Speakers

An unrivalled line-up of speakers come together at HowTheLightGetsIn May 2021. From humanity-saving spearheaders, to pioneering, mystery-uncovering and million-dollar-prize-winning scientists, to internationally esteemed politicians and journalists, they are at the top of their fields.

Our exceptional speakers will grapple with the defining questions of our times. From Alive in the Universe, to The Madness of Therapy, to Fantasy and Reality and many, many, more this festival will be one to remember.

Explore our Debates Explore our Hat Sessions Book Now

Awarded a Nobel Prize for her groundbreaking research, Duflo focuses on microeconomic issues in poverty-stricken countries.

Speaking in: In Conversation

Žižek breathes new life into Marxism, Hegel, psychoanalysis, philosophy, politics, film and culture. A philosopher not to miss.

A former Muslim who became an atheist, Ali has since been an unflinching advocate for women's rights, and a powerful critic of misogyny in the Middle East.

Speaking in: Arc of Life

Now a best-selling author, Bregman made headlines for calling out the super-rich for tax avoidance at the Davos Forum.

Now a household name through his best-selling books and frequent TV appearances, Greene is  renowned for his groundbreaking discoveries in superstring theory

A frequent collaborator with Žižek, Fiennes' films have covered everything from French Ballet to the ecentric model Grace Jones. 

Speaking in: Fantasy and Reality

FEATURING A HOST OF THE WORLD'S LEADING THINKERS

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Susie Orbach

Beloved psychotherapist
Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Revolutionary astrophysicist
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Lowkey

Rapper and activist
Jesse Norman

Jesse Norman

UK Cabinet Minister
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Grace Blakeley

Marxist Economist
Kate Bryan
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Kate Bryan

Art historian
Patricia Churchland

Patricia Churchland

Founder of Neurophilosophy
Bret Weinstein

Bret Weinstein

Professor in exile
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Laura Mersini-Houghton

World-leading cosmologist
Rupert Sheldrake

Rupert Sheldrake

Biologist and author
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Tim Harford

Undercover economist
Aviva Chomsky
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Aviva Chomsky

Historian and activist
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Linda Yueh

Economist and broadcaster
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Dallas Campbell

Science presenter
Gunes

Güneş Taylor

Crick Institute Geneticist
Simon Baron Cohen

Simon Baron-Cohen

Experimental psychologist
Reza Negarestani
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Reza Negarestani

Philosopher and writer
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Claire Fox

Journalist and politician
Kenneth Cukier

Kenneth Cukier

Economist editor
Betty Sue Flowers

Betty Sue Flowers

Ancient myths expert
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Havi Carel

Professor of Philosophy
Toby Ord

Toby Ord

Moral philosopher
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Ece Temelkuran

Award-winning journalist and author
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Nick Lane

Evolutionary biochemist
Vince Cable

Vince Cable

Former Lib Dem leader
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Fotini Markopoulou

CEO and co-founder at Empathic Technologies
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Lisa Feldman Barrett

Top cited scientist
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Peter Sjöstedt-H

The Psychedelic Nietzsche
Martin Seligman
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Martin Seligman

Hugely Influential American Psychologist
Paul Davies

Paul Davies

Astrobiologist and writer
Deirdre McCloskey
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Deirdre McCloskey

“The most capable defender of liberalism”
Avi Loeb

Avi Loeb

Harvard physicist
Mary Ann Sieghart

Mary Ann Sieghart

Journalist and presenter
Amanda Gefter

Amanda Gefter

Science writer
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Bim Afolami

Conservative MP
Peter Tatchell
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Peter Tatchell

Leading Human Rights Activist
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Craig Callender

Philosopher of time
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Joanna Kavenna

Multi-Award-Winning Writer
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Kay Peggs

Sociologist and Animal Welfare Advocate
Alison Milbank
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Alison Milbank

Anglican Priest and Professor of Theology
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Rana Mitter

Oxford China expert
Terence Kealey

Terence Kealey

Libertarian biochemist
Ray Brassier
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Ray Brassier

Nihilist philosopher
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Virgilio Viana

Brazilian politician
Ray Tallis
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Ray Tallis

'One of the world's greatest living polymaths'
Catherine Heymans
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Catherine Heymans

Dark Universe Astrophysicist
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Mandy Seligman

Award-Winning Photographer
Anna Lembke
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Anna Lembke

Top psychiatric experts on addiction
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Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen

Leading Scholar of American Intellectual History
Shreepali Patel
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Shreepali Patel

Director of the Story Lab Research Institute
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Ella Whelan

Spiked journalist
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Susan Schneider

Mind & AI Expert