and the way we experience it in our modern world.

She warns we could be misusing what time we have with potentially damaging psychological consequences.

And founder of The Climate Parliament NICHOLAS DUNLOP outlines a radical new scheme of global political co-operation to save the planet – by creating regional ‘supergrids' of renewable energy.

20091011

A special programme recorded at the Sydney Opera House in Australia

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THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented by BRIDGET KENDALL.

This week The Forum has an Australian accent.

Recorded in association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, before a lively audience in the Utzon Room of the Sydney Opera House, the programme challenges Australian stereotypes.

Aboriginal lawyer and novelist LARISSA BEHRENDT claims it’s time Australia woke up to the fact its legal rights system doesn’t work for everyone.

Singer, writer, director and public arts advocate ROBYN ARCHER challenges the way Australia sees itself and the world.

Cultural thinker, Indonesian born IEN ANG, asks if Australia is becoming part of Asia, and does Asia want it to be?

And the audience in the Utzon Room doesn’t hold back in expressing its views either.

THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented by BRIDGET KENDALL.

This week The Forum has an Australian accent.

Recorded in association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, before a lively audience in the Utzon Room of the Sydney Opera House, the programme challenges Australian stereotypes.

Aboriginal lawyer and novelist LARISSA BEHRENDT claims it's time Australia woke up to the fact its legal rights system doesn't work for everyone.

Singer, writer, director and public arts advocate ROBYN ARCHER challenges the way Australia sees itself and the world.

Cultural thinker, Indonesian born IEN ANG, asks if Australia is becoming part of Asia, and does Asia want it to be?

And the audience in the Utzon Room doesn't hold back in expressing its views either.

A special programme recorded from the Sydney Opera House in Australia

20091012
20091018

The Forum goes to New Zealand for a discussion with three eminent Kiwis

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THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented by BRIDGET KENDALL.

This week The Forum goes Kiwi...in partnership with Radio New Zealand.

In front of an attentive audience at the Soundings Theatre, part of New Zealand’s national treasure, the Te Papa Museum, the programme’s host BRIDGET KENDALL and her guests explores some aspects of what makes us human.

Writer and teacher BERNARD BECKETT, whose science-fiction novel Genesis probes the interface between people and machines, asks if there really is something so unique to mankind as a species that it is impossible to replicate us artificially.

Director of the Bioengineering Research Institute at the University of Auckland PETER HUNTER reveals how the Physiome Project is about to transform our understanding of the human body and why applying the things that engineering has learned over the last century and a half to medicine could lead to much more personalised healthcare.

And former New Zealand MP and Professor at the Institute of Public Policy MARILYN WARING challenges our notion of what we deem valuable. She argues that while trade in arms, people and drugs is often captured in national economic statistics, unpaid work, particularly that done by women, is conspicuously absent. Marilyn says that this isn’t just an accounting exercise: while logging companies often get state subsidies for clear cutting forests, women in the same areas who produce food for everyone can’t even afford pitchforks and wheelbarrows.

THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented by BRIDGET KENDALL.

This week The Forum goes Kiwi...in partnership with Radio New Zealand.

In front of an attentive audience at the Soundings Theatre, part of New Zealand's national treasure, the Te Papa Museum, the programme's host BRIDGET KENDALL and her guests explores some aspects of what makes us human.

Writer and teacher BERNARD BECKETT, whose science-fiction novel Genesis probes the interface between people and machines, asks if there really is something so unique to mankind as a species that it is impossible to replicate us artificially.

Director of the Bioengineering Research Institute at the University of Auckland PETER HUNTER reveals how the Physiome Project is about to transform our understanding of the human body and why applying the things that engineering has learned over the last century and a half to medicine could lead to much more personalised healthcare.

And former New Zealand MP and Professor at the Institute of Public Policy MARILYN WARING challenges our notion of what we deem valuable.

She argues that while trade in arms, people and drugs is often captured in national economic statistics, unpaid work, particularly that done by women, is conspicuously absent.

Marilyn says that this isn't just an accounting exercise: while logging companies often get state subsidies for clear cutting forests, women in the same areas who produce food for everyone can't even afford pitchforks and wheelbarrows.

20091019
20091025

PD James, Cormac O'Grada, Karin Sanders

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THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented by BRIDGET KENDALL.

British queen of crime fiction and global bestseller, PD JAMES, gives her own views on the abiding popularity of the detective mystery and suggests that the ordered and moral world it evokes is a great comfort to a world vexed by seemingly insoluble problems.

We look at the problem of famine with Irish economic historian CORMAC O'GRADA, who offers guarded optimism about our ability to eradicate major famine in the near future as long as we remain vigilant to its causes.

And taking us back two thousand years, Danish literary scholar KARIN SANDERS brings us face to face with the mummified corpses of ancient sacrifice and explores the stories they tell us and the ones we tell about them.

THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented by BRIDGET KENDALL.

British queen of crime fiction and global bestseller, PD JAMES, gives her own views on the abiding popularity of the detective mystery and suggests that the ordered and moral world it evokes is a great comfort to a world vexed by seemingly insoluble problems.

We look at the problem of famine with Irish economic historian CORMAC O'GRADA, who offers guarded optimism about our ability to eradicate major famine in the near future as long as we remain vigilant to its causes.

And taking us back two thousand years, Danish literary scholar KARIN SANDERS brings us face to face with the mummified corpses of ancient sacrifice and explores the stories they tell us and the ones we tell about them.

20091026
20091101

David Kilcullen, Robert Service, Catalin Avramescu

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THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented by BRIDGET KENDALL.

This week we look at three social 'outlaws' – the guerrilla, the revolutionary and the human cannibal – and challenge our beliefs about them.

Australian academic and counter terrorism advisor to the US government DAVID KILCULLEN asserts that the ‘accidental guerrilla’ is the key to understanding the anti-Western insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Historian ROBERT SERVICE devotes a new biography to Russian revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky, but claims it’s time to strip him of his heroic status.

And Romanian political scientist CATALIN AVRAMESCU believes we should reinstate the idea of the human cannibal, though in theory rather than in practice.

THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented by Bridget Kendall.

This week we look at three social ‘outlaws' – the guerrilla, the revolutionary and the human cannibal – and challenge our beliefs about them.

Australian academic and counter terrorism advisor to the US government David Kilcullen asserts that the ‘accidental guerrilla' is the key to understanding the anti-Western insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Historian Robert Service devotes a new biography to Russian revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky, but claims it's time to strip him of his heroic status.

And Romanian political scientist CATALIN AVRAMESCU believes we should reinstate the idea of the human cannibal, though in theory rather than in practice.

20091102
20091108

1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall, both an ending and a beginning

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THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented by BRIDGET KENDALL.

"All we knew was we were against something, none of us ever thought about the future and what we were for"...1989 The Berlin Wall falls and many have a night to remember. By the end of the year the Soviet communist empire in Eastern Europe disappears.

But as no-one foresees 1989’s swift and largely bloodless revolutions, so no-one has a plan for what to do next.

Meanwhile, even as the Cold War draws to a close the world is changing in ways few recognise. The outcome for all our futures and freedoms is far from inevitable and we may not be heading in the right direction.

THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented by Bridget Kendall.

All we knew was we were against something, none of us ever thought about the future and what we were for"...1989 The Berlin Wall falls and many have a night to remember.

By the end of the year the Soviet communist empire in Eastern Europe disappears.

But as no-one foresees 1989's swift and largely bloodless revolutions, so no-one has a plan for what to do next.

Meanwhile, even as the Cold War draws to a close the world is changing in ways few recognise.

The outcome for all our futures and freedoms is far from inevitable and we may not be heading in the right direction.

20091109
20091115

Antony Gormley, Viktor Mayer-Sch\u00f6nberger and Beau Lotto on the body, forgetting and illusion

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This week: the human brain.

Antony Gormley asks BBC listeners to take part in a meditative experiment...and go barefoot.

Plus the illusion of perception and the value of forgetting.

Antony Gormley, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Beau Lotto on the body, forgetting and illusion

20091116
20091122

Frank Furedi, Sabrina Maniscalco and Tahmima Anam on education, entanglement and epiphany

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THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented by this week by mathematician Marcus Du Sautoy

20091123
20091129

How to find the world in a grain of sand or a human being

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THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented by this week by historian Rana Mitter

20091130
20091206

Eternity, the resilience of corruption and how we know what others are thinking

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20091207
20091213

Fire, food and fun in the evolution of life

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THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented by Bridget Kendall

20091214
20091220

The strength of Chinese women, the intelligence of dolphins and the power of the comic book

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20091221
20091227

This week's theme is translation: in poetry, science and in architecture

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THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented by BRIDGET KENDALL

Below: Translating and interpreting the cosmos across a wall, by Emily Kasriel

20091228
20100103

We challenge assumptions about Australian heroes, history and humanity

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Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented this week from the Melbourne International Arts Festival, Australia by BRIDGET KENDALL

Produced in partnership with ABC Radio National

20100104

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

20100110

Why a vast array of unknown species is still out there waiting to be discovered

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Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented this week by Chinese historian RANA MITTER

Below: Curating unknown micro-organisms as they cling to a plank for survival, by Emily Kasriel

Below: Curating unknown mirco-organisms as they cling to a plank for survival, by Emily Kasriel

20100111

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

20100117

To see the world differently, opt out of society or just watch water boil!

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Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented this week by philosopher Angie Hobbs

20100118

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

20100124

What gives an object meaning and value? The Forum this week comes from the British Museum.

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This week’s Forum comes from the British Museum where a panel of guests will try to unlock the messages hidden within a number of objects, ranging from a Roman statue to a vial of DNA.

Bridget Kendall talks with Director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor; Genetics professor Steve Jones and novelist Aleksandar Hemon.

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

This week’s Forum comes from the British Museum where a panel of guests will try to unlock the messages hidden within a number of objects, ranging from a Roman statue to a vial of DNA.

Bridget Kendall talks with Director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor; Genetics professor Steve Jones and novelist Aleksandar Hemon.

This week's Forum comes from the British Museum where a panel of guests will try to unlock the messages hidden within a number of objects, ranging from a Roman statue to a vial of DNA.

20100125

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

2010013120100201 (WS)

What triggers earthquakes and why do we know so little? Plus the Arctic and African cities

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THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented by Bridget Kendall

The power of earthquakes from African cities to the arctic.

20100207

The true source of power: is it love, self interest or the cutting edge of biochemistry?

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THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented by Bridget Kendall.

Ribosome acting out of love or self interest.

20100208
20100214

Radically changing the world's monetary systems...and why our nose knows best.

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THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented by Bridget Kendall.

This week's Forum image: Snow White carries the mono-currency eagle as the robot of longevity smells a rose by any other name.

Listen to the programme and all will be revealed.

Radically changing the world's monetary systems…and why our nose knows best.

20100215
20100221

Why pointing's unique to humans, the financial meltdown that wasn't and serious video games

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THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented by Bridget Kendall

Opposite: Playing 'Forum World' by Tim Jokl

20100222
20100228

How do our ideas of home define us, and are there other planets we could inhabit?

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20100301
20100307

In The Forum from Wales we ask how we can improve trust in an age of catastrophic risk?

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THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - a special programme presented by Bridget Kendall from the Names Not Numbers Symposium

Opposite: Business leaders take a catastrophic risk in sharing responsibility with healing women.

By Emily Kasriel

20100308
20100314

The past and future of the internet: where is it heading? And what if it stopped working?

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THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - an edition which joins in the BBC's SuperPower internet season, presented by Bridget Kendall

Illustration opposite: The internet creates shared meaning and a primordial soup of our origins but we must protect it and ensure our privacy.

By Emily Kasriel

20100315
20100321

What makes an outsider become an insider?

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THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented by Bridget Kendall

Opposite: Our national spirit transformed as we move to invade new urban spaces and megacities.

By Emily Kasriel.

20100322
20100328

Is it a good idea to erase our painful memories?

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THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented by Bridget Kendall.

This week with Swedish neuroscientist Anders Sandberg, British economist John Kay and Russian artist Irina Nakhova

Illustration opposite: Erasing bad memories of tattooed skin hides as we take the scenic indirect route

20100404

How much money is one life worth? Should we be putting a price tag on the terminally ill?

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THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented this week by historian of China, Rana Mitter.

With American novelist Lionel Shriver, the former Mayor of Bogota Enrique Penalosa and British historian Yasmin Khan.

Illustration opposite by Rosie Pike.

20100405
20100411

Storytelling: through DNA, ancient texts and in Eastern wisdom

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THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented this week by mathematician Marcus Du Sautoy.

With novelist Philip Pullman, Japanese anthropologist Hiroko Kawanami and molecular biologist Stephan Schuster.

Illustration opposite by Graeme Davis.

20100412
20100418

Is art and creativity universal and what evolutionary advantage has it given us?

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New Zealand Philosopher Denis Dutton on art and creativity as a universal human trait; American psychologist Daniel Goleman on creating an eco-intelligence for an industrialised age and author Wendy Law-Yone discusses the fiction of memory and how we create a myth of home.

An artistic ape drawing on eco-intelligence to forget his idea of home by Emily Kasriel

New Zealand Philosopher Denis Dutton on art and creativity as a universal human trait; American psychologist Daniel Goleman on creating an eco-intelligence for an industrialised age and author Wendy Law-Yone discusses the fiction of memory and how we create a myth of home.

An artistic ape drawing on eco-intelligence to forget his idea of home by Emily Kasriel

20100419
20100425

Power-games, unwelcome parasites, and the rise of middle classes in the Muslim world.

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South African novelist Andre Brink on power-games with languages.

Unwelcome guests inside our bodies, with American biologist Eugene Kaplan.

And American-Iranian scholar Vali Nasr on the rise of the 'critical middle' in the Muslim world.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

20100426
20100502

Innovation: the mysterious realm of nanotechnology.

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Innovation
One of America’s most prominent Nano scientists, Harvard Professor George Whitesides, explains how he believes nanotechnology could be about to revolutionize the world as we know it, eminent Marxist geographer David Harvey argues that capitalism is the primary driving force behind innovation. Award winning Indian author Radhika Jha weighs the options for one poor Indian village- trapped between tradition and the desire to leapfrog out of poverty.

Capital driving innovation in the world of the nano cow by Emily Kasriel.

Innovation

One of America's most prominent Nano scientists, Harvard Professor George Whitesides, explains how he believes nanotechnology could be about to revolutionize the world as we know it, eminent Marxist geographer David Harvey argues that capitalism is the primary driving force behind innovation.

Award winning Indian author Radhika Jha weighs the options for one poor Indian village- trapped between tradition and the desire to leapfrog out of poverty.

Capital driving innovation in the world of the nano cow by Emily Kasriel.

20100503
20100509

Engaging your enemies: is democracy a precondition for peace?

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Forging Links

American political scientist Professor Charles Kupchan explains why no conflict need be eternal and lays out his recipe for peace making. Jordanian artist Samah Hijawi shares her experience of reaching out to the people of Amman, through sounds, pictures and speeches. And award winning author Joan Brady charts her artistic journey from ballet dancer to writer and what role the spectator and reader plays in all of this.

Changing the tune to turn literary or balletic enemies into friends in a public place by Emily Kasriel

Forging Links

American political scientist Professor Charles Kupchan explains why no conflict need be eternal and lays out his recipe for peace making.

Jordanian artist Samah Hijawi shares her experience of reaching out to the people of Amman, through sounds, pictures and speeches.

And award winning author Joan Brady charts her artistic journey from ballet dancer to writer and what role the spectator and reader plays in all of this.

Changing the tune to turn literary or balletic enemies into friends in a public place by Emily Kasriel

20100510
20100516

Tracing the silvery threads of a spider\u2019s web\u2026 the power of connections.

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Connections and Rupture

Harvard physician and social scientist, Professor Nicholas Christakis explains how our behaviour, health and even basic beliefs can be shaped by people we’ve never met. Israeli film director Amos Gitai gives his poignant memories of frontline military services, and how this affected his vision as a film maker.
Pakistani novelist Daniyal Mueenuddin draws us into his fictional world of age- old connections built on a feudal society. He argues that the poorer and more desperate you are, the less likely you are to take risks and change your life.

Below the surface, networks and connections between soldiers, servants and traders by Emily Kasriel

Connections and Rupture

Harvard physician and social scientist, Professor Nicholas Christakis explains how our behaviour, health and even basic beliefs can be shaped by people we've never met.

Israeli film director Amos Gitai gives his poignant memories of frontline military services, and how this affected his vision as a film maker.

Pakistani novelist Daniyal Mueenuddin draws us into his fictional world of age- old connections built on a feudal society.

He argues that the poorer and more desperate you are, the less likely you are to take risks and change your life.

Below the surface, networks and connections between soldiers, servants and traders by Emily Kasriel

Tracing the silvery threads of a spider's web… the power of connections.

20100517
20100523

Soft power or Smart power: will Joseph Nye's ideas work in the 21st Century?

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Joseph Nye, who coined the term soft power, updates his ideas for the 21st Century.

"The world is neither unipolar, multipolar, nor chaotic – it is all three at the same time. Thus a smart grand strategy must be able to handle very different distributions of power in different domains and understand the trade-offs between them."

Image opposite: What values are holding together military power, economic power and the power of the pen, on a 3D chess board by Emily Kasriel.

Joseph Nye, who coined the term soft power, updates his ideas for the 21st Century.

The world is neither unipolar, multipolar, nor chaotic – it is all three at the same time.

Thus a smart grand strategy must be able to handle very different distributions of power in different domains and understand the trade-offs between them."

Image opposite: What values are holding together military power, economic power and the power of the pen, on a 3D chess board by Emily Kasriel.

20100524
20100530

This week on The Forum we\u2019re going to discuss why we lie to protect our sense of self.

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Distinguished psychologist Dorothy Rowe wants us to think about why we lie. She argues that we lie in order to protect our sense of self. Neuroscientist and novelist, David Eagleman approaches the mind from another direction, probing neural processes in the brain. New research, he says, could affect how criminals are prosecuted. Iraqi academic Kanan Makiya calls for an end to self delusion on a wider scale – saying its time for Arab intellectuals to stop being silent, speak out and go beyond the Arab sense of victimhood.

A tumour affects our brain, encouraging it to lie about a culture of violence, to protect our sense of self by Emily Kasriel.

Distinguished psychologist Dorothy Rowe wants us to think about why we lie.

She argues that we lie in order to protect our sense of self.

Neuroscientist and novelist, David Eagleman approaches the mind from another direction, probing neural processes in the brain.

New research, he says, could affect how criminals are prosecuted.

Iraqi academic Kanan Makiya calls for an end to self delusion on a wider scale – saying its time for Arab intellectuals to stop being silent, speak out and go beyond the Arab sense of victimhood.

A tumour affects our brain, encouraging it to lie about a culture of violence, to protect our sense of self by Emily Kasriel.

This week on The Forum we're going to discuss why we lie to protect our sense of self.

20100531
20100606

This week on The Forum: Masks, Movement and Emotion.

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Canadian writer Yann Martel is known all over the world for his novel Life of Pi. Now he brings us a new work which explores the masks we use to protect ourselves from our deepest horrors. British neuroscientist Dan Glaser probes the limits of visual perception: how much does what we see determine our physical movements? And avant-garde Austrian graphic designer, Stefan Sagmeister on new ways to draw upon individuality for design that will reach out and grab you.

Poster of the emotions of a donkey and howler monkey conveyed through their facial expressions. Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

Canadian writer Yann Martel is known all over the world for his novel Life of Pi.

Now he brings us a new work which explores the masks we use to protect ourselves from our deepest horrors.

British neuroscientist Dan Glaser probes the limits of visual perception: how much does what we see determine our physical movements? And avant-garde Austrian graphic designer, Stefan Sagmeister on new ways to draw upon individuality for design that will reach out and grab you.

Poster of the emotions of a donkey and howler monkey conveyed through their facial expressions.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

20100607
20100613

New Beginnings: cell renewal and telomeres, the rise of China and new African education.

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One of last year’s winners of the Nobel Prize for medicine, Australian biologist Elizabeth Blackburn, discusses whether we are on the brink of learning how to reverse the ageing process. Is the 21st century really going to be dominated by the Asian giants of China and India? Dispelling a few myths about their economic success is the distinguished Indian economist, Pranab Bardhan. And a vision for an African renaissance, driven by a fresh generation of young African leaders: pioneering educator, Dr. Patrick Awuah joins us from Ghana, to explain why he believes a new style of college education can help open up Africa’s options.

Educating Chinese and Indian telomeres. Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

One of last year’s winners of the Nobel Prize for medicine, Australian biologist Elizabeth Blackburn, discusses whether we are on the brink of learning how to reverse the ageing process.

Is the 21st century really going to be dominated by the Asian giants of China and India? Dispelling a few myths about their economic success is the distinguished Indian economist, Pranab Bardhan.

And a vision for an African renaissance, driven by a fresh generation of young African leaders: pioneering educator, Dr.

Patrick Awuah joins us from Ghana, to explain why he believes a new style of college education can help open up Africa’s options.

Educating Chinese and Indian telomeres.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

20100614
20100620

Is the world hurtling towards a final theory of everything ? And what might it look like?

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Nobel Prize winning physicist Steven Weinberg explains why he is looking for a final theory of everything and outlines what it might look like. Britain’s former top co-ordinator of intelligence Sir David Omand, discusses what limits should be set on the way governments use intelligence and surveillance to protect our liberty and privacy? And is reality subjective, or is it objective fact? The theme of a new detective novel from one of Germany’s most exciting new writers, Juli Zeh.

A detective tracking down the theory of everything to protect the state. Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

Nobel Prize winning physicist Steven Weinberg explains why he is looking for a final theory of everything and outlines what it might look like.

Britain’s former top co-ordinator of intelligence Sir David Omand, discusses what limits should be set on the way governments use intelligence and surveillance to protect our liberty and privacy? And is reality subjective, or is it objective fact? The theme of a new detective novel from one of Germany’s most exciting new writers, Juli Zeh.

A detective tracking down the theory of everything to protect the state.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

20100621
20100627

How our mind can behave very differently depending on who we are with.

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Presented by Marcus du Sautoy.
Provost of Columbia University Claude Steele reveals how our brains can be hindered by the power of stereotype threats and shows us what we can do to avoid them. Linguist Guy Deutscher explores how different quirks of our mother tongues can cause very different habits of mind. Hungarian poet Agnes Lehoczky explores the effect of poetry on the mind and suggests that it’s time to rehabilitate the notion of eavesdropping.

Overcoming stereotype threats by speaking new geographies of the mind. Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

Presented by Marcus Du Sautoy.

Provost of Columbia University Claude Steele reveals how our brains can be hindered by the power of stereotype threats and shows us what we can do to avoid them.

Linguist Guy Deutscher explores how different quirks of our mother tongues can cause very different habits of mind.

Hungarian poet Agnes Lehoczky explores the effect of poetry on the mind and suggests that it’s time to rehabilitate the notion of eavesdropping.

Overcoming stereotype threats by speaking new geographies of the mind.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

20100628
20100704

Forum at Science Museum: Who am I? A combination of pleasure, pain and love?

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At a special show recorded at the Science Museum, Danish neuroscientist Morten Kringlebach delves deep into the brain to understand what triggers pleasure - and pain - on a quest for new insights into human nature.

Scottish writer and comedienne A L Kennedy probes the moments when we aren't sure who we are: the tortured uncertainties of adolescence. And what happens to us when we fall in love.

And Australian bioethicist Julian Savulescu asks us to expand the frontiers of what it means to be human by embracing the brave new world of genetic enhancement.

Who are we? Are we our brain? How can love and genetic enhancement affect us? Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

Danish neuroscientist Morten Kringlebach delves deep into the brain to understand what triggers pleasure - and pain - on a quest for new insights into human nature.

Scottish writer and comedienne A L Kennedy probes the moments when we aren't sure who we are: the tortured uncertainties of adolescence.

And what happens to us when we fall in love.

And Australian bioethicist Julian Savulescu asks us to expand the frontiers of what it means to be human by embracing the brave new world of genetic enhancement.

Who are we? Are we our brain? How can love and genetic enhancement affect us? Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

20100705
20100711

British Historian, Professor Niall Ferguson, revives the era of gentlemanly capitalism.

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British Historian, Professor Niall Ferguson revives the era of gentlemanly capitalism, with a new biography of the high financier, Siegmund Warburg. A man, he says, current day bankers would do well to study.
Serbian born physicist, Professor Vlatko Vedral argues that the idea of information holds the key to understanding our universe.
German novelist Julia Franck explores how the effects of war are passed on from one generation to another, with lasting emotional impact.

A moral banker abandoning a child, all reduced to ones and zeros. Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

British Historian, Professor Niall Ferguson revives the era of gentlemanly capitalism, with a new biography of the high financier, Siegmund Warburg.

A man, he says, current day bankers would do well to study.

Serbian born physicist, Professor Vlatko Vedral argues that the idea of information holds the key to understanding our universe.

German novelist Julia Franck explores how the effects of war are passed on from one generation to another, with lasting emotional impact.

A moral banker abandoning a child, all reduced to ones and zeros.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

20100712
20100718

In a special TED show, we ask about change and how to bring it about.

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A special edition of the Forum this week:we move to the city of Oxford and mingle with some of the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers as we become part of a conference organised by TED, the international ideas organisation. In the company of three exceptional guests, we ask the thrilling question of how to bring about real change in the world - now - in attitudes, in politics and in the environment. One of the world's leading cyber activists, Ethan Zuckerman looks at how to harness the tremendous power of social media to create meaningful change, the renowned Swedish environmentalist and champion of resilience thinking, Johan Rockstrom delves into the surprisingly unpredictable nature of change and shows how understanding this can help save the world's ecosystems, and the Iranian-American comedy star Maz Jobrani shares with us his insights on how humour can change the world.

Using social media and humour to create big changes and tackle global warming. Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

A special edition of the Forum this week:we move to the city of Oxford and mingle with some of the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers as we become part of a conference organised by TED, the international ideas organisation.

In the company of three exceptional guests, we ask the thrilling question of how to bring about real change in the world - now - in attitudes, in politics and in the environment.

One of the world's leading cyber activists, Ethan Zuckerman looks at how to harness the tremendous power of social media to create meaningful change, the renowned Swedish environmentalist and champion of resilience thinking, Johan Rockstrom delves into the surprisingly unpredictable nature of change and shows how understanding this can help save the world's ecosystems, and the Iranian-American comedy star Maz Jobrani shares with us his insights on how humour can change the world.

Using social media and humour to create big changes and tackle global warming.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

We ask the vital question of how to bring about real change to the world.

20100719
20100725

Lord John Alderdice explains how to use psychotherapy to bring peace.

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Today, there’s a curative feel to the programme as we explore how to heal old political scars, nurture the planet and imagine a positive future.

One of the key negotiators of the Northern Ireland peace process, Lord John Alderdice, explains how to use psychotherapy to bring peace.

Forget the rise of Asia: Columbian law lecturer and writer, Oscar Guardiola Rivera is here to tell us why he thinks it’s time for Latin America to assert itself.

And the untapped chemical potential of trees with Irish “renegade scientist” and writer Diana Beresford-Kroeger.

Using psychoanalysis, Latin power and trees to bring opposing sides to the table to establish peace. Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

Today, there’s a curative feel to the programme as we explore how to heal old political scars, nurture the planet and imagine a positive future.

One of the key negotiators of the Northern Ireland peace process, Lord John Alderdice, explains how to use psychotherapy to bring peace.

Forget the rise of Asia: Columbian law lecturer and writer, Oscar Guardiola Rivera is here to tell us why he thinks it’s time for Latin America to assert itself.

And the untapped chemical potential of trees with Irish “renegade scientist” and writer Diana Beresford-Kroeger.

Using psychoanalysis, Latin power and trees to bring opposing sides to the table to establish peace.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

20100726
20100801

Why human instincts are floundering in a modern world of fast food and cartoons.

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It’s nearly two years since the abyss opened up and the world financial system looked as though it might fall in. One economist who famously predicted the crisis was Nouriel Roubini, who explains why he was so sure, and what he thinks will happen next to the world economy.

