The Infinite Monkey Cage

By BBC Radio 4

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Description

Witty, irreverent look at the world through scientists' eyes. With Brian Cox and Robin Ince

Episode Date
Volcanoes
2550
Volcano! Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Jo Brand and Volcano experts Professor Tamsin Mather and Professor Clive Oppenheimer. They look at the very latest technology that is used to predict the next big volcanic eruption, as well as the history and importance of volcanoes and volcanic activity on our planet. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Feb 12, 2018
How Animals Behave
2620
How Animals Behave Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Rufus Hound, Zoologist and broadcaster Lucy Cooke and Professor Rory Wilson to discover how we learn about what animals are up to when we are not looking, and some of the hilarious mistakes we've made in the process of discovery. They'll be hearing about why the sex life of eels has remained so enigmatic, how the mystery of the wandering albatross has been solved, and why making underwear for frogs finally solved the riddle of how babies are made.
Feb 05, 2018
Teenage Brain
2607
The Teenage Brain Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by impressionist Rory Bremner, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL Sarah-Jayne Blakemore and Professor of Zoology at Manchester University Matthew Cobb to look at the working of the teenage brain, and why teenagers are so, well, teenagery. Stomping off to your bedroom, being embarrassed by your parents, wanting to fit in with your peers and a love of risky behaviour are all well known traits associated with our teenage years, exasperating parents through the ages. But new research into dynamic changes going on in the brain during these key years has revealed that it's not just hormones that are responsible for these behaviours. Could a better understanding of what is going on during these formative years not only help teenagers themselves, but inform our education system and even help prevent many of the mental health problems that often begin during adolescence?
Jan 29, 2018
Antibiotics
2295
Antibiotics Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Chris Addison, Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, and Professor Martha Clokie to look at the history and future for antibiotics. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jan 22, 2018
The Secret Life of Birds
2770
The Secret Life of Birds Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by guests including Katy Brand, Steve Backshall and Professor Tim Birkhead to uncover the secret life of birds. They'll be looking at some of the extraordinary and cunning behaviour exhibited by many species of birds, both male and female, in an effort to attract a mate. They also get a special visit from Brann the Raven, who takes to the stage to demonstrate just how intelligent some species of birds can be. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jan 15, 2018
When Two Stars Collide
2424
When Two Stars Collide Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by comedian Dara O'Briain, Professor Sheila Rowan of Glasgow University and Professor Nils Andersson of Southampton University to look at last summer's spectacular discovery of gravitational waves from two colliding neutron stars. The observation of this huge cosmic event not only confirmed one of Einstein's great predictions, some 100 years ago, but also revealed the source of gold in our universe. Brian, Robin and guests look at how this momentous discovery brought together nearly 1/3 of the world's astronomers and astrophysicists as they raced to point their telescopes at the collision, but also confirmed the presence of gravitational waves, first predicted in Einstein's theory of general relativity back in 1915. They also discover why the source of our heavier elements such as gold and platinum has been so difficult to prove, until now. Producer: Alexandra Feachem The Infinite Monkey Cage book "How to Build A Universe (Part 1)" is out now and available to buy from all the usual places.
Jan 08, 2018
Christmas Special: The Science of Magic
2868
The Infinite Monkey Cage Christmas Special: The Science of Magic The Infinite Monkeys bring their own brand of yule friendly science and comedy to the BBC Radio 4 Christmas schedule, and this year add an extra sprinkling of festive magic. Brian Cox and Robin Ince will be joined on stage by some very special guests to look at the science behind some of our best loved magic tricks and illusions. Actor, writer and illusionist Andy Nyman,actor and comedian Diane Morgan, Professor of Psychology and magician Richard Wiseman, and theologian and broadcaster Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou will all be demonstrating how basic human psychology and evolution allow us to see and believe the seemingly impossible. They'll be exploring how some basic psychology can lead to some truly impressive deceptions, and ask how easy it is to trick the human mind, even a mind like Brian's. Prepare to be amazed. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Dec 25, 2017
Stay Tuned...
35
Brian Cox and Robin Ince look forward to the coming series of The Infinite Monkey Cage.
Dec 20, 2017
The Mind v the Brain
3050
The Mind V The Brain. It's one of the hardest problems in neuroscience. How do the chemical processes and electric signals produced by our brains result in the complex and varied experiences and sense of self that we might describe as our mind? Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by comedian Katy Brand, and neuroscientists Professor Uta Frith and Professor Sophie Scott to ask whether the mind is simply a product of the biology of our brain, or is there more to it than that? Can you have a brain without a mind, and is the mind simply an unexpected consequence, an emergent property, of our highly evolved and sophisticated brain. They'll also be tackling the question of free will, and whether we really have any, and if you could in theory simulate a fully working brain, with all its signals and complexity, would a mind naturally emerge? Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Aug 07, 2017
Are We Living in a Simulation?
2289
Are we living in a simulation? Elon Musk thinks we definitely could be, and it seems he is not alone. The idea that we might simply be products of an advanced post-human civilisation, that are simply running a simulation of our universe and everything it contains, has taken hold over the last few years. Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by comedian Phill Jupitus, Philosopher Professor Nick Bostrom and Neuroscientist Professor Anil Seth to ask what the chances are that are living in some Matrix like, simulated world and more importantly, how would we ever know? Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jul 31, 2017
Will insects inherit the earth?
2586
Will Insects Inherit the Earth? Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by comedian Dave Gorman, zoologist Tim Cockerill and forensic entomologist Amoret Whitaker. They'll be discovering the joy of creepy crawlies, why the flea is the ultimate master of Darwinian evolution, and whether those pesky cockroaches will really have the last laugh if we are unlucky enough to be wiped out by a nuclear explosion. They'll be discovering how and why insects have been by far the most successful group of organisms during the history of life on planet earth, and why we simply couldn't do without them.
Jul 24, 2017
Oxygen: A Matter of Life and Death
2340
Oxygen: a matter of life and death. Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by chemist Andrea Sella, science broadcaster and writer Gabrielle Walker and comedian Sara Pascoe to look at the life and death properties of oxygen. It's the molecule we simply can't live without, but as fate would have it, oxygen is also the molecule that eventually leads to our death. Hailed as an elixir of life, and foundation of the atmosphere, oxygen is the revolutionary element that quickens life and hastens death through its ferocious reactivity. It's the molecule our cells need, but is actually highly toxic to them, and is in the end what causes us to age. Brian and Robin get to grips with the chemistry of this contradictory molecule, and Andrea Sella tries not to cause too big an explosion by demonstrating oxygen's reactive nature using a digestive biscuit. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jul 17, 2017
Astronaut Special
2658
Astronaut Special Brian Cox and Robin Ince transport the cage to Trondheim Norway, host of this year's Starmus Festival, for an extraordinary gathering of astronauts. They are joined on stage by NASA astronauts Sandra Magnus and Terry Virts, ESA astronaut Claude Nicollier, and Apollo 16's Charlie Duke, one of the last people to have walked on the moon. They talk about their personal journeys to fulfill their long-held dreams, and literally reach for the stars. They hear from Charlie Duke about the extraordinary Apollo missions he was part of, including his role as Capsule Communicator for the very first moon landing, before taking his own first steps on the lunar surface as part of Apollo 16. They explore the different experience of astronauts from Charlie's era, and those who now become residents of space, spending months and months aboard the International Space Station, and the challenges each mission brings. And Claude Nicollier describes his epic spacewalk to repair the Hubble Telescope. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jul 10, 2017
What Particles Remain to be Discovered?
