Intriguing Offerings – Words by the Water 2015



Just over a month to go until Ways With Words are back in town for Words by the Water at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick.

Lots of intriguing topics and fascinating people in the wonderful lakeside setting of Keswick, with its slate houses and the dramatic backdrop of the fells. Words by the Water is a platform for discussion on matters global and local. Science and art meet, senses are stirred by food and fashion. Human strivings are considered in contexts of the modern arena and the historical perspective. Novelists  and poets consider their inspiration, and we meet prize-winning authors and young writers in the same theatre.  Festival-goers are lively, intelligent and attentive. Speakers have come to expect great questions and strong opinions from their audiences.

Link to the brochure by following links for Ways With Words, but here is a small taster of some of the studio events over the ten days of Words by the Water 2015.

I’m chairing some science events this year in the categories ‘Science on the Mind’, 7 March, and ‘Science of the Body’, 8 March. Speakers for the two days are:

Science of the Mind, 7 March – Studio

Michael Trimble – Why We Like to Cry

Why humans are the only species who have evolved the ability to cry in response to emotion.

Daniel Freeman and Jason Freeman – Men, Women and Mental Health

Why men and women have different mental health problems, and why women have a greater incidence of mental illness.

Frances Larson – Heads Lost and Found

A grisly, but intriguing, history.

Geoffrey Hosking – The Nature of Trust

How trust and distrust function in society. Have we become a distrustful society?

Christian Jarrett – What Do We Really Know About the Brain

De-bunking the myths of the brain – are there ‘right-brained’ and ‘left-brained’ people? Do we use only 10% of our brains?

Science of the Body, 8 March – Studio

David BainbridgeThe Shape of Women

How does science explain why are humans the only species with curvy females?

Eric ChalineMy Body, My Temple

Time in the gym. How we think about our bodies and our attitudes to fitness.

Richard BarnettNo Prettiness, Much Beauty

Disease and the art of medical illustration. A history of modern medicine.

Richard AskwithWild Running

How to get out there and run free!

Emma Barrett – Thrive at the Limits

Why people expose themselves to the dangers of extreme environments, and what we can learn.

This year, Ways With Words has attracted a superb line-up of speakers. Expect the extraordinary…

…yet there is a day devoted to ‘The Ordinary’. What is the significance of the familiar? On Tuesday 10 March, the studio will feature a history day devoted to the comforts of home and the things we take for granted.

Panikos PanayiFish and Chips Unwrapped

Britain’s original fast food – a history – warm from the paper.

Joe MoranTV Times

The rise of the ‘Armchair Nation’ – untold stories from behind the scenes of television favourites.

Judith Flanders – The Invention of Home

The idea of home as a personal canvas is a modern notion.  Domestic myths dismantled.

James WardStationery Delights

Curioser and curioser…the stories behind everyday desk gadgetry. You won’t look at your desk in the same way again.


Here is a direct link to the brochure:






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