Evolutionary psychologist Deirdre Barratt, who’s convinced this commercialised, technological age is playing havoc with our basic human instincts.

The Sri Lankan-born writer Roma Tearne argues that novels are not just a window on our human souls, but a doorway into our subconscious.

Learning from the boom and bust past and our memories and avoid high carb and cute temptations. Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

It’s nearly two years since the abyss opened up and the world financial system looked as though it might fall in.

One economist who famously predicted the crisis was Nouriel Roubini, who explains why he was so sure, and what he thinks will happen next to the world economy.

Evolutionary psychologist Deirdre Barratt, who’s convinced this commercialised, technological age is playing havoc with our basic human instincts.

The Sri Lankan-born writer Roma Tearne argues that novels are not just a window on our human souls, but a doorway into our subconscious.

Learning from the boom and bust past and our memories and avoid high carb and cute temptations.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

20100802
20100808

The community versus the individual. How do we get past greed and what\u2019s the alternative?

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Eminent sociologist Amitai Etzioni, says if our modern consumer society is the problem, then the answer is a ‘communitarian’ approach. But can this really work?

Getting beyond the individual is also what Nigerian novelist Teju Cole explores. In his case it’s not people around him, it’s communing with the past inhabitants of cities.

And from individual to common ownership in music: should songs belong to everyone? German musicologist Dr Daniel Müllensiefen dissects musical plagiarism.

Illustration by Graeme Davis.

Eminent sociologist Amitai Etzioni, says if our modern consumer society is the problem, then the answer is a ‘communitarian’ approach.

But can this really work?

Getting beyond the individual is also what Nigerian novelist Teju Cole explores.

In his case it’s not people around him, it’s communing with the past inhabitants of cities.

And from individual to common ownership in music: should songs belong to everyone? German musicologist Dr Daniel Müllensiefen dissects musical plagiarism.

Illustration by Graeme Davis.

The community versus the individual.

How do we get past greed and what’s the alternative?

20100809
20100815

The value of uncertainty, as a source of artistic inspiration.

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The celebrated South African artist and animator William Kentridge describes how failure is an intrinsic part of what he strives for.

Dutch philosopher Alex Voorhoeve explains how human psychology may get in the way of moral clarity.

And the flaws of online communications – is social networking undermining our ability to make real friends? Or is that just a myth? –American Professor Nancy Baym explores the question of authenticity in communication.

Illustration by Graeme Davis.

20100816
20100822

The surprisingly long history of obesity. And do storytelling and science ever meet?

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Obesity is often talked of as an ailment of modern affluence. But Bridget Kendall is joined by American cultural historian Sander Gilman who says it's nowhere near as simple as that….

One of the South Africa's most celebrated storytellers, Gcina Mhlophe, casts some of her fairy dust over us, and performs a very short story exclusively for the programme.

And philosopher and biologist Massimo Pigliucci maintains that it’s not so easy to trace the fuzzy line between scientific fact and conjecture. But he also asserts that there are some pressing, practical reasons why we should try to.

Obesity: will science or storytelling help? Illustration by Bridget Kendall.

20100823
20100829

A new understanding of what happens in our brain when we read.

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The thin line between fact and fiction - the theme for today’s programme - guest presented by Philippe Sands, celebrated barrister and Professor of International Law at University College London.

French neuroscientist Stanislas Dehaene explains the amazing feat of reading which starts with our eyes splitting each word into thousands of fragments.

Award winning Danish writer Carsten Jensen on how his sea faring novel reaches truth with the help of a lie, and how fiction can replace documentary facts.

And the Mexican historian of science Jimena Canales on why our perceptions are always a tenth of a second behind the world, and what we should do about it.

Decoding sound and meaning when we read and tell stories in a tenth of a second – picture by Emily Kasriel.

20100830
20100905

Can freedom of choice be a burden?

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Are we in control of how we shape our lives? Are we masters of our own narratives, or do lawyers or lab scientists hold the real power over our identities, asks guest presenter Rana Mitter, Professor of Chinese history and politics at Oxford University.

Leading American expert on choice Sheena Iyengar explains how we define ourselves through the choices we make. But would we be happier if we had less choice?

Anglo Hungarian poet George Szirtes on reclaiming the lost and frozen pieces of our past to find our true identity.

And from New Zealand, international patent lawyer Yvonne Cripps asks whether we can patent people’s body parts, or does this violate our basic human rights?

Illustration: Are we liberated by having the choice between unfreezing history or patenting our genes? Picture by Emily Kasriel.

20100906
20100912

What heals pain? Silence or speaking out?

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This week on The Forum presenter Bridget Kendall looks at the perils of communication and the dangers of keeping silent.

What is it about pain that makes it so hard to put into words? American doctor David Biro has personal experience of the difficulties of articulating intense physical pain and explains why finding new language to express it may ease the agony.

Nigerian demographer Alex Ezeh looks at the challenges of discussing family planning in some parts of Africa and the most effective way of getting the message across in a continent whose population, he estimates, will double by 2050.

And Sri Lankan historian Sujit Sivasundaram takes us back into Sri Lanka’s pre-colonial history by decoding the complex messages hidden in palm leaf manuscripts.

Illustration: Challenges of communicating between a doctor and a palm leaf patient over questions of family planning. Picture by Emily Kasriel.

20100913
20100919

New Science of living longer plus Clay Shirky

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On this week's Forum, are we heading towards a brave new world?

Are we on the verge of discovering ways to delay the ageing process and expand our life spans? Award winning British geneticist Dame Linda Partridge reveals some surprising new scientific discoveries.

Who would have thought the number of ethnic conflicts around the world is steadily decreasing? German Professor of International Security, Stefan Wolff explores the reasons.

And what's about to change, now that billions of people can pool information with the rest of the globe at a click of a button? The newest thoughts of American new media visionary Clay Shirky.

Very old people celebrating the wane of ethnic conflict in a digitally legible world (1s and 0s).

Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

On this week's Forum, are we heading towards a brave new world?

Are we on the verge of discovering ways to delay the ageing process and expand our life spans? Award winning British geneticist Dame Linda Partridge reveals some surprising new scientific discoveries.

Who would have thought the number of ethnic conflicts around the world is steadily decreasing? German Professor of International Security, Stefan Wolff explores the reasons.

And what's about to change, now that billions of people can pool information with the rest of the globe at a click of a button? The newest thoughts of American new media visionary Clay Shirky.

Very old people celebrating the wane of ethnic conflict in a digitally legible world (1s and 0s).

Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

20100920
20100926

How monkeys can teach us more about human irrationality plus writer Marilynne Robinson.

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Human beings have got impressively large brains - so why are we still irrational? Professor of Psychology, Laurie Santos, tells us why her work with monkeys can offer us some important pointers about ourselves.

Pulitzer Prize winning writer Marilynne Robinson argues that human nature is fundamentally generous spirited. We’re not pre-programmed to be selfish, as some schools of science might have us think.

Philosopher Roman Frigg wants scientists to allow him and his philosophical colleagues into their laboratories in order to get them to think differently.
But what could scientists gain from this philosophical perspective?

Is it irrational to introduce altruistic philosophers and Kapuchin monkeys into the laboratory? Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

Human beings have got impressively large brains - so why are we still irrational? Professor of Psychology, Laurie Santos, tells us why her work with monkeys can offer us some important pointers about ourselves.

Pulitzer Prize winning writer Marilynne Robinson argues that human nature is fundamentally generous spirited.

We’re not pre-programmed to be selfish, as some schools of science might have us think.

Philosopher Roman Frigg wants scientists to allow him and his philosophical colleagues into their laboratories in order to get them to think differently.

But what could scientists gain from this philosophical perspective?

Is it irrational to introduce altruistic philosophers and Kapuchin monkeys into the laboratory? Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

20100927
20101003

Former England Cricket captain Mike Brearley explains what makes a good team, great.

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Former England cricket captain and now psychoanalyst, Mike Brearley offers an insight into the dynamic of teams and explains what makes the difference between a good and a great team. Drawing upon his own experience, he argues that the strongest leader can admit vulnerability.

We hear the case for transforming the military from a threat to a resource for nation building: Africa specialist Lieutenant-Colonel Shannon Beebe explains how.

And why Africa's roadside kiosks aren't makeshift structures blocking progress but the future of sustainable urban design. We hear from Ghanaian architect DK Osseo-Asare.

A narcissistic leader inside a kiosk instructs soldiers to develop human security. Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

Former England cricket captain and now psychoanalyst, Mike Brearley offers an insight into the dynamic of teams and explains what makes the difference between a good and a great team.

Drawing upon his own experience, he argues that the strongest leader can admit vulnerability.

We hear the case for transforming the military from a threat to a resource for nation building: Africa specialist Lieutenant-Colonel Shannon Beebe explains how.

And why Africa's roadside kiosks aren't makeshift structures blocking progress but the future of sustainable urban design.

We hear from Ghanaian architect DK Osseo-Asare.

A narcissistic leader inside a kiosk instructs soldiers to develop human security.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

20101004
20101010

This week on the Forum: empathy in great apes, ancient Athens and fictional characters.

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A fresh look at human nature when compared with our nearest cousins in the animal kingdom. The eminent Dutch primatologist Frans de Waal describes new research into chimpanzees and other primates that suggests consolation and empathy are not purely human virtues.

More virtue, this time going back two and a half thousand years. British historian Bettany Hughes transports us back to ancient Greece for a reassessment of the great philosopher Socrates and his ideas on what makes life worth living.

And a plea from the best selling Turkish writer Elif Shafak to let a novelist’s imagination run free, unconstrained by the pressures of national and identity politics.

Creating empathy across time, continents and species. Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

20101011
20101017

This week on The Forum, pragmatism versus idealism.

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A guide to wielding power from the ultimate insider, Tony Blair’s former chief of staff, Jonathan Powell.

He wants to restore the reputation of the controversial Renaissance thinker Niccolo Machiavelli – and argues that twenty first century politics has much to learn from the Florentine philosopher.

Nigerian-American cancer pioneer Funmi Olopade takes a controversial look at race to determine how to best help a woman tackle breast cancer.

And drawing upon her country’s rich tradition of powerful revolt, award winning Haitian novelist Edwidge Danticat.

The 21st century prince is both pragmatic and idealistic in directing her people tormented by earthquakes and breast cancer. Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

20101018
20101024

Can reading ever be dangerous? With bestselling novelist Audrey Niffenegger.

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Best selling American novelist Audrey Niffenegger tells a cautionary tale about the perils of losing yourself in reading.

A warning too from Australian historian Patrick Porter that military commanders should beware of stereotypes when it comes to sizing up the enemy.

And a plea from Kenyan lawyer and activist Ory Okolloh not to stifle the creativity of African children, both in and out of school.

Illustration by Audrey Niffenegger.

20101025
20101031

This week, The Forum trains its sights a long way beyond the horizon.

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We often contemplate the human condition on the Forum, but this week we go way beyond the process that took us from slime to civilization to look at death on a truly astronomical bigger scale: the end of the universe and all that’s in it. How long will it take? And what’ll be the last thing to unravel? Our voyage to the stars is with American astronomer Chris Impey.

Also joining us, one of the world’s most successful modern art curators, Lars Nittve, with his vision for the next generation of art museums.

And Iraqi born activist Zainab Salbi charts a course for the future that will see the empowerment of poor women, but warns that it will only work if men are involved too.

Coming to grips with the end of the universe through art.
Illustration by Bridget Kendall.

We often contemplate the human condition on the Forum, but this week we go way beyond the process that took us from slime to civilization to look at death on a truly astronomical bigger scale: the end of the universe and all that’s in it.

How long will it take? And what’ll be the last thing to unravel? Our voyage to the stars is with American astronomer Chris Impey.

Also joining us, one of the world’s most successful modern art curators, Lars Nittve, with his vision for the next generation of art museums.

And Iraqi born activist Zainab Salbi charts a course for the future that will see the empowerment of poor women, but warns that it will only work if men are involved too.

Coming to grips with the end of the universe through art.

Illustration by Bridget Kendall.

20101101
20101106
20101107

Special recording from Belfast: Creating a post-conflict society.

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Is it in some way easier to live in a more polarised society? Do the people of Northern Ireland still harbour a soft spot for the hard men? At a time of increased tensions in the area, a panel of celebrated citizens of Northern Ireland debate this in front of an audience at the Northern Ireland National Assembly in Stormont.

The discussion kicks off with a performance by the award-winning poet Paul Muldoon from his latest collection. Joining Paul on the panel is Baroness May Blood of Blackwatertown, MBE, a campaigner for integrated education and Dr Raman Kapur a consultant clinical psychologist in Belfast.

Award winning poet, Paul Muldoon, has been described as the most significant English-language poet born since the Second World War. Paul is currently a professor at Princeton University.

Baroness May Blood of Blackwatertown, MBE, was born and raised in Belfast and worked in a linen mill from her teenage years. She has fought for equality for women at work and was the first woman in Northern Ireland to be given a life peerage.

Dr Raman Kapur is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Chief Executive of Threshold, a mental health charity in Northern Ireland who has written and researched on 'The Troubled Mind of Northern Ireland'.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel. A Hummingbird and a Quail are educated together whilst still harbouring prejudice in their minds.

Is it in some way easier to live in a more polarised society? Do the people of Northern Ireland still harbour a soft spot for the hard men? At a time of increased tensions in the area, a panel of celebrated citizens of Northern Ireland debate this in front of an audience at the Northern Ireland National Assembly in Stormont.

The discussion kicks off with a performance by the award-winning poet Paul Muldoon from his latest collection.

Joining Paul on the panel is Baroness May Blood of Blackwatertown, MBE, a campaigner for integrated education and Dr Raman Kapur a consultant clinical psychologist in Belfast.

Award winning poet, Paul Muldoon, has been described as the most significant English-language poet born since the second World War.

Paul is currently a professor at Princeton University.

Baroness May Blood of Blackwatertown, MBE, was born and raised in Belfast and worked in a linen mill from her teenage years.

She has fought for equality for women at work and was the first woman in Northern Ireland to be given a life peerage.

Dr Raman Kapur is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Chief Executive of Threshold, a mental health charity in Northern Ireland who written and researched on 'The Troubled Mind of Northern Ireland'.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

A Hummingbird and a Quail are educated together whilst still harbouring prejudice in their minds.

20101108
20101113
20101114

Is there a place for honour in the modern world?

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When you’re ‘honour bound’ to do something – what actually is it that drives you? The desire to do the right thing, or the sneaking need for approval and respect from others? Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah asks where morality ends and honour codes begin.

How do you get past the temptation to typecast different nationalities? Writer and comedienne Anna Chen contemplates stereotypes of Asian women.

And leaving human prejudices aside - what happens if we suddenly find out we aren’t alone in the universe? Harvard astronomer Dimitar Sasselov updates us on the discoveries of the Kepler mission, the observatory sent up into space to look for habitable exoplanets circling around other stars.

(Above) A unique woman with breast enhancements and bound feet having a duel for her honour with a gravity challenged being on a super earth many light years away. Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

When you’re ‘honour bound’ to do something – what actually is it that drives you? The desire to do the right thing, or the sneaking need for approval and respect from others? Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah asks where morality ends and honour codes begin.

How do you get past the temptation to typecast different nationalities? Writer and comedienne Anna Chen contemplates stereotypes of Asian women.

And leaving human prejudices aside - what happens if we suddenly find out we aren’t alone in the universe? Harvard astronomer Dimitar Sasselov updates us on the discoveries of the Kepler mission, the observatory sent up into space to look for habitable exoplanets circling around other stars.

(Above) A unique woman with breast enhancements and bound feet having a duel for her honour with a gravity challenged being on a super earth many light years away.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

20101115
20101120
20101121

The new plasma engine that will make your trip to Mars as easy as crossing the Atlantic.

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A voyage to the stars – or rather to a nearby planet or asteroid – accomplished in a matter of days, rather than months. It may sound like science fiction but astronaut and engineer Franklin Chang Diaz will try to persuade us all that his plasma rocket engine, now in prototype stage, will soon turn it into reality.

We also delve into another world hovering between fiction and reality: Hong Kong writer Po Wah Lam leads us to a time and place when all that mattered were small insects, grasshoppers and locusts.

And distinguished historian Bruce Cumings urges us to remove our blinkers when we look at the Pacific coast of United States and the countries it faces across the vast expanse of the ocean.

The Pacific launches a more successful plasma-fuelled rocket than the Atlantic, better able to catch those crickets. Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

A voyage to the stars – or rather to a nearby planet or asteroid – accomplished in a matter of days, rather than months.

It may sound like science fiction but astronaut and engineer Franklin Chang Diaz will try to persuade us all that his plasma rocket engine, now in prototype stage, will soon turn it into reality.

We also delve into another world hovering between fiction and reality: Hong Kong writer Po Wah Lam leads us to a time and place when all that mattered were small insects, grasshoppers and locusts.

And distinguished historian Bruce Cumings urges us to remove our blinkers when we look at the Pacific coast of United States and the countries it faces across the vast expanse of the ocean.

The Pacific launches a more successful plasma-fuelled rocket than the Atlantic, better able to catch those crickets.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

20101122
20101127

Manipulation or collaboration: P.J.O'Rourke, nano technology and our music instinct.

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The Forum this week: exploring the boundary between manipulation and collaboration. (Watch the video of PJ O'Rourke's world-changing gadget below.)

How would our lives change if we could regrow bits of our bodies? We enter the pioneering world of nano technology, where scientists are learning how to send signals to our failing organs to regenerate themselves, with bio engineeer, Sam Stupp.

And when you peer deep into the human ear and the way our brains interpret music, what is exactly happening? According to Physicist and musician Philip Ball, it’s all about detecting and expecting patterns.

And a different sort of probing from America’s most quoted humorist: PJ O’Rourke explains why politicians are a medicine we should only take in very small doses.
Illustration by Emily Kasriel. Sending nano filaments to regenerate broken organs as we listen to patterns in music prompting us to demand a cut down in the number of politicians.

20101204

Challenging Indian history and identity with Lord Desai, plus language and sex identities.

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Is it time to retell the story of India’s past? Should we challenge the historical idea of India as a single national entity? An alternative view from economist and British politician, Lord Meghnad Desai.

Can we use nature as a window on our sex lives?
German anthropologist Volker Sommer leads us through the natural world to find out what we can learn from the sexual behaviour of monkeys and apes.

And in this nomadic modern world of multiple identities, Scottish-Ghanaian novelist Lesley Lokko shines a light on the strains of being more than one person at once.

llustration by Emily Kasriel: Gay apes with a hybrid identity re imagine the notion of Indian unity

Is it time to retell the story of India’s past? Should we challenge the historical idea of India as a single national entity? An alternative view from economist and British politician, Lord Meghnad Desai.

Can we use nature as a window on our sex lives?

German anthropologist Volker Sommer leads us through the natural world to find out what we can learn from the sexual behaviour of monkeys and apes.

And in this nomadic modern world of multiple identities, Scottish-Ghanaian novelist Lesley Lokko shines a light on the strains of being more than one person at once.

llustration by Emily Kasriel: Gay apes with a hybrid identity re imagine the notion of Indian unity

Probing identities with British politican Lord Desai, through history,language and sex.

20101211

Can the places where we live, work and heal affect our wellbeing?

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This week on the Forum… why what we see and hear can affect our well being. Leading mind and body medical researcher Esther Sternberg explains how our environment can make or break the healing process.

Futuristic fiction set in Africa. Nigerian American novelist Nnedi Okorafor makes the case for sci-fi as a new way to shine a light on African problems.

And the future of food consumption. Dutch behavioural ecologist Marcel Dicke argues we should all learn to like the taste of insects – however whiskery or slimy they may be. Insects are a more efficient way to provide food rich in protein, for the world’s growing population.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: A stressful tasty insect, open landscape and sci fi novels as restorative medicine.

20101218

How can you tell if fish feel pain and will the answer change the way we treat them?

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Pioneering biologist, Victoria Braithwaite, explains how she found clear-cut evidence in fish that they have the neural wiring which transmits a painful stimulus from their skin to the brain and proof that their behaviour is affected by pain. So if fish feel pain, what implications does this have for the way we farm and catch them?

Sociologist Sami Zubaida wants us to discard the blanket term “Islamic” to reveal a more accurate vision of Middle Eastern societies, where capitalism and the mostly secular institutions have been instrumental in the development of modernity.

And from philosopher Donald Favareau we find out how biology, linguistics and philosophy can interact to help overcome biology’s ‘blind spot’ and better define the essential processes of the living world, particularly as regards biological signs, signalling, messaging and codes.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: The meaning and significance of pain felt by a hibernating Islamic fish.

Pioneering biologist, Victoria Braithwaite, explains how she found clear-cut evidence in fish that they have the neural wiring which transmits a painful stimulus from their skin to the brain and proof that their behaviour is affected by pain.

So if fish feel pain, what implications does this have for the way we farm and catch them?

Sociologist Sami Zubaida wants us to discard the blanket term “Islamic” to reveal a more accurate vision of Middle Eastern societies, where capitalism and the mostly secular institutions have been instrumental in the development of modernity.

And from philosopher Donald Favareau we find out how biology, linguistics and philosophy can interact to help overcome biology’s ‘blind spot’ and better define the essential processes of the living world, particularly as regards biological signs, signalling, messaging and codes.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: The meaning and significance of pain felt by a hibernating Islamic fish.

20101225

Exchanging ideas on five thousand years of Mediterranean calendars, festivals and ports

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How did the Ancient Romans celebrate the end of the year? Classicist Mary Beard comes bearing tales of the weird and the strikingly familiar as she describes some of the gifts that the Romans bequeathed to us.

But it’s not just the Romans, but also the Egyptians who have left their mark on our society today. American historian Robert Tignor reveals how the lands of the pharaohs and pyramids have helped to shape religious ideas and communities that dominated Europe for at least a thousand years.

And Ottoman thinker Philip Mansel explains how ports in the eastern Mediterranean created such free and flexible societies.
llustration: A different understanding of time across Mediterranean ports in different epochs by Emily Kasriel

How did the Ancient Romans celebrate the end of the year? Classicist Mary Beard comes bearing tales of the weird and the strikingly familiar as she describes some of the gifts that the Romans bequeathed to us.

But it’s not just the Romans, but also the Egyptians who have left their mark on our society today.

American historian Robert Tignor reveals how the lands of the pharaohs and pyramids have helped to shape religious ideas and communities that dominated Europe for at least a thousand years.

And Ottoman thinker Philip Mansel explains how ports in the eastern Mediterranean created such free and flexible societies.

llustration: A different understanding of time across Mediterranean ports in different epochs by Emily Kasriel

20110101

Exploring colour with 3 perspectives on how colour changes the way we see the world

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3 very different approaches to the impact colour has on our lives.

The Belgian Neuroscientist Guy Orban, reveals his latest findings on how the brain decodes colour and why colours are a construct of our brains.

Paul Butler explains why race and colour matter when it comes to incarcerating law breakers and creating a fairer legal system.

And a warning from Philospher Angie Hobbs on the importance of being precise when we translate colours into words and the wonder of the thousands of different shades of colour in the plainest objects.
llustration by Emily Kasriel: Our brain, the law and the ancient world depicting and decoding colour.

3 very different approaches to the impact colour has on our lives.

The Belgian Neuroscientist Guy Orban, reveals his latest findings on how the brain decodes colour and why colours are a construct of our brains.

Paul Butler explains why race and colour matter when it comes to incarcerating law breakers and creating a fairer legal system.

And a warning from Philospher Angie Hobbs on the importance of being precise when we translate colours into words and the wonder of the thousands of different shades of colour in the plainest objects.

llustration by Emily Kasriel: Our brain, the law and the ancient world depicting and decoding colour.

20110108

How artists can reveal the way our brain works

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Have you ever wondered what happens to your neural pathways when a beautiful sunset makes you catch your breath? Or when you marvel at a portrait by a grand master?

Insights from one of the world’s leading pioneers in the new field of NeuroAesthetics. Professor Semir Zeki explains why he is convinced that art and aesthetic appreciation is a key function of the brain.

How do Semir’s ideas apply to other creative fields? Former US poet Laureate Charles Simic, takes us through the tortuous and creative process of trying to translate poetry.

And sound consultant, Julian Treasure, will be opening our ears to the noises that envelop us but which we’ve unlearnt how to hear.

llustration by Emily Kasriel. Grasping the unobtainable as we create, translate and listen to noise.

Have you ever wondered what happens to your neural pathways when a beautiful sunset makes you catch your breath? Or when you marvel at a portrait by a grand master?

Insights from one of the world’s leading pioneers in the new field of NeuroAesthetics.

Professor Semir Zeki explains why he is convinced that art and aesthetic appreciation is a key function of the brain.

How do Semir’s ideas apply to other creative fields? Former US poet Laureate Charles Simic, takes us through the tortuous and creative process of trying to translate poetry.

And sound consultant, Julian Treasure, will be opening our ears to the noises that envelop us but which we’ve unlearnt how to hear.

llustration by Emily Kasriel.

Grasping the unobtainable as we create, translate and listen to noise.

20110115

Three distinguished medicine men who have all made their mark in different areas.

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Jon Kabat-Zinn is known throughout the world for his pioneering work in applying meditation or mindfulness to mainstream medical treatment.

Hans Rosling, once a medical field officer in Mozambique, now designs new ways to visualise global statistics in order to get us all to shake up our outdated views of the world.

And Vincent Lam has transformed his night shifts on emergency hospital wards into a gritty and sometimes gruesome best selling novel.

llustration by Emily Kasriel: Mindfully inverting the mind body relationship as doctors use statistics to create and challenge the stories that they tell themselves and their patients to heal.

Jon Kabat-Zinn is known throughout the world for his pioneering work in applying meditation or mindfulness to mainstream medical treatment.

Hans Rosling, once a medical field officer in Mozambique, now designs new ways to visualise global statistics in order to get us all to shake up our outdated views of the world.

And Vincent Lam has transformed his night shifts on emergency hospital wards into a gritty and sometimes gruesome best selling novel.

llustration by Emily Kasriel: Mindfully inverting the mind body relationship as doctors use statistics to create and challenge the stories that they tell themselves and their patients to heal.

20110122

A radical rethink of the future of rich countries.

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Rising unemployment, towering debt, sluggish growth rates and fears of inflation were once the worries of the poorer countries of the world. But now it’s Europe and the USA who are in trouble.

On the programme today former World Bank economist Dambisa Moyo will be telling us what radical medicine she prescribes for the West, if it’s to avoid permanent decline.

And with a fresh look at why folk music was so important to Hungarian composer Béla Bartók, Australian musicologist, Malcolm Gillies.

Water engineer Dragan Savic, whose pioneering work with mathematical models, is finding new ways to assess the risks of tinkering with nature by changing the courses of rivers.

llustration by Emily Kasriel: The West diverted upstream to a future of poverty while inspired by the folk harmonies of Bartók.

20110129

Forum at Jaipur Literature Festival: dharma, greed, envy, quacks and Nepali Buddhists

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This week's Forum comes from the northern state of Rajasthan in India where we are guests of the Jaipur Literature Festival.

We are on an open-air stage in front of over a thousand people, all listening intently and eager to chip in as we juggle the moral dilemmas of living in today's India.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: The Mahabharata connecting us so that we learn how to be good and heal the sick in Nepal.

20110205
20110219

Things we would rather avoid.

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How our bodies stop protecting us from ageing once we’ve past the point of reproduction, images of cancerous tumours, and the growing global inequality.

Cell biologist and octogenarian Lewis Wolpert asks what more we should be doing to embrace a world which will increasingly be populated by the old, the very old, and then the very, very old. His research into ageing shows that our bodies are not pre-programmed to age, but they do almost nothing to slow the process.

The vital and perhaps shocking work of artist Wangechi Mutu. Her portraits of fantastical women, include anatomical drawings of cancerous tumours that transform the terrible into the beautiful.

And World Bank Economist Branko Milanovic, says there’s been a huge shift in global inequality over the last 50 years, and the gaps are getting bigger every day. He argues that today, your life chances depend far more on where you are born in the world, than on how rich your family are.

llustration by Emily Kasriel: Things we would rather ignore, global inequality, our ageing and cancer.

