Episodes

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20060727

Interdependence

Energy consumption around the world looks set to continually rise for the foreseeable future. But how will we be able to meet the increasing demand?

Solar power was once touted as the answer to the planet's power supply, but low efficiency and high costs prevented it from making the impact that scientists and industry hoped for. All this is may be about to change. Researchers at Southampton's School of Electronics and Computer Science predict that solar power will be 'mainstream by 2025'.

Quentin Cooper is joined by Dr Darren Bagnall from Southampton and other researchers to discuss the future of solar power.

20081127

Quentin Cooper joins scientists on a beach in search of clues about one of Saturn's moons.

20081211
20081218

Quentin Cooper discovers the value of sensible mathematical and scientific estimations.

20090101

Quentin Cooper joins scientists, artists and musicians on a research cruise to Greenland.

20090108

Quentin Cooper learns about student contributions to front-line space projects.

20090115

Quentin Cooper investigates the nature of superorganisms.

20090122
20090129
20090205
20090212
20090219
20090226
20090305
20090312
20090319
20090326
20090402
20090409
20090416
20090423
20090430
20090507
20090514
20090521
20090528
20090604
20090611
20090618
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20090702
20090709
20090716
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20091231
20100107

20100107

Got an experiment you want to conduct? A pet theory you want to test? Then this might be what you've been waiting for. Throughout 2010, Material World will be providing a unique opportunity for ordinary people to do some extraordinary science. Quentin Cooper gives the details.

20100107

Got an experiment you want to conduct? A pet theory you want to test? Then this might be what you've been waiting for. Throughout 2010, Material World will be providing a unique opportunity for ordinary people to do some extraordinary science. Quentin Cooper gives the details.

20100114

20100114

It may have been rather chilly in the UK this week, but that's nothing compared to July 1983 at the Russian Vostok Research Station in Antarctica, where it got down to minus 89.2 degrees Celsuis. Professor John Turner of the British Antarctic Survey describes how it happened and how it's helping him to perfect climate models to reveal future change.

ALMA -Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array - is under construction on the Chajnantor plain of the Chilean Andes, 5,000 metres above sea level. It will be made up of 80 high-precision antennas and will transform our understanding of the physics of the 'cold universe'. The cold universe is made up of regions that are optically dark to us but shine brightly in the millimetre portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. By exploring the cold universe scientists hope to study the formation of stars and planets underway in star nurseries. Gareth Mitchell finds out how work is going after the recent first successful measurements taken by ALMA.

Neanderthals have a reputation as dim-witted brutes, but that's not fair, says Professor João Zilhão of Bristol University. He tells Gareth about the discovery of Neanderthal shell jewellery in Spain, and of traces of pigment probably used as body paint or make-up. He also has new evidence that our own ancestors inherited both genes and culture from Neanderthals.

There are more than 400 recognised breeds of domestic dog in the world, a huge diversity of shapes and sizes that, says Professor Josh Akey of the University of Washington in Seattle, makes them a natural laboratory for the genetics of selective breeding. His studies have revealed the gene that gives the Shar-pei its wrinkly skin and hopes that this and other traits will help us understand both human and canine disease.

20100114

It may have been rather chilly in the UK this week, but that's nothing compared to July 1983 at the Russian Vostok Research Station in Antarctica, where it got down to minus 89.2 degrees Celsuis. Professor John Turner of the British Antarctic Survey describes how it happened and how it's helping him to perfect climate models to reveal future change.

ALMA -Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array - is under construction on the Chajnantor plain of the Chilean Andes, 5,000 metres above sea level. It will be made up of 80 high-precision antennas and will transform our understanding of the physics of the 'cold universe'. The cold universe is made up of regions that are optically dark to us but shine brightly in the millimetre portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. By exploring the cold universe scientists hope to study the formation of stars and planets underway in star nurseries. Gareth Mitchell finds out how work is going after the recent first successful measurements taken by ALMA.

Neanderthals have a reputation as dim-witted brutes, but that's not fair, says Professor João Zilhão of Bristol University. He tells Gareth about the discovery of Neanderthal shell jewellery in Spain, and of traces of pigment probably used as body paint or make-up. He also has new evidence that our own ancestors inherited both genes and culture from Neanderthals.

There are more than 400 recognised breeds of domestic dog in the world, a huge diversity of shapes and sizes that, says Professor Josh Akey of the University of Washington in Seattle, makes them a natural laboratory for the genetics of selective breeding. His studies have revealed the gene that gives the Shar-pei its wrinkly skin and hopes that this and other traits will help us understand both human and canine disease.

20100121

20100121

A thousand years ago, the centre of world science and invention was not in Europe but the Middle East. Muslim minds produced a flying machine in the 9th century, the first distillation system, surgical instuments familiar in a modern hospital, and the most accurate clock in 1,000 years. Gareth Mitchell visits the Science Museum in London and picks out a few exhibits from an exhibition of 1,001 inventions.

