TV and Radio Guide w/c 8 September 2014

Welcome back to a new term. This is a little late, but I was at ResearchEd on Saturday and so didn’t have time to post till now.

This week brings us:

  • Discovery Biohazard – good one for BTEC L3 students if they can catch the podcast.
  • The Beauty of Anatomy
  • Horizon – Ebola: Search for a cure
  • Inside Science
  • Operation Stonehenge
  • Inside Intuition
  • Five Live Science and the Naked Scientists.
  • Seven Ages of Starlight
  • Sky at Night
  • The Comet’s Tale

Download the PDF version of the guide to use at school

Science TV and Radio Guide_20140908.pdf

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TV and Radio Guide w/c 7 July 2014

A quick one:

This week brings us

  • Professor Brian Cox and Sir Robin of Ince are back with a new series of The Infinite Monkey Cage. They’ve got a new theme tune and are looking into the mysterious world of maths.
  • Monty Don explains why the Hector’s dolphin are under threat in Shared Planet. I’ve body surfed with these diminutive dolphins, hence it’s my pick of the week.
  • Melvin Bragg and his panel of experts wax lyrical on all things “The Sun” on In Our Time.


Science TV and Radio Guide_20140707.pdf

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TV and Radio Guide w/c 23rd June 2014

Sorry for the delay – I was run down with hayfever yesterday – thanks to Sarah for collating the links.

This week brings us

  •  A new series of Just So Science which takes the animals from Rudyard Kipling’s Just So stories and investigates the real reasons why the animals developed as they did (go back and catch today’s about the camel’s hump: it’s fascinating). This is Sarah’s pick of the week.
  • Discovery (catch it tomorrow at 4:32 pm on World Service) looks at if mental ability declines with age.
  • The Life Scientific; Jim speaks to botanist Sandy Knapp.
  • Rise of the Continents – this amazing series looks at the geological history of each of the continents with Iain Stewart; this week it’s Africa and it’s my pick of the week
  • Science Cafe is Sarah’s second pick of the week and it’s all about self perception.
  • Frontiers – latest techniques in monitoring anaesthetics.
  • Inside Science: BBC Radio 4’s flagship science programme announces the winner of the Longitude prize (you can still vote)
  • Precision: the Measure of all Things. A great series looking at the units we use to measure the world, starting with the metre and the second.
  • Archive on 4 – Buzz Aldrin relives the first manned descent to the surface of the moon.

And more still available online from last week.


Download the PDF version of the guide to use at school

Science TV and Radio Guide_20140623.pdf

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TV and Radio Guide w/c 16th June 2014

A few gems this week – Sarah’s pick of the week is the Life Scientific with Chris Lintott curator of the the Galaxy Zoo and other animals. Mine is the The Battle to Beat Polio which I missed a few weeks ago when it was first broadcast.


Science TV and Radio Guide_20140616.pdf

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TV and Radio Guide w/c 2nd June 2014

A quieter week this week – Sarah’s pick of the day is the Life Scientific and mine is the Sky at Night.

This week’s highlights include:

Science TV and Radio Guide_20140602.pdf

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TV and Radio Guide w/c 26th May 2014

It’s half-term and lots of our students will be revising, but here’s some science TV and Radio to keep you distracted.

This week’s highlights include:

Science TV and Radio Guide_20140526.pdf

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BBC 4 Collections – Horizon

A little gem that I have just found: To celebrate 50 years of Horizon – BBC 4 have collated a classic Horizon Collection introduced by Professor Alice Roberts.

Programmes include:

  • Richard Feynman on the Pleasure of Finding Things Out – my Physics hero at his best.
  • Fermat’s Last Theorem
  • Strangeness minus 3 – revealing a new particle
  • Buckminster Fuller and his geodesic dome – so watching this!
  • Dawn of the Clone Age – Cloning Dolly the Sheep
  • Killer in the Village – Tracing the Spread of Aids
  • and other more recently repeated episodes.

A true treasure trove.


The Longitude Prize 2014

John Harrison - Longitude Prize 1714 Winner

John Harrison – Longitude Prize 1714 Winner. (Source: Wikipedia)

It’s not every day I write a post for a specific programme to watch for the Science TV and Radio guide, however as I collated the programmes at the weekend I became intrigued by Horizon on Thursday (22th May) evening which was about a reboot of the Longitude Prize.

The Longitude Prize has been interest of mine ever since I read the brilliant book Longitude by Dava Sobel about the prize and the man who won it, John Harrison. The controversy and the fighting over the right to claim the prize are a fascinating insight into the competitive drive that prizes like this can instil. But the huge advances in scientific knowledge and exploration simply because accurate timekeeping at sea was now possible are not to be taken lightly.

Just one example: Captain James Cook, who is another scientific hero of mine, (all but) confirmed Edmund Halley’s proof (based originally on James Gregory’s work 50 years earlier; on the shoulders etc…) for the measurement of the distance of the Earth to the Sun (1 Astronomical Unit) during a transit of Venus on the Island of Tahiti. This voyage would not have been possible to plan so effectively had it not been for John Harrison’s chronometer.

The idea of a prize to encourage the solutions to problems is not unique. In mathematics there is the famous Millenium Prize to solve the 7 most pressing problems in that field (with 6 still to do!). This in turn has inspired “EduGeek” Laura McInerney to set in motion the solving of key questions in education which she calls her TouchPaper Problems (I think the prize is much chocolate, coffee, tea and biscuits at the moment – gold dust to teachers), which has resulted in a project I am working on with Michael Slavinsky to attempt to map all the concepts we teach in school.

So I am naturally fascinated by the new Longitude Prize that has been launched today. As usual in this social-media led democracy we now live in we will get to vote on the problem we want solving. The choices are:

The first thing that strikes me about these questions is they are all yes/no/don’t know answers. That leads the door open for many forms of solution, which I like. However I wonder if the answer to some of these questions is simply just a matter of the political will to spend vast amounts of money in developing appropriate technology. But I guess that’s what drove the original Longitude Prize. It was politically driven, and in the end an Act of Parliament had to be passed simply to give John Harrison his deserved prize almost 50 years later.

Lets hope the political in fighting isn’t as bad this time around.

Watch Horizon: The £10 million pound prize on BBC 2, this Thursday at 9pm.

More Science TV and Radio for this week here.

TV and Radio Guide w/c 19th May 2014


A busy month or two at TV & Radio Guide Towers has led to an unanticipated hiatus from the guide. Sorry to those who missed us – thank you for the nice messages.

This week’s highlights include:


Download the PDF version of the guide to use at school

Science TV and Radio Guide_20140519.pdf

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TV and Radio Guide w/c 31st March 2014

Some great TV and Radio next week including:

  • Jim Al-Khalili’s brilliant Chemistry: A Volatile History on Saturday.
  • Jim Al-Khalili also talks with Veronica van Heyningen about the discovery of Pax-6 (a key gene for the eye) in a Life Scientific on Tuesday
  • Bang Goes The Theory looking into old age on Monday
  • Costing the Eath discusses the recent report from the IPCC
  • Horizon: Living with Autism
  • Inside Science doing its thing on Thursday
  • In Our Time on the states of matter on Thursday morning.
  • Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson on Sunday (if you have Sky)

Science TV and Radio Guide_20140331.pdf

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