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Thread: Science Lectures

  1. #1
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    Default Science Lectures

    I remember a number of science/physics lectures on UK TV. They were set in an auditorium (presumably a university) and were performed by some scientist with the aid of some very impressive and spectacular practical demonstrations. The live audience were mainly younger (students) if I recall correctly.
    Any guess by me as to the approximate date would only be misleading.

    I am hoping this 'series' may be on DVD somewhere but for the life of me can't remember the name or what channel they appeared on, although BBC2 seems a likely candidate.

    As usual any assistance is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Science Lectures

    Could be the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures
    Last edited by kass; 18-04-2008 at 19:58. Reason: spelling error

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Science Lectures

    I remember watching these

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Science Lectures

    Sounds very much like the Royal Institution Lectures, were originally on BBC2 during the day during the Christmas holidays. This last Christmas they were on Channel Five, believe they've also been on Channel Four.
    Last edited by HG; 18-04-2008 at 21:43.
    The only thing to look forward to is the past

  5. #5

    Default Re: Science Lectures

    Is there an echo in here LOL

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Science Lectures

    Just expanding a bit
    The only thing to look forward to is the past

  7. #7

    Default Re: Science Lectures

    ROFL

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Science Lectures

    Loads of clips from these lectures on YouTube

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FSMrwzdtLY

    This one, the first of 6 by David Attenborough
    Joybee - DYR SUPERGRAN !!
    www.doyouremember.co.uk <<< why not visit our main website

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Science Lectures

    Sorry for the late return to this post. I am most grateful to all that have responded to this.

    I shall now go and spend some time (probably a lot of time) viewing the clips.

    Having the actual name helps no end when searching for things like this

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Science Lectures

    I have just seen the 2018 lectures on BBC Four this week, and I have to say that Alice Roberts and Aoife McLysaght were trying too much to be like a feminist sub-French and Saunders double act with their biology / zoology lectures this year - quite a long way from how the lectures were even ten years ago when this thread was originally started - it did make me cringe a bit because of that. It makes me think that the lectures are dumbing down because of the choice of lecturer. I watched Walter Bodmer's 1984 series of lectures on the RI website a couple of weeks of which dealt with similar issues of biology and that was well put together - props delivered and various youngsters invited out from the audience to help with the experiments. Eric Lathwaite's series on engineering made me think that Lathwaite really knew his subject from top to bottom - I saw something he did on YT which was independent of the RI and I was very impressed.

    One interesting thing about the lectures now the RI have put them online is how conservative the lecturers dressed in the 1970s and 1980s when viewed - the eccentricity of the late Heinz Wolf and Christopher Zeeman make fascinating viewing over four decades on, and don't forget that the 2006 lecturer Marcus du Sautoy was a child in the audience back in 1978 when Zeeman delivered his lecture. Up until the late 1980s most lecturers wore a suit and tie which went by the time Richard Dawkins did his stint in 1991, and by the time Kevin Fong delivered his in 2015, he was appearing in t-shirt and jeans, Russell Howard-style! - one could not imagine a lecturer dressed like that even in the 1990s when I was first aware of them! I do think that it is a way of dumbing down in hindsight - I don't want to see someone dress like a denim skirted chav doing the lectures next year - I think that the lecturer should resemble a teacher or someone in authority at the very least where they look as if they can gain respect.

    Also, quite a lot of lecturers had their own niche subjects - Charles Taylor with his music; Zeeman / Ian Stewart / du Sautoy with their mathematics etc. It was a huge mistake for the lectures to leave BBC 2 in 1999 and for them to arrive on Channel 4 (where for the first time, ad breaks were interrupting them, and even the lecturers themselves announcing them). Channel 4 even got into trouble with the ITC for scheduling alcohol adverts in the middle of them who said that the lectures were "children's programming". Channel 5 had them for a few years, then More 4 and then onto BBC Four where I feel that it was a huge demotion for a series of programmes that deserve more respect - even the number of lectures have been cut own to just three a year instead of the five or six that they had since 1966 at least. For channels that have dropped educational programmes on daytime TV in the past 15 years, they also pigeon-holed this as well, probably because it is not a soap opera. Even Open University programmes have gone as well which is a shame.

    It must have been so fascinating being around in the mid 19th century and see Faraday demonstrating how electricity and chemistry works, and I wondered what he would have thought of the lectures that are on now - I would have thought that electricity would have been something that would have been in the future back in the 1820s when the lectures were founded, and that humans was still wondering how we get gas from the heat of the sun.

    I just want the Christmas lectures to be given the respect that it deserves - they can prove that education can also be entertaining and informative as well as just educational.
    Last edited by George 1978; 29-12-2018 at 06:18.
    I am now in my 40s (just in case anyone asks).

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