20100121

A thousand years ago, the centre of world science and invention was not in Europe but the Middle East. Muslim minds produced a flying machine in the 9th century, the first distillation system, surgical instuments familiar in a modern hospital, and the most accurate clock in 1,000 years. Gareth Mitchell visits the Science Museum in London and picks out a few exhibits from an exhibition of 1,001 inventions.

20100128

20100128

Fifty years on from the first steps in the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence, Quentin Cooper asks 'why the eerie silence?' Why have we detected no signal from ET? Does this mean we're alone in the universe?

Meanwhile, down here on Earth, how universal are our non-verbal expressions of emotion? And how has cancer treatment changed from the days of 'one drug fits all'? How a new strategy of personalised medicine might save lives and at the same time save the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds.

Plus, Do You Want To Be A Scientist? The latest from our talent search for amateur scientists.

20100128

Fifty years on from the first steps in the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence, Quentin Cooper asks 'why the eerie silence?' Why have we detected no signal from ET? Does this mean we're alone in the universe?

Meanwhile, down here on Earth, how universal are our non-verbal expressions of emotion? And how has cancer treatment changed from the days of 'one drug fits all'? How a new strategy of personalised medicine might save lives and at the same time save the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds.

Plus, Do You Want To Be A Scientist? The latest from our talent search for amateur scientists.

20100204
20100211
20100218
20100225
20100304

The latest science from Quentin Cooper, who asks whether we really need traffic lights.

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20100311
20100318
20100325
20100401
20100408
20100415
20100422
20100429
20100506
20100513
20100520
20100527
20100603
20100610
20100617
20100624
20100708

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper dissects the latest science.

20100715
20100729
20100805
20100812

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20100819
20100826
20100902

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper talks to scientists publishing their research in peer reviewed journals.

20100909
20100923

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Producer: Roland Pease.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20100930
20101007

With a new batch of Nobel Prizes in Medicine, Chemistry and Physics just announced, Quentin Cooper assesses the new laureates' impact on science.

Producer Roland Pease.

Quentin Cooper and guests assess the latest Nobel Science Prizes.

20101014

Brief encounter with a comet chaser.

Next week, Comet Hartley 2 will come within just a few million miles of Earth, possibly becoming visible to the naked eye. Meanwhile, NASA's Deep Impact space probe is itself closing in on the Comet. Quentin hears about the science astronomers hope to learn from the encounter.

Producer, Roland Pease.

Quentin Cooper has a brief encounter with a comet chaser.

20101021

20101021

Quentin Cooper meets the scientists making news. This week he investigates the latest research into stem cells, in Europe and in the USA.

Producer: Roland Pease.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science, including the latest on stem cells.

20101028

Quentin Cooper examines the science behind the news.

20101104

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Quentin Cooper examines the science behind the news.

20101111

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Producer: Roland Pease.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20101118

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Producer: Roland Pease.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20101125

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Producer: Roland Pease.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20101202

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Producer: Roland Pease.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20101209

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Producer: Roland Pease.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20101216

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Producer: Roland Pease.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20101223

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Producer: Roland Pease.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20101227

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. In the programme this week he discusses the new government proposals to include fewer science voices on the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. Getting into space is still proving harder than it looks, Quentin looks back on recent mishaps in man's attempts to conquer space. Also in the programme, will we soon be sequencing our own genomes in our own homes?

Producer: Roland Pease.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20101230

Quentin Cooper catches up with the four finalists of the So You Want to Be a Scientist talent search that was featured in Material World across the summer. Have they continued to do research and think about science? 2010 has also been a year when the Royal Society aimed to engage the public more with science, through the events that were part of its Year of Science. What impact have these activities had?

Producer: Pamela Rutherford.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20110106

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20110113

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Producer: Roland Pease.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20110127

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Producer: Roland Pease.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20110203
20110203

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. This week he finds out why Cyclone Yasi, which has hit Queensland, Australia is the strongest storm in a century. Could Russian scientists finally reach the depths of Lake Vostok in the Antarctic? As a new blue plaque is revealed in London to the scientist who discovered five noble gases, Quentin asks why so few scientists are honoured in the scheme and finally, a star with 6 orbiting planets, why astronomers are so excited.

Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz.

2011020320110207 (R4)

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. This week he finds out why Cyclone Yasi, which has hit Queensland, Australia is the strongest storm in a century. Could Russian scientists finally reach the depths of Lake Vostok in the Antarctic? As a new blue plaque is revealed in London to the scientist who discovered five noble gases, Quentin asks why so few scientists are honoured in the scheme and finally, a star with 6 orbiting planets, why astronomers are so excited.

Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

20110210
20110210

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to a leading Egyptian scientist about the state of research in the country under the current regime and finds out if a change in leadership will help academia and industry. Also in the programme: how alien marine life is costing the UK taxpayer more than £2bn a year and how the country will need to adapt its infrastructure to the changing climate. Quentin also discovers how fleas jump.

