Berwins Salon North returns with cutting-edge talks on sleep, fashion psychology and genetic engineering

Former Festival young musician Ashley Wass is now the Director of the Yehudi Menhuin school

‘Is your sleep schedule affecting your health?’ is just one of the big questions being posed at the first Berwins Salon North of 2023.

Russell Foster, professor of circadian neuroscience, is being joined for the latest TED-style talk by fashion psychologist Dr Dion Terrelonge and geneticist and science populariser Adam Rutherford.

Held at 7.30pm on Thursday, February 9, at the Crown Hotel, Harrogate, the cabaret-style evening is sponsored by Berwins Solicitors and produced by Harrogate International Festivals.

Hosted by creator Helen Bagnall, Salon was voted as number six in the ‘Top 100 Things to do in the World’ by GQ magazine. Each expert speaker is challenged to engage the audience with a 25-minute set, which is designed to excite our curiosity and change our lives for the better.

At the upcoming edition of Berwins Salon North, Professor of circadian neuroscience, Russell Foster will take us on a fascinating and surprising journey through the science of our body clocks.

He will explore how our tendency to push our daily routine into the night – carrying out work, exercise and social activity after dark – is not only disrupting our sleep, but leaving us more vulnerable to infection, cancer, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and mental illness.

Meanwhile Dion Terrelonge, Doctor of Psychology practising in the dual fields of educational psychology and fashion psychology, will share psychological insights into our relationships with clothing and consumerism. Her talk will aim to equip listeners with a better understanding of their own behaviours and tendencies as consumers.

In Dion’s doctorate, she identified a tendency for psychologists to focus on interior worlds, and in return she set out to explore how managing and negotiating external presentations can impact on our wellbeing. She is currently conducting research into the links between personal dressing practices and mood.

The final speaker, Adam Rutherford, tells the difficult story of eugenics through history. A brilliant speaker and host (along with Hannah Fry) of popular BBC Radio 4 programmes ‘Inside Science’ and ‘The Curious Case of Rutherford and Fry’, Adam, who wrote the Sunday Times bestseller “How to Argue With a Racist”, will explain how powerful people in history have sought to dictate reproduction and regulate the interface of breeding and society.

The talk will also look at how the legacy of eugenics is perpetuated in our language today – in words such as ‘moron’ and ‘imbecile’ – as well as how, with modern gene-editing techniques, real conversations are happening about the possibility of tinkering with the DNA of our unborn children.

Sharon Canavar, Harrogate International Festivals Chief Executive, said: “With an amazing roster of speakers lined up, we are very excited to see the return of Berwins Salon North.

“The topics that will be discussed at this first Salon of the 2023 season are not only highly interesting, but also deeply relevant to our lives. Subjects such as sleep and fashion are genuinely pertinent to daily life, whilst all the speakers are true experts in their fields.

“Once again I’d like to thank headline sponsor, Berwins, for their continued support in enhancing Harrogate’s reputation as a northern hub for culture.”

Associate Director of Berwins Solicitors, Martin Whincup, said: “The Harrogate International Festivals team has brought together three superb speakers for the first Berwins Salon North of 2023.

“It’s definitely going to be a thought-provoking, entertaining and informative evening, and one that I’m very much looking forward to attending.”

Tickets for the event, priced at £16, are available from our website here or by calling the Box Office on 01423 562303.