2725
"What Particles Remain to be Discovered?" Brian Cox and Robin Ince return for a new series of the hugely popular, multi-award winning science/comedy show. Over the series a variety of scientists and comedy science enthusiasts will take to the stage to discuss everything from the glory of insects to whether free will is just an illusion. They'll be joined by the usual eclectic selection of guests over the series, including comedian Sara Pascoe, Dane Baptiste, Katy Brand and Eric Idle, as well as astronauts Sandra Magnus and Apollo astronaut and moon walker Charlie Duke, for a space traveller special. The first show will see Python legend and Monkey Cage theme tune creator Eric Idle take to the stage alongside physicists Jonathan Butterworth and Catherine Heymans to ask "what particles remain to be discovered?" . They'll be looking at life beyond the Higgs Boson and asking whether a new, as yet undetected particle could answer arguably the greatest question in physics and finally uncover the mysterious unknown elements that make up the 95% of our Universe that are known as Dark Matter and Dark Energy.
Jul 03, 2017
Making the Invisible Visible
2788
Making the Invisible, Visible Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Katy Brand, Cosmologist Prof Carlos Frenk, and biologist Prof Matthew Cobb to discover how to make the seemingly invisible, visible. They look at how the history and development of the telescope and the microscope have allowed us to look at the impossibly big to the seemingly impossibly small, to gain insight into the history of our universe and the inner workings of the human body. They look at how radio and space telescopes have allowed us to look back in time and "see" the big bang, and understand the age and content of the early universe, and how space telescopes have thrown light on the mysterious substance known as dark matter. They also look at the way microscopes and new biological techniques have allowed us to understand the seemingly invisible processes going on inside our cells. They also ask what, if anything, will always remain invisible to us - are there some processes or concepts that are impossible for us to "see". Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Feb 13, 2017
The Human Story: How We Got Here and Why We Survived.
2437
The Human Story: how we got here and why we survived. Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Ross Noble, Professor Danielle Schreve and Professor Chris Stringer as they look at the tricky job of piecing together the history of modern humans and how we came to be here. They look back to the earliest known human ancestors and the fossils and tools that have allowed us to paint the picture of our journey out of Africa, to become the last surviving human species on the planet. They ask why we have gone from more than 5 or 6 species of humans some 200,000 years ago, to just 1 today. They also look at how discoveries made in just the last 5 years have completely transformed our understanding of human history and what new DNA technology has revealed about our ancient past. They also reveal what surprising tropical animal remains have been found buried deep under Trafalgar Square. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Feb 06, 2017
Oceans: What Remains to Be Discovered?
2698
Oceans: what remains to be discovered? Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by Andy Hamilton, Professor Jon Copley and marine biologist Helen Scales, as they look at the riches still remaining to be discovered deep within our oceans. The deep ocean remains the last great unexplored frontier of our planet, and as Brian and Robin discover, what we might find there could provide us with some extraordinary insights and applications. We've only just begun to touch the surface, literally, in terms of identifying and learning about the huge and varied life forms that live in our oceans -from the microbes that could inspire and generate new drugs to fight antibiotic resistant diseases, to the deep sea snails with iron clad shells, that may lead to the development of new super-strong materials. Even the humble limpet is providing inspiration to material scientists and engineers: the limpets' teeth, it turns out, are made from the strongest natural substance on the planet. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jan 30, 2017
Science's Epic Fails
2785
Science's Epic Fails Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by actor and comedian Rufus Hound, Professor Alice Roberts and Dr Adam Rutherford to discuss some of the great scientific failures, and mistakes made by some very well known scientists. They look at how some of the greatest scientific thinkers of all time, from Darwin to Einstein, got key elements of their own theories wrong, or in the case of others, followed a path of understanding that would later be completely disproved. They discuss why failure in science is no bad thing, and ask whether getting it wrong, is a fundamental part of the scientific method, and should in fact be applied to many other areas of life. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jan 23, 2017
How to Beat the House and Win at Games
2539
How to beat the house and win at games. Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by mathematicians Hannah Fry and Alex Bellos, psychologist Richard Wiseman and games enthusiast Helen Zaltzman, to get their top tips for winning games and solving puzzles. Do mathematicians make better Poker players, or is psychology the key to the ultimate poker face? Will a knowledge of probability give you the ultimate winning strategy for your next game of Monopoly? (the answer is yes!). How old are the oldest puzzles and why do they involve wolves and cabbages? And how have puzzles involving wolves, cabbages and bridges resulted in the development of whole new branches of mathematics. PRODUCER: Alexandra Feachem.
Jan 16, 2017
The Science of Everyday Life
2710
The Science of Everyday Life Robin Ince and Brian Cox return for a new series. They are joined on stage, at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, by comedian Russell Kane, physicist Helen Czerski and engineer Danielle George as they discuss the science to be discovered in everyday life. They discover how the humble cup of tea displays fundamental laws of nature that also govern our climate. How dropping raisins in a bottle of lemonade reveal how the Titanic sunk, and a robot orchestra, created from household objects, plays some familiar tunes. PRODUCER: Alexandra Feachem.
Jan 10, 2017
The Infinite Monkey Cage Christmas Special
2491
Brian Cox and Robin Ince return for a very special Christmas edition of the show. They are joined on stage by Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, actor and writer Mark Gatiss, cultural anthropologist Deborah Hyde and the Bishop of Leeds. They'll be discussing the joys of the Christmas ghost story, and looking at the Victorian obsession with the supernatural. They'll be asking when studying paranormal phenomenon went from a genuine scientific endeavour, to the realms of pseudoscience. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Dec 27, 2016
The Universe: What Remains to Be Discovered?
2779
Brian Cox and Robin Ince take to the stage at the Blue Dot Festival, at the home of Radio Astronomy, Jodrell Bank. They are joined on stage by Ben Miller, Charlotte Church, Dr Paul Abel and Professor Tim O'Brien to explore the big questions that are still to be answered about our Universe.
Aug 01, 2016
200 Years of Frankenstein
3093
Brian Cox and Robin Ince mark the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. They are joined on stage by Noel Fielding, evolutionary biologist Nick Lane and writer and expert in popular culture, Sir Christopher Frayling. They'll be looking at the cultural impact of this epic novel, and the long lasting impact it has had on the perception of science and scientists. They'll also be looking at the real science behind some of the ideas about life and the creation of life that Mary Shelley explored.
