2023 Events

29 September – 6pm – Wigtown Festival

12 September – FREE FOR ALL Toppings St Andrews

31 August – Launch event FREE FOR ALL – Toppings, Edinburgh

28 August – Edinburgh Book Festival – with Devi Sridar on the NHS

22 August – with Katherine Rundell on John Donne – Edinburgh Book Festival

16 August – Edinburgh Book Festival (on Thomas Browne)

17 June – Solas Festival, Errol, Perthshire

28 May – National Centre for Writing, Norwich (on Sir Thomas Browne)

23rd May – 7.30pm Toppings Edinburgh – on Sir Thomas Browne

13 May – Medicine Unboxed, London

6 May – Ullapool Book Festival, with Jeane Freeman and Linda Bauld

25 March, Wintering Well, Seasonal Effective Disorder discussion, Glasgow.

8 February – online with Katherine May, author of ‘Wintering’ and ‘Enchantment’

7 February – 7pm Assisted Dying – debate on the proposed bill before Scottish Parliament, with Liam McArthur MSP. University of Edinburgh.

1 February – A celebration of Robert Burns – 5pm Deichman Library, Oslo, with Kathleen Jamie and Roseanne Watt

21 January – 9am, Recovery – a presentation to Hospital Lusíadas, Lisbon, Portugal (online)

Previous Events


3 September, 3.30pm Dandelion Festival Inverness (Recovery)

1 September 2pm – Nairn Festival

31 August – Guest Speaker Moniack Mhor non-fiction course

27 August, 5.30pm Edinburgh International Book Festival (Recovery)

10 August, Fringe By the Sea (Intensive Care & Recovery)

22 June, 6pm St Magnus Festival Orkney (Intensive Care)

16 June, 7.30pm Borders Book Festival

8-12 June – Procida Festival – Italian Capital of Culture (Island Dreams)

5 June – 5pm, Humanitas University, Milano, Italy

19 May Humanism in Surgery Conference, Oporto, Portugal – presentation Adventures in Medical Practice (14.00 Lisbon time – online) 

26 March Oxford Literary Festival (in person) St Cross College 4pm

17 March, 8pm Toppings Edinburgh (in person)

5 March Trieste Book Festival (Isole – cartografia di un sogno)

20 January, Explore Wellcome (online) with Sam Guglani & Havi Carel


27 November 2pm, Cove & Kilcreggan Festival – with Melanie Reid

7 November 11am, Gravity Festival – Intensive Care (online & in person)

28 October, Faclan 2021, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis 8.15 pm (Island Dreams)

14 October, 6pm, Berwick Literary Festival (online)

11 October, Liverpool Literary Festival / Scouse Science Podcast – 1.30pm Liverpool Science Park

3 October, 11am, Portbello Book Festival – in person with John Budd of the Edinburgh Access Practice

19 September – Wordplay in Shetland – Mareel, Lerwick, 8.30pm

22 August – Edinburgh International Book Festival – 4pm

15 August – Fringe By The Sea – North Berwick – 1pm

12 August – Seall Literary Festival, Skye

31 July – 2.45pm – East Anglia Festival

12 June 1600 – Boswell Book Festival – with Amanda Owen & Sally Magnusson

25 May – Opportunities for Health – with CMO Chris Whitty & Edinburgh University’s Futures Institute – 4-6pm

16 May Aye Write – with Madeleine Bunting

28 April – Institute for the Advances Study of the Humanities, Edinburgh, and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

23 March – 6.30pm, Cambridge Literary Festival (with Rachel Clarke)

13 March – Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival

Saturday 27 February, Orkney Library

Thursday 25 Feb, 7pm Wellcome Trust – with Louise Welsh [Intensive Care]

Wednesday 10 Feb, 7pm Wigtown Wednesdays Festival [Intensive Care]

Monday 1 Feb, 11am, Stanfords Travel Writing Festival [Island Dreams]


October… Big Scottish Book Club, BBC Scotland, with Damian Barr.

October 7, Cheltenham Festival – 4pm

October 3, Portobello Book Festival

August 24 – Edinburgh International Book Festival (online) – The Lie of the Land, with Kapka Kassabova

August 13 – 5.30pm.  Creative Conversations with Publishing Scotland & University of Glasgow:

Writing the Ground Beneath Our Feet – with Kathleen Jamie, Mandy Haggith, & Sue Red Sexton

Originally set for 24 March The Compassion Salon, 8pm, Leith has been reset to Wednesday 10 June 4pm (in partnership with Royal Society for the Arts online)   Book through the link.

