Tuesday, 16 August 2022 Contact us

A real humdinger of a start to the festival - March 25 - 1.45pm - 2022

Professor Jim Al-Khalili discusses the joy of science

Charisma…
There, I’ve said it.
Einstein had it, so too Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking and of course Brian Cox’s is currently visible from space.
But make no mistake, Professor Jim Al-Khalili is close on their heels, and let’s face it you need to be if you want to hold the Sheldonian Theatre in the palm of your hands (which, incidentally, he did).
So let’s be straight, this being the 21st Century an all, science is something we think we know about BUT more often than not, only in very, very tiny, bite sized pieces.
However with a talk entitled ‘The Joy of Science’, the quantum physicist and BBC presenter embarked on a mission to demonstrate how just a few simple lessons from science can help the average, everyday, ho-hum human being get the most out of life.
And straightforward they are too:

* Something is either true or it isn’t
* Not everything is as simple as you think
* Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean you can’t if you try
* Don’t value opinion over evidence
* Recognise your own biases before judging those of others
* Don’t be afraid to change your mind and admit your mistakes
* Stand up for reality

In short, he invites us to look at the world as scientists do by discussing the nature of truth and uncertainty, the role of doubt, the pros and cons of simplification, bias, and the importance of evidence-based thinking.
Admitting it’s not a self-help book “although it has that sort of feel to it” he goes on to illustrate just how a better understanding of science can give us all deeper, more rewarding lives.
Bathed in the most beautiful light of a gorgeous day pouring through the Sheldonian’s windows, Professor Al-Khalili’s talk was the perfect kick-start to this 10-day festival, leaving everyone feeling just that little bit better - and smarter - about themselves.

 

 

 

 

FT Weekend Title partner BBC World Service International radio partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner University of Oxford New College Jewish Book Week Partner of Jewish programme Italian Embassy Supporter of Italian programme The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller The Randolph Hotel The festival hotel Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner Marlene Hauser Mary and Cecil Quillen Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture Jill Dunsmore David Isaac Carole and John Allen Lucian Hudson Pank Koria CEO of Project People Masumi and Jonathan Dobson Miles Young Emily Rose and James Marrow Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture George Warren Lady Hatch Patron donor for the programme of Irish literature and culture John Roberts Owen Mumford Supporter of programme of science and medicine Exeter College Exeter College Trinity College Trinity College Worcester College Worcester College Lincoln College Lincoln College St Cross College St Cross College: Festival college partner. Eastgate Hotel Eastgate Hotel, a festival hotel The Feathers Hotel Woodstock festival hotel Critchleys Accountants to the festival Project People Foodbuy European Union Delegation of the European Union to the United Kingdom T S Eliot Foundation Alan Squire Publishing Sponsor of American novelists and poets Felicity Bryan Associates Conference Oxford Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Said Business School Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner The Oxford Times Regional media partner Oxford Brookes University Oxford University Images Oxford University Images The Sheldonian Theatre Floris of London City Audio Visual Racalia Olive Oil Olive oil from Sicily Schoolreaders The Litmus Partnership K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography OX magazine Chamberlain Evans Estate agents Siren Communications Siren Communications - corporate consultants Chêne Bleu Wines of Provence Frescobaldi Toscana Wines of Tuscany Symington Wines of the Douro Valley Seacourt Printers Festival printers Compassion in World Farming The Wild Geese Nicholas Hunter Ltd James Currey Society Hattus Books Hattus Books La Cave Musik Pusey House Cervantes Institute, London Confucius Institute Literature Ireland

FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival sponsors, donors & partners

FT Weekend Title partner BBC World Service International radio partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner University of Oxford New College Jewish Book Week Partner of Jewish programme Italian Embassy Supporter of Italian programme The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller The Randolph Hotel The festival hotel Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner Marlene Hauser Mary and Cecil Quillen Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture Jill Dunsmore David Isaac Carole and John Allen Lucian Hudson Pank Koria CEO of Project People Masumi and Jonathan Dobson Miles Young Emily Rose and James Marrow Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture George Warren Lady Hatch Patron donor for the programme of Irish literature and culture John Roberts Owen Mumford Supporter of programme of science and medicine Exeter College Exeter College Trinity College Trinity College Worcester College Worcester College Lincoln College Lincoln College St Cross College St Cross College: Festival college partner. Eastgate Hotel Eastgate Hotel, a festival hotel The Feathers Hotel Woodstock festival hotel Critchleys Accountants to the festival Project People Foodbuy European Union Delegation of the European Union to the United Kingdom T S Eliot Foundation Alan Squire Publishing Sponsor of American novelists and poets Felicity Bryan Associates Conference Oxford Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Said Business School Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner The Oxford Times Regional media partner Oxford Brookes University Oxford University Images Oxford University Images The Sheldonian Theatre Floris of London City Audio Visual Racalia Olive Oil Olive oil from Sicily Schoolreaders The Litmus Partnership K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography OX magazine Chamberlain Evans Estate agents Siren Communications Siren Communications - corporate consultants Chêne Bleu Wines of Provence Frescobaldi Toscana Wines of Tuscany Symington Wines of the Douro Valley Seacourt Printers Festival printers Compassion in World Farming The Wild Geese Nicholas Hunter Ltd James Currey Society Hattus Books Hattus Books La Cave Musik Pusey House Cervantes Institute, London Confucius Institute Literature Ireland