In Our Time
Podcast Migration Alert05/25/15
We are migrating BBC podcasts to a new database. This may result in you being asked to download some archive episodes. To prevent this from happening we recommend you change your downloads manager to temporarily prevent automatic downloads. This work...
IOT: Water 28 Mar 13
The chemistry of the water molecule - Andrea Sella, Hasok Chang and Patricia Hunt join Melvyn Bragg to discuss one of the most fascinating substances on Earth.
IOT: Alfred Russel Wallace 21 Mar 13
The biologist Alfred Russel Wallace was a pioneer of evolutionary theory. Born in 1823, he travelled extensively, charting the distribution of animal species throughout the world. In 1858 he sent his paper on the theory of evolution by natural...
IOT: Chekhov 14 Mar 13
Anton Chekhov, the 19th-century Russian writer, is perhaps best known for his plays including The Cherry Orchard and Three Sisters. He is also celebrated today as one of the greatest of short story writers. His works are often powerful character...
IOT: Absolute Zero 7 Mar 13
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss absolute zero, the lowest conceivable temperature, about minus 273 degrees Celsius. At temperatures close to absolute zero, physicists have discovered a number of strange new phenomena including superfluids, liquids...
IOT: Pitt-Rivers 28 Feb 13
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the life and work of the Victorian anthropologist and archaeologist Augustus Pitt-Rivers. He amassed thousands of ethnographic and archaeological objects, some of which formed the founding collection of the Pitt...
IOT: Decline and Fall 21 Feb 13
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss Evelyn Waugh's comic novel Decline and Fall. Set partly in a substandard boys' public school, the novel is a vivid, often riotous portrait of 1920s Britain. Its themes, including modernity, religion and fashionable...
IOT: Ice Ages 14 Feb 13
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss ice ages, periods when ice sheets cover the Earth's Poles. Geological evidence indicates that there have been several in the Earth's history, although their precise cause is not known. Ice ages have had profound...
IOT: Epicureanism 7 Feb 13
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss Epicureanism, the philosophical system based on the teachings of Epicurus and founded in Athens in the 4th century BC. At the centre of his philosophy is the idea that the goal of human life is pleasure, by which he...
IOT: War of 1812 31 Jan 13
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the War of 1812, the conflict between the USA and Britain sometimes referred to as the second American War of Independence. Although the War of 1812 is often overlooked, historians say it had a profound effect on...
IOT: Romulus and Remus 24 Jan 13
Melvyn Bragg is joined by Mary Beard, Tim Cornell and Peter Wiseman to discuss the story of Romulus and Remus, the foundation myth of Rome.
IOT: Comets 17 Jan 13
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss comets, the 'dirty snowballs' of the Solar System. Halley's Comet is today the best known example of a comet, a body of ice and dust which orbits the Sun. Since they contain materials from the time when the Solar...
IOT: Le Morte Darthur 10 Jan 13
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss Thomas Malory's "Le Morte Darthur", the epic tale of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table, which was written in the 15th century. The Arthurian legend is one of the most enduring and popular in western...
IOT: The Cult of Mithras 27 Dec 12
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the cult of Mithras, a mystery religion that existed in the Roman Empire from the 1st to the 4th centuries AD. Its rituals included communal meals and a complex seven-stage initiation system. Typical depictions of...
IOT: South Sea Bubble 20 Dec 12
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the South Sea Bubble, the speculation mania in early 18th-century England which ended in the financial ruin of many investors. People from all walks of life bought shares in the South Sea Company, so when the shares...
IOT: Shahnameh of Ferdowsi 13 Dec 12
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the epic poem the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, the 'Book of Kings', which has been at the heart of Persian culture for the past 1000 years. It recounts a legendary history of Iran from the dawn of time to the fall of the...
IOT: Bertrand Russell 06 Dec 12
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the influential British philosopher Bertrand Russell. Born in 1872, Russell is widely regarded as one of the founders of Analytic philosophy, today the dominant philosophical tradition in the English-speaking world....
IOT: Crystallography 29 Nov 12
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the history of crystallography, the study of crystals and their structure. The discovery in the early 20th century that X-rays could be diffracted by a crystal revolutionised our knowledge of materials. This crystal...
IOT: The Borgias 22 Nov 12
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Borgias, the most notorious family in Renaissance Italy. Famed for their treachery and corruption, the Borgias produced two popes during their time of dominance in Rome in the late 15th century. Murder, intrigue...
IOT: Simone Weil 15 Nov 12
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the French philosopher and social activist Simone Weil. Born in Paris in 1909, her philosophy was both complex and intense. She argued that the presence of suffering in the world was evidence of God's love and that...
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