5 February The Enigma of Life: Confronting Marvels at the Edges of Science. 

New York Academy of Science / NPR, World Trade Center


November 23, Cove & Kilcreggan Book Festival, 12 noon.

November 9, Mallaig Book Festival, 6pm

October 5 Portobello Book Festival, 3.30pm

July 7, St Petersburg Lecture The Amazing Human Body – Past, Present & Future.  Geek Picnic (Immortality)

July 6, Russian Launch of Metamorphozy, 3pm, Bookvoed, St Petersburg (Nevsky Prospekt 46)

June 22 Warsaw, Poland – Big Book Festival

June 9 (Sunday) 2.30pm. Connect with Nature Festival, Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh

May 10 Turin Book Fair – International Hall & Mastio della Citadella

April 7-11 – Netherlands – series of events for launch of Shapeshifters / Gedaanteverwisselaars

March 16  – Words by the Water, Cumbria

February 12, 6.30pm, Waterstones West End – Paperback Launch of Shapeshifters

February 7 – Edinburgh Medical School

Jan 31st, 7pm Wellcome Trust, chairing ‘The Sun & Us’ – on sunlight and health

Jan 1: Christmas University Challenge, representing Edinburgh. BBC2, 8.30pm


2-8 November, Kalimat Festival

– Jerusalem, Nablus, Ramallah, Bethlehem

Thursday 11 October 2018, Holyrood Festival of Politics, Scottish Parliament:  The NHS at 70 – Unsustainable?  1700-1830

Carisle Borderlines Book Festival, Saturday 6 October, 12 noon.

Wigtown Book Festival, Saturday 22nd September, 6pm

Nairn Book Festival, Saturday 15 September, 1.45pm

Monday 27 August, Edinburgh Book Festival – contributor to Freedom Finale

Saturday 11th August, Edinburgh Book Festival

Wednesday July 18, 7pm, Glasgow Skeptics, Sauchiehall St, Glasgow

Sunday 15 July, 2.30pm, Buxton Book Festival

Thursday 7 July, 7pm, Orkney Library, Stromness, Orkney

Sunday 17 June, 5.15pm, Borders Book Festival, Melrose

Thursday 7 June, St Andrews, Waterstones

June: month-long Shapeshifters Exhibition, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh

Monday 28 May, Hay-on-Wye

Sunday 27 May, 12.30, Charleston Festival, Lewes, Sussex

Saturday 26 May, 12.30, 5×15, with Rachel Clarke, Suzanne O’Sullivan, Aarathi Prasad, & Jack Hartnell  Norfolk & Norwich Festival

Thursday 17 May, Explore Wellcome, Euston Road, London

Thursday 10 May, Explore Wellcome, Euston Road, London

Thurs 26 May, ‘Shapeshifters’ public launch, Edinburgh Central Library 6.30pm

March 10, BBC Free Thinking Festival, Gateshead

Feb 3rd, 11am, Linlithgow Book Festival

Jan 26th, LOVAH conference, Utrecht

Jan 18th 6pm Kelvin Hall Lecture Theatre, Glasgow

‘An Anatomy of Curiosity, a personal tour of Edinburgh University’s Anatomical collections

Jan 12 Chairing Sir Michael Marmot on Health, Status & Inequality

Playfair Library, Edinburgh, 5pm (free)


4-5 November Krasnoyarsk Book Fair, Russia

2 November, Public Lecture, ‘Literature & Science in Medicine’, Nekrasov Library, Moscow – 7.30pm

2 November, Maxim Gorky Literature Institute, On Translations of Adventures in Human Being, 11am

Wed 30 August – Guest speaker, Moniack Mhor

Wed 23 August – Is Literature Healthy? hosting discussion at Edinburgh International Book Festival

Monday 15 May, International School of Biophysics Conference, Erice, Sicily.

