Alice Roberts And The Incredible Unlikeliness Of Being

The mystery of humanity: Star scientists at the Cheltenham Literature Festival

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Living at a time when we think to know everything, we believe to have pushed science and technology to the max – what else is out there to discover and discuss? A lot, say anatomist and anthropologist Alice Roberts, space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock and neurosurgeon Henry Marsh, representing only three of our many distinguished guests from the sphere of science and technology who will be visiting The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival in only a week’s time.

Diving into fascinating fields from palaeontology and genetics to medicine and psychology or humanity’s most essential questions of where we originated and how our known universe came into existence, you will find twelve captivating discussions and talks, experiments and demonstrations on our festival schedule.

Alice Roberts – regular guest at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival and popular television presenter – is bringing her new book The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being to the Literature Festival on Wednesday 8 October. She will be presenting the captivating story of the human body, talking about embryology, genetics, anatomy, evolution and zoology and examining the strokes of genius alongside glitches and imperfections that make us who we are.

The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being – a masterful account of why our bodies are the way they are.

Adam Rutherford, The Observer

Moreover, while scientist and journalist Vivienne Parry and author Joanna Bourke present a medically fascinating investigation into the history of pain and the nature of suffering over the last three centuries, neurosurgeon Henry Marsh talks about his book Do No Harm and the at times agonising decision-making in brain surgery in the face of urgency and uncertainty, revealing countless human dramas that occur in modern hospitals and advocating the need for hope when faced with great risk.

For more adventurous souls the Literature Festival holds a surprise of experimental nature: Join biohackers Simon Evans and Anthony Mandal as they present Jekyll 2.0 and watch as an audience member’s body is wired up to measure their live reaction to Stevenson’s spine-chilling Gothic novel Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde!

Secure your tickets to groundbreaking science and technology events at The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival!


On Writers, Readers and Losing our Minds
Sat 4 Oct 2014, 11:45am – 1:15pm
The Salon, Montpellier Gardens

The Planets
Sat 4 Oct 2014, 12:00pm – 1:00pm
The Sunday Times Garden Theatre

Jekyll & Hyde
Sat 4 Oct 2014, 2:00pm – 3:00pm
The Salon, Montpellier Gardens

Are you Happy?
Sat 4 Oct 2014, 3:45pm – 4:45pm
The Salon, Montpellier Gardens

Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery
Sun 5 Oct 2014, 10:00am – 11:00am
The Sunday Times Garden Theatre

The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers
Mon 6 Oct 2014, 12:30pm – 1:30pm
The Salon, Montpellier Gardens

Alice Roberts – The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being
Wed 8 Oct 2014, 2:00pm – 3:00pm
The Times Forum

Val McDermid – Forensics: An Anatomy of Crime
Sat 11 Oct 2014, 12:00pm – 1:00pm
The Salon, Montpellier Gardens

The Book Reborn
Sat 11 Oct 2014, 1:30pm – 2:30pm
The Inkpot, Imperial Square

The Dark Net
Sat 11 Oct 2014, 9:00pm – 10:00pm
The Inkpot, Imperial Square

Sound Weaves Live!
Sun 12 Oct 2014, 3:30pm – 4:30pm
The Inkpot, Imperial Square

Big Data, Big Opportunities
Sun 12 Oct 2014, 5:30pm – 6:30pm
The Inkpot, Imperial Square