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Explorations in the world of science.

Explorations in the world of science.

Location:

London, United Kingdom

Networks:

BBC

Description:

Explorations in the world of science.

Language:

English


Episodes

Science Trumped

1/25/2021
When US health expert sighed last week that science could now speak again, his sense of relief was shared by many scientists. Since the start of the Trump administration, experts inside the US government's science agencies, and those outside working with them have felt their efforts sidelined. From the coronavirus effort to international relations and the border wall, Roland Pease hears from some of those who have felt shut out of the nation's science conversation these past four years....

Duration:00:33:53

Plant scientist Dale Sanders

1/18/2021
Professor Dale Sanders has spent much of his life studying plants, seeking to understand why some thrive in a particular environment while others struggle. His ground breaking research on their molecular machinery showed how plants extract nutrients from the soil and store essential elements. Since plants can’t move, their survival depends on these responses. In 2020, after 27 years at the University of York, he became the Director of the John Innes Centre in Norwich, one of the premier...

Duration:00:27:52

Astrophysicist Andy Fabian

1/11/2021
Professor Andrew Fabian from Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy has spent his career trying to unravel the mystery of how some of the most dramatic events in the universe can profoundly influence its evolution. For over 50 years he’s been examining our universe using X-ray satellites orbiting way above earth’s atmosphere . He’s built up compelling evidence that supermassive black holes at the heart of galaxies are the engines that drive the movement of energy through the universe and provide...

Duration:00:27:53

Marine conservationist Heather Koldewey

1/4/2021
Professor Heather Koldewey wants to protect our oceans from over-fishing and plastic pollution. An academic who is not content to sit back and let the science speak for itself, she wants to turn science into action and has found conservation allies in some unexpected places. Working with a carpet manufacturer, she created Net-Works, a business that turns old fishing nets into high-end carpet tiles and she has collaborated with Selfridges department store to give marine conservation a...

Duration:00:27:21

Climate meltdown

12/28/2020
The year 2020 started with wildfires raging across parts of Australia, exceptional floods in East Africa, and a heatwave in the Arctic. Extremes persisted through the year in the north - where wild fires consumed record areas in Siberia, and the Arctic ice reached record lows. Death Valley saw the highest reliable temperature yet recorded on the planet, while the Atlantic saw the most active hurricane season on record. An extreme year by many measures, and one that could end up as the...

Duration:00:37:43

Hopes and fears for Covid-19 vaccines

12/26/2020
Less than a year in, and the first vaccines are already being rolled out, with many more in the pipeline. It is an unprecedented scientific response to the global pandemic and researchers around the world have provided the first hope against one of the most formidable challenges facing humanity in a century. Claudia Hammond and her expert panel of guests consider the scale of this herculean effort and answer listeners' questions about vaccine safety, trust, immunity, and long term...

Duration:00:51:44

Evolutionary biologist Alice Roberts

12/21/2020
It’s amazing what we can learn from a pile of old bones. Having worked as a paediatric surgeon for several years (often doing the ward round on roller blades), Alice Roberts spent a decade teaching anatomy to medical students and studying human remains. A niche interest in the collar bone and how it has changed since we evolved from the common ancestor we share with other apes 6 million years ago, led her to some of the biggest questions in science. Who are we? And where do we come from? She...

Duration:00:28:49

Steve Haake

12/14/2020
Steve Haake has spent much of his career using technology to help elite sports people get better, faster and break records. He has turned his hand to the engineering behind most sports, from studying how golf balls land, to designing new tennis racquets and changing the materials in ice skates. He’s now Professor of Sports Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University and was the Founding Director of the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre there. Since the 2012 London Olympics, Steve has also...

Duration:00:28:57

The Space Burrito

12/7/2020
Is there a point in space where the Sun could heat a burrito perfectly? asks Will. The doctors tackle this and a plethora of other conundrums from the Curious Cases inbox. Featuring expert answers from astrophysicist Samaya Nissanke, cosmologist Andrew Pontzen, and cognitive neuroscientist Sophie Scott. Presenters: Hannah Fry & Adam Rutherford Producer: Jen Whyntie

Duration:00:28:51

The Zedonk Problem

11/30/2020
Today I learnt that tigons and ligers are what you get when lions and tigers interbreed?!’ surprised listener Jamz G tells the doctors. ‘What determines whether species can interbreed?’ Geneticist Aoife McLysaght studies molecular evolution. She explains the modern definition of a species, built on ideas from Aristotle, Linnaeus and Darwin: a species is a group of organisms capable of interbreeding to produce fertile offspring. Hybrids – such as ligons and tigers – are usually infertile,...

