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News release - Issued by University of York

The clock is ticking… launch of York Festival of Ideas 2016

The York Festival of Ideas returns this year, from 7 – 19 June, with a packed programme of over 150 diverse and stimulating events delivered under the overarching theme of ‘Tick Tock’.

With free events across the city, featuring world-class speakers, exhibitions, performances and interactive experiences, the annual festival aims to educate, entertain and inspire people of all ages and interests.

The Festival’s opening night is inspired by the publication of the US Board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock report 3 Minutes to Midnight - measuring humanity’s close proximity to global catastrophe. Professor Sivan Kartha, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Board Member, Nuclear Arms expert Dr Beyza Unal, from Chatham House, and Oliver Morton, author of Planet Remade and Briefings Editor of The Economist, will explore report’s assessment of the rising threat of climate change and nuclear arms proliferation.

A series of seven focus days will further delve into some of today’s most complex global challenges, including the forthcoming EU Referendum, the causes and consequences of the refugee crisis, living with floods, securing sustainable food sources, and health and wellbeing.

Headline speakers will include: former Chancellor of the Exchequer Lord Lawson; former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Yvette Cooper MP; comedian Sara Pascoe; composer Sir Karl Jenkins; Justice Brenda Hale; Classic FM’s Tim Lihoreau; economist John Kay; journalists Owen Jones, Zoe Williams, David Aaronovitch, Stephanie Flanders and Rachel Sylvester; former Consul-General, Jerusalem, Sir Vincent Fean; Sicilian humanitarian, Princess Vittoria Alliata; and the Director General of Amnesty International Italy, Gianni Rufini.

Encompassing broader ideas around time - past, present and future - the Festival programme will also explore themes such as York Pathways to the Past, Performance Through Time, Science: The Final Frontier, The Future: What’s Next?, and much more.

Now in its sixth year, the Festival has grown to become one of the largest free festivals in the UK, last year attracting over 31,500 people to 170 events.

The Festival is led by the University in collaboration with more than 60 city and national organisations, including The Holbeck Trust, The Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders, The Morrell Centre for Toleration, Classic FM, Aviva, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Shepherd Group, Quorn Foods and Virgin Trains.


Notes to editors:

- For the full Festival of Ideas 2016 programme and to book tickets, visit: