We ask the experts: does society really care about the old and the vulnerable?

28 Oct 2013

On November 1 Melvyn Bragg will talk about his book Grace and Mary at the Festival of Ideas.  The novel is based on Bragg’s own bitter-sweet experience of his mother’s dementia. Looking back across three generations, it raises fundamental questions about social attitudes and how they shape our lives. Three people discuss some of the big challenges that face us.

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Why do we read (and write) novels?

14 Oct 2013

On the eve of the Man Booker prize, our insatiable appetite for fiction (and fascination with those who create it) comes sharply into focus. According to the Publishers Association, sales of paperback fiction rose by 3% in 2012 to £502 million, while sales of digital novels soared by almost 150%, reaching £172 million. What’s the magic of reading and writing?

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We ask the experts: are we working too hard?

06 Sep 2013

With rising competition for jobs, and increasing pressure to excel in the workplace, a healthy work-life balance is hard to achieve. The technology we invented to make our lives run smoother means that we seldom switch off.  Could we do things differently?

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We ask the experts: is overseas aid working?

16 Aug 2013

We live in an unequal world: each year billions of dollars are directed at reducing some of the gaps between rich and poor, and bringing basic healthcare and education to those without these life-enhancing resources. But at grassroots level international aid often fails to make a real difference. Where are we going wrong?

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We ask the experts: will robots take over the world?

19 Jul 2013

Robots can do a lot for us: they can explore space or they can cut our toenails. But do advances in robotics and artificial intelligence hold hidden threats? Three leaders in their fields answer questions about our relationships with robots.

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