20110226

Special show from Sri Lanka literary festival about love

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Sharya Scharenguivel is a prominent Professor of Law at Colombo University and leading figure in the drive to reform family law in Sri Lanka. She argues that it’s the British colonial legacy, that in legal terms, helps keep Sri Lankan women under their husband’s thumb.

The novels of Karen Roberts draw on the taboos of forbidden love to expose tensions within Sri Lankan society. Her latest book, The Lament of the Dhobi Woman has at its core, a forbidden love affair between a servant woman and an upper class man.

And Ranjini Obeyesekere, a scholar of Buddhist literature, traces a legendary relationship that has inspired both poets and monks for centuries. She has spent many years studying and translating writings about Yasodhara, the Buddha’s wife.

llustration by Emily Kasriel.

20110305

This week on The Forum, managing the commons and establishing democracy after apartheid

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When protestors in Eastern Libya liberated their towns from Colonel Gaddafi's forces recently, it seems there was not mayhem on the streets. Instead locals organised themselves into street committees to prevent looting.

Just one example, perhaps, of the way local communities can collaborate for long term gain, rather than each person grabbing what they can for themselves. Nobel Laureate Professor Elinor Ostrom explains why we're not always out for ourselves, if left to our own devices.

Former Vice Chancellor of Cape Town University, Njabulo Ndebele – on the challenge of freeing South Africa from lingering guilt and resentment.

And best selling novelist Manju Kapur juggles the conflicting demands of individual rights and family obligations in modern Indian marriages.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: A man and wife and South Africa sharing water from the common pond.

20110312

Meeting the challenges of the unknown

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The Forum special recording at an Editorial Intelligence Symposium in Portmeirion. The theme: How to tackle the unknowns in our world, from the ocean ecosystem, the unrest in the Arab World, to the mind of the other.

Polymath, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of ‘The Black Swan’ and the man credited with helping us understand about how random events rule our world.

Oceanographer Sylvia Earle, with first hand experience of a world unknown to most of us.

And painter and poet Frieda Hughes, who uncovers insights into the unknown, from a perfect child she never had, to the mind of a suicide bomber.

Plus contributions from a lively audience of opinion formers.

llustration by Emily Kasriel: Negotiating the values of an unknown world on the ocean floor.

The Forum special recording at a symposium in Portmeirion.

The theme: How to tackle the unknowns in our world, from the ocean ecosystem, the unrest in the Arab World, to the mind of the other.

Polymath, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of ‘The Black Swan’ and the man credited with helping us understand about how random events rule our world.

Oceanographer Sylvia Earle, with first hand experience of a world unknown to most of us.

And painter and poet Frieda Hughes, who uncovers insights into the unknown, from a perfect child she never had, to the mind of a suicide bomber.

llustration by Emily Kasriel: Negotiating the values of an unknown world on the ocean floor.

20110319

Hypocrisy, multiverses and artificial leather: mind-stretching thoughts about life.

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Why are we able to kid ourselves into thinking two opposite things at once?

Psychologist Robert Kurzban argues that it gives us an evolutionary advantage and has to do with the way our brains are constructed, their ‘modular design’.

What if our whole universe is like a single slab in a set of infinite parallel universes? Possibly all very different, possibly near identical copies?
It sounds fantastical, but theoretical physicist Professor Brian Greene says cutting edge research means it’s an option we need to be open to.

Finnish-born artist Oron Catts wants us to contemplate a new world where jackets are grown from engineered leather, not made from an animal but a semi-living biotechnology hide.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: Multiple selves competing inside our minds as we grow rabbits in parallel universes.

Why we’re able to kid ourselves into thinking two opposite things at once? Psychologist Robert Kurzban argues that it gives us an evolutionary advantage and has to do with the way our brains are constructed, their ‘modular design’.

What if our whole universe is like a single slab in a set of infinite parallel universes? Possibly all very different, possibly near identical copies?

It sounds fantastical, but theoretical physicist Professor Brian Greene says cutting edge research means it’s an option we need to be open to.

Finnish-born artist Oron Catts wants us to contemplate a new world where jackets are grown from engineered leather, not made from an animal, but a semi-living biotechnology hide.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: Multiple selves competing inside our minds as we grow rabbits in parallel universes.

20110326

Finding new ways to combat HIV, the biggest killer of young women in Africa

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If you were an alien from outer space spying on our world, what would you see? Squabbling at the United Nations; arguing in Nato over what to do about Libya; and fears about the risks of nuclear breakdown in Japan.

But world famous Australian conservationist Tim Flannery says do not despair. Maybe our human fate is not self-destruction after all.

A good news story, too, from Zimbabwean epidemiologist Precious Lunga who’s part of a team doing ground breaking research to combat that biggest killer of young women in Africa: HIV.

And therapy of a different sort from the Pakistan born poet, artist and filmmaker, Imtiaz Dharker who views poetry as a way to calm the chaos of the world.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: The earth as a superorganisim,with strong empowered African women, speaking poetry to heal the chaos of tectonic and nuclear devastation.

20110402

New and old revolutionaries in the Middle East: women, artists and soldiers

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As unrest continues to spring surprises in the Middle East, this week's Forum explores the idea of revolution in a broader context.

We spin the globe to draw examples from history and from across the world to try to work out if what's happening in the Middle East fits into patterns of previous revolts, or whether we really are living in times that have no precedent.

What triggers a popular uprising? Can a government use brute force to counter a revolution anymore? Or does the all pervasive power of the modern media mean that if you shed blood, there's always the risk of a backlash?

And what about the outcomes of revolutions? Do the activists ever get what they wish for?

Bridget Kendall is joined by Turkish sociologist, Deniz Kandiyoti, Iranian artist, Shirin Neshat, Egyptian economist, Tarek Osman and a scholar of Arab history, Eugene Rogan.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: Revolutions; Women, the army and artists turning the world upside down.

20110409

Are social entrepreneurs heroes?

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The Forum programme at the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship was joined by a lively international audience of social entrepreneurs, and three distinguished guests to debate the role of the hero in bringing about change.

Dr Larry Brilliant was on the United Nations team that helped eradicate smallpox and is now president of the Skoll Global Threats Fund. Ken Brecher, former director of the Sundance film festival, now runs the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. And social entrepreneur Roshaneh Zafar who was inspired by her hero the microfinance guru Muhammad Yunis to quit her job and set up the Kashf Foundation which provides loans which empower those stuck in the cycle of poverty.

Social entrepreneurs are mavericks and ruler breakers who take bold ideas from the world of business, and look for ways to improve the lives of many. But what does it mean to be a hero today? And are social entrepreneurs heroic? Is an ability to embrace risk a prerequisite for being a hero? Should the best social entrepreneurs merely facilitate our grass roots heroes in their quest. And how do you do that most effectively?

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: the heroic social entrepreneur battles ill health, ignorance and poverty.

20110416

Where does the idea of royalty fit into our fast changing century?

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There is a festive air in London, as the city prepares for the spectacle of a Royal Wedding at the end of this month - we are devoting this week's Forum to a look at where Kings and Queens fit in to our modern era.

Is there still such a thing as a bond between sovereign and subject? Do modern monarchies need to update themselves? Or is the link with history the key to staying popular?

Bridget Kendall is joined by Bangladeshi writer Tahmima Anam, British historian Justin Champion and Australian psychologist Dorothy Rowe.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: The Prince ceremoniously marries a commoner, touching his subject and backed by generations of monarchs before him.

2011042320110424

Conflicts in our brain, in particle physics and in literature - why do we thrive on it?

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Do we thrive on conflict? We bore deep into the human skull today to explore the extraordinary way the different units that make up our neural circuitry compete with each other like a team of rivals.

Mysteries of another invisible world too: the conflicting theories regarding the very tiniest particles that inhabit the realm of quantum physics. We find out how their strange behaviour may be the key to a Theory of Everything.

And the age old clash between the author and the state in modern day Russia.

Bridget Kendall is joined by American neuroscientist David Eagleman, Dutch theoretical physicist and Nobel prize winner Gerard ‘ T Hooft and Russian novelist Mikhail Shishkin.

Illustration by Shan Pillay: The brain - nucleus of all ideas, juggles quantum physics, literature and conflict in this week's programme.

Why we thrive on conflict

Do we thrive on conflict? We bore deep into the human skull today to explore the extraordinary way the different units that make up our neural circuitry compete with each other like a team of rivals.

Mysteries of another invisible world too: the conflicting theories regarding the very tiniest particles that inhabit the realm of quantum physics.

We find out how their strange behaviour may be the key to a Theory of Everything.

And the age old clash between the author and the state in modern day Russia.

Bridget Kendall is joined by American neuroscientist David Eagleman, Dutch theoretical physicist and Nobel prize winner Gerard ‘ T Hooft and Russian novelist Mikhail Shishkin.

20110430

Faking it in the world of business

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Do we have to fake it to make it? We look at the subterfuge and posturing of the business world. Are big bonuses simply there for bankers to boost their image and line their pockets, rather than actually improve performance?

And to theatre of a different kind – the Indian call centre workers who are paid to mimic their Western counterparts. But how has this affected their sense of self?

And the secret double dealing where both sides are conspiring for a product which is second best.

Guest presenter Lyse Doucet is joined by Israeli behavioural economist Dan Ariely, American sociologist Shehzad Nadeem, and Italian philosopher Gloria Origgi.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: being inspired by big bonuses to settle for second best in the world of India call centres.

20110507

Is understanding the empathy circuit in our brain the key to combating cruelty?

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What is it that makes some people want to hurt or kill? In the wake of Osama Bin Laden’s death, we investigate the triggers, in the brain and in society, that make crime and cruelty flourish.

One of Britain's leading psychiatrists, Simon Baron-Cohen, suggests that if we want a scientific understanding, we should stop talking about evil and consider how our brains are wired for empathy, or lack of it.

Federico Varese, who studies mafias, considers crime and the community and in particular what it is that makes organized crime networks flourish.

And best-selling Indian novelist Radhika Jha suggests that one way to build empathy is to create shared stories.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: as collective mafias switch off empathy in order to tell stories to commit acts of cruelty.

20110514

Probing assumptions about capitalism.

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In well-run rich societies it’s something people take for granted: clean water out of a tap, rubbish collections and regular trains and buses. But the question is: Who does a better job of it? The public sector? Or the private? Professor Mildred Warner analysed a mountain of economic data, looking at how thousands of local governments supply water around the world.

The US and China seem to be making little headway on solving their economic disagreements. With me to offer his verdict on how to break the logjam is Economics professor Wing Thye Woo, who’s advised both the Chinese government and the US Treasury.

And a wake up call to business leaders in the Middle East, not to think that they can ignore the current turmoil there from one of the best known entrepreneurs in the region, Fadi Ghandour.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: state and private hands fight over the soul of business in the midst of the Arab Spring.

20110521

The human body - how far are we shaped by what we eat?

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On this week’s Forum, we ask how far are we shaped by what we eat?

Many of us are taller than our grandparents, and many of them were taller than theirs. In fact in the last 300 years, the human race has grown faster than at any time in history. But surely it can’t go on ad infinitum? So what drives our body growth and what might stop it? Social historian Professor Bernard Harris explores the implications of our changing body shape.

US geneticist professor Ross Hardison tells us about his research into nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA. He explains how a few small tweaks in our nucelotides can add up to the difference between health and disease.

And the celebrated Israeli born dancer and choreographer – Jasmin Vardimon explores how our psyche expresses itself in the body.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: Junk DNA is revealed as important in creating taller dancers, baring their souls and trauma through their body.

20110528

What are our obligations to others, on an international and individual level?

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It's a term that's been mentioned a lot recently but what exactly do we mean by ‘Responsibility to Protect’? Are we all legally or morally obligated to help citizens in other countries who are at risk? Or is this just a vague sense of our shared humanity? Canadian professor Jennifer Welsh explores the moral and legal conundrums.

American scholar soldier Lt Col Shannon Beebe tells us that if we really are serious about protecting the vulnerable, we need to change the way we think about security: he says the way forward is what he calls sustainable security.

And Somalia's Minister for Women's Development Maryan Qasim tells us why she feels responsible for the lives of Somali women and children and how she tries to change them.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: responsibility to protect - but how is that generosity received?

20110604

The impact of migration: in the realms of society, seeds and sound.

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It’s an issue high on the political agenda in many countries, but do we really understand how migration affects the countries the migrants leave behind? Is it brain drain or brain gain? And if globalisation is changing the world’s people, what about its plants and its music? This week’s focus is on movement across our shrinking world with economist Ian Goldin, world musician Susheela Raman, nature writer Richard Mabey and guest presenter Matthew Taylor.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: migrating sound, society and seeds.

20110611

The robots are coming, fast.

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Imagine sitting down for a coffee in the sun, and finding that the waiter who brings it to you is an immaculately dressed, smiling robot. Science fiction? Or just round the corner? In this week’s programme, we welcome one of the world’s leading robotics scientists, Professor Henrik Christensen.

Indian writer Siddhartha Deb has a warning of the cost that hi-speed, hi-tech advances can impose on social cohesion. And from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, Director Stephen Hopper highlights the benefits of advanced computing power for the natural world.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: socially isolated robots distinguishing between plants in a hi-tech context.

20110618

Three centuries ago, China helped Europe to innovate - can it do so again?

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Can countries from China to Singapore and the Philippines become 21st Century hubs of innovation, places where new kinds of products and services, new brands develop? Three centuries ago, China helped Europe to innovate - can it do so again?

Around our global table, we have Poh Kam Wong, a Singaporean entrepreneur and professor of business studies, globally successful Philippine designer Kenneth Cobonpue, and Chinese writer and documentary filmmaker Sun Shuyun.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: rays of enlightenment, rights and freedom illuminating innovation.

20110625

David Baddiel presents this week's edition of The Forum on the power of images

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Writer and comedian David Baddiel presents this week’s edition of The Forum.

In a world that has become dominated by visual imagery – with pictures and movies on phones, screens and advertising hoardings all around us, have we become blasé or desensitised? What's happening to the way that we digest pictures?

James Gow, Professor of International Peace and Security at Kings College London, argues that images have become more crucial than battles in the outcome of conflicts. How are images being used in the Arab Spring?

Margaret Livingstone, a Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard University, has discovered that the way we process images depends in part on whether we can see in stereo or mono.

And the Dutch poet laureate, Ramsey Nasr, believes that, with poetry, even the words on the page need to be rearranged to cope with the modern demand for the eye to be constantly stimulated.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: how our minds translate what we see.

20110702

Capturing power with a camera

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We hear from Nobel prize-winning physicist George Smoot III about that mind boggling moment 14 billion years ago when the awesome explosion that is the Big Bang created our universe. He is now trying to get to grips with the very nature of the dark matter that makes up our cosmos, something which we think is there although we can't see it, or even measure it.

We'll also hear from celebrity photographer Platon. What it's like to have a few seconds to take a snapshot of the world's most powerful and notorious leaders from Robert Mugabe to Tony Blair? How does he find the person behind the mask of power? He regales the stories of getting global leaders to collaborate with him.

And what about the terrifying irreversible moment when a gun fires? Senior Advisor at the Global Fund for Women, Kavita Ramdas, tells us how women can fight back against the tide of small arms flooding their communities.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: the power of a Big Bang to shoot the world's leaders.

20110709

Sudan splitting and couples divorcing \u2013 can separation ever be a good thing?

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This week, the trials of separation, whether for a country splitting in two, or a married couple seeking a divorce.
South Sudan becomes the world’s 193rd country this weekend, and many are wondering what difficulties lie ahead.

Do all settlements mean that one side gains and the other loses out?

War Studies professor and former journalist, Anatol Lieven, witnessed the trauma of political secessions at first hand in the bloody Chechen wars in the Caucasus, and is now steeped in the study of a much greater partition and its continuing legacy – that of India and Pakistan.

Novelist Aleksandar Hemon offers us his thoughts on the break-up of his native Yugoslavia, now splintered into the Balkan states, and his experience of going through a difficult divorce. In both situations, he says, you don’t want to see the separation coming, and it makes divorce all the worse for it.

And Ugandan women’s rights activist Linda Nakakande tells us why some women in Africa no longer look on divorce as a disgrace, but a means to empowerment. Finally, they are able to work as they please, and study as they please, determining their own futures as never before.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: the challenges and advantages of 'divorce and separation' of individuals and nation states.

20110716

Fresh ideas for business from the TED conference in Edinburgh

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This week's Forum comes from Edinburgh in Scotland where we are part of the TED Global ideas conference.

Four distinguished guests and an audience of risk takers and decision makers from around the word probe fresh ideas for business both in the West and in Asia.

Pakistani film maker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy wants to transform business culture in her native country; British American physicist Geoffrey West applies his radical ideas about scaling to company growth; Canadian green technology designer Ron Dembo has counter-intuitive suggestions for reducing energy consumption and Indian sugar producer Rajshree Pathy wants to transform agriculture. Plus insights from a wide range business innovators in the audience.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: In business there is bullying as people are limited in how far they can grow while they are doing nothing.

20110723

Are our long term goals in danger of being swamped by a focus on the immediate moment?

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Dominic Barton, managing director of one of the world's largest management consultancy firms, makes the case that short term thinking is public enemy number one.

In the world of big companies, managers have to report increased profits every quarter; if they miss their targets, investors agitate to have them removed.

How can the interests of all stake holders, the public, the environment, as well as business itself, be satisfied under these pressures?

Also, leading American civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander on oppressing African Americans through the war on drugs, and best selling thriller writer David Baldacci on the overwhelming urgency of now.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: short term thinking imprisoning capitalism and justice.

20110730

Why do dictators and democrats follow similar rules when it comes to staying in power?

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How do the rich and powerful always stay on top? What is it that makes autocratic rulers tick? What calculations do they make to keep themselves in power and ensure the loyalty of those around them? And what formula, if any, could break their grip and make societies more equal?

We put these questions to our panel, American political scientist Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, historian of modern Iran Ali Ansari, and authority on the effects of social inequality Richard Wilkinson.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: God, money and guns - keeping the elites in power.

20110806

The rise and fall of civilisations in Europe - money, conflict and volcanoes

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Could the current Eurozone crisis signal the start of terminal decline for the continent?

Or is there something about Europe's rich cultural vibrancy that will help it through the current troubles?

Or perhaps the real reason why civilisations come and go has nothing to do with human activity but the knock on effects of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other forces of nature we cannot control.

This week's guests are Greek archaeologist, Yannis Hamilakis, British volcano expert, Clive Oppenheimer, and from Latvia, the country’s first female President and authority on Latvia’s oral folk tradition, Vaira Vike-Freiberga.

Illustration by Bridget Kendall: A poet from ancient Crete sings to a Latvian girl about a volcano.

20110813

Walls and partitions, not just between countries and people but also animal species

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As we mark 50 years since the Berlin Wall went up, we consider barriers around the world and across disciplines.

Can 'guerrilla photo-art' help bring down some of the most politically charged divisions in the Middle East?

In genetics, what is the nature of the biological barriers that keep species separate?

And what can history tell us about the different uses of ancient city walls?

This week's Forum guests are historian of France and the Ottoman Empire Philip Mansel, Professor of Genomics Chris Ponting, and award winning French artist and "photograffeur" JR.

Illustration by Charlotte Kingston: "In this same interlude it doth befall, That I, one Snout by name, present a wall… Hang on, I'm not the only one confronting boundaries."

20110820

Design in art, fashion and nature. Is innovation or imitation the key to success?

Sharing knowledge

Design is all around us – not only in artificially created realm of art, architecture and fashion, but also in the world of nature. What lessons can we learn from leaves, lizards and penguins and is it possible to build a city on the principles of sustainability? In fashion, why is it that we cannot help ourselves from following the herd and how do you go about creating a design classic?

This week’s Forum guests are celebrated designer and architect Ron Arad; historian of modern fashion and culture, Pamela Church Gibson and biologist and consultant in the new field of biomimicry, Janine Benyus.

Illustration by Charlotte Kingston: the Galapagos shark counts his royalties (sitting on his Ron Arad chair).

Design in art, fashion and nature.

Is innovation or imitation the key to success?

Design is all around us – not only in artificially created realm of art, architecture and fashion, but also in the world of nature.

What lessons can we learn from leaves, lizards and penguins and is it possible to build a city on the principles of sustainability? In fashion, why is it that we cannot help ourselves from following the herd and how do you go about creating a design classic?

This week’s Forum guests are celebrated designer and architect Ron Arad; historian of modern fashion and culture, Pamela Church Gibson and biologist and consultant in the new field of biomimicry, Janine Benyus.

Illustration by Charlotte Kingston: the Galapagos shark counts his royalties (sitting on his Ron Arad chair).

20110827

Human rights: How do you prove you have them? And how do you make sure you can enjoy them?

Sharing knowledge

Rights: Is it right to use an embryo for life-saving research? Can the free market really ensure rights for all? If you need to, should you bribe someone to get your driver’s licence?

We feel entitled to many rights, and exercise them daily, but what cornerstone are they built on? As people in the Arab world fight for their rights, we debate on what grounds we are owed anything by anyone.

This week’s Forum guests are India’s chief economic advisor, Kaushik Basu; British philosopher Mary Warnock; and cutting-edge stem cell biologist Tilo Kunath.

Illustration by Charlotte Kingston: the world puzzles over which rights to write.

Rights: Is it right to use an embryo for life-saving research? Can the free market really ensure rights for all? If you need to, should you bribe someone to get your driver’s licence?

We feel entitled to many rights, and exercise them daily, but what cornerstone are they built on? As people in the Arab world fight for their rights, we debate on what grounds we are owed anything by anyone.

This week’s Forum guests are India’s chief economic advisor, Kaushik Basu; British philosopher Mary Warnock; and cutting-edge stem cell biologist Tilo Kunath.

Illustration by Charlotte Kingston: the world puzzles over which rights to write.

20110903

Oceans are the largest habitat on Earth but how much do we know about their history?

Sharing knowledge

The latest technology is allowing us to view ocean depths not just in real time but over long periods and gives us a detailed picture of the dramas unfolding down there.

Paul Snelgrove from the Ocean Sciences Centre at Memorial University in Newfoundland is at the forefront of research which has been revolutionised by these new developments.

For composer and sound artist Annea Lockwood the unique rhythm of water running in great rivers like the Danube and the Hudson has the power not only to enchant us but to connect us more deeply to nature.

Back on the sea surface historian Andrew Lambert tells us about the forgotten war of 1812 and explains how this naval war shaped the national cultures of the US, Canada and Britain.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: listening to the flow and drama of the deep oceans.

The latest technology is allowing us to view ocean depths not just in real time but over long periods and gives us a detailed picture of the dramas unfolding down there.

Paul Snelgrove from the Ocean Sciences Centre at Memorial University in Newfoundland is at the forefront of research which has been revolutionised by these new developments.

For composer and sound artist Annea Lockwood the unique rhythm of water running in great rivers like the Danube and the Hudson has the power not only to enchant us but to connect us more deeply to nature.

Back on the sea surface historian Andrew Lambert tells us about the forgotten war of 1812 and explains how this naval war shaped the national cultures of the US, Canada and Britain.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: listening to the flow and drama of the deep oceans.

20110910

With all the advances in neuroscience, are we any closer to understanding memory?

Sharing knowledge

Ten years since 9/11, the Forum contemplates the role of memory, shared and private, visual and literary.

Bridget Kendall's guests are: photographer Dorothy Bohm, whose remarkable photographs have captured the lives of ordinary people worldwide over seven decades; physician turned philosopher Raymond Tallis, who argues that memory remains a mystery, which neuroscience has still not been able to fathom; and Russian-born writer and broadcaster Zinovy Zinik, whose latest book explores the way our pasts can be embellished or even invented.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: photographing memories outside the brain; both real and imagined.

20110924

Berlin: A unique cultural success story.

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Berlin is a city that prides itself on fostering all sorts of creativity. A grand cultural past and a celebration of new design.

So what is it that nourishes culture in this city? Is it despite or because of the generous funding by the government? Is Berlin immune from economic crisis, or does it thrive on being an oasis of creativity with a troubled past?

Fresh perspectives from a young New Zealand poet on a visiting residency in Berlin, Courtney Meredith, the Australian novelist Peter Goldsworthy, and from Berlin, the publisher and editor who was Germany’s first Federal Minister of Culture, Michael Naumann. Plus lively comments from young Berliners and cultural visitors.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

20111001

Berlin: A clash of generations?

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This week, in a second Forum programme from the Berlin International Literature Festival, we explore the tug of war between the liberal ideas of the older generation of Berliners and the recent neo-conservative backlash.

Berlin writer Tanja Dueckers traces the evolution of the big, utopian ideals of the 1968ers into the small, local and pragmatic issues which the young in the city care about now Puerto Rican-born artist Luis Berrios Negron suggests that art may well be the last public arena free from the grasp of commerce where political thoughts of all kinds can be debated without constraint.

And New England novelist Paul Harding uncovers the fine layers of history both in people’s memories and those physically present in the buildings of the German capital. Plus lively comments from an audience of young Berliners and visitors to the city.

Illustration: Timelines by Luis Berrios Negron.

20111008

The hidden forces that shape our lives.

Sharing knowledge

One of the world's leading evolutionary biologists, Robert Trivers, explains why he thinks our failure to see clearly is nothing new, since self-deception is a basic tool of evolution. But if we are hard-wired to fool ourselves, is there any point in fighting it?

How much do you think about the gigantic databases that may be silently influencing your online choice? Who is really in control? You? Or a set of algorithms you neither see nor register? Food for thought from information specialist Jannis Kallinikos.

Urban technology visionary Carlo Ratti suggests that harnessing real-time data from the millions of embedded sensors in everyday objects could revolutionize not just the way we navigate our cities but also the way we shop, work and relax.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: digital networks in the clouds manipulating us to deceive ourselves.

20111015

Have we got it wrong with the concept of the clash of civilisations?

Sharing knowledge

Have we got it wrong with the concept of the clash of civilisations? Distinguished Pakistani scholar and diplomat Akbar Ahmed says the real fault lines in today’s world are not between countries or religions but within them and that we should pay more attention to the often violent struggles between the centre and the periphery.

British geographer Doreen Massey sees a growing geographical divide in British society and says that the way forward is to tackle the financial power of the City of London.

And what might the future place of European culture be as emerging countries begin to offer new centres of gravity? Art curator Augustus Casely-Hayford says his recent tour across Africa made him think it's high time we woke up to the new world of multi-polar culture.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: People at the periphery using art to fight back.

Centre and Periphery: growing apart?

Have we got it wrong with the concept of the Clash of Civilisations? Distinguished Pakistani scholar and diplomat Akbar Ahmed says the real fault lines in today’s world are not between countries or religions but within them and that we should pay more attention to the often violent struggles between the centre and the periphery.

British geographer Doreen Massey sees a growing geographical divide in British society and says that the way forward is to tackle the financial power of the City of London.

And what might the future place of European culture be as emerging countries begin to offer new centres of gravity? Art curator Augustus Casely-Hayford says his recent tour across Africa made him think its high time we woke up to the new world of multi-polar culture.

20111022

Contemplating our own death - what is the best way to prepare for it?

Sharing knowledge

This week, the ominous shadowy wall that looms on the horizon for all of us… death. It's unavoidable and unknowable, and there's no way back.

So what is the best way to prepare for it? And how can doctors help us best prepare for it, and mourn us when we die?

Our guests: 93 year old Diana Athill has become famous for her frank and eloquent memoirs of her life and thoughts on impending death.

Pauline Chen is a liver transplant and cancer surgeon who wants doctors to stop seeing death as an enemy they must fight, even when a patient is terminally ill.

And award winning poet Paul Muldoon brings us his latest poem, inspired by the Old Testament Book of Lamentations: to remind us our lives are not only defined by the very big happenings.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: Should doctors help us contemplate our own death?

Contemplating our own Death

This week, the ominous shadowy wall that looms on the horizon for all of us… death.

It's unavoidable and unknowable, and there's no way back.

So what is the best way to prepare for it? And how can doctors help us best prepare for it, and mourn us when we die?

Our guests: 93 year old Diana Athill has become famous for her frank and eloquent memoirs of her life and thoughts on impending death.

Pauline Chen is a liver transplant and cancer surgeon who wants doctors to stop seeing death as an enemy they must fight, even when a patient is terminally ill.

