This year's HowTheLightGetsIn presented hundreds of talks and debates featuring a selection of the finest minds in philosophy, art, science, politics and more. The 2014 line-up included eminent physicist and cosmologist Roger Penrose, world-renowned philosopher Hubert Dreyfus, Guardian columnist and author of Chavs Owen Jones, and BBC Radio 4's comic heavyweight Marcus Brigstocke.

 

Here are Just a Few Selected Speakers

from HowTheLightGetsIn 2014...

 

Warren Ellis in Fantasies and Lies

Myth and fantasy are the stuff of fiction.  They are not meant to be the stuff of real life.  Yet are we not all victim to our own fantasies? Might myths be essential to our motivation and success and more broadly reality be woven in with fantasy?  Or is this to demean everyday life and make of it a lie?

 

Vassili Christodoulou asks philosopher and classicist Angie Hobbs, novelist and comic book writer Warren Ellis, and historian of ideas Hannah Dawson to interrogate the myths we live by.

 

Roger Penrose in Secrets of the Mind

We have no explanation of consciousness. Yet from the origins of life to the workings of the atom, science has provided answers when none were thought possible.  Might we be about to crack consciousness as well?  An impossible fantasy or an exciting adventure for mankind?

Joanna Kavenna asks eminent physicist Roger Penrose, Master and His Emissary author Iain McGilchrist, and evolutionary psychologist Nicholas Humphrey to explain the all-seeing 'I'.


Diane Abbott in The Eye of the Needle

The Government and the left appear to agree:  we have a moral duty to pay tax.  Yet hip companies from Google to Starbucks have other ideas.  Is paying tax not a moral issue after all? Might avoidance even be a catalyst for growth?  Or is paying tax the only way the rich pass the eye of the needle?

 

Labour politician Diane Abbott, philosopher and former Times columnist Jamie Whyte, and former Liberal Democrat minister Chris Huhne consider a 21st century heresy.

 

Lawrence Krauss in Philosophy Bites Back
From neuroscience to cosmology, Hawking to Dawkins, many argue science can do away with philosophy.  Yet science is replete with philosophical  puzzles.  Should we see science as one metaphysics amongst others?   Or is this to swap the megalomania of science with that of philosophy?

Live from Australia, physicist and bestselling author Lawrence Krauss squares off against philosophers Angie Hobbs and Mary Midgley. The BBC's Rana Mitter keeps the fight fair.


Brooke Magnanti in The Greatest Adventure

Romantic love is central to our culture, our novels, films and lives. Yet historians argue it is a modern western invention. Might we live more fulfilling lives if we gave up chasing this romantic ideal or does it still offer us the most exciting adventure of our lives?  

 

Philosopher and author Roger Scruton, Telegraph columnist and Secret Diary of a Call Girlauthor Brooke Magnanti, and French philosopher and author of The Paradox of Love Pascal Bruckner pursue true romance.

 

Rupert Sheldrake in Science... Fiction?

We think science works because it is true.  Yet the theories are different from a century ago and will be different a century hence.  Perhaps science is powerful rather than true.  Would this lead us to more radical theories or undermine the method that has delivered such success?

Pharmacologist and former Home Office drugs advisor David Nutt, author of The Science Delusion Rupert Sheldrake, and philosopher of physics James Ladyman challenge the power of science.

 

Hilary Benn in The End of Aid?

We think aid saves lives. Yet the IMF warns there is no correlation between aid and growth. Might the UK's £11bn maintain the very cycles of poverty it seeks to abolish? Worse still, is it another name for colonialism?  Or would giving up on aid neglect our responsibility to the world's poorest?

Former Panorama editor Roger Bolton asks Development Secretary to Brown Hilary Benn, former BP CEO Tony Hayward, and economist and novelist Teller envisage a future without aid.

 

Warren Ellis

Event [178]
Monday 26th May 2014
1:15pm

 

 

Diane Abbott

Event [165]
Monday 26th May 2014
10:30am

 

 

Lawrence Krauss

Event [40]
Sunday 24th May 2014
12:00 pm

 

 

Rupert Sheldrake

Event [413]
Saturday 31st May 2014
5:30pm

 

Inkie [257] [276] 

Named in Time Out's Top 100 most influential UK creatives 2012, Tom Bingle aka Inkie, has seen his work published in Rolling Stone, GQ and Dazed and Confused.

Daniel Everett [306] [318] [338] [387] 

Dean of Arts and Sciences at Bentley University, anthropologist Daniel Everett is best-known for multiple decades spent with the Pirahã people in the Amazon. His books include Language: The Cultural Tool.

Anthony Neilson [258] [265] [275] [277] 

Self-professed "purveyor of filth" Neilson rose to fame as a pioneer of the in-yer-face movement after being kicked out of drama school for insubordination. His plays include The Wonderful World of Dissocia.

David Aaronovitch [11] [38] 

Times columnist and twice winner of the Orwell Prize for Political Journalism. He is the current Chair of Index on Censorship.

George Ferguson [257] [260] 

Architect and Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson steered the city to the title of European Green Capital for 2015 within his first 12 months at the post.

Sue Nelson [336] [339] [360] [400] [421] 

Award winning science journalist and former BBC science correspondent, Nelson is editor of The Biologist, presents the Space Boffins podcast, makes films for ESA, and reports on science for Radio 4.

