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Reith Lectures
Annual BBC radio lectures on significant contemporary issues, from 1948-2016

The Reith Lectures were inaugurated in 1948 by the BBC to mark the historic contribution made to public service broadcasting by Sir John (later Lord) Reith, the corporation's first director-general.

John Reith maintained that broadcasting should be a public service which enriches the intellectual and cultural life of the nation. It is in this spirit that the BBC each year invites a leading figure to deliver a series of lectures on radio. The aim is to advance public understanding and debate about significant issues of contemporary interest.

The very first Reith lecturer was the philosopher, Bertrand Russell who spoke on "Authority and the Individual". Among his successors were Arnold Toynbee (The World and the West, 1952), Robert Oppenheimer (Science and the Common Understanding, 1953) and J.K. Galbraith (The New Industrial State, 1966). More recently, the Reith lectures have been delivered by the Chief Rabbi, Dr Jonathan Sacks (The Persistence of Faith, 1990) and Dr Steve Jones (The Language of the Genes, 1991).

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  1. Bertrand Russell: Authority and the Individual 1 (1948) (unknown file size)
  2. Bertrand Russell: Authority and the Individual 2 (1948) (unknown file size)
  3. Bertrand Russell: Authority and the Individual 3 (1948) (unknown file size)
  4. Bertrand Russell: Authority and the Individual 4 (1948) (unknown file size)
  5. Bertrand Russell: Authority and the Individual 5 (1948) (unknown file size)
  6. Bertrand Russell: Authority and the Individual 6 (1948) (unknown file size)
  7. Lord Radcliffe: Power and the State 5 (1951) (unknown file size)
  8. Arnold Toynbee: The World and the West 5 (1952) (unknown file size)
  9. Robert Oppenheimer: Science and the Common Understanding 6 (1953) (unknown file size)
  10. Oliver Franks: Britain and the Tide of World Affairs 3 (1954) (unknown file size)
  11. Nikolaus Pevsner: The Englishness of English Art 1 (1955) (unknown file size)
  12. Nikolaus Pevsner: The Englishness of English Art 2 (1955) (unknown file size)
  13. Nikolaus Pevsner: The Englishness of English Art 3 (1955) (unknown file size)
  14. Nikolaus Pevsner: The Englishness of English Art 4 (1955) (unknown file size)
  15. Nikolaus Pevsner: The Englishness of English Art 5 (1955) (unknown file size)
  16. Nikolaus Pevsner: The Englishness of English Art 6 (1955) (unknown file size)
  17. Nikolaus Pevsner: The Englishness of English Art 7 (1955) (unknown file size)
  18. Edward Appleton: Science and the Nation 5 (1956) (unknown file size)
  19. Edward Appleton: Science and the Nation 6 (1956) (unknown file size)
  20. George F Kennan: Russia, the Atom and the West 3 (1957) (unknown file size)
  21. George F Kennan: Russia, the Atom and the West 4 (1957) (unknown file size)
  22. Bernard Lovell: The Individual and the Universe 5 (1958) (unknown file size)
  23. Bernard Lovell: The Individual and the Universe 6 (1958) (unknown file size)
  24. Peter Medawar: The Future of Man 6 (1959) (unknown file size)
  25. Edgar Wind: Art and Anarchy 4 (1960) (unknown file size)
  26. Edgar Wind: Art and Anarchy 5 (1960) (unknown file size)
  27. Margery Perham: The Colonial Reckoning 2 (1961) (unknown file size)
  28. Margery Perham: The Colonial Reckoning 4 (1961) (unknown file size)
  29. George Carstairs: This Island Now 3 (1962) (unknown file size)
