Canongate launch series of monthly talks

Canongate launch series of monthly talks in Edinburgh

Jonah Lehrer. Photo: Nina Subin

Canongate Talks speakers include David Byrne, Jonah Lehrer, David Shrigley and Richard Holloway

Canongate Books are working in association with Waterstones to launch a series of monthly events in the Scottish capital called Canongate Talks.

Each event will include leading writers and thinkers from science, literature, philosophy, psychology, arts and culture which the publishing house hope will 'add to our city’s rich cultural and literary heritage'.

The talks themselves will be held in various venues across Edinburgh, opening usually private spaces to the public.

Canongate say that the Scottish Enlightenment is part of the inspiration for the talks - citing David Hume, Adam Smith, Alison Rutherford, James Hutton and Sir Walter Scott as individuals who were notable not only for their controversial ideas, but also for their belief in cultural freedom - with a program that aims to reflect these values.

Angela Robertson, head of publicity at Canongate, said of the talks:

“Edinburgh has world-renowned literature, arts and science festivals and is currently the UK city of choice for the TEDx Conference. We clearly have an appetite for lively and intelligent discussion so it’s surprising that we don’t have a regular, monthly event to satisfy this. We hope that our talks will go some way to redress this.”

Speakers at the event will discuss inspirational, and often unconventional, ideas in order to encourage public debate - in their first sold-out event in March ex Bishop of Edinburgh Richard Holloway talked about his aversion to religious institutions and defended gay marriage.

Next in the series is acclaimed neuroscientist Jonah Lehrer, who will speak on April 28 at Surgeon’s Hall about how new research will shatter the myth of ‘the creative type’. Lehrer has recently released a book about the subject, and writes for The New York Times and specialist magazine News Scientist.

Future speakers also include David Shrigley (an artist known for his witty sculptures and drawings about everyday life) and writer/illustrator Alasdair Gray, who tends to mix realism and science fiction in his work. Musician David Byrne (co-founder of 70s group Talking Heads) will also feature later in the year.

Tickets for the April talk at Surgeon’s Hall are available from Waterstones on George Street for £8

Canongate Talks with Richard Holloway

Canongate Talks

A series of events in Edinburgh with writers and thinkers from science, literature, philosophy, psychology, arts and culture, reflecting the city's heritage as the centre of the Scottish Enlightenment. Tickets for individual talks are available from Waterstone's on George Street.

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