Keynote: ‘Communicating Wonder in Science’

Saturday 6th May, Ullapool Book Festival, 11.30

Thursday 30 March, University of Edinburgh

Adventures in Medicine & Literature, 7pm Appleton Tower Lecture Theatre 5 (free)

30 January, The legacy of Sir Thomas Browne, 6.30pm:

Royal College of Physicians, London, in conversation with Professor Claire Preston

12 January 12 noon Symposium Hall, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh


28 November, Caixa Forum, 19.00 Zaragoza, Espana

19-20 November, Medicine Unboxed, Cheltenham

10 November, West of Scotland Faculty, Royal College of General Practitioners, Radisson Hotel, Glasgow; ‘A Fortunate Profession’

2 November, DICIM, Almere, The Netherlands

17 October, Sheridan Memorial Lecture, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island (US)

13 September – Abraham Verghese & Gavin Francis on Medicine & Literature;  Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh 6pm

10-11 September Mantova Book Festival (Italy)



Medicine & Literature – Synergies

14th 11am, Reading Workshop on Oliver Sacks

22nd 2pm, Jim Doty & John Gillies on Compassion

22nd 5.45 pm Poetry & Medicine with Scottish Poetry Library

23rd 7.15pm In Discussion with Iain Bamforth & Allan Little, discussing medicine & literature

24th 1145 – Mindfulness with Ruby Wax

24th 2pm – with Eula Biss & Chitra Ramaswamy

28 June 6.30pm TEDx Salon on Compassion & Courage, Royal Society of Edinburgh, George St, Edinburgh

15 May (Sunday) 1430 Anatomy Lecture Theatre, Teviot Place, Edinburgh

9 May, (Sunday) Boswell Book Festival, Dumfries House

17 March 7pm (Thursday) Oakley Library, Fife

6 March, (Sunday) 2pm, Words on the Water, Keswick

Wednesday 2 March, Careers Hive (for school students) – National Museum of Scotland, Science Festival

29th Feb (Monday) 7pm, 5×15, The Tabernacle, London

25 February (Thursday) 6.30pm Waterstones Sauchiehall St Glasgow

18 February (Thursday) 6.30pm Waterstones St Andrews

13 February (saturday), 4pm Pitlochry Book Festival (with Malachy Tallack)

11 February (thursday) – Dundee Library 6.30pm

7 February, 4pm Amsterdam – Scheltema Book Store (Dutch launch of Adventures in Human Being)

22 January, Jaipur Literary Festival, India –

with Atul Gawande & Aarathi Prasad


 28-29 November Cambridge Literary Festival

13 November, 5pm, Mansfield College, Oxford

10 November 7pm Edinburgh Central Library

30-31st October – Hebridean Faclan Festival, Stornoway – with Henry Marsh & Stephen Grosz

25th October Dundee Book Festival – with Professor Sue Black

10 October  Wells Festival, 5.30pm

10 October Cheltenham, with Adam Rutherford & Ian Jenkins 12.30pm

1st October Wigtown Book Festival

26 September 2.30 Write on Kew – Kew Gardens

30th August 2.30pm Edinburgh Book Festival – Reading Workshop on A RFortunate Man

29th August 12.30 Edinburgh Book Festival

Sunday 2 August, Enniskillen Beckett Festival (with Marion Coutts)

30th July 6pm, Waterstones West End, Edinburgh

6th July 7.30pm, Stromness Town Hall, Orkney (free entry)

13th June 6.15pm, Borders Book Festival

30th May, 7pm, Hay-on-Wye

28th May, Wellcome Trust, Euston Road, London

27th May, 7pm, London Review of Books Bookshop, Bloomsbury

26th May, 7pm Looking Glass Books, Edinburgh

14th May, 8pm, Toppings St Andrews

10 May TEDx Portobello ’Seeing Things Differently’

London Salon, Proud Archivist: 2-10 Hertford Rd N1 5ET – 6th May

Aye Write, Glasgow – 25th April 2015

Royal College of Art, London, 17th April 2pm (on A Fortunate Man)

Science Festival, Summerhall, 8pm 14th April

Past events: Bhutan Mountain Echoes Lahore Literary Festival Royal Scottish Geographical Society, Hay International Festival, Dundee Literary Festival, Bath Literary Festival, Words on the Water – Cumbria, Aye Write – Glasgow, University of St Andrews, Hay Winter Weekend, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Scott Polar Research Institute, Borders Book Festival, East Neuk Festival, Harrogate Literary Lectures