Scientific Horizons [World Service]

Episodes

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01Episode 1: The Scientific Citizen - The Reith Lectures20100605

Martin Rees explores the challenges facing science in the 21st Century.

The BBC's annual series of lectures from a major academic figure.

In the first of this year’s Reith Lectures, Professor Martin Rees - President of the Royal Society and Astronomer Royal - explores the challenges facing science in the 21st Century.

We are increasingly turning to our governments and national media to explain the risks we face. But in the wake of public confusion over global pandemics like swine flu and more recently Iceland’s volcanic ash cloud that spread across Europe, Professor Rees calls on scientists to come forward and play a greater role in helping us understand the science that affects us all.

Producer Kirsten Lass
Editor Sue Ellis

Contact the programme: thereithlectures@bbc.co.uk

01Episode 1: The Scientific Citizen - The Reith Lectures20100606
02Episode 2: Surviving The Century - The Reith Lectures20100612

Martin Rees explores whether science can save our planet.

The BBC's annual series of lectures from a major academic figure.

In the second of this year’s Reith Lectures, recorded for the first time in Wales in its capital city Cardiff, Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society and Astronomer Royal, continues to explore the challenges facing science in the 21st Century.

Our planet is coming under increasing strain from climate change, population explosion and food shortages. As we use up our natural resources ever more quickly, how can we use science to help us solve the crisis that we are moving rapidly towards?

We need international consensus, and global funding for clean and green technologies. The challenge, for scientists, governments and people everywhere, is to confront the threats to our planet and find the solutions in science.

Producer: Kirsten Lass
Editor: Sue Ellis

Contact the programme: thereithlectures@bbc.co.uk

02Episode 2: Surviving The Century - The Reith Lectures20100613
03Episode 3: What We'll Never Know - The Reith Lectures20100619

Astronomer Royal Martin Rees looks into the future and explores what we'll never know.

The BBC's annual series of lectures from a major academic figure.

In the third of this year's Reith Lectures, recorded at the Royal Society during its 350th anniversary year, its President Martin Rees continues to explore the challenges facing science in the 21st Century.

He stresses there are things that will always lie beyond our sphere of comprehension and we should accept these limits to our knowledge. On the other hand, there are things we've never even dreamt of that will one day be ours to explore and understand.

The outcome of the quest for alien life will revolutionise our sense of self in the next two decades. But some things - like travelling back in time - will never happen.

Producer: Kirsten Lass
Editor: Sue Ellis

Contact the programme: thereithlectures@bbc.co.uk

03Episode 3: What We'll Never Know - The Reith Lectures20100620
04Episode 4: The Runaway World - The Reith Lectures20100626

In his final Reith lecture, Martin Rees urges the UK to stay at the forefront of science.

The BBC's annual series of lectures from a major academic figure.

In the fourth and final Reith Lecture of 2010, Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society and Astronomer Royal, explores how fast our world is moving in the 21st Century.

Speaking at the Open University in Milton Keynes, the home of online learning, he acknowledges how the internet and other technologies have transformed our lives.

Now he calls on politicians and other powers that be to provide the funding that will keep the UK among the world’s front runners in scientific research and discovery.

Without money and without education to attract young people into science, the UK is in danger of falling behind China and India - countries that are investing heavily in their science and technology sectors.

Professor Rees ends his series of lectures evoking memories of the ‘glorious’ Ely Cathedral, near Cambridge in England, a monument built to last a thousand years.

If we, like the cathedral builders, redirect our energies and focus on the long-term, he believes together we can solve the problems that face our planet, and secure its future for billions of people worldwide and for generations to come.

Producer: Kirsten Lass
Editor: Sue Ellis

Contact the programme: thereithlectures@bbc.co.uk

04Episode 4: The Runaway World - The Reith Lectures20100627