Diane Abbott [136] [165] [169] [174] 

Labour leader nominee and former Shadow Minister for Health. Abbott has been MP for Hackey North and Stoke Newington since 1987.

Jasper Fforde [348] [442] [467] 

Fforde has been writing since 2001 when his novel The Eyre Affair debuted on the New York Times bestseller list. Since then he has published a dozen more novels. He lives and works in Wales.

Sandra Newman [403] [444] [456] 

Sandra Newman is a Guardian-nominated novelist and author of The Only Good Thing Anyone Has Ever Done. She counts professional gambling amongst her previous professions.

Maggie Aderin-Pocock [396] [421] [470] 

Renowned space scientist and presenter of The Sky at Night, Maggie was voted one of Britain's top 10 most influential black people by the UK Power List.

Sophie Fiennes [265] [272] 

Documentary maker Fiennes has shot the great and the good of contemporary culture including Anselm Kiefer in arthouse classic Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow and Slavoj Zizek in The Pervert's Guide series. Grace Jones is the subject of her forthcoming film

David Nutt [415] [420] [455] [460] 

Chair of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, Nutt has been a fierce defender of science based policy since his infamous sacking as drugs advisor to the government.

Rosalind Arden [112] 

Lecturer in the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, Rosalind Arden's research investigates the connections between intelligence, genetics and health. Her work has been reported in Science, the Economist and by the BBC.

Mike Figgis [392] [456] [467] 

Film director whose Leaving Las Vegas was nominated for two Oscars. He has since worked at the cutting-edge of digital film on projects including Timecode and Suspension of Disbelief.

John Ó Maoilearca [445] 

Philosopher and film theorist at Kingston University, Professor Ó Maoilearca is chair of the Society for European Philosophy and editor of the journal Film-Philosophy.

Lucy Atkins [273] 

Lucy Atkins is an award-winning British journalist and author. She has written for newspapers including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, and The Daily Telegraph.

Carlos Frenk [336] [421] 

Director of the Institute for Computational Cosmology at Durham University, where he builds models in state-of-the-art supercomputers in an attempt to understand the evolution of the structures of the universe.

Peter Oborne [176] 

Oborne is chief political commentator of the Telegraph and an associate editor of the Spectator. His most recent book is A Dangerous Delusion.

Peter Atkins [336] [361] [388] 

Atkins Professor Emeritus or Chemistry at the University of Oxford, Peter Atkins is one of the foremost physical chemists and the author of Galileo's Finger.

Steve Fuller [298] [341] [388] [396] [514] 

An outspoken philosopher of science with a postmodern take, Steve Fuller is the author of Humanity 2.0 and Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick

David Omand [11] [46] [60] 

One of Britain's most senior civil servants, Omand served as Director of GCHQ, before becoming Permanent Secretary and Security and Intelligence Co-ordinator in the Cabinet Office.

Scott Atran [234] [241] 

American anthropologist Scott Atran has repeatedly briefed the US Defense Board on how to counter violent extremism. His books include In Gods We Trust.

Frank Furedi [11] [43] [503] 

Commentator, author and sociologist Frank's recent work explores the nature of authority and mistrust. He is a leading voice in discussions of fear, risk and the unknown.

Matthew Parris [164] [169] 

Writer, broadcaster and former Conservative MP, Matthew Parris writes columns for the Times and the Spectator as well as presenting Radio 4’s Great Lives.

Anita Avramides [52] [59] 

Lecturer and fellow at St Hilda's College, University of Oxford, Anita Avramides' recent work focuses on how we know about the minds of others. Her books include Other Minds.

George Galloway [58] [68] [103] 

Born with the "gift of Glasgow's gab" (Times), Respect MP Galloway described his 2012 return to office as "the most sensational victory in British history."

Bruce Parry [306] 

An award-winning documentary maker, explorer and former Royal Marines troop commander, Bruce Parry is known for his documentary series for the BBC, which include Tribe, Amazon and Arctic.

Christopher Badcock [351] 

Author and Emeritus Reader in Sociology at the University of London, Christopher Badcock's current work seeks to explain brain evolution, the mind and mental illness using a grand theory of genetic conflict.

Clare Gerada [100] [110] 

Former Chair of the Council of the Royal College of General Practitioners, in 2013 she was voted one of the 100 most powerful women in the UK by woman's hour.

Rowan Pelling [393] [422] [444] [466] 

Former 'Editrice' of the Erotic Review and a columnist for the Daily Telegraph, whose books include the Decadent Handbook. She is currently at work on her first novel.

Julian Baggini [338] [445] 

Co-founder of The Philosophers' Magazine, Baggini is the author of The Virtues of the Table and The Duck That Won the Lottery.

Katie Glass [311] [450] [454] 

Co-founder of The Other Club, Katie is a columnist and feature writer for The Sunday Times Magazine. Her writing can also be found in The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, The Observer, Elle Magazine, Grazia and Marie Claire.

Laurie Penny [11] [33] [45] [181] 

New Statesman contributing editor and British Media Awards' Twitter Personality of 2012. Aged 23, she was the youngest person to be shortlisted for the Orwell Prize.

Julian Barbour [384] [396] 

Independent theoretical physicist, who reformulated relativity using Machian principles where Einstein had failed. His books include The End of Time.