Jul 25, 2016
Battle of the Sexes
2741
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by Professor Sophie Scott, Professor Steve Jones and comedian Sara Pascoe. They will be tackling the age old battle of the sexes, and asking whether men really are from Mars, and women really are from Venus? Probably not, according to Brian as Venus is too hot! Moving on from the pedantry of physics, they'll be asking whether the divide between men and women is based on a fundamental difference in our genetics, in our brain function, or is it all down to our upbringing. Let the battle commence. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jul 18, 2016
Science of Sleep
2329
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by Professor Russell Foster, Professor Richard Wiseman and comedian Katy Brand as they attempt to get to grips with the science behind Robin's insomnia. They'll be asking why we sleep, is 8 hours really enough, and why has every creature on the planet evolved with some period of inactivity? They'll also be investigating the purpose of dreams and whether analysing them has any useful purpose? Was Freud right with his symbolic interpretation of dreams, or if we dream about aggressive courgettes, does this reveal our inner most anxieties about.... aggressive courgettes? Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jul 11, 2016
The Recipe to Build a Universe
3104
The Recipe to Build A Universe Brian Cox and Robin Ince ask what ingredients you need to build a universe? They are joined on stage by comedian and former Science Museum explainer, Rufus Hound, chemist Andrea Sella and solar scientist Lucie Green, as they discuss the basis of all school chemistry lessons, the periodic table. They discover how the elements we learnt about at school are the building blocks that make up everything from humans to planet earth to the universe itself. They were formed in stars and during the big bang. The history of the discovery of the periodic table and the elements is a wonderful tale of genuine scientific exploration that has changed our understanding of where we come from and how life and the universe that we know came to be. The panel also ponder which element they might choose if they were building a universe from scratch and the audience suggest which elements they would remove from the periodic table if given the chance? Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jul 04, 2016
The Sound of Music
2577
The Sound of Music Brian Cox and Robin Ince take to the stage at Glastonbury Music Festival. They are joined by comedian Matt Kirshen, musicians KT Tunstall and Nitin Sawhney and scientists Lucy Cooke and Trevor Cox. No Julie Andrews for this special edition of the long running science/comedy show, although music does take centre stage as the panel discuss the evolution and science of why and how humans are programmed to love everything from the Rolling Stones to Rap to Rachmaninoff. They'll also be looking at whether there are any examples of music in the animal kingdom and whether gorillas really hum. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jun 27, 2016
Brian and Robin's Infinite Inbox
2807
Brian Cox and Robin Ince answer The Infinite Monkey Cage listeners' questions.
Feb 25, 2016
Climate Change
2961
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by guests Dara O Briain, Professor Tony Ryan and Dr Gabrielle Walker to discuss the ever-hot topic of climate change. They take a forensic look at the evidence that the climate is indeed changing, how we know that we are responsible, and what can be done to stop it. The scientific willing may be there, but is the political will finally catching up?
Feb 15, 2016
Maths of Love and Sex
2788
Robin Ince and Brian Cox get romantic (although unfortunately not with each other) as they discuss the mathematics of love and the statistics of sex. They are joined on stage by comedian and former maths student Paul Foot, mathematician Hannah Fry and statistician Professor Sir David Speigelhalter, as they discover whether a knowledge of numbers can help you in the affairs of the heart? Can a maths algorithm help you find your perfect mate at a party and what do the statistics tell us about what happens after the party, if you do! They find out whether mathematicians are more successful at dating than comedians, and whether a rational, scientific approach to love and life long happiness is really the answer.
Feb 08, 2016
What Is Reality?
2476
What is Reality? Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by US superstar neuroscientist David Eagleman, Professor Sophie Scott and comedian Bridget Christie to ask what is reality? Is our sense of the world around us a completely personal experience and a construct of our brains? How can we ever know whether what one person perceives is exactly the same as what another person perceives. Is your sense of the world around you an illusion constructed by this extraordinary organ, the brain, that has no direct access to the outside world that it is helping you to understand.
Feb 01, 2016
Invisible Universe
2366
Brian Cox and Robin Ince transport the cage of infinite proportions to the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry. They are joined on stage by impressionist Jon Culshaw and astrophysicists Sarah Bridle and Tim O'Brien as they look up at the sky to discover that everything we see only accounts for 5% of the entire universe. So what is the rest of the universe made of? What are these mysterious elements known as Dark Matter and Dark Energy and would their discovery mean a complete re-writing of the laws of physics as we know them? Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jan 25, 2016
What is Race?
2762
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by comedian Shappi Khorsandi, science broadcaster Adam Rutherford and evolutionary geneticist Mark Thomas. They look at the thorny issue of race, and whether there is a scientific definition for the concept of race. Do our genes reveal racial differences, and if so do they tell us anything about our evolutionary history? They also look at the results of their own personal DNA tests...so which panellist is a little bit neanderthal and which one has a genetic history firmly rooted in the North! Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jan 18, 2016
Artificial Intelligence
2594
Artificial Intelligence Brian Cox and Robin Ince return for a new series of their award winning science/comedy show. Tonight the infinite monkey's are joined on stage by comedian Jo Brand, neuroscientist Anil Seth, and robotics expert Alan Winfield to discuss Artificial Intelligence. How close are we to creating a truly intelligent machine, how do we define intelligence anyway, and what are the moral and ethical issues that the development of intelligent machines might bring? Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jan 12, 2016
The Infinite Monkey Cage Christmas Special
2783
The Science of Doctor Who Brian Cox and Robin Ince celebrate the festive season with a look at the science of Doctor Who. Swapping the infinite cage for the Tardis, they are joined on stage by comedian Ross Noble, Professor Fay Dowker, Oscar winning special FX director Paul Franklin, author and Doctor Who writer Simon Guerrier and the Very Reverend Victor Stock. They discuss the real science of time travel, the tardis and why wormholes are inaccurately named (according to Ross!).
Dec 25, 2015
Episode 2
1662
Brian Cox and Robin Ince explore the legacy of Einstein's great theory, and how a mathematical equation written 100 years ago seems to have predicted so accurately exactly how our universe works. From black holes to the expanding universe, every observation of the universe, so far, has been held up by the maths in Einstein's extraordinary work. So how was he able to predict the events and behaviour of our universe, long before the technology existed to prove he was right, and will there ever be another theory that will supersede it? Brian and Robin head up the iconic Lovell telescope at Jodrell Bank to explore Einstein's theory in action, and talk to scientists who are still probing the mysteries hidden within General Relativity.
Dec 15, 2015
Episode 1
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It's 100 years since the publication of Einstein's great theory, and arguably one of the greatest scientific theories of all time. To mark the occasion, Brian Cox takes Robin Ince on a guided tour of General Relativity. With the help of some of the world's leading cosmologists, and a comedian or two, they explore the notions of space time, falling elevators, trampolines and bowling balls, and what was wrong with Newton's apple. It's a whistle stop tour of all you'll ever need to know about gravity and how a mathematical equation written 100 years ago predicted everything from black holes to the Big Bang, to our expanding universe, long before there was any proof that these extraordinary phenomena existed.
