Rank #1: The Role of Individuality
In his third lecture, entitled 'The Role of Individuality', he considers the importance of individual initiative to a community, and argues for flexibility, local autonomy, and less centralisation in society. Modern organisations, he says, must be more flexible and less oppressive to the human spirit if life is to be saved from boredom.
Jan 09 1949
Rank #2: The Conflict of Technique and Human Nature
In his fourth lecture, entitled 'The Conflict of Technique and Human Nature', he examines what part human nature has played in the development of civilised society, and argues that poverty, suffering and cruelty are no longer necessary to the existence of civilisation. He believes these can be eliminated with the help of modern science, provided it operates in a humane spirit, and with an understanding of the springs of happiness and life.
Jan 16 1949
Rank #3: Suffer the Little Children
In this lecture entitled 'Suffer the Little Children', Professor Kennedy considers how the National Health Service needs reforming and gives a conceptual blue print of how he believes improvements should be completed. Exploring the political, economic and social decisions which influence the way the NHS is run, he questions whether more preventative measures could be taken to stop certain illnesses reaching hospitalisation level?
Nov 19 1980
Rank #4: 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 #5: Let's Kill All the Lawyers
In this lecture entitled 'Let's Kill All the Lawyers', Sir Ian Kennedy explores how consumerism can regulate the medical industry. He explains how consumerism sets standards, measures performances and provides sanctions for the medical profession. He compares Britain's free National Health Service with the privatised American Health Care System to analyse the best ways of managing the accountability of doctors.
Dec 10 1980
Rank #6: The Doors of Mental Illness
In this lecture entitled 'The Doors of Mental Illness', Professor Kennedy explores the concepts of mental illness. Professor Kennedy questions the responsibility and power placed in the hands of medical experts and evaluates how mental differences are treated in society. He considers what mental health really is and demonstrates the shaky ground that the concept of mental illness rests on. Is it a medical complaint or is it a judgement created by society to highlight abnormalities?
Dec 03 1980
Rank #7: The Psychology of Encounters
In his fifth lecture entitled 'The Psychology of Encounters', Professor Toynbee examines ways in which countries respond to new cultures. He argues that the most important differences are invariably rejected, but that minor "culture strands" are often allowed to flourish, thus creating a patchwork of cultural identities.
Dec 14 1952
Rank #8: Confucian Ways
Jun 03 2008
Rank #9: 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 #10: Neuroscience - the New Philosophy
In his final Reith Lecture, Professor Ramachandran argues that neuroscience, perhaps more than any other discipline, is capable of transforming man's understanding of himself and his place in the cosmos.
Apr 30 2003
Rank #11: Culture
He uncovers the history of the idea from its roots at the time of the Crusades to its modern incarnation in the second half of the 20th century. However, we have very little culturally in common with our forebears in say the England of Chaucer's time. And indeed much of the knowledge supposedly at the heart of Western civilisation was actually transmitted via Islamic scholarship. No-one, he argues, can claim exclusive ownership of culture. "The values European humanists like to espouse belong just as easily to an African or an Asian who takes them up with enthusiasm as to a European," he says.
The lecture is recorded in front of an audience at New York University in Appiah's adopted home city. The series is presented and chaired by Sue Lawley
The producer is Jim Frank.
Nov 08 2016
Rank #12: Biodiversity
The Millennium Reith Lectures deal with one of the most pressing issues of our time - sustainable development. The second lecture, delivered from Los Angeles is by Tom Lovejoy.
Tom Lovejoy is Chief Biodiversity Advisor for the World Bank and Counsellor at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington. He is a former member of the White House Science Council and UN Environment Programme, and is a specialist in environmental biology of the tropics and Latin American region.
In his lecture about biodiversity, Tom Lovejoy raises issues about our treatment of creation and our status within it. He believes that biodiversity is the best single indicator of an area's long term biological and economic health.
Apr 19 2000
Rank #13: 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 #14: Phantoms in the Brain
Professor Ramachandran begins his Reith Lecture series on 'The Emerging Mind' by arguing that scientists need no longer be afraid to ask the big questions about what it means to be human. With empirical evidence, science can now answer ancient philosophical questions about meaning and existence. By studying neurological syndromes that have been largely ignored as curiosities or mere anomalies, we can sometimes acquire novel insights into the functions of the brain. Many of the functions of the brain, he says, are best understood from an evolutionary vantage point.
Apr 02 2003
Rank #15: 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 #16: The Artful Brain
In his third lecture, which is the most speculative one in the series of five, Professor Ramachandran takes up one of the most ancient questions in philosophy, psychology and anthropology, namely, what is art? To do this he draws on neurological case studies and works from ethology (animal behaviour) to present a new framework for understanding how the brain creates and responds to art, and uses examples from Indian art and Cubism to illustrate these ideas.
Apr 16 2003
Rank #17: The Culture of Cities
In his first lecture, Richard Rogers explores the fundamental dichotomy of the city; that it has the potential to both civilise and brutalise. He argues that the decaying fabric of urban life must be transformed into a sustainable, civilising environment, through the greater emphasis on citizens' participation in city design and planning, if we are to avert catastrophe. By putting communal objectives centre-stage, he says, we can transform the fabric and environment of our cities through greater, genuine, public participation and committed government initiative.
Feb 12 1995
Rank #18: The Origins Of War
In his second lecture, recorded at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, John Keegan looks at the origins of warfare, when combat first became purposeful, and examines whether evidence of violence and the need for war is embedded in human nature, or if it is only present in the external factors which act upon human nature. He argues that the evolution of conflict is inextricably linked to the evolution of social groupings.
Apr 15 1998
Rank #19: Collaboration
In the second of his Reith Lectures, Lord Broers explores the origins of modern technologies and argues that global collaboration is essential for success. He argues that advancement must take in to account, social, environmental, economic, and political factors on a world level.
Apr 13 2005
Rank #20: Sustainable Architecture
In his third Reith lecture, Richard Rogers examines the ways in which buildings can enhance the public sphere and argues that our sometimes over-zealous preservation of buildings allows our architectural heritage to choke our future. Only by tailoring buildings to the changing needs of people and the environment, he says, can we sustain the public life of our cities.
Feb 26 1995