Rank #1: The Sciences and Man's Community
In his sixth and final lecture entitled 'The Sciences and Man's Community', Professor Oppenheimer explains how the "House of Science" helps us to understand the underlying profundities of the earth and our lives. He draws parallels between the construction of human society and the atom: each man is dependent on the next, and through the power of the collective, Man's power grows with the shared knowledge of individuals.
Dec 20 1953
Rank #2: The Geography of Art
In his first lecture, Dr Pevsner examines the reasons for the study of history of art. He argues that an understanding and appreciation of the work of the artist is truly life-enhancing, and he goes on to explore the English national character as it is expressed in terms of art.
Oct 16 1955
Rank #3: Blake and the Planing Line
Dr Pevsner explores the 'Decorated Style', which seems in every respect to be the opposite of the Perpendicular style which he examined in his previous lecture. Through illustrations ranging from English church architecture from 1290-1350 to the gentle curves of painters such as Gainsborough and Reynolds, Dr Pevsner places the artist William Blake (1757-1827) in the context of a very English tradition.
Nov 13 1955
Rank #4: The Atlantic Bridge
In his third lecture entitled 'The Atlantic Bridge', Sir Oliver explores the relationship between the United States of America and Britain. He discusses the frictions between the two countries and their mutual interdependence. He analyses the discomforts of the passage of power, McCarthyism, and the fear that the United States will land us in a third world war.
Nov 21 1954
Rank #5: The Search For A New Order
In this lecture entitled 'The Search for a New Order', Professor Alastair Buchan speculates whether we might be able to control and adapt the dynamic process of change in order to reduce the eruptions of conflict around the globe. He explores whether functional co-operation and changes in national attitudes could lead to a more open, transnational society.
Dec 19 1973
Rank #6: Impact of Man on His Environment
In his second lecture entitled 'Impact of Man on His Environment', Sir Fraser Darling explores the continuous affect of man on his natural habitat. Taking examples from prehistoric man, the industrial revolution and modern day technology, he considers whether man has taken all he can from the world to increase growth and development. He explores and criticises how politics and political policies have had a lasting affect on the contamination of the world and its ecology.
Nov 16 1969
Rank #7: The Troubled Giant
In this lecture entitled 'The Troubled Giant', Professor Alastair Buchan explores why the United States of America is still the largest and strongest world power. He analyses how its decisions continue to affect the climate of world politics more than any other country and asks why this continues to be true. He examines the USA's relationship with the power structures within the Soviet Union and China, as well as looking at the triangular economic relationship between the USA, Europe and Japan.
Nov 28 1973
Rank #8: Wanted: An Instrument For Crisis Management
In this lecture entitled 'Wanted: An Instrument for Crisis Management', Sir Shonfield considers the long-term future of the European Community. Analysing the effect of Britain's entry, he also anticipates an adaptation of the role of the European Commission into the next level of European cohesion. Sir Shonfield concludes his series by exploring the practical measures which should be taken in order to create a democratic, forward thinking and cohesive Europe.
Dec 12 1972
Rank #9: Constable and the Pursuit of Nature
In his sixth and penultimate Reith lecture, Dr Pevsner describes the attitude of the English Romantic painter John Constable (1776-1837) and some of his contemporaries to Italian art, and compares his Englishness with that of Blake and Hogarth. He examines the sudden flowering of English landscape painting which began with Richard Wilson (1714–1782) and his Welsh landscapes, and argues that this concentration on landscape is a direct result of the temperate English climate.
Nov 20 1955
Rank #10: Hogarth and Observed Life
In his second lecture, Dr Pevsner considers the 'Englishness' of the artist and satirist William Hogarth (1697-1764). He explores the characteristics which he says make Hogarth a particularly English artist, and argues that his work embodies the ideals of the Age of Reason.
