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The Royal Institute’s Christmas Lectures Online Now

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I’ve never had the pleasure of being in the UK at the time that the Royal Institute of Great Britain have aired their very famous Christmas Lectures, but I hear often from followers and friends in the UK on social media how many of them have been positively impacted by these lectures.

The history of the RI Christmas Lectures is quite long and rich. This from Wikipedia summarizes:

The Royal Institution’s Christmas Lectures were first held in 1825, and have continued on an annual basis since then with the exception of during the Second World War.They are hosted each year at the Royal Institution itself, with the exception of during 1929 and between 2005-2006, each time due to refurbishment of the building. They were created by Michael Faraday, and he went on to host the lecture season on nineteen occasions. Other notable lecturers have included Richard Dawkins, Heinz Wolff, Sir David Attenborough and Carl Sagan. The hosts of the lectures have been predominantly male, with only four female lecturers hosting the events since their inception.

Wikipedia also points out “The hosts of the lectures have been predominantly male, with only four female lecturers hosting the events since their inception.”

This year the theme was Modern Alchemy: Explore the World of Modern Chemistry. Take a look:

Are you interested in more? Check out the RI channel on youtube or their website where you can find the 2012 Christmas Lectures available to watch in full and for free. Of use to educators, each Lecture is published with a range of linked learning resources, behind-the-scenes clips and searchable transcripts.

image from Wikipedia

Joanne Manaster About the Author: Joanne Manaster is a university level cell and molecular biology lecturer with an insatiable passion for science outreach to all ages. Enjoy her quirky videos at, on twitter @sciencegoddess and on her Facebook page at JoanneLovesScience Follow on Twitter @sciencegoddess.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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