5 speakers 15 minutes each
Mon 17th Jun 2019
5 speakers, 15 minutes each
Viv Groskop is a writer, critic, broadcaster and stand-up comedian. She has presented Front Row and Saturday Review on BBC Radio 4, is a regular on BBC1’s This Week and has hosted book tours for Graham Norton, Jo Brand and Jennifer Saunders. Groskop’s books include The Anna Karenina Fix: Life Lessons from Russian Literature, and How to Own the Room: Women and the Art of Brilliant Speaking. She is currently writing a self-help memoir titled Au Revoir, Tristesse: Lessons in Happiness from French Literature due out in 2020.
Dr Hannah Critchlow is a neuroscientist with a grounding in neuropsychiatry. She is a Science Outreach Fellow at Magdalene College, University of Cambridge and demystifies the human brain using Radio, TV and Festival platforms. Hannah's first book Consciousness: A LadyBird Expert, was published this summer. She has been part of the 2018 Wellcome Trust Science Book Judging Panel, and in 2017 she co-presented the BBC Tomorrow's World Live interactive science series. In 2014 Hannah was named as a Top 100 UK scientist by the Science Council for her work in science communication. In 2013 she was named as one of Cambridge Universities ‘inspirational and successful women in science’. During her PhD she was awarded a Cambridge University Fellowship and as an undergraduate received three University Prizes as Best Biologist. Next year she will launch her book on Fate with the publishers Hodder. Hannah’s choice of career stemmed from working as a Nursing Assistant at St Andrews Psychiatric Hospital.
Pico Iyer was born in Oxford in 1957 to parents from India then grew up in California and currently lives in Japan. He is the author of eight books: his first, Video Night in Kathmandu, appeared on many lists of the top travel-books of the 20th century, and his second, The Lady and the Monkwas was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award in the category of Current Interest. His first novel, Cuba and the Night, was optioned six times and then bought by Hollywood, and his book The Global Soul inspired multi-media shows, musical works and websites around the world. Since 1980 he has also written voluminously for magazines in America, Europe and Asia. In 1995 Iyer was named by the Utne Reader, along with the likes of Noam Chomsky and Vaclav Havel, as one of 100 visionaries worldwide who could change your life. Pico Iyer has been engaged in conversation with the Dalai Lama (a friend of his father’s) for the last three decades - a continuing exploration of his message and its effectiveness.
Jonathan Freedland is an award-winning journalist, author and broadcaster. He writes a weekly column for The Guardian and is the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s contemporary history series, The Long View. He also writes a monthly piece for the Jewish Chronicle and is a regular contributor to a range of US publications, including The New York Times, The New York Review of Books and The New Republic. In 2008 he was awarded the David Watt Prize for Journalism, having been named ‘Columnist of the Year’ in the What the Papers Say awards for 2002, where the judges praised him for his “incisive, original, strong and very outspoken views”. He is the author of seven books, two of them non-fiction under his own name. The first, Bring Home the Revolution, was both acclaimed, winning a Somerset Maugham Award, and controversial: it argued that Britain was in dire need of a constitutional and cultural overhaul, one that could learn much from America. The book was later adapted into a TV series for BBC Two. In 2005, he published Jacob’s Gift, a memoir telling the stories of three generations of his own family, as well as exploring wider questions of identity and belonging. Since 2006 he has published five best-selling novels under the pseudonym Sam Bourne. The first, The Righteous Men, became a Number One bestseller in the UK and went on to win a Gold Book Award after selling more than 500,000 copies. It has been translated into 30 languages. That was followed by The Last Testament (2007), The Final Reckoning (2008), The Chosen One (2010) and Pantheon (2012). Before 1997, Jonathan served for four years as the Guardian’s Washington Correspondent and the US remains an area of specialist interest, along with the politics of Britain and the Middle East. Earlier in his career, he worked as a reporter for The Washington Post, for BBC News – chiefly for Radio 4’s Today and World at One programmes but also for Radio 1’s Newsbeat – and for the Sunday Correspondent newspaper. In 1998 he was the presenter of the short-lived Channel 4 series, Zeitgeist. He was educated at Wadham College, Oxford – where he studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and edited the university newspaper, Cherwell – and, earlier, at University College School, London.
Johny Pitts is the founder of Afropean.com, an online user-generated journal which is part of the Guardian’s ‘Africa Network’. In October 2018, Pitts organised the Looking B(l)ack Symposium at the Bozar cultural centre in Brussels, which was a weekend of talks and performances dedicated to the notion of Black Travel. Pitts has received various awards for his work exploring African-European identity, including a Decibel Penguin Prize and an ENAR (European Network Against Racism) award. In 2012, Pitts collaborated with Caryl Phillips on a photographic essay about London’s immigrant communities for the BBC and Arts Council.