Oct 23 1955
Rank #11: Reynolds and Detachment
In his third lecture, Dr Pevsner examines the work of the portrait painter Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), and argues that the far-reaching contrast between his promotion of painting in the Grand Manner, and how he actually painted, is eminently English.
Oct 30 1955
Rank #12: Perpendicular England
In his fourth lecture, Dr Pevsner examines the Perpendicular style, formed in England in about 1330, and which he calls 'the most English creation in architecture'. It represented a complete break with what had gone before, but once it had been established universally in the country by the 1380s, it remained virtually unchanged for 150 years, so much so that even specialists struggle to determine accurate dates for this style of work.
Nov 06 1955
Rank #13: From Technocracy to Democracy
In this lecture entitled 'From Technocracy to Democracy?', Sir Shonfield considers how the inclusion of the British into the European Community could lead to a more politically democratic form of governance. Taking this into consideration, Sir Shonfield questions whether the European Community will achieve greater democratic legitimacy.
Dec 05 1972
Rank #14: European Foreign Policy Towards Asia & the Soviet Bloc
In this lecture entitled 'A European Foreign Policy towards Asia and the Soviet Bloc', Sir Shonfield explores the policy problems of the enlarged European Community in relation to the rest of the world. Shonfield explores how external economic relations and different foreign policies must be created for different areas. Exploring how this could be done, Sir Shonfield analyses industrial powers like Japan, underdeveloped countries in the Indian sub-continent and problematic Eastern European countries.
Nov 28 1972
Rank #15: The American Connection
In this lecture entitled 'The American Connection: a Grumbling Alliance', Sir Shonfield explores the European Community's relations with the rest of the world and in particular, The United States. He explores how currency, business and trade all affect the working relationship between the two powers, and asks how the European attitude towards the United States might develop during the 1970s in the face of new American policy pressure.
Nov 21 1972
Rank #16: The French Spirit and the British Intruder
In this lecture entitled 'The French Spirit and the British Intruder', Sir Andrew Shonfield identifies the problems in creating a European Federation. He explores how political identity is mixed up with national identity, and explains why certain countries find it harder to join the European Community than others. Looking at the British and French feelings toward the union, he argues that compromise is the only way that the European Community can work effectively.
Nov 14 1972
Rank #17: Melting Pot or Bag of Marbles?
In his Reith series entitled 'Europe: Journey to an Unknown Destination', he debates British entry into the European Community.
In this lecture entitled 'Melting Pot or Bag of Marbles?', Sir Andrew Shonfield explores integration between the European nations and questions the reasons for of the European Community. He explores the power structures which create the Community's foundations and asks how joining the EC will affect Britain. He advances the debate about what the future will hold for all the European nations.
Nov 07 1972
Rank #18: A Common Ground
In this lecture entitled 'Common Ground', Richard Hoggart evaluates the role of passing information to each other via a system of communication. He asks, now that we have developed at an almost unbelievable speed, what happens next? Are we really more in touch now than previously? How will new technologies bring us closer? Centralised mass societies are keen to show they understand the human scale but can human societies remember to interact with each other in a fundamentally kind and moral way?
Dec 21 1971
Rank #19: The Loss of the Stable State
He delivers his Reith lecture on industrial technology and social change from his series entitled 'Change and the Industrial Society'.
In this lecture entitled 'The Loss of the Stable State', Donald Schon describes how society needs a belief in a calm and constant identity and structure. Exploring times when this stability has been lost, he analyses the human need for the belief of a better time.
Nov 15 1970
Rank #20: Where Does Responsibility Lie?
In his final lecture entitled 'Where Does Responsibility Lie?', Sir Fraser Darling argues that population is almost certain to increase but pollution does not necessarily need to. He argues that technology should use its own inventiveness to decontaminate the world, but asks who would be responsible for enforcing such a policy. Without all nations taking the ethical responsibility for the environment, he concludes, it will take many years for intellectually-led change to filter through and become concrete action plans.
Dec 14 1969