The Also Festival was created to get big ideas in front of people and to stimulate new thinking so this year we're really pleased to present Nobel Peace prize nominees, alien hunters and titled professors for your delectation.
The UK leads the world in the experimental process of gene editing and we’ll hear from CRISPR scientist Dr Alasdair Russell exactly where we are in a) editing fatal diseases out of our DNA b) creating viruses that could eradicate entire swathes of the population and c) bringing back the woolly mammoth (in that order, obviously).
To give you just that little bit more, more, more - each year we run a Double Talk session a little while after the speakers’ talk in our lakeside bookshop. Double Time gives you time to get your thoughts together post talk, and to explore the speakers’ ideas in more depth, in a smaller group and in a more relaxed session. Our Double Talk 2018 features Chris Watson, Jamie Barlett, Carl Miller, Catherine Nixey and many more.
Sarah Corbett believes if we want a world that is beautiful, kind and fair – our activism should match. She’s the award-winning campaigner and founder of the Craftivist Collective and she will be at ALSO to explain how craft can be a tool for gentle activism and to show us how to respond to injustice not with apathy or aggression, but with gentle, effective protest.
For those of us who are wondering what type of country we really live in – author, John Higgs will be taking us on a psychogeographic journey along one of Britain's oldest roads, from Dover to Anglesey, in search of the hidden history that makes us who we are today.
We’re so pleased to have the award-winning comedien and Infinite Monkey Cage host Robin Ince at ALSO to present for the very last time his ‘Pragmatic Insanity’ show – a story of love, death and art – he’ll be explaining how we see what we believe and we believe what we see.
Musician and writer Dave Randall will be at ALSO to explain 'Sound System - The Political Power of Music'. His book is a brilliant exploration of how music and politics came together from the banned chords of the 12th Century - through the slave rebellions - to the free festival movement, and he’ll explore just how music can be used to change the world.
Professor David Tong is one of the greatest scientific communicators on the planet and is at ALSO to take us further along our path of understanding life, the universe, and everything. This year David turns his attention on us – turns out we are talking, walking bundles of quantum fields - and he’s going to prove it.
Viv Groskop’s literary self-help memoir, The Anna Karenina Fix explores the essential Life Lessons from Russian Literature.This extraordinary book has been picked as A SPECTATOR Book of the Year, An OBSERVER Book of the Year and A TIMES Book of the Year, and because of all of this love and because it’s such an accessible way of approaching ‘the Russians’, we've made it our 2018 in festival non fiction Book Club choice.
Drawing from her hugely popular BBC Radio 4 show, ‘Natalie Haynes Stands up for the Classics’, the critically acclaimed writer and broadcaster, Natalie Haynes will be in conversation with Salon London’s Helen Bagnall who will be asking what they can offer modern life.
Award-winning historian and author of The Darkening Age, Catherine Nixey is at ALSO to tell the terrifying story of the growth of early Christianity. Find out exactly what happened last time we turned away from knowledge, fact and evidence for a simpler, more spiritual time. Yikes.
Understand all eastern and western philosophy has to offer – whilst listening to music as we present Salon London’s Dao of Jazz. Combining innovation, improvisation, and collaboration, Jazz is the music maverick that went mainstream. Philosopher Dr Julian Baggini explores the relationship between Jazz and philosophy and reveals what we can learn about how to live, just by listening a little closer. Accompanied by our in house jazz pianist and tracks performed live by Juliet Russell.
Flâneur and irrepressible commentator, Rick Edwards, and Editor-at-Large of the New Scientist, Dr. Michael Brooks are at ALSO to delve into the science behind popular culture –looking at our favourite and most iconic films and explaining the science within.
The author Lucinda Hawksley will be at ALSO to explore the women's movement in Britain, from the passing of the Marriage and Divorce Act in 1857 to women attaining the vote in 1928, she’ll explain how women were portrayed in literature, art and the media of the times.
A rare chance in 2018 to see the award-winning business psychologist and philosopher, Margaret Heffernan (who’s book Wilful Blindness was a FT book of the decade) will be at ALSO to incite us to not be a spectator in our own lives and to help us understand what we can do now to make more of your time in the world and crucially so they benefit all.
We are so proud to welcome to ALSO Chris Watson, who has travelled the natural world extensively with Sir David Attenborough as his Sound Recordist. Chris will take us on a journey through nature via a number of guided soundscapes – a truly transporting experience.
