BBC Inside Science

Science Podcasts

A weekly programme that illuminates the mysteries and challenges the controversies behind the science that's changing our world.


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A weekly programme that illuminates the mysteries and challenges the controversies behind the science that's changing our world.




The UK's first satellite launch

The UK's first satellite launch faced several delays in 2022, but Virgin Orbit's Cosmic Girl is prepped for imminent take off. BBC science correspondent Jonathan Amos has been following the activity in Newquay and, alongside Melissa Thorpe head of Spaceport Cornwall, describes the potential this launch has to promote and bolster the UK's space industry. Is laziness a particularly human trait? Apparently not according to Dr Daniella Rabaiotti from the Zoological Society of London. Her...


Game changers

Nations are racing to protect 30% of the planet by 2030 in an attempt to halt biodiversity loss, but one novel approach may be able to safeguard species under threat of imminent extinction. Vic visited Nature’s Safe in May, a cryogenic biobank, storing the genetic information of at risk species in futuristic biological freezers. But will it serve as a viable tool to bring wildlife back from the brink if the ecosystems in which these animals reside are degraded beyond repair? The Greenland...


A Scientifically Superior Christmas Dinner

How many Scientists does it take to cook Christmas dinner? Marnie seeks help from a food scientist, a geneticist, a doctor and a botanist to create the perfect festive feast.


Cancer cure, Strep A research and hopes for biodiversity

Base editing is a technique for substituting the building blocks of DNA. It has only been around for a few years, so its use to apparently cure cancer was all the more remarkable, as BBC Health Correspondent James Gallagher tells us. We take a trip down the river Wye with ecologist Steve Ormerod who tells us why the river is a microcosm for some of the global issues being discussed at the UN Biodiversity summit in Montreal. BBC Environment Correspondent Victoria Gill gives us the latest on...



The UN Convention on Biological Diversity summit, currently taking place in Montreal Canada, intends to develop ways of reducing the global loss of biological diversity by drawing up a series of international commitments to help humanity to live more harmoniously with nature. The scientific evidence paints a grim picture of species decline and extinction, pollution and destruction of natural habitats. The aim of the meeting is to find ways to stop and even reverse such decline. We meet...


Killer smog

For a week at the beginning of December 1952, London was under a blanket of deadly smog. As a result, the Clean Air Act came into force a few years later banning smoky sulphurous fuels. However air pollution researchers are now concerned that rising emissions from wood burners may be undoing many of the gains from the Clean Air Act. We hear from Dr Gary Fuller, air pollution scientist at Imperial College London and author of The Invisible Killer, the Rising Global Threat of Air Pollution and...


Science funding

The UK has the opportunity to access European science funding. However disagreements over the Northern Ireland protocol are preventing the UK from joining the multi billion pound Horizon Europe project which funds scientific partnerships between European institutions. BBC Science correspondent Pallab Ghosh has been following developments. Spending time in green spaces has been linked to mental and physical health benefits. But just how green is your nearest city centre? New research has...


Climate science and politics

As the COP27 environment summit draws to a close we look at some of the issues still to be resolved. BBC Environment correspondents Victoria Gill and Georgina Rannard join us from the meeting. And we head to the houses of parliament in the company of a group of teenagers who are putting their concerns over climate change to a panel of politicians. Julia Ravey went to meet them. We hear from author Nick Davidson about how the discoveries of 3 unlikely characters in the 19th century formed the...



One key issue on the agenda at the COP27 environment summit in Egypt is how to fund damage from the effects of man made climate change. Often the effects of climate change are felt the strongest in countries least responsible for creating the emissions. This year we’ve seen a range of extreme weather events including drought and flooding which scientists have attributed to man-made climate change. The idea of providing funding for such human-induced disasters has long been discussed...



A new study published in the British Medical Journal suggests monkey pox might be passed from person to person before symptoms show. Esther Freeman, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School and Director of Global Health Dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital, has been following the current wave of transmission and gives us her analysis of this latest finding, The COP 27 climate summit kicks off next week. To discuss some of the issues we are joined by Simon Lewis,...


