Aug 15

Adel Festival of Ideas Announces Speakers

SMA Kryztoff banner Jul 13 02 100dpiThe Adelaide Festival of Ideas today announced world renowned physicist Paul Davies will lead an eclectic, entertaining group of speakers at this year’s October event, with tickets on sale from today.

Adelaide led the way with the Festival of Ideas, presenting the first one in 1999 – and this year, the “lean in” Festival will present new activities and guests from all over the world and across Australia. Joining forces for the first time with the Adelaide Film Festival (October 10-20), the Adelaide Festival of Ideas will help take over October for a new month of festival activity across South Australia.

Adelaide Festival of Ideas Director Sophie Black said this year’s Festival is to be dedicated to Davies – the world renowned physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist and best selling author.

“Paul Davies embodies the spirit of big thinking that the Adelaide Festival of Ideas has always championed,” Ms Black said. “It doesn’t get much bigger than the nature of time, or the search for life in the universe. Prof Davies’ research interests have centered around brain melting concepts such as the origin of the universe to the origin of life. More recently, he’s been engaged in applying concepts from physics and astrobiology to the problem of cancer – and he’ll be presenting his “alternative theory of cancer” at the Festival.”

Prof Davies is the author of such bestsellers as The Eerie Silence: Renewing our Search for Alien Intelligence, How to Build a Time Machine and The Mind of God.  He will present “Ideas Whose Time Has Come: from Cosmology to Cancer”, on the opening night of the Festival, Thursday October 17, at the Freemason’s Hall, 254 North Terrace, Adelaide, at 6.30pm. Book online today at adelaidefestivalofideas.com.au

Prof Davies said: “My years in Adelaide convinced me that South Australians are among the most creative and innovative people on the planet. Adelaide was the first major city to hold a Festival of Ideas, and it remains the perfect venue for it. I am greatly looking forward to my return to a city and to an intellectual milieu for which I have both fond memories and a high regard.”

Minister Assisting the Minister for the ArtsChloë Fox said: “This year’s Festival Of Ideas provides a fantastic opportunity for audiences across the State to engage with some of the world’s best thinkers to discuss the big issues of today and the future.”

Chair of the Adelaide Festival of Ideas Advisory Committee, Robert Phiddian said: “When the Festival of Ideas started in Adelaide, there was nothing like it in Australia. Now there are many imitators. There is an appetite for deep and civil discussion of ideas and issues. In this year’s Festival – the first to coincide with the Adelaide Film Festival in the new Spring festive season – we have asked our speakers to think about what matters more abidingly in their fields, and to discuss ‘the real value of…”

Other international guests announced today:

Jeff Speck (US) – Speck is a new urbanist, city planner, walkability advocate and architect who advocates internationally for smart growth and sustainable design. Author of Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time and co-author of Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream, Jeff serves as a Contributing Editor to Metropolis Magazine.

Professor Örjan Sölvell (Sweden) – Prof Örjan Sölvell, Stockholm School of Economics, has studied international competitiveness and clusters in various nations and regions.He co-published the widely acclaimed Cluster Initiative Greenbook in 2003.  Prof Sölvell’s latest book, Building the Cluster Commons published in 2013, was co-authored with Mats Williams, a recent visitor to South Australia.

Amy Parish (US) Dr Parish is a biological anthropologist, primatologist, and Darwinian feminist who has taught at University of Southern California in the gender studies, arts and letters, anthropology, and preventive medicine programs and departments since 1999.  She has been studying the world’s captive population of bonobos for the last twenty years. In all of her research, Dr. Parish uses an evolutionary approach to shed light on the origins of human behavior.

Gary Greenberg (US) – Psychotherapist Greenberg, author of The Book of Woe: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and unmaking of psychiatry and Manufacturing Depression, is a contributing writer for Mother Jones, and a contributing editor for Harper’s Bazaar.  He is a vocal critic of the practice of psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry.

These guests will appear in a number of sessions across the Festival, with ticketing available from September 17, when the full program is announced.

The Festival of Ideas has launched an Instagram campaign, asking audiences to share their visual interpretations of the program. The best images will be selected to feature across the Festival of Ideas website and printed program, with prizes also up for grabs.

Head to www.adelaidefestivalofideas.com.au for ticketing to the Paul Davies event and more on the Instagram campaign.

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