Dec 08, 2015
Forensic Science
2962
A Forensic look at Forensics No dead strawberries this week, but plenty of dead bodies, as Brian Cox and Robin Ince take a gruesome look at the science of death and some of the more unusual ways that forensic scientists are able to look for and gather clues and evidence. From insects that can be used to give a precise time of death, to the unusual field of forensic botany, It's not just DNA evidence that can be used to pinpoint someone to the scene of a crime. They are joined on stage by Professor Sue Black from the University of Dundee, Dr Mark Spencer, a forensic botanist at the Natural History Museum and comedian Rufus Hound.
Aug 10, 2015
Speed
2834
The Need for Speed The Monkey Cage returns from its tour of the USA, as Brian Cox and Robin Ince take to the stage of the BBC Radio Theatre to look at the science of speed. They are joined by comedian and former motoring correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, Alexei Sayle, Land Speed Record Holder Andy Green and Professor Danielle George from the University of Manchester. They'll be looking at the engineering challenges of creating the fastest vehicle on the planet, and whether the limits to human speed are engineering or the laws of physics themselves.
Aug 03, 2015
The Infinite Monkey Cage USA Tour: San Francisco
2858
Brian Cox and Robin Ince take to the stage in San Francisco for the last of their USA specials. They talk alien visitations, UFOs and other close encounters with astronomer Dr Seth Shostack, NASA scientist Dr Carolyn Porco, and comedians Greg Proops and Paul Provenza. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jul 27, 2015
The Infinite Monkey Cage USA Tour: Chicago
2742
Fossil Records and other Archaeological Hits. Brian Cox and Robin Ince take to the stage in Chicago, Illinois, to discuss fossil records and evolution. They are joined on stage by host of NPR's "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" Peter Sagal, comedian and Saturday Night Live alumnus Julia Sweeney, palaeontologist Paul Sereno and evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne.
Jul 20, 2015
The Infinite Monkey Cage USA Tour: Los Angeles
2750
Science Goes to Hollywood: Science Fact V Science Fiction Brian Cox and Robin Ince continue their tour of the USA, as they take to the stage in LA. They are joined by cosmologist and science advisor on movies such as Thor and Tron Legacy, Sean Carroll, comedian Joe Rogan, The Simpsons' writer and Executive Producer of Futurama, David X Cohen, and Eric Idle. They ask why so many movies now seem to employ a science advisor, whether scientific accuracy is really important when you are watching a film about a mythical norse god and whether science fact can actually be far more interesting than science fiction.
Jul 13, 2015
The Infinite Monkey Cage USA Tour: New York
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The Infinite Monkey Cage USA Tour: New York The Infinite Monkeys return for a new series, the first of which will see them head to the USA for their first live tour. This week Brian Cox and Robin Ince can be found on stage in New York asking the question, Is Science a Force for Good Or Evil? They are joined on stage by Bill Nye the Science Guy, cosmologist Janna Levin, actor Tim Daly and comedian Lisa Lampanelli.
Jul 06, 2015
Serendipity
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Serendipity in Science Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by comedian Lee Mack, science author and journalist Simon Singh and chemist Professor Andrea Sella to look at how many of our biggest science discoveries seem to have come about by accident. From Viagra to Pyrex to the discovery of the Cosmic Background Microwave Radiation, the earliest remnant of the big bang, they all owe their discovery to a healthy dose of luck and accident as scientists stumbled across them in the course of looking for something else. So are these discoveries just luck, are they still deserving of Nobel prizes and scientific glory, or is serendipity and an open scientific mind key to exploring and understanding our universe?
Feb 23, 2015
What Is the Point of Plants?
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What's the Point of Plants? Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by plant biologist Professor Jane Langdale, physicist Professor Jim Al-Khalili and comedian and former horticulture student Ed Byrne to ask, "what's the point of plants?". How would the evolution of life on our planet have differed without plants, and what would our planet look like today? Most crucially that seemingly dull but necessary process of photosynthesis that we all learned about in school, is in fact one of the most important processes in our universe, and as usual it seems, the physicists are trying to take credit for it. Could there be a quantum explanation for how this amazing reaction works, and if so, are plants in fact the perfect quantum computers?
Feb 16, 2015
When Quantum Goes Woo
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When Quantum Goes Woo Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by Bad Science author, Ben Goldacre, Professor of Particle Physics at Manchester University, Jeff Forshaw, and comedian Sara Pascoe. They'll be looking at why quantum physics, in particular, seems to attract some of the more fringe elements of pseudoscience and alternative medicine, and whether there is anything about the frankly weird quantum behaviour of particles, like the ability to seemingly be in two places at once, that really can be applied to the human condition. When spiritual healers and gurus talk about our own quantum energy and the power of quantum healing, is it simply a metaphor, or is there more to this esoteric branch of science that we could all learn from?
Feb 09, 2015
Solar System
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Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Jo Brand, planetary scientist Professor Monica Grady and NASA scientist Dr Carolyn Porco as they discuss some of the most exciting and technically ambitious explorations of our solar system. They'll be looking at the Rosetta mission that has, for the first time, landed a probe on a comet, and the Cassini-Huygens mission which is bringing us extraordinary information about Saturn and its moons, and what these explorations of the far reaches of our solar system might tell us about our own planet.
Feb 02, 2015
Fierce Creatures
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Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by naturalist Steve Backshall, zoologist Lucy Cooke and comedian Andy Hamilton as they battle it out to decide which creature wins the title of earth's most deadly. The panel reveal their own brave encounters with a host of venomous, toxic and just downright aggressive beasts, including the bullet ant, rated the most painful stinging insect on the planet, deadly tree frogs and snakes, sharks, scorpions and hippos. They ask whether our seemingly innate fear of snakes and spiders is justified, and whether the deadliest creature on the planet is in fact a human being.
Jan 26, 2015
Deception
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Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by author and journalist David Aaronovitch, psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman and neuroscientist Professor Sophie Scott as they tackle the science of deception. They'll be asking why we seem to be so good at telling lies, but not very good at spotting them, and why being good liars could be the secret to our success as a social animal. They will also be carrying out their own act of deception on the monkey cage audience. They reveal the results of an experiment to test the idea of subliminal advertising, carried out by David Aaronovitch for the Radio 4 documentary, "Can You Spot the Hidden Message" . Will they manage to secretly persuade a section of the theatre audience to pick one type of soft drink over another by secretly flashing the name of a certain brand on a screen? All will be revealed. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jan 19, 2015
The Infinite Monkey Cage Christmas Special
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Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by Brian Blessed, astronaut Chris Hadfield, bible scholar Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou and the Reverend Richard Coles for a very special festive edition of the show. They'll be taking their own unique look at the Christmas story and the history of the bible and asking whether the christmas story and your view of humanity changes once you've look back at earth from the heavens themselves. Producer : Alexandra Feachem.
Dec 25, 2014
Irrationality
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Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedians Josie Long and Paul Foot, psychologist Richard Wiseman and neuroscientist Stuart Ritchie to ask "is irrationality genetic?". The second of two programmes recorded at the Edinburgh Festival.