  30. Albert Sloman: A University in the Making 4 (1963) (unknown file size)
  31. Leon Bagrit: The Age of Automation 5 (1964) (unknown file size)
  32. Robert Gardiner: World of Peoples 3 (1965) (unknown file size)
  33. Robert Gardiner: World of Peoples 4 (1965) (unknown file size)
  34. John K Galbraith: The New Industrial State 4 (1966) (unknown file size)
  35. Edmund Leach: A Runaway World 3 (1967) (unknown file size)
  36. Edmund Leach: A Runaway World 6 (1967) (unknown file size)
  37. Lester Pearson: Peace in the Family of Man 3 (1968) (unknown file size)
  38. Frank Fraser Darling: Wilderness and Plenty 1 (1969) (unknown file size)
  39. Frank Fraser Darling: Wilderness and Plenty 2 (1969) (unknown file size)
  40. Frank Fraser Darling: Wilderness and Plenty 3 (1969) (unknown file size)
  41. Frank Fraser Darling: Wilderness and Plenty 4 (1969) (unknown file size)
  42. Frank Fraser Darling: Wilderness and Plenty 5 (1969) (unknown file size)
  43. Frank Fraser Darling: Wilderness and Plenty 6 (1969) (unknown file size)
  44. Donald Schön: Change and Industrial Society 1 (1970) (unknown file size)
  45. Richard Hoggart: Only Connect 6 (1971) (unknown file size)
  46. Andrew Shonfield: Europe - Journey to an Unknown Destination 1 (1972) (unknown file size)
  47. Andrew Shonfield: Europe - Journey to an Unknown Destination 2 (1972) (unknown file size)
  48. Andrew Shonfield: Europe - Journey to an Unknown Destination 3 (1972) (unknown file size)
  49. Andrew Shonfield: Europe - Journey to an Unknown Destination 4 (1972) (unknown file size)
  50. Andrew Shonfield: Europe - Journey to an Unknown Destination 5 (1972) (unknown file size)
  51. Andrew Shonfield: Europe - Journey to an Unknown Destination 6 (1972) (file not found)
  52. Alastair Buchan: Change Without War 3 (1973) (unknown file size)
  53. Alastair Buchan: Change Without War 6 (1973) (unknown file size)
  54. Ralf Dahrendorf: The New Liberty 1 (1974) (unknown file size)
  55. Ralf Dahrendorf: The New Liberty 2 (1974) (unknown file size)
  56. Ralf Dahrendorf: The New Liberty 3 (1974) (unknown file size)
  57. Ralf Dahrendorf: The New Liberty 4 (1974) (unknown file size)
  58. Daniel J Boorstin: America and the World Experience 1 (1975) (unknown file size)
  59. Colin Blakemore: Mechanics of the Mind 1 (1976) (unknown file size)
  60. Colin Blakemore: Mechanics of the Mind 2 (1976) (unknown file size)
  61. Colin Blakemore: Mechanics of the Mind 3 (1976) (unknown file size)
  62. Colin Blakemore: Mechanics of the Mind 4 (1976) (unknown file size)
  63. Colin Blakemore: Mechanics of the Mind 5 (1976) (unknown file size)
  64. Colin Blakemore: Mechanics of the Mind 6 (1976) (unknown file size)
  65. A H Halsey: Change in British Society 1 (1978) (unknown file size)
  66. A H Halsey: Change in British Society 2 (1978) (unknown file size)
  67. A H Halsey: Change in British Society 3 (1978) (unknown file size)
  68. A H Halsey: Change in British Society 4 (1978) (unknown file size)
  69. A H Halsey: Change in British Society 5 (1978) (unknown file size)
  70. A H Halsey: Change in British Society 6 (1978) (unknown file size)
  71. Edward Norman: Christianity and the World Order 1 (1978) (unknown file size)
  72. Edward Norman: Christianity and the World Order 2 (1978) (unknown file size)
  73. Edward Norman: Christianity and the World Order 3 (1978) (unknown file size)
  74. Edward Norman: Christianity and the World Order 4 (1978) (unknown file size)
