Cambridge Festival of Film

Sit back, grab a snack and enjoy some inspiring films from the Cambridge Festival 2023. From a chat with a NASA Astronaut to politics, science and more...

What impact is populism having on the media? Is it affecting how and what journalists write? How can we ensure reporters don’t self censor in an age where accurate information is vital?

In this talk, broadcaster Emily Maitlis chats with PhD student Ayala Panievsky and Dorothy Byrne, President of Murray Edwards College on the future of news.

Cosmologist Thomas Hertog and Professor Stephen Hawking's final theory

A new book by Thomas Hertog, On the Origin of Time, takes you on a quest to understand questions bigger than our universe, and offers a bold and stimulating new take on its fundamentals.

Are we moving to a new world order?

Gary Gerstle speaks to FT journalist Rana Faroohar about his latest book, The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order: America and the World in the Free Market Era, which won the 2022 FT Business Book of the Year Award.

A fascinating series of short films with researchers at Cambridge who are imagining the future.

These films share an insight into the researchers and their work, with an introduction by the Acting Vice- Chancellor Dr Anthony Freeling.

Why are girls and young women suffering levels of stress and anxiety so far in excess of those their mothers and grandmothers experienced?

Two of the country’s leading thinkers in this area Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience Sarah-Jayne Blakemore and Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Tamsin Ford highlight the problems but examine some potential solutions.

NASA Astronaut Kayla Barron gives an insight into life in space

Speaking with Dr Matt Bothwell from Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy, Kayla discusses her journey to NASA, her experience at Cambridge and the reality of being in space.

What is collective intelligence and can it help us work better together?

Neuroscientist Hannah Critchlow and award-winning science writer David Robson in conversation about Dr Critchlow’s latest book, Joined up thinking which illuminates the new science of collective intelligence, showing how two heads can be better than one, how to work, play and grow with intelligence and explaining the tricks that help us work best collectively.

Are big tech companies acting like colonialists of the past?

A panel discussion chaired by BBC Radio Cambridgeshire's Chris Mann including experts Sebastián Lehuedé (Centre of Governance and Human Rights, Cambridge), Alina Utrata (POLIS, Cambridge), Professor Jaideep Prabhu (Cambridge Judge Business School) and Dr Jennifer Cobbe (Department of Computer Science, Cambridge)

How can we make sense of today's turbulent politics?

The Guardian’s John Crace and David Runciman, professor of politics at the University of Cambridge and host of the popular and well regarded Talking Politics podcast, converse about the struggle journalists, let alone academics, face to keep up with and make sense of the turbulent nature of today’s politics.

We know that climate change is speeding up and that it is a threat to the future of the planet, but are our political structures able to adapt to the pace of change?

A panel discussion with Professor Laura Diaz Anadon (Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance, Cambridge), Professor Peter Sutoris (University of York), Samira Patel (Scott Polar Institute, Cambridge), Dr Ramit Debnath (Cambridge Zero) and chaired by Dr Emily Shuckburgh, Director of Cambridge Zero.

What is Britain's place in the 21st century?

The last years have been ones of great upheaval for the world, but particularly for the UK. Brexit and its ongoing implications, including for devolution of power, the death of the Queen and the future of the Commonwealth have all contributed to discussions about how Britain sees itself today amid shifting global geopolitics. What do all these developments mean for Britain’s place in the world in the 21st century?

Professor Ha-Joon Chang and food archaeologist Martin Jones talk about Professor Chang’s new book Edible economics: A hungry economist explains the world.

The book makes challenging economic ideas more palatable by plating them alongside stories about food from around the world and shows that getting to grips with the economy is like learning a recipe: if we understand it, we can change it - and, with it, the world.

The war in Ukraine and climate disasters have focused people’s minds on issues of food security. Can researchers help to address the practical and political problems and what does history teach us?

A panel discussion with Professor Tim Lang (City University London), PhD student Anoop Tripathi (University of Cambridge), Professor David Christian Rose (Cranfield University), Dr Emelyn Rude (University of Cambridge) and Dr Nazia Mintz Habib (Centre for Resilience and Sustainable Development)

Explore a different side of Cambridge in just 20 minutes with the Museum of Technology

Exploring the city's industrial heritage (and more): time-lapsed, accelerated, rotated, colour-inverted and mirrored, accompanied by an ambient soundtrack of audio recordings from around the city.

Romanticism is best known as a movement celebrating political and imaginative liberty - the human mind freeing itself from the shackles of tradition.