Aug 11, 2014
Before the Big Bang
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Brian Cox and Robin Ince transport the cage of infinite proportions, for the first of 2 programmes from the Edinburgh Festival. They are joined on stage by cosmologists Carlos Frenk and Faye Dowker and actor and comedian Ben Miller and comedian and fellow physics PhD alumnus Richard Vranch.
Aug 04, 2014
Can Science Save Us?
3221
Can Science Save Us? Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by Stephen Fry, Eric Idle, chemist and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield University, Professor Tony Ryan, and University of London solar scientist, Dr Lucie Green, as they ask: "can science save us?" They'll be looking at some of the fantastic ideas at the very forefront of science and technology that are being looked at to help in tackling some of the biggest challenges facing our planet, from climate change, to feeding our ever expanding global population.
Jul 28, 2014
Does Science Need War?
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Does Science Need War? Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by comedian Katy Brand, science writer Philip Ball and medic, author and broadcaster Kevin Fong. They'll be asking whether scientific progress needs the pressures and casualties of war to drive it, or whether some of our biggest scientific breakthroughs, that have resulted from periods of conflict, would have happened anyway? It's a serious topic, but never fear, on the way the intergalactic battles faced in Star Wars, and why only the French could come up with onions as a cure for burns, are all equally seriously investigated.
Jul 21, 2014
Are Humans Uniquely Unique?
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Are humans uniquely unique? Robin Ince and Brian Cox are joined on stage by human and non-human ape experts Keith Jensen, Katie Slocombe and Ross Noble to ask whether humans are truly unique amongst animal species. They'll be looking at why studying our nearest relative, the chimpanzee, could reveal clues as to how humans evolved some of the traits that make us stand out, such as language, culture and truly altruistic cooperation, or whether these are traits that are now being uncovered in our primate cousins. They'll also be revealing why a chimpanzee could be classified as far more rational than its human counterpart.
Jul 14, 2014
Numbers Numbers Everywhere
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Numbers, Numbers everywhere... The Infinite Monkey Cage is back for a new series of witty, irreverent science chat. Over the coming six weeks, presenters Brian Cox and Robin Ince will be joined on stage by scientists and some well known science enthusiasts including Stephen Fry, Ross Noble, Katy Brand and Ben Miller to discuss a range of topics, from what makes us uniquely human, to whether irrationality is, in fact, genetic. In the first episode of the new series, Brian and Robin are joined by comedian and former maths undergraduate Dave Gorman, maths enthusiast and author Alex Bellos and number theorist Dr Vicky Neale to look at the joy to be found in numbers. Although many people fear maths and will admit to dreading any task that requires even basic skills of numeracy, the truth is that numbers really are everywhere and our relationship with them can, at times, be oddly emotional. Why do so many people have a favourite number, for example, and why is it most often the number 7? 7 is of course a prime number - a favourite amongst mathematicians and non-mathematicians alike, although seemingly for different reasons. Could it be however, as the panel discuss, that the reasons are not so very different, and that we are all closet mathematicians at heart?
Jul 07, 2014
Brian and Robin's Infinite Inbox
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Infinite Monkeys Brian Cox and Robin Ince delve into the postbag and open up the inbox for a programme specially recorded for BBC Radio 4 Extra. Following their recent series of The Infinite Monkey Cage on Radio 4, Robin and Brian thought it was high time they answered some questions from you, the audience, which have poured in from around the UK and abroad. Penned by listeners as young as 10 and as old as 77, subjects include the nature of black holes, the mathematical abilities of chimpanzees, the suicidal tendencies of robots and complaints about infinity that will run and run. But will they be able to answer perhaps the greatest question of all - is a strawberry dead? Producer: Rami Tzabar.
Mar 10, 2014
Science and Spin
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This week on the Infinite Monkey Cage, Brian Cox and Robin Ince take to the stage at Manchester University, to discuss the state of science communication. Is the public engaged enough with the complexities of science? Are scientists engaging enough with the hoi polloi or still stuck in their ivory towers? And when was the 'golden age' of TV science, if it ever existed? Joining our presenters are scientists Matthew Cobb and Sheena Cruikshank, comedian Helen Keen and legendary science TV presenter and writer, James Burke, whose classic series 'Connections' captivated audiences around the world. Producer: Rami Tzabar.
Dec 23, 2013
Should We Pander to Pandas?
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This week, Brian Cox and Robin Ince wonder if the world would be better off without spending an undue amount of time and energy trying to get giant pandas to mate and instead concentrated on saving species which let's face it, are a lot less cute but probably more important for the planet. Should we make a distinction between the organisms we want to save as opposed to those we need to save? The science and politics of biodiversity and conservation, explored and explained (sort of) with the help of Sandy Knapp, Simon Watt and comedian Sara Pascoe. Producer: Rami Tzabar.
Dec 16, 2013
To Infinity and Beyond
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This week on the Infinite Monkey Cage, Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedy producer John Lloyd, mathematician Colva Roney Dougal and writer Simon Singh, to explore the universality of mathematics, the nature of infinity and the role of numbers in everyday life. Producer: Rami Tzabar.
Dec 09, 2013
Science Rocks!
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Science Rocks! This week, Brian Cox and Robin Ince are travelling back in time, to discuss when and how geology became a science, what the dinosaurs ever did for us and why cryptids, creatures of popular mythology, hold such fascination for those on the fringes of science. Joining the panel are paleobiologist Dave Martill, geologist and BBC broadcaster Hermione Cockburn, the comedian Ross Noble and legendary actor, writer and performer, Eric Idle. Producer: Rami Tzabar.
Dec 02, 2013
Through the Doors of Perception
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This week, Brian Cox and Robin Ince attempt to walk through the doors of perception. On the way, they'll encounter the nature of consciousness, the secret messages hidden in pop songs, the problem of objectivity (it's subjective) and how time appears to warp. This week's guests are psychologist and presenter of Radio 4's All in the Mind, Claudia Hammond, Neuroscientist Beau Lotto and the writer Alan Moore. Producer: Rami Tzabar.
Nov 25, 2013
Risk
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The Infinite Monkey Cage returns in the first of a new series and turns its gaze on the science of risk. Professor Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince bring their witty and irreverent take on the world to a programme all about the science of risk. Together with guests David Spiegelhalter, Sue Ion and former Goodie, Graeme Garden, the team explores such questions as: why is seven the safest age to be? Should badgers wear bicycle helmets? How safe is nuclear power and how worried should we be by the threat of asteroid impact? Producer: Rami Tzabar.
Nov 18, 2013
Science Museum
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Brian Cox and Robin Ince transport their infinite cage to the more finite proportions of London's Science Museum to discuss wonder in science, and why children seem to have it, but too many of us lose it as adults. Joining them on stage are comedian Josie Long, US astrophysicist and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director of the Science Museum Ian Blatchford and author and historian Richard Holmes. There's also a special performance by comedian and rap artist Doc Brown, in tribute to his childhood hero.
