Professor Robert Darnton FBA
THE BRITISH ACADEMY LECTUREMore about the British Academy Lectures
The British Academy Lecture, delivered by Professor David Crystal FBA, on 23 February 2011 (venue: The British Academy). Despite a number of events in recent years devoted to language diversity, language endangerment, and multilingualism, such as the International Year of Languages in 2008, public awareness of the issues is still remarkably limited. Only one in four of the population know that half the languages of the world are so seriously endangered that they are unlikely to survive the present century. This paper reflects on why the ecolinguistic crisis has made so little impact on public consciousness, despite a great deal of effort by academic authors.
The British Academy Lectures, delivered by Professor Lord Renfrew FBA, on 26 October 2005. DNA studies show that the baby born into the world today would be difficult to distinguish from the child of our ancestor of 40,000 years ago. Yet the way of life has changed radically from the stone age hunter-gatherer to the modern citizen. What then are the processes which have led to the construction of the world in which we live, and to the achievements of humankind which define, in a sense, what it is to be human? The answer can only come from the material remains of the human experience over tens of millennia: that is the challenge of archaeology.