The Infinite Monkey Cage

Physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince take a witty, irreverent and unashamedly rational look at the world according to science.

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Brian And Robin's Infinite Inbox2014030920140310

Infinite Monkeys Brian Cox and Robin Ince attempt to answer some questions from listeners.

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

The Infinite Monkey Cage Christmas Special20141225

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

The Infinite Monkey Cage Christmas Special20151225

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!).

0101Science And Comedians2009113020091202

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.

Robin visits the archives of one of his all-time science heroes and Brian tackles his personal mission to put science back at the heart of the political agenda.

0102Extraterrestrial Life *2009120720091209

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.

0103Quantum Physics2009121420091216

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.

0104 LASTScience And Religion *2009122120091223

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?

0201Popular Science2010061420140216 (BBC7)
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With Brian Cox and Robin Ince, recorded at the Cheltenham Science Festival.

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.

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?

0202Trust Me, I'm A Scientist2010062120140223 (BBC7)
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Ben Goldacre and Dave Gorman discuss the notion of trust in science.

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.

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.

0203Science Fact And Science Fiction2010062820140302 (BBC7)
20140303 (BBC7)

Jonathan Ross, graphic novelist Alan Moore and string theorist Brian Greene on sci-fi.

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.

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.

0203Science Fiction, Science Fact20100628 (BBC7)
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20151008 (BBC7)

Jonathan Ross, graphic novelist Alan Moore and string theorist Brian Greene on sci-fi.

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.

0204 LASTThings Can Ony Get Better2010070520140309 (BBC7)
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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?

Will the latest advances in biomedical sciences ever lead us to the perfect body?

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.

0301Apocalypse!20101115

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.

0302Modern World20101122

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.

0303Randomness20101129

Physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince are joined by the Australian comedian and musician Tim Minchin and mathematician Alex Bellos to discuss randomness, probabablity and chance.

They look at whether consequences are far more common than one might think and how a mathematical approach can make even the most unpredictable situations - well, predictable.

0304 LASTPhilosophy20101206

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.

0401What Don't We Know?2011053020110531

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

04026 Degrees2011060620110607

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.

0403So You Want To Be An Astronaut?2011061320110614

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?

0404Is Cosmology Really A Science?2011062020110621

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.

0405Glastonbury Special2011062720110628

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.

0406 LASTScience V The Supernatural: Does Science Kill The Magic?2011070420110705

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.

0501What's The North Ever Done For Us?2011112120111122

"What's The North Ever Done For Us?"

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.

0502A Balanced Programme On Balance2011112820111129

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.

0503The Origins Of Life2011120520111206

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.

0504The Science Of Sound2011121220111213

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!

0505I'm A Chemist Get Me Out Of Here2011121920111220

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.

Dara O Briain joins the Infinite Monkeys Robin Ince and Brian Cox for science/comedy chat.

0506 LASTThe Science Of Christmas2011122620111227

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.

Robin Ince and Brian Cox get festive and tackle the science of Christmas.

0601Oceans: The Last Great Unexplored Frontier?2012061820120619

Robin Ince and Brian Cox consider the mysteries that remain uncovered in the watery depths

Oceans: the last great unexplored frontier?

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.

Future guests in upcoming programmes include Marcus Brigstocke, Al Murray, Andy Hamilton and comic book legend Alan Moore.

Presenters: Robin Ince and Brian Cox

Producer: Alexandra Feachem

0602Science Mavericks2012062520120626

Marcus Brigstocke joins Brian and Robin to discuss science mavericks.

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

0603Does Size Matter?2012070220120703

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

0604The Science Of Symmetry2012070920120710

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.

The Monkeys and guests discuss why symmetry seems such a pervasive phenomenon.

The science of symmetry

0605Parallel Universes2012071620120717

Brian Cox, Robin Ince and guests talk about one of the most tantalising ideas of cosmology

Parallel Universes.

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

0606 LASTScience V Art2012072320120724

Al Murray joins Brian and Robin at the Latitude Festival for a science/art showdown.

Science V Art

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!

0701Space: The Final Frontier2012111920121120

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?

0702Improbable Science2012112620121127

Katy Brand joins Brian and Robin to discuss some unusual avenues of scientific research.

Improbable Science

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

0703Secret Science2012120320121204
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Simon Singh and Dave Gorman join Brian and Robin to discuss Bletchley Park.

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.

