In 1948 the BBC started a series of lectures called the Reith lectures, named after the first director-general of the BBC. Now every year the BBC asks a prominent scholar to deliver four lectures on behalf of the BBC. The lectures are usually prepared to be of interest to every day educated people and often exploit themes such as politics, the economy, science, religion, and climate change. These lectures give listeners a rare opportunity to sit back and listen to a clever person presenting stimulating ideas and opinions about topics and issues that shape our world. It is Reith time again! I was lucky enough to catch one today. These are broadcast on BBC radio 4 where you can listen to them any time and – da da da daa! – read the transcript. The introduction for last week’s lecture is:
“Lecture 1: ”The Scientific Citizen’In the first of this year’s Reith Lectures, entitled Scientific Horizons, Martin Rees……………………………….explores the challenges facing science in the 21st century. We are increasingly turning to government and the media to explain the risks we face. But in the wake of public confusion over issues like climate change, the swine ‘flu vaccine and, more recently, Iceland’s volcanic ash cloud, Martin Rees calls on scientists to come forward and play a greater role in helping us understand the science that affects us all.”
Follow the lecture and see the transcript (afterwards!) here.