BBC Radio Three is bringing its annual festival Free Thinking - A Festival of Ideas, to the Sage, Gateshead on 23-25 October 2009.
You can find lots of information about the weekend's events on the Radio Three website here.
They are running an online poll to find the "the Greatest North-East Free Thinker". The short list was drawn up with the help of the Literary and Philosophical Society. It includes Bede (672/673-735), Josephine Butler (1828-1906) and Ellen Wilkinson (1891-1947).
Among the free thinking luminaries is Thomas Bewick who receives this citation: "Thomas Bewick (1753-1828) - Printmaker and illustrator who revived the art of wood engraving, and whose work in the genre remains unsurpassed. His most famous work is his History of British Birds, with illustrations often based on his own watercolours."
The winning candidate will be the subject of a specially commissioned essay, to be decided on the eve of the Free Thinking weekend, and then recorded live at Free Thinking for broadcast on Radio 3 at 11.00pm on Friday October 30th.
This event will be broadcast in Radio 3's The Essay on Friday 30 October.
Click here to go to the voting page where you can cast your own vote. The vote closes at midnight on the 16th October, and the result will be announced in Night Waves on 19th October.