Concept

Robyn Williams

Summary
Robyn Williams (born 30 January 1944) is a British/Australian science journalist and broadcaster who has hosted The Science Show on ABC Radio National (RN) since 1975, and created Ockham's Razor in 1984. Williams was born on 30 January 1944 in Wales or High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England. His father, Gwyn, a Welshman, has been variously reported as a union executive and journalist, or a coalminer who also studied engineering. His mother, Ray (nee Davis), was Jewish, from London's East End, and worked as a translator. Williams attended various schools in London, including Tooting Bec Grammar, as well as spending a few years at a German language school in Vienna, Austria. Williams first spent time in Australia in 1964 and worked as a temporary clerk at the Decimal Currency Board of Australia, among other jobs. He moved back to London with his Australian wife to study science. He graduated from the University of London with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree. During this period he was active in university acting and was hired as an extra in BBC series The Goodies, Monty Python's Flying Circus and Doctor Who. He joined the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Science Unit in 1972 where, after several years in background production and interviewing for the Insight program, he hosted Innovations in early 1974, Investigations (2-hour format) from 6 November 1974. In 1975 he began hosting The Science Show, a one-hour science-based radio interview show. At one time it was the most popular radio show on Radio 2 (Radio National's former name), and it is one of the longest-running radio shows in Australia and the world. Ockham's Razor followed in 1984, with Williams introducing a leading scientist or personality who then expounds from a prepared text on a topic of their choice, with a view to making a subject simple and accessible to the public, hence the title relating to the famous statement on parsimony by William of Ockham. In Conversation commenced in 1997, with Williams interviewing the personality.
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