And award winning poet Paul Muldoon brings us his latest poem, inspired by the Old Testament Book of Lamentations: to remind us our lives are not only defined by the very big happenings.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: Should doctors help us contemplate our own death?

2013080420130805 (WS)

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

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Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

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Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

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Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

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We live in an age when we are witnessing the end of globalisation and renewed calls to wall-off so many things, from national borders to the internet. In this programme we look at some of the new barriers springing up in the real and digital worlds.

Photo: A country fence (BBC)

Boundaries: real and imagined

20181108

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

Sharing knowledge

2018110820181109 (WS)

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

Sharing knowledge

(in) Dependence20120805

Where's the line between independence and dependency?

Sharing knowledge

This month the Caribbean island of Jamaica celebrates 50 years of independence from the United Kingdom, an anniversary that's got added spice to it, because of the debate in Jamaica about whether it's time to take the next step and also break ties with the British monarchy. So what does independence mean? How easy is it to sever ties? And what is its relationship with dependency, both for a nation, and for an individual?

Some of the questions we'll be debating on The Forum this week with the award winning Jamaican poet Olive Senior; Scottish writer Dennis O'Donnell, who spent years working in a closed psychiatric ward as an orderly; and Dr Adam Winstock, a clinical psychiatrist who specialises in drug addiction.

This month the Caribbean island of Jamaica celebrates 50 years of independence from the United Kingdom, an anniversary that's got added spice to it, because of the debate in Jamaica about whether it's time to take the next step and also break ties with the British monarchy. So what does independence mean? How easy is it to sever ties? And what is its relationship with dependency, both for a nation, and for an individual?

Some of the questions we'll be debating on The Forum this week with the award winning Jamaican poet Olive Senior; Scottish writer Dennis O'Donnell, who spent years working in a closed psychiatric ward as an orderly; and Dr Adam Winstock, a clinical psychiatrist who specialises in drug addiction.

@aspen Ideas: Can Artists Make The World A Better Place?2013071420130715 (WS)

with Damian Woetzel, Dennis Scholl and Fred Dust.

When you think about people trying to change the world for the better, should artists be near the top of the list? That’s what Bridget Kendall explores in this BBC Forum from the Aspen Festival of Ideas in Colorado, in front of a lively festival audience at the Jerome Hotel. Joining her on stage are Damian Woetzel, former Principal Dancer at the New York City Ballet, ground-breaking designer Fred Dust, and art collector and philanthropist Dennis Scholl.

Photo credit © All rights reserved by aspeninstitute-internal

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

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Exploring colour with 3 perspectives on how colour changes the way we see the world

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Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

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Economist Amartya Sen, writer Henning Mankell and psychotherapist Camila Batmanghelidjh.

Sharing knowledge

Listen above to Part 1

THE FORUM, the ideas programme with BRIDGET KENDALL.

Indian Nobel laureate and economist, AMARTYA SEN on fighting injustice.

Swedish crime writer HENNING MANKELL on imagination as a tool for survival.

British Iranian psychotherapist CAMILA BATMANGHELIDJH on creating a soothing repertoire for children.

Listen above to Part 2

THE FORUM, the ideas programme with Bridget Kendall.

Indian Nobel laureate and economist AMARTYA SEN on fighting injustice.

Swedish crime writer HENNING MANKELL on imagination as a tool for survival.

British Iranian psychotherapist CAMILA BATMANGHELIDJH on creating a soothing repertoire for children.

Listen above to Part 1

02/08/2009: Part 120090803
02/08/2009: Part 220090802

Economist Amartya Sen, writer Henning Mankell and psychotherapist Camila Batmanghelidjh.

Sharing knowledge

Listen above to Part 2

THE FORUM, the ideas programme with BRIDGET KENDALL.

Indian Nobel laureate and economist AMARTYA SEN on fighting injustice.

Swedish crime writer HENNING MANKELL on imagination as a tool for survival.

British Iranian psychotherapist CAMILA BATMANGHELIDJH on creating a soothing repertoire for children.

02/08/2009: Part 220090803
02/11/200820081103
03/05/200920090504
03/08/200820080804
03/09/201120110904

Oceans are the largest habitat on Earth but how much do we know about their history?

04/06/201120110605

The impact of migration: in the realms of society, seeds and sound.

It’s an issue high on the political agenda in many countries, but do we really understand how migration affects the countries the migrants leave behind? Is it brain drain or brain gain? And if globalisation is changing the world’s people, what about its plants and its music? This week’s focus is on movement across our shrinking world with economist Ian Goldin, world musician Susheela Raman, nature writer Richard Mabey and guest presenter Matthew Taylor.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: migrating sound, society and seeds.

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Probing identities with British politican Lord Desai, through history,language and sex.

05/02/201120110206

At the Jaipur Festival: Indian astrology, neon-lit nights and overbearing families

Sharing knowledge

A second Forum programme recorded in the extraordinary atmosphere of the Jaipur Literature Festival with a lively audience and three prominent female creative thinkers talking about what rules Indian lives: the stars in the sky, the landscapes that fill their vision or the families that surround them?

Illustration by Emily Kasriel:Guided by the stars we send postcards illuminated artificially.

05/02/201120110207

A second Forum programme recorded in the extraordinary atmosphere of the Jaipur Literature Festival with a lively audience and three prominent female creative thinkers talking about what rules Indian lives: the stars in the sky, the landscapes that fill their vision or the families that surround them?

Illustration by Emily Kasriel:Guided by the stars we send postcards illuminated artificially.

At the Jaipur Festival: Indian astrology, neon-lit nights and overbearing families

05/03/201120110306
05/03/201120110307

When protestors in Eastern Libya liberated their towns from Colonel Gaddafi's forces recently, it seems there was not mayhem on the streets.

Instead locals organised themselves into street committees to prevent looting.

Just one example, perhaps, of the way local communities can collaborate for long term gain, rather than each person grabbing what they can for themselves.

Nobel Laureate Professor Elinor Ostrom explains why we're not always out for ourselves, if left to our own devices.

Former Vice Chancellor of Cape Town University, Njabulo Ndebele – on the challenge of freeing South Africa from lingering guilt and resentment.

And best selling novelist Manju Kapur juggles the conflicting demands of individual rights and family obligations in modern Indian marriages.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: A man and wife and South Africa sharing water from the common pond.

This week on The Forum, managing the commons and establishing democracy after apartheid

05/07/200920090706

Physicist Frank Wilczek, writer and activist Arundhati Roy and philosopher Susan Neiman.

05/07/2009: Part 120090705

Physicist Frank Wilczek, writer and activist Arundhati Roy and philosopher Susan Neiman.

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Listen to Part 2

THE FORUM, the ideas programme with Bridget Kendall.

Physicist FRANK WILCZEK on why space isn't really empty.

Writer and activist ARUNDHATI ROY on why India's democracy doesn't help the masses.

Philosopher SUSAN NEIMAN on a new Enlightenment.

Listen here for Part 1

05/07/2009: Part 120090706
05/07/2009: Part 220090705
05/07/2009: Part 220090706
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The virtues and flaws of democracy.

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06/09/200920090907
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China expert Martin Jacques, writer Hanif Kureishi, philosophy professor Arvind Sharma

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THE FORUM, the ideas programme presented by BRIDGET KENDALL.

Political thinker MARTIN JACQUES explores how China’s growing dominance could shake the foundations of Western assumptions. He says we have underestimated the power China will have on the way we view culture, race and democracy in the future.

Award winning writer HANIF KUREISHI throws the spotlight on our unconscious world – our dreams, fantasies and inhibitions. He shows how exploring and expressing our unconscious side can be the key to unlocking new insights about ourselves.

Comparative religions professor ARVIND SHARMA offers a new sort of philosophical challenge – a Hindu world view that sees time not as linear but a never ending cycle. He shows how this cyclical concept of time affects perceptions of the present both spiritually and politically.

THE FORUM, the ideas programme presented by Bridget Kendall.

Political thinker MARTIN JACQUES explores how China's growing dominance could shake the foundations of Western assumptions.

He says we have underestimated the power China will have on the way we view culture, race and democracy in the future.

Award winning writer Hanif Kureishi throws the spotlight on our unconscious world – our dreams, fantasies and inhibitions.

He shows how exploring and expressing our unconscious side can be the key to unlocking new insights about ourselves.

Comparative religions professor ARVIND SHARMA offers a new sort of philosophical challenge – a Hindu world view that sees time not as linear but a never ending cycle.

He shows how this cyclical concept of time affects perceptions of the present both spiritually and politically.

06/09/2009: Part 120090907

China expert Martin Jacques, writer Hanif Kureishi, philosophy professor Arvind Sharma

06/09/2009: Part 220090906

China expert Martin Jacques, writer Hanif Kureishi, philosophy professor Arvind Sharma

Sharing knowledge

06/09/2009: Part 220090907
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Environmentalist Sunita Narain, science historian Arthur I Miller, writer Paolo Giordano.

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How artists can reveal the way our brain works.

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09/08/200920090810
09/08/2009: Part 120090809

Chemist Harry Kroto, artist Kutlug Ataman and anthropologist Nancy Ries

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THE FORUM, the ideas programme presented this week by historian RANA MITTER.

Chemistry Nobel laureate HARRY KROTO is fascinated with the way things work. He’s spent his career stripping elements, such as carbon, down to their basic molecules, then analysing how they fit together to produce strength, flexibility or lightness. He believes the challenge for 21st century science will be to build self-assembling technology that will transform life as we know it.

In his latest video work, Carnegie prize-winning Turkish artist KUTLUG ATAMAN looks at the construction that lies behind reality. His work documents a fictitious space mission: a story of Turkish villagers who set off for the moon which is given credence by media and intellectuals. The result? A radical insight into how we make decisions about what is real and what is possible.

For Russians, what is real and what is possible may be wrapped up in the unlikely form of the potato. American anthropologist NANCY RIES unpeels why the vegetable is so central to Russians’ sense of personal survival and their understanding of the history of Russia in the post-socialist era.

09/08/2009: Part 120090810
09/08/2009: Part 120090823

Biologist Martin Chalfie, novelist Kachi A Ozumba, music historian Marina Frolova-Walker

THE FORUM, the ideas programme with Bridget Kendall.

American geneticist MARTIN CHALFIE explains how a green fluorescent jellyfish protein has been groomed to become the super-sleuth of 21st century science, spying on the work of the proteins that allow us to sense the world around us.

Music historian MARINA FROLOVA-WALKER unravels the myths surrounding the culture and politics of Russian music, argued about for over a century and a half.

Trawling through archives from the Stalinist era we eavesdrop on the bizarre discussions of an elite tasked with overseeing the production of soviet art, national in form, socialist in content.

Nigerian writer KACHI A OZUMBA takes us on a tour of life on the ‘inside'…of a prison cell.

Despite the inhumanities of life in prison and the stereotypes we have built around it, Kachi shows how the laws and rules prisoners make for themselves provide an uncanny mirror of life lived on the outside.

09/08/2009: Part 120090824

Biologist Martin Chalfie, novelist Kachi A Ozumba, music historian Marina Frolova-Walker

09/08/2009: Part 220090809

Chemist Harry Kroto, artist Kutlug Ataman and anthropologist Nancy Ries

Sharing knowledge

09/08/2009: Part 220090810
09/08/2009: Part 220090823
09/08/2009: Part 220090824
09/11/200820081110
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10/03/201820180313 ()

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

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Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

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Meeting the challenges of the unknown

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Meeting the challenges of the unknown

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Religious commentator Karen Armstrong, biologist Stephen Hopper and author Brian Chikwava.

12/07/2009: Part 120090712

Religious commentator Karen Armstrong, biologist Stephen Hopper and author Brian Chikwava.

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Listen to Part 1

THE FORUM, the ideas programme presented this week by philosopher and classicist ANGIE HOBBS.

Religious commentator KAREN ARMSTRONG on what religion really means.

Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London, STEPHEN HOPPER, on the importance of the world’s ancient infertile landscapes.

Zimbabwean author BRIAN CHIKWAVA on the psychology of performance in sport and writing.

Listen here for Part 2

THE FORUM, the ideas programme presented this week by philosopher and classicist ANGIE HOBBS.

Religious commentator Karen Armstrong on what religion really means.

Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London, STEPHEN HOPPER, on the importance of the world's ancient infertile landscapes.

Zimbabwean author BRIAN CHIKWAVA on the psychology of performance in sport and writing.

Listen to Part 1

12/07/2009: Part 120090713
12/07/2009: Part 220090712

Religious commentator Karen Armstrong, biologist Stephen Hopper and author Brian Chikwava.

Sharing knowledge

Listen here for Part 2

THE FORUM, the ideas programme presented this week by philosopher and classicist ANGIE HOBBS.

Religious commentator KAREN ARMSTRONG on what religion really means.

Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London, STEPHEN HOPPER, on the importance of the world’s ancient infertile landscapes.

Zimbabwean author BRIAN CHIKWAVA on the psychology of performance in sport and writing.

12/07/2009: Part 220090713
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12/11/201120111113
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13/09/2009: Part 12009091320090914

Novelist Margaret Atwood; Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones; sociology Prof. Diego Gambetta

Sharing knowledge

THE FORUM, the ideas programme presented by RITULA SHAH.
This week we take a trip into real and imagined dystopian worlds…

We travel to the future to meet the environmentally friendly humanoids from Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood’s latest book, “The year of the Flood”. She asks whether an environmental religion can prevent the extinction of the human race as we know it, or whether it would accelerate our evolution into a new, unrecognisable species.

The British opposition security minister Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones argues that the right balance needs to be struck between privacy and the efficiency of the state.

And sociology Professor Diego Gambetta peers down into the underworld to crack the codes and signals of criminal communication.

We discuss how we modify our bodies and our communication in order to protect our planet and evade the state, both today and in a possible dystopian future.

Novelist Margaret Atwood; Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones; sociology Prof.

Diego Gambetta

THE FORUM, the ideas programme presented by Ritula Shah.

This week we take a trip into real and imagined dystopian worlds…

We travel to the future to meet the environmentally friendly humanoids from Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood's latest book, “The year of the Flood”.

She asks whether an environmental religion can prevent the extinction of the human race as we know it, or whether it would accelerate our evolution into a new, unrecognisable species.

The British opposition security minister Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones argues that the right balance needs to be struck between privacy and the efficiency of the state.

And sociology Professor Diego Gambetta peers down into the underworld to crack the codes and signals of criminal communication.

We discuss how we modify our bodies and our communication in order to protect our planet and evade the state, both today and in a possible dystopian future.

13/09/2009: Part 120090914

Novelist Margaret Atwood; Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones; sociology Prof.

Diego Gambetta

13/09/2009: Part 220090913
13/09/2009: Part 220090914
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Three distinguished medicine men who have all made their mark in different areas.

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Centre and Periphery: growing apart?

16/04/201120110417

Where does the idea of royalty fit into our fast changing century?

There is a festive air in London, as the city prepares for the spectacle of a Royal Wedding at the end of this month - we are devoting this week's Forum to a look at where Kings and Queens fit in to our modern era.

Is there still such a thing as a bond between sovereign and subject? Do modern monarchies need to update themselves? Or is the link with history the key to staying popular?

Bridget Kendall is joined by Bangladeshi writer Tahmima Anam, British historian Justin Champion and Australian psychologist Dorothy Rowe.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: The Prince ceremoniously marries a commoner, touching his subject and backed by generations of monarchs before him.

16/07/201120110717
16/08/2009: Part 120090816

Biologist Bert H\u00f6lldobler, sociologist Richard Sennett, curator Rose Issa

Sharing knowledge

THE FORUM, the ideas programme with BRIDGET KENDALL.

Pulitzer prize winning German biologist BERT HÖLLDOBLER explores the astonishing ability of ant colonies to work together as a single unit, a Superorganism. Ants co-operate and communicate collectively, dividing labour to benefit the whole group with no need for an overseer. What are the evolutionary lessons for humanity?

The role of collaboration in human society fascinates Anglo-American sociologist RICHARD SENNETT. From new research he detects that the current financial crisis will produce a change in work/life practices as ex-Wall Street workers hanker for more co-operation and less cut-throat competition. When it comes to business, will it continue to be down to the survival of the fittest?

Testing the borderline between co-operation and being co-opted, curator of Middle Eastern art ROSE ISSA explores the ways in which Iran’s young artists are evading censors. She reveals how they use loopholes in the system to defy authority and still manage to say the unsayable.

16/08/2009: Part 120090817
16/08/2009: Part 220090816

Biologist Bert H\u00f6lldobler, sociologist Richard Sennett, curator Rose Issa

Sharing knowledge

16/08/2009: Part 220090817
16/11/200820081117
17/03/201220120318
17/05/200920090518
17/08/200820080818
17/09/201120110918

Activism: how to make things happen

Some say you can only do it by being unreasonable –that easygoing people do nothing for progress.

Only those who refuse to put up with life as it’s lived push humanity forward.

Our guests this week are all unreasonable.

Poet and academic John Kinsella, uses his poetry to fight for his vegan, anarchist, pacifist beliefs.

Architectural activist Marie Aquilino reminds us that it’s not earthquakes which kill, but buildings.

She is passionate about giving victims of natural disasters long-life homes and infrastructure.

And Cambridge University economist Ha-Joon Chang calls on all of us to be activist citizen-economists, and so confront the myths he says we’ve been peddled about the way the world economy works.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

18/01/200920090119
18/02/201220120219
18/05/200820080519
18/06/201120110619
18/12/201020101219
18/12/201020101220

How can you tell if fish feel pain and will the answer change the way we treat them?

19/02/201120110220

How our bodies stop protecting us from ageing once we’ve past the point of reproduction, images of cancerous tumours, and the growing global inequality.

Cell biologist and octogenarian Lewis Wolpert asks what more we should be doing to embrace a world which will increasingly be populated by the old, the very old, and then the very, very old.

His research into ageing shows that our bodies are not pre-programmed to age, but they do almost nothing to slow the process.

The vital and perhaps shocking work of artist Wangechi Mutu.

Her portraits of fantastical women, include anatomical drawings of cancerous tumours that transform the terrible into the beautiful.

And World Bank Economist Branko Milanovic, says there’s been a huge shift in global inequality over the last 50 years, and the gaps are getting bigger every day.

He argues that today, your life chances depend far more on where you are born in the world, than on how rich your family are.

llustration by Emily Kasriel: Things we would rather ignore, global inequality, our ageing and cancer.

Things we would rather avoid.

19/02/201120110221

Things we would rather avoid.

19/03/201120110320

Hypocrisy, multiverses and artificial leather: mind-stretching thoughts about life.

19/03/201120110321

Hypocrisy, multiverses and artificial leather: mind-stretching thoughts about life.

19/04/200920090420
19/07/2009: Part 120090719

Sociologist Lord Anthony Giddens, novelist Ben Okri and anthropologist Sarah Hrdy.

Sharing knowledge

THE FORUM, the ideas programme with Bridget Kendall.

Sociologist LORD ANTHONY GIDDENS on how to fight climate change.

Nigerian novelist and poet Ben Okri on breaking free.

American anthropologist SARAH HRDY on sharing parenting.

19/07/2009: Part 120090720

Sociologist Lord Anthony Giddens, novelist Ben Okri and anthropologist Sarah Hrdy.

19/07/2009: Part 220090719
19/07/2009: Part 220090720
19/10/200820081020
19/11/2016 Gmt2016111920161121 (WS)

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

20/07/200820080721
20/08/201120110821

Design in art, fashion and nature.

Is innovation or imitation the key to success?

20/09/200920090921

Defence Expert Dr.

P W Singer; Economist George Ayittey; Renaissance scholar Lisa Jardine

20/09/2009: Part 220090920

Defence Expert Dr.

P W Singer; Economist George Ayittey; Renaissance scholar Lisa Jardine

On this week's programme we look to the robotic future of warfare, empowering business in Africa – and the ethical questions these debates raise.

Defence expert and Obama adviser, Dr Peter W Singer offers his insights into how the use of robots in war is radically changing the meaning and implications of going to war.

Ghanain-American economist George Ayittey discusses how best to develop community business in Africa.

In response to the economic downturn he urges a move from micro-financing of individuals to what he calls ‘meso financing' - investing in community groups to maximise production and income.

And the ethical problems raised on the cutting edge of science, with renaissance scholar and human embryo regulator Lisa Jardine

Defence Expert Dr. P W Singer; Economist George Ayittey; Renaissance scholar Lisa Jardine.

Sharing knowledge

On this week’s programme we look to the robotic future of warfare, empowering business in Africa – and the ethical questions these debates raise.

Defence expert and Obama adviser, Dr Peter W Singer offers his insights into how the use of robots in war is radically changing the meaning and implications of going to war.

Ghanain-American economist George Ayittey discusses how best to develop community business in Africa. In response to the economic downturn he urges a move from micro-financing of individuals to what he calls ‘meso financing’ - investing in community groups to maximise production and income.

And the ethical problems raised on the cutting edge of science, with renaissance scholar and human embryo regulator Lisa Jardine.

20/09/2009: Part 220090921
21/01/201220120122
21/04/201220120422

21/05/201120110522
21/06/200920090622

Writer and critic Clive James, mathematician Marcus Du Sautoy, philosopher Slavoj Zizek.

21/09/200820080922
21/12/200820081222
21st Century Education2012092920120930 (WS)

What is education really for and how should we improve it? Presented by Martin Rees.

Sharing knowledge

The second of five Forum programmes in which eminent thinkers lead discussions about the most pressing challenges in today’s world: this week, Professor Martin Rees, UK’s Astronomer Royal, and his guests talk about education.
Should education prepare people for work, or make us think more creatively, or to be better citizens? What can we expect of digital technology: how much will this change the way we learn and could it help those currently excluded from education? And what about those often mentioned economic benefits of a good education, how real are they? Joining Martin Rees and an audience of academics and students at Murray Edwards College, Cambridge, are Paris-based educational consultant Alexandra Draxler, educational policy advisor Alison Wolf and digital entrepreneur Conrad Wolfram.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: Educating the next generation with creativity and rigour.

21st Century Education20120930
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22/01/201120110124
22/02/200920090223
22/06/200820080623
22/10/201120111023

Contemplating our own Death

23/04/201120110424
23/07/201120110724
23/08/200920090824
23/08/2009: Part 120090823

Biologist Martin Chalfie, music historian Marina Frolova-Walker, novelist Kachi A Ozumba

Sharing knowledge

THE FORUM, the ideas programme with BRIDGET KENDALL.

American geneticist MARTIN CHALFIE explains how a green fluorescent jellyfish protein has been groomed to become the super-sleuth of 21st century science, spying on the work of the proteins that allow us to sense the world around us.

Music historian MARINA FROLOVA-WALKER unravels the myths surrounding the culture and politics of Russian music, argued about for over a century and a half. Trawling through archives from the Stalinist era we eavesdrop on the bizarre discussions of an elite tasked with overseeing the production of soviet art, national in form, socialist in content.

Nigerian writer KACHI A OZUMBA takes us on a tour of life on the 'inside'...of a prison cell. Despite the inhumanities of life in prison and the stereotypes we have built around it, Kachi shows how the laws and rules prisoners make for themselves provide an uncanny mirror of life lived on the outside.

23/08/2009: Part 120090824
23/08/2009: Part 220090823

Biologist Martin Chalfie, music historian Marina Frolova-Walker, novelist Kachi A Ozumba

Sharing knowledge

23/08/2009: Part 220090824
23/11/200820081124
24/05/200920090525
24/08/200820080825
24/09/201120110925
25/01/200920090126
25/05/200820080526
25/06/201120110626

David Baddiel presents this week's edition of The Forum on the power of images

Writer and comedian David Baddiel presents this week’s edition of The Forum.

In a world that has become dominated by visual imagery – with pictures and movies on phones, screens and advertising hoardings all around us, have we become blas or desensitised? What's happening to the way that we digest pictures?

James Gow, Professor of International Peace and Security at Kings College London, argues that images have become more crucial than battles in the outcome of conflicts.

How are images being used in the Arab Spring?

Margaret Livingstone, a Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard University, has discovered that the way we process images depends in part on whether we can see in stereo or mono.

And the Dutch poet laureate, Ramsey Nasr, believes that, with poetry, even the words on the page need to be rearranged to cope with the modern demand for the eye to be constantly stimulated.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: how our minds translate what we see.

25/12/201020101226
25/12/201020101227

Exchanging ideas on five thousand years of Mediterranean calendars, festivals and ports

26/02/201120110227

Sharya Scharenguivel is a prominent Professor of Law at Colombo University and leading figure in the drive to reform family law in Sri Lanka.

She argues that it’s the British colonial legacy, that in legal terms, helps keep Sri Lankan women under their husband’s thumb.

The novels of Karen Roberts draw on the taboos of forbidden love to expose tensions within Sri Lankan society.

Her latest book, The Lament of the Dhobi Woman has at its core, a forbidden love affair between a servant woman and an upper class man.

And Ranjini Obeyesekere, a scholar of Buddhist literature, traces a legendary relationship that has inspired both poets and monks for centuries.

She has spent many years studying and translating writings about Yasodhara, the Buddha’s wife.

llustration by Emily Kasriel.

Special show from Sri Lanka literary festival about love

26/02/201120110228

Special show from Sri Lanka literary festival about love

Sharya Scharenguivel is a prominent Professor of Law at Colombo University and leading figure in the drive to reform family law in Sri Lanka.

She argues that it’s the British colonial legacy, that in legal terms, helps keep Sri Lankan women under their husband’s thumb.

The novels of Karen Roberts draw on the taboos of forbidden love to expose tensions within Sri Lankan society.

Her latest book, The Lament of the Dhobi Woman has at its core, a forbidden love affair between a servant woman and an upper class man.

And Ranjini Obeyesekere, a scholar of Buddhist literature, traces a legendary relationship that has inspired both poets and monks for centuries.

She has spent many years studying and translating writings about Yasodhara, the Buddha’s wife.

llustration by Emily Kasriel.

26/03/201120110327
26/03/201120110328
26/07/2009: Part 120090726

Astronomer Andrea Ghez, economist Ian Goldin and cyberspace authority Evgeny Morozov

Sharing knowledge

Listen above to Part 1

THE FORUM, the ideas programme with BRIDGET KENDALL, recorded this week at Keble College, Oxford, UK in front of a live audience as part of a conference organised by the international ideas organization, TED.

American astronomer ANDREA GHEZ on super massive black holes.

African economist IAN GOLDIN on safe-guarding earth’s future.

Cyberspace authority EVGENY MOROZOV on the internet’s darker side.

Listen above to Part 2

THE FORUM, the ideas programme with Bridget Kendall, recorded this week at Keble College, Oxford, UK in front of a live audience as part of a conference organised by the international ideas organization, TED.

American astronomer ANDREA GHEZ on super massive black holes.

African economist IAN GOLDIN on safe-guarding earth's future.

Cyberspace authority EVGENY MOROZOV on the internet's darker side.

26/07/2009: Part 120090727

Astronomer Andrea Ghez, economist Ian Goldin and cyberspace authority Evgeny Morozov

26/07/2009: Part 220090726

Astronomer Andrea Ghez, economist Ian Goldin and cyberspace authority Evgeny Morozov.

Sharing knowledge

Listen above to Part 2

THE FORUM, the ideas programme with BRIDGET KENDALL, recorded this week at Keble College, Oxford, UK in front of a live audience as part of a conference organised by the international ideas organization, TED.

American astronomer ANDREA GHEZ on super massive black holes.

African economist IAN GOLDIN on safe-guarding earth’s future.

Cyberspace authority EVGENY MOROZOV on the internet’s darker side.

Listen above to Part 2

THE FORUM, the ideas programme with Bridget Kendall, recorded this week at Keble College, Oxford, UK in front of a live audience as part of a conference organised by the international ideas organization, TED.

American astronomer ANDREA GHEZ on super massive black holes.

African economist IAN GOLDIN on safe-guarding earth's future.

Cyberspace authority EVGENY MOROZOV on the internet's darker side.

26/07/2009: Part 220090727

Astronomer Andrea Ghez, economist Ian Goldin and cyberspace authority Evgeny Morozov.

26/10/200820081027
26/11/201120111127
27/07/200820080728
27/08/201120110828

Human rights: How do you prove you have them? And how do you make sure you can enjoy them?

