5 speakers 15 minutes each
Sun 4th Aug 2019
5x15 on our place in the natural world
Gavin Pretor-Pinney is a writer and cloud-watcher. In 1993, he co-founded The Idler magazine, described by Time Out as 'the world's finest periodical'. In 2004 he founded the Cloud Appreciation Society, and wrote its inaugural publication The Cloudspotter's Guide (2006), which went on to become an international bestseller. His book on the waves that we experience in our everyday lives through the body, through music, colour and those of nature, The Wavewatcher's Companion (2010), was the winner of the 2011 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Writing. famous for cloud watching takes us through the story of waves. Waves surround us and the visible are heavily outnumbered by the invisible. We all know about some types of waves- the waves crashing on the beach or ripples on a pond; Pretor-Pinney looks at tidal waves and Mexican waves but he also manages to bring in microwaves, the beating heart, electromagnetic waves, shock waves and a multitude of surprising and wonderful ideas.
Tristram Stuart is an international award-winning author, speaker, campaigner and expert on the environmental and social impacts of food waste. His books have been described as "a genuinely revelatory contribution to the history of human ideas” (The Times) and his TED talk has been watched over a million times. The environmental campaigning organisation he founded, Feedback, has spread its work into dozens of countries worldwide to change society's attitude towards wasting food. He is also the founder of Toast Ale, a beer launched in the UK in 2016 that is made using fresh, surplus bread.
Isabella Tree writes for publications such as National Geographic, Granta, The Sunday Times and The Observer. Her articles have been selected for The Best American Travel Writing and Reader's Digest Today's Best Non-Fiction, and she was Overall Winner of the Travelex Travel Writer Awards. She published her first book The Bird Man - a Biography of John Gould when she was 25. Her latest book Wilding - the Return of Nature to an English Farm charts the story of the pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex where she lives with her husband Charlie Burrell. About Wilding: the Return of Nature to an English Farm Forced to accept that intensive farming on their land at Knepp in West Sussex was economically unsustainable, Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell took a spectacular leap of faith in 2000 and handed their 3,500 acres back to nature. Managed with minimal human intervention, and with herds of free-roaming animals driving the creation of new habitats, their rewilded land is now heaving with life. Rare species like turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons and purple emperor butterflies are now breeding at Knepp and biodiversity has rocketed. The project has become a leading light for nature conservation in the UK, demonstrating how a hands-off, 'process-led' approach can restore land and wildlife in a dramatically short space of time, reversing the cataclysmic declines that have been the fate of nature here over the past five decades. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope. "Anyone who is interested in how we share the planet — what it looks like, what we eat, and what nature can teach us — should read this book." The Sunday Times
Nick is an author and broadcaster whose books and TV films explore geographical themes. In recent years, he has become best known for presenting the BBC2 TV series Coast, Map Man, Great British Journeys, Nicholas Crane’s Britannia and Town. His books include Clear Waters Rising, Two Degrees West and Mercator: The Man Who Mapped the Planet. Published in 2016, The Making of the British Landscape has been praised by the critics as ‘Ambitious, magnificent’ (Guardian); ‘Storytelling at its best’ (The Times); ‘A tour de force’ (Daily Mail); ‘simultaneously scholarly, lyrical and moving.’ (New Statesman); ‘A geographer’s love letter to the British and the land that formed them’ (Sunday Times). Nick’s most recent book, You Are Here, A Brief Guide to the World, argues that geographical knowledge is key to the future of human life on the planet. Between 2015 and 2018, Nick served a three-year fixed term as President of the Royal Geographical Society.
Lara Prior-Palmer was born in London in 1994. Her aunt is Lucinda Green, a legendary rider and one of the UK’s best-ever equestrians. Lara studied conceptual history and Persian at Stanford University. In 2013, she competed in the 1000-kilometer Mongol Derby in Mongolia, sometimes described as the world’s toughest and longest horse race. Rough Magic is her first book.