Close your eyes and have a thought. Now what was it like to think that thought? What we usually call 'thinking' is often a kind of speaking by, and a listening to, the multiple voices of our consciousness. Psychologist and writer Charles Fernyhough will tell stories of everyone from children to people who hear voices and will reveal how our inner voices play a vital part in our thinking. Charles Fernyhough is a Professor in the Department of Psychology, Durham University. His background is in developmental psychology, with a particular focus on social, emotional and cognitive development. His work has contributed to our understanding of how language and thought are related in child development and beyond and his most recent focus has been on applying mainstream developmental psychology to the study of psychosis. He is also a writer whose work has been published in several anthologies and have been translated into eleven languages. He has taught creative writing, with a particular focus on psychological processes in reading and writing.Read More
Is there an algorithm to ensure success at poker? Can chaos theory give you the edge at the roulette table? Join mathematician Adam Kucharski at the how to: Academy to find out how science and mathematics are tipping the tables in gambling, and how the practice of betting has inspired dramatic changes in our understanding of probability, chance and human behaviour. Gamblers have been trying to figure out how to game the system since our ancestors first made wagers over dice fashioned from knucklebones. Now, in the 21st century, professional gamblers are using cutting-edge techniques to tilt the odds further in their favour. At the roulette wheel, card table or racecourse, science is giving us the competitive edge over opponents, casinos and bookmakers. But is there such a thing as a perfect bet? In this talk, Kucharski will look beyond probability and statistics to examine how wagers have inspired a plethora of new disciplines - spanning chaos theory, behavioural psychology, machine learning and game theory - which are not just revolutionising gambling, but changing our fundamental notions about chance, randomness and luck. Explaining why poker is the ultimate challenge for artificial intelligence, how methods originally developed for the US nuclear programme are helping pundits predict sports results and how a new breed of algorithms are managing to lose banks and asset traders millions, Adam Kucharski has the inside track on just about any wager you'd care to place.Read More
The Jaipur Literature Festival returns to Alchemy for a third time to take over Royal Festival Hall, South Bank. The programme explores the poetic imagination, India in world wars, literature in translation, revisiting the Raj, the cultural impact of Indian traditional medicine, the literature of Partition, transgender politics and the tensions arising from national diversity.Read More
Adam Kurcharski at the Stoke Newington Literary FestivalRead More
In conjunction with the Oxford Festival of Nature 2016 we welcome natural history writers and passionate environmentalists Charles Foster and Hugh Warwick to Waterstones. Charles Foster "I think I got closer to foxes than anyone else." Hugh Warwick and Charles Foster both in their way represent a particular sort of British eccentricity. Yet, beyond the humor so evident in both their works, there can also be found important questions about our relationship with nature, the destructive and terrible mess humanity is making of the countryside and, ultimately, what it means to be human.Read More
Rossiter Books host a launch for and a talk about Polly Morland's new book, Metamorphosis - How and Why We Change. Combining the journalism of her background in film with ideas from psychology and philosophy, Polly's work blends remarkable human stories with reflections on how we live today-and how we can live better. Polly is an award-winning writer and documentarian. During fifteen years as a film-maker for the BBC, Channel Four and the Discovery Channel, she tackled subjects from war crimes to artistic reclusion, political terrorism to biblical history. Polly's first widely-acclaimed book The Society of Timid Souls, or How To Be Brave (2013) won a Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award and was long-listed for the Guardian First Book Award. Her second book, Risk Wise - Nine Everyday Adventures (2015) was written in conjunction with The School of Life in London, of which Polly is a faculty member. Her latest book, just out, is Metamorphosis - How and Why We Change (2016).Read More
With the aid of prosthetics, Thomas Thwaites transformed himself into a goat and scaled an Alpine mountain in the name of his research. Charles Foster has lived as a fox, a deer and a badger, burrowing underground and eating earthworms. These adventurers in the animal world join Alice Roberts to explain their intriguing transformations, considering how similar - and how different - we really are to other species.Read More
John Kay (economist, columnist for the Financial Times and author of Other People's Money) in conversation with Joris Luyendijk (author, news correspondent, talk show host, and author of Swimming with Sharks) at the York Festival of IdeasRead More
The Wealden Literary Festival is a celebration of the outdoors, the natural world and the earth beneath our feet. A rootling of roots and a stomp across the landscapes we are part of. Counting Sheep is a story of wool and money and history, of merchants and farmers and shepherds, and above all, of the soil. Sheep have helped define our culture and topography, impacting on everything from accent and idiom, architecture, roads and waterways, to social progression and wealth. Full of stories, history, trivia and humour, Counting Sheep discovers a rural life running parallel to modern Britain that is struggling to remain unchanged.Read More
The Wealden Literary Festival is a celebration of the outdoors, the natural world and the earth beneath our feet. A rootling of roots and a stomp across the landscapes we are part of. Charles Foster wanted to know what it was like to be a beast: a badger, an otter, a deer, a fox, a swift. What it was really like. And through knowing what it was like he wanted to get down and grapple with the beast in us all. An intimate look at the life of animals, neuroscience, psychology, nature writing, memoir and more, it is a journey of extraordinary thrills and surprises, containing wonderful moments of humour and joy, but also providing important lessons for all of us who share life on this precious planet. Over the course of a year, Miriam Darlington travelled through some of Britain's most remote places in search of wild otters. Otter Country is a mesmerising account of the author's search through a variety of landscapes as she tracks one of Britain's most elusive animals.Read More
Hosted by Jeremy Lewis. Alexander Chancellor presenting a slideshow of Oldie cartoons The Oldie is particularly well known for the high quality of its cartoons. The magazine's editor will present some of the best from the last (and first!) 24 years. A must for those in need of a chortle. Richard Mabey on The Cabaret of Plants: Botany and the Imagination As author of the bestselling Flora Britannica and thirty other books, Norfolk's own Mabey is one of Britain's greatest nature writers. His latest book offers an elegant and original examination of our relationship with plants, from mediaeval times to now. D J Taylor on The Prose Factory Critic, novelist and biographer Taylor examines the past century of literary history in his new book. From the battles of modernist and traditionalist to the post-war 'New Man' and the media don; every movement and personality plays its part.Read More

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