  75. Edward Norman: Christianity and the World Order 5 (1978) (unknown file size)
  76. Edward Norman: Christianity and the World Order 6 (1978) (unknown file size)
  77. Ali Mazrui: The African Condition 1 (1979) (unknown file size)
  78. Ali Mazrui: The African Condition 2 (1979) (unknown file size)
  79. Ali Mazrui: The African Condition 3 (1979) (unknown file size)
  80. Ali Mazrui: The African Condition 4 (1979) (unknown file size)
  81. Ali Mazrui: The African Condition 5 (1979) (unknown file size)
  82. Ali Mazrui: The African Condition 6 (1979) (unknown file size)
  83. Ian Kennedy: Unmasking Medicine 1 (1980) (unknown file size)
  84. Ian Kennedy: Unmasking Medicine 2 (1980) (unknown file size)
  85. Ian Kennedy: Unmasking Medicine 3 (1980) (unknown file size)
  86. Ian Kennedy: Unmasking Medicine 4 (1980) (unknown file size)
  87. Ian Kennedy: Unmasking Medicine 5 (1980) (unknown file size)
  88. Ian Kennedy: Unmasking Medicine 6 (1980) (unknown file size)
  89. Laurence Martin: The Two-Edged Sword 1 (1981) (unknown file size)
  90. Laurence Martin: The Two-Edged Sword 2 (1981) (unknown file size)
  91. Laurence Martin: The Two-Edged Sword 3 (1981) (unknown file size)
  92. Laurence Martin: The Two-Edged Sword 4 (1981) (unknown file size)
  93. Laurence Martin: The Two-Edged Sword 5 (1981) (unknown file size)
  94. Laurence Martin: The Two-Edged Sword 6 (1981) (unknown file size)
  95. Denis Donoghue: The Arts Without Mystery 1 (1982) (unknown file size)
  96. Denis Donoghue: The Arts Without Mystery 2 (1982) (unknown file size)
  97. Denis Donoghue: The Arts Without Mystery 3 (1982) (unknown file size)
  98. Denis Donoghue: The Arts Without Mystery 4 (1982) (unknown file size)
  99. Denis Donoghue: The Arts Without Mystery 5 (1982) (unknown file size)
  100. Denis Donoghue: The Arts Without Mystery 6 (1982) (unknown file size)
  101. Douglas Wass: Government and the Governed 1 (1983) (unknown file size)
  102. Douglas Wass: Government and the Governed 2 (1983) (unknown file size)
  103. Douglas Wass: Government and the Governed 3 (1983) (unknown file size)
  104. Douglas Wass: Government and the Governed 4 (1983) (unknown file size)
  105. Douglas Wass: Government and the Governed 5 (1983) (unknown file size)
  106. Douglas Wass: Government and the Governed 6 (1983) (unknown file size)
  107. John Searle: Minds, Brains and Science 1 (1984) (unknown file size)
  108. John Searle: Minds, Brains and Science 2 (1984) (unknown file size)
  109. John Searle: Minds, Brains and Science 3 (1984) (unknown file size)
  110. John Searle: Minds, Brains and Science 4 (1984) (unknown file size)
  111. John Searle: Minds, Brains and Science 5 (1984) (unknown file size)
  112. John Searle: Minds, Brains and Science 6 (1984) (unknown file size)
  113. David Henderson: Innocence and Design 1 (1985) (unknown file size)
  114. David Henderson: Innocence and Design 2 (1985) (unknown file size)
  115. David Henderson: Innocence and Design 3 (1985) (unknown file size)
  116. David Henderson: Innocence and Design 4 (1985) (unknown file size)
  117. David Henderson: Innocence and Design 5 (1985) (unknown file size)
  118. David Henderson: Innocence and Design 6 (1985) (unknown file size)
  119. Lord McCluskey: Law, Justice and Democracy 1 (1986) (unknown file size)
  120. Lord McCluskey: Law, Justice and Democracy 2 (1986) (unknown file size)
  121. Lord McCluskey: Law, Justice and Democracy 3 (1986) (unknown file size)
  122. Lord McCluskey: Law, Justice and Democracy 4 (1986) (unknown file size)
