TV and Radio Guide w/c 7th October 2013

Download the PDF version of the guide to use at school: Science TV and Radio Guide_20131007.pdf

After going to press, I noticed that there was another science related series starting this week. Trust me, I’m a Doctor is a 3 part series starting Thursday 10th at 8pm on BBC 2. Among the presenters is Michael Mosley, who is also presenting the documentary Pus, Pain and Poison at the moment. It has been added to the calendar, so the notification from @ScienceTVRadio twitter account should remind you.

Also, Peter Higgs and Francois Englert have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for proposing the existence of the Higgs Boson in the 1960s to explain the reason matter has mass, which has been experimentally shown to exist in the last year. As such, BBC News have re-broadcast (Wednesday morning) a documentary first shown back in April, Peter Higgs: Particle Man. It’s worth directing your A Level Physicists to watch that if they can.


So, Science Britannica was pretty good, wasn’t it? In a week where pretty much all [EDIT: publicly funded] scientific activity has stopped in the United States due to the government shutdown, it’s interesting to remember how much of a part Britain has played in the advancement of science. However, I’d love to see a much bigger scoped documentary that covers more, combining perhaps Jim Al-Khalili’s interest in Islamic science, with other international scientists describing science history from their countries. Or one that really breaks down the gender stereotype that science is a predominantly male endeavour: this would be a good start – the story of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin who determined the composition of stars via their spectral emissions (no, I hadn’t heard of her before a few weeks ago either).

This article in the Telegraph asks whether there are enough female science presenters? I can’t answer the question on quantity; as some have commented on twitter, it’s not necessarily a true reflection of the current situation. But without doubt the quality of female science presenters is second to none: Helen Czerski, Maggie Adern Peacock, Lucie Green, Alice Roberts, Fran Scott to name a few.

The gender gap in science is something we, as teachers, all need to work towards closing. I’m genuinely interested on how representation of science across genders and nationalities comes across through TV and radio programmes, so please let me know if you’ve got any comments.

luke skywalker on tatooine

Planets orbiting binary stars = awesome © Lucasfilm

Picks of the Week

Sarah’s first pick is Michael Mosley’s Pain, Pus and Poison “the first episode on Pain is a must-watch for anyone interested in going in to medicine or biochemical research, and I think the second episode on infection will be fabulous (though perhaps not to be watched during dinner)”.  Her second pick is How To Build A Supercar on Sunday evening – superb for the next generation of engineers.

My first pick is one that was missed last week, In Our Time – Exoplanets. This was an excellent overview of the different techniques used to discover planets orbiting other stars, and included a fascinating discussion on how every solar system is very different from ours – from orbital periods to binary star systems (A Level Physics homework). And my second is The day I Got My Sight Back on Tuesday – I might use this for GCSE Physics as we’re doing Medical Science at the moment.

I knew I’d forgotten something – BBC Learning Zone has updated its set of short films for school to include Wonders of Life among others. (via @NeedhamL56)

Calendar reminders: We’ve made available a Google Calendar with all the week’s TV and Radio on it. This allows notifications to be sent via twitter. This is still in “beta” so please bear with us. If you click on the calendar entry the description gives you a link to the programme webpage.

All the links to this week’s programmes can be found in this bundle.


One Response to TV and Radio Guide w/c 7th October 2013

  1. Pingback: Science TV and Radio Guide – Review of 2013 | Science Teaching Library

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