13 Terrifying Things We Learnt At Free Thinking

Free Thinking Is Radio 3’s festival of ideas, held at Sage Gateshead in October 2013. Listen to all the debates and talks on the Radio 3 web site.

1. “Why do we waste people’s time teaching good handwriting? These skills will become hobbies like knitting.”

Professor Sugata Mitra in ‘Teaching the Teachers: The Future of Education’

2. “I treat chicken in the kitchen like it’s radioactive”

Are We at a Tipping Point? Controlling Infection and Combatting Disease’ with Professor Dame Sally Davies (Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Health).

3. Before he took over at Smash Hits and years before the Pet Shop Boys, Neil Tennant edited ‘The Dairy Book of Home Management’

(This is true). Neil Tennant was interviewed by Philip Dodd in ‘Twenty Minutes’.

4. “Eventually paper maps won’t be available”

Professor Jerry Brotton in ‘Why are Maps Still So Powerful?

5. “Nobody remembers anything anymore, you just shove it into a cloud so you can look at it later”

Teen author Patrick Ness in ‘Who’s Got Hold of Children’s Imaginations?’

6. “Some people in this room with definitely die of a drug-resistant infection”

Professor Dame Sally Davies from ‘Are We at a Tipping Point? Controlling Infection and Combatting Disease

7. “The experience of desire is better than getting what you want”

Lionel Shriver from ‘What’s Eating You?’

8. “There are many parents spying on their children though media. We are all spies”

David Aaronovitch from ‘Science Fiction, Surveillance and the North East

9. “We’re witnessing the rise of the nobody memoir “

Alice Hall from ‘Autobiographical Memory and Contemporary Fiction

10. “We put a head camera on a ram with some quite interesting YouTube results”

Jon Alexander in ‘Controlling the Countryside

11. “University students could be drug-tested before exams in the future”

Professor Barbara Sahakian in ‘Controlling Moods and Minds. Depression and Smart Drugs

12. “The lower your position in society, the higher your mortality”

Sir Michael Marmot delivers the Free Thinking lecture: ‘Self Control, The Key to a Long Life

13. “Will one of you give us a piggyback then?”

Some of the locals in Gateshead have an unconventional method of getting home…

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