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Bill’s Hay Festival blog

news editor8 June 2012

Professor Bill McGuire, UCL Earth Sciences

Literary festivals are always fantastic experiences; brimful of excitement, debate, discussion and the simple fun of meeting and interacting with a remarkable diversity of movers, shakers and shapers of society and culture.

The Hay Festival is unquestionably right at the top of the pile and looking down the list of a thousand or so participants, it quickly becomes apparent that it’s not so much a question of who is here but who is not.

An eclectic mix
Where else can you – as I did during my visit – chat with crime writer Ian Rankin in the afternoon, joke with Winnie the Witch children’s author – Korky Paul – over dinner, and have breakfast with 2007 Turner Prize winner Mark Wallinger?

Fun as this all was, however, I did have a job to do, and was down to speak at lunchtime about my new book: Waking the Giant: How a Changing Climate Triggers Earthquakes, Tsunamis and Volcanoes.

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Is there liquid water on Mars?

Clare S Ryan13 September 2011

Since astronomers first glimpsed the surface of Mars through telescopes in the late 1900s, scientists have been fascinated by the idea that water – and along with it, the possibility of life – exists there. Dr Peter Grindrod (UCL Earth Sciences) gave this year’s Halstead Lecture at the British Science Festival to take the scientifically inclined on a whistle stop tour, complete with stunning images, of how our understanding of water on this mysterious planet has developed in the past 150 years.

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