Jul 29, 2013
Alfred Russel Wallace
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Brian Cox and Robin Ince discuss the life and works of Alfred Russel Wallace, the lesser known co-founder of the theory of evolution by natural selection. They are joined on stage by biologists Steve Jones and Aoife McLysaght and comedian Tony Law to ask whether Wallace is the great unsung hero of biology and why it was Darwin who seems to have walked away with all the glory.
Jul 22, 2013
What Makes Science a Science?
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What Makes a Science a Science? Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by "Bad Science" author Ben Goldacre, neuroscientist Sophie Scott and broadcaster Evan Davis to ask what makes a science, a science. They'll be asking whether the scientific method can be applied to topics such as history and politics, and whether subjects like economics and social sciences qualify as science at all.
Jul 15, 2013
Space Tourism
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Space Tourism Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by actor and space enthusiast Brian Blessed, Director of Virgin Galactic Stephen Attenborough and space medicine expert Dr Kevin Fong to talk about the possibilities of space exploration for mere mortals. Is travel beyond our own planet the reserve of highly trained astronauts and cosmonauts, or are we about to see a new era of space travel, where a round trip to the moon is not beyond the grasp of many ordinary members of the public, and is it a good idea?
Jul 08, 2013
Glastonbury
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Brian Cox and Robin Ince transport their cage of infinite proportions to the Glastonbury Festival as they take to the stage with their special brand of science and comedy. They are joined by singer KT Tunstall and physicists Fay Dowker and Jeff Forshaw to discuss all things Quantum, in the most unlikely of places!
Jul 01, 2013
What Is Death?
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"What Is Death?" In the first of a new series of the award winning science/comedy series, Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by comedian Katy Brand, biochemist Nick Lane and forensic anthropologist Sue Black to discuss why death is such an inevitable feature of a living planet. As well as revisiting such weighty scientific issues, such as when can a strawberry, be truly declared to be dead, they'll also explore the scientific process of death, its evolutionary purpose and whether it is scientifically possibly to avoid it all together.
Jun 24, 2013
Christmas Special: The Science of Christmas Behaviour
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Brian Cox and Robin Ince get into the Christmas spirit as they look at the science of Christmas behaviour with actor and writer Mark Gatiss, geneticist Steve Jones, psychologist Richard Wiseman and emeritus Dean of Guildford Cathedral Victor Stock.
Dec 24, 2012
Creating Life
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Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by guests Ed Byrne, Adam Rutherford and Philip Ball to talk about science's quest to create life. From the medieval alchemists' recipe for creating an homunculus through to IVF, cloning and the current cutting edge science working on creating artificial DNA, the quest to create life is an age-old one, but with modern scientific techniques now a reality. Viewed by many as deeply suspicious, even heretical, creation of life is one of the key ideas that generates distrust in science, but is this fair and are we really entering a brave new world where life is no longer in nature's hands. Producer: Alexandra Feachem Presenters: Brian Cox and Robin Ince.
Dec 17, 2012
Brain Science
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Will science ever understand the human mind? Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by comedian and former psychiatric nurse, Jo Brand, and neuroscientists Sophie Scott and Brian Butterworth. With ever more sensitive brain scanning techniques and advances in brain science, how close are we to understanding the inner workings of the human mind - or is this a quest that still remains in the hands of the philosophers? Producer: Alexandra Feachem Presenters: Robin Ince and Brian Cox.
Dec 10, 2012
Secret Science
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Robin Ince and Brian Cox are joined on stage by comedian Dave Gorman, author and Enigma Machine owner Simon Singh and Bletchley Park enthusiast Dr Sue Black as they discuss secret science, code-breaking and the extraordinary achievements of the team working at Bletchley during WWII.
Dec 03, 2012
Improbable Science
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Brian Cox and Robin Ince discuss some of the more unlikely and odd avenues of research travelled down in the name of science. For example, the British physicist who calculated the optimal way to dunk a biscuit into a cup of tea without it disintegrating too quickly. Or the brain researchers who demonstrated that they could detect meaningful brain activity... in a dead salmon. All these academics share something in common, not just a slightly quirky application of the scientific method. They have also been a recipient of the now infamous Ig Nobel prizes, awarded each year as a parody of the Nobel Prize, to research that seems at first glance, entirely improbable, and possibly pointless. Robin and Brian are joined on stage by the organiser of the Ig Nobels, Marc Abrahams, comedian Katy Brand and biologist Professor Matthew Cobb, from the University of Manchester, to ask whether all scientific exploration is valid, no matter how ridiculous it may seem at first glance, or whether there is genuinely something to be learned from observations that to many, may seem pointless. Producer: Alexandra Feachem Presenters: Robin Ince and Brian Cox.
Nov 26, 2012
Space Exploration
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The Infinite Monkeys are back and in the first of the new series Brian Cox and Robin Ince boldly go where no science programme has been before, as they discuss space exploration with Captain Jean Luc Picard himself, actor Sir Patrick Stewart; former quantum physicist Ben Miller; and Professor of Planetary Sciences, Monica Grady. They'll be discussing whether space really is the final frontier and whether, with the development of ever more sophisticated robotic space missions, do humans need to go to space at all? Are un-manned missions more cost effective and ultimately more efficient in terms of the scientific knowledge they generate, or is the need to explore unknown worlds, on this planet, or any other, the key to driving the progress of science? Producer: Alexandra Feachem Presenters: Robin Ince and Brian Cox.
Nov 19, 2012
Science v Art
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Brian Cox and Robin Ince transport the cage of infinite proportions, to the slightly more confined space of the Latitude Comedy Arena. They will be joined on stage by a panel of guests, including Al Murray, for a witty, irreverent and unashamedly rational look at the world according to science. Given Latitude's artistic, musical and literary credentials, they'll be taking a huge risk by staging the ultimate show down, as they pitch Art against Science and ask which has more to offer and whether the two cultures might ever make a happy union. To help them battle it out, and alongside comedian Al Murray, they'll be joined by cosmologist Andrew Pontzen, comedian and actor Sara Pascoe and CERN scientist Jonathan Butterworth. Let battle commence!
Jul 23, 2012
Parallel Universes
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Brian Cox and Robin Ince stretch the cage of infinite proportions this week to encompass not just our own universe, but any others that might be lurking out there as well. They'll be joined by QI creator John Lloyd, the Astronomer Royal, Professor Sir Martin Rees, and solar scientist Dr Lucie Green to talk about one of the most tantalising ideas of cosmology, that of parallel universes. Are we inhabiting a universe that is just one of a possibly infinite number of others and how would we ever know? Is this an idea that is destined to remain one of the great scientific thought experiments, and a staple of science fiction, or will science ever progress enough to truly put the idea of multiverses to the test. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jul 16, 2012
The Science of Symmetry
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Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by mathematician Marcus Du Sautoy, science journalist Adam Rutherford and comic book legend Alan Moore to discuss why symmetry seems such a pervasive phenomenon throughout our universe, and possibly beyond. The world turns on symmetry -- from the spin of subatomic particles to the structure of the natural world, through to the molecules that make up life itself. They'll be asking why symmetry seems so ubiquitous and whether the key to Brian's large female fanbase is down to his more than usually symmetrical face. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jul 08, 2012
Does Size Matter?
