TV and Radio Guide w/c 20 October 2014

Hello again…

Sarah’s pick of the week is the new David Attenborough documentary – Life Story – which explores the steps animals make through their lives. The cinematography looks stunning.

Once again my pick of the week is  Human Universe, in which Professor Brian Cox explains the special so called Goldilocks conditions required for a civilisation such as ours to thrive in the universe… are we alone?

If you can, I recommend that you subscribe to or download the podcast of Plants: from Roots to Riches (there are 25 episodes available to listen to).

Other recommendations are:

  • Hidden Histories of the Information Age: the events and innovations from the age of communication
  • The Life Scientific: Maggie Boden is in discussion with Jim Al-Khalili about her experience in multiple academic subjects that help make her a world authority in the field of artificial intelligence.
  • Inside Science: Solar physicist Dr Lucie Green gives us her round up of the week’s news and views in the scientific world.
  • Wonders of the Monsoon: the thousands of islands that make up Malaysia and Indonesia are unique habitats that are affected greatly by the monsoon.
  • Naked Scientists: answering science questions from listeners and 5 Live Science where those Naked Scientists go through the week’s science news.
  • The Private Life of Plants: at the time it was made (the mid 1990s) this series was a triumph of special timelapse photography that gave a unique insight into the world of plants.

Remember, these programmes are now available for 30 days after broadcast on BBC iPlayer.

I promised a round up of the science programmes available on 4 on Demand this week, however as I am on half term next week I will be doing a round up of programmes instead of a full guide.

Science TV and Radio Guide_20141020.pdf

TV and Radio Guide w/c 13 October 2014

Some good news: the BBC have announced that they will be keeping episodes available to view or listen on iPlayer for 30 days as standard instead of the previous 7 days. This means that we will no longer be doing the round up of the previous week (indeed I had already stopped), but it also means that the links in these posts and posters will be able to be used for longer, giving you a little more time to incorporate into lessons or extended learning opportunities (yes, I could have simply written homework).

My pick of the week has to be Human Universe after last week’s stunning first episode; see my review. And Sarah’s pick is Plants: from Roots to Riches which this week is focusing on photosynthesis; see this accompanying resource Sarah has found from SAPS on C4 photosynthesis in rice.

Other recommendations are:

  • The Life Scientific: Inventor of the Year, Chris Toumazou is interviewed by Jim Al-Khalili about the impact of his early research
  • Inside Science: Solar physicist Dr Lucie Green gives us her round up of the week’s news and views in the scientific world.
  • Wonders of the Monsoon – it’s the dry season.
  • Naked Scientists: answering science questions from listeners and 5 Live Science where those Naked Scientists go through the week’s science news.
  • and loads more

Remember, there are science programmes available on 4oD even if none are being broadcast at the moment – I will do a round up of the best available next week.

Science TV and Radio Guide_20141013.pdf

Human Universe : Review

Human Universe with Professor Brian Cox – available to watch on iPlayer for next 30 days

My generation is in the fortunate position to have witnessed a huge amount of technological change. There is a spaceship that has been flying away from earth for as long as I have been alive, to the month. It is the furthest a man made object has ever travelled and it’s still going.  This still fills me with a sense of awe whenever I think of it.

That feeling was ignited again in me as I watched last night’s episode of Human Universe, Apeman to Spaceman, in which Professor Brian Cox takes us from our humble beginnings in the Rift Valley, in Ethiopia, to the modern accomplishments of space travel and the permanent home above our atmosphere that is the International Space Station. He eloquently and convincingly links (with references on twitter – see below) the precession of the planet and the periodic change in our orbit round the sun, via the effects on the environment in the Rift Valley to key changes in the evolution of the homo genus brain.
By skipping forward a few 100,000 years to the  civilisation of Petra in Jordan and the effect of the advent of writing and agriculture on our species, Brian is able to hammer home the idea that our progress from then on has been exponentially fast.
Due to the ability of humans to pass on knowledge through the written word, in one lifetime we’ve gone from an Earth bound civilisation to one that has a (small) but continuous civilisation living in space.
The programme finishes as it starts in Russia and Kazakhstan with the rendezvous with a Soyuz capsule bringing back to earth some of the latest members of that special group of explorers. Brian explains succinctly the physics involved in getting them back safely while highlighting again the need for the written word and standing on the shoulders of Euclid, through Galileo and Newton in order achieve such an amazing feat.
It was an emotional ride with an beautifully diverse score and amazing visuals. I’m looking forward to the next part of our story next week.

Brian has also contributed to this BBC iWonder site to accompany the series.

TV and Radio Guide w/c 6 October 2014

The picks of the week include a theme which reminds us that 2014 is the International Year of Crystallography and a new stellar series focussing on what it is to be human.

  • An Eye for Pattern highlights from correspondence of Dorothy Hodgkin (1910-1994), broadcast for the first time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her winning the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1964.
  • The Life Scientific Jim talks with Professor Elspeth Garman about the technique that’s led to 28 Nobel Prizes in the last century.
  • Discovery Vivienne Parry looks at some examples of patient led research which have challenged the medical establishment.
  • Inside Science
  • Horizon Asteroids!
  • My Date with Death Can the human genome predict when and how you’ll die?
  • Human Planet is the new epic series hosted by Professor Brian Cox, charting the human ingenuity and adaptability in order to make an existence in almost any environment.
  • Sky At Night: Ice Giants and tips on how to photograph them from Damien Peach.
  • Wonders of the Monsoon
  • and even more…

Download the PDF version of the guide to use at school

Science TV and Radio Guide_20141006.pdf