The Infinite Monkey Cage
Series 7 - 2012
BBC Radio 4
Physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince take a witty, irreverent and unashamedly rational look at the world according to science.
128 kbps, 44.1 kHz, 2 channels, MPEG Audio (Version 1)(Layer 3)(Joint Stereo)
(except episode 3: as above but 48.0 kHz)
Episodes approx 27 mins
Series 7 Episode 1 of 6
Mon 19 Nov 2012
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?
Series 7 Episode 2 of 6
Mon 26 Nov 2012
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.
Series 7 Episode 3 of 6
Mon 3 Dec 2012
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.
Series 7 Episode 4 of 6
Mon 10 Dec 2012
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?
Series 7 Episode 5 of 6
Mon 17 Dec 2012
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.
Christmas Special: The Science of Christmas Behaviour
Series 7 Episode 6 of 6
Mon 24 Dec 2012
Listen in pop-out player 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.