Will you be going to the Malvern Science and Faith Weekend, 2017?
Uncertainty is the theme of our age: Brexit, Trump, massive insecurity amongst the majority of the working population, anger in an increasingly dissatisfied electorate and a fatigue in western, developed democracies to ensure that the standard of living for many is maintained. And now, Uncertainty is coming to Malvern too.
The Malvern Science and Faith Weekend has been running since 2012. It is a free festival, though booking is advised for particular events, and donations are encouraged to allow the festival to run the following year: after all, it does take money to set up and operate.
The 2017 line up is quite impressive, and a few of the speakers I have encountered before via the medium of Radio 4, such as Marcus Du Sautoy, whose 'Brief History of Mathematics' series offered 10 lectures into key mathematical principles and the personalities behind them.
On the political front, there is an intriguing lecture from Professor Tariq Ramadan about Islam in a time of uncertainty, a subject that is so contemporary it is having effects on policy makers and voters before either can get a chance to really understand what is going on: and thus the gap for 'fake news' and rumour is all the more wider. The political theme is continued by Natalie Bennet, leader of the Green Party, about political uncertainty in a time of radical transformation, which again looks to be a lecture that could be overtaken by current events, but conversely could be all the more interesting because of it.
There are several other guest speakers, and I won't name them all here as the event site has done a much better job of it than I could, but I am just glad that in a town like Malvern we can draw such a list of speakers together in a festival that is free to attendees.
The festival takes place over the weekend of the 03rd-05th March, and takes place in the Chase School, St. Matthias, and Holly Mount. It is supported by a charity, EngageMalvern, which has been set up to encourage such festivals.
I would urge as many of you to go as possible! And if you have youngsters who are struggling to be interested in Maths, then the performance by Kjartan Poskitt, 'Murderous Math Workshop,' looks like it might inspire them. (Or the guitar performance by 'Doctor Lewney' who uses the guitar to illustrate the physics of predicting the future).
And yet I must admit to a calamity in my planning! Out of all the events in Malvern in the near future this is definitely on my hit list - BUT I won't be able to attend! It is a shame, as I was planning on working up some particularly devilish questions for the speakers, but family duty has called me away.
Nonethesless - I would urge you all to take a look at the site, and make the effort to visit: