Festival of Ideas: Experts to discuss The Future of Food

Dr Nick Pears, from the University of York’s Computing Science department, showing 3D face modelling in the Festival of Ideas marquee in Parliament Street

James James Rubin, the former US Assistant Secretary of State, outside the Ron Cooke Hub at the University of York during the York Festival of Ideas launch night

Updated in News

The Future of Food is on the menu today at York Festival of Ideas as experts in the field join together for the event.

Leading scientists, agriculturalists and global food security experts will discuss The Future of Food: how to feed 10 billion people, from 11am to 8pm at the University of York's Ron Cooke Hub.

Festival Director Joan Concannon said: “Food forms a key part of cultural identity and memory, and yet the world is facing a major challenge in how it feeds a rapidly increasing global population.

"We are delighted that so many of the world’s leading thinkers, scientists, technologists and food writers have joined together to deliver such a stimulating array of events.”

The festival which runs until June 22 has already revealed secrets of the White House in a debate on bringing peace to the Middle East.

Ms Concannon said an international panel of experts for The Crossroads of Conflict opening session had set the tone for the event.

Speakers included Sir Richard Dalton, the former UK Ambassador to Iran and Libya, and James Rubin, former Assistant Secretary of State to Bill Clinton.

She said: "The opening night set the scene so perfectly in framing many of the issues that will be aired during the festival.

"Sir Richard gave a hugely fascinating critique of the international response to global conflicts.

"Mr Rubin gave a surprisingly frank account of the way in which Obama's presidency has been so influenced by the political fall-out of mistakes of Bush years that the US has retreated from its international 'enlightened self-interest' approach to being the world's peace-keeper.

"He also alluded to a likely more Hawkish approach should Hilary Clinton decide to run for the Presidency."

Also discussed were the implications of non-intervention in Syria, the growing political alienation of young people, and the role of China in international diplomacy.

She added: "The festival has many further events exploring the legacy of decision making after World War One affecting the Middle East, the need for fair economic empowerment, and the legacy of imperialism.

"The audience of 200 people were completely engaged and we had really fantastic feedback."

The festival features more than 140 mostly free events across the city and University of York campus until June 22. For the full programme and to book go to www.yorkfestivalofideas.com.

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