Summer 2019

A Day of Curiosity
8 June in Wigtown


A Day of Curiosity

on Saturday, 8th June 2019, in Wigtown

To celebrate its 20th anniversary at Dumfries, the University of Glasgow's School of Interdisciplinary Studies has teamed up with Wigtown Festival Company for a Day of Curiosity, in partnership with A Year of Conversation.

£20 day ticket (access to all events) / bring along an inquisitive friend and both get in for £30* 
£10 concessions / free to under-26s
Book online here
 or by calling 01988 403222

* discount automatically deducted at checkout


Curiosity makes us fully human, so how can we nurture the desire to be curious in our daily lives? A Day of Curiosity offers inspiration to all. Join us for a day of micro talks from the insatiably inquisitive staff of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, for an opportunity to listen and take part in discussions about a wide range of topics from resilience and medicalisation to the secrets and stories of rivers and what it was like to be a cow in early modern Britain! Listen, converse, question. All you need to bring is your curiosity.

Session One: Curious Minds 1
10am-11:30am at The Print Room, 8 New Road
The morning's speakers show that often the amazing is under our noses. We just need to look for it...

Tom Pow: Why Curiosity Didn't Kill the Cat
An introduction to the first Day of Curiosity in Wigtown

Elisabeth Loose: Crack Your Phone
What wonders lie in your palm every day?

John Shi: Water Wars
Why WW3 may be fought over H2O

Coffee break

Panel Discussion: What Curiosity Means to Me (Part 1)
Some of the day's speakers reflect on what drives their quest for knowledge

Gitte Koksvik with Solveiga Zibaite: What's Brewing in the Death Cafe? 
Why a new curiosity about the end of life is welcome

Lizanne Henderson: What Was it Like to be a Cow in Early Modern Britain?
A bovine view of witches and 'charmers' reveals the unexpected

Curious about how it all fits together? Here's a chance to join some dots

Session Two: Curious About Well-being
12 noon-1pm at The Print Room, 8 New Road

Three speakers questioning new takes on health and well-being

Sandy Whitelaw: Is There a 'Cure' for Knife Crime?
Does it make sense to think of knife crime as a public health issue?

Victoria Preece: A Novel Approach to Well-being
Is well-being really a medical matter? And how can fiction help us understand it?

Sheri Mila Gerson: Assisted Dying Around the World
Why a curious end-of-life social worker became a researcher, and what she found

An opportunity to ask questions and make connections

Session Three: Curious About the Enlightenment
12 noon-1pm at The Old Bank Bookshop, 7 South Main Street

How the Scottish Enlightenment still influences our world

David Peters: The American Myth and Scottish Enlightenment
Could Scottish Enlightenment thinking restore US democracy?

Ollie Brook: Scottish Enlightenment and Vocational Education
Are Enlightenment thinkers to blame for today's damaging lurch towards vocational education?

The Enlightenment's legacy: questions and connections

A Curious Lunch Break

Explore Wigtown's bookshops and cafes, or bring a picnic lunch and join some of our speakers in the gardens in the centre of town, to explore shared curiosities

Session Four: Curious About Language
2pm-3pm at The Old Bank Bookshop, 7 South Main Street
Fascinating facts about language and the brain

Michele Vincent: The Curious Power of Learning Languages
What are the benefits for adults and children of learning a foreign tongue?

Jeremy Law: Why Do Some Children Find Reading Hard?
Thinking about dyslexia in a new way

A chance to talk about the issues and ask questions

Session Five: Curious About Nature
2pm-3pm at Well-Read Books of Wigtown, 1 Agnew Crescent
Why close observation of the natural world is a revelation

Natalie Welden: Life is a Beach
Vital lessons the shoreline 'laboratory' can teach us all

Dave Borthwick: Rivers Have Secrets and Stories
Transform the way you look at rivers forever

Questions and chat for the naturally curious

Session Six: Curious Minds 2
3:30pm-5pm at The Print Room, 8 New Road
Curiosity begins close to home, and there's plenty to be inquisitive about in and outside the region

Benjamin Franks: Are We Really Free?
Politically we live in the 'Free World'? So why do we often feel so constrained?

Carol Hill: Dumfries & Galloway and the Sea
A maritime perspective transforms our idea of place

Marian Krawczyk with Alistair Hunter: What is Dementia Tourism?
And what does it look like in Dumfries & Galloway?

Coffee break

Panel Discussion: What Curiosity Means to Me (Part 2)
More of the day's speakers on what drives them to ask questions

Alistair Hunter: The 21st Century is the Age of Centenarians
What's it like to be 100? How will growing numbers reaching this landmark change society?

Ralph Jessop: Extinction? Robots? and Thomas Carlyle?
How Dumfries & Galloway's greatest thinker predicted our unease about AI and climate change

Questions and exploring common threads

Tom Pow: Coda on Curiosity

Session Seven: Curious for More
5:30pm-6:30pm at The Print Room, 8 New Road

Carol Hill, the director of the University of Glasgow's School of Interdisciplinary Studies, leads an informal discussion reflecting on the Day of Curiosity. What lessons can we learn? And how can we further explore and develop the idea of curiosity on campus and in our everyday lives? Refreshments included.

Please note: this programme is subject to revision.

Saturday 8 June