Last year York Festival Of Ideas attracted more than 31,500 people. This year the theme of the festival is Tick Tock.
Whether you’re looking for a mind-blowing philosophical lecture, a guide to York’s past, a writers’ workshop or just something to keep the kids occupied, we can guarantee there’ll be something for you.
With more than 150 (absolutely free!) events to choose from, finding something you’d like to attend isn’t easy. That’s why we’ve put together a simple guide to the unmissable highlights of this year’s festival.
Start with a bang
The festival’s opening night is inspired by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock report 3 Minutes to Midnight – measuring humanity’s close proximity to global catastrophe. Professor Sivan Kartha, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists board member, is among the experts exploring the rising threats of climate change and nuclear arms proliferation. More here.
Watch out, zombies are taking over York! But don’t worry, help is close at hand. Join University of York scientists for Zombies in York! and dissect a captured zombie and study the infectious agent causing the outbreak. Help save the day as you examine the zombie’s blood, play with its brains and more. An interactive, hands-on workshop aimed at children aged eight to 12 – but fun for adults too. More details here.
Author, curator and lecturer Chislaine Kenyon offers a fresh perspective of the well-known artist, Quentin Blake, a figure who is so much more than Roald Dahl’s illustrator.
Kenyon collaborated with Blake himself. In Quentin Blake: Artist, Teacher, Healer she will discuss Blake’s drawings made for hospitals, theatres, building wraps, and private settings alongside his much-loved images from the Roald Dahl books. Tuesday, June 7 at 6.30pm – more here.
Just how realistic is TV show Breaking Bad? York University chemistry professor David Smith explores some of the chemistry underpinning the show to find the answer.
David will explain whether you could really use hydrofluoric acid to dispose of a dead body in a bathtub and discuss a new theory as to why Heisenberg’s crystal meth might be blue. On Thursday, June 16 – more here.
Experience a century of York life captured on film, from royal visits to women singing on Rowntree’s production line. Watch highlights from the Yorkshire Film Archive’s collection and enjoy a delicious cream tea, served with tea of coffee in the Belmont Suite of Betty’s tearooms on St Helen’s Square. Tuesday, June 6 – more here.
In Seeking the Holy Grail: An Economy that Works for Everyone, commentators will take part in a range of talks throughout the Friday June 17 exploring the meeting point of political and economic decision-making. Speakers include Guardian columnist Owen Jones, leading economist John Kay, Sir Julian Legrand of the London School of Economics (LSE), and author Lynsey Hanley – more here.
We often see ourselves moving forward through time, taking the present moment with us, imagining it as a distinct moment which splits the past that no longer exists from the future that is about to exist. Einstein’s theories suggest something else. The ‘present’ moment may not be the same for everyone, and what is present might even depend on how fast you are moving.
In No Time Like the Present?, Mary Leng, Barry Lee and Christ Fewster of the University of York weave a mind-boggling exploration of time. Wednesday, Jun 15 – more here.
Join Richard Godwin, author of The Spirits: A Guide to Modern Cocktailing, as he conveys you through the annals of cocktail-making history. Dedicated to demystifying the art of ‘mixology’, Richard demonstrates that making sophisticated cocktails is amazingly easy and surprisingly cheap.