Malvern Festival of Ideas announces guest speaker Professor Colin Blakemore

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MALVERN’S popular festival of ideas is returning once again with a new guest speaker.

Colin Blakemore, professor of neuroscience and philosophy at the School of Advanced Study at the University of London and emeritus professor of neuroscience at the University of Oxford is the opening speaker at this year’s festival.

Professor Blakemore is the former chief executive of the British Medical Research Council as well as having hundreds of papers published in research journals.

He has been president of the British Neuroscience Association, the Physiological Society, the British Association for the Advancement of Science (now the British Science Association) and the Society of Biology.

The Observer newspaper once referred to him as “One of the most powerful scientists in the UK.”

In parallel with his academic career, he has also has championed the communication of science and engagement with the public.

He has presented the BBC Reith Lectures and the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures.

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In addition, he has written and presented many other programmes about science and written or edited several popular science books. He has also been honorary president of the Association of British Science Writers.

The theme of this year’s festival, is ‘A Brave New World?’ and explores what can be done to look positively at the future as well as to what extent can ideas around social policy, economics, medicine, science, politics, psychology, arts, foreign policy and faith lead to a better world.

Speakers include the Labour peer professor baroness Ruth Lister, Dr Irene Guijt, head of research and publishing at Oxfam, Anthony Painter, leader of the research and impact team at the RSA, author and economics commentator Grace Blakeley, and philosopher Dr Julian Baggini. There will be a session on artificial intelligence and its impact on society with Dr Subramanian Ramamoorthy of Edinburgh University and Ivan Bartoletti. The weekend concludes with Peter Tatchell speaking on the future of LGBT + rights.

All these talks take place at the Chase School and there is a family day at Malvern Cube on Saturday, March 7 with story teller and author Bernadette Russell.

For more information go to


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