Dr Mathelinda Nabugodi drew on her current work in progress, The Trembling Hand: Reflections of a Black Woman in the Romantic Archive, which examines objects found in the archives of the major Romantic poets: unexpected treasures such as Wordsworth’s teacup, Shelley’s baby rattle, or Byron’s carnival mask.

How can the powerless make their voices heard?

Dr Véronique Mottier examined how the powerless can make their voices heard. Drawing on research interviews with care survivor activists in several countries, this talk at the Intellectual Forum explored the ways official apologies were experienced by the victims to whom they were addressed. It also asked what the personal cost of storytelling is, and whether reparative justice can ever be fully achieved.

What is the future of online safety?

The Online Safety Bill gives social media companies a duty of care towards their users as a means of mitigating the wide range of harms their business activities appear to produce. But even as the Bill is making its way through Parliament, the technology landscape continues to evolve. With advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI), increasing adoption of web3 technologies like blockchain, and big tech investing billions in building the all-encompassing virtual world known as the metaverse, this panel event asked: how should policymakers respond?

While practical quantum computers, with their fascinating future possibilities, remain quite a distance away in the future, quantum sensors are a reality today.

In this talk for the Cambridge Festival, Professor of Many-Body Physics Ulrich Schneider explained how we can turn this apparent limitation into a new tool to explore the universe and fundamental physics.

The Era of Global Risk

This event launched an ambitious new book – The Era of Global Risk as part of the Cambridge Festival 2023. This volume curates 11 specially commissioned essays that give a comprehensive and accessible overview of the emerging science of existential risk studies and is edited by SJ Beard, Clarissa Rios Rojas, and Catherine Richards of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER), with Professor Lord Martin Rees.

United Nations projections show the global population reaching 11 billion and the world economy growing 500% by the end of this century. Paul Hanley, journalist, author of the award-winning book ELEVEN and Bahá’í, considers how we got into this predicament and maps a way forward.

We live in a time of extreme polarisation in many areas and parts of life, and modern technological advances have without a doubt played a crucial role in this development. In this talk, Stefanie Ullmann aims to give an overview of the current risks as well as opportunities posed by artificially intelligent systems in the context of online (de)polarisation.

Smart speakers, virtual personal assistants, and automated dialogue systems such as Siri, Alexa, and ChatGPT are being used ever more extensively in our digital societies. This talk will explore the difficulties of defining ’empathy’ before explaining in an accessible manner how state-of-the-art dialogue systems such as ChatGPT work, and summarising some of the techniques that are being used to make such systems seem more empathetic.

Climate change disproportionally impacts regions in South Asia. We saw this during the past year with heatwaves, floods and cyclones battering already struggling communities in the region. What is not often talked about is the role of women in combating the causes and impacts of climate change, whether from within communities, in the field or in policymaking.

By bringing social scientists and an LGBTQ+ young people’s charity into conversation, we explore what it might mean to ‘queer’ the future.

Dr Eleanor Winpenny, Dr Tiago Canelas and Mr Struan Tait from the MRC Epidemiology Unit shared their research from the UK and abroad on young people’s diets and the influence of changing home, institutional and built environments.

Professor Julia Gog (Cambridge) discusses optimum solutions, difficult decisions, and how mathematics provided a powerful tool for "framing thinking" during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor Diane Coyle and Professor Gordon Harold discuss the role of their pet dogs, the Twitter sensation, rescue dog Sophie #sophiefromromania and new pup, Geldart. Diane and Gordon discuss how pets can help support mental wellbeing.

Immerse yourself in the mysterious world of dreams and depersonalisation through a unique blend of cutting-edge AI & VR tools. Join us as we explore the fascinating connections between the waking world and the dream realm.

A talk from Cambridge University's MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit.

A talk from Cambridge University's MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit.

A talk from Cambridge University's MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit.

A talk from Cambridge University's MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit.

This is a recording of the live Zoom session held on Sunday 19th March 2023 at the start of a two-week herbarium specimen transcription event focusing on transcribing nearly 1,300 elm specimens held in the Cambridge University Herbarium, as part of the 2023 Cambridge Festival. In the talk, Curator of the University Herbarium, Dr Lauren Gardiner, gives a short introduction to some of the collections held in the University Herbarium and then shows how to transcribe the specimens in the Zooniverse Notes from Nature platform.

A talk from Cambridge University's MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit.

Hungry for more?

Check out the Cambridge Festival of Podcasts, where you'll find all the podcasts from around Cambridge all in one place. Listen to one, then move on to the next!

Subjects include everything from radiotherapy and finding the links between climate change and early marriage to what really happened to Darwin's missing notebooks.