Garden Series

Garden Series are hand-curated to take you on journeys across topics that will leave you inspired and fascinated.

Music, Mind & Body

3 talks

Why does music have such an enormous impact on our minds and bodies? From its effect on our memories, to the science behind our favourite earworms and most heartfelt break-up songs, this series examines how music moves and changes us in unexpected ways.

Creativity Unlocked

7 talks

Human ingenuity and inventiveness has continually moved our world forward. From beautiful art works to works of literature, space shuttles to scientific leaps forward, at the heart of progress and change is a spark of creativity.

Getting Into Your Genes

4 talks

DNA is the code of life. And it’s the DNA in your genes that determines the traits that make you who and what you are.  Our genes are unique but with so many scientific advancements, what have we learnt about ourselves from our genes?

Inner Earth

3 talks

From secret worlds to mystical doors, subterranean land appeared in ancient mythology, and legends in all kinds of flavours. But right under our feet lies an incredible force of nature capable of keeping us alive as well as posing existential threats

Inside the Unbalanced Mind

3 talks

What goes on inside a disordered mind? From the challenges of diagnosing depression to the history of insanity, in this series we delve into the mysteries of psychological disorders to understand how cutting-edge research is bringing hope to sufferers.

Life's rhythms & rituals

3 talks

Rituals are one of the oldest threads in the history of human culture but we can’t always explain why they are so important. Traditions can stir up feelings of nostalgia but have you ever wondered where these traditions and rituals came from?

The Bright Night Sky

4 talks

For centuries, we have been looking up to the sky to understand the mysteries that surround us. The sky might hold the answers to some of our deepest questions such as where we came from. But what do we know so far?

Evolution of Language

7 talks

How do languages evolve?  From the origins of language to bilingualism, this series journeys into the mysteries of this uniquely human trait and the power it has to change our world.

Fascinating Flowers

4 talks

Flowers are all around us in the world but why do we love them so much?

Stress & the Body

6 talks

Stress. Your heart races, you feel overwhelmed, you may get dizzy or hot or sweaty. At some point in our lives we have all experienced that feeling, but what is actually happening to our bodies from a scientific perspective when our minds are under stress?

Art's Biggest Questions

4 talks

Join our 4-part series as we explore the world of art with Cambridge Art Historian & Broadcaster, Dr James Fox.

The Secret Life of Plants

3 talks

Plants have long been cast as the backdrop to the brassier, noisier human and animal world. But new research is revealing another side of our botanical friends, and this time it's a starring role. What have they been up to while we were looking elsewhere?

Anatomy & Identity

7 talks

How we think about who we are and how that intersect with our bodies, brains and biology is the subject of discussion today. But has this always been the case? Are there blurred lines between anatomy & identity we should be exploring?

Environmental Challenges

5 talks

Climate change is the big environmental problem that humanity will face over the next decade, but it isn't the only one. What are these environmental challenges? And how should we cope with them?

Lessons from the Animal Kingdom

3 talks

Humans aren’t the only species to suffer from mental health problems, heart disease, infertility or cancer. B. Natterson-Horowitz, MD, takes us on a journey into the animal world in search of clues to help us understand our own health and behaviour.

The World According to Colour

4 talks

"In many respects, colour's greatest challenge is - like music - it resists most attempts to describe it. Colour might be one of those subjects that simply can't be written about." But that's not going to stop Dr. James Fox from trying!

The Unconscious Mind

8 talks

The unconscious mind is a vast unmapped territory of feelings, thoughts, urges and memories that sit just outside our awareness. Luckily, our intrepid Garden Fellows are at the forefront of exploring it, and they're taking you with them on the journey.

Food for Thought

8 talks

Why is food so important to us? Beyond its nutritional benefits, food connects people. This series explores how our relationship with food has evolved over time and the meanings that different cultures ascribe to food.

Ukraine War

5 talks

The 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine brought the world's attention to Eastern Europe. This collection brings together world experts to share their insights into why this conflict happened & the long term implications of the war.

Unequal Society

3 talks

Our societies are becoming more economically unequal, but what can we do about it? Join the director and researchers of the IFS to discuss what needs to be done, and what's possible, to build a better future


4 talks

In difficult times, humans start thinking about what a perfect world - a utopia - might look like. Many have explored the concept, some have even tried to build it. We’re exploring how different thinkers have approached the idea of utopia.


3 talks

Love has been variously described as an emotion, a verb, a drug, or even a mood disorder. It motivates us to do things that go against logic, sense and self-preservation. We're bringing you some new ways to think about this most human of instincts.

Growing Up & Growing Old

3 talks

"It is sad to go to pieces like this but we all have to do it," said Mark Twain. But do we, really? Our crack team of Garden Fellows are thinking differently about growing up and growing old, and they're here to help you do the same.


3 talks

Throughout history, humans have found ways to oppress and malign those they feel they're in opposition to, whether because of ethnicity or beliefs. In this collection, we're exploring the legacy of persecutions past, and why they're such a recurring theme.

The Theory of Happiness

3 talks

Happiness: is it a science, or is it an art? To help us all get through the deepest and darkest part of January, we're exploring what researchers and deep thinkers have to say about what makes us happy.

Shakespeare's Relevance

4 talks

Shakespeare isn't just a dead white guy. His plays and ideas are still relevant today. In this collection, your Fellows will bring Shakespeare to life and make you consider his relevance as a guide to the world we live in today.

The Teenage Brain

3 talks

Adolescence is characterised by behaviours and emotions that seem inexplicable to us as adults, from mood swings and risk-taking to peer pressure. This collection is a deep dive into what makes the teenage brain so unique.

Amazing Oceans

7 talks

Covering almost three-quarters of the Earth, our amazing oceans are vast, beautiful, scary and relatively unexplored. This collection brings to the surface fascinating insights and stories across ocean science, conservation and culture.


8 talks

It’s always good to question what we think we know. The Rethinking Collection is a series of Garden Talks by world experts that reexamine the ideas and events that have shaped and continue to shape our world.

Mysteries of the Mind

4 talks

This collection reveals some of the mysteries of the mind from how the brain works to why our mind play tricks on us and brings to light the brain's superpower.

Forensics: Evidence, Ethics & Evaluation

4 talks

This collection looks at crime, from how to solve a criminal investigation with evidence to how we treat offenders with mental health problems, and gives us intriguing insights into the myths and reality of forensic science.

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