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The Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead

Cultural discussion programme. Tom Sutcliffe at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead with Russell Foster, Denise Mina, Stephen Westaby and Eugenia Cheng.

Start the Week is at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage, Gateshead where Tom Sutcliffe explores the pace and rhythm of life - from the heart-stopping moments to the sleep of the innocent.

His guests include Russell Foster whose work on circadian rhythms sheds light on the mechanisms of our body clocks and sleep.

The crime writer Denise Mina is more interested in counting the bodies than counting sheep, as she revels in the psychological undercurrents in her latest thriller.

The cardiac surgeon Stephen Westaby understands the delicate balance between life and death: he has saved hundreds of lives, holding each heart in his hand and feeling its beat.

The mathematician Eugenia Cheng considers what it means when that beat goes on forever, with her study of the infinite.

Producer: Katy Hickman.

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43 minutes

Last on

Mon 20 Mar 2017 21:30

Russell Foster

Russell Foster is Professor of Circadian Neuroscience at the University of Oxford.

Russell gave the opening lecture, Sleep - Freedom to Think, at the Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival.

Circadian Rhythms: A Very Short Introduction, co-written with Leon Kreitzman, is published by Oxford University Press.

Denise Mina

Denise Mina is a crime writer.

The Long Drop is published by Harvill Secker. 

Stephen Westaby

Stephen Westaby is a heart surgeon.

Fragile Lives is published by HarperCollins.

Eugenia Cheng

Eugenia Cheng is a mathematician and Scientist in Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Beyond Infinity: An expedition to the outer limits of the mathematical universe is published by Profile Books.


Role Contributor
Presenter Tom Sutcliffe
Interviewed Guest Russell Foster
Interviewed Guest Denise Mina
Interviewed Guest Stephen Westaby
Interviewed Guest Eugenia Cheng
Producer Katy Hickman


  • Mon 20 Mar 2017 09:00
  • Mon 20 Mar 2017 21:30