A former deck-hand, diplomat, arts administrator and social reform campaigner, David Barrie has a degree in experimental psychology and philosophy. He is an expert navigator who has made many long passages under sail. Drawing on the latest scientific discoveries, his latest book, Incredible Journeys, explores how animals find their way around – whether migrating from one end of the world to the other or just pottering around the neighbourhood. It was selected as Nature Book of the Year for 2019 by the Sunday Times and won the Nautilus Book Gold Award for nature writing. David’s other award-winning book, Sextant, which appeared in 2014, celebrated the role of celestial navigation in the exploration and mapping of the world’s oceans. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation and was awarded a CBE for services to the arts.
Drawing on the latest scientific research, he will explain how animals – including humans – find their way round, making use of landmarks, the sun, moon and stars, magnetism, sounds and smells. He will touch on the work of Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientists who are revealing how the brains of animals enable them to navigate. He will also raise profound questions about our changing relationship with the world around us. While indigenous peoples can still navigate without so much as a map or compass, most of us city-dwellers are now so dependent on GPS that we are turning into navigational idiots. As we turn our backs on the world around us, we are jeopardising both our physical and spiritual well-being.
Please book by 1pm on the day of the lecture.
Free to members / non-members £5.