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This is about the Australian science journalist; for others, see Robin Williams .
Robyn Williams AM (born 1944) is a Welsh-born science journalist and broadcaster resident in Australia who has hosted the Science Show on the Australian Broadcasting Corporationmarker since 1975, Ockham's Razor (created 1984) and In Conversation (created 1997).


Robyn Williams was born in Walesmarker, and educated in Londonmarker and Viennamarker. He graduated from the University of London with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree. During this period he was active in university acting and, like many other notable students, made (guest) appearances in the BBC series The Goodies, Monty Python's Flying Circus and Doctor Who.

Professional life

Williams emigrated to Australia and joined the Australian Broadcasting Corporationmarker (ABC) Science Unit in 1972 where, after several years in background production and interviewing, in 1975 he began hosting the award winning Science Show, a one-hour (format) science based radio interview show.

Ockham's Razor (15 minute format) 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 (15 minute format) commenced in 1997, with Williams interviewing the personality.

Trade union activism

In 1977 Williams gave an impassioned speech to the ABC Staff Association against the ABC management's quiescence in the face of budget cuts and political interference. He said a UK proposal that the government appoint one third of BBC Board members had been publicly opposed by BBC management but that ABC Chairman acted as if he headed an organisation rivalling the ABC. Following his speech the meeting voted unanimously that it had no-confidence in the ABC Chair John Norgard.

Other media work has included:
  • narrating Nature of Australia, a series for ABC TV;
  • appearing in World Safari with David Attenborough;

At his instigation, the ABC and Australian Museummarker established the Eureka Awards for Excellence in Science Communication and Innovation.

Honorary and subsidiary positions

He is a visiting professor at the University of New South Walesmarker.


Williams has written some 10 books, with 3 used in high school reading lists.His autobiography is And Now For Something Completely Different, a reference to an interview (on psychiatry) with Monty Python star John Cleese.



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