It’s Christmas!! I am a big Christmas fan, as I’m sure many of you are. With Christmas comes family traditions. Everyone has them. Whether it’s when you put up the Christmas tree, what you eat or what you give and receive. There is one particular family tradition I have which I would like to share.
For every year since my memory begins, I remember sitting down in front of the television with my family to watch the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. I would go as far as to say that these have been one of the driving factors in my passion for science.
Founded in 1779 the Royal Institution is devoted to the scientific education of the public and research. This immediately attracts my attention as I am particularly interested in the teaching of science to the general public. The Royal Institution can boast such scientists as Humphry Davy and Michael Faraday along with mmany more. Started by Faraday, the first Christmas lecture took place in 1825, and has been held every year since, except 1939-1942. It was first televised in 1966 allowing increased availability of scientific education to the general public. The topics covered each year are specific to a certain area within science but over the years have covered every area within science. I have found them very enjoyable, easy to follow and always learn something new.
So comes to the 2013 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. There will be three lectures broadcast on BBC4 at 8pm on the 28th, 29th and 30th of December taught by Dr Alison Woollard. The reason I am especially excited this year is that they have collectively been titled “Life Fantastic”. As a third-year Biology student (on a bio-molecular route), I am hoping that I already know most of what will be discussed, but the thought of this just excites me. I love Biology and hope these lectures can inspire others to follow a Biology route, or a wider science path, in the same way that the lectures have inspired me in the past.
Whilst science is my passion, I believe that there is something in the Christmas Lectures for everyone to enjoy. As such, I highly recommend that you give them a watch this year. Perhaps, like with my family, they will become part of your family Christmas traditions and you will be watching them with your children/grandchildren in years to come.
All information has come from The Royal Institution website at http://www.rigb.org/ which includes recordings of past lectures, well worth a watch.
- Genetics lecturer Alison Woollard chosen for prestigious TV talks (oxfordmail.co.uk)
- Video: Chromosome Trailer (RiAdvent 2013) (onthenatureofthings.com)
- Christmas lectures will address ethical challenges posed by genetics (theguardian.com)