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Institute of Advanced Study

London Launch Event

London Launch of Thinking About Almost Everything

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

British Academy, Carlton House Terrace

The Durham University book Thinking About Almost Everything, edited by IAS Directors Professors Ash Amin and Michael O'Neill, was launched at an intimate evening reception at the British Academy on Tuesday 19 May 2009, thanks to the Durham University Society Association for Durham Alumni.

The event centred around a lively and thought-provoking discussion chaired by renowned broadcaster, author and Durham University alumnus George Alagiah OBE.  The discussion traced the genesis, aims and value of the book, and gave a flavour of its contents by focusing on some fundamental questions relating to our futures.

Subtitled "New ideas to light up minds" the book contains over 60 life-shaping topics by leading academics at Durham.  Through its short and elegantly written essays placed together in unusual thematic groupings, the book sparkles with the energy of fresh and original thinking. Thinking About Almost Everything is written by many of Durham University's leading scientists, literary scholars, historians, musicologists, geographers, philosophers, archaeologists, anthropologists and more.

The book claims a special place for ideas, arguing that they provide a vantage point and can help us understand the best ways of shaping the world we inhabit.  The ideas in Thinking About Almost Everything are laden with the potential, for example, to generate belief in the power of art to improve health, science to extend life or sight, religion to temper extremism, feeling and irrationality to work with reason. 

Durham University Chancellor and world respected author Bill Bryson says of the book:

"I am enchanted by the notion of harnessing the power of new ideas and innovative thinking to challenge conventional thought".

Tickets for this event sold out within 48 hours..  However, if you want to purchase a copy of the book you can still do so by visiting

London Launch Event Images