HowTheLightGetsIn LDN confirm speaker & debate line-up

18th July 2018 Off By

HowTheLightGetsIn, the world’s largest music and philosophy festival – which comes to London for the first time September – has announced further stellar names to its bill as it announces its 2018 Speaker and Debate Line Up.

The London event was confirmed last month following an extremely successful Hay-on-Wye event back in May.

Cognitive scientist and author of The Better Angels of Our Nature Steven Pinker is a lead name on the bill as he joins the debate The Fires of Progress on the back of his latest book Enlightenment Now. He will join Pakistani filmmaker and journalist Tariq Ali and UK-based Kurdish rights activist Elif Sarican, shortly after her visit to anarchist rebel region of Rojava in Syria, to debate whether ideas or violence are the real drivers of history.

Following on from the second instalment of her memoir-meets-feminist manifesto, The Cost of Living , Deborah Levy will debate mystery and the supernatural in Stranger Than We Think.

The festival is also proud to announce that human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell will take part in The Morality of the Tribe, after having recently been arrested against Russian treatment of LGBT+ people at the FIFA World Cup.

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Gerard ‘T Hooft also joins the festival line up, to make the mind-bending case that quantum mechanics isn’t the final story – but that it gives us a glimpse of an even deeper reality that has no place for chance and uncertainty.

Elsewhere, Yale professor of Law and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother Amy Chua will debate our roots and our identities with post-colonial theorist Homi Bhabha. Eminent mathematical physicist Roger Penrose, who collaborated with Stephen Hawking for their ground-breaking work on black holes, will put forward his alternative theory to the big bang and the future of our universe.

Outspoken political commentator and Mail Online journalist Peter Hitchens comes to the festival to challenge the moral righteousness of the left, along with controversial performance artist Emma Sulkowicz who wrestles with trial-by-media & legal failure in the age of #MeToo.

Other notable speakers include novelist and philosopher Rebecca Goldstein, Ray physicist Sean Carroll andLaura Mersini Houghton, outspoken politician George Galloway, former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, Banksy’s former agent and dealer Steve Lazarides, Oxford philosopher and former Google Strategist James Williams, neurophilosopher Patricia Churchland, journalists David Aaronovitch and broadcasters Ritula Sha and Mary Ann Sieghart.

These world-leading thinkers will go head-to-head addressing some of the biggest and most pressing questions of our time. Newly released debate topics include: Democracy in Crisis, asking whether we should consider limiting democracy in favour of expertise; Life, Love and Being Free, on whether finding in Love is an essential part of who we are; War and Peace, revaluating Trump’s belligerent approach to foreign policy; and Reality and I, wrangling with the mysterious role of the observer in fundamental physics.

Festival director Hilary Lawson commented: “For our tenth festival year, we are delighted to be bringing HowTheLightGetsIn to London for the very first time. There is no other place on Earth where you can rub shoulders with Nobel prize-winners, leading politicians and philosophers, Grammy nominees and more – it’s set to be spectacular!”

Taking place 22 – 23 September in the spectacular gardens of Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath, HowTheLightGetsIn will feature more than 100 events, including over 50 debates and talks and 30 musicians and comedy performers. 

Limited tickets remain available, with Tier 3 tickets going on sale tomorrow, Thursday 19th July. 

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