Alok will be reading from The Water Book and talking about “the unexpected weirdness of water and why it’s because of that weirdness that life exists on Earth”.

Water seems ordinary – it pours from our taps and falls from the sky. But you would be surprised at what a profoundly strange substance it is. It defies the normal rules of chemistry, it has shaped the Earth, its life and our civilisation. Without it, none of us would exist.

The water in our rivers, lakes and oceans all came from outer space. How it arrived here and how those molecules of water were formed is a story scientists have only learned in recent years and which takes us back to the beginning of the universe.

Alok Jha is science and technology editor at The Economist. He’s also the host of the paper’s weekly science podcast, “Babbage”.

He was science correspondent for ITN and the Guardian and has written and presented multiple TV and radio documentary series for the BBC. In 2018, he spent a year as a Wellcome fellow, developing new storytelling formats for complex topics.

He has reported from all over the world, including live from Antarctica, and is also the author of three popular science books, including The Water Book (Headline, 2015).

The evening promises a fascinating look at one of the major environmental topics of our time and continues the focus on water and the environment that has been a central part of Manasamitra’s work for the last year (Meltwater)

Date: Thursday 15 June
Time: 7:30pm
Venue: Dewsbury Town Hall, Wakefield Old Road, Dewsbury WF12 8DG
Tickets: £5 each or £7.50 for two + BF / Book Online
Telephone: 01484 225755 Monday to Friday – 9am to 5pm

Festival of Conversations is funded by Taking the Lead, which is a Dewsbury Town Investment Plan project funded by through the Town Fund and aims to support a vibrant cultural community in Dewsbury and surrounding areas using a programme of events, skills development and participatory opportunities across music, textiles, visual arts and performance. Exploring heritage, community, culture and beyond with people living, working and studying in Dewsbury as they plan for the future together.