Simon Glendinning [219] [222] [238] 

Director of the Forum for European Philosophy and Associate Professor at the LSE, Glendinning is the author of Derrida's Legacies.

Roger Penrose [34] [66] [117] 

Renowned Mathematical Physicist and winner of the prestigious Wolf Prize in Physics with Stephen Hawking for their work on black holes. His books include Cycles of Time and The Emperor's New Mind.

Shahidha Bari [51] [65] [72] [101] 

BBC New Generation Thinker Shahidha Bari is co-founder of the intellectual salon How To Live and author of Keats and Philosophy.

Lydia Goehr [461] 

Lydia is Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. She is a recipient of Mellon, Getty, and Guggenheim Fellowships. In 2012 she was awarded the H. Colin Slim Award by the American Musicological Society. She is the author of The Quest for Voice: Music, Politics, and the Limits of Philosophy.

Thomas Pogge [170] [219] [239] [506] 

Yale philosopher and director of the Global Justice Program, Pogge is a legend in his field. From the UN to the pharmaceutical industry, Pogge is revolutionising our approach to global justice.

Camila Batmanghelidjh [229] 

Founder of Kids Company and author of several books, Batmanghelidjh has revolutionised the lives of thousands of young people. She is also a prolific writer and activist.

Tanya Gold [382] [408] [414] [445] [450] 

Tanya Gold is a journalist for the Sunday Times and the Spectator. Notable awards include Feature Writer of the Year and Columnist of the Year nominee at the British Press Awards.

Huw Price [384] [395] [468] 

Bertrand Russell professor of philosophy at Trinity, Cambridge, Price is founder of the Centre for Time and co-founded of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk.

Alice Baxter [103] [131] 

Alice is a BBC News and Business presenter and correspondent, currently anchoring programmes including World Business Report, Your Money and Newsday. Before joining the BBC, Alice worked as a Sky News presenter and an RT senior international correspondent.

 

Suzy Greaves [273] 

Suzy Greaves is a writer, journalist, author, business owner and editor. She became editor of Psychologies magazine in 2012.

Steve Richards [409] [449] [460] 

Columnist, comedian and broadcaster, Steve Richards is the Independent's Chief Political Commentator. He also presents Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and GMTV’s The Sunday Programme.

Stephen Bayley [259] [266] 

Author and critic Bayley is also the former director of the Design Museum. He writes for the Observer and is a contributing editor to GQ.

Sally Green [229] 

Green sold her first trilogy for an estimated £1 million to Penguin. Half Bad, the first in the series, has been described by Kate Atkinson as the new Hunger Games.

Janet Radcliffe Richards [297] [306] [338] [508] 

Oxford Professor of Practical Philosophy and Consultant at the Uehiro Centre for Practical ethics, Janet Radcliffe Richards has stirred the waters in discussions of organ trade. Her books include Human Nature After Darwin.

Hilary Benn [176] [187] [196] 

Minister for International Development under Blair and Minister for the Environment under Brown, Benn is now a key part of Ed Miliband's shadow cabinet.

Patrick Haggard [448] 

Deputy director of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL, Patrick Haggard is a neuroscientist specialising in questions of free will.

Penny Rimbaud [383] [414] 

Founding member of the anarchist punk group Crass, Penny Rimbaud is a musician, poet, author and activist.  His works include This Crippled Flesh.

Natalie Bennett [459] [460] 

Leader of the Green Party and former editor of The Guardian Weekly, Natalie Bennett is also founder of the blog Carnival of Feminists and an active campaigner on women's issues.

Catherine Hakim [137] [173] [188] 

Social scientist pioneering proponent of 'erotic capital', Catherine Hakim's books include The New Rules: Internet Dating, Playfairs and Erotic Power.

Adam Roberts [421] [467] 

Professor of Literature, science fiction writer and critic, his award winning books include Anticopernicus and New Model Army.

Owen Bennett-Jones [176] [195] 

Journalist and broadcaster Owen Bennett-Jones has been a foreign correspondent for the BBC in Islamabad, and written for the Financial Times and the Guardian. He currently presents the World Service's Newshour.

Christopher Hamilton [40] [47] [64] 

Author of Middle Age ("It is not often you find burning outrage in a work of philosophy" - Independent), Christopher Hamilton works at Kings College London.

Marc Robinson [461] 

Former Director Of Film, TV & Advertising at Universal Music, Robinson now leads Universal's global creative efforts Managing Director of Globe, Creative and Commercial.

Richard Bentall [111] [119] [501] 

Psychologist and author of Madness Explained and Doctoring the Mind, Richard Bentall is the Professor of Psychology at the University of Liverpool.

John Harris [47] [63] 

Professor of Bioethics at the University of Manchester, John Harris presents a bold argument for human enhancement. His latest book is Enhancing Evolution.

Hilary Rose [104] [112] 

Feminist sociologist Hilary Rose's books include Love, Power and Knowledge, which was listed as one of the "101 Best Books of the 20th Century".

Dinesh Bhugra [111] [129] [133] 

President of the World Psychiatric Association, Dinesh Bhugra is professor of mental health at the Institute of Psychiatry, KCL specialising in cross-cultural psychiaty.

David Healy [100] [111] [125] 

Professor in Psychological Medicine known for criticising a lack of neutrality regarding psychotropic drugs and his role in 'Toronto Affair' over academic freedom. His books include The Antidepressant Era and Pharmageddon.

