George the Poet - Photo: Cambridge Festival

Protest movements from Black Lives Matter to climate change, teacher recruitment, and the global rise of antibiotic resistance are among the topics being discussed at this year’s Cambridge Festival.

Running from Wednesday, March 13 to 28, the University of Cambridge run festival expects to host over 45,000 in person visits each year and hundreds of thousands of viewers online from across the world.

The programme features a wide-ranging series of more than 350 mostly free events on everything from climate change and AI to politics and health. There is also an extensive line up for children and families to enjoy.

Highlights include:

  • Have we made any real progress since Black Lives Matter? (27 March, Cambridge Union Society) explores where we are now, where progress has been made and how much further there is to go with Cambridge sociologist Professor Jason Arday and Dr Claire Hynes from the University of East Anglia.
  • Conversations: What climate change can do for you (20 March, Cambridge Union Society) sees PhD supervisor Professor Mike Hulme and supervisee Madeleine Ary Hahne look at other ways of framing the challenges and opportunities of climate change.
  • Beyond the lecture theatre with George the Poet (26 March, Cambridge Union Society) sees the highly acclaimed spoken word poet return to Cambridge for what promises to be a fascinating conversation with Dr Sharath Srinivasan, Department of Politics and International Studies. They discuss education, life lessons and how George incorporates his sociology studies into his award-winning podcasts, spoken word performances and his research on the socio-economic potential of black music.
  • Preserving our global health: Uniting against antibiotic resistance (15 March), is an enlightening and urgent exploration of a global health crisis that affects us all and touches every aspect of our lives: antibiotic resistance (AMR). This talk with Dr Harriet Bartlett from University of Oxford, Dr Lucy Weinert from University of Cambridge, and Dr Gemma Murray from University College London explores how the One Health approach – where we recognise that human, animal and environmental health are closely connected – can help to tackle this problem.
  • Who can fix the teacher recruitment and retention crisis? (20 March) is a panel discussion on the different aspects of school staffing problems. Speakers include Clare Brooks, Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge; Lord Jim Knight of Weymouth, former employment minister; and Andy Love, Royal Society of Biology ‘Biology teacher of the year’ 2023.

Cambridge Festival Manager David Cain said: “Once again, hundreds of people involved in the Cambridge Festival have come together to create an outstanding programme for everyone, no matter what their age or interest.

“This festival is essentially about learning more; more about the world, more about our place in it, and more about ourselves. It opens up potential new ways of seeing, thinking, and feeling about everything around us.

To view the full programme online and book tickets visit the Cambridge Festival website.