Category Archives: lectures

Quillette lecture on the “religion” of social justice by John McWhorter: Sept. 25 or 26

Thanks to Quillette, you’ll be able to watch a free lecture by John McWhorter in a bit more than three weeks. The reason I’m announcing this early is that you have to reserve a spot, which is free for the talk and the afterparty (if you want to attend the virtual salon and ask McWhorter […]

A blast from the past

  by Matthew Cobb About six months ago, in the time before lockdown, I gave a talk about my then new book, The Idea of the Brain, at the Royal Institution in London. About a week later, the country went into lockdown and because the RI staff were furloughed, they could not work on the […]

Peter Holland lectures on the diversity of animals

So far I’ve watched only about 30 minutes of this brand-new (virtual) lecture on the diversity of animals by Professor Peter Holland of Oxford University’s Department of Zoology, but it looks to be good. Not long ago I read his The Animal Kingdom: A Very Short Introduction, one of Oxford’s lovely small paperbacks to introduce […]

Pinker to post his “Rationality” lectures

After I noted that Steve Pinker was teaching a course on Rationality at Harvard, and had put a lecture online, I’ve had a few inquiries about whether he’s going to publicly post all his lectures for the course. (Its website is below; click on screenshot.) The answer is yes for his lectures, but for guest […]

Dawkins’s Darwin Day lecture for Humanists UK: “Taking Courage from Darwin to Fight the Hubris of Faith”

Reader Michael called my attention to Richard Dawkins’s Darwin Day Lecture to Humanists UK (HUK). Richard is introduced by Humanists UK President and evolutionary biologist Alice Roberts, who was the moderator when I gave this lecture a few years ago. Richard’s lecture was just posted today, and as I write there are only 194 views. […]

My Indian lecture tour

I head off to India for about three weeks starting December 15, and will give a series of lectures in five cities. The talks are sponsored by The Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (special thanks to Professor L. S. Shashidhara of Pune for organizing this). It will be busy and probably exhausting, but […]

Why is life the way it is? A talk by Nick Lane

by Matthew Cobb Nick Lane of University College London has just been awarded the Royal Society’s 2016 Michael Faraday Prize and Lecture, which “is awarded annually to the scientist or engineer whose expertise in communicating scientific ideas in lay terms is exemplary”. Nick is a brilliant writer of several books, including Life Ascending and, most recently […]

Sean Carroll’s Gifford Lectures

The Gifford Lectures, first given in 1898, were established by a bequest of Lord Adam Gifford, and were intended to “promote and diffuse the study of natural theology in the widest sense of the term — in other words, the knowledge of God.” In other words, they were supposed to use evidence from nature to give […]

Stephen Hawking to give the 2015 Reith Lectures

Professor Ceiling Cat is going home to rest, but before I do I want to call your attention, courtesy of reader Dermot C., to the fact that Stephen Hawking will be giving this year’s series of Reith Lectures for the BBC. This prestigious series has featured leading thinkers since 1948, when Bertrand Russell first spoke on “Authority and […]

Dawkins event (avec moi) in Chicago

As many of you know, Richard Dawkins has written the first part of a two-part autobiography, An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist, which will go on sale September 24.  I have a prepublication copy, and if you have any interest in Richard or his science (a lot of it is about science), […]