Steven Rose [99] [239] [509] 

Emeritus professor of Neurobiology at Open University and author of The Making of Memory, Steven Rose was in 2012 awarded the BNA lifetime award for outstanding contributions to neuroscience.

Julie Bindel [38] [54] [112] 

Writer, feminist and co-founder of Justice for Women, writes regularly for the Guardian on sexual violence, food, and lesbian and gay issues. Her book, Straight Expectations, is published in June 2014

John Heil [400] [517] 

Professor of Philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis, John Heil’s work focuses on metaphysics and philosophy of mind. He is author of The Universe as We Find It.

Meg Rosoff [221] 

Carnegie Medal winning author of How I Live Now, “the best children’s novel for adults since The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” (Time Out).

John Bird [231] [239] 

Social Entrepeneur and founder of the Big Issue. He was awarded an MBE for his services to homeless people.

Afua Hirsch [221] [234] [239] 

Having recently joined the team at Sky News as Social Affairs and Education Editor, Afua was previously the West Africa correspondent for the Guardian.

Carlo Rovelli [353] [395] [407] 

Italian Theoretical Physicist who pioneered Loop Quantum Gravity and formulated Relational Quantum Mechanics. His books include What is time? What is space?

Simon Blackburn [14] [51] [72] [234] 

Cambridge philosopher and vice-president of the British Humanist Association, his books include Truth, Ruling Passions and Practical Tortoise Raising.

Angie Hobbs [39] [123] [141] [177] 

The first Chair for the Public Understanding of Philosopphy at Sheffield, Angie Hobbs is a Plato scholar and a frequent broadcaster.

Mark Rowlands [220] [221] [229] [511] 

Miami-based philosopher Mark Rowlands is most widely known for his 'remarkably touching' (New Humanist) best selling memoir, The Philosopher and the Wolf.

Phillip Blond [131] [189] 

Political theorist, theologian and leading proponent of 'Red Toryism', Philip Blond is Director of the ResPublica think tank, and an advisor to David Cameron.

Ted Honderich [219] [224] 

Grote Professor Emeritus of philosophy of mind and logic at UCL, Ted Honderich is known for his outspoken views on issues from consciousness to terrorism and his principle of humanity.

Kate Russell [298] [308] 

Technology expert and author Kate Russell is the presenter of the BBC's flagship technology show Click. Her books include Working the Cloud.

Margaret Boden [99] [116] [163] 

A Professor of Cognitive Science at "the forefront of efforts to exorcise Cartesian superstition" (New York Times), Margaret Boden's books include Mind as Machine and The Creative Mind.

Katie Hopkins [450] 

Tabloid newspaper columnist Katie Hopkins is a broadcaster and a business woman. She stood for MEP for the South West England Constituency as an Independent candidate in 2009.

Kevin Sabet [124] 

Sabet has served under Presidents Clinton, Bush and most recently Obama as Senior Drug Policy Advisor. Salon Magazine calls him "the quarterback of the new anti-drug movement."

Roger Bolton [47] [99] [137] [196] 

Roger was Editor of Panorama and Tonight at the BBC, before becoming Head of Network Production in 1983. After decades of success as a producer, Roger turned his hand to presenting as the voice of Radio 4's Feedback and Sunday.

John Horgan [350] [355] [417] 

Best known for his book The End of Science, John Horgan is a science journalist and Director of the Center for Science Writings at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Angela Saini [350] [354] 

Science journalist, author and broadcaster whose book Geek Nation was published in 2011, Angela Saini has written for the Guardian, New Scientist and Wired.

Emma Borg [383] [408] [446] 

Director of the Centre for Cognition Research at the University of Reading, Professor Emma Borg is a philosopher of language, mind and cognitive science and author of Pursuing Meaning.

Jennifer Hornsby [407] [448] 

Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College London, Jennifer Hornsby is know for challenging analytic philosophy’s orthodoxy, her work ranging across mind, action, language and feminist philosophy.

Mark Salter [221] [235] 

Consultant psychiatrist and author of Outdoor Psychiatry, Mark has spent two decades working in acute psychiatric wards.

Katy Brand [450] 

English actress, comedian and writer, Katy is best know for her ITV2 series Katy Brand’s Big Ass Show. She writes a weekly column for the Telegraph. Her first novel, Brenda Monk is Funny, is forthcoming.

Michael Howard [176] [181] [187] 

Former Leader of the Conservative Party Michael Howard began his professional life as a Queen's Counsel. He has long been tipped for a return to the political frontline.

Rhian Samuel [461] 

Rhian is a Welsh composer who has published over 80 compositions. Her pieces are performed in countries around the world and ionclude chamber, vocal, choral, and orchestral music. In 1999, she became Professor of Music at City University in London. In 2006 she was awarded the Glyndŵr Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Arts in Wales.

Marcus Brigstocke [373] [436] [460] 

Stand-up comedian and broadcaster, Marcus Brigstocke is a vereran of television and radio including Radio 4's The Now Show, I've Never Seen Starwars and The Brig Society.

Chris Huhne [46] [130] [138] [165] 

Former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. Prior to elected office, Huhne was an award-winning journalist on The Economist, Guardian and Independent.

Anders Sandberg [104] [115] 

James Martin Fellow at the Future of Humanity Insitute at Oxford University, his research centres on the ethical and social implications of future technologies and human enhancement.

