Cambridge is fielding a series of talks and debates by leading academics on a range of global challenges at this year’s Hay literary Festival.
The Cambridge experts cut through the political and media spin on big issues and look at them with real attention and intellectual rigour."—Peter Florence
A series of talks and debates by Cambridge academics on pressing contemporary issues kicks off this week at the Hay Festival.
This year is the 25th anniversary of the Festival and the fourth year running that the University of Cambridge has run a series of talks there as part of its commitment to public engagement.
This year’s line-up includes Paul Cartledge, A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture, who will be participating in three of the 10 sessions on in the Classics series on Herodotus, the "Father of History", on Plato and on the aspirations and concepts of civilisation, democracy, drama, virtue, victory, liberty and xenia and what the study of Classics has meant in the wider world.
For the first time, Cambridge academics will take part in a series of debates about contemporary political and social issues, including Europe, democracy and urban violence.† Among those taking part in the Europe debate is Professor Robert Tombs who has written a blog on the implications for France and Europe of the election of Francois Hollande as president of France.
Another debate covers the broader cultural implications of current events, with Professor Adrian Poole, Professor Alison Sinclair and Jennifer Wallace discussing the modern meaning of tragedy and literary representation of current events. Other speakers include Professor Susan Golombok on alternative family structures, Professor Martin Jones on the archaeology of food, Carolin Crawford on the birth and death of stars, Dame Patricia Hodgson on media regulation in the shadow of the Leveson Inquiry, Professor David Spiegelhalter on our risk society and Professor Stefan Collini on what universities are for.