  123. Lord McCluskey: Law, Justice and Democracy 5 (1986) (unknown file size)
  124. Lord McCluskey: Lions Under the Throne 6 (1986) (unknown file size)
  125. Alexander Goehr: The Survival of the Symphony 1 (1987) (unknown file size)
  126. Alexander Goehr: The Survival of the Symphony 2 (1987) (unknown file size)
  127. Alexander Goehr: The Survival of the Symphony 3 (1987) (unknown file size)
  128. Alexander Goehr: The Survival of the Symphony 4 (1987) (unknown file size)
  129. Alexander Goehr: The Survival of the Symphony 5 (1987) (unknown file size)
  130. Alexander Goehr: The Survival of the Symphony 6 (1987) (unknown file size)
  131. Geoffrey Hosking: The Rediscovery of Politics 1 (1988) (unknown file size)
  132. Geoffrey Hosking: The Rediscovery of Politics 2 (1988) (unknown file size)
  133. Geoffrey Hosking: The Rediscovery of Politics 3 (1988) (unknown file size)
  134. Geoffrey Hosking: The Rediscovery of Politics 4 (1988) (unknown file size)
  135. Geoffrey Hosking: The Rediscovery of Politics 5 (1988) (unknown file size)
  136. Geoffrey Hosking: The Rediscovery of Politics 6 (1988) (unknown file size)
  137. Jacques Darras: Beyond the Tunnel of History 1 (1989) (unknown file size)
  138. Jacques Darras: Beyond the Tunnel of History 2 (1989) (unknown file size)
  139. Jacques Darras: Beyond the Tunnel of History 3 (1989) (unknown file size)
  140. Jacques Darras: Beyond the Tunnel of History 4 (1989) (unknown file size)
  141. Jacques Darras: Beyond the Tunnel of History 5 (1989) (unknown file size)
  142. Jonathan Sacks: The Persistence of Faith 1 (1990) (unknown file size)
  143. Jonathan Sacks: The Persistence of Faith 2 (1990) (unknown file size)
  144. Jonathan Sacks: The Persistence of Faith 3 (1990) (unknown file size)
  145. Jonathan Sacks: The Persistence of Faith 4 (1990) (unknown file size)
  146. Jonathan Sacks: The Persistence of Faith 5 (1990) (unknown file size)
  147. Jonathan Sacks: The Persistence of Faith 6 (1990) (unknown file size)
  148. Steve Jones: The Language of the Genes 1 (1991) (unknown file size)
  149. Steve Jones: The Language of the Genes 2 (1991) (unknown file size)
  150. Steve Jones: The Language of the Genes 3 (1991) (unknown file size)
  151. Steve Jones: The Language of the Genes 4 (1991) (unknown file size)
  152. Steve Jones: The Language of the Genes 5 (1991) (unknown file size)
  153. Steve Jones: The Language of the Genes 6 (1991) (unknown file size)
  154. Edward Said: Representations of the Intellectual 1 (1993) (unknown file size)
  155. Edward Said: Representations of the Intellectual 2 (1993) (unknown file size)
  156. Edward Said: Representations of the Intellectual 3 (1993) (unknown file size)
  157. Edward Said: Representations of the Intellectual 4 (1993) (unknown file size)
  158. Edward Said: Representations of the Intellectual 5 (1993) (unknown file size)
  159. Edward Said: Representations of the Intellectual 6 (1993) (unknown file size)
  160. Marina Warner: Managing Monsters 1 (1994) (unknown file size)
  161. Marina Warner: Managing Monsters 2 (1994) (unknown file size)
  162. Marina Warner: Managing Monsters 3 (1994) (unknown file size)
  163. Marina Warner: Managing Monsters 4 (1994) (unknown file size)
  164. Marina Warner: Managing Monsters 5 (1994) (unknown file size)
  165. Marina Warner: Managing Monsters 6 (1994) (unknown file size)
  166. Richard Rogers: Sustainable City 1 (1995) (unknown file size)
