O'Really?

May 31, 2010

Martin Rees on Science and the Citizen

This years Reith Lectures by Martin Rees are being broadcast on BBC Radio 4 during June. An important theme in the lectures this year is scientists relationship with society. Rees argues that science is part of our culture, crucial for dealing with pressing international issues like population growth, food security and energy development. He also argues that science is not just for scientists, everyone has have a feel for it, not just the specialists. Here is the blurb from the first lecture: “Science and the Citizen”

“In the first of this year’s Reith Lectures, entitled Scientific Horizons, Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society, Master of Trinity College and Astronomer Royal, explores the challenges facing science in the 21st century. We are increasingly turning to government and the media to explain the risks we face. But in the wake of public confusion over issues like climate change, the swine ‘flu vaccine and, more recently, Iceland’s volcanic ash cloud, Martin Rees calls on scientists to come forward and play a greater role in helping us understand the science that affects us all.”

Lectures are available below and via the iPlayer.

Lecture Topic File Play in Browser
1/4: The Scientific Citizen Who should we should trust to explain the risks we face? mp3


2/4: Surviving the Century Does science have the answers to help us save our planet? mp3


3/4: What We Will Never Know What are the limits of Scientific knowledge? mp3


4/4: The Runaway World How can countries stay scientifically competitive? mp3


[Creative Commons licensed picture of Martin Rees above by The Reith Lectures on Flickr, see also introductory clip on the lectures.]

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