Mark Stevenson – The Future (and what to do about it)

Our systems are failing. Old models – for education, healthcare, government, food production and energy supply – are creaking under the weight of modern challenges. As the world’s population heads towards 10 billion, it is clear we need new approaches.

FuturologMe_20122ist Mark Stevenson set out to find alternative approaches – the story of his journey offered a much needed dose of down-to-earth optimism. It is a window on – and a roadmap to – a different and better future.

When & Where is the talk?

3 – 4pm, Sunday 23rd April 2017, in the Newbury Town Hall, Market Street, Newbury.

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Andrea Sella – FREEZE! The Strange Science of Ice.

It’s mostly for keeping drinks cold, but did you know that without ice life on earth – as we know it – wouldn’t exist?

In this visual talk, renowned praandrea-sella-picctical chemist Andrea Sella takes a cold, hard look at the weird and wonderful properties of ice – how it misbehaves, its connection with climate change & how our future may be much less certain than we imagine. 

When & Where is the talk?

3 – 4pm, Sunday 12th March 2017, in the Balcony Bar of the Corn Exchange Theatre, Market Street, Newbury.

Free & unticketed.

Dean Burnett – The Idiot Brain: What Your Head is really up to”

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For something supposedly so brilliant and evolutionarily advanced, the human brain is messy, fallible and disorganised.

Dean Burnett has spent two decades studying the brain, exploring the many ways in which the brain regularly does things inefficiently, illogically or just plain stupidly and how this regularly influences our everyday lives. From memory processing, to the psychology of superstition, in this Talk he will highlight how the brain’s flawed and shoddy operation impacts ourselves and the world around us in countless ways, and how it’s OK to laugh at all this regardless!

When & Where is the talk?

3 – 4pm, Sunday 20th November 2016, in the Balcony Bar of the Corn Exchange Theatre, Market Street, Newbury.

Free & unticketed.

Milton Mermikides – “Data to Sound: Everything we do is music”

What does the skyline of New York sound like? How can you make music from your sleep patterns or blood cells?

Music can be madimage45507e from anything we find around us, from our names or birth dates to our cells, from atoms to stars. Composer Dr Milton Mermikides presents the fascinating origins and history of data sonification – the translation of information or patterns into sound and music – including a few of his own compositions derived from sleep cycles, viruses, paintings, and other ‘non-musical’ data.’

Discover how music can reveal the patterns in the natural world, and give us both a theoretical and aesthetic appreciation of everything around us.

When & Where is the talk?

3 – 4pm, Sunday 9th October 2016, in the Balcony Bar of the Corn Exchange Theatre, Market Street, Newbury.

Emily Smith-Woolley “Identically Different – What twin research reveals about individuals”

How do we become who we are? How free are we to decide on the direction of our lives? headshot

For 21 years the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) has tracked the development and behaviour of 15,000 identical twins. With them, the team has studied how genes influence intelligence, motivation, friendship, anxiety and many other surprising parts of our behaviour. Emily Smith Woolley is part of the current TEDS team exploring how we develop through childhood and adolescence and what factors contribute to making each of us who we are.

When & Where is the talk?

3 – 4pm, Sunday 11th September 2016, in the Balcony Bar of the Corn Exchange Theatre, Market Street, Newbury.

 

Michael Story – Superforecasters: The people who predict the future.

Since 2011, a team of 200 civilians has been predicting the future more accurately than US intelligence agencies.  Michael Story is one them.

Formed five years ago, the Good Judgement Project’s ‘Superforecaster’ teams have forecast events such as the recent UK-EU referendum, the movement of Russian troops and the longeviMstory2ty of Robert Mugabe, achieving a 50% lower error rate than the previous state of the art techniques. This talk reveals who these superforecasters are, how they are doing it, and some techniques shown to make nearly anyone more accurate when predicting the future.

When & Where is the talk?

3 – 4pm, Sunday 31st July 2016, in the Balcony Bar of the Corn Exchange Theatre, Market Street, Newbury.

Sonia Blandford: “Musical Ambitions: Playing The System!”

vintage-1318361What’s the talk about?

People often say that music changed their lives –   but for Sonia Blandford, it was much more than a key change : As a student teacher, to keep her place in the College orchestra, Sonia taught herself to play 15 different instruments to Grade 6 level in the space of just 3 years – a serious achievement. 

The truth is, at 18, it was highly likely I would have ended up on the factory shop floor.  I had a job in a catering company putting cherries on grapefruits. I did not want to spend the rest of my life puttPicture1ing cherries on grapefruits.” 

Now CEO of an award-winning educational charity, Sonia shares how she managed this remarkable feat and what it taught her about nature, nurture and childhood mental development.

When & Where is the talk?

3 – 4pm, Sunday 26th June 2016, in the Balcony Bar of the Corn Exchange Theatre, Market Street, Newbury.