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Robin Ince and Brian Cox are joined on stage by comedian Andy Hamilton to discuss whether size matters? Material scientist Mark Miodownik and bioengineer Eleanor Stride also join the panel to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of being really huge, or extremely small, and why if you wanted to be a truly effective super hero, then being really really tiny is probably the greatest superpower you could have. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jul 02, 2012
Science Mavericks
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Brian Cox and Robin Ince take to the stage at this year's Cheltenham Science Festival to discuss science mavericks. They are joined by comedian Marcus Brigstocke, medic and broadcaster Dr Kevin Fong, evolutionary biologist Aoife McLysaght and Nobel Laureate Professor Barry Marshall. Marshall, an Australian physician, famously experimented on himself to prove his theory that a bacterium was responsible for most peptic ulcers. He drank the bacterium he suspected was the cause, and as a result reversed decades of medical doctrine. He and the rest of the panel discuss the role of mavericks in science, how new theories get accepted and whether you have to go to such extreme lengths to truly push the frontiers of our scientific understanding. Presenters: Robin Ince and Brian Cox Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jun 25, 2012
Oceans: The Last Great Unexplored Frontier?
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Brian Cox and Robin Ince return for a new series of the award-winning science/comedy show, as they take a witty, irreverent and unashamedly rational look at the world according to science. In today's programme they'll be looking down rather than up as they consider the great mysteries that still remain uncovered in the watery depths of our oceans and asking whether they are truly the last unexplored frontiers for science. It has often be said that we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about much of what lies beneath the ocean waves, so how come we know so little about the vast majority of our own planet? They'll be joined on stage by comedian Dave Gorman, British Antarctic Survey scientist Lloyd Peck and Bramley Murton from the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton. Presenters: Robin Ince and Brian Cox Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jun 18, 2012
The Science of Christmas
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The Infinite Monkeys Robin Ince and Brian Cox are in a festive mood as they discuss the science of Christmas with special guests biologist Richard Dawkins, actor and writer Mark Gatiss and science journalist Roger Highfield. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Dec 26, 2011
I'm a Chemist Get Me Out of Here
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Robin Ince and Brian Cox give the chemists a chance to fight back as they stage the ultimate battle of the sciences to find out, once and for all, whether all science is really just physics...and whether chemistry is, as Brian puts it "the social science of molecules". Joining Brian in the physics corner will be comedian and ex-physicist Dara O'Briain, and trading punches for the chemists will be Professor Andrea Sella and monkey cage regular Professor Tony Ryan. Referee Robin Ince will be ringside to make sure its a clean fight and there's no hitting below the belt. Ding ding. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Dec 19, 2011
The Science of Sound
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Robin Ince and Brian Cox head north for the second time this series, and take residence for one episode in the BBC Philharmonic's headquarters to talk about the science of sound. They are joined by the University of Salford's acoustic expert Professor Trevor Cox, neuroscientist Professor Chris Plack and comedian and former acoustics student Tom Wrigglesworth to talk about all things noise related. With some musical accompaniment, they'll be discussing why some sounds sound nice and some sound horrible. Why certain sounds are noise and others are literally music to our ears, and whether specific sounds can trigger specific emotions. But perhaps the biggest question of all is, are there any clues in the chord sequences to D:Ream's hit "Things can only get better" that made it the perfect soundscape for to a political leadership campaign?..maybe that's something that even science can't answer! Producer: Alexandra Feachem Presenters: Robin Ince and Brian Cox.
Dec 12, 2011
The Origins of Life
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Robin Ince and Brian Cox are joined inside the Infinite Monkey Cage by rationalist comedian and musician Tim Minchin, science broadcaster and biologist Adam Rutherford and biochemist Professor Nick Lane to discuss the science of creation and the latest theories about the origins of life. Producer: Alexandra Feachem Presenters: Robin Ince and Brian Cox.
Dec 05, 2011
A Balanced Programme on Balance
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The Infinite Monkeys, Brian Cox and Robin Ince, are joined on stage by Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, and comedian and theology graduate Katy Brand to look at how science is portrayed in the press and whether opinion is ever as valid as evidence. Occasionally accused of lack of balance by lovers of astrology and the supernatural, the unashamedly rational and evidence loving duo tackle the issue of balance head on. Does the media skew scientific debate by giving too much weight to public opinion over the scientific evidence? Do important science messages get lost because scientists don't engage enough with seemingly irrational concerns and beliefs? A witty irreverent look at some of the issues surrounding the public's perception of science and how it's reported in the media. Producer: Alexandra Feachem Presenters: Robin Ince and Brian Cox Guests: Katy Brand and Sir Paul Nurse.
Nov 28, 2011
What's the North Ever Done for Us?
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The Infinite Monkeys, Robin Ince and Brian Cox, return for a new series of irreverent science chatter with a host of special guests. In the first of the new series, they're on Brian Cox's home territory for a recording at the University of Manchester. They're joined by impressionist Jon Culshaw, physicist Jeff Forshaw and biologist Matthew Cobb to look at just a few of the amazing scientific achievements that Manchester has given the world, from Rutherford splitting the atom through to last year's Nobel Prize for Physics. And if you listen closely, a few other well known voices may also appear to have snuck onto the panel...who knew that even Alan Carr has an opinion on the Higgs Boson. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Nov 21, 2011
Science vs The Supernatural: Does Science Kill the Magic?
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Robin Ince and Brian Cox are joined on stage by actor and magician Andy Nyman, psychologist Richard Wiseman and neuroscientist Bruce Hood as they take on the paranormal. They'll be looking at some of the more popular claims of supernatural goings on, and asking whether a belief in ghosts, psychic abilities and other other-worldly phenomena, is just a bit of harmless fun, or whether there are more worrying implications in a belief in the paranormal.
Jul 05, 2011
Is There Room for Mysticism in a Rational World?
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Glastonbury Special Radio 4's award winning science/comedy show hits Glastonbury to prove that science really is the new rock n roll. Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by musicians Billy Bragg and Graham Coxon, comedian Shappi Khorsandi, and scientist Professor Tony Ryan to bring their own brand of rationality and reason to Glastonbury's most hardened new-age followers. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jun 27, 2011
Is Cosmology Really a Science?
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Robin Ince and Brian Cox are joined on stage by V for Vendetta author and legendary comic book writer Alan Moore, cosmologist Ed Copeland, and science broadcaster Dallas Campbell to ask whether Cosmology is really a science? Do scientific theories need to be testable to make them, well - scientific? And if so, where does that leave some of the more mind-bending theories that Cosmology has postulated over the last few years? From String Theory to the idea of multiple universes, the maths might work, but if there is no way of observing whether it is correct, is it science or science fiction? Does Cosmology have more in common with the fantastical stories dreamt up by fiction writers such as Alan Moore, and will science ever progress enough to really get to the bottom of some of the more weird and wonderful theories about the way our universe works? This programme was recorded as part of the Cheltenham Science Festival. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jun 20, 2011
So You Want To Be An Astronaut?
