The York Festival of Ideas presents a range of talks on the latest advances in genetics, the science underpinning falling in love, the history of mind-altering drugs and a chance to meet the Mummifying Alan science team. All free tickets are downloadable on www.yorkfestivalofideas.com/tickets
On Thursday 28 June, Mike Jay explores the modern-day role of illicit substances in a presentation drawing from his book, Mind Altering Drugs in history and culture. He will deliver an illustrated journey through global drug cultures, tracing the discovery of today’s illicit substances and examining how they have come to play such a contested role, simultaneously fetishized and demonized, in the modern world. With the illicit drug trade estimated by the UN at $320 billion a year, there is no doubt that prohibited or regulated, drugs will continue to be part of the global economy of the future.
On Friday 29 June, Archaeological chemist, Stephen Buckley, and Egyptologist, Joann Fletcher, describe their experience in supervising the mummification of taxi-driver Alan Billis who had donated his body for the purpose; a challenge which gave them a chance to prove, or disprove, some of their long-held theories about mummification. For the team, there were surprises and discoveries throughout, and this event offers an opportunity to find out more about those, and to ask the questions you can never ask when watching the television!