Christmas Lectures 2018: Who am I? Episode 2: What Makes Me Human?

Screen Shot 2018-12-27 at 9.05.03 AMToday 27DEC18,  ‘The Professors’ explore the story of human evolution.  The PINK/WHITE TRIANGLE on the side of the “Where Do I Come From?” means it is watchable/downloadable on BBC iPlayer.



Lecture 2 of The Christmas Lectures, with athletics, parkour performers, and solid explanation of human genetics, its source, the “hanky-panky” that went on to get us our genome.  All amazing and unabashedly presented!!!

  • They even discussed about their scientific disagreements amicably and showed an audience of potential future scientists what that looked like!!!.
  • Apparently Genetics does not jive with the fossil record on one score.  From a genetics point-of-view, Neanderthal and Modern Human are the same species. To the fossil record, the are distinct.  But we are all today part of both types.

How did a humble African ape become so successful? How did it move from a separate evolutionary niche’ within the trees and savanna of one continent, to become the dominant  global species.  With daringly skilled parkour athletes and life-size primate animatronics, Alice explores the greatest leaps in our evolution by conjuring fire and re-enacting how we spread across the globe. WoW! THE CENTRAL EPISODE!

This is a smash up series of Lectures, so far!  Lecture 1 was confetti and chromosomes, and the introduction of developmental biology and physiology.  How “monster” flies might be born with mess-up of development and timing, even with the same genetics.  How mutations in the base pairs of separated individuals of the same species can lead to drastically changed genomes after a few generations.



“After broadcast, the Lectures go online for everyone in the world to watch for free right here on the Ri’s website.. We’re currently digitising a large archive of past Lectures, which will be regularly added to the catalogue.

“And for the last four years we’ve paired with the award-winning online engagement team behind ‘I’m a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here’, to stimulate even more interaction with the audience, allowing members of the public and school groups to take part in live chats and have their questions about the science and engineering behind the Lectures answered online by the Lecturer and a team of professional scientists and/or engineers working in related fields.

“The Lectures can be used in the classroom, so we create a range of online teaching resources for teachers and home educators to use, including short YouTube clips which illustrate and explain the key scientific or engineering concepts in each

Beyond London

“There is also an important international dimension to the Lectures. They travel internationally over the summer, and in recent years the shows have been repeated to school audiences in Singapore and Japan, broadcast on national TV.”

Become a A Support and a Fan of The Christmas Lectures


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