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)

  • Daniel Levitin, Frances Leviston, Maggie Boden and Ian Page - 26th Jan 2015

    Mon, 26 Jan 15

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Tom Sutcliffe is joined in the studio by Daniel Levitin, author of New York Times bestseller 'The Organized Mind'. Levitin dismisses the idea of multi-tasking and explores how we can counter information overload. But the poet Frances Leviston with her latest collection, Disinformation, believes her best work is conceived in disorganisation. The cognitive scientist Maggie Boden puts forward the idea that computers can be highly creative, and the conductor Ian Page celebrates the genius of Mozart who wrote his first symphony in London at the age of eight.

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  • Paul Muldoon, Cory Doctorow, Catriona Kelly and Philip Schofield - 19th Jan 2015

    Tue, 20 Jan 15

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Tom Sutcliffe's joined in the studio by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Paul Muldoon, Oxford professor of Russian Catriona Kelly, Philip Schofield who is a professor at UCL and director of The Bentham Project and by Canadian blogger and science fiction writer Cory Doctorow. How do we respond, creatively, when people or algorithms put our physical and virtual worlds under surveillance?

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  • Lady Antonia Fraser, Claire van Kampen, Peter Kosminsky, Dan Jones - 12th Jan 2015

    Mon, 12 Jan 15

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Tom Sutcliffe discusses the connection between the Tudors and modern times with author Lady Antonia Fraser, composer Claire van Kampen, director Peter Kosminsky and historian Dan Jones.

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  • Philip Marsden, Ian Bostridge, Joanne Parker and Vicky Crowe - 29th Dec 2014

    Mon, 29 Dec 14

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Andrew Marr discusses why we react so strongly to some places, look for meaning in them and build up stories about them over time. Joining him in the studio are author and travel writer Philip Marsden who has been exploring Cornwall with Sense of Place in mind; Scottish artist Victoria Crowe who's been returning to paint the Pentland Hills for thirty years; singer Ian Bostridge who's performing and analysing Schubert's Winterreise; and lecturer Joanne Parker on the maps we make in our minds, as we draw together places that have the most meaning to us.

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  • Greg Doran, Zoe Cormier, Kurt Lampe and Julia Twigg - 22nd Dec 2014

    Mon, 22 Dec 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Tom Sutcliffe discusses hedonism, from the ultra-hedonists in ancient Greece to the seasonal impulse to indulge. Tom's joined by RSC artistic director Greg Doran who's looking at hedonism in Shakespeare, from Toby Belch to Falstaff; by Prof Julia Twigg who assesses hedonism and asceticism in the contemporary world; by writer Zoe Cormier who's explored the science of hedonism and the hedonism of science; and by Kurt Lampe from Bristol University on the philosophical hedonists of Cyrene, an ancient city in modern day Libya.

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  • 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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