University of Cambridge Festival of Ideas at the UL
The University of Cambridge Festival of Ideas celebrates the arts, humanities and social sciences, and is the only free festival of its kind in the UK. In 2010, it attracted over 9000 visitors to a wide variety of events, which included several successful workshops and talks at the University Library. This year, the Festival is even bigger, and you are invited to take part in an exciting programme that offers participants of all ages the chance to look beyond the books in the UL and explore the work carried out by library staff and researchers.
The Library presents events organised with volunteers from the Genizah Research Unit, the Royal Commonwealth Society Library, the Historical Printing team, the Darwin Correspondence Project, and the Generation to Reproduction Project. Throughout the Festival, visitors will be investigating medieval magic, recreating historical experiments, discovering how letterpress printing was invented, and gaining new perspectives on the British Empire and Commonwealth. The ‘Books and Babies’ exhibition remains open to all during the Festival, and there is the opportunity to take part in a debate on the history of ethical and scientific issues surrounding in vitro fertilisation.
The free Festival events are extremely popular, and booking without delay is essential to avoid disappointment – visit the Festival of Ideas website for full details on how to secure a place by phone or online: www.cam.ac.uk/festivalofideas
DEBATING REPRODUCTION – **LIMITED PLACES REMAINING** Thursday 20 October 17:00-18:30
“If I had been on the MRC Committee in 1971, would I have funded IVF research?” The Generation to Reproduction Project presents a debate on the scientific and ethical considerations faced by the Medical Research Council in 1971 surrounding the issue of funding IVF. A panel of experts will lead the debate, which will be opened to the floor for discussion and will finish with a vote. Copies of a research paper on this MRC decision can be downloaded free of charge in advance of the debate at http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/25/9/2157.abstract?sid=a5077e19-c16d-481e-aca3-5a648316490f
ESSAYS OF EMPIRE – **LIMITED PLACES REMAINING** Thursday 27 October 17:00-18:00
Organised in association with Anglia Ruskin University and the Royal Commonwealth Society, Dr Sean Lang presents a glimpse of how school children across the globe responded to the pressures for change within the British Empire through their entries to the RCS essay competition.
LIVES IN FRAGMENTS – NO BOOKING REQUIRED (ARRIVE IN GOOD TIME TO SECURE PLACE) Wednesday 26 October 17:15-18:30
The lives of the famous and the ordinary are laid out in the remarkable medieval fragments from the Cairo Genizah Collection, presented by the Taylor-Schechter Research Unit.
ANGELS, DEMONS AND SCORPIONS – **SOLD OUT, WAITING LIST ONLY** Saturday 22 October 11:00-13:00
Examine the everyday practice of magic in medieval Egypt. Block-print tiny amulets to provide protection from creepy-crawlies, learn to read the magician’s secret code and watch an alchemist in his attempt to produce gold. An event for children aged 8+ run by the Genizah Unit.
LETTERPRESS PRINTING – **SOLD OUT, WAITING LIST ONLY** Friday 21 October 14:00-15:00 Saturday 22 October 10:00-11:00 and 11:00-12:00
An introduction to the invention and development of letterpress printing. Enjoy a tour of the Historical Printing Room, discover how type is made as well as made up into pages, and view a demonstration of how a hand press works.
THE FACES OF EMOTIONS – **SOLD OUT, WAITING LIST ONLY** Saturday 22 October 15:00-16:30
Discover Charles Darwin’s work on the expression of emotions and take part in an online experiment with the Darwin Correspondence Project. Learn about the ground-breaking work of the Cambridge Computer Laboratory on the expression of emotions in robots