Stephen Hawking to give the 2015 Reith Lectures

Professor Ceiling Cat is going home to rest, but before I do I want to call your attention, courtesy of reader Dermot C., to the fact that Stephen Hawking will be giving this year’s series of Reith Lectures for the BBC. This prestigious series has featured leading thinkers since 1948, when Bertrand Russell first spoke on “Authority and the Individual.” They’ve been a mix of science and non-science talks, but the lineup has been great. Here’s the series for this decade so far:

  • 2010 Martin Rees, Scientific Horizons
  • 2011 Aung San Suu Kyi and Baroness Manningham-Buller, Securing Freedom
  • 2012 Niall Ferguson The Rule of Law and its Enemies
  • 2013 Grayson Perry Playing to the Gallery
  • 2014 Atul Gawande The Future of Medicine

The 2015 lectures (it’s not clear yet if there will be more than one) will be on black holes, and Hawking will be recorded at the Royal Institution in London on November 12. (Presumably he’ll use his voice synthesizer).

And there’s more: at the link above you can actually email questions to Dr. Hawking (, and he’ll answer a few of them.  You can also get tickets here. Though they’re not available yet, you can get put on a mailing list to find out when they are.

The BBC has archived all the Reith lectures in one place, so if you find some of the topics and speakers intriguing, go here to listen.


  1. Marella
    Posted September 7, 2015 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    More good stuff to listen to, brilliant!

  2. EvolvedDutchie
    Posted September 7, 2015 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Thanks! I will listen the very first lecture by Bertrand Russell tomorrow. There are some very interesting lecturers as well.

  3. Posted September 7, 2015 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Excellent, but I’ll have to read it rather than listen.

  4. kelskye
    Posted September 7, 2015 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    This is great! I really liked the Reith lectures with Martin Rees, and have been waiting fora scientist to come back.

  5. David Harper
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    Atul Gawande’s lectures last year were deeply insightful and very moving. I strongly recommend them.

  6. bric
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    Can I mention another series broadcast annually by the BBC, The Royal Institution Christmas Lecture, this year ‘How to Survive in Space’ given by Dr Kevin Fong

    The RI lectures were started in 1825 by Michael Faraday and are primarily aimed at younger people; a number of earlier broadcasts are available here

    • Posted September 8, 2015 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      Thanks a lot for the link bric!

      • bric
        Posted September 8, 2015 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        you are very welcome O King of Kings!

  7. mrclaw69
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Yay! I love the Reith Lectures. The Beeb should do more of this sort of thing!

    I remember the mighty Steve Jones did them in 1991, adapting them for his fabulous book The Language of the Genes.

    I’m a big fan of Steve’s. He’s incisive, writes beautifully, and if there’s a drier man on the planet I’d be surprised….

  8. Posted September 8, 2015 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Awesome news!! Thanks for the link to the previous lectures!

  9. Francisco A Barrau
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Sorry to use this way to send a message to Dr. Coyne. In the official radio in Spain (RTVE) Juan Pablo Arenas comments the blog of Dr. Coyne in his short daily program “El Buscador”, about science and technology. He comments the sexual vs. asexual depending on diseases and parasites, etc. based on works of biologist Dr. Jerry Coyne.
    He who wants to listen to it (in Spanish) can download it here (3.6 MB)

    [audio src="" /]

%d bloggers like this: