TV and Radio Guide w/c 30 September 2013

Download the PDF version of the guide to use at school: Science TV and Radio Guide_20130930.pdf

Glamping in an hobbit hole (but not this one). (Image source:

Sorry for the short and late post again – I have been without internet and electricity for the last 48 hours, in a hobbit hole somewhere in North Yorkshire. Lovely but not a particularly conducive environment for producing TV and Radio guides :). Luckily @MrsDrSarah has done the hard work and collated all the programmes. I just have to turn the information into a pretty pdf and calendar data for you all. Simples…

Picks of the Week

Jim Al Khalili is talking to geneticist Jenny Graves in The Life Scientific. The final episode of Scientific Britannica is on Wednesday, where Prof. B. Cox will be explaining what Science is.  Also look out for Pain, Pus and Poison: The Search for Modern Medicine with Dr Michael Mosley looking into what pain is and how it is controlled. If you are a primary teacher doing a project on British Wildlife, there is a radio programme about Scottish Salmon aimed at KS1 children on very early in the morning.  And our last pick is Costing the Earth on the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Great for debate for how science and politics interact.

A comment was made by some colleagues last week that needs passing to the TV and Radio science producers: chemistry teachers are feeling hard done by – more chemistry please. 🙂

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TV and Radio Guide w/c 23 September 2013

Download the PDF version of the guide to use at school: Science TV and Radio Guide_20130923.pdf

Sir David Attenborough is presenting a brilliant two part series looking at the evolutionary development of vertebrates. (Picture: BBC)

It was a really great week of TV and Radio last week. Both Science Brittanica and Rise of Animals were wonderful. Professor Brian Cox and Sir David Attenborough’s enthusiasm for the information they are presenting is infectious. So our pick of the week has to be Science Brittanica with Brian explaining the scientific method through the main players in the history of British Science and their experiments. @MrsDrSarah had so many people (students and staff!) come up to her this week to say how much they had enjoyed the programme last week, it’s obviously hit its target well and was very well pitched to engage.

You might not use this at school, but I’ll be introducing Nina and the Neurons: Earth Explorers to my little one this week (it starts on Monday). A late addition to the guide is It is Rocket Science, a comedy on Radio 4 based on the history of the development of rockets. I’ve not listened to any of these episodes, but the @scienceTVRadio twitter account got a cheeky follow from the show, so I checked it out. Episode 3 is still on iPlayer, and Episode 4 is on Wednesday night at 11:15pm.

I am so pleased by the reaction of the Inside Science production team to my request to provide the audio clips for the Science Practicals pieces from the last two programmes. They got back to me very quickly and the wonderful Jen Whyntie from Radio 4 Online team organised for the clips to be made available online. So they’re available here:  the first introductory debate between Alom Shaha and Professor Jim Iley and Professor Robin Millar’s interview from the following week.*


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A Science Journal Club for 6th Form Students

Sarah (@MrsDrSarah) has been running a journal club in her school for her sixth form students and wanted to share her Journal Club schedule (docx) so that other teachers could adapt for their setting.



My main aim with the club is to get A level scientists talking about science – not necessarily about things they are studying, though there are some weeks where I have deliberately linked to recent topics in class.  It will hopefully help those who are planning to study sciences at a higher level without excluding those who are not expecting to take it further than A level.
The fact that I am a Structural Biochemist by training is evident in my choices of some of the papers, though I have roped some colleagues in, so next term there might be more variety.  Having said that, the majority of those attending are Biologists, so it fits for the group I have.  One of the papers is one from the lab I worked in form my PhD.
Currently I have 10 upper 6th attending weekly (in a year group of 40!) and I start the lower 6th this week, so we will see how much enthusiasm there is for it with the younger group who are just settling in for 6th Form life.  A group of 10 means that they have enough opportunity to share their ideas and balance the conversation without people getting lost.  It certainly helps that the group know each other well, especially as it feels as if there’s more buy-in for them committing to read the articles if they are going to be talking about them with their friends.
I would welcome suggestions for papers/articles if anyone has suggestions for topics they think would be valuable.

TV and Radio Guide w/c 16 September 2013

Another quick post – sorry, the day job keeps getting in the way.

Once again Sarah has collated the links for you. There are two new series starting this week which we would recommend you watch, Science Britannica with Professor Brian Cox, and David Attenborough’s Rise of Animals. Keep an eye out for them.

Both Sarah’s and my pick of the week is The Life Scientific with the mathematician Professor Ian Stewart. He’s a fabulous popular science writer specialising in mathematics and has also co-written the Science of Discworld with Terry Pratchett. (Also I used to live next door but three when I was four years old).

Also worth listening to is Inside Science. I think this programme is definitely a worthy replacement for Material World. Over the last two weeks they have had discussions about practical work in the science classroom. Alom Shaha sparked off the debate and its continued last week with an excellent interview with Professor Robin Millar from the University of York.

[EDIT] I contacted the producer of Inside Science, Michelle Martin, via @AdamRutherford on Twitter and thanks to the sterling work of Jen Whyntie (of Interacting Weekly podcast fame) who works for Radio 4 online I’ve managed to get the clips put online.
Here’s the first introductory debate between Alom Shaha and Professor Jim Iley and Professor Robin Millar’s interview from the following week

I was hoping to embed them, however doesn’t allow flash embedding so back to the drawing board. Thanks again Jen. [/EDIT]


Here’s the guide: Science TV and Radio Guide_20130916.pdf

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TV and Radio Guide w/c 9 September 2013

Quick post (don’t usually do this):

Sorry for the delay, but I was at ResearchEd2013 at the weekend and didn’t get back till late last night. Sarah has collated the links for you. Our picks are Rot Box for primary scientists and Inside Science

science-tv-and-radio-guide_20130909.pdf Enjoy 🙂



Calendar reminders: There is now a Google calendar available with all the week’s TV on it. This allows notifications to be sent via email or twitter. This is still in “beta” so please bear with us.


TV and Radio Guide w/c 2 September 2013

Welcome back to the Science TV and Radio Guide.  

My star gazing included finally getting a fairly good picture of the International Space Station

Well six weeks has gone quickly. There was some good Science TV and Radio over the summer including:

  • Science Club with Dara O’Briain and guests introducing us to lots of different aspects of modern science.
  • Seven Ages of Science; Lisa Jardine’s history of science starting from the renaissance to the current day. Primarily about dead white men (and women) but an interesting overview.
  • Inside Science: this series has replaced the much loved Quentin Cooper and his series, Material World. Adam Rutherford and Alice Roberts present a very informative and interesting programme about science.

It’s been a busy summer as well with garden projects, holidays and star spotting.  But as well as all that, The guide has undergone a redesign over the summer and we are changing the way we provide the information.


We have a new print only version of the science TV and Radio Guide* [EDIT added a link to the guide here – it’s also further down the post. Please print it out to share with your students]. It is sized at A3 so if you have an A3 printer then it should print very nicely on that. However if you print it out on a good laser printer, it should photocopy up to A3 if necessary (though it is very readable on A4). Changing from a pdf printed from the spreadsheet to a more appealing design is something I’ve wanted to do for a few months now. Let us know what you think.

Calendar reminders: There is now a Google calendar available with all the week’s TV on it. This allows notifications to be sent via email or twitter. This is still in “beta” so please bear with us.

We now have a ratings system letting you know how good the programme is likely to be  (we don’t get advanced viewings 🙂 )


This week’s guide

This week the guide was collated by both @MrsDrSarah and @A_Weatherall. (We are using a popular cloud based spreadsheet so we can collaborate! – 21C skills).

Sarah’s pick of the week is The Life Scientific, with Professor Mark Lythgoe for those who a) Didn’t do as well in their AS exams as hoped and b) for those who did so well that they are filling out applications for Med School! My pick of the week is Crash Test Dummies which was excellent for GCSE Physics, specifically forces and momentum, but also a really good case study for developing robust scientific experiments.

I’m afraid we’ve not had a chance to collate any videos for you this week what with all the changes and a little thing like a new academic year and results analysis! Instead here’s a question: would you like any recommended videos added to the printed guide? Please tweet us or comment on the post to let us know.

*Please comment if you would like us to provide a spreadsheet version as well in future posts.

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