27/09/200920090928

Philosopher Sari Nusseibeh, radio-ecologist Brenda Howard, historian Giusto Traina

27/09/2009: Part 120090927

Philosopher Sari Nusseibeh, radio-ecologist Brenda Howard, historian Giusto Traina

Sharing knowledge

THE FORUM: A World Of Ideas presented by Bridget Kendall.

This week: a fresh approach to the Middle-East crisis, the long term effects of radiation on plants and animals and a panoramic look at one year in the life of the Roman Empire...428 AD.

Palestinian philosopher and peace-broker SARI NUSSEIBEH tell us why he thinks faith and imagination could be the vital ingredients for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

British radio-ecologist BRENDA HOWARD explains why there’s an urgent need for new standards to measure the ecological impact of radio active contaminants...not on humans, but on animals and plants.

And Italian historian GIUSTO TRAINA reveals how sometimes the most interesting historical events happen at the margins of empires rather than at the centre.

THE FORUM - A World Of Ideas - presented by Bridget Kendall.

This week: a fresh approach to the Middle-East crisis, the long term effects of radiation on plants and animals and a panoramic look at one year in the life of the Roman Empire...428 AD.

Palestinian philosopher and peace-broker SARI NUSSEIBEH tell us why he thinks faith and imagination could be the vital ingredients for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

British radio-ecologist BRENDA HOWARD explains why there's an urgent need for new standards to measure the ecological impact of radio active contaminants...not on humans, but on animals and plants.

And Italian historian GIUSTO TRAINA explains why sometimes the most interesting historical events happen at the margins of empires rather than at the centre.

27/09/2009: Part 120090928
27/09/2009: Part 220090927

Philosopher Sari Nusseibeh, radio-ecologist Brenda Howard, historian Giusto Traina

Sharing knowledge

27/09/2009: Part 220090928
27/11/201020101128

The theme of this week’s programme is exploring the boundary between manipulation and collaboration.

How would our lives change if we could regrow bits of our bodies? We enter the pioneering world of nano technology, where scientists are learning how to send signals to our failing organs to regenerate themselves, with bio engineer, Sam Stupp.

And when you peer deep into the human ear and the way our brains interpret music, what is exactly happening? According to physicist and musician Philip Ball, it’s all about detecting and expecting patterns.

And a different sort of probing from America’s most quoted humorist: P.J.O’Rourke explains why politicians are a medicine we should only take in very small doses.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

Sending nano filaments to regenerate broken organs as we listen to patterns in music prompting us to demand a cut down in the number of politicians.

Manipulation or collaboration: P.J.O'Rourke, nano technology and our music instinct.

27/11/201020101129
28/01/201220120129
28/03/201020100329
28/05/201120110529

What are our obligations to others, on an international and individual level?

It's a term that's been mentioned a lot recently but what exactly do we mean by ‘Responsibility to Protect’? Are we all legally or morally obligated to help citizens in other countries who are at risk? Or is this just a vague sense of our shared humanity? Canadian professor Jennifer Welsh explores the moral and legal conundrums.

American scholar soldier Lt Col Shannon Beebe tells us that if we really are serious about protecting the vulnerable, we need to change the way we think about security: he says the way forward is what he calls sustainable security.

And Somalia's Minister for Women's Development Maryan Qasim tells us why she feels responsible for the lives of Somali women and children and how she tries to change them.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: responsibility to protect - but how is that generosity received?

28/06/200920090629

Environmentalist Wangari Maathai, geneticist Jane Peterson and novelist Dubravka Ugresic

28/06/2009: Part 120090628

Environmentalist Wangari Maathai, geneticist Jane Peterson and novelist Dubravka Ugresic

Sharing knowledge

THE FORUM, the ideas programme with Bridget Kendall.

Kenyan environmentalist WANGARI MAATHAI on the link between culture and environmental degradation.

American geneticist JANE PETERSON on the bacteria living within us.

Former Yugoslav novelist DUBRAVKA UGRESIC on the power of old ladies.

28/06/2009: Part 120090629
28/06/2009: Part 220090628
28/06/2009: Part 220090629
28/06/20142014062920140630 (WS)

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

28/09/200820080929
28/12/200820081229
29/01/201120110130
29/01/201120110131

This week's Forum comes from the northern state of Rajasthan in India where we are guests of the Jaipur Literature Festival.

We are on an open-air stage in front of over a thousand people, all listening intently and eager to chip in as we juggle the moral dilemmas of living in today's India.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: The Mahabharata connecting us so that we learn how to be good and heal the sick in Nepal.

Forum at Jaipur Literature Festival: dharma, greed, envy, quacks and Nepali Buddhists

29/03/200920090330
29/06/200820080630
29/10/201120111030

FEEDING THE EARTH’S RISING POPULATION

30/04/201120110501
30/07/201120110731
30/08/200920090831
30/08/2009: Part 120090830

Novelist Elias Khoury, ethologist Marc Bekoff, ethnographer Stefana Broadbent

Sharing knowledge

THE FORUM, the ideas programme presented this week by historian RANA MITTER.

Lebanese novelist ELIAS KHOURY explores how writing can be a source of power but also a form of torture. He also warns us about the unreliability of identity and memory as the characters in his novel, Yalo, change under pressure.

American cognitive ethologist MARC BEKOFF argues, controversially, that it's not just humans who can make moral decisions, animals have moral intelligence too. They are capable of co-operating together, empathising with each other and also have a sense of justice.

Digital ethnographer STEFANA BROADBENT believes the gap between our private and public lives is shrinking. She argues that the new technology of social networks and instant messaging is actually taking us back to a period before the industrial revolution, when people didn’t separate their work and home life.

30/08/2009: Part 120090831
30/08/2009: Part 220090830

Novelist Elias Khoury, ethologist Marc Bekoff, ethnographer Stefana Broadbent

Sharing knowledge

30/08/2009: Part 220090831
30/11/200820081201
31/01/201020100201

What triggers earthquakes and why do we know so little? Plus the Arctic and African cities

31/03/201220120401
31/05/200920090601
31/08/200820080901
5/04/200920090405

Peter Singer, Kathleen Taylor and Ali Allawi challenge each other on their ideas.

Sharing knowledge

THE GUESTS

Australian Bioethics Professor Peter Singer wants all of us to turn vegetarian and think hard about pointless consumerism. He argues that those who eat meat are, indirectly, making other people go hungry. He also says that if all those who can afford them stopped buying luxuries and gave the money to efficient charities instead, it would end global poverty very quickly. Laudable aims, but are they realistic?

Former Iraqi Finance and Defence Minister Ali Allawi seeks to revitalize modern Islam and broaden its scope, so that, once again, it encompasses areas such as architecture, science, economics and medicine. But how does this relate to people’s modern lives and can renewed spirituality become a real alternative to technology-driven globalisation? And can we control our propensity to be cruel or kind to others?

Oxford neuroscientist Kathleen Taylor suggests that the first thing we can do to reduce cruelty is to accept that we are as capable of being cruel as we are of showing love and kindness. She also argues that attempts at quick technological fixes to reduce cruelty are likely to backfire, so what can we do instead?

5/04/200920090406
A Leap Of Faith: Finding Common Ground Between Science And Religion2015120520151207 (WS)
20151208 (WS)

Can there be a common ground between science and religion?

Sharing knowledge

Promoting a dialogue between science and religion has long been a challenging task- the two communities of thought often seem far apart. The Forum explores the challenge in a discussion recorded at CERN in Switzerland and asks not only why this dialogue is important but how it is working and where it might lead. CERN is the European Organization for Nuclear Research where physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. Joining Bridget Kendall to discuss common ground between science and religion are: Professor Rolf-Dieter Heuer, a German particle physicist and the Director General of CERN; Marcelo Gleiser, professor of physics and astronomy at Dartmouth College; Dr. Kusum Jain, a renowned Indian scholar of Jain Philosophy and director of the Centre of Advanced Study in Philosophy at the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur; Monsignor Tomasz Trafny, Head of Science and Faith, Vatican City State.

And there is poetry, especially written for the programme, by British poet Murray Lachlan Young.

(Photo: illustration of first proton-lead ion collisions. © 2012 CERN, for the benefit of the ALICE Collaboration)

A Leap Of Faith: Finding Common Ground Between Science And Religion2015120720151208 (WS)

Promoting a dialogue between science and religion has long been a challenging task- the two communities of thought often seem far apart. The Forum explores the challenge in a discussion recorded at CERN in Switzerland and asks not only why this dialogue is important but how it is working and where it might lead. CERN is the European Organization for Nuclear Research where physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. Joining Bridget Kendall to discuss common ground between science and religion are: Professor Rolf-Dieter Heuer, a German particle physicist and the Director General of CERN; Marcelo Gleiser, professor of physics and astronomy at Dartmouth College; Dr. Kusum Jain, a renowned Indian scholar of Jain Philosophy and director of the Centre of Advanced Study in Philosophy at the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur; Monsignor Tomasz Trafny, Head of Science and Faith, Vatican City State.

And there is poetry, especially written for the programme, by British poet Murray Lachlan Young.

(Photo: illustration of first proton-lead ion collisions. © 2012 CERN, for the benefit of the ALICE Collaboration)

Can there be a common ground between science and religion?

A Rainbow Nation, A Rainbow World?2013121420131215 (WS)
20131216 (WS)

The past and future of race relations in South Africa and beyond

Sharing knowledge

The idea of freedom for all, regardless of their ethnic background, has been the guiding principle of South Africa ever since Nelson Mandela was released from prison two decades ago. So how close is the new South Africa to accomplishing that ideal? How much have we really progressed globally in our attitudes to racism? And, where has the idea of separate human races come from in the first place? Bridget Kendall discusses the global history of racism and its likely future with historian Francisco Bethencourt, former South African MP and equality campaigner Pregs Govender, evolutionary biologist Jonathan Marks, Soweto-born writer Niq Mhlongo and Helene Neveu-Kringelbach, an anthropologist who researches interracial marriage.

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

A Single World, Many Identities?2016040920160411 (WS)
20160412 (WS)

Turkish novelist Elif Shafak, Nick Bostrom and Ann Phoenix from UCL discuss identity

Sharing knowledge

Bestselling Turkish novelist Elif Shafak, Nick Bostrom from Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute and Ann Phoenix from UCL's Institute of Education trace the evolution of 21st century identity with the BBC’s Jo Fidgen. Are technology and geopolitics conspiring to create a new type of human, unrecognisable to our forebears? Is ‘serial migration’ the new norm for transnational families and what effect is this having on the identity of the young? Or perhaps we should drop the concept of Identity altogether?

(Photo: Left to right, Ann Phoenix, Elif Shafak and Nick Bostrom)

A Single World, Many Identities?2016041120160412 (WS)
20160413 (WS)

Turkish novelist Elif Shafak, Nick Bostrom and Ann Phoenix from UCL discuss identity

Bestselling Turkish novelist Elif Shafak, Nick Bostrom from Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute and Ann Phoenix from UCL's Institute of Education trace the evolution of 21st century identity with the BBC’s Jo Fidgen. Are technology and geopolitics conspiring to create a new type of human, unrecognisable to our forebears? Is ‘serial migration’ the new norm for transnational families and what effect is this having on the identity of the young? Or perhaps we should drop the concept of Identity altogether?

(Photo: Left to right, Ann Phoenix, Elif Shafak and Nick Bostrom)

A Very Long View2016010920160111 (WS)
20160112 (WS)

Tracking changes in our lives and bodies over decades, generations and even millennia

Sharing knowledge

How good are we at making connections over time? Remembering our own pasts, or the way history has unfolded, or seeing the big patterns of development, invisible to the naked eye? This week on the Forum Bridget Kendall and guests focus on the long view: tracking the small changes which shape a person over a year, or a society over decades, or which alter the genetic make-up of humans over tens of thousands of years. With artist Tom Mosser, sociologist Alison Park and geneticist Eske Willerslew.

Photo: Artist Tom Mosser and his portrait collection (credit: Tom Mosser)

A Very Long View2016011120160112 (WS)

Tracking changes in our lives and bodies over decades, generations and even millennia

How good are we at making connections over time? Remembering our own pasts, or the way history has unfolded, or seeing the big patterns of development, invisible to the naked eye? This week on the Forum Bridget Kendall and guests focus on the long view: tracking the small changes which shape a person over a year, or a society over decades, or which alter the genetic make-up of humans over tens of thousands of years. With artist Tom Mosser, sociologist Alison Park and geneticist Eske Willerslew.

Photo: Artist Tom Mosser and his portrait collection (credit: Tom Mosser)

Activism: How To Make Things Happen20110917

Some say you can only do it by being unreasonable –that easygoing people do nothing for progress.

Only those who refuse to put up with life as it’s lived push humanity forward.

Our guests this week are all unreasonable.

Poet and academic John Kinsella, uses his poetry to fight for his vegan, anarchist, pacifist beliefs.

Architectural activist Marie Aquilino reminds us that it’s not earthquakes which kill, but buildings.

She is passionate about giving victims of natural disasters long-life homes and infrastructure.

And Cambridge University economist Ha-Joon Chang calls on all of us to be activist citizen-economists, and so confront the myths he says we’ve been peddled about the way the world economy works.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

Activism: how to make things happen

Sharing knowledge

Activism: how to make things happen

Some say you can only do it by being unreasonable - that easygoing people do nothing for progress.

Only those who refuse to put up with life as it’s lived push humanity forward. Our guests this week are all unreasonable.

Poet and academic John Kinsella, uses his poetry to fight for his vegan, anarchist, pacifist beliefs.

Architectural activist Marie Aquilino reminds us that it’s not earthquakes which kill, but buildings. She is passionate about giving victims of natural disasters long-life homes and infrastructure.

And Cambridge University economist Ha-Joon Chang calls on all of us to be activist citizen-economists, and so confront the myths he says we’ve been peddled about the way the world economy works.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel.

Adam Smith: Father Of Capitalism2017111820171121 (WS)

Exploring the work of the 18th century moral philosopher and economist Adam Smith

Sharing knowledge

Adam Smith, a moral philosopher and economist, was born in Scotland, the son of a customs officer. In 1776 he published a book called 'An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations’. Smith basically argued against the over regulation of commerce and said if people were set free to better themselves, it would produce economic prosperity for all. To discuss his work and legacy are Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Intellectual History Vivienne Brown, the UK Labour Party peer and economist Lord Meghnad Jagdishchandra Desai, Professor of History Fania Oz-Salzberger and Emeritus Professor of Political Theory Christopher Berry.

Photo: An illustration of Adam Smith, circa 1765. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Advances In Bioengineering2016031220160314 (WS)
20160315 (WS)

Bridging the divide between living and inorganic matter

Sharing knowledge

Bridget Kendall talks to three pioneers who are pushing the boundaries of what is possible at the interface between engineering, biology and medicine: John Rogers makes electronics which dissolve when they have done their job, Magnus Berggren grows circuits inside plants and Hadyn Parry is using a harmless protein to wipe out dangerous disease carriers.

Picture: A rose attached to an electronic apparatus. (Credit: Eliot Gomez)

Advances In Bioengineering2016031420160315 (WS)

Bridging the divide between living and inorganic matter

Bridget Kendall talks to three pioneers who are pushing the boundaries of what is possible at the interface between engineering, biology and medicine: John Rogers makes electronics which dissolve when they have done their job, Magnus Berggren grows circuits inside plants and Hadyn Parry is using a harmless protein to wipe out dangerous disease carriers.

Picture: A rose attached to an electronic apparatus. (Credit: Eliot Gomez)

Advantage2013110920131111 (WS)

What gives you an advantage in life?

Sharing knowledge

We explore what can confer advantage. Bridget Kendall talks to best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell about whether the power of the underdog has been under-estimated; psychologist Kathryn Asbury on why some kids start school with a biological advantage over their peers, and globalisation professor Ian Goldin on ensuring future generations’ advantage now. Photo by Fred Dufour/AFP/GettyImages

We explore what can confer advantage. Bridget Kendall talks to best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell about whether the power of the underdog has been under-estimated; psychologist Kathryn Asbury on why some kids start school with a biological advantage over their peers, and globalisation professor Ian Goldin on ensuring future generations’ advantage now. Photo by Fred Dufour/AFP/GettyImages

Adventures In 2d: Graphene And Beyond2015070620150704 (WS)
20150707 (WS)

What is the future of graphene and other \u20182D\u2019 materials?

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Top graphene researchers, including the Nobel laureate who first isolated pure graphene, talk to Bridget Kendall about the future of not just this 'wonder-material' but also a whole host of other 2-dimensional crystals now available. How close are we to a cheap production of quality graphene on an industrial scale? Can the EU's Graphene Flagship, a research and industrial consortium which includes about 150 partners in over 20 countries, quickly move graphene products from the lab to the consumer? And should we worry about the safety of 2D materials? Recorded at Graphene Week held at the University of Manchester, with Sir Konstantin Novoselov, Sarah Haigh, Jari Kinaret, Toby Heys and Jonathan Coleman.

Photo: An artist's illustration depicting graphene: by Shan Pillay

After Dark: How We Respond To Darkness2016052120160523 (WS)
20160524 (WS)

Exploring how we operate at night and our attitude to the dark

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Dr Janina Ramirez explores our relationship with, and attitudes to, darkness and the night. From the beginning of humanity when night was a time to sleep and hide from predators, over millennia the night and darkness has gathered a multitude of myths and cultural references all around the world and is something we can exploit, or something we might fear. Dr Janina Ramirez examines the human perspective of the dark, from night vision technology to Norwegian forest myths.

Dr Ravindra Athale, of the Office of Naval Research in Arlington USA, an expert on night vision technology, who examines how nocturnal animals help high tech, and how our ability to see at night has affected the way we use the dark to conceal and surprise.

Professor John Bowen from the University of York in the UK, an expert on Gothic literature and its roots.

Erland Loe, the celebrated Norwegian author, who explores his own and fellow Norwegian’s response to long dark winter nights.

Noam Elcott, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art and Media at Columbia University in the USA who discusses the literal and metaphorical use of dark and night in film art and the dark room.

(Photo: An artist's Illustration of a haunted forest. Credit: Shan Pillay)

After Dark: How We Respond To Darkness2016052320160524 (WS)
20160525 (WS)

Exploring how we operate at night and our attitude to the dark

Dr Janina Ramirez explores our relationship with, and attitudes to, darkness and the night. From the beginning of humanity when night was a time to sleep and hide from predators, over millennia the night and darkness has gathered a multitude of myths and cultural references all around the world and is something we can exploit, or something we might fear. Dr Janina Ramirez examines the human perspective of the dark, from night vision technology to Norwegian forest myths.

Dr Ravindra Athale, of the Office of Naval Research in Arlington USA, an expert on night vision technology, who examines how nocturnal animals help high tech, and how our ability to see at night has affected the way we use the dark to conceal and surprise.

Professor John Bowen from the University of York in the UK, an expert on Gothic literature and its roots.

Erland Loe, the celebrated Norwegian author, who explores his own and fellow Norwegian’s response to long dark winter nights.

Noam Elcott, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art and Media at Columbia University in the USA who discusses the literal and metaphorical use of dark and night in film art and the dark room.

(Photo: An artist's Illustration of a haunted forest. Credit: Shan Pillay)

After Shock: The Lingering Legacy Of Civil War20110212

Sri Lanka after the war \u2013 special discussion from the Galle Literary Festival

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The Forum has travelled from London to the Galle Literary Festival at the Galle Fort on the South Western tip of Sri Lanka.

The Forum takes a closer look at Sri Lanka as it emerges from the devastating civil war that lasted a quarter of a century and ended less than two years ago. Joining Bridget Kendall are three guests who all deal in different ways with the challenges that emerge once the guns have been silenced.

Sunila Abeysekera, a leading human rights campaigner in Sri Lanka, who has grass roots experiences of what happens to communities during and after the war.

Anjali Watson, a wildlife conservation researcher whose work focuses on the way humans interacts with their environment and in particular on the Sri Lankan leopard.

And providing insights about the long term traces of war on people’s internal landscapes is award winning Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: The after effects of conflict - displaced people with psychological wounds in conflict or cooperating with the leopards of Sri Lanka.

After Shock: The Lingering Legacy Of Civil War20110213

The Forum has travelled from London to the Galle Literary Festival at the Galle Fort on the South Western tip of Sri Lanka.

The Forum takes a closer look at Sri Lanka as it emerges from the devastating civil war that lasted a quarter of a century and ended less than two years ago.

Joining Bridget Kendall are three guests who all deal in different ways with the challenges that emerge once the guns have been silenced.

Sunila Abeysekera, a leading human rights campaigner in Sri Lanka, who has grass roots experiences of what happens to communities during and after the war.

Anjali Watson, a wildlife conservation researcher whose work focuses on the way humans interacts with their environment and in particular on the Sri Lankan leopard.

And providing insights about the long term traces of war on people’s internal landscapes is award winning Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: The after effects of conflict - displaced people with psychological wounds in conflict or cooperating with the leopards of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka after the war – special discussion from the Galle Literary Festival

After Shock: The Lingering Legacy Of Civil War20110214

Sri Lanka after the war – special discussion from the Galle Literary Festival

Aftermath Of War And Marriage2012042820120429

When everything falls apart, how do you cope?

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The aftermath of war and marriage: How do you put a country and a people back together again after a traumatic conflict? And how do individuals come to terms with the end of a marriage? We hear from Somali Archaeologist Sada Mire who argues food and shelter are not the only basic need for war victims: so is cultural heritage. Former Canadian diplomat Scott Gilmore warns that tackling social breakdown in the aftermath of war is failing because international aid programmes are too ambitious. And writer and novelist Rachel Cusk compares war zones to the aftermath of her own broken marriage.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: what is the best way to respond to the broken pieces of the world, a country and a marriage.

Aftermath: when everything falls apart, how do you cope? How do you put a country and a people back together again after a traumatic conflict? And how do individuals come to terms with the end of a marriage? We hear from Somali Archaeologist Sada Mire who argues food and shelter are not the only basic need for war victims: so is cultural heritage. Former Canadian diplomat Scott Gilmore warns that tackling social breakdown in the aftermath of war is failing because international aid programmes are too ambitious. And writer and novelist Rachel Cusk compares war zones to the aftermath of her own broken marriage.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: what is the best way to respond to the broken pieces of the world, a country and a marriage.

The Aftermath of war and of marriage.

Aftermath Of War And Marriage20120429
Aliens2014092720140928 (WS)
20140929 (WS)

Why do some people believe in aliens and extra-terrestrials, and not others?

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What do you think about the possibility of extra- terrestrial life? Are we alone in the universe? And what do aliens reveal about us? Bridget Kendall asks ecologist Chris Thomas, science fiction writer Nnedi Okorafor, and psychologist Richard McNally to pool thoughts about what aliens mean to us.

(Illustration: Artist impression of alien spaceship hovering over a city landscape. By Shan Pillay)

What do you think about the possibility of extra- terrestrial life? Are we alone in the universe? And what do aliens reveal about us? Bridget Kendall asks ecologist Chris Thomas, science fiction writer Nnedi Okorafor, and psychologist Richard McNally to pool thoughts about what aliens mean to us.

(Illustration: Artist impression of alien spaceship hovering over a city landscape. By Shan Pillay)

Illustration by Shan Pillay

Amelia Earhart \u2013 Trailblazer In The Skies2017050620170508 (WS)
20170509 (WS)

The inspirational life of the USA\u2019s celebrated female aviator.

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This year is the 80th anniversary of the record-breaking attempt by the US aviator Amelia Earhart to circumnavigate the globe. It was a mission that cost her life, but helped to cement her place in history as one of the most inspirational and celebrated pilots of the 20th century.

Bridget Kendall looks back at the life of a pioneering woman determined to break through barriers - with Susan Butler, author of ‘East to the Dawn: The Life of Amelia Earhart’; Dorothy Cochrane, Curator in the Aeronautics Division of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Washington; and Susan Ware, author of ‘Still Missing: Amelia Earhart and the Search for Modern Feminism’.

Photo: Amelia Earhart in June 1928 (Getty Images)

American Writer Mark Twain2018071420180717 (WS)

Life and works of 'the father of American literature'

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Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, was known for his piercing wit, irreverent satire and social commentary. Leaving school early following the death of his father, he lived many lives in one: spending time as a journalist, steamboat pilot and world traveller, suffering significant personal and financial losses. These are just some of the experiences that would feed into his novels, articles, short stories, essays and the thousands of letters that are still being unearthed today.

Best known for his book Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which tells the story of a rebellious young boy called Huck floating down the Mississippi River with a runaway slave called Jim, Twain developed a style that led to him being credited as "the father of American literature". The work, like so much of Twain's other writing, tackles serious social issues and continues to be shrouded in controversy to this day.

Bridget Kendall discusses his life and works with Twain scholars Shelley Fisher Fiskin, Thomas Smith, Jocelyn Chadwick and Mark Dawidziak.

(Photo: Mark Twain (Donaldson Collection. Credit: Getty Images)

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

Anger2016021320160215 (WS)
20160216 (WS)

Why do we get cross?

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Feeling angry has always been an integral part of our nature, an instant response to being insulted, restrained or threatened. But is modern life making us angrier? And what goes on in our brain when we ‘snap’? Bridget Kendall talks to psychologist Raymond Chip Tafrate, historian of emotions Tiffany Watt Smith and neurobiologist R. Douglas Fields.

Photo: Two angry people yell at each other (Credit: Corbis)

Anger2016021520160216 (WS)

Why do we get cross?

Feeling angry has always been an integral part of our nature, an instant response to being insulted, restrained or threatened. But is modern life making us angrier? And what goes on in our brain when we ‘snap’? Bridget Kendall talks to psychologist Raymond Chip Tafrate, historian of emotions Tiffany Watt Smith and neurobiologist R. Douglas Fields.

Photo: Two angry people yell at each other (Credit: Corbis)

Are We In Control?20111112

The unintended consequences of what we do, in economics, geo-engineering and on stage.

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How far can we control the outcomes of our actions?

Economist Robert Frank says that competition is not always benign and that if we want to understand some of its negative results we should look to Charles Darwin for explanation.

Soprano Claron McFadden discusses how far she can control audience reaction when she is performing on stage.

And environmental scientist Peter Liss says we need a lot more data before we can decide whether pumping chemicals into the skies and oceans can really help solve global warming or just creates a new host of environmental problems.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: the monied hand of the individual controlling the life of the planet, to the sound of music.

Are We In Control?20111113

The unintended consequences of what we do, in economics, geo-engineering and on stage.

How far can we control the outcomes of our actions?

Economist Robert Frank says that competition is not always benign and that if we want to understand some of its negative results we should look to Charles Darwin for explanation.

Soprano Claron McFadden discusses how far she can control audience reaction when she is performing on stage.

And environmental scientist Peter Liss says we need a lot more data before we can decide whether pumping chemicals into the skies and oceans can really help solve global warming or just creates a new host of environmental problems.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: the monied hand of the individual controlling the life of the planet, to the sound of music.

Are We Losing The Ability To Focus?2015091920150921 (WS)
20150922 (WS)

In the age of perpetual distraction, are we losing the ability to focus?

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In the age of perpetual distraction, are we losing the ability to focus? Bridget Kendall is joined by three guests who have found a way to concentrate. David Hieatt is a Welsh denim jeans entrepreneur, his personal and professional maxim is “do one thing well”.
Slovenian violinist Miha Pogacnik uses music to empower business leaders and Icelandic lawyer Ragnar Jonasson is also a writer, his latest novel “Snow Blind” is a mystery set in a remote fishing village.

Photo: A watchmaker examines a watch mechanism (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Are We Losing The Ability To Focus?2015092120150922 (WS)

In the age of perpetual distraction, are we losing the ability to focus?

In the age of perpetual distraction, are we losing the ability to focus? Bridget Kendall is joined by three guests who have found a way to concentrate. David Hieatt is a Welsh denim jeans entrepreneur, his personal and professional maxim is “do one thing well?

Slovenian violinist Miha Pogacnik uses music to empower business leaders and Icelandic lawyer Ragnar Jonasson is also a writer, his latest novel “Snow Blind? is a mystery set in a remote fishing village.