Pascal Bruckner [35] [98] 

Pascal Bruckner is a French author, public intellectual and essayist. His recent books include The Tyranny of Guilt and Has Marriage for Love Failed?

Nicholas Humphrey [35] [66] [75] 

Known for his work on the evolution of human consciousness, theoretical psychologist Nicholas Humphrey's work has spanned from reseach with mountain gorillas to editing a literary journal. His books include The Inner Eye and Soul Dust.

Saskia Sassen [168] [184] 

Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and one of the Duttweiler Institute's Top 100 global thought leaders, Saskia Sassen's books include The Global City.

Jon Butterworth [265] 

Leading CERN scientist and professor of particle physics at UCL. He writes the Life and Physics blog at the Guardian and is the author of Smashing Physics.

Owen Jones [131] [162] [181] [193] 

Columnist at the Guardian, Jones was voted 7th most influential Left-winger by The Telegraph in 2013.  The New York Times selected his debut book Chavs in its top 10 non-fiction books of 2011.

John Sauven [296] [401] [406] 

Executive director of Greenpeace UK, John Sauven is an economist by training. His current initatives include a drive to stop the exploitation of the Artic by the oil industry.

Carla Buzasi [38] 

An award-winning editor and writer, Busazi has contributed to the Guardian, Cosmopolitan, and Vogue. She is the editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post UK.

Anatole Kaletsky [131] [182] 

Economist, prolific journalist and two-time British Press Award winner. Kaletsky is the author of Capitalism 4.0 and Chairman of the Institute of New Economic Thinking.

Richard Sennett [130] [139] [184] 

Founder of the New York Institute of the Humanities, and Centennial Professor of Sociology at LSE, Sennett is the author of The Craftsman and Together.

Peter Cameron [314] [346] [360] [513] 

Multiple award-winning mathematician Peter Cameron frequently engages the public in how to think like a mathematician and has an Erdos number of 1.

Joanna Kavenna [36] [66] [117] [130] [139] [177] 

Named one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists in 2013, Joanna Kavenna has written for the London Review of Books and the Observer. Her second novel Inglorious won the Orange Award for New Writing.

Ritula Shah [100] [111] [181] [188] 

Presenter of Radio 4's The World Tonight and PM, Shah was Media Professional of the Year at the 2011 Asian Women of Achievement Awards.

Beatrix Campbell [38] [72] [108] [505] 

Socialist and feminist activist and writer, Beatrix Campbell has written for the Guardian, New Statesman and Red Rag, as well as nine books including this year's The End of Equality.

AL Kennedy [35] [44] [137] 

Novelist and stand-up comedian AL Kennedy won the Costa Book of the year prize for Day, and has a regular blog on the Guardian. All The Rage – a new collection of short stories – was released in March this year.

Tara Shears [336] [355] [388] [412] 

LHC Particle Physicist, and the first female physics professor at the University of Liverpool. "[Shears] is rapidly becoming the go-to scientist to explain all things CERN" Wired

Nancy Cartwright [387] [396] [413] 

A former mathematician turned philosopher of science, Cartwright’s book How The Laws of Physics Lie has provoked continuing and internationally-cited debate.

John Kerr [2] 

Kerr served as UK Ambassador to the EU in Brussels, and then the US in Washington from 1995 to 1997. He is now chairs the Centre for European Reform and is Vice-President of the European Policy Centre.

Rupert Sheldrake [357] [400] [415] [424] 

Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist best known for his hypothesis of morphic resonance and his research on telepathy in dogs and people.

Aditya Chakrabortty [182] [189] 

Previously senior economics producer on BBC Newsnight and Ten O'Clock News, Aditya Chakrabortty is senior economics commentator for the Guardian.

Stephen King [58] [182] 

Global Chief Economist at HSBC and a former columnist for the Independent, his most recent book is When The Money Runs Out: The End of Western Affluence.

Richard Shireff [103] 

Shireff served as a Commander in Kosovo in the late nineties and a Major-General in Iraq the following decade. In 2011 he was promoted to full General. Until march of this year, he served as Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe.

James Chalmers [466] 

Chair of Law at the University of Glasgow and member of the Criminal Courts Rules Council, James Chalmers was awarded the Phillip Leverhulme Prize for outstanding scholarship in 2012.

Eleanor Knox [346] [395] [515] 

Philosopher of science Eleanor Knox is Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at KCL. Her work focuses on philosophy of space time physics, explanation and intertheoretic relations.

Mary Ann Sieghart [46] [58] [116] [124] [164] 

Independent columnist and former assistant editor of the Times, Mary Ann presents Profile on Radio 4, and is on the Council of Tate Modern.

Sarah Chan [296] [306] [335] 

Bioethicist and Deputy Director of the Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation. Her work tackles the ethical challenges we face in the 21st century.

Lawrence Krauss [39] 

Cosmologist and Professor of Physics at Arizona State University, USA, his best selling science books include A Universe From Nothing.

Barry C. Smith [59] [99] [122] 

Director of the Institute of Philosophy at the School of Advanced Study. His interests encompass the philosophy of wine, language and self knowledge.

Eric Clarke [461] 

Eric has been the Heather Professor of Music at the University of Oxford since 2007. Before this, he was Professor of Music at the University of Sheffield. when he moved to Oxford University. His recent works include Music and Consciousness and Music and Mind in Everyday Life. He was appointed a Fellow of the British Academy in 2010.

