Inspiring children and adults since 1825, our world-leading lectures for young people have featured big names in science including Carl Sagan, Hannah Fry, David Attenborough, Heinz Wolff, Dame Nancy Rothwell and many more.

Jonathan Van-Tam in front of an image of network
Image credit: Paul Wilkinson

The CHRISTMAS LECTURES are the world's leading science lectures for young people and have been inspiring children and adults alike since 1825.

Initiated by Michael Faraday when organised education for children was scarce, the CHRISTMAS LECTURES established an exciting new way of presenting science to young people.

The Lectures have continued annually since 1825, stopping only during World War II. World-famous scientists have given the Lectures, including Nobel Prize winners William and Lawrence Bragg, Sir David Attenborough, Carl Sagan and Dame Nancy Rothwell.

First broadcast in 1936, the CHRISTMAS LECTURES is the oldest science television series. They have been broadcast every year since 1966 on the BBC and in later years on Channel Five, Channel Four and more4. In 2010, the Lectures returned to BBC Four.


Discover the 2021 Lectures

In the 2021 CHRISTMAS LECTURES, England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jonathan Van-Tam is joined by a host of top UK scientists to take a deep dive into the science of viruses.


Help us inspire young people to think more deeply about science and its place in our lives though our world-famous CHRISTMAS LECTURES.


Catch up with past CHRISTMAS LECTURES for free on our ever expanding online archive.

the Royal Institution theatre during the filming of the 2015 Christmas Lectures with Kevin Fong
the Royal Institution theatre during the filming of the 2015 Christmas Lectures with Kevin Fong

18 and 19 August holiday workshops cancelled

Due to planned transport strikes, all holiday workshops on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 August are cancelled.