Photo: A watchmaker examines a watch mechanism (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Are We Too Complacent About Social Mobility?2014032220140323 (WS)
20140324 (WS)

Conventional wisdom has it that social mobility - ie how easy is it to move up or down the social ladder - has been accelerating in many countries. But in this week's Forum, Jo Fidgen hears some startling new research on how painfully slow that process really is, even in enlightened regions such as Scandinavia. Economic historian Gregory Clark has been finding out what your surname says about your chances of self-improvement. Sociologist Alan Bairner has been examining social mobility through sport: who gets to play at the top level, and what does that do to their social status? And economist Thomas Piketty has been analysing reams of data to find out why it's nearly always paid more to invest family money than to work. Photo of crown courtesy of Getty Images.

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

Arthur Conan Doyle: The Man Behind Sherlock Holmes2017060320170605 (WS)
20170606 (WS)

The life of doctor and literary star Arthur Conan Doyle.

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Since appearing in print in the late nineteenth century, Sherlock Holmes has become one of the world’s most famous detectives, known for solving crime and mystery in London and beyond. But who was the man that made this fictional super-sleuth? And what inspired him to write?

Bridget Kendall explores the life and work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - the doctor and literary superstar who embraced both science and the spiritual world - and who changed crime fiction forever.

She’s joined by biographer Andrew Lycett and the scholars Catherine Wynne and Stefan Lampadius.

Photo: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Getty Images)

Balance: How We Find Equilibrium2016042320160425 (WS)
20160426 (WS)

Why balance in humans, machines and music are needed for effectiveness and safety

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Balance is essential. It stops us falling over or getting too cross and it stops machines failing catastrophically. There are also very fine balances present, more generally in nature and across the universe. But much of the World is not in exact and perpetual balance - it needs constant fine tuning.

To help explore our latest understanding of balance in human beings, machines and music, Bridget Kendall talks to Patricia Kopatchinskaja, the distinguished Moldovan-Austrian violinist, who explores the internal balance need to play world class music; Jade Kindar-Martin, high wire artist and member of the Flying Wallendas who examines the fine tuning of mind and body needed to keep in balance on a high wire; Professor Andrew Heyes, head of Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Strathclyde, in Scotland who looks at the very fine balances needed to ensure machines work effectively and safely.

(Photo: Acrobats form a human pyramid as they rehearse with Le Grand Cirque at the Sydney Opera House, 2009. Credit: Getty Images)

Balance: How We Find Equilibrium2016042520160426 (WS)
20160427 (WS)

Why balance in humans, machines and music are needed for effectiveness and safety

Balance is essential. It stops us falling over or getting too cross and it stops machines failing catastrophically. There are also very fine balances present, more generally in nature and across the universe. But much of the World is not in exact and perpetual balance - it needs constant fine tuning.

To help explore our latest understanding of balance in human beings, machines and music, Bridget Kendall talks to Patricia Kopatchinskaja, the distinguished Moldovan-Austrian violinist, who explores the internal balance need to play world class music; Jade Kindar-Martin, high wire artist and member of the Flying Wallendas who examines the fine tuning of mind and body needed to keep in balance on a high wire; Professor Andrew Heyes, head of Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Strathclyde, in Scotland who looks at the very fine balances needed to ensure machines work effectively and safely.

(Photo: Acrobats form a human pyramid as they rehearse with Le Grand Cirque at the Sydney Opera House, 2009. Credit: Getty Images)

Balloons And How They Changed The World2016080620160809 (WS)

The extraordinary impact of balloons on the human race.

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A small toy balloon floating free into the sky. A giant hot air balloon filled with passengers peering down at the ground. Classic images, but what about the huge balloons now being developed to help us explore outer space? Or the tiny balloons which bio engineers inflate inside your body to help blood surge through your veins? Or the extraordinary balloonomania that spread across Northern Europe in the late 18th century? Bridget Kendall explores the colourful history of the balloon and its even more intriguing future with guests:

Debbie Fairbrother, Chief of NASA’s Balloon Programme Office.

Professor Claudio Capelli, cardiovascular engineer from the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London.

Fiona Stafford, Professor of literature from Somerville College, University of Oxford.

Photo: NASA’s super pressure balloon is designed for long-duration flights at mid-latitudes to provide scientists and engineers with a means to inexpensively access the ’near-space’ environment for conducting research and technology test missions. The balloon’s operational float altitude is 110,000 feet (33.5 kilometers) (Credit: NASA/Bill Rodman)

Balloons And How They Changed The World2016080820160809 (WS)
20160810 (WS)

The extraordinary impact of balloons on the human race.

A small toy balloon floating free into the sky. A giant hot air balloon filled with passengers peering down at the ground. Classic images, but what about the huge balloons now being developed to help us explore outer space? Or the tiny balloons which bio engineers inflate inside your body to help blood surge through your veins? Or the extraordinary balloonomania that spread across Northern Europe in the late 18th century? Bridget Kendall explores the colourful history of the balloon and its even more intriguing future with guests:

Debbie Fairbrother, Chief of NASA’s Balloon Programme Office.

Professor Claudio Capelli, cardiovascular engineer from the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London.

Fiona Stafford, Professor of literature from Somerville College, University of Oxford.

Photo: NASA’s super pressure balloon is designed for long-duration flights at mid-latitudes to provide scientists and engineers with a means to inexpensively access the ’near-space’ environment for conducting research and technology test missions. The balloon’s operational float altitude is 110,000 feet (33.5 kilometers) (Credit: NASA/Bill Rodman)

Beethoven: The Genius Rule Breaker2017030420170306 (WS)
20170307 (WS)

Why Beethoven is so universally popular

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Beethoven revolutionised music - how we listen to it and how we play it.

Bridget Kendall explores Beethoven’s universal appeal and the anguished genius himself with Emeritus Professor of music and Beethoven expert Professor John Deathridge, musician and lecturer Dr Natasha Loges, Artistic Director of the Musical Society of Nigeria, (MUSON) and the NOK Ensemble, Nigeria's first professional chamber orchestra, Tunde Jegede and writer and composer Neil Brand.

Image: Beethoven
Credit: Rischgitz/Stringer/Getty Images

Being Cold2015112820151130 (WS)
20151201 (WS)

How weather affects a nation\u2019s character

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Does the experience of coping with bitter cold affect the way people think and feel? And what happens to culture and identity when climate begins to change? To explore these questions the Forum this week comes from Canada, one of the world’s most northern countries, with some 40 % of it in the Arctic. Joining Bridget Kendall are Nobel-nominated Inuit activist and former International Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Arctic spatial ecologist David Atkinson and “Ice Huts” architectural photographer Richard Johnson. Recorded in the auditorium of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, as part of the Spur Festival of Ideas.

(Photo: Ice Hut #530 by Richard Johnson. Joussard, Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta, 2011)

Being Cold2015113020151201 (WS)

How weather affects a nation’s character

Does the experience of coping with bitter cold affect the way people think and feel? And what happens to culture and identity when climate begins to change? To explore these questions the Forum this week comes from Canada, one of the world’s most northern countries, with some 40 % of it in the Arctic. Joining Bridget Kendall are Nobel-nominated Inuit activist and former International Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Arctic spatial ecologist David Atkinson and “Ice Huts? architectural photographer Richard Johnson. Recorded in the auditorium of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, as part of the Spur Festival of Ideas.

(Photo: Ice Hut #530 by Richard Johnson. Joussard, Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta, 2011)

Beyond Us And Them2013042820130429 (WS)

with Aminatta Forna, Laura Nader and David Cannadine.

Is it helpful to view the world as being divided along fault-lines of gender, class, race or religion? Matthew Taylor talks to anthropologist Laura Nader, who says we need to find new dialogues between the West and the Middle East that recognise our common humanity; historian David Cannadine who says that as well as studying conflict, we should explore our undivided past; and novelist Aminatta Forna, who examines the aftermath of civil war through her fiction; what about when ‘them’ also means ‘us’?

Photo credit: JENS-ULRICH KOCH/AFP/Getty Images

Big Data And Us20141110

Who can we trust in the world of Big Data and how is it changing our lives?

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From digital exahust to data-brokers, algorithms and data art, who and what can we believe in the world of Big Data? Bridget Kendall asks data researcher Adam Tanner, governance expert Sharath Srinivasan and designer Karin Von Ompteda to dive into the data lake.

(Photo: part of a honeycomb data-art installation: ‘Colony’ by David Hedberg and Gabriele Dini)

Black Holes \u2013 A Force For Good?20121021
Blood2014082320140824 (WS)
20140825 (WS)

The life-giving fluid in science and in our culture

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What do you see in a phial of blood? A life sustaining fluid teeming with millions of cells? Evidence to solve a terrible crime? Samira Ahmed explores blood in medicine, at crime scenes, and in our bodies and minds, with the help of Canadian writer Lawrence Hill who’s written a biography of the red stuff, Dr Gillian Leak, a forensic expert in crime scene blood pattern analysis, and Professor Kikkeri Naresh seeking to unlock the mysteries of blood cancer.

Photo credit: Getty Images

What do you see in a phial of blood? A life sustaining fluid teeming with millions of cells? Evidence to solve a terrible crime? Samira Ahmed explores blood in medicine, at crime scenes, and in our bodies and minds, with the help of Canadian writer Lawrence Hill who’s written a biography of the red stuff, Dr Gillian Leak, a forensic expert in crime scene blood pattern analysis, and Professor Kikkeri Naresh seeking to unlock the mysteries of blood cancer.

Photo credit: Getty Images

Boudica - Warrior Queen2018012720180130 (WS)

The story of Boudica, Iron Age English Warrior Queen

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Boudica, also known as Boadicea, was a member of Iron Age aristocracy in Roman occupied England and her husband was the ruler of the Iceni people. When he died in around 60AD, Boudica, driven by Roman brutality, led a rebellion against the Roman army and marched on London. It was a ferocious attack that nearly drove the Romans out of Britain before Boudica was finally defeated. Today, she is an iconic and sometimes controversial figure. To explore Boudica, Bridget Kendall is joined by Professors Richard Hingley and Miranda Aldhouse-Green and Dr Jane Webster.

Photo: Queen Boudica of the Iceni (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Boundaries2015101720151019 (WS)
20151020 (WS)

: real and imagined

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Brain Drain: Can We Stem The Flow?2016051420160516 (WS)
20160517 (WS)

How can we stem the brain drain from countries who need their talented people?

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The Forum is in Cape Town, South Africa, as guests of The British Council at the Going Global Conference. As globalisation enables the transit and relocation of people ever more quickly and easily, what impact is there on countries who desperately need to keep their skilled labour and what are the issues that need addressing? With Quentin Cooper to discuss the Brain Drain is professor Olusola Oyewole from Nigeria, Dr Jo Beall, from the British Council, professor Tao Xie from Beijing and Carolyn Medel-Anonuevo, from Unesco.

(Photo: a human brain in a glass box. Credit: Getty Images)

Brain Drain: Can We Stem The Flow?2016051620160517 (WS)
20160518 (WS)

The Forum is in Cape Town, South Africa, as guests of The British Council at the Going Global Conference. As globalisation enables the transit and relocation of people ever more quickly and easily, what impact is there on countries who desperately need to keep their skilled labour and what are the issues that need addressing? With Quentin Cooper to discuss the Brain Drain is professor Olusola Oyewole from Nigeria, Dr Jo Beall, from the British Council, professor Tao Xie from Beijing and Carolyn Medel-Anonuevo, from Unesco.

(Photo: a human brain in a glass box. Credit: Getty Images)

How can we stem the brain drain from countries who need their talented people?

Bram Stoker's Dracula2017091620170918 (WS)
20170919 (WS)

Bridget Kendall and guests discuss the origins and the legacy of Bram Stoker\u2019s Dracula

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Few novels have had such a huge impact on modern popular culture as Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The story and its terrifying main character have fascinated readers, critics, writers and film-makers ever since it was first published in 1897.

Across the world there are fan clubs devoted to the fictional Romanian aristocrat who brings terror to Victorian England. Bridget Kendall is joined by Dracula expert Dacre Stoker, gothic studies specialist Dr Sorcha Ní Fhlainn and Dr Sam George from the University of Hertfordshire in the UK.

Photo: Actor Christopher Lee portraying Count Dracula. (Keystone/ Getty Images)

Bubbles2014080920140810 (WS)
20140811 (WS)

The curious properties of bubbles in the oceans, in our bodies and in art.

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Fragile gas filled spheres, sparkling champagne globules that fill your nose with fizz, pipe dreams that pop when the illusion grows too big: the Forum explores the mysterious world of bubbles. Bridget Kendall is joined by bubble physicist Helen Czerski, biomedical engineer Constantin Coussios and artist Bradley Hart who makes giant paintings using bubble wrap.

Photo credit: Associated Press

Fragile gas filled spheres, sparkling champagne globules that fill your nose with fizz, pipe dreams that pop when the illusion grows too big: the Forum explores the mysterious world of bubbles. Bridget Kendall is joined by bubble physicist Helen Czerski, biomedical engineer Constantin Coussios and artist Bradley Hart who makes giant paintings using bubble wrap.

Photo credit: Associated Press

Cali-topia: A New Vision Of Thomas More's Utopia?2016122420161226 (WS)
20161227 (WS)

Is Silicon Valley a template for our utopian future?

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Is Thomas More's vision of an ideal society becoming reality in modern-day California? The Forum travels to Singularity University at the heart of Silicon Valley to ask why California keeps attracting utopian thinkers who want to use advanced technology to solve humanity’s biggest challenges.

Jack Stewart is joined by forecaster Paul Saffo, Chair of Future Studies at Singularity University, Ryan Mullenix, partner at NBBJ Architecture, Krista Donaldson, CEO of Silicon Valley healthcare start up D-Rev, and Colin Milburn, Chair in Science and the Humanities at University of California, Davis.

Photo: NASA Hangar One at Moffett Field, California, Credit: Simon Dawson

Cali-topia: A New Vision Of Thomas More's Utopia?2016122620161227 (WS)

Is Silicon Valley a template for our utopian future?

Is Thomas More's vision of an ideal society becoming reality in modern-day California? The Forum travels to Singularity University at the heart of Silicon Valley to ask why California keeps attracting utopian thinkers who want to use advanced technology to solve humanity’s biggest challenges.

Jack Stewart is joined by forecaster Paul Saffo, Chair of Future Studies at Singularity University, Ryan Mullenix, partner at NBBJ Architecture, Krista Donaldson, CEO of Silicon Valley healthcare start up D-Rev, and Colin Milburn, Chair in Science and the Humanities at University of California, Davis.

Photo: NASA Hangar One at Moffett Field, California, Credit: Simon Dawson

Calm in the chaos: the story of the Stoics20181101

A philosophy for resilience and equanimity

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Calm in the chaos: the story of the Stoics2018110120181102 (WS)

A philosophy for resilience and equanimity

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Calm in the chaos: the story of the Stoics2018110120181104 (WS)

A philosophy for resilience and equanimity

Sharing knowledge

Calm in the chaos: the story of the Stoics2018110120181105 (WS)

A philosophy for resilience and equanimity

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Cambodia's Ancient Khmer Empire2018102720181029 (WS)

Builders and sculptors of South East Asia's awe-inspiring monuments

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Can Artists Make The World A Better Place?2013071320130714 (WS)
20130715 (WS)

Can putting art in unusual places help improve our world?

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When you think about people trying to change the world for the better, should artists be near the top of the list? Bridget Kendall explores this question at the Aspen Festival of Ideas in Colorado, in front of a lively festival audience.

She is joined by: Damian Woetzel, former Principal Dancer at the New York City Ballet and the man behind an eye-catching initiative in inner-city schools called Arts Strike; ground-breaking designer Fred Dust, who says good design should be much more than simply creating beautiful objects; and art collector and philanthropist Dennis Scholl, who likes creating ‘happy surprises’ in the shape of Random Acts of Culture.

(Photo: (Left to right) Bridget Kendall, Damian Woetzel, Dennis Scholl and Fred Dust Credit © All rights reserved by aspeninstitute-internal)

Capturing Light2015032320150324 (WS)

How do you catch something that moves at 300 million meters per second?

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Quentin Cooper is joined by three people who, each in their own way, has set out to capture light in order to exploit and explore some of its remarkable properties. Genevieve Gariepy is taking snapshots of photons, light particles which move at 300 thousand kilometres per second, photographer Benedikt Partenheimer records images that highlight the effects of dense air pollution on light, and professor Ken Durose is attempting to help us get much better at extracting electricity from sunlight.

(Photo Credit: B. Partenheimer – Particulate Matter)

Carl Linnaeus: Naming Nature2017070820170710 (WS)
20170711 (WS)

Naming things in the natural world.

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Carl Linnaeus, today a largely unknown figure, is one of the giants of natural science. He devised the formal two-part naming system we use to classify all life forms. With Quentin Cooper is botanist Dr Sandra Knapp, from the Natural History Museum in London, life sciences expert Professor Staffan Müller-Wille from Exeter University in the UK and science writer and biographer of Linnaeus, Dr Lisbet Rausing.

Photo: Carl Linnaeus painted by Per Krafft the Elder (Permission of The Linnean Society of London)

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

Catherine The Great Of Russia2018051920180522 (WS)

A woman and a foreigner who usurped her way to the throne in 18th century Russia

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Famous for her lovers and satirised for her colourful personal life, Catherine the Great was in many ways one of Russia’s most progressive and moderate rulers, modernising 18th century Russia, improving educational standards and creating a flourishing arts and literature scene. But she also turned Russia into the biggest Empire on earth since the Roman Empire, which included the annexation of Crimea. So how far has her imperial mind set influenced Russia’s modern rulers, like President Putin?

Joining Bridget Kendall to discuss the life and legacy of Catherine II of Russia, is Professor Andrei Zorin, cultural historian and Chair of Russian at the University of Oxford, Simon Dixon, Professor of Russian History at University College London and author of the biography “Catherine the Great”’ and Dr Viktoria Ivleva, who specialises in Catherine’s role as a woman ruler and her use of uniform and costume.

Photo: Equestrian Portrait of Catherine II. Oil on canvas by Vigilius Eriksen, Denmark. After 1762 (The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg)

Challenges Of Nanoscience2014091320140914 (WS)
20140915 (WS)

Transforming biosciences with particles just a few billionths of a metre across

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Bridget Kendall talks to leading nanoscientists gathered by the Royal Society of Chemistry at the University of California San Diego: biochemist Shana Kelley who makes medical diagnostic tools using tiny quantities of metals, biologist Yamuna Krishnan who creates nanomachines from synthetic DNA, design theorist Benjamin Bratton who wants to link up nanoinks with cloud computing, and journalist Josh Fischman who helps us separate nanofact from nanofiction.

(Photo: A nano gold/palladium crystal courtesy of Kelley Laboratory)

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

Challenging Assumptions2014061420140615 (WS)
20140616 (WS)

What does it really mean to challenge received wisdom?

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How easy is it to disregard conventional wisdom, for instance why customers stop buying, or staff leave? What about the assumed fears about globalisation or the perception of Scandinavians as gloomy. Samira Ahmed discusses challenging assumptions with Freakonomics author Steven Levitt, futurist Anne Lise Kjaer and Oxford Martin School director Ian Goldin.

(Photo: A chimpanzee uses a stick to try and open a box. Credit: AFP/ Getty Images)

How easy is it to disregard conventional wisdom, for instance why customers stop buying, or staff leave? What about the assumed fears about globalisation or the perception of Scandinavians as gloomy. Samira Ahmed discusses challenging assumptions with Freakonomics author Steven Levitt, futurist Anne Lise Kjaer and Oxford Martin School director Ian Goldin.

(Photo: A chimpanzee uses a stick to try and open a box. Credit: AFP/ Getty Images)

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

Childhood: From Toddlers To Teenagers2017061020170612 (WS)
20170613 (WS)

Through the ages and across the world, how have our ideas about childhood changed?

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Why do humans have such a long period of immaturity? And how have our ideas about childhood changed through the ages and across the world?
Bridget Kendall explores some of the key moments and figures in the history of childhood, including Confucian China, Victorian factories and the 'endless childhood' that some young people seem to be living today. Her guests are Alison Gopnik, Professor of Psychology and Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley; Ping-chen Hsiung Professor of History at the Chinese University of Hong Kong; and Hugh Cunningham Professor of Social History at the University of Kent.

Photo: a young girl walks through an entrance to a walled garden (BBC)

Childhood: From Toddlers To Teenagers20170614

Through the ages and across the world, how have our ideas about childhood changed?

Why do humans have such a long period of immaturity? And how have our ideas about childhood changed through the ages and across the world?
Bridget Kendall explores some of the key moments and figures in the history of childhood, including Confucian China, Victorian factories and the 'endless childhood' that some young people seem to be living today. Her guests are Alison Gopnik, Professor of Psychology and Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley; Ping-chen Hsiung Professor of History at the Chinese University of Hong Kong; and Hugh Cunningham Professor of Social History at the University of Kent.

Photo: a young girl walks through an entrance to a walled garden (BBC)

Chinua Achebe: Rewriting The African Story2018020320180206 (WS)

The life and work of the ground-breaking Nigerian author

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The Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe is regarded as a giant of world literature. Best known as the author of the ground-breaking novel Things Fall Apart, he was also acclaimed for his works of non-fiction, poetry and his books for children. Raised and educated when his country was still under British colonial rule, Achebe witnessed great change, experiencing both the dawn of an independent Nigeria and the devastation of civil war. He is a writer famed for depicting, in English, the traditions of Igbo society in south-eastern Nigeria, and for engaging with subjects such as conflict, corruption and colonialism.

In this programme, Rajan Datar and guests reflect on the life and legacy of this academic, author and advocate of African fiction. Featuring scholars Louisa Egbunike, Ernest Emenyonu and Terri Ochiagha.

Photo: Chinua Achebe (Getty Images)

Christina Of Sweden: Queen Of Surprises2018072820180731 (WS)

The rebellious monarch who scandalised 17th century Europe

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An accomplished young horsewoman who loved fencing and male attire, the 17th century Swedish Queen Christina was anything but a conventional princess. And she kept springing surprises on her court and country: after just a decade on the throne she abdicated, converted to Catholicism and moved to Rome. Once there, she put herself forward as a candidate for the post of Queen of Naples, opened a public theatre and scandalised the Holy See by a liaison with a cardinal. Bridget Kendall follows Christina's adventures with biographer Veronica Buckley, and historians Stefano Fogelberg Rota and Therese Sjovoll.

Photo: Christina of Sweden by Jacob Heinrich Elbfas, 1640s

Clay2015062920150630 (WS)

The joys and perils of porcelain, kaolin and volcanic soils

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It is one of Earth’s oldest building materials, a natural seal against water, useful for paper making, medicine and lots of other things. Bridget Kendall and guests discuss clay. Why it is so useful, why so many cultures treasure it but why it can also be a source of serious ill health. Chinese-American writer Huan Hsu explains the importance of porcelain in China, Irish ceramic artist Claire Curneen introduces us to the powerful visual language of clay, and British geologist Tim Jones studies a particular type of clay which causes a debilitating illness affecting millions of people in the developing world.

(Photo: Guardian by Claire Curneen. Credit: Dewi Tannatt Lloyd)

Cloud Education: The Future Of Learning20150511

Is the future of education a massive online classroom?

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What are the big challenges in education around the World? How do we ensure everyone learns to the best of their ability? Is new technology the answer? And what does it mean for teachers and pupils? Exploring future learning, educational and creative leader Sir Ken Robinson, Professor of educational technology Sugata Mitra and Professor of cognitive science and computer science and engineering Scott Klemmer.

Photo: equations and clouds (Photo/illustration by Shan Pillay)

Codes And Ciphers2015020920150210 (WS)

The cat-and-mouse world of computer encryption

Sharing knowledge

Is your mobile phone ‘leaking’ data even though the encryption tools it uses are mathematically perfect? Will quantum computing spell the end of online payments? And could cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, be the banking revolution which the developing world needs? Bridget Kendall talks to cryptographer Maire O’Neill, philosopher Luciano Floridi and financial journalist Paul Vigna.

(Photo: Digital binary code background. Credit: Shan Pillay)

Concrete: Foundation Of The Modern World2016101520161017 (WS)
20161018 (WS)

How concrete underpins the modern world.

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It has been around since before 6,000BC, the Ancient Egyptians used a version of it and so did the Romans. Nowadays it is the most common man-made building material in the world, used for some of the planet's biggest engineering projects - and some of the smallest. It has not always been loved by the public but architects and designers see both practicality and beauty. There is also an environmental issue - the production of concrete has a major environmental impact. So what of its future? Bridget Kendall explores concrete with architect Anupama Kundoo, design critic and writer Stephen Bayley and engineer and scientist professor Paulo Monteiro.

(Photo: The ceiling of the Pantheon in Rome is an example of Roman concrete construction. Credit: Getty Images)

Concrete: Foundation Of The Modern World20161017

How concrete underpins the modern world.

It has been around since before 6,000BC, the Ancient Egyptians used a version of it and so did the Romans. Nowadays it is the most common man-made building material in the world, used for some of the planets biggest engineering projects - and some of the smallest. It has not always been loved by the public but architects and designers see both practicality and beauty. There is also an environmental issue - the production of concrete has a major environmental impact. So what of its future? Bridget Kendall explores concrete with architect Anupama Kundoo, design critic and writer Stephen Bayley and engineer and scientist professor Paulo Monteiro.

(Photo: The ceiling of the Pantheon in Rome is an example of Roman concrete construction. Credit: Getty Images)

Connections With The Sea2013012620130127 (WS)

Are all linked to the sea, even if we live hundreds of miles from the coast?

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Exploring our connections with the sea; the goods that arrive by ever larger ships; the ideas that ocean travellers bring, and the identities that are shaped by proximity to the water. Bridget Kendall is joined by Marco Pluijm, a leading port designer; Croatian novelist and coast-dweller Dasa Drndic, and historian of the sea David Abulafia.

Photo shows Hong Kong harbour
Photo by Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty)

Exploring our connections with the sea; the goods that arrive by ever larger ships; the ideas that ocean travellers bring, and the identities that are shaped by proximity to the water. Bridget Kendall is joined by Marco Pluijm, a leading port designer; Croatian novelist and coast-dweller Dasa Drndic, and historian of the sea David Abulafia.

Photo shows Hong Kong harbour

Photo by Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty)

Consumption And Our Identity2016011620160118 (WS)
20160119 (WS)

How what we consume shapes and defines our identity

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What has been driving up the global levels of consumption – need? Government policies? Or, a hunger for social status? Bridget Kendall asks the historian of consumerism Frank Trentmann, the sociologist Lyla Mehta and the political scientist Eduardo Gómez to share their thoughts.

(Photo: People consuming tapas)

Consumption And Our Identity2016011820160119 (WS)

What has been driving up the global levels of consumption – need? Government policies? Or, a hunger for social status? Bridget Kendall asks the historian of consumerism Frank Trentmann, the sociologist Lyla Mehta and the political scientist Eduardo Gómez to share their thoughts.

(Photo: People consuming tapas)

How what we consume shapes and defines our identity

Controlling Experiments: In Medicine, Poverty Relief And Music.20120128

What are the risks and rewards of applying scientific experiments to other areas of life?

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The triumphs and pitfalls of experimenting with life: surgeon and leading exponent of regenerative medicine, Professor Chris Mason, reports on new advances in cell therapy that are revolutionising medicine.

The staple of medical research, the randomised controlled trial, has inspired French economist Esther Duflo’s new approach to evaluating aid programmes.

And science has also seeped into the work of Brazilian composer Eduardo Miranda who coaxes computers to turn biological data into song.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: experimenting to improve life through immunization and music.

Controlling Experiments: In Medicine, Poverty Relief And Music.20120129
Controlling Our Health2012090820120909 (WS)

How much control do we really have over our bodies and health?

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Modern technology and medicine can treat conditions that were once thought to be incurable. In other ways though, are we any less vulnerable than in the past to disease and injury, both as individuals and societies?

Bridget Kendall's guests this week bring personal as well as professional experience to the table: the award winning author MJ Hyland explains why she has gone public about her life with multiple sclerosis. Mark Harrison is a medical historian who has tracked the links between disease and commerce, and entrepreneur Frank Reynolds has devoted the last 20 years to developing treatments for his own spinal cord injury.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: the challenge of trying to control our own bodies.

