5 Speakers, 15 Minutes Each - April 2024

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Nostalgia, reading trees, cultivated meat, London high society and memories of David Bowie - tune in for a superb line-up at 5x15 in April

Agnes Arnold-Forster

Dr Agnes Arnold-Forster has worked at McGill University, at the Centre for the History of Emotions at Queen Mary University of London and as a visiting researcher at the Max Planck Centre for Human Development in Berlin. She is the author of an academic history of cancer and has written widely for academic, medical and mainstream outlets. She has also appeared on BBC Radio, consulted for television dramas and documentaries, and worked closely with the Science Museum, the Wellcome Collection, and the Royal College of Nursing. She lives in London. In hew new book, Nostalgia: A Biography, Arnold-Forster blends neuroscience and psychology with the history of medicine and emotions to explore the evolution of nostalgia.

Tristan Gooley
How to Read a Tree

Tristan Gooley is an award-winning and international bestselling author. Through his journeys, teaching and writing, he has pioneered a renaissance in the rare art of natural navigation. Tristan is the only living person to have both flown solo and sailed singlehanded across the Atlantic. He has explored close to home and walked with and studied the methods of tribal peoples in some of the remotest regions on Earth. In his new book, The Sunday Times best-seller How to Read a Tree, you'll discover the signs trees are giving you about their past and the landscape that surrounds it. More information about Tristan's work can be found here: https://www.naturalnavigator.com/tristan-gooley

Andrew O’Hagan
Caledonian Road

Andrew O’Hagan is one of the most exciting and serious chroniclers of our times. Born in Glasgow, he has been nominated for the Booker Prize three times, was voted one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists in 2003 and won the E. M. Forster Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is Editor-at-Large of the London Review of Books and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His previous novel, Mayflies, won huge acclaim, was a Waterstones Scottish Book of the Month and was adapted for television in an award-winning two-part BBC drama starring Martin Compston and Tony Curran. His highly anticipated new book Caledonian Road is, in the words of Joshua Cohen, 'a brilliant state-of-the-nation novel that pulls down the facades of high society and knocks over the “good liberal” house of cards'.

Suzi Ronson
Me and Mr Jones

Suzi Ronson is an author, songwriter, and former hairdresser and stylist. At fifteen, she left school and enrolled in the Evelyn Paget College of Hair and Beauty, going on to become David Bowie’s stylist after helping create his iconic Ziggy Stardust hairstyle. She travelled the world with Bowie as his hairdresser, stylist and confidante. Ronson has also worked with Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and John Mellencamp. She divides her time between London and New York. In her dazzling and intimate new book, Me and Mr Jones, she not only a unique perspective on one of the most beguiling stars of our time but also a world on the cusp of cultural transformation, charting the highs and lows of life as one of the only women in the room as it happened.

Philip Lymbery
Hope for Animals, Food Security and the Environment

Philip Lymbery is Chief Executive of leading international farm animal welfare organisation Compassion in World Farming, as well as being a Visiting Professor at the University of Winchester, award-winning author and animal advocate. He was appointed an ambassadorial ‘Champion’ for the UN Food Systems Summit in 2021. He has played a leading role in many major animal welfare reforms, including Europe-wide bans on veal crates for calves and barren battery cages for laying hens. He has also spearheaded Compassion’s engagement with more than 1,000 food companies worldwide, leading to significant improvements in the lives of more than two billion farm animals every year. His first book Farmageddon was listed as a Book of the Year by The Times, while the second book in the trilogy, Dead Zone, was selected as a ‘Must Read’ by the Daily Mail. His new book is Cultivated Meat: To Secure Our Future.