AWARD-winning author, Michael Morpurgo, whose children's book inspired the film War Horse was in York as part of the city's Festival of Ideas.

The former Children's Laureate was at York Theatre Royal on Thursday in conversation with Professor Judith Buchanan, director of the University of York Humanities Research Centre, before signing books.

The festival, which finishes tomorrow, has featured more than 120 mostly free events, exploring ideas of order and chaos, with talks from world-class speakers, performances, exhibitions and interactive experiences.

Among the events was the launch of two free new guided walking tours as part of new arts project, York Curiouser.

The project is placing new site-specific artworks in lesser-known parts of the city until July 7. These will involve media including ceramics, poetry and textiles, and have been developed for locations including the National Centre for Early Music, the City Walls and the King’s Manor.

The “York Curiouser Walking Tour” meets at noon on Sunday in the courtyard of King’s Manor. The “River Foss Walking Tour” meets at 11am on Sunday 29 June by the riverside on Huntington Road. Walkers must book through

Meanwhile a contemporary performance piece and interactive installation is being showcased at the University of York until Sunday, June 22.

TRANSMISSION combines dance and cutting-edge video and sound technology with scientific research to explore disease transmission. It is inspired by the similarities between the spread of ‘infectious’ ideas through social networks such as Facebook and Twitter and the transmission of real-world diseases like swine flu through human populations.

The performance present the dynamics of infection and immunity using sensors embedded in dancers’ costumes and infra-red cameras. The new wireless technology – specially created for the performance - will allow the dancers’ movements to ‘map’ specific patterns of disease transmission, leaving traces of light and sound behind them.

The event aims to promote a better understanding of the central role of transmission in disease evolution and control.