Date posted: 24 February 09
We’re delighted to announce that 2008 Man Booker Prize winner Aravind Adiga and world-leading scientist James Lovelock will make special appearances at the Bristol Festival of Ideas in April.
Aravind Adiga won the 2008 Man Booker Prize for The White Tiger. It is the story of a young entrepreneur in India’s high-tech capital Bangalore, showing two Indias; the poverty of village life and the wealth of the big city. The Sunday Times said of the book: “Unlike almost any other Indian novel you might have read… this page-turner offers a completely bald, angry, unadorned portrait of the county as seen from the bottom of the heap; there’s not a sniff of saffron or a swirl of sari anywhere…The Indian tourist board won’t be pleased, but you’ll read it in a trice and find yourself gripped.” A unique insight into one of the countries that will lead the world in the 21st century.
One of the world’s greatest scientists, James Lovelock, is best known for Gaia theory, the most useful way of understanding the dramatic changes happening to the Earth. The Vanishing Face of Gaia is Lovelock’s warning about the terrifying environmental problems we will confront in the 21st century. The earth as we know it is vanishing, moving inexorably to a new, hot state. That we can ‘save the planet’ by reducing carbon emissions is, Lovelock says, nothing but a sales pitch: the earth, as it always has done, will save itself. It is up to us to survive. Nearly 90, James Lovelock is about to head into space with Richard Branson with Virgin Galactic, so he can, for the first time, see the face of Gaia. James will be interviewed by political philosopher John Gray, who calls him “the most important and original scientific thinker in the world today.”
Andrew Kelly, director of the Bristol Festival of Ideas, said: These are two brilliant writers and we are fortunate to have them come and speak in Bristol. Aravind’s book was a worthy winner of the Booker – not only a brilliant read, but it tells you much about contemporary India. James’s new book, The Vanishing Face of Gaia, will be one of the most important books published this year, by one of our most brilliant scientists. We’re delighted that James is able to come to Bristol at a time when he is busy preparing for his flight intospace.”
Richard Branson said recently: “James Lovelock is one of the greatest scientists of his own generation and has inspired further generations of scientists to see the world as a single system operating in feedback and behaving as a single living organism. His vision of the planet as Gaia and subsequent Gaia Theory are the bedrocks of modern environmental science and his work on the role of CFCs in the depletion of Ozone in the atmosphere was truly ground breaking. There could be no more fitting tribute to the father of Gaia Theory than to let him see Gaia’s beauty from space, something he has dreamed of doing all of his life.” Robin McKie in the Observer said he was the man “who changed our thinking about the world and its living beings [and] may also have profoundly altered the way it will fight the battle against environmental mayhem.”
Click here to find out more about the event with Aravind Adiga.
Click here to find out more about the event with James Lovelock.
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