Our Planet and Us

Our Planet and Us
As a parallel to our Guest Selected strand of events on the oceans by Tania Kovats, this series of events looks at the precarious pact between people and planet Earth. On the one hand there are imaginative, inspiring studies celebrating our natural world and the wondrous origins of life. On the other, there are eye-opening accounts of industrialised farming methods, an alarming inventory of the world’s depleting resources, and uncomfortable questions on energy usage, environmental politics and unfettered urbanisation. It’s time to act while the future of the planet is still in our hands.

Maryn McKenna

The Truth About Chickens

Saturday 11 August 12:30 - 13:30

Whether you’re a passionate vegan or a rabid omnivore, the industrialisation of chickens should be a matter for concern. In Plucked!, award-winning science and medical writer Maryn McKenna goes deep into the heart of poultry production in the US, UK...
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Gregory Kenicer

Exploring the Life of Plants

Thursday 16 August 14:15 - 15:15

Charles S Cockell & Caspar Henderson

Awesome Science

Friday 17 August 11:00 - 12:00

What makes life the way it is? For Britain’s leading astrobiologist Charles S Cockell, the answer is in The Equations of Life, his groundbreaking account of the nature of evolution. For Caspar Henderson life is a marvel, and in A New Map of Wonders he...

Robin Crawford & Donald S Murray

Moors and Bogs Deserve Another Chance

Sunday 19 August 11:00 - 12:00

The moorlands of Scotland and beyond fascinate art historian Robin Crawford and playwright-poet Donald S Murray. Crawford discusses what he found after evaluating the peat areas of the Outer Hebrides for a year, documented in Into the Peatlands, while...

Sustainable Story Book Creations

All Ages

Sunday 19 August 14:00 - 16:30

Today, we're combining two things that we love at the Book Festival - creating stories and looking after the environment. Drop into Story Box to make one of your favourite story book characters from a range of recycled materials. Perhaps you will rework...

Fred Pearce

Nuclear Power Fallout

Monday 20 August 11:00 - 12:00

In Fallout, distinguished environmental writer Fred Pearce is unsparing in his analysis of the good, the bad and the ugly of our nuclear age. Names such as Hiroshima, Chernobyl and Fukushima spell calamity in the minds of nuclear sceptics, but have we...

Tony Juniper

Save the Future

Monday 20 August 14:15 - 15:15

It seems as if people have been trying to save the rainforests for a very long time. And while approximately half of their area has been effectively destroyed, it’s not too late to do the right thing by the other 50%. After all, it’s only the future...

Teaching the Natural World

Making Complex Ideas Easy

Monday 20 August 18:45 - 19:45

Novelist, science writer and former biology teacher Gill Arbuthnott and teacher Jennie Hargreaves explore how to use science books to bridge the gap between the classroom and the natural world. Using examples from the Royal Society Young People’s Book...

Tim Dee

Places and People

Tuesday 21 August 14:15 - 15:15

Best known for creating two masterpieces of observational prose, The Running Sky and Four Fields, Tim Dee is also a radio producer at the BBC. He’s used his experience to edit an anthology of contemporary nature writing that links human beings with...

Martin Goodman & James Thornton

Standing Up for the Planet

Wednesday 22 August 14:15 - 15:15

Lawyers might be on the end of relentless jokes and criticism, but some of them are fighting against the destruction of our planet. Martin Goodman and James Thornton discuss the efforts of ClientEarth, a not-for-profit environmental law group which...