So, I am all Free Thunk! What a fantastic weekend in Gateshead with the BBC team and my fellow New Generation Thinkers. Speed dating was a heady, super-charged, intellectual comedy with the lovely Ian McMillan hooting the hooter in his own inimicable style. I came runner up each day with my idea that we should have a National Fool to keep us all honest! In slightly more serious proceedings, my discussion of Zamyatin’s dark dystopia We and the contemporary issues we are all facing around surveillance and questions of privacy, security and freedom was broadcast last night on BBC Radio 3. I was lucky enough to participate alongside a trio of the best in the business – David Aaronovitch, Sean O’Brien and Matthew Sweet. If you didn’t catch it last night, you can listen again here.
And here’s me trying to win over the love and votes of the Speed Dating public!
After a quiet, scholarly summer I’m reemerging to get going on some more public activities. First thing coming up is the fantastic annual BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival at The Sage, Gateshead, 25th-27th October. This year’s theme is ‘Who’s in Control?’ and I’ll be sharing my thoughts at two gigs. On the Saturday, come along to my essay on reproduction and SF taking a tour of speculative fiction from Wells to Battlestar Gallactica. Then on Sunday I’ll be joining poet Sean O’Brien and journalist David Aaronovitch for a discussion of Zamyatin’s astonishing dystopian novel We. Tickets are free but need to be booked in advance here. All the sessions are recorded live and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 shortly after so if you can’t make it to Gateshead, stay tuned to Radio 3 instead!
I’ll be heading down to Looking Glass Books in Edinburgh on Thursday 30th May along with my collaborators on the What Scientists Read project to talk AA. Milne, Jane Austen, galaxy evolution and much more with members of the British Science Association.