Serena Kutchinsky [137] 

Formerly a writer for Sunday Times Magazine and Time Out, Serena is now Digital Editor of Prospect magazine and author of their 'Is This Feminism?' blog.

Robert Rowland Smith [32] [59] [97] [117] [130] [188] [198] 

A lecturer at the London Graduate School and former columnist for the Sunday Times, Robert Rowland Smith's books include Breakfast with Socrates.

Adam Cohen [189] 

A graduate of Harvard and the LSE, Cohen now serves as Google’s Head of Competition Policy for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

James Ladyman [415] [453] 

Head of the Philosophy department at Bristol, James Ladyman’s work focuses on the philosophy of physics. He is editor of Scientific Metaphysics.

Lee Smolin [384] 

Theoretical physicist known for proposing a reconciliation between loop quantum gravity and string theory. He is the author of Time Reborn and The Trouble With Physics.

Ed Conway [166] [168] [194] 

Joining the Sunday Telegraph at 25, Conway was the youngest ever Economics Editor of a national newspaper. Now based at Sky News, he is the author of The Summit.

Norman Lamont [164] [195] 

Chancellor of the Exchequer under Major and Chief Secretary to the Treasury under Thacther, Lord Lamont is now President of the Economic Research Council.

Julian Spalding [257] 

Critic, writer, broadcaster and curator, author of The Art of Wonder and The Poetic Museum, Julian is the former director of Glasgow Art Galleries and Museums.

Niamh Corbett [169] 

Vice President of investment banking at Morgan Stanley and Steering Committee member of the 30% Club, Niamh Corbett writes and speaks on women in business and women entrepreneurs.

Hilary Lawson [52] [65] [117] [124] [277] [346] [355] [387] [407] [460] 

Post-postmodern philosopher and video artist whose Closure marks a post-Derridian return to metaphysics. He is Director of the Institute of Art and Ideas.

Daniel Stoljar [395] [400] [463] 

Professor of Philosophy at the Australian National University, Daniel Stoljar is Philosophy of Mind Editor of the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy.

Michael Crick [2] 

A founding member of the Channel 4 News Team in 1982, Crick became the BBC's political editor in 2007. He returned to Channel 4 as a political correspondent in 2011.

Deborah Levy [389] 

Deborah Levy writes fiction, plays and poetry. Her most recent novel, Swimming Home, was shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize.

Gisela Stuart [100] 

Formerly a minister in the deprtment of health, Labour MP Gisela Stuart has been in parliament since 1997. She currently sits on the Defence Select Committee.

Molly Crockett [47] 

UCL neuroscientist Molly Crockett's work focuses on the neural basis of morality and decision-making. Her work has been featured by The New York Times, The Financial Times, New Scientist and the BBC.

Colin MacCabe [272] 

Distinguished Professor of English and Film at the University of Pittsburgh, MacCabe is a writer and film producer. He is editor of Critical Quarterly, and author of James Joyce and the Revolution of the Word.

Imogen Stubbs [277] [316] 

Actress and playwright whose career has spanned roles from the West End stage to the big screen. She is also a contributing editor on Readers’ Digest.

Helena Cronin [169] [175] [190] 

Co-Director of the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science, Helena is a Darwinian philosopher and feminist. Her books include The Ant and the Peacock.

Finn Mackay [299] [311] [507] 

A prominent activist for women’s rights, Mackay is the founder of the London Feminist Network. She is also responsible for the revival of Reclaim the Night in London.

Laurie Taylor [311] [350] [383] [408] 

Presenter of Radio 4's Thinking Allowed, sociologist and broadcaster Laurie Taylor rose to prominence whilst a professor at the University of York. He also writes for THE.

Helen Croydon [399] [444] 

A best-selling author, journalist and broadcaster, Helen Croydon's books include the confessional memoir Sugar Daddy Diaries and Screw The Fairytale.

Doon Mackichan [221] [237] 

Emmy-award winning actress and writer of screen and stage best known for her roles as one third of the anarchic Smack the Pony ensemble.

Janne Teller [196] [219] [238] [256] 

Danish novelist and former UN economist Janne Teller recently organised a petition by more than five-hundred international authors against mass surveillance. Her books include existential novel Nothing.

Kenneth Cukier [350] 

Kenneth Cukier is Data Editor of the Economist and former technology editor of The Wall Street Journal Asia. His recent book Big Data, co-authored with Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger, was shortlisted for FT Business Book of the Year 2013.

Sam Macrory [195] 

Formerly the editor of The Parliamentary Monitor and political editor of House magazine, Sam Macrory is now editor of Total Politics.

Julien Temple [414] 

Like a rubber dagger up the arse of the establishment' was the Sunday Times' assessment of legendary director Julien Temple. He cut his teeth on films about the emergent punk scene in 1980s, with collaborations with the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and the Kinks leading to several cult classics.

Peter Curran [257] 

BBC Radio 2 and Radio 4 presenter Peter Curran is best-known for hosting The Friday Night Arts Show, When Art Went Pop and Loose Ends.

Bronwen Maddox [196] 

Maddox has been Editor of Prospect magazine since 2010. Previously she had served as Washington Bureau Chief and US Editor at the Times. In 2008 she published In Defence of America.

