Two of England’s oldest universities, Oxford and Cambridge, have taken the leap into the digital age, recently launching their own podcast channels. Now, no matter where you live, you can experience the intellectual world that has given us William Gladstone, Oscar Wilde, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking (Oxford alums) and also John Milton, Charles Darwin, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Salman Rushdie (Cambridge alums).
When I first started this blog, Oxford offered up only one podcast, which was really a mini-course by Stuart Lee called Old English in Context (iTunes – RSS). Fast forward a couple of years and you find a much more robust general collection (iTunes – RSS – Web Site). Here’s a quick sampling of the audio & video available to you here:
- Joseph Stiglitz explaining the Global Credit Crunch (iTunes – Rss Feed)
- Talks about JRR Tolkein (iTunes – Rss Feed)
- Timothy Garton Ash on Isaiah Berlin (iTunes)
- Readings from John Milton’s Works (iTunes– Rss Feed)
- The World War I Poetry Digital Archive (iTunes – Rss Feed)
Cambridge’s collection (iTunes – RSS – Web Site) perhaps doesn’t have the same breadth. But it has more focus, and more video podcasts. The collection notably features The Naked Scientists (iTunes – RSS– Web Site), a well established podcast by Dr. Chris Smith, which “takes an interactive look at different aspects of science, medicine and technology.” You’ll also find here another science podcast called “In a Blink of an Eye” (iTunes). Recorded in video, this program takes things that we see in everyday life, and then shows us what’s really happening on the atomic and molecular level. And, for the past several weeks, it has remained one of the most downloaded podcasts on iTunesU. It currently ranks fifth. Other notable podcasts include God’s Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible, The Language of Law: Why Poetry Matters, Cambridge Codebreakers and British Intelligence, and A Future Beyond Oil.