Modern technology and medicine can treat conditions that were once thought to be incurable. In other ways though, are we any less vulnerable than in the past to disease and injury, both as individuals and societies?

Bridget Kendall's guests this week bring personal as well as professional experience to the table: the award winning author MJ Hyland explains why she has gone public about her life with multiple sclerosis. Mark Harrison is a medical historian who has tracked the links between disease and commerce, and entrepreneur Frank Reynolds has devoted the last 20 years to developing treatments for his own spinal cord injury.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: the challenge of trying to control our own bodies.

Controlling Our Health20120909
Cool: Sunglasses, Style and American Counter Culture20181006

Exploring the elements of that seemingly effortless pose to which so many aspire

Sharing knowledge

Cool: Sunglasses, Style and American Counter Culture2018100620181009 (WS)

Exploring the elements of that seemingly effortless pose to which so many aspire

Sharing knowledge

Cool: Sunglasses, Style And American Counter Culture2018100620181009 (WS)

Exploring the elements of that seemingly effortless pose to which so many aspire

Sharing knowledge

Exploring the elements of that seemingly effortless pose to which so many aspire

Sharing knowledge

Co-operation2013113020131201 (WS)
20131202 (WS)

Why do humans co-operate?

Sharing knowledge

Are we only nice to each other when we believe we’re being watched and could be punished, whether by CCTV cameras, or an omniscient angry god? Or are there other forces that encourage co-operation? Questions Bridget Kendall asks social psychologist Ara Norenzayan. She also talks to Gandhi biographer Ramachandra Guha and poet Elaine Feinstein about the power of non co-operation, as an individual or a group.

Photo: Two men moving a piano, Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

Core: A Journey To The Centre Of The Earth2015110720151109 (WS)
20151110 (WS)

What lies at the heart of the universe and the core of the earth itself?

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How startling discoveries about the core of the earth and the oldest star yet known help us understand our place in the grand scheme of things. Tim Marlow and the astrophysicist Arif Babul, the astronomer Anna Frebel and the earth scientist Paul Savage go on a quest to find the core or centre.

(Photo: a split Earth showing a molten core)

Core: A Journey To The Centre Of The Earth2015110920151110 (WS)

What lies at the heart of the universe and the core of the earth itself?

How startling discoveries about the core of the earth and the oldest star yet known help us understand our place in the grand scheme of things. Tim Marlow and the astrophysicist Arif Babul, the astronomer Anna Frebel and the earth scientist Paul Savage go on a quest to find the core or centre.

(Photo: a split Earth showing a molten core)

Corruption: Where Does It Begin And End?2012020420120205

Is there a universal understanding of what constitutes corruption?

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Shadowy network of power, or friendly offer of help?

This week, The Forum looks at corruption around the world and asks what steps are needed to keep it in check.

Transparency International founder Peter Eigen believes it's time for a new global approach to fighting corruption: bypass reluctant governments.

Sociology professor Alena Ledeneva gives an assessment of corruption in Putin's Russia.

And Mohammed Hanif discusses his new novel which gives insights into the absurdities of corruption in his home country of Pakistan.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: Corruption - a loaded handshake.

Corruption: Where Does It Begin And End?20120205
Cotton: A Yarn With A Twist2017121620171219 (WS)

The chequered history of the original global fabric

Sharing knowledge

It is a fibre and a fabric that is part of many people's daily lives, it grows wild on at least three continents, it has been woven into cloth and traded all over the world for thousands of years. And when machines made possible the mass production of cotton, its story became entwined with the history of human slavery: making fortunes for a few, and condemning many to a life of misery. So what are the milestones in the history of cotton? And why has it always proved such a popular clothing material across the centuries and across the world?

Bridget Kendall is joined by four textile historians to trace cotton's origins and its evolution into one of the world's most important global commodities: Sven Beckert, Professor of History at Harvard, Prasannan Parthasarathi, Professor of History at Boston College, Giorgio Riello, Professor of Global History and Culture at the University of Warwick and the President of the Textile Society Mary Schoeser.

Photo: Cotton yarn (Getty Images)

Counterfeiting2014040620140407 (WS)

Fakes, forgeries and copies \u2013 how different are they?

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How do you spot a forgery in the art market? How can you tell if a medicine is a useless or even harmful fake which might make your illness even worse? Bridget Kendall is joined by Ghanaian anti-counterfeiting entrepreneur Bright Simons; art auctioneer and author of Breakfast at Sotheby’s – An A-Z of the Art World Philip Hook; and art historian Winnie Wong whose new book Van Gogh on Demand takes us on a trip to China, to a village where every year millions of copies of well-known oil paintings are churned out to be distributed for sale in around the world.

Photo shows copies of Van Gogh's work in the artist village of Dafen near Shenzhen in southern China (Courtesy of Getty Images)

Crime And Its Dark Allure20120421

Why do crime thrillers sell when, in life, we strive to avoid being victims of crime?

Sharing knowledge

No-one wants to be a victim of crime, yet so many of us enjoy reading about it and watching crime thrillers. So why are we so fascinated by the dark world of crime? And in order to combat crime, is locking up more and more criminals the best way to stop it happening? Forum guests this week are the best- selling Swedish crime writer, Henning Mankell; one of the world’s leading criminologists, Cambridge Professor Lawrence Sherman with a radical proposal to reduce crime; and adviser to governments and courts on cyber security, Peter Sommer.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: Is justice served by this balance between crime and prison?

Crime And Its Dark Allure20120422
Curiosity2013060120130602 (WS)
20130603 (WS)

has always been with us but how important is it to science and to society?

Sharing knowledge

Curiosity has always been with us but it's not always easy to say what is the optimum amount in any given situation. Have the cosmologists lost sight of it in a dogmatic theory of the universe? Are there lessons in the scientific spirit of the 17th century? And when it comes to human beings and curiosity, does curiosity carry dangers for young people in changing societies? Joining Carrie Gracie are theoretical physicist Lee Smolin, science historian Philip Ball and social scientist Masooda Bano.

(Image: Young girl peering into a 3D object. Credit: Al Barry/Three Lions/Getty Images)

Curiosity: How Important Is It To Science And To Society As A Whole?2013060220130603 (WS)

with Lee Smolin, Philip Ball and Masooda Bano.

Curiosity has always been with us but it's not always easy to say what is the optimum amount in any given situation. Have the cosmologists lost sight of it in a dogmatic theory of the universe? Are there lessons in the scientific spirit of the 17th century? And when it comes to human beings and curiosity, does curiosity carry dangers for young people in changing societies? Joining Carrie Gracie are theoretical physicist Lee Smolin, science historian Philip Ball and social scientist Masooda Bano. (Photo by Al Barry/Three Lions/Getty Images)

Curves2015090520150907 (WS)
20150908 (WS)

in art, space and life

Sharing knowledge

An edition of The Forum dedicated to curves in art, in space and in life.
Joining Quentin Cooper are social philosopher Charles Handy whose latest book The Second Curve suggests how some curved thinking could help point many of us in a new and better direction, artist Shirazeh Houshiary who uses curves extensively in her work and Carlo Rovelli, an expert on quantum loop gravity, author of Seven Brief Lessons in Physics, who tell us that space is curvy.

Photo: The curves of a modern spiral staircase (Tim Allen)

Curves2015090720150908 (WS)

in art, space and life

An edition of The Forum dedicated to curves in art, in space and in life.

Joining Quentin Cooper are social philosopher Charles Handy whose latest book The Second Curve suggests how some curved thinking could help point many of us in a new and better direction, artist Shirazeh Houshiary who uses curves extensively in her work and Carlo Rovelli, an expert on quantum loop gravity, author of Seven Brief Lessons in Physics, who tell us that space is curvy.

Photo: The curves of a modern spiral staircase (Tim Allen)

D\u00e9j\u00e0 Vu2015033020150331 (WS)

Is D\u00e9j\u00e0 vu a brain glitch or misplaced \u2018real\u2019 memory?

Sharing knowledge

Dante\u2019s Inferno: The Poetry Of Hell2018022420180227 (WS)

The imagined poetic voyage through Hell that explores the meaning of human existence

Sharing knowledge

Inferno is the 14th century epic that tells the story of Dante Alighieri’s imaginary journey through the underworld. It is the first part of Dante’s The Divine Comedy, and is widely considered to be one of the world’s greatest poems. “Abandon all hope you who enter here” is the famous phrase inscribed on the gates of Dante’s Inferno, and Hell is divided into nine circles, with cruel and unusual punishments afflicting the sinners, who range from the lustful and cowardly in the upper circles to the malicious at the bottom of Hell. Joining Rajan Datar to explore Dante’s Inferno is Dr Vittorio Montemaggi, author of Reading Dante’s Commedia as Theology; Claire Honess, Professor of Italian studies at the University of Leeds, and Sangjin Park, Professor of Italian at Busan University of Foreign studies in South Korea, who will be speaking about the role Inferno played in shaping Korea’s national identity.

Photo: A visual interpretation of red hell-fire (Getty Images)

Dante’s Inferno: The Poetry Of Hell20180224

Inferno is the 14th century epic that tells the story of Dante Alighieri’s imaginary journey through the underworld. It is the first part of Dante’s The Divine Comedy, and is widely considered to be one of the world’s greatest poems. “Abandon all hope you who enter here” is the famous phrase inscribed on the gates of Dante’s Inferno, and Hell is divided into nine circles, with cruel and unusual punishments afflicting the sinners, who range from the lustful and cowardly in the upper circles to the malicious at the bottom of Hell. Joining Rajan Datar to explore Dante’s Inferno is Dr Vittorio Montemaggi, author of Reading Dante’s Commedia as Theology; Claire Honess, Professor of Italian studies at the University of Leeds, and Sangjin Park, Professor of Italian at Busan University of Foreign studies in South Korea, who will be speaking about the role Inferno played in shaping Korea’s national identity.

Photo: A visual interpretation of red hell-fire (Getty Images)

The imagined poetic voyage through Hell that explores the meaning of human existence

Inferno is the 14th century epic that tells the story of Dante Alighieri’s imaginary journey through the underworld. It is the first part of Dante’s The Divine Comedy, and is widely considered to be one of the world’s greatest poems. “Abandon all hope you who enter here? is the famous phrase inscribed on the gates of Dante’s Inferno, and Hell is divided into nine circles, with cruel and unusual punishments afflicting the sinners, who range from the lustful and cowardly in the upper circles to the malicious at the bottom of Hell. Joining Rajan Datar to explore Dante’s Inferno is Dr Vittorio Montemaggi, author of Reading Dante’s Commedia as Theology; Claire Honess, Professor of Italian studies at the University of Leeds, and Sangjin Park, Professor of Italian at Busan University of Foreign studies in South Korea, who will be speaking about the role Inferno played in shaping Korea’s national identity.

Photo: A visual interpretation of red hell-fire (Getty Images)

Deep Learning2015030220150303 (WS)

From speech recognition to computer vision, can Deep Learning transform our world?

Sharing knowledge

Why is it harder for a robot to find a chessboard than to play chess? Bridget Kendall asks whether new uses of Deep Learning algorithms can transform the way computers interact with the world as she discusses neural networks with professor Zoubin Ghahramani, computer vision with professor Trevor Darrell and the problem of pet sheep with Deep Learning pioneer professor Geoffrey Hinton.

[Photo credit: Shan Pillay]

Defiance: Why Are Some People More Defiant Than Others?2016070220160704 (WS)
20160705 (WS)
20160706 (WS)

When is defiance a resistance to authority, and when is it a sign of disregard to others?

Sharing knowledge

Acts of defiance small or large have proved to be incredibly powerful throughout history, but when does defiance spill into aggression? Bridget Kendall asks the employment lawyer Lewis Maltby, the theatre director Olivier Py and the psychopathologist Dr Luna Muñoz Centifanti.

(Photo: Historic Marker at the bus stop in Alabama, USA, where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. Credit: Getty Images)

Acts of defiance small or large have proved to be incredibly powerful throughout history, but when does defiance spill into aggression? Bridget Kendall asks the employment lawyer Lewis Maltby, the theatre director Olivier Py and the psychopathologist Dr Luna Muñoz Centifanti.

(Photo: Historic Marker at the bus stop in Alabama, USA, where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. Credit: Getty Images)

Democracy And The Arts In South Africa2014080220140803 (WS)
20140804 (WS)

The Forum at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

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Twenty years on from the end of apartheid, what role can the arts play now in helping South African society develop? Recorded with an audience at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, Bridget Kendall talks to playwright Mike Van Graan, poet Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, arts journalist Percy Mabandu, and jazz singer Nomfundo Xaluva who performs live for us.

(Photo: From left, Mike Van Graan, Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, Percy Mabandu and Nomfundo Xaluva. BBC copyright)

Twenty years on from the end of apartheid, what role can the arts play now in helping South African society develop? Recorded with an audience at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, Bridget Kendall talks to playwright Mike Van Graan, poet Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, arts journalist Percy Mabandu, and jazz singer Nomfundo Xaluva who performs live for us.

(Photo: From left, Mike Van Graan, Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, Percy Mabandu and Nomfundo Xaluva. BBC copyright)

Dependency2015040620150407 (WS)

An exploration into dependency from fossil fuels to obesity and ageing populations

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Bridget Kendall explores how dependency on energy affects the values we live by, how obesity and dependence on eating is reducing how long we live and whether an ageing global population could be more independent than we think. With historian and archaeologist Ian Morris, obesity and diabetes specialist Katarina Kos and journalist and writer on Asia David Pilling.

(Photo: An elderly man being helped to walk by two women. BBC copyright)

Design2015080320150804 (WS)

is everywhere- from tables and chairs to physics. Does it have to be beautiful?

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How far can we stretch the notion of a beautiful design? And, how fundamental is it to the world around us and our search for answers to life’s mysteries? We delight in beauty when we find it in the design of everyday objects we craft and utilise. It is incorporated in the bodies we are born with and the ways we enhance them. And, on a cosmic scale, there is beauty in the rules which govern the universe. Bridget Kendall and guests explore the frontiers of what beauty in design can do for us.

(Photo: Basic perspective construction by Frank Wilczek)

Desire And How To Resist It.20120121

Temptation: Can we resist it?

Sharing knowledge

Are you able to resist temptation?

Professor of Psychology Roy Baumeister says we spend a quarter of our waking hours denying our desires, but we have a limited stock of willpower; it is a finite resource that gets used up.

Dr Cleo Van Velsen, Consultant Psychiatrist in Forensic Psychotherapy, doesn't believe in willpower. Self improvement is a gradual process and all we can do is try, fail, and fail better the next time.

And Ivorian author, poet, and painter Veronique Tadjo talks about the willpower of the artist and how desire can inspire.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: can we resist our desires?

Desire And How To Resist It.20120122
Detroit: Migration, Motors And Music2017102120171023 (WS)
20171024 (WS)

The changing fortunes of the American city of Detroit

Sharing knowledge

Bridget Kendall and guests examine the story of Detroit. Founded in 1701 by a French man named Cadillac, this American city became famous in the 20th Century for its automobile industry, the music of Motown, and the great unrest seen on the city’s streets in the summer of 1967. Bridget Kendall and guests discuss the city’s changing fortunes and its fascinating history, from the role played by some residents in the 'Underground Railroad’ of the 19th Century, to its recent experience of bankruptcy.

Bridget is joined by Herb Boyd, Stephen Henderson, Thomas Sugrue and Anna Clark. Also featuring Tiya Miles and Carleton Gholz.

(Photo: City of Detroit. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Detroit: Migration, Motors And Music20171023

The changing fortunes of the American city of Detroit

Bridget Kendall and guests examine the story of Detroit. Founded in 1701 by a French man named Cadillac, this American city became famous in the 20th Century for its automobile industry, the music of Motown, and the great unrest seen on the city’s streets in the summer of 1967. Bridget Kendall and guests discuss the city’s changing fortunes and its fascinating history, from the role played by some residents in the 'Underground Railroad’ of the 19th Century, to its recent experience of bankruptcy.

Bridget is joined by Herb Boyd, Stephen Henderson, Thomas Sugrue and Anna Clark. Also featuring Tiya Miles and Carleton Gholz.

(Photo: City of Detroit. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Digital Shadows20120324

How much privacy is possible in a world which is increasingly digital?

Sharing knowledge

When you search the internet or pay with a credit card, do you ever wonder who might be snooping over your shoulder, mining the data about you that leaks out?

Increasingly, computers and algorithms don't need human intervention while monitoring and piecing together the secrets of our lives from the scraps of information which we unwittingly leave behind in cyberspace.

So does this mean that privacy has become obsolete? Or are there either technological fixes or policy initiatives that can at least halt, if not reverse, the tide?

Joining Bridget Kendall to discuss digital privacy are IBM Chief Scientist Jeff Jonas, Professor Nigel Shadbolt, UK government’s adviser on digital data, and ground-breaking electronic artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: Can we expect privacy in the digital age?

Digital Shadows20120325
Digital Shadows.2012032420120325 (WS)

When you search the internet or pay with a credit card, do you ever wonder who might be snooping over your shoulder, mining the data about you that leaks out? Increasingly, computers and algorithms don’t need human intervention while monitoring and piecing together the secrets of our lives from the scraps of information which we unwittingly leave behind in cyberspace. So does this mean that privacy has become obsolete? Or are there either technological fixes or policy initiatives that can at least halt, if not reverse, the tide? Joining Bridget Kendall to discuss digital privacy are IBM Chief Scientist Jeff Jonas, Professor Nigel Shadbolt, UK government’s adviser on digital data, and ground-breaking electronic artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: Can we expect privacy in the digital age?

How much privacy is possible in a world which is increasingly digital?

Dissent2015022320150224 (WS)

How easy is it to say \u201cno\u201d where you live?

Sharing knowledge

Why is it that some parts of the world encourage differing views, while others find them rude or even dangerous? Is dissent on the ascent, or are we learning to respect opinions which differ from our own? Quentin Cooper discusses ways of managing disagreement with global business guru Erin Meyer, graffiti artist Bahia Shehab, and sociologist John Hall.

(Photo: Two people shouting at each other. Credit: Corbis)

Dna: The Code For Making Life2016110520161107 (WS)

A close look at the remarkable set of building blocks which all cellular life shares

Sharing knowledge

Bridget Kendall and guests explore the current understanding of how DNA works, why it needs constant repair in every living organism and how new DNA-altering techniques can help cure some medical conditions. Joining Bridget are Swedish Nobel Laureate and Francis Crick Institute Emeritus Group Leader Tomas Lindahl who pioneered DNA repair studies, medical researcher Niels Geijsen from the Hubrecht Institute who works on curing diseases caused by faulty inherited genes, evolutionary biologist T Ryan Gregory from Guelph University who asks why an onion has 5 times as much DNA as a human, and Oxford University’s bio-archaeologist Greger Larson whose research suggests that dogs were independently domesticated twice, on different continents.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock Photos

Dna: The Code For Making Life20161107

A close look at the remarkable set of building blocks which all cellular life shares

Bridget Kendall and guests explore the current understanding of how DNA works, why it needs constant repair in every living organism and how new DNA-altering techniques can help cure some medical conditions. Joining Bridget are Swedish Nobel Laureate and Francis Crick Institute Emeritus Group Leader Tomas Lindahl who pioneered DNA repair studies, medical researcher Niels Geijsen from the Hubrecht Institute who works on curing diseases caused by faulty inherited genes, evolutionary biologist T Ryan Gregory from Guelph University who asks why an onion has 5 times as much DNA as a human, and Oxford University’s bio-archaeologist Greger Larson whose research suggests that dogs were independently domesticated twice, on different continents.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock Photos

Do We Need Artificial Intelligence?2016102220161024
20161024 (WS)
20161025 (WS)

How the relentless advance of computer logic is changing our world and the way we think

Sharing knowledge

Look out of the window and you won’t see many robots – but the AI revolution is here. The relentless encroachment of machine-thinking into every aspect of our lives is transforming the way we think and act. Machine-learning algorithms drive our smartphones and social media - and they are increasingly present in our homes, offices, schools and hospitals. Whether driving cars, diagnosing disease or marking essays, artificial intelligence is everywhere. But how does machine-thinking compare to human thought and what are the limitations of AI? From biased training data to impenetrable black-box algorithms, Quentin Cooper and guests explore the strengths and limitations of AI.

To discuss whether we need AI are - Zoubin Ghahramani, professor of Information Engineering at the University of Cambridge and deputy director of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence; Lydia Nicholas, senior researcher at the British innovation foundation Nesta; Professor Kentaro Toyama of the University of Michigan, co-founder of Microsoft Research India and author of Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology.

(Photo: A woman uses a mobile phone as she walks in front of an autonomous self-driving vehicle as it is tested in a pedestrianised zone. Credit: Getty Images)

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

Do You Know What You\u2019re Eating?2016071620160718 (WS)
20160719 (WS)

How to ensure better food transparency: to track what we eat from farm to fork.

Sharing knowledge

If you think of your favourite foods – chocolate, maybe, or samosas, or pizza – do you really know where all the ingredients came from? Bridget Kendall asks the food scientist Chris Elliott, the software designer Jérôme Malavoy and the food labelling expert Monique Raats.

Photo: The food label on a box of brownies (Getty Images)

Do You Know What You’re Eating?2016071820160719 (WS)
20160720 (WS)

If you think of your favourite foods – chocolate, maybe, or samosas, or pizza – do you really know where all the ingredients came from? Bridget Kendall asks the food scientist Chris Elliott, the software designer Jérôme Malavoy and the food labelling expert Monique Raats.

Photo: The food label on a box of brownies (Getty Images)

How to ensure better food transparency: to track what we eat from farm to fork.

Does Failure Breed Success?20120414

We ask if failure can be the starting point for success.

Sharing knowledge

This week on the Forum: on the anniversary of one of the most spectacular failures in history – the sinking of the luxury cruise ship The Titanic in April 1912 – we take a look at failure and what we can learn from it.

Parag Khanna, a leading geo-strategist, explores the failure of diplomacy in our modern age and calls for more independent negotiators.

Turkish economist Daron Acemoglu argues that a nations' economic failure is not down to culture or geography, but due to economic institutions that are authoritarian and designed to benefit the elite.

And American engineer Henry Petroski explains why he believes failure to imagine the possibility of failure is the most common mistake engineers make and that this attitude can be traced to be the cause of many major disasters.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: can we learn form the failure of nation states, diplomats and engineering?

Does Failure Breed Success?20120415
Does Finance Have To Be Invisible?2013051820130519 (WS)
20130520 (WS)

What would it take to fix the underlying flaws in our banking system?

Sharing knowledge

What would it take to fix, rather than just patch up, the underlying flaws in our banking system? Perhaps it is time for some unorthodox approaches, viewing the problem through the lens of an artist, or re-thinking basic questions, for instance, what money actually is. Joining Bridget Kendall are artist and film-maker Zachary Formwalt, bond trader and economic historian Felix Martin, and Stanford University’s professor of Finance and Economics, Anat Admati.

(Photo: In Place of Capital, 2009, production still © Zachary Formwalt)

Drones And Their Impact On The World2016111220161114 (WS)
20161115 (WS)

The history, present and future of drones.

Sharing knowledge

Drones have been hailed as the most important technological development in aviation since the invention of the jet engine. They have changed the nature of modern warfare and they are also catalysing developments in fields as diverse as law enforcement, film production, disaster management, news gathering and agriculture. The availability and prevalence of drones in everyday life is increasing and creating enormous challenges in the fields of ethics, law and regulation – not least managing the flight paths of a potentially enormous number of small planes.

Bridget Kendall explores the history, present and future of drones. She is joined by Marke "Hoot" Gibson, the Federal Aviation Administration’s senior adviser on Unmanned Aerial Systems Integration; Sarah Kreps, associate professor of Government at Cornell University in the US; Michael Nautu who designs and builds drones for purposes ranging from agriculture and aerial mapping to “next-generation conservation” in Namibia.

(Photo: A drone flying above the New York City skyline. Credit: Getty Images)

Drones And Their Impact On The World2016111420161115 (WS)

The history, present and future of drones.

Drones have been hailed as the most important technological development in aviation since the invention of the jet engine. They have changed the nature of modern warfare and they are also catalysing developments in fields as diverse as law enforcement, film production, disaster management, newsgathering and agriculture. The availability and prevalence of drones in everyday life is increasing and creating enormous challenges in the fields of ethics, law and regulation – not least managing the flight paths of a potentially enormous number of small planes.

With Bridget Kendall to explore the history, present and future of drones are:

Marke "Hoot" Gibson, the Federal Aviation Administration’s Senior Advisor on Unmanned Aerial Systems Integration.

Sarah Kreps, Associate Professor of Government at Cornell University in the USA and an expert on the ethical, legal and political dimensions of drones.

Michael Nautu who designs and builds drones for purposes ranging from agriculture and aerial mapping to “next-generation conservation? in Namibia.

Photo: A drone flying above the New York City skyline. (Getty Images)

Dust And Ash2013062220130623 (WS)
20130624 (WS)

How dust helps to keep the planet cooler and nourishes the Amazon rainforest

Sharing knowledge

In this week’s Forum Bridget Kendall and her guests discuss a substance which is everywhere. We can see it moving around, but we cannot stop its track. It’s in our houses and places of work as well as in the atmosphere. And although we try to avoid it, it can keep the planet a little cooler. We discuss dust and ash.

Joining Bridget Kendall are: Japanese-American writer Katie Kitamura, whose latest novel was inspired by volcanic ash traveling across boundaries; Xenia Nikolskaya, a Russian photographer who has captured images of deserted palaces and mansions in Egypt that are covered in dust; and Professor Charlie Bristow, a sedimentologist from Birkbeck College at the University of London, who has worked in the dustiest place on earth - the Bodélé basin in the Sahara - and has been examining why dust travels the Atlantic to nourish the Amazon rainforest.

Photo: Serageldin Palace, Cairo 2006 © Xenia Nikolskaya

Dust And Ash2013062320130624 (WS)

How dust helps to keep the planet cooler and nourishes the Amazon rainforest

Edgar Allan Poe \u2013 Master of Horror2018091520180918 (WS)

The dark, tumultuous life of America\u2019s great gothic writer

Sharing knowledge

Edgar Allan Poe is a 19th century American writer whose spine-chilling gothic tales have inspired generations of horror and mystery fiction writers. His poem ‘The Raven’, and short stories such as ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ and ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’ brought him international fame, and he is also thought to have invented the detective fiction genre with ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue’. But his tumultuous life was beset by personal tragedy, poverty and artistic struggle which seemed to echo many of the dark themes in his work.

Bridget Kendall explores Poe’s life and extraordinary work with J. Gerald Kennedy, Boyd Professor of English at Louisiana State University; Diane Roberts, Professor of English and Creative Writing at Florida State University; and Paul Collins, Professor of English at Portland State University.

Photo: Edgar Allan Poe (Corbis/Getty Images)

Edgar Allan Poe \u2013 Master of Horror20180915

The dark, tumultuous life of America\u2019s great gothic writer

Sharing knowledge

Edgar Allan Poe is a 19th century American writer whose spine-chilling gothic tales have inspired generations of horror and mystery fiction writers. His poem ‘The Raven’, and short stories such as ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ and ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’ brought him international fame, and he is also thought to have invented the detective fiction genre with ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue’. But his tumultuous life was beset by personal tragedy, poverty and artistic struggle which seemed to echo many of the dark themes in his work.

Bridget Kendall explores Poe’s life and extraordinary work with J. Gerald Kennedy, Boyd Professor of English at Louisiana State University; Diane Roberts, Professor of English and Creative Writing at Florida State University; and Paul Collins, Professor of English at Portland State University.

Photo: Edgar Allan Poe (Corbis/Getty Images)

Electricity2012081820120819 (WS)

We explore how electricity and our bodies make the world go round.

Sharing knowledge

The recent power cuts in India were a reminder of how dependent the world has become on electricity. But electricity flows not just through our machines but round our bodies and in our music. On the Forum this week we are exploring electricity through all its shapes. How can the world make sure it keeps the lights on? What are the implications of seeing our own bodies as individual power grids? And how can electricity allow us to make completely new kinds of music? Some of the questions we will be debating with Dan Yergin one of the world’s leading authorities on energy; pioneering physiologist Francis Ashcroft; and cutting edge sound artist Miha Ciglar.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: the power of musical electricity.

