Making virtual Hay

Ella Rhodes reports as the annual event goes digital for coronavirus times.

For the first time this year’s Hay festival will be held online with live talks and Q&As featuring more than 100 authors, historians, policy-makers, and scientists to stream for free. With much to interest psychologists (and their children) the festival’s online programme will run between May 18 and May 31. 

Behavioural economist and happiness expert Professor Paul Dolan and Nature’s editor-in-chief Dr Magdalena Skipper will discuss what we mean when we say we’re being “guided by the science” in our covid-19 response, on Saturday 23 May from 9pm. Dolan will also be giving a talk, on Friday 29 May from 1pm, under the title F**k the narrative – discussing the narratives about the way we should live our lives and why we care too much about what others do. 

Presenter of BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind Claudia Hammond will discuss her book The Art of Rest: How to Find Respite in the Modern Age from 5.30pm on May 28. The book draws on the results of The Rest Test – the largest survey about rest ever undertaken which was completed by 18,000 people in 135 countries. 

It is also worth a mention, for any parents who are in the midst of home-schooling, that the festival’s school programme will also take place between May 18 and 22. The storytelling and performance events are intended to inspire a love of reading for pleasure and will feature Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell, broadcaster Konnie Huq and award-winning writers Patrice Lawrence, Mohammad Khan and Lucy Worsley.

To find out more and register for events see hayfestival.org.  

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