Viv Groskop knows from personal experience that everything that has ever happened in life has already happened in Russian Literature. She’ll be at ALSO to explain how the lives and works of the great Russian writers can help us work out how to live - the subject of her literary self-help memoir, The Anna Karenina Fix.
Philip Escoffey is an entertainer, mentalist and TV presenter and he has been exploring the world of psychics and mystics for over twenty years. We love the intelligence in Philip’s work - which is why we have invited him to ALSO to perform a magic mind trick involving everyone at The Also Festival - performed LIVE down by the lake at sunset on the Saturday night.
For 2018 we have put together an extensive programme of ‘go deeper’ workshops, which offers the chance to go a little bit deeper with our expert in to their subject. Highlights for 2018 include ‘What Happens in Groups’ with psychotherapist Philippa Perry, explore gentle protest through craft with the Craftivist Collective, understand the micro and macro worlds through at the boiling of a kettle with physicist Professor David Tong, explore music production with Prof Simon Zagroski-Thomas, and how to flirt your way to success with Cate MacKensie.
We have debates, discussion and papers reviewed live in the bar each day. Grab your coffee and croissants and join Sky TV’s Nichi Hodgson and her guests each morning to review the day’s news and what’s on at ALSO. Also look out for the BBC’s Catrin Nye who will be debating how to find common ground in the UK as we try to define what we want in our Isle of Noises.
Australian concert pianist Chris Lian Lloyd plays and explains how the avant-garde classical musicians at the beginning of the century influenced each other and how they imagined a future for music.
‘Dark Net’ and ‘Radicals’ author, Jamie Bartlett and ‘Death of the Gods’ author, Carl Miller will be at ALSO to discuss the big question of our time – is the internet killing democracy. They very much disagree – Jamie Bartlett says ‘yes’ and Carl Miller says ‘no’, but what will you say when we reach the conclusion of our Also Festival discussion hosted by Salon London’s Helen Bagnall.
A revolution on the roads is approaching. Guardian news correspondent, Peter Walker, will be at ALSO to take us on a journey around the world, exploring the varying attitudes to cycling on our highways. He'll explain how rebuilding towns and cities for everyday cycling makes societies healthier, more equal and built around the needs of human beings.
Join author, broadcaster, and journalist Nichi Hodgson & author Lucinda Hawksley as they celebrate 100 years of feminism.
Laughter has a crucial role to play in sustaining communication with our nearest and dearest. It is also UCL neuroscientist Professor Sophie Scott's area of exceptional research. Sophie gave the prestigious Royal Institutions lectures this year and is at ALSO to help us understand the effect of laughter on the brain.
For decades we’ve been told that development is working: that the global South is catching up to the North, that poverty will be eradicated by 2030. It’s a comforting tale and one that is endorsed by the world’s most powerful governments and corporations. But is it true? Author of The Divide and anthropologist at LSE, Jason Hickel will be at ALSO to give some uncomfortable answers.
Let scientist Dr Michael Brooks introduce you to his hero Jerome Cardano. Yes, this unacknowledged 16th Century astrologer discovered the mathematical foundations of quantum physics and maybe even almost inspired Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Yes, we did say astrologer.
Want to understand the creative approach of musicians? Musician-turned-award winning author, Daniel Rachel will be at ALSO to discuss his exclusive conversations with the UK’s greatest living musicians the subject of his book Isle of Noises – Great British Songwriting.
Want to really develop your understanding of Theoretical Physics? David Tong will be running a masterclass on boiling a kettle of water. Yes turns out this everyday act holds the key to understanding the unity of physics, and illustrates beautifully how nature uses her good ideas over and over again.
Carl will explain how control and liberation are wrapped up together in the digital age and how a new, digital form of power is emerging scaring CEOs, forcing politicians to resign, swallowing up newspapers, eclipsing experts, and pulling down companies.
The award-winning comedian, Robin Ince will be at ALSO and in conversation with leading neuroscientist UCL’s Prof Sophie Scott to discuss the psychology of comedy.
The KLF were famed for burning a million pounds in a boathouse on the Isle of Jura and saying they would not talk about it for 23 years. Guess what, the 23 years are up – and they have spoken about it – to John Higgs – and he’s at ALSO to explain all.