Debate is the beating heart of HowTheLightGetsIn Hay 2023. From Nobel Laureates to Pulitzer Prize winners, HowTheLightGetsIn is home to world-leading thinkers pushing their disciplines forward.

Explore our wide-ranging debates panel for this year's festival below and stay tuned for further lineup announcements. View our expansive speaker lineup here.

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Maverick philosopher Slavoj Žižek, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and revolutionary primatologist Richard Wrangham debate whether it's time to say goodbye to good and evil.

Former Defence Secretary Malcom Rifkind and leading Modi critic Shashi Tharoor discuss the West's role in a changing world. Are countries such as Russia, China and India forming a new world order that won't conform to Western values?

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Roger Penrose and popular string theorist Brian Greene go head-to-head on the fundamental structure of the universe: has the search for supersymmetry failed? If string theory no longer explains the world, what does?


The Centre of the UniverseRESIZED.dc

The Centre of the Universe

Neil Turok, Lisa Randall, Martin Cohen
javier martinez hUD0PUczwJQ unsplash

The Game of Life

Slavoj Žižek, Steven Bonnell, Liv Boeree
Economics in Trouble.dc

Guesses, Errors and Economics

Gillian Tett, John McDonnell
Imagining the Universe.dc

Imagining the Universe

Roger Penrose, Iain McGilchrist, Esther Freud
Ancient Traits in a Modern World.dc

Ancient Traits in a Modern World

Sunetra Gupta, Subrena E. Smith
Capitalism and the Climate.dc

Capitalism and the Climate

Helen Czerski
The Morality of Sex.dc

The Morality of Sex

Steven Bonnell, Louise Perry, Isabel Millar
Down the Wormhole.dc

Down the Wormhole

Lisa Randall, George Ellis, Matt O'Dowd
Life Death and Specialisation.dc

Life, Death and Specialisation

David Healy, Esther Dyson, Nick Lane
My Mind and Your Thoughts.dc

Me, My World and I

Gary Lachman, Hannah Critchlow, Christof Koch
The Danger and Desire of the Frontier.dc

The Danger and Desire of the Frontier

Liv Boeree
Philosophy at War.dc

Philosophy at War

Daniel Dennett
Your True Self.dc

Your True Self

Christof Koch
Rhetoric and Reality.dc

Rhetoric and Reality

Hilary Lawson, Mazviita Chirimuuta
The Rational and the Irrational

Taking Leave of Reason

Rory Sutherland, Michael Shermer, Joanna Kavenna, Rebecca Roache
Based on a true story.dc

Based on a True Story

Remi Adekoya, Esther Freud, Peter Egan
jason leung jCBzW Q UGI unsplash

Diplomacy, Deception and Disaster

Jessica Berlin, Laurie Bristow, David Omand, Malcolm Rifkind
The Sanction Trap.dc

The Weapon That Failed

In Search of Fairness.dc

Brains, Beauty and Bad Judgement

Virtue Ethics and Mob Morality.dc

Virtue Ethics and Mob Morality

The Quantum Hoax.dc

The Quantum Hoax

Joscha Bach, Ruth Oulton, Neil Turok, Dominic Walliman
What We Dont Know.dc

What We Don't Know

Tommy Curry, Marika Taylor, Rupert Sheldrake
Myths Metaphysics and the Matrix.dc

The Matrix, Myths and Metaphysics

Eric Weinstein, Mazviita Chirimuuta, Hilary Lawson
Beauty and the Meaning of Life.dc

Beauty and the Meaning of Life

George Ellis, Suchitra Sebastian, Denis Noble
The Future of Knowledge.dc

The Future of Knowledge

Democracy in the Dock.dc

Democracy in the Dock

Ruth Kinna, Jesse Norman, Thangam Debbonaire
The Best and Worst of All Possible Worlds.dc

The Best and Worst of All Possible Worlds

Beyond Reasonable Doubt

Beyond Reasonable Doubt

Justice in Jeopardy.dc

Justice in Jeopardy

Manners Maketh Man.dc

Manners Maketh Man

Billy Bragg, Zoe Strimpel, Grafton Tanner, Sophie Scott-Brown
The Meaning Puzzle.dc

The Meaning Puzzle

The Blame Game.dc

The Blame Game

Beyond the BoundaryRESIZED.dc

Beyond the Boundary

Reality Models and Mayhem.dc

Reality, Models and Mayhem