It’s back. One of the largest free festivals in the UK returns on Tuesday (June 7) for three weeks of mind-expanding events.
June 7-19, 2016
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.
Events for families
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.
Events for writers
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.
|More events for writers||Venue||Time|
|Writing Without Time
||York St John||Sat Jun 18 @ 2pm|
|Wounds, Healing, Poetry: A Writing Workshop||King’s Manor||Sat Jun 11 @ 2.30pm|
|Ideas to Publication: What Works for Us||Explore York||Sat Jun 11 @ 10.30am|
|The Metrical and Emotional Challenge of the Sonnet||York University||Thurs Jun 9 @ 10am|
Events about science
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.
|More science events||Venue||Time|
|Mysterious Minds and Bothersome Bodies||Various||Sat Jun 11 & Sun Jun 12|
|Origins of YOU – Times TWO||Wed Jun 15||York University|
|Fly Through Evolution!||York Explore||Tues Jun 7-Sun Jun 19|
|Magnetic Stimulation of the Brain||National Science Learning Centre||Wed Jun 8|
Events for history buffs
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.
|The York Historical Atlas Explained||St Oswalds||Sat Jun 18|
|Fragile Heritage||Various||Sun Jun 19|
|Histories of the Middle East: Then and Now||York St John||Fri Jun 17|
|The Private Lives of the Saints||St Helen’s Church||Sat Jun 11|
|Understanding Maximilien Robespierre||York University||Thu Jun 9|
|Countdown to Canute||Barley Hall||Thu June 9|
|Where is York’s Lost Amphitheatre?||Tempest Anderson Hall||Thu Jun 9|
|Biblio-trek: Walking York’s Print History||Exhibition Square||Sat Jun 18|
|Passion, Mystery and Performance: The First Two Centuries of the York Plays||King’s Manor||Tue Jun 7|
|Shaping the Body: A Conversation||Castle Museum||Thu Jun 9|
|Tick Tock: Stories of Clocks||York University||Thu Jun 9|
|Mystery Plays at the Minster 2000 and 2016||King’s Manor||Weds Jun 8|
Political and current affairs
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.
|More politics and current affairs:||Venue||Time|
|Living with Floods||Various||Sat Jun 11|
|The EU Referendum||Various||Thu Jun 16|
|Fragile States||Various||Sat Jun 18|
Events to get you thinking
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.
|More smart thinking||Venue||Time|
|What if …? Worrying and the Modern World||York University||Wed Jun 8|
|Experiencing the Past||York University||Tue Jun 7|
|Mythology: The Complete Guide to our Imagined Worlds||King’s Manor||Wed Jun 8|
Food, drink and more
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.
|More of a mix||Venue||Time|
|How to Eat Better and More Sustainably||National Science Learning Centre||Fri Jun 10|
|Bees and Beetles Workshop||Museum Gardens||Thur Jun 9|
|LUMA Film Festival||York University||Sat Jun 11 & Sun Jun 12|
|Tick Tock: Take a Snap photography exhibition||York Station||Tues Jun 7-Sun Jun 19|