esias - Star Trek TV - H L Mencken - Michael Faraday - Enrico Fermi - Stephen Fry - Stephen Hawking - Richard Dawkins - Reputations TV - The New Statesman TV - Christopher Hitchens -
z esias, Waiting for a Lecture, 1997
We’ve still got thousands of light years to wile away. This could be a weekly event. Star Trek: Voyager s5e8: Nothing Human, Doctor to crew leaving lecture
I never lecture. Not only because I am shy or a bad speaker, but simply because I detest the sort of people who go to lectures and don’t want to meet them. H L Mencken, 1880-1956
79,051. The most prominent requisite to a lecturer, though perhaps not really the most important, is a good delivery; for though to all true philosophers, science and nature will have charms innumerable in every dress, yet I am sorry to say that the generality of mankind cannot accompany us one short hour unless the path is strewn with flowers. Michael Faraday, Advice to a Lecturer, 1960
Before I came here I was confused about this subject. Having listened to your lecture I am still confused. But on a higher level. Enrico Fermi
Lectures broke into one’s day and were clearly a terrible waste of time, necessary no doubt if you were reading law or medicine or some other vocational subject, but in the case of English, the natural thing to do was talk a lot, listen to music, drink coffee and wine, read books, and go to plays, perhaps be in plays. Stephen Fry, The Fry Chronicles
A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the centre of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: ‘What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.’ The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, ‘What is the tortoise standing on?’ ‘You're very clever, young man, very clever,’ said the old lady. ‘But it’s turtles all the way down!’ Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time p1
Treat the lecture as something to inspire not something to inform. Richard Dawkins, lecture New College of the Humanities 18 November 2013, ‘Why Evolution?’
‘You knew that here was a star, an unusual type of star.’ Reputations s2e4: A J P Taylor: An Unusual Kind of Star, BBC 1995
A J P Taylor was the most famous historian of his generation. Brilliant and prolific he was unique in being just as happy writing for the popular press as for the Oxford University press … Television made him a star. ibid.
The BBC grew nervous of this loose cannon. ibid.
ITV: Taylor’s lectures never changed: he addressed the camera directly without rehearsal, notes, photographs or any editing whatsoever. And still people watched. ibid.
A man of the left with a lifetime’s commitment to giving history back to the ordinary people. ibid.
‘I’m a straight narrative historian.’ ibid. Taylor
Did Hitler Cause the War? ibid. BBC 1961 debate with Hugh Trevor-Roper, re Taylor’s book The Origins of the Second World War
How are the tickets going for my Soviet lecture tour? The New Statesman s3e6: Profit of Boom, ITV 1991
Orwell: A slightly tall angular shy but not unconfident Englishman with a hollow cheek look, a rather dolorous look in some ways, a solemn look, but yet it’s not the look of someone with no sense of humour. It’s the look of someone who’s been through quite a lot and has tried his best. But there is a final element of pessimism to it. Christopher Hitchens, lecture 1981 Commonwealth Club, ‘Why Orwell Matters’
He was facing that policeman in himself. ibid.
The bullet had gone right through. It had missed his [George Orwell] larynx, it had missed his carotid artery, it had missed his spinal chord, and it only grazed his vocal chords. And all of them said the same thing. Can you guess what it was? That was lucky. And he said, If I was lucky, I wouldn’t have got shot in the throat at all. ibid.
He [George Orwell] exposed once and for all time the idea of the Stalinist utopia. ibid.