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Robin Ince and Brian Cox are joined by comedian Helen Keen ("It is Rocket Science") and space medicine expert Dr Kevin Fong, to discuss the future of human space travel. As NASA's space shuttle program comes to a close, what does the future hold in terms of humans bid to leave the confines of earth, and what has human space travel provided in terms of scientific understanding back at home? Brian Cox acknowledges the importance of the Apollo moon landings in inspiring him, and many like him, to take up careers in science - so what will the next big scientific inspiration be? Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jun 13, 2011
Six Degrees
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The Infinite Monkeys, Brian Cox and Robin Ince, are joined on stage by special guest Stephen Fry and science writer Simon Singh to find out whether we really are only 6 degrees of separation from anyone else? What started as an interesting psychology experiment in connectedness, back in the 1960's, has not only taken on a life of its own in popular culture, but in the last 10 years has begun to influence everything from mathematics, to engineering and even biology. Brian and Robin look at how the concept of 6 degrees has influenced a whole new field of science and whether, in this age of social network sites such as Twitter and Facebook, we are in fact, far more connected than ever before. We also find out what Robin's "Bacon" number is. Whether Brian has an "Erdos" number, and whether, like Russell Crowe, any of the panel have successfully managed to combine the two. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jun 06, 2011
What Don't We Know?
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Professor Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince return for a new series of the witty, irreverent science/comedy show. This week the Infinite Monkeys will be asking what don't we know, do we know what we don't know, does science know what it doesn't know, and are there some things that science will never be able to know? Joining them on stage for this brain twister and to discuss whether any of us actually know anything at all, are the comedian Paul Foot, biologist Professor Steve Jones and cosmologist and science writer Marcus Chown. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
May 30, 2011
Philosophy
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Physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince are joined by special guests Alexei Sayle and philosopher Julian Baggini to discuss Stephen Hawking's recent comment that "philosophy is dead". Does the progress of science mean the need for disciplines such as philosophy and even religion are negated as we understand more and more about how the world works. Or are there some things, such as human consciousness, that science will never be able to fully explain. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Dec 06, 2010
Randomness
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Physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince are joined by the Australian comedian and musician Tim Minchin and mathematician Alex Bellos to discuss randomness, probability and chance. They look at whether coincidences are far more common than one might think and how a mathematical approach can make even the most unpredictable situations... well, predictable. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Nov 29, 2010
Modern World
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Physicist Brian Cox, comedian Robin Ince and guests return for more witty irreverent science chat. This week they are joined by comedian and former mathematician Paul Foot to discuss whether the modern world is a force for good or evil, and whether a simpler, more natural existence might be a better way forward. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Nov 22, 2010
Apocalypse
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Physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince return for the third series of the witty, irreverent science show. In the first episode of the series, Brian and Robin are joined by comedian Andy Hamilton to discuss some of the wackier apocalyptic theories, as well as those more grounded in science fact. Did the Mayans know something that we didn't with their prediction of global annihilation in 2012, or should we be focusing our energies and scientific know-how on some of the more likely scenarios, from near earth asteroids, through to climate change and deadly pandemics, or even the more long term possibilities of our sun burning out....although we have got roughly another 5 billion years to ponder the challenge of that problem. Recorded in front of an audience at the Drill Hall in London.
Nov 15, 2010
Things Can Only Get Better?
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In the last of the current series, physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince look at the notion of perfection and whether the latest advances in the biomedical sciences could ever lead us to the perfect body. What are the limitations of science, and can we visualise a future where we transcend the human form that evolution has led us to, and would we want to? Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jul 05, 2010
Science Fiction, Science Fact
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Special guests Jonathan Ross, graphic novelist Alan Moore and string theorist Brian Greene, join Brian Cox and Robin Ince on stage for a special edition of the science show that boldly goes where no other science show has been before. In a special science fiction themed programme, recorded in front of an audience at London's Southbank Centre, Brian, Robin and guests discuss multiple dimensions, alternate universes and look at whether science fact is far more outrageous than anything Hollywood or science fiction authors could ever come up with. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jun 28, 2010
Trust me, I'm a Scientist
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Physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince continue their witty, irreverent and unashamedly rational look at the world according to science. Brian and Robin are joined by special guests Ben Goldacre and comedian Dave Gorman to discuss the notion of trust in science. Why are people prepared to believe in magic and pseudoscience rather than empirical evidence, and does it matter? Science often appears open ended and evolving, a reason to mistrust it, especially when it can feel like we are bombarded with so much contradictory information. So is the scientific method the only way to truly test if something works, and why should we trust the scientists over alternative practitioners who many people would argue have helped them more than anything that comes out of a laboratory. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jun 21, 2010
Popular Science
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Physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince return for a new series of Radio 4's witty, irreverent and unashamedly rational look at the world according to science. In a special programme recorded as part of this year's Cheltenham Science Festival, Brian and Robin are joined by special guests Ben Miller and Robert Winston to explore the choppy waters of science and fame. Are we are entering a golden age of science popularity? Is there a genuine interest in the wonder of science and is science the real star or is it simply being dumbed down as a result of our celebrity obsessed culture? They'll be asking whether science needs to be popular and whether this new wave of enthusiasm has any real impact on science policy, or the quality of science being done in this country. Has science finally found the S Factor? Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Jun 14, 2010
Science and Religion
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Physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince take a witty, irreverent and unashamedly rational look at the world according to science. Robin and Brian are joined by Victor Stock, Dean of Guildford Cathedral, and science journalist Adam Rutherford for a special Christmas edition of the programme. Adam explains why religion really could be good for your health, and can Victor convert Robin and Brian in time for the festive season?
Dec 21, 2009
Quantum Physics
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Physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince take a witty, irreverent and unashamedly rational look at the world according to science. Physicist turned comedian Ben Miller joins Brian and Robin to discuss quantum physics, and if astrology really shares its roots with more scientific pursuits. They also discuss the largest scientific experiment ever undertaken, currently storming ahead in a large underground tunnel just outside Geneva.
Dec 14, 2009
Extraterrestrial Life
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Series in which physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince take a witty, irreverent and unashamedly rational look at the world according to science. Robin and Brian are joined by alien abduction expert Jon Ronson and Seth Shostack from the SETI Institute in California to discuss science conspiracies, UFOs and the search for ET.
Dec 07, 2009
Science and Comedians
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Former cosmologist Dara O'Briain and Dr Alice Roberts join physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince for a witty, irreverant and unashamedly rational look at the world according to science. They'll be asking why so many comedians seem to start life as scientists, and begin their quest to put science at the heart of popular culture.
Nov 30, 2009