Duration:00:28:09

The Evidence: Pandemic rules: follower or flouter?

11/28/2020
Millions of us, across the world, are subject to curfews, stay-at-home orders and lockdowns but what makes us stick to the rules, bend them or ignore them altogether? Claudia Hammond and her expert panel of guests consider the psychology of following the rules. Leading social psychologists share research which show that higher levels of trust in leadership translates to more pandemic guidance followed. A sense of “We” not “I”, a shared identity, makes a difference too, as well as...

Duration:00:51:25

The end of everything

11/23/2020
Everyone knows about the Big Bang being the beginning of the universe and time - but when and how is it going to end? ask brothers Raffie and Xe from Rome. For this series, with lockdown learning in mind, Drs Rutherford and Fry are investigating scientific mysteries for students of all ages. The doctors sift science from philosophy to find out. Cosmologist Jo Dunkley studies the origins and evolution of the universe. She explains how astrophysical ideas and techniques have evolved to tell us...

Duration:00:27:19

Broad spectrum

11/16/2020
Autism is a lifelong condition, often seen as particularly ‘male’. Yet a growing number of women, and those assigned female at birth, are being diagnosed as autistic in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. Writer and performer Helen Keen is one of them, and she’s found this diagnosis has helped her make sense of many aspects of her life, from growing up with selective mutism, to struggling to fit in as a young adult. In this programme Helen asks why she, like a growing number of others, had to...

Duration:00:28:06

Birds: singing for survival

11/9/2020
As large areas of the world have locked down this year, many of us have become more aware of the birdsong around us. The relative silence has allowed us to listen in. But scientists have known for several years that the birds themselves have been responding to human noise too, by pitching their songs and other calls higher, to be heard over the rumble of our urban life. There are several ways in which birds can adapt how they communicate in the face of environmental pressures, but what are...

Duration:00:27:34

Digital touch

11/2/2020
Claudia Hammond asks if touch can be replicated digitally? What devices exist already and how likely are we to use them? Michael Banissy, co-creator of the Touch Test, neuroscientist David Eagleman and researcher Carey Jewitt look at the possibilities for touch technologies in the future. David has developed a wristband that translates sound into touch for deaf people, Carey looks at the ethics of digital touch and Michael reveals the attitudes from the Touch Test towards digital...

Duration:00:27:31

The Evidence: Are national lockdowns evidence of policy failure?

10/31/2020
As a surge of cases risks overwhelming health services in parts of Europe, Claudia Hammond and experts from around the world examine the evidence behind using lockdowns to supress the virus. Lockdowns describe a huge range of actions that many governments took in the first wave of the pandemic when so little was known about where the virus was circulating. But full lockdowns are seen as very blunt tools, a last resort because they can have enormous social and economic consequences. Instead a...

Duration:00:52:05

Affectionate touch

10/26/2020
Claudia Hammond looks at the neuroscience behind our sense of touch. Why does a gentle touch from a loved one make us feel good? This is a question that neuroscientists have been exploring since the late 1990's, following the discovery of a special class of nerve fibres in the skin. There seems to be a neurological system dedicated to sensing and processing the gentle stroking you might receive from a parent or lover or friend, or that a monkey might receive from another grooming it. Claudia...

Duration:00:29:10

Unwanted touch

10/19/2020
Claudia Hammond explores unwanted touch and who we do and don’t mind touching us – and where. She draws on insights from the largest study that’s ever been conducted on the topic of touch – The Touch Test - commissioned by Wellcome Collection. Almost forty thousand people from all over the world chose to take part. Claudia discusses where we draw the boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable touch, at work or in the street, with Dr Amy Kavanagh, a visually impaired activist and...

Duration:00:28:21

Touch hunger

10/12/2020
Claudia Hammond explores our experience of touch hunger, and asks if we have enough touch in our lives. Covid-19 and social distancing have changed how most people feel about touch but even before the pandemic there was a concern about the decrease of touch in society. Claudia and Professor Michael Bannissy of Goldsmiths, University of London, discuss the results of the BBC Touch Test, an online questionnaire that was completed by around 40 000 people from 112 countries. Professor Tiffany...

Duration:00:29:02

Megadrought in Chile

10/5/2020
Drought is a massive problem for Chile. Jane Chambers has been living in the capital Santiago for more than ten years and has seen huge changes in that time. It used to rain frequently in the winter months between June and September and the Andes Mountains which run down the whole of Chile were snow-capped all year round. But that doesn’t happen anymore. Jane reports on the impact of the mega drought on the country and what is being done about it. She talks to climate scientists Sebastian...

Duration:00:27:51