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45 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 25 May 2009

Andrew Marr sets the cultural agenda for the week. His guests include Harvard politics professor Michael Sandel, who gives this year's Reith Lectures on A New Citizenship, addressing the 'prospect for a new politics of the common good'.

Plus novelist Giles Foden on his new book Turbulence, the developmental psychologist Bruce Hood on why he thinks we all have a 'supersense', the propensity to believe in the supernatural, and astronomer Carolin Crawford on the science and beauty of nebulae.

  • The Hubble Space Telescope's Image of the Orion Nebula

    The Hubble Space Telescope's Image of the Orion Nebula

  • Michael Sandel

    Michael Sandel

    Political philosopher and Harvard University Professor, Michael Sandel, will be delivering this year's BBC Radio 4 Reith Lectures. His lectures, entitled A New Citizenship, will explore "the prospect for a new politics of the common good". In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, has the time finally come for a society based on moral, even spiritual values? The Reith Lectures will be broadcast on Radio 4 at 9.00am from 9 June for four weeks.

    Reith Lectures 2009
  • Bruce Hood

    Bruce Hood

    The psychologist Bruce Hood explores why we all have what he calls a ‘supersense’, a belief in things we can’t prove whether it’s telepathy, religion or avoiding black cats. He argues that we are biologically predisposed to such beliefs and suggests that studying children’s development is a key part of understanding where our gut instincts come from. Supersense is published by Constable.

    Bruce Hood's website
  • Giles Foden

    Giles Foden

    The British are renowned for their obsession with the weather. But as Giles Foden’s new novel Turbulence reveals, this is nothing compared with the pressure on Allied meteorologists tasked with predicting the weather for the D-Day landings. Central to the forecasts was turbulence; an interaction between systems that is present not only in the atmosphere but in politics and society as whole. Turbulence is published by Faber and Faber.

  • Carolin Crawford

    Carolin Crawford

    Nebulae give us some of the most beautiful images from space. Following recent repairs to the Hubble telescope, the astronomer Carolin Crawford explains how observers hope to get an even better view of these vital phenomena that give birth to our stars. Carolin will be giving a talk, ‘The Science and Beauty of Nebulae’, at the Royal Astronomical Society in London on 9 June.

    Images of nebulae from the Hubble Space Telescope


Arts & Culture selection

Damian Lewis on reading A Delicate Truth

A selection of highlights from our arts and culture programmes.

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