Turtle Voices, a Pandemic Retrospective and a Nose-Picking Primate

New recordings featuring the voices of 53 species of turtle, caecilian and tuatara previously thought to be silent have illuminated the evolutionary origins of vocal communication. Gabriel Jorgevich-Cohen a PhD student at the University of Zurich has travelled the world collecting recordings and summarised his findings in Nature Communications this week. He spoke to BBC science correspondent Georgina Rannard who explains his findings, what they mean, and shows us some of her favourite turtle...


The BBC at 100

Recorded in front of an audience at Bradford’s National Museum of Science and Media, we’re delving into the next 100 years of broadcasting, examining the science and technology behind what we’ll watch and listen to. And what the seismic technological shifts mean for all of us. Victoria Gill is joined on stage by four people who give us an audio tour of that media future. Lewis Pollard the curator television and broadcast at the museum. Dr Karen Thornton programme leader teaching film and...


Avian flu

Avian or bird flu is normally seasonal, disappearing as migratory birds leave for winter. However a new strain which seems to spread more easily between wild birds and into poultry has led to the deaths of far more birds than usual. David Steel, Nature Reserve Manager on the Isle of May relates his observations of the effects on seabirds. And Nicola Lewis, Director of the Worldwide Influenza Centre at the Francis Crick Institute tells us why this particular stain is so severe. Climategate...


Coronavirus - new variants

The virus which causes Covid 19 is continuing to evolve, but into several different closely related strains rather than more new variants such as Delta and Omicron. Ravi Gupta, Professor of Clinical Microbiology at Cambridge university gives us his assessment of the current picture, and Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Welcome Trust, comments on global efforts to counter the virus. The Nobel prizes were awarded this week. Science Journalist Philip Ball looks at the winning discoveries and the...


Fracking Science

The government has lifted a moratorium on fracking imposed in 2019 following a series of small earthquakes caused by exploratory drilling. The British Geological Survey was asked to investigate, we speak to two of the authors of their new report into fracking and earthquakes, seismologist Brian Baptie and Geologist Ed Hough. We also look at more practical aspects of fracking in the UK with Professor Richard Davies from Newcastle University, asking how to viably extract shale gas in the UK...


Science collaborations – with Russia

The sub Arctic boreal forests stretch across the northern hemisphere. They represent a huge carbon sink , but are also vulnerable to climate change. Most of the forest is in Russia and most of what we know about its current state comes from long running international field studies. The Scott Polar Institute in the UK has been studying these forests for years in collaboration with Moscow university, but this year’s field work has been cancelled. We spoke to Olga Tutubalina and Gareth Rees who...


Is the James Webb Space Telescope too good?

The James Webb Space Telescope continues to beam exciting data back to earth from exoplanet systems, galaxies and stars further away than we’ve ever seen before. But what happens to that data when it reaches us? We spoke to Julien De Wit from MIT about how exactly we process the vast amounts of information sent back to us from the telescope and how sometimes our computing systems just can't keep up. The British Science Festival is taking place in Leicester this week, and diversity and...


Ancient Amputation

The discovery of a body missing a foot in a thirty one thousand year old grave suggests our ancient ancestors may have been capable of performing complex surgery. The foot seems to have been cleanly amputated, and the patient survived for several years afterwards. Dr Tim Maloney from Australia’s Griffith University made the find and Charlotte Roberts Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at Durham University who researches the evolution of medicine gave us her analysis. Craters from meteorites...


Dealing with drought

As parts of England enter drought conditions we ask what are the drivers for drought and what can we do about it? With Dr Jess Neumann, Hydrologist at Reading University, Aidan McGivern meteorologist at the Met Office and Professor Richard Betts, Chair in Climate Impacts at University of Exeter. What influence do Scientific Advisors really have on government? We explore the tricky issue with science writer Philip Ball. Are there just too many satellites now orbiting the earth? Astronomers...


Return of the ozone hole

Research on recent extreme fire events shows they have a direct effect on the size of the seasonal ozone hole over Antarctica. Climate scientist Jim Haywood is concerned more frequent and extreme fires predicted by climate models could negate all the work done to reduce the ozone depleting chemical pollutants which became such a concern more than 30 years ago. We look at two very different approaches to marine conservation , and discuss how the combination of monitoring and surveillance...