Robin Ince and Brian Cox are joined on stage by comedian Dave Gorman, author and Enigma Machine owner Simon Singh and Bletchley Park expert Dr Sue Black as they discuss secret science, code-breaking and the extraordinary achievements of the team working at Bletchley during WW II.

0704Brain Science2012121020121211

Jo Brand joins Brian Cox and Robin Ince for witty, irreverent science chat.

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

0705Creating Life2012121720121218

Comedian Ed Byrne joins Robin and Brian to talk about science's quest to create life.

Unnatural.

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

0706 LASTChristmas Special2012122420121225

Brian Cox and Robin Ince celebrate Christmas as only the monkey cage can.

Brian Cox and Robin Ince get into the Christmas spirit as they look at the science of christmas behaviour with Actor/writer Mark Gatiss, geneticist Steve Jones, psychologist Richard Wiseman and emeritus Dean of Guildford Cathedral Victor Stock

0801What Is Death?2013062420130625

Brian and Robin discuss the scientific nature of death with comedian Katy Brand

0802Glastonbury2013070120130702

Brian Cox and Robin Ince transport their own take on quantum physics to Glastonbury.

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!

0803Space Tourism2013070820130709

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?

Brian Cox and Robin Ince talk space exploration and space tourism with actor Brian Blessed

Space Tourism

0804What Makes Science A Science?2013071520130716

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined Ben Goldacre, Sophie Scott and Evan Davis.

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.

0805Alfred Russel Wallace2013072220130723

Brian Cox and Robin Ince mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Alfred Russel Wallace.

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.

0806 LASTScience Museum2013072920130730

Brian Cox and Robin Ince discuss the wonder of science at London's Science Museum.

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.

0901Risk2013111820131119

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?

0902Through The Doors Of Perception2013112520131126

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

0903Science Rocks!2013120220131203

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.

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 and the comedian Ross Noble

0904Are You Pi Curious?2013120920131210

This week on the Infinite Monkey Cage, Brian Cox, Robin Ince and guests explore the nature of numbers, the power of logic and the mathematics of everyday life.

0905Should We Pander To Pandas?2013121620131217

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

0906 LASTScience And Spin2013122320131224

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.

1001Numbers Numbers Everywhere2014070720140708

New series of the irreverent science/comedy show presented by Brian Cox and Robin Ince.

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?

1002Are Humans Uniquely Unique?2014071420140715

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by Ross Noble to ask whether humans are truly unique.

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.

1003Does Science Need War?2014072120140722

Brian Cox, Robin Ince and guests ask whether science needs war to drive it.

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.

1004Can Science Save Us?2014072820140729

Stephen Fry and Eric Idle join Brian Cox and Robin Ince to ask, 'Can science save us?'.

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.

1005Before The Big Bang2014080420140805

Brian Cox and Robin Ince ask what happened before the big bang.

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

1006 LASTIrrationality2014081120140812

Brian Cox, Robin Ince and their guests ask, 'Is irrationality genetic?'.

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.

1101Deception2015011920150124 (R4)

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.

1102Fierce Creatures20150126

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.

1103Solar System2015020220150203 (R4)

Brian Cox, Robin Ince and guests talk about the latest explorations of our solar system.

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.

1104When Quantum Goes Woo20150209

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?

1105What Is The Point Of Plants?2015021620150217 (R4)

Brian Cox, Robin Ince and guests ask, 'What's the point of plants?'.

What's the Point of Plants?

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by botanist 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?

1106 LASTSerendipity In Science2015022320150224 (R4)

Brian Cox and Robin Ince look at some of the most serendipitous discoveries 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?

1201The Infinite Monkey Cage Usa Tour: New York20150706

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.

1202The Infinite Monkey Cage Usa Tour: Los Angeles20150713

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.

1203The Infinite Monkey Cage Usa Tour: Chicago2015072020150721 (R4)

Brian Cox and Robin Ince take to the stage in Chicago to discuss fossils and evolution.

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.

1204The Infinite Monkey Cage Usa Tour: San Francisco2015072720150728 (R4)

Brian Cox and Robin Ince head to San Francisco to talk aliens and UFOs.

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.

1205Speed2015080320150804 (R4)

Brian Cox, Robin Ince and guests look at the science of speed.

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.

Brian Cox and Robin Ince host witty and irreverent science chat.

1206 LASTForensic Science20150810

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

13Artificial Intelligence2016011820160119 (R4)

Brian and Robin talk artificial intelligence with Jo Brand, Anil Seth and Alan Winfield.

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.

13Climate Change20160222

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?

13What Is Race?2016012520160126 (R4)

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.