The recent power cuts in India were a reminder of how dependent the world has become on electricity. But electricity flows not just through our machines but round our bodies and in our music. On the Forum this week we are exploring electricity through all its shapes. How can the world make sure it keeps the lights on? What are the implications of seeing our own bodies as individual power grids? And how can electricity allow us to make completely new kinds of music? Some of the questions we will be debating with Dan Yergin one of the world’s leading authorities on energy; pioneering physiologist Francis Ashcroft; and cutting edge sound artist Miha Ciglar.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: the power of musical electricity.

Electricity20120819
Empress Nur Jahan: Leader Of The Mughals2018081120180814 (WS)

The woman who wielded unparalleled power over the Mughal Empire in 17th century India

Sharing knowledge

Empress Nur Jahan was the most powerful woman in 17th century India, wielding an unparalleled control over the Mughal Empire. Born as Mehr-un-Nissa, she came from a wealthy Iranian family who came to India and made their way up the imperial court. After the death of her first husband, a Persian soldier, she became the twentieth and final wife of Mughal Emperor Jahangir and her rise to the top really began. Often sitting beside her husband in court, she controlled trade routes, designed gardens and mausoleums, was said to be a skilled hunter and was the only Mughal Empress to have coins minted in her own name.

Joining Rajan Datar to explore the life of Empress Nur Jahan is Ruby Lal, professor of South Asian Studies at Emory University and author of 'Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan'; Mehreen Chida-Razvi, Research Associate in the Department of Art History at SOAS, University of London; and Shivangini Tandon, Assistant Professor at the Department of Women's Studies, Aligarh Muslim University, India.

Photo: a detail from the painting Jahangir and Prince Khurram with Nur Jahan, c1624-1625 (Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

Sharing knowledge

Endurance2012072120120722
20120722 (WS)

Why some athletes, plants and stars keep going for much longer than others.

Sharing knowledge

Why is it that so many long distance runners are from Kenya? Is it genetics that leads to the high performance we can expect to see in the London Olympics? Or maybe the stamina of the world's best athletes is above all about their mental attitude, the ability to deliver excellence, no matter what?

Just some of the aspects of endurance we are exploring on the Forum this week with high-performance anthropologist Rasmus Ankersen. Also on the programme, award winning photographer Rachel Sussman takes us hunting for the longest living organisms on Earth. And endurance that dwarfs anything found on our planet: the mind boggling staying power of the stars in the sky. The UK's Public Astronomer Marek Kukula is our cosmic guide.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: the race to endure for sports people, stars and other forms of life.

Why is it that so many long distance runners are from Kenya? Is it genetics that leads to the high performance we can expect to see in the London Olympics? Or maybe the stamina of the world's best athletes is above all about their mental attitude, the ability to deliver excellence, no matter what?

Just some of the aspects of endurance we are exploring on the Forum this week with high-performance anthropologist Rasmus Ankersen. Also on the programme, award winning photographer Rachel Sussman takes us hunting for the longest living organisms on Earth. And endurance that dwarfs anything found on our planet: the mind boggling staying power of the stars in the sky. The UK's Public Astronomer Marek Kukula is our cosmic guide.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: the race to endure for sports people, stars and other forms of life.

Endurance20120722
Enemies, Or Rivals? Why The Distinction Matters.2012110320121104 (WS)
Europe In Flux20120225

How much will the current crisis re-shape the way Europe is run?

Sharing knowledge

The trouble in Europe is not just over its currency.

Some say we are facing the near collapse of the EU's political system.

So how deep do the roots of the crisis go?

Can the tensions between north and south, big versus small countries, and those in and outside the Eurozone be reconciled?

Or is it time to admit that as a political model and a source of universal values, Europe has not lived up to its dream?

And how much can popular online campaigns really influence out of touch political elites?

The views of German sociologist Ulrich Beck, British Europe specialist Maurice Fraser, and Indian campaigner Ricken Patel.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: people power - bringing Europe together or tearing it apart?

Europe In Flux20120226
Expansion And Growth2015111420151116 (WS)
20151117 (WS)

Exploring ideas about expansion and growth

Sharing knowledge

How expansion and growth affects us in geopolitics, using China as an example, in space, as we increasingly understand how the universe is expanding and in our own bodies, as we discover more about how our cells replicate and change and how we can manufacture them for ourselves. Rajan Datar is joined by Professor Carlos Frenk from Durham University in the UK, a World renowned computational cosmologist who shares his thinking on the latest research about the infinite expansion of the universe. By Jeanne- Marie Gescher, an expert on China, who explores why she thinks the West’s focus on the economy is missing the point. China is indeed embarked on some ambitious economic reform - but it is underpinned by something even more ambitious: that the state will be able to choreograph the market. The top-down state is at the heart of everything, as it has been for thousands of years. And by Dr Robert Lanza, the Chief Scientific Officer at Ocata Therapeutics in the USA and Adjunct Professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Robert’s current research focuses on stem cells and regenerative medicine and their potential to provide therapies for some of the world’s most deadly and debilitating conditions.

Photo: an artist's impression of cells expanding (illustration by Shan Pillay)

Expansion And Growth2015111620151117 (WS)

How expansion and growth affects us in geopolitics, using China as an example, in space, as we increasingly understand how the universe is expanding and in our own bodies, as we discover more about how our cells replicate and change and how we can manufacture them for ourselves. Rajan Datar is joined by Professor Carlos Frenk from Durham University in the UK, a World renowned computational cosmologist who shares his thinking on the latest research about the infinite expansion of the universe. By Jeanne- Marie Gescher, an expert on China, who explores why she thinks the West’s focus on the economy is missing the point. China is indeed embarked on some ambitious economic reform - but it is underpinned by something even more ambitious: that the state will be able to choreograph the market. The top-down state is at the heart of everything, as it has been for thousands of years. And by Dr Robert Lanza, the Chief Scientific Officer at Ocata Therapeutics in the USA and Adjunct Professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Robert’s current research focuses on stem cells and regenerative medicine and their potential to provide therapies for some of the world’s most deadly and debilitating conditions.

Photo: an artist's impression of cells expanding (illustration by Shan Pillay)

Exploring ideas about expansion and growth

Extrapolation2014051720140518 (WS)
20140519 (WS)

The dangers and advantages of using what we know to explain what we don\u2019t know

Sharing knowledge

Extrapolation in mathematics means extending the implications of a model beyond the range in which it was derived. In other words, using what we know to make educated guesses about what we don’t. But does extrapolation works so well when applied to the real world? Can mathematical models really indicate when the next ice age might come? Does genetic testing reliably tell us who our ancestors were? And when we sieve through fragments of history, can we ever escape the assumptions which colour what we will think? Joining Bridget Kendall to explore extrapolation are anthropologist Kim Tallbear who is a member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate from South Dakota in the US; Ian Stewart emeritus professor of Mathematics at Warwick University in the UK and Joan Breton Connelly, classical archaeologist and professor of Classics and Art History at New York University in the US.

Image: Woolly Mammoth by Roger Harris/ Science Photo Library)

The dangers and advantages of using what we know to explain what we don’t know

Extrapolation in mathematics means extending the implications of a model beyond the range in which it was derived. In other words, using what we know to make educated guesses about what we don’t. But does extrapolation works so well when applied to the real world? Can mathematical models really indicate when the next ice age might come? Does genetic testing reliably tell us who our ancestors were? And when we sieve through fragments of history, can we ever escape the assumptions which colour what we will think? Joining Bridget Kendall to explore extrapolation are anthropologist Kim Tallbear who is a member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate from South Dakota in the US; Ian Stewart Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Warwick University in the UK and Joan Breton Connelly, classical archaeologist and Professor of Classics and Art History at New York University in the US. Image by Roger Harris/ Science Photo Library.

Fear2013101920131020 (WS)
20131021 (WS)

How do humans and animals cope with one of the strongest emotions: fear

Sharing knowledge

Heart racing, palms sweating, skin prickling are some of the things we experience when we feel frightened. So how do humans cope with one of our strongest emotions - fear? Carrie Gracie takes an unflinching examination of fear with René Hurlemann, Lucy Bolton and Liana Zanette.

Canadian biologist Liana Zanette explains breakthrough research on how intimidation changes the ecosystem. German neuroscientist René Hurlemann tells the story of very rare individuals who go through life without feeling fear. And horror film expert Lucy Bolton asks what scares us in the cinema, and why we deliberately seek to be made afraid.

Photo: A man holding a child's hand in a dark tunnel, Credit: Jay Directo/AFP/Getty Images

Fear2013102020131021 (WS)

How do humans and animals cope with one of the strongest emotions: fear

Heart racing, palms sweating, skin prickling are some of the things we experience when we feel frightened. So how do humans cope with one of our strongest emotions - fear? Carrie Gracie takes an unflinching examination of fear with René Hurlemann, Lucy Bolton and Liana Zanette.

Canadian biologist Liana Zanette explains breakthrough research on how intimidation changes the ecosystem. German neuroscientist René Hurlemann tells the story of very rare individuals who go through life without feeling fear. And horror film expert Lucy Bolton asks what scares us in the cinema, and why we deliberately seek to be made afraid.

Photo: A man holding a child's hand in a dark tunnel, Credit: Jay Directo/AFP/Getty Images

Feeding The Earth's Rising Population20111029

With world\u2019s population about to reach seven billion, how will we feed everyone?

Sharing knowledge

As the world’s population is set to reach seven billion soon, we ask how we’re going to be able to feed everyone. We take an in depth look at food, from how it is produced, to how it is prepared and ingested.

Leading environmentalist Dr Jason Clay unveils his radical and controversial plan to make food production all over the world more sustainable.

Award winning cookery writer Claudia Roden believes that traditional home cooking is vital when it comes to feeding ourselves.

And Harvard anthropologist Prof Richard Wrangham says we need to learn more about the physics of food so that we can make better nutritional decisions.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel

FEEDING THE EARTH’S RISING POPULATION

As the world’s population is set to reach seven billion soon, we ask how we’re going to be able to feed everyone.

We take an in depth look at food, from how it is produced, to how it is prepared and ingested.

Our guests: leading environmentalist Dr Jason Clay unveils his radical and controversial plan to make food production all over the world more sustainable.

Claudia Roden is an award winning cookery writer who believes that traditional home cooking is vital when it comes to feeding ourselves.

And Harvard anthropologist Prof.

Richard Wrangham on how we need to learn more about the physics of food so that we can make better nutritional decisions.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: with the population set to reach seven billion - how can we feed our growing world?

Feeding The Earth's Rising Population20111030
Feet2015010520150106 (WS)

How do our feet work when we stand or walk, or when we dance with them?

Sharing knowledge

Why do adult humans walk like ostriches, but toddlers walk like turkeys? How can the analytical methods of sports science help to prevent ballet dancers from injuring their feet? And how were Chinese women with bound feet still able to labour in the fields? Bridget Kendall finds the answers to these and many other foot-related questions with the help of poet Wang Ping, sports scientist Patrick Rump and locomotion researcher Jim Usherwood.

Fela Kuti: King Of Afrobeat2016123120170102 (WS)
20170103 (WS)

The life and legacy of Fela Kuti, Nigeria\u2019s maverick musical pioneer

Sharing knowledge

Nigerian Afrobeat musician Fela Kuti was a maverick performer, a musical pioneer, and is a continuing inspiration across the world. But he was also a thorn in the side of the Nigeria’s successive military governments and a fearless activist for social justice.

Twenty years after his death, Peter Okwoche is joined by three people who all had personal experience of Fela Kuti, to discuss his complex and extraordinary life, musical legacy, and revolutionary political ideals - Dele Sosimi is a former member of Fela Kuti's band and now an acclaimed Afrobeat musician; Carlos Moore wrote the only authorised biography of Fela Kuti, Fela: This Bitch of a Life; and Jahman Anikulapo is a Nigerian arts journalist who followed Fela's career closely.

Photo: Fela Kuti, 1986, Credit: Associated Press

Fire: How Climate Change Is Altering Our Attitudes To Wildfires2016082720160829 (WS)
20160830 (WS)

How do we deal with fire to protect health without compromising the environment?

Sharing knowledge

As fire risks change due to climate change, how should we deal with fire to protect human health and property without compromising the integrity of our environment? Bridget Kendall asks the geologist Andrew Scott, the fire ecologist Jennifer Balch and the biologist David Bowman.

(Photo: A fire tornado in California, USA. Credit: Getty Images)

Fire: How Climate Change Is Altering Our Attitudes To Wildfires2016082920160830 (WS)
20160831 (WS)

How do we deal with fire to protect health without compromising the environment?

As fire risks change due to climate change, how should we deal with fire to protect human health and property without compromising the integrity of our environment? Bridget Kendall asks the geologist Andrew Scott, the fire ecologist Jennifer Balch and the biologist David Bowman.

(Photo: A fire tornado in California, USA. Credit: Getty Images)

First Impressions: The Printing Press2017090220170904 (WS)
20170905 (WS)

How a fifteenth century innovation changed our printed world

Sharing knowledge

When the fifteenth century German entrepreneur Johannes Gutenberg pioneered the printing press, he made an indelible mark on the history of communication. Here was a way to print pages in high quality and high quantities, using methods more efficient than had ever been seen before.

Rajan Datar and guests explore the story of how the printing press was born, and how it changed our world - from the birth of the modern book to the rise of the information society, and the transformation of fields including scholarship and religion.

Rajan is joined by art historian Hala Auji, publisher Michael Bhaskar, scholar Cristina Dondi and the writer John Man.

Photo: Circa 1450, A bas-relief of the German printing pioneer Johannes Gutenberg (c 1400 - 1468) checking his work while his assistant turns the press. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Flamenco: Darkness And Light2017123020180102 (WS)

Rajan Datar and guests explore the origins and evolution of flamenco

Sharing knowledge

Flamenco is easily recognised across the world thanks to certain stereotypes, namely spotty dresses, shirt-tearing and lots of foot stamping.

The reality however is far more nuanced, and this extraordinarily complex music and dance form can take many years – if not a lifetime – to master. For those steeped in its traditions, they describe it as a way of life.

With the help of musical examples, Rajan Datar and guests explore how flamenco works, and discuss how it’s grown from its origins in the marginalised communities of southern Spain to become a commercial success the world over.

Joining Rajan are flamenco aficionado and guitarist Brook Zern, dancer María Bermúdez from flamenco’s heartland in Jerez de la Frontera and Dr Matthew Machin-Autenrieth from the University of Cambridge in the UK.

Photo: Flamenco dancing (Getty Images)

Forgiveness2014062120140622 (WS)
20140623 (WS)

Can you have forgiveness without remorse?

Sharing knowledge

Samira Ahmed explores the complexity of forgiveness. What effect does it have in the aftermath of violent crime, conflict or injustice? Is it possible without remorse and is there any crime that is beyond forgiveness? With the Rev’d Mpho Tutu, co-author with her father Archbishop Desmond Tutu of a book about forgiving; author and teacher Michael McGirr, and Marina Cantacuzino, former journalist and founder of The Forgiveness Project.

(Image: Hands stretched out with palms upright. Credit: AFP/ Getty Images)

Samira Ahmed explores the complexity of forgiveness. What effect does it have in the aftermath of violent crime, conflict or injustice? Is it possible without remorse and is there any crime that is beyond forgiveness? With the Rev’d Mpho Tutu, co-author with her father Archbishop Desmond Tutu of a book about forgiving; author and teacher Michael McGirr, and Marina Cantacuzino, former journalist and founder of The Forgiveness Project.

(Image: Hands stretched out with palms upright. Credit: AFP/ Getty Images)

(Photo: Hands stretched out with palms upright. Credit: AFP/ Getty Images)

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

Fragility In Nature2013060820130609 (WS)
20130610 (WS)

Materials, relationships, ecosystems - what makes them resistant - or prone to failure?

Sharing knowledge

Why are some materials and ecosystems easier to break than others? And what gives others better resilience? Joining Bridget Kendall are the celebrated American novelist Barbara Kingsolver, whose latest novel contemplates vulnerability in butterflies and humans; professor David Goulson, one of world’s leading experts on bumblebees, who explains why artificially rearing bumblebee nests can paradoxically lead to mass extinction; and Markus Buehler, bio-engineer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who studies the molecular basis of strength and weakness in natural materials, such as human bones and spider’s webs.

(Image: A lightbulb falling to the ground and shattering. Credit: Al Barry/Three Lions/Getty Images)

Fragility: What Is It That Makes Materials And Ecosystems Prone To Fracture?2013060920130610 (WS)

With Barbara Kingsolver, David Goulson and Markus Buehler

Why are some materials and ecosystems easier to break than others? And what gives others better resilience? Joining Bridget Kendall are the celebrated American novelist Barbara Kingsolver, whose latest novel contemplates vulnerability in butterflies and humans; one of world’s leading experts on bumblebees, professor David Goulson, who explains why artificially rearing bumblebee nests can paradoxically lead to mass extinction; and Markus Buehler, bio-engineer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who studies the molecular basis of strength and weakness in natural materials such as human bones and spider’s webs. (Photo by Al Barry/Three Lions/Getty Images)

Fragmentation: How Tiny Pieces Explain The Whole Picture2015102420151026 (WS)
20151027 (WS)

What can fragmented knowledge and physical matter tell us?

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Everything can be broken down into component parts and this multiplicity of existence can increasingly be examined and analysed in minute detail - and may be apparent in the potential for a 'multi-verse’. And of course fragmentation can occur in many spheres. It can occur in the brain causing observable damage and in memory and dreams. And, it appears in art and film and writing, and more literally, in the physical environment, telling us stories about the past.

(Photo: A light bulb exploding into fragments)

Fragmentation: How Tiny Pieces Explain The Whole Picture2015102620151027 (WS)

What can fragmented knowledge and physical matter tell us?

Everything can be broken down into component parts and this multiplicity of existence can increasingly be examined and analysed in minute detail - and may be apparent in the potential for a 'multi-verse’. And of course fragmentation can occur in many spheres. It can occur in the brain causing observable damage and in memory and dreams. And, it appears in art and film and writing, and more literally, in the physical environment, telling us stories about the past.

(Photo: A light bulb exploding into fragments)

Freedom2014021520140216 (WS)
20140217 (WS)

Can you ever be free from the past? And if so, is it a good thing?

Freedom Of Expression: How Free Should It Be?20120114

Should we re-define the limits to everyone\u2019s right to know and to express themselves?

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How far should we be free to express ourselves? Timothy Garton Ash is launching a free speech initiative at Oxford University. He tells us why he thinks we should aspire to a world with no taboos. Fawaz Gerges, Middle Eastern Politics Professor of the LSE, explores the role that the will to be free is having in the Arab Spring. And internationally acclaimed pianist Jonathan Biss makes the case for Beethoven as a fiercely independent musical rebel.

Illustration be Emily Kasriel: Liberating expressions and taboos in speech and music.

Frida Kahlo: A Life in Colour20180929

The life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, known for her ground-breaking self-portraits

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Frida Kahlo: A Life in Colour2018092920181002 (WS)

The life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, known for her ground-breaking self-portraits

Sharing knowledge

Friedrich Engels: The Man Behind Karl Marx2018081820180821 (WS)

The eventful life of Engels and his pivotal contribution to Marxism

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A champagne-loving industrialist who enjoyed hunting, a literary critic and an upstanding Victorian gentleman: this does not sound like a description of your typical advocate of proletarian revolution or the co-author of the Communist Manifesto. Yet Friedrich Engels was all those things and more. Deliberately keeping in the shadows of his comrade-in-arms Karl Marx, Engels led an eventful life, fighting in the 1848 German revolution, attending secret meetings with Chartists and keeping two homes in Manchester: a respectable one that fitted his image of a bachelor businessman, the other a boarding house where he lived with his working-class lover Mary Burns and her sister, and future wife, Lizzie.
Rajan Datar charts the life and work of Friedrich Engels with the help of leading scholars of Marxism: Jonathan Sperber from the University of Missouri, Terrell Carver from Bristol University, Belinda Webb-Blofeld from Kingston University and Christian Krell from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

Photo: Statues of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in Berlin. (Getty Images)

From Straw Poll To Opinion Poll2018033120180403 (WS)

With us since the 1930s, polls help forecast elections and conduct market research

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Today, we can’t imagine an election without an opinion poll gauging public opinion on who’s leading, who’s won a debate or who’s more popular with a specific group of voters. Even our favourite chocolate bars and footballers are subject to a poll. But how did straw polls evolve into the scientific number crunching we know now? What is their purpose and impact? How differently are they used around the world? And just how reliable are they?

Bridget Kendall is joined by economist and chairman of Gallup Pakistan Dr Ijaz Shafi Gilani; Scott Keeter, senior survey advisor for the Pew Research Center in Washington; and Sir John Curtice from the University of Strathclyde.

Picture: American President Harry S Truman smiles and waves to the excited Kansas City crowd after hearing the news that he had won the United States elections in 1948 and retained the Presidency, despite of what many polls had predicted, Credit: Keystone, Getty Images.

From The Infinitesimally Small To The Infinitely Large2012050520120506

Why there is more to empty space than you might think.

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Cosmology, particle physics, mathematics and theatrical performance all come together this week, as we try to make sense of some of the biggest questions of all by juggling what we know about the very smallest things. Lawrence Krauss explains why the seemingly empty space that takes up so much of the cosmos is full of measurable energy.
Plus theatre director Alexander Devriendt on the reasons for telling the history of the universe backwards so that it ends in … nothing, and slices of nothingness in mathematics with Ian Stewart: a glimpse of the near-magical world of infinitesimals.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: finding everything and nothing in the realm of the infinitesimally small and the infinitely large.

Cosmology, particle physics, mathematics and theatrical performance all come together this week, as we try to make sense of some of the biggest questions of all by juggling what we know about the very smallest things. Lawrence Krauss explains why the seemingly empty space that takes up so much of the cosmos is full of measurable energy.

Plus theatre director Alexander Devriendt on the reasons for telling the history of the universe backwards so that it ends in … nothing, and slices of nothingness in mathematics with Ian Stewart: a glimpse of the near-magical world of infinitesimals.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: finding everything and nothing in the realm of the infinitesimally small and the infinitely large.

Plus theatre director Alexander Devriendt on the reasons for telling the history of the universe backwards so that it ends in … nothing, and slices of nothingness in mathematics with Ian Stewart: a glimpse of the near-magical world of infinitesimals.

From The Infinitesimally Small To The Infinitely Large20120506
Future Cities2014051020140511 (WS)
20140512 (WS)

Smart and eco-cities are design buzz-words \u2013 but how realistic are such plans globally?

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Smart and eco-cities are design buzz-words – but how realistic are such plans globally? This week Bridget Kendall takes a future city tour with South African urban planning professor Vanessa Watson, who says plans to transform sub-Saharan African cities into gleaming Dubai-style hubs are harmful fantasies. Also, Delhi resident and writer Rana Dasgupta explains how he has watched his adopted city utterly transform in the last 20 years. And, futurologist Josef Hargrave offers a vision of an urban super-building in 2050.

(Photo: A model of a proposed development in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Credit: AFP/ Getty Images)

Smart and eco-cities are design buzz-words – but how realistic are such plans globally?

Smart and eco-cities are design buzz-words – but how realistic are such plans globally? This week Bridget Kendall takes a future city tour with South African urban planning professor Vanessa Watson, who says plans to transform sub-Saharan African cities into gleaming Dubai-style hubs are harmful fantasies. Also, Delhi resident and writer Rana Dasgupta explains how he has watched his adopted city utterly transform in the last 20 years. And, futurologist Josef Hargrave offers a vision of an urban super-building in 2050.

(Photo: A model of a proposed development in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Credit: AFP/ Getty Images)

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

Future Wars2012051920120520

How different will future conflicts be from those fought today?

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Robot spy planes as small as insects, drones that hover high overhead for days at a time, interfaces to plug a soldier's mind directly into a weapons system and lasers that could temporarily blind you: some of this technology is still on the drawing board but some of it is already used on the battlefield.

How much will all this change wars of the future?

Bridget Kendall discusses the changing nature of warfare with Elizabeth Quintana, a specialist on aerial combat from the Royal United Services Institute in London; Elizabeth Moon, an award winning author of science fiction whose novels often explore military themes; and David Rodin, a leading authority on war ethics from Oxford University.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: cranial implants allowing us to control drones to observe and kill on the battlefield.

Future Wars20120520
Gifts And Giving2013122120131222 (WS)
20131223 (WS)

What are the hidden messages behind the act of giving or receiving a gift?

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The Forum this week discusses the hidden messages behind the giving and receiving of gifts – whether on the international stage, the board room or within the family. Just how easy is it to cause major offence with the wrong diplomatic gift? Harry Liebersohn of University of Illinois, Barry Tomalin of the London Academy of Diplomacy, and Jamaican poet Lorna Goodison generously give their time to presenter Quentin Cooper.

Prominent international thinkers debating big ideas.

Globalisation: Is It Changing The Way We Think?2013061520130616 (WS)
20130617 (WS)

What impact is globalisation having on our sense of personal and national identity?

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How is globalisation changing the way we think about ourselves and others? What impact is it having on personal and national identity? Are we all more connected as global citizens now, or is globalisation actually driving us further apart? Joining Bridget Kendall and a lively audience at the Zamyn Cultural Forum 2013, at the Tate Modern Art Gallery, London are: Zimbabwean author NoViolet Bulawayo, Indian political scientist Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Nigerian poet and novelist Ben Okri.

(Image: Pratap Bhanu Mehta (left), Ben Okri (centre), NoViolet Bulawayo (right). Credit: Ana Escobar)

Globalisation: Is It Changing The Way We Think?2013061620130617 (WS)

with NoViolet Bulawayo, Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Ben Okri

How is globalisation is changing the way we think about ourselves and others? What impact is it having on personal and national identity? Are we all more connected as global citizens now, or is globalisation actually driving us further apart? Joining Bridget Kendall and a lively audience at the Zamyn Cultural Forum 2013, at the Tate Modern Art Gallery in London are Zimbabwean author NoViolet Bulawayo, Indian political scientist Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Nigerian poet and novelist Ben Okri. (Photo Credit: Ana Escobar)

Goethe: The Story Of Colour2017012820170130 (WS)
20170131 (WS)

How colour affects our mood and thoughts

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The German polymath Johann Wolfgang von Goethe considered his monumental book known in English as The Theory of Colours to be his greatest achievement. The book is a record of hundreds of Goethe's observations about the way colour affects our mood, as well as a long and heated polemic with Isaac Newton's colour theory. Goethe's understanding of light and colour was scientifically flawed yet his book had a surprisingly strong influence on the fine and applied arts. To find out why, Bridget Kendall talks to art historian Alexandra Loske, colour writer Victoria Finlay and designer Odette Steele.

Alexandra Loske is an art historian who teaches at the University of Sussex, Curator at the Royal Pavilion and Brighton Museums, editor of the book Languages of Colour and author of Palette (forthcoming);

Victoria Finlay is a writer, former arts editor of the South China Morning Post and the author of Colour, Travels through the Paintbox and The Brilliant History of Color in Art;

Odette Steele is a Zambian textile designer recent and a graduate from the London College of Fashion at the University of the Arts, London.

Photo: Goethe’s colour wheel, 1809. (Credit: Freies Deutsches Hochstift / Frankfurter Goethe-Museum)

Gold2014053120140601 (WS)
20140602 (WS)

What makes gold so valuable?

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Gold has long been a symbol of wealth and power, but it also has spiritual significance, and today it’s even used to treat cancer.

Matthew Taylor talks about the many values of gold with Kwasi Kwarteng, a member of Parliament in the UK and author of War and Gold; Maria Alicia Uribe, who is director of the Gold Museum in Colombia; and gold nano-particle scientist Nicholas Kotov.

Photo: Gold bars, Credit: Science Photo Library

Gold has long been a symbol of wealth and power, but it also has spiritual significance, and today it’s even used to treat cancer.

Matthew Taylor talks about the many values of gold with Kwasi Kwarteng, a member of Parliament in the UK and author of War and Gold; Maria Alicia Uribe, who is director of the Gold Museum in Colombia; and gol