This event took place on 22 September 2015 and you can now listen to a recording of this event here.

Are we ‘witnessing a constructive merger between scientific and literary cultures?’ as evolutionary scientist Richard Dawkins asks in his new book Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science? Or is science somehow detrimental to the quest of the arts and humanities, a topic discussed by philosopher A C Grayling in an essay in his recent book The Challenge of Things?

Do science and the humanities represent different or complementary approaches in the same quest: the desire to make sense of ourselves and our world?

Bill Swainson chairs an invigorating debate between two leading lights in their respective fields.

There will be an opportunity for members of the audience to ask both speakers questions. Richard Dawkins will be signing copies of his book in the Penny bar after the event.

Audiences will be able to claim 10% off pre-event drinks and food in Penny, our new artisan café and bar, when showing their Old Vic Voices Off ticket at the bar.

Sir Richard Dawkins is a prize-winning evolutionary biologist and author. He is one of Britain’s best-known academics and was the inaugural Professor for Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. His 1976 work, The Selfish Gene, advocated the gene-centered view of evolution, which now dominates Darwinian Theory. Dawkins has achieved wide popular recognition through his books and documentary films, of which The God Delusion has sold more than two million copies and is published in thirty-one different languages.

A C Grayling is Professor of Philosophy and Master of the New College of the Humanities, London and believes that philosophy should take an active, useful role in society. A prolific author, Grayling’s books include philosophy, ethics, biography, history, drama and essays; and he has been a regular contributor to many newspapers and periodicals, including The Times, Financial Times, Observer, Independent on Sunday, Economist, Literary Review, New Statesman and Prospect.

Bill Swainson is a publisher with forty years experience in independent and mainstream publishing. He was until recently Senior Commissioning Editor at Bloomsbury, publishing mainly non-fiction. He is currently a trustee of the Poetry Translation Centre and an adviser to the Santa Maddalena Foundation, a writer’s retreat in Italy.

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Tuesday 22 September 2015, 6-7pm
The Old Vic Rehearsal Room

In association with Critical Thinking
Support by Prospect Magazine

Tickets: £10