How simple cells, molecules and even robots can work together to achieve complexity
Why do some people believe in aliens and extra-terrestrials, and not others?
The impact of leaving the land to its own devices
Transforming biosciences with particles just a few billionths of a metre across
Why they are essential to our planet and how they can even shape our psyche
The advantages and disadvantages of speaking more than one language
The life-giving fluid in science and in our culture
Grass provides 60% of human calorie intake and covers a quarter of the planet
The curious properties of bubbles in the oceans, in our bodies and in art.
The Forum at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.
What’s the future of education in South Africa?
Where is the dividing line between what is normal and what is a mental disorder?
When is it better to remain an outsider? And what makes outcasts unwelcome?
Is invisibility good or bad? Is it a matter of optics, morality or magic?
What can we learn by observing others?
Can you have forgiveness without remorse?
What does it really mean to challenge received wisdom?
Some people seem to get on with anyone and everyone: is it down to talent or practice?
What makes gold so valuable?
Why do we like some art works but not others and what role does cultural background play?
The dangers and advantages of using what we know to explain what we don’t know
Smart and eco-cities are design buzz-words – but how realistic are such plans globally?
The fine thread-like strands that grow from our bodies and organs
A look into new ways of thinking about conflict and reduce aggression
When being alone is a blessing and when it is a blight.
How close are we to mapping all the land, the seas and the clouds in the sky?
Fakes, forgeries and copies – how different are they?
Can you train to be spontaneous? And if so, should you?
New research shows that moving up or down in society can still take hundreds of years.
A special programme from the London School of Economics Literary Festival 2014