  167. Richard Rogers: Sustainable City 2 (1995) (unknown file size)
  168. Richard Rogers: Sustainable City 3 (1995) (unknown file size)
  169. Richard Rogers: Sustainable City 4 (1995) (unknown file size)
  170. Richard Rogers: Sustainable City (5) (unknown file size)
  171. Jean Aitchison: The Language Web 1 (1996) (unknown file size)
  172. Jean Aitchison: The Language Web 2 (1996) (unknown file size)
  173. Jean Aitchison: The Language Web 3 (1996) (unknown file size)
  174. Jean Aitchison: The Language Web 4 (1996) (unknown file size)
  175. Jean Aitchison: The Language Web 5 (1996) (unknown file size)
  176. Patricia Williams: The Genealogy of Race 1 (1997) (unknown file size)
  177. Patricia Williams: The Genealogy of Race 2 (1997) (unknown file size)
  178. Patricia Williams: The Genealogy of Race 3 (1997) (unknown file size)
  179. Patricia Williams: The Genealogy of Race 4 (2007) (unknown file size)
  180. Patricia Williams: The Genealogy of Race 5 (1997) (unknown file size)
  181. John Keegan: War in Our World 1 (1998) (unknown file size)
  182. John Keegan: War in Our World 2 (1998) (unknown file size)
  183. John Keegan: War in Our World 3 (1998) (unknown file size)
  184. John Keegan: War in Our World 4 (1998) (unknown file size)
  185. John Keegan: War in Our World 5 (1998) (unknown file size)
  186. Anthony Giddens: Runaway World 1 (1999) (unknown file size)
  187. Anthony Giddens: Runaway World 3 (1999) (unknown file size)
  188. Anthony Giddens: Runaway World 4 (1999) (unknown file size)
  189. Anthony Giddens: Runaway World 5 (1999) (unknown file size)
  190. Chris Patten: Respect for the Earth 1 (2000) (unknown file size)
  191. Tom Lovejoy: Respect for the Earth 2 (2000) (unknown file size)
  192. John Browne: Respect for the Earth 3 (2000) (unknown file size)
  193. Gro Harlem Brundtland: Respect for the Earth 4 (2000) (unknown file size)
  194. Vandana Shiva: Respect for the Earth 5 (2000) (unknown file size)
  195. Tom Kirkwood: The End of Age 1 (2001) (unknown file size)
  196. Tom Kirkwood: The End of Age 2 (2001) (unknown file size)
  197. Tom Kirkwood: The End of Age 3 (2001) (unknown file size)
  198. Tom Kirkwood: The End of Age 4 (2001) (unknown file size)
  199. Tom Kirkwood: The End of Age 5 (2001) (unknown file size)
  200. Onora O'Neill: A Question of Trust 1 (2002) (unknown file size)
  201. Onora O'Neill: A Question of Trust 2 (2002) (unknown file size)
  202. Onora O'Neill: A Question of Trust 3 (2002) (unknown file size)
  203. Onora O'Neill: A Question of Trust 4 (2002) (unknown file size)
  204. Onora O'Neill: A Question of Trust 5 (2002) (unknown file size)
  205. VS Ramachandran: The Emerging Mind 1 (2003) (unknown file size)
  206. VS Ramachandran: The Emerging Mind 2 (2003) (unknown file size)
  207. VS Ramachandran: The Emerging Mind 3 (2003) (unknown file size)
  208. VS Ramachandran: The Emerging Mind 4 (2003) (unknown file size)
  209. VS Ramachandran: The Emerging Mind 5 (2003) (unknown file size)
  210. Wole Soyinka: The Climate of Fear 1 (2004) (unknown file size)
  211. Wole Soyinka: The Climate of Fear 2 (2004) (unknown file size)
  212. Wole Soyinka: The Climate of Fear 3 (2004) (unknown file size)
  213. Wole Soyinka: The Climate of Fear 4 (2004) (unknown file size)
  214. Wole Soyinka: The Climate of Fear 5 (2004) (unknown file size)
  215. Alec Broers: The Triumph of Technology 1 (2005) (unknown file size)
  216. Alec Broers: The Triumph of Technology 2 (2005) (unknown file size)
