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March 3, 2021

The Reef, trees and stars at Writers Festival

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This year’s Byron Writers Festival hosts a range of conversations for those interested in delving into the environment, astronomy and science, led by some of the world’s leading scientific minds. From discoveries made below the waterline, to those made looking at the stars, there is much to dive into in this year’s line-up of non-fiction writers.

Richard Fidler.
Richard Fidler.

Kick-start your Festival weekend on Friday August 4 with a double-bill Feature Event at Byron Theatre when the master of conversation Richard Fidler interviews biologist and tree-whisperer David George Haskell (6.30pm).

Charlie Veron – 'The Godfather of Coral'. Photo Louise Goggin
Charlie Veron – ‘The Godfather of Coral’. Photo Louise Goggin

From trees to seas, that conversation will be followed by Charlie Veron, known as the ‘Godfather of Coral’, introducing a special free screening of the lauded documentary Chasing Coral in which he stars (8pm). Chasing Coral has received standing ovations at international film festivals.

Dava Sobel.
Dava Sobel.

Also on Friday but on the other side of town, get your geek on for an evening of cerebral celebration when Tim Flannery, Dava Sobel and Adam Spencer present ‘Night of the Nerds’ with MC comedian Mandy Nolan.

Saturday August 5 at the Festival is a big day for science-geeks and greenies. First up Charlie Veron speaks about a life spent underwater, while David George Haskell, Magdalena Roze and Emrys Westacott discuss the wisdoms of frugal living in ‘The Simple Life: Why Less is More, More or Less’.

Kim Mahood, Bruce Pascoe and Nicolas Rothwell examine the role of landscape in their work, and Lawrie Zion discusses his new book, Our Weather Obsession, which lifts the lid on our insatiable appetite for meteorological media. Then, acclaimed scientist Tim Flannery tells us just how sunlight and seaweed might feed, power and clean up our world.

On Saturday afternoon award-winning science writer Dava Sobel, Emrys Westacott and beloved ABC broadcaster Robyn Williams talk ‘Science, Philosophy and Ideas’. Indigenous Australian writer, Bruce Pascoe, whose book Dark Emu challenges the claim that pre-colonial Aboriginal society was essentially a hunter-gatherer society, joins author and long-time farmer Charles Massy to discuss regenerative agriculture in ‘Farming that Doesn’t Cost the Earth’.

On Sunday August 6 Dava Sobel, whose recent book, The Glass Universe looks to the stars to reveal the hidden history of female astronomers, will join Melissa Ashley and Ashley Hay for ‘Women in Science’.

David George Haskell, Tim Flannery and Nicolas Rothwell will continue to marvel at the many nuances of nature, in ‘Stories from Nature’s Great Connectors’, and finally, David Gillespie and Kate Grenville explore the realities of a synthetic world, while asking what are we really consuming, and what are the repercussions?

 

• For more on Byron Writers Festival visit byronwritersfestival.com


More Byron Writers Festival 2017 articles:

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1

The life and times of Jimmy Barnes

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0

Book Reviews by Byron Bay Public School Students

Grace Author: Morris Gleitzman Reviewed by: Billie Aitken-McGregor Class: Age 11 Byron Bay Public School  “We were a happy family. We were bountiful. But it came to pass that I started doing sins. And that’s when all our problems began.” Imagine having your father taken...

0

The Reef, trees and stars at Writers Festival

This year’s Byron Writers Festival hosts a range of conversations for those interested in delving into the environment, astronomy and science, led by some of the world’s leading scientific minds. From discoveries made below the waterline, to those made...

0

Terrorism, politics and betrayals collide in debut novel from Tony Jones

Tony Jones was still at school when Lionel Murphy raided ASIO. After an ABC cadetship, he joined Four Corners as a reporter in 1985, and later Dateline at SBS in 1986. He subsequently was an ABC foreign correspondent, for...

0

Robert Drewe releases new novel, Whipbird

Bangalow local Robert Drewe is an Australian literary legend whose more than 20 highly acclaimed books, including novels, short stories and memoirs have won state, national and international prizes, been widely translated, and been adapted for film, television, theatre...

0

Time for Rock’n’Roll at Byron Writers Festival

Byron Writers Festival will feature stars of the Australian music industry who not only can hold a tune but also can hold a pen, and have written or co-written revealing memoirs, and a novel. Read on for more about...

0

Cosentino’s greatest trick may not be what you think

Trapped underwater in agonising pain, shackled and sinking and desperately trying not to give in to the urgent need to breathe, I really thought maybe I had pushed myself too far this time. The scar was still fresh from...

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There’s a kids’ big day out at Byron Writers Festival

Byron Writers Festival has pulled out all stops to create a day full of fun, inspiration and creativity to ignite the imaginations of children. Seven acclaimed children’s authors will face their toughest and most vocal audience at the Greenstone...

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A beginner’s guide to the Byron Writers Festival

Never been to Byron Writers Festival? We ask Byron resident and festival-lover Emily Brugman, 27, her top tips for the first-time festival-goer.   Tell us a bit about the festival. The Byron Writers Festival is a three-day event that brings writers and...

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