Growing up in the Universe

Let me give you the spiel:

Oxford professor Richard Dawkins presents a series of lectures on life, the universe, and our place in it. With brilliance and clarity, Dawkins unravels an educational gem that will mesmerize young and old alike. Illuminating demonstrations, wildlife, virtual reality, and special guests (including Douglas Adams) all combine to make this collection a timeless classic.

The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures for Children were founded by Michael Faraday in 1825, with himself as the inaugural lecturer. The 1991 lecturer was Richard Dawkins whose five one-hour lectures, originally televised by the BBC, are now available free online, courtesy of The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.

Got that? All five of Dawkins’ 1991 lectures available for download, free of charge – and to keep the Mac jockeys happy they’re in Quicktime format (although if anyone can’t get on with that format, leave a comment and I’ll try and sort out some DivX conversions).

The download page is here – get ’em while they’re hot.

And if anyone has a copy of Sagan’s ‘Cosmos’, then please give me a shout.


As of this morning, the download links aren’t working – I’ll try to confirm with the site but my suspicion is that they may be having bandwidth problems and have taken the downloads offline for the time being. I’ve also enquired as to whether its possible under the terms of the release to mirror the downloads and offered to help if it is.

As soon as I know anything, you’ll know.

  • Parental warning: Not entirely in keeping with the spirit of Christmas, Dawkins suggests at one point that Father Christmas does not exist.

  • Paul.Ferrari

    This is a fantastic link – thank you so much.

  • Chris Hyland

    Thanks a lot for these I’ve been trying to get hold of them for ages.

  • Er… the links don’t work for me. Any mirrors?

  • Not that I’m aware of – I wonder if they’re having traffic problems at the moment.

  • If you can mirror, I’m happy to put them on my site for a bit as well.

  • there is a cool little cameo from douglas adams in one of the lectures too.

  • Excellent, nice one Unity!

  • Hawthorne

    Highly depressing. I only found out after the links went down. If you can mirror Unity I would be obliged.

  • I’ve got the files uploaded to mirror, just need to find time to put a page up. I want to do this properly and ensure all the link backs are correct.