Ben Pile is an independent political researcher, film-maker, writer and blogger. His research interests are energy and environmental politics, and the intersection of science and society. He is convenor of the Big Potatoes energy working group and a frequent contributor to spiked. In his writing, Ben identifies the social dimensions that underpin seemingly technical discourse, and argues that environmentalism is in fact a political idea requiring political debate, rather than a narrow, face-value response to scientific discoveries.
Looking back today
"I was impressed by the intensity of the debate and the high level of intellectual engagement, not least by the audience. It was an invigorating, even exhilarating experience to be part of a festival based on the conviction that disagreement is good. The Battle of Ideas is a fantastic concept, may it spread epidemically to the rest of the world. I am already looking forward to next year's event."
Thomas Hylland Eriksen, professor of social anthropology, University of Oslo; novelist