Reith Lectures

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The Reith Lectures is a series of annual radio lectures given by leading figures of the day, commissioned by the BBC and broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service. The lectures were inaugurated in 1948 by the BBC to mark the historic contribution made to public service broadcasting by Sir John Reith, the corporation's first director-general.

Lord Reith maintained that broadcasting should be a public service which enriches the intellectual and cultural life of the nation. It is in this spirit that the BBC each year invites a leading figure to deliver a series of lectures on radio. The aim is to advance public understanding and debate about significant issues of contemporary interest.[1]

The first Reith lecturer was the philosopher and Nobel laureate, Bertrand Russell. The first female lecturer was Dame Margery Perham in 1961, who spoke on the impact of colonialism in her series of talks entitled The Colonial Reckoning.[2] The youngest Reith Lecturer was Colin Blakemore, who was 32 years old in 1976 when he broadcast six lectures on the brain and consciousness, titled Mechanics of the Mind.[3]

The Reith Lectures archive[edit]

In June 2011 BBC Radio 4 published its Reith Lectures archive.[4] This included two podcasts featuring over 240 lectures from 1948 to the present day as well as streamed online audio, and the complete written transcripts of the entire Reith Lectures archive:

  • Podcast 1: Archive 1948–1975[5]
  • Podcast 2: Archive 1976–2012[6]
  • Transcripts 1948–2010 [7]
  • In pictures[8]

The BBC found that some of the audio archive of the Reith Lectures was missing from its library and appealed to the public for copies of the missing lectures.[4]

The Reith Lectures 1948–2018[edit]

1940s[edit]

1950s[edit]

1960s[edit]

1970s[edit]

1980s[edit]

1990s[edit]

2000s[edit]

2010s[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Radio 4 - The Reith Lectures - About Reith". BBC. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  2. ^ "Margery Perham: The Colonial Reckoning: 1961, The Reith Lectures - BBC Radio 4". BBC. 
  3. ^ "Colin Blakemore: Mechanics of the Mind: 1976, The Reith Lectures - BBC Radio 4". BBC. 
  4. ^ a b "BBC Radio 4 unveils 60 years of Reith Lectures archive". BBC News. 2011-06-26. 
  5. ^ "Archive 1948-1975 - The Reith Lectures - Downloads - BBC Radio 4". BBC. 
  6. ^ "Archive 1976-2012 - The Reith Lectures - Downloads - BBC Radio 4". BBC. 
  7. ^ "BBC - Radio 4 - The Reith Lectures Transcripts 2011". 
  8. ^ "In Pictures: The Reith Lectures". 2 December 2014 – via www.bbc.co.uk. 
  9. ^ "Harvard University Professor Michael Sandel to give Radio 4's Reith Lectures 2009". BBC. 2009-02-05. Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  10. ^ "Martin Rees: Scientific Horizons: 2010, The Reith Lectures - BBC Radio 4". BBC. 
  11. ^ "Securing Freedom: 2011, The Reith Lectures - BBC Radio 4". BBC. 
  12. ^ "Niall Ferguson: The Rule of Law and Its Enemies: 2012, The Reith Lectures - BBC Radio 4". BBC. 
  13. ^ "Democracy Has Bad Taste, Grayson Perry: Playing to the Gallery: 2013, The Reith Lectures - BBC Radio 4". BBC. 
  14. ^ "Dr Atul Gawande: The Future of Medicine, The Reith Lectures - BBC Radio 4". BBC. 
  15. ^ "Dr Atul Gawande: The Future of Medicine, The Reith Lectures - Dr Atul Gawande - 2014 Reith Lectures - BBC Radio 4". BBC. 
  16. ^ "Stephen Hawking: Do Black Holes Have No Hair?, The Reith Lectures - BBC World Service". BBC. 
  17. ^ "Creed, Kwame Anthony Appiah: Mistaken Identities, The Reith Lectures - BBC Radio 4". BBC. 
  18. ^ "Hilary Mantel: Resurrection: The Art And Craft, The Reith Lectures - BBC Radio 4". BBC. 
  19. ^ "Margaret MacMillan: The Mark of Cain, The Reith Lectures - BBC Radio 4". BBC. 

External links[edit]