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Northumbria academics among line up for BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival

Press release   •   Mar 06, 2017 14:58 GMT

Leading academics from Northumbria University will speak alongside former Formula 1 racing driver Damon Hill OBE, Harriet Harman MP and former health minister Edwina Currie among others at BBC 3’s Free Thinking Festival 2017.

This year’s Free Thinking Festival will take place at Sage, Gateshead, from the 17th until the 19th of March and will examine ‘The Speed of Life.’

BBC Radio 3 will broadcast live from the music venue throughout the weekend, with many regular programme favourites and live music performances.

Discussions range from neuroscientific explorations of sleep, to making fast decisions, the different ages of woman and experiences of captivity and isolation.

Radio 3 presenter Anne McElvoy will examine the way depression affects our sense of time and rhythms of daily life with Dr Vincent Deary, senior lecturer in health psychology at Northumbria University.

Rana Mitter will talk to Dr Ian Walshe, senior lecturer in Northumbria University’s Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, about quick reactions.

Alan Davey, Controller at BBC Radio 3, said: “We believe that it is vital that the latest research and smart thinking can be communicated with ease to a wider public, it’s part of our role to connect our audiences with remarkable music and culture. At their best, cutting edge ideas and new ways of approaching often familiar subjects, help us to grow our knowledge, and shape our understanding of the world.

“The Free Thinking Festival embodies what Radio 3 is all about. It gives people time and space to contemplate challenging ideas, enjoy diverse often genre-defying music, and to step away from the frenzy of the speed of life.

“Last year Radio 3 celebrated its seven decades of pioneering culture. It continues to be at the forefront of remarkable philosophy and ideas – commissioning, creating and curating.”

In Sage Gateshead concourse throughout the weekend, there is a chance to see behind the scenes of Radio 3, as it broadcasts live from a pop-up glass studio. Visitors can even try their hand at presenting in the portable presenter booth.

More information on the Free Thinking Festival can be found at or and tickets to attend are free.

Northumbria is a research-rich, business-focused, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence. To find out more about our courses go to

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