Marcel Theroux [272] [296] [316] 

Screenwriter, broadcaster and award-winning novelist, Marcel Theroux is also the new face of BBC4. His latest book is Strange Bodies.

Sean Curran [265] [277] [296] [306] 

Deputy Editor of the BBC's Parliamentary Programmes, Curran leads the teams who produce Today in Parliament and Yesterday in Parliament for BBC Radio 4.

Brooke Magnanti [123] [180] [188] [200] 

A biologist, blogger and author, Brooke is best-known by her pen name Belle de Jour. Her blog and books were adapted into the television programme Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

Nikolai Tolstoy [2] 

Tolstoy has enjoyed careers as a an author, historian and politician. He stood unsuccessfully against David Cameron in the 2010 elections for Witney. He is currently chairman of the International Monarchist League.

Oliver Scott Curry [338] 

Lecturer at the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford and LSE, Oliver Curry's work on the evolutionary of morality has put rights and wrongs on a firm biological footing.

Pippa Malmgren [168] [176] [227] 

Former economic advisor to George W. Bush and founder of Principalis Asset Management, Pippa Malmgren has been named Global Leader of Tomorrow by The World Economic Forum.

David Tong [355] [360] [512] 

Cambridge Professor of Theoretical Physics and winner of the Adam's Prize, his research focuses on how the universe is held together on a fundamental level.

Roger Davies [52] 

Astrophysicist at Oxford university and former Presiendent of the Royal Astronomical Society. Davies codiscovered the concentration of mass in the universe called 'The Great Attractor'.

David Malone [34] [52] [112] [346] [384] [388] [395] 

Director whose acclaimed BBC science documentaries include High Anxieties and Dangerous Knowledge. He is the author of the cult economics blog GolemXIV.

Mike Trace [124] 

As UK Anti-Drug Co-ordinator under Blair, Mike created the UK's first National Drug Strategy. He was then chair of the EU's drugs agency, before moving to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. He is now Chair of the International Drug Policy Consortium.

Hannah Dawson [65] [177] 

Lecturer at the New College of the Humanities and Historian of ideas Hannah Dawson is author of Locke, Language, and Early Modern Philosophy.

Barnaby Martin [104] [123] 

Barnaby is the author of the recently published Hanging Man: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei, the most intimate depiction of the revered genius yet.

Poppy Trowbridge [182] [189] 

Poppy Trowbridge is Sky News’ Consumer Affairs Correspondent. Poppy joined Sky in November 2012 as its Business and Economics Correspondent. Prior to this was the London-based finance and investing correspondent for Bloomberg.

Jonathan Derbyshire [394] [407] [448] [461] 

Previously a Cambridge philosopher, Jonathan Derbyshire is currently Managing Editor of Prospect and contributor to The Philosophers' Magazine.

Iain McGilchrist [66] [72] 

Author of The Master and his Emissary, The Divided Brain and the Making of the Modern World, and former Consultant Psychiatrist at the Bethlem Royal, McGilchrist contributes to the British Medical Journal, the Sunday Times and the TLS.

Colin Tudge [312] [316] [401] 

Science writer, broadcaster and co-founder of the College for Enlightened Agriculture, Colin Tudge's books include Consider the Birds and The Secret Life of Trees.

Kishwar Desai [262] 

Kishwar Desai is an author and columnist who previously worked in television. Her first novel, Witness the Night, won the Costa First Novel Award in 2010.

John McTernan [195] 

A Labour Party advisor since the early nineties, McTernan masterminded the Blair government's political strategy from 2005-07. In 2011 he became communications director to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Mark Vernon [381] [383] [408] [443] [518] 

A former clergyman who is now agnostic, Mark is a broadcaster and journalist who appears on the BBC and writes for the Guardian. His books include Wellbeing.

Pavan Dhaliwal [229] 

Director of Public Affairs at British Humanist Association. Human rights and equalities lobbyist in secularism, women's rights and prison reform.

Caspar Melville [344] [414] [445] [449] [456] [466] 

Former editor of New Humanist and contributor to the Guardian, Melville is the author of Taking Offence.

Robert Wade [168] 

Professor of Political Economy and Development at the London School of Economics. In 2008 he won the Leontief Prize in recognition of his outstanding contribution to economic theory.

Thomas Dichter [196] 

Dichter has worked in international develeopment for almost half a century. He has served as a Senior Consultant to the World Bank, UN and numerous leading global NGOs.

Laura Mersini-Houghton [34] [50] 

Professor of Physics at the University of North Carolina, her work focuses on the birth of the universe and has been widely covered by the New Scientist and the BBC.

Sarah Walker [301] [311] [315] 

Spokeswoman of the English Collective of Prostitutes and one of BBC's '100 Prominent Women', Sarah Walker was part of a sex worker led occupation of a church in King's Cross that put policing of the sex trade on the political agenda.

Joy Lo Dico [454] 

Joy is editor of the Evening Standard’s Londoner’s Diary column and a contributing editor to Prospect magazine, following contrubutions to the Independent on Sunday, and the Observer. She is a co-founder of The Other Club

Mary Midgley [39] [105] 

Described by the Guardian as “the UK’s foremost scourge of scientific pretention”, Mary Midgley’s six-decade dominance of British philosophy has seen her author books including Beast and Man and The Myths We Live By.