  217. Alec Broers: The Triumph of Technology 3 (2005) (unknown file size)
  218. Alec Broers: The Triumph of Technology 4 (2005) (unknown file size)
  219. Alec Broers: The Triumph of Technology 5 (2005) (unknown file size)
  220. Daniel Barenboim: In the Beginning was Sound 1 (2006) (unknown file size)
  221. Daniel Barenboim: In the Beginning was Sound 2 (2006) (unknown file size)
  222. Daniel Barenboim: In the Beginning was Sound 3 (2006) (unknown file size)
  223. Daniel Barenboim: In the Beginning was Sound 4 (2006) (unknown file size)
  224. Daniel Barenboim: In the Beginning was Sound 5 (2006) (unknown file size)
  225. Jeffrey Sachs: Bursting at the Seams 1 (2007) (unknown file size)
  226. Jeffrey Sachs: Bursting at the Seams 2 (2007) (unknown file size)
  227. Jeffrey Sachs: Bursting at the Seams 3 (2007) (unknown file size)
  228. Jeffrey Sachs: Bursting at the Seams 4 (2007) (unknown file size)
  229. Jeffrey Sachs: Bursting at the Seams 5 (2007) (unknown file size)
  230. Jonathan Spence: Chinese Vistas 1 (2008) (unknown file size)
  231. Jonathan Spence: Chinese Vistas 2 (2008) (unknown file size)
  232. Jonathan Spence: Chinese Vistas 3 (2008) (unknown file size)
  233. Jonathan Spence: Chinese Vistas 4 (2008) (unknown file size)
  234. Michael Sandel: A New Citizenship 1 (2009) (unknown file size)
  235. Michael Sandel: A New Citizenship 2 (2009) (unknown file size)
  236. Michael Sandel: A New Citizenship 3 (2009) (unknown file size)
  237. Michael Sandel: A New Citizenship 4 (2009) (unknown file size)
  238. Martin Rees: Scientific Horizons 1 (2010) (unknown file size)
  239. Martin Rees: Scientific Horizons 2 (2010) (unknown file size)
  240. Martin Rees: Scientific Horizons 3 (2010) (unknown file size)
  241. Martin Rees: Scientific Horizons 4 (2010) (unknown file size)
  242. Aung San Suu Kyi: Liberty (2011) (unknown file size)
  243. Aung San Suu Kyi: Dissent (2011) (unknown file size)
  244. Eliza Manningham-Buller: Securing Freedom 1 (2011) (unknown file size)
  245. Eliza Manningham-Buller: Securing Freedom 2 (2011) (unknown file size)
  246. Eliza Manningham-Buller: Securing Freedom 3 (2011) (unknown file size)
  247. Niall Ferguson: The Rule of Law and its Enemies 1 (2012) (unknown file size)
  248. Niall Ferguson: The Rule of Law and its Enemies 2 (2012) (unknown file size)
  249. Niall Ferguson: The Rule of Law and its Enemies 3 (2012) (unknown file size)
  250. Niall Ferguson: The Rule of Law and its Enemies 4 (2012) (file not found)
  251. Grayson Perry: Democracy Has Bad Taste (2013) (unknown file size)
  252. Grayson Perry: Beating the Bounds (2013) (unknown file size)
  253. Grayson Perry: Nice Rebellion, Welcome In! (2013) (unknown file size)
  254. Grayson Perry: I Found Myself In The Art World (2013) (unknown file size)
  255. Atul Gawande: Why Do Doctors Fail? (2014) (unknown file size)
  256. Atul Gawande: The Century of the System (2014) (unknown file size)
  257. Atul Gawande: The Problem of Hubris (2014) (unknown file size)
  258. Atul Gawande: The Idea of Wellbeing (2014) (unknown file size)
  259. Stephen Hawking: Do Black Holes Have No Hair? (2015) (403 forbidden)
  260. Stephen Hawking: Black Holes Ain't as Black as They are Painted (2015) (403 forbidden)
  261. Kwame Anthony Appiah: Creed (403 forbidden)
  262. Kwame Anthony Appiah: Colour (403 forbidden)
  263. Kwame Anthony Appiah: Country (403 forbidden)
  264. Kwame Anthony Appiah: Culture (403 forbidden)

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