Start the Week

Start the Week

Start The Week sets the cultural agenda for the week ahead, with high-profile guests discussing the ideas behind their work in the fields of art, literature, film, science, history, society and politics.

  • Updated:
    Weekly
  • Episodes available:
    Indefinitely help

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Recent episodes (10)

  • Danielle George, Armand Marie Leroi, John Barrow and Misbah Arif - 15th December 2014

    Mon, 15 Dec 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Tom Sutcliffe discusses invention and reinvention in science. He is joined by Danielle George of the University of Manchester, where she is Professor in the Microwave and Communications Systems research group; by John Barrow, Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Cambridge; by Professor Armand Marie Leroi of Imperial College London; and by Misbah Arif from UCL Institute of Education. Prof George is giving this year's Christmas Lectures at the Royal Institution, Prof Barrow has been looking at the link between maths and creativity; Prof Leroi has been reassessing Aristotle's role as inventor of science; and Misbah Arif has been inspiring children in the science classroom.

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  • Alaa Al Aswany, Robert Irwin, Marina Warner and Rose Issa - 8th December 2014

    Mon, 8 Dec 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Anne McElvoy's joined by Egyptian novelist Alaa Al Aswany, author of The Yacoubian Building, to discuss writing in the contemporary Arabic world and the continuing influence of stories from 1000 years ago. Joining him are Rose Issa, a Lebanese/Iranian curator of Arabic art and film and two British experts on The Arabian Nights: Robert Irwin, who introduces a new, English translation of a medieval fantasy collection and Marina Warner, whose interests stretch from Scheherazade to a new collection of Scottish fantasies.

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  • Andreas Wagner, Ruth Padel, Chris Stringer and Jules Pretty - 1st Dec 2014

    Mon, 1 Dec 14

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Tom Sutcliffe discusses evolution and extinction with Jules Pretty, who's been travelling to meet "enduring people in vanishing lands" and is concerned about their future; with Andreas Wagner on solving what he calls evolution's greatest puzzle - how can random mutations over a mere 3.8 billion years solely be responsible for eyeballs; poet Ruth Padel on what we can learn from animals and Chris Stringer who's been looking at ancient human occupation of Britain and how homo sapiens may have driven other humans to extinction.

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  • William Gibson, Michel Faber, Dominic Sandbrook and Judy Wajcman.

    Mon, 24 Nov 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Tom Sutcliffe explores our relationship with computer technology and the interplay of alien and familiar in science fiction. Tom's joined in the studio by writer William Gibson, novelist Michel Faber, LSE Professor Judy Wajcman and historian Dominic Sandbrook. How have computer technologies transformed our sense of outer space, cyber space and our own inner space?

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  • John Burnside, Betsy Wieseman, James Hall and Richard Tognetti - 17th Nov 2014

    Mon, 17 Nov 14

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Self-portraits rarely fail to compel, but to what extent are they a true form of self-examination? James Hall maps the history of self-portraiture, from the earliest myths of Narcissus to the prolific self-image-making of contemporary artists. Rembrandt's self-portraits are the highlight of a major exhibition of the artist's work at The National Gallery. Its curator Betsy Wieseman discusses what these paintings can tell us about the artist. Poetry and memoir are the tools of John Burnside's self-exploration. A previous TS Eliot prize winner, he discusses his latest collection 'All One Breath' for which he has been nominated again this year. The musician Richard Tognetti argues that 'the self' can still shine through in interpretations of great classical works.

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  • Atul Gawande, Diana Athill, Deborah Bowman and Carl Watkins

    Mon, 10 Nov 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Do we value longevity more than quality of life, towards our final years? That's the discussion Andrew Marr's having with surgeon Atul Gawande, who's giving this year's Reith Lectures. Joining them are the legendary editor, novelist and memoirist Diana Athill, who has recently written about her attitude to death and the process of dying; Professor Deborah Bowman who advises on the ethics of medical care, including whether to prolong life when death is imminent; and Dr Carl Watkins, who has examined the idea of "a good death" from Medieval times until now.

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  • Martin Wolf, John Lanchester, Naomi Alderman and John Kampfner - 3rd November 2014

    Mon, 3 Nov 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    'Money talks' in a special edition of Start the Week recorded in front of an audience at Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead. Anne McElvoy explores the language and morality of money, from the super-rich to zombie debt, with the writers John Lanchester and Naomi Alderman, plus the journalists Martin Wolf and John Kampfner.

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  • Russell Brand, Susan Neiman, David Babbs and Juliet Barker

    Mon, 27 Oct 14

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Russell Brand's calling for revolution now, to overthrow the system that he says supports extreme inequality. David Babbs, executive director of 38 Degrees, wants popular campaigns to bring about change and strengthen democracy. Juliet Barker re-examines the Great Revolt of 1381 and finds not a peasants' revolt but one by a new middle class in the shires, dissatisfied with a London elite. Philosopher Susan Neiman looks at how we are expected to abandon the adventures of youth if we are to grow up and asks, is there a new way to imagine what it means to be mature?

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  • 20th October 2014: Napoleon

    Mon, 20 Oct 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    What was Napoleon's impact during his lifetime, in France and across Europe and how much of this can we see today? With Tom Sutcliffe, Andrew Roberts examines the man in his new biography, Jenny Uglow explores living in Britain through Napoleon's Wars, 1793-1815, Sudhir Hazareesingh looks at his legend, while musicologist Gavin Plumley focuses on Schubert in Vienna in the aftermath of Napoleon.

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  • Val McDermid, Susan Hill, David Clarke and Alex Werner - 13th October 2014

    Mon, 13 Oct 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Why do we seek explanations for most mysterious events but prefer some when they're unresolved? That's the discussion with Anne McElvoy today, including Val McDermid who uncovers the secrets of forensic science, Susan Hill exploring suspense and atmosphere in ghost stories, Alex Werner from the Museum of London's new Sherlock Holmes exhibition and Dr David Clarke, who reveals the official accounts behind well known paranormal events.

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