The world-famous CHRISTMAS LECTURES are coming to Northern Ireland in December, with Armagh Observatory and Planetarium set to stream the live filming, direct from the Royal Institution (Ri) theatre in London on 12 and 14 December.

Watched by millions on the BBC, the annual CHRISTMAS LECTURES are a firm family favourite, broadcast during the festive season. The 2023 event is set to reveal the truth about Artificial Intelligence.Confirmation of Armagh Observatory and Planetarium as one of 16 livestream partners announced, means that NI’s science lovers, and anyone who’s curious about the world around them, will be able to experience first-hand the magic of the world’s longest-running science lecture series.

The Ri has set a target of 20 or more partner venues – to exceed the previous highest total of 18, set four years ago before the Covid-19 pandemic – with the first 16 locations confirmed.

Helen McLoughlin at Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, said, “It is an honour to welcome the world-renowned CHRISTMAS LECTURES here to Armagh and we would like to thank the Royal Institution for partnering with us on this special event.

Director of the Royal Institution, Katherine Mathieson, said: “We’re extremely grateful to each of our fourteen partner venues, confirmed so far. They will all bring their own unique flavour to the live filming of the world-famous CHRISTMAS LECTURES, enabling local audiences to see what goes on behind the scenes when inspiring scientists are brought together with the public.

We’re delighted to be working with some of the UK’s best science research and engagement organisations to bring the Lectures within reach for even more people this year. We very much look forward to welcoming more partners in the run-up to filming.”

From Aberdeen Science Centre and TechFest in Scotland, to Exeter Science Centre in southern England, the first 16 partner venues named stretch the length and breadth of the UK.

The Lectures will focus on AI

Also confirmed are the National Museums Liverpool, Keele University, Cambridge Museum of Technology, Queen Mary University of London, STEM Learning (York), Plymouth University, Lancaster University, the University of Glasgow, the University of Warwick, London Metropolitan University, Oxford Brookes University and Science Oxford Centre.

The Ri is continuing discussions with further venues that have already expressed their interest, with others – including science centres, universities, museums, theatres and other cultural venues – invited to apply.

The CHRISTMAS LECTURES were the brainchild of Michael Faraday in 1825 and have been delivered every year since, with the exception of four years during World War II when it was too dangerous to have a theatre full of children in central London. The first science programme ever to be broadcast on UK national television, in 1936, they have been broadcast every year since 1966.

To find out more about Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, visit:

To Book Tickets for the Christmas Lecture Livestream: Christmas Lecture Live Stream with the Royal Institution (


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