Back in 1825, Michael Faraday, the venerated English scientist, established The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures for Children. Faraday gave the inaugural lecture himself, hoping to get a younger generation interested in science, and the tradition has carried on ever since. Above, we’re skipping forward 166 years to 1991, when Richard Dawkins, one of the world’s best known evolutionary biologists, presented a five part lecture series called Growing Up in the Universe. It’s a rather brilliant look at life, the universe, and our place in it. And while it’s geared toward a younger crowd, adults will enjoy it too. Originally televised by the BBC, the lectures now appear on YouTube, courtesy of The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.
The series starts with the first lecture above, “Waking Up in the Universe.” The remaining lectures, each 60 minutes long, are embedded below. More RI Christmas Lectures for Children can be viewed online here.
Lecture 2: Designed and Designoid Objects
Lecture 3: Climbing Mount Improbable
Lecture 4: The Ultraviolet Garden
Lecture 5: The Genesis of Purpose