The week that began with the government confirming its intention to remove all direct support for university teaching of the arts, social sciences and humanities is set to end in a cheerier fashion, on my radio at least, with the return of Radio 3’s annual Free Thinking Festival. Radio 3 describes its weekend of debates, interviews, and performances as a “festival of ideas,” and if previous years are anything to go by, the ideas on show—this year’s theme is The Pursuit of Happiness—will enjoy a lively outing at The Sage Gateshead. Since Radio 3 is inviting all comers to “fire questions at our speakers, sign up to speed-date a thinker or chill out in our Story Corner,” it may sound positively Eeyorish to describe the outing as a ‘lively’ one for the ideas—they seem to be heading to a rave.
Tune in and free think
Last month’s Browne report was eagerly awaited by some academics, in the hope that it...