Diana Wallis [2] 

Wallis was the first British woman in twenty years to be elected to the post of Vice President of the European Parliament, and is now President of the European Law Institute.

Cory Doctorow [298] [304] [316] 

One of Forbes Magazine's 25 most influential people on the web, Cory Doctorow is a science fiction novelist and editor of Boing Boing, the world's most widely-read blog.

Carl Miller [449] 

Founder and Research Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at think-tank Demos, Carl Miller coined the term 'SOCMINT' - social media intelligence - with Sir David Omand and Jamie Bartlee. He is co-author of Truth, Lies and the Internet.

Peter Watson [269] [272] 

Intellectual historian Peter Watson was deputy editor at New Society and writer for the Sunday Times and the Observer. His most recent book is The Age of Atheists.

Paul Dolan [116] 

Dolan is Professor of Behavioural Science in the Department of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Chief Academic Advisor to the UK Government on economic appraisal. He is a member of the Cognitive and Behavioural Sciences Panel of the World Economic Forum.

Rana Mitter [11] [35] [39] [58] [71] 

Presenter of BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking and contributor to the Financial Times and LRB, Mitter is Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China at Oxford.

Pnina Werbner [168] 

Pnina is an urban anthropologist who has studied Muslim South Asians in Britain and Pakistan and, more recently, the women's movement and the Manual Workers Union in Botswana. She is co-editor of the Postcolonial Encounters series published by Zed Books.

Lyse Doucet [449] [456] [467] 

The BBC’s Chief International Correspondent, multi-award-winning Lyse reports in print and on screen from all over the world.

Ken Mogi [275] 

Ken is a senior researcher at the Sony Computer Science Laboratories, and a visiting professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. His speciality is in the mind-brain problem.

Jamie Whyte [165] [181] 

Philosopher turned management consultant whose books dissect flawed reasoning. He has written for the Times and been a philosophy lecturer at Cambridge. Whyte is leader of the free market party ACT in New Zealand.

Hubert Dreyfus [116] 

Professor of Philosophy at University of California Berkeley, Hubert Dreyfus is famous for his critiques of artificial intelligence and as a scholar of Martin Heidegger.

John Moore [414] 

John is best known for his work as the drummer in The Jesus and Mary Chain and as a member of indie rock group Black Box Recorder. He is an occasional columnist for the Guardian and has written for various magazines including Select, NME and The Erotic Review. He is currently working on a solo album.

James Williams [51] [59] 

Professor of Philosophy at University of Dundee, James Williams is a scholar of Gilles Deleuze. His work includes philosophy of time, post-structualism and the philosophy of signs.

Robert Eaglestone [65] [123] 

Professor of Contemporary Literature and Thought at Royal Holloway, University of London. His books include Contemporary Fiction.

Edward Mortimer [103] [164] 

Kofi Annan’s Director of Communications at the UN from 1998 to 2006, Mortimer is curently Senior Vice-President of the Salzburg Global Seminar.

Ian Wilmut [104] [109] [128] 

Director of the MRC centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, embryologist Ian Wilmut led the research group that cloned Dolly the sheep.

Siân Ede [259] 

Author of the seminal Art and Science, Siân is adviser to the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society, and gave its Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar prize lecture on Art and Science in 2008.

Véronique Mottier [51] [504] 

Professor of Sociology at the University of Lausanne, and fellow of Jesus College Cambridge, Véronique Mottier is the author of Sexuality: A Very Short Introduction.

Robert Winston [259] 

Professor of Science and Society at Imperial College London, Lord Robert Winston has presented series BBC including Superhuman and Child of our Time. Two of his children's books have won the Royal Society's Book Prize.

John Ellis [34] [502] 

CERN physicist John Ellis coined the term 'theory of everything' and coauthored the first paper on how to find the Higgs Boson in 1976.

Orlando Murrin [273] 

Writer Orlando Murrin began as a restaurant pianist, moved into journalism, won through to the finals of Masterchef and became editor of BBC Good Food.

Alison Wolf [385] [401] [415] [444] [466] 

Labour market expert and Professor of Public Sector Management, Alison Wolf is Director of the International Centre for University Policy at KCL. She headed a major government review on education in 2011 and is author of The XX Factor.

Warren Ellis [73] 

Wildly successful comic book writer and 7-time Eagle award winner, Ellis has a knack for transhumanist themes and intelligent storytelling.

Natalia Naish [450] 

Natalia Naish is the author of Coke: The Biography. She is also an archivist for Bridget Riley and the co-creator of hit blog Your Barrister Boyfriend.

 

Lewis Wolpert [259] 

Renowned developmental biologist, author of Six Impossible Things and Vice President of the BHA, known for his staunch defence of rational thought.

George F. R. Ellis [337] [360] [387] [448] [516] 

Templeton Prize-winning cosmologist and coauthor, with Stephen Hawking, of The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time.

John Naughton [46] [57] 

Technology Columnist for The Observer and Vice-president of Wolfson Collge, Cambridge, John's most recent book is From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: What You Really Need to Know About the Internet.

Robert Yates [165] 

Yates is Assistant Editor and Comment Editor of the Observer. His writing for the Observer – and publications from the Spectator to Vogue – has ranged from documenting life inside Britain's schools to tracking football hooligans. Beyond print, he was the creative consultant on the BAFTA-winning TV show, Double Take and has broadcast regularly.

Institute of art and ideas