In October 2015 we held a two-day Festival of the Imagination showcasing a diverse programme of event talks, debates to celebrate our 50th anniversary. Inspired by our theme "Imagining the Future", our Festival partners at The Telegraph interviewed some of our most popular speakers and academics from the two-day event. You can read what they had to say here.
How can we feed the rapidly increasing population?
“My own approach towards food has changed so much in the last 20 years. It's not right to go only for a certain kind of ingredient, or a certain cut of meat. We need to ask if everything is being used."
|Dr Rebecca Cain||
Could a tree be the future of solar energy?
"While people might like the idea of solar pannels in principle, they don’t want them on their own houses. What we’re saying is: if there’s an alternative, would that change your mind?”
|Professor Colin Williams||
Future technology: a force for good or a source of fear?
"This debate comes at a crucial moment in our relationship with computers. Our world is changing and there's a disconnect in the public eye between what’s going on and what, in some eyes, could happen."
|Professor Don Pollacco||
Finding our alien neighbours
"If you think about the discovery of intelligent life, you can imagine the theologians would be writing away, the biologists would find it very interesting and so would astronomers. The discovery of life would affect most of what we do."
Bebionic prosthetics could build humans for the future
“What I say to people is that life changing doesn’t have to be life ending,” he says. “It shouldn’t be in this day and age. This technology may not be right for everyone – but everyone should be given the opportunity to try it."
|Professor Richard Lilford||
Do robots feature in the future of medicine?
"History is littered with people who said that there were no more discoveries to be made in medicine - given that history, a person would be foolish to say that there won’t be more discoveries.”
The future of education: fewer exams and more 'assassins'
“The whole exam measurement business has got out of hand. This is a very specific, traditional type of exam we are obsessed with.”
The future of the media
"Success is often built on risk taking. And so, the future of media depends, in part, upon on a willingness for risk."