2011021020110214 (R4)

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to a leading Egyptian scientist about the state of research in the country under the current regime and finds out if a change in leadership will help academia and industry. Also in the programme: how alien marine life is costing the UK taxpayer more than £2bn a year and how the country will need to adapt its infrastructure to the changing climate. Quentin also discovers how fleas jump.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

20110217
20110217

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. Could severe flooding in the UK in 2000 have been caused by climate change? Quentin finds about the latest research which suggests that greenhouse gases, produced by humans, are to blame. Quentin also discusses the largest solar flare for four years and asks what effects it might have on electronics and telecommunications. He also discovers why Vincent van Gogh's sunflowers are turning brown, and he hears about new images that are providing novel insights into the physical structure of comets.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

2011021720110221 (R4)

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. Could severe flooding in the UK in 2000 have been caused by climate change? Quentin finds about the latest research which suggests that greenhouse gases, produced by humans, are to blame. Quentin also discusses the largest solar flare for four years and asks what effects it might have on electronics and telecommunications. He also discovers why Vincent van Gogh's sunflowers are turning brown, and he hears about new images that are providing novel insights into the physical structure of comets.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

20110224
20110224

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. We find out why the Christchurch earthquake caused such devastation. Quentin will be joined by the UK's Red Squirrel champion to find out about repopulating Anglesey with the native animal. Also on the programme - a new high tec glass house that the Royal Horticultural Society will be building to track new pests and diseases in our gardens. And finally how Scott of the Antarctic is now helping ecologists learn about the changing ecosystems on the icy continent.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

2011022420110228 (R4)

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. We find out why the Christchurch earthquake caused such devastation. Quentin will be joined by the UK's Red Squirrel champion to find out about repopulating Anglesey with the native animal. Also on the programme - a new high tec glass house that the Royal Horticultural Society will be building to track new pests and diseases in our gardens. And finally how Scott of the Antarctic is now helping ecologists learn about the changing ecosystems on the icy continent.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

Quentin Cooper looks into the science stories of the week and speaks to scientists who are making headlines.

20110303

Quentin Cooper looks into the science stories of the week and speaks to scientists who are making headlines.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20110310

Adam Rutherford presents the weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. Joining him on the programme this week is Dr Ian Crawford from Birkbeck College, University of London, who will be discussing the future of human space flight and what it holds now that the final shuttle missions are almost completed. Also on the show; we find out what daffodils are really made of and we visit the science museum where the orginal workshop of engineer James Watt is about to be opened to the public. Finally, the champion of science that makes us laugh and think Marc Abrahams, the creator of the Ig Nobel awards, is in the studio.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20110317

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20110324
20110407

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20110414
20110421
20110428

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20110505
20110512
20110519
20110526

Quentin Cooper looks into the science stories of the week and speaks to scientists who are making headlines.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20110602
20110609

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines.

20110616

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly round-up of the latest science research.

20110623

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines.

20110630
20110707
20110714
20110721
20110728
20110804

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly round-up of the latest science research and how it affects people's lives.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines.

20110811
20110815
20110818

This week Quentin Cooper feels his way round a new aid to keyhole surgery, tracks brainy bees from flower to flower and wonders how they do it so efficiently. He hears how unblocking the nose of a primitive fish enabled vertebrates to develop jaws, how plesiosaurs may have been caring parents, and how we perceive passing time in a blink of an eye.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Brainy bees, feeling surgery, jaws, baby plesiosaurs and time perception.

20110822
20110825
20110829

This week, Quentin Cooper looks at what may be the oldest fossils on Earth; he tracks cholera across continents, plays games with weather forecasts to understand uncertainty and asks how many species there really are on Earth.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

The oldest fossils, tracking cholera, playing with uncertainty and counting species.

20110901
20110908
20110915

Quentin Cooper reports on the latest science research and the discoveries that make or underpin the headlines. This week he's at the British Science Association Festival in Bradford, where scientists showcase their work and look for imaginative ways to share it with the public.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Quentin Cooper reports from the British Science Association Festival in Bradford.

20110922

Ehsan Masood with a weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He hears from the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and discuss how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Ehsan Masood presents this week's digest of science in and behind the headlines.

20111006

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science.

Producer: Julian Siddle.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines.

20111013

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science.

Producer: Fiona Roberts

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines.

20111020
20111103

Science programme reporting on developments across the disciplines. Each week, scientists describe their work, conveying the excitement they feel for their research projects.

Science programme reporting on developments across the disciplines.

20111110
20111117

Quentin Cooper and guests discuss the science changing our world this week, talking to researchers and opinion-formers about the latest research in the news and in the journals.

Quentin Cooper and guests discuss the science that is changing our world this week.

20111124

This week, risk and uncertainty: how to communicate it to politicians and the public. Quentin Cooper asks the Government Chief Science Advisor, Sir John Beddington and the Chairman of the Lord's Committee on Science and Technology, Lord Krebs. Also, revealing the secrets of locust flight: how they may help the design of miniature flying robots.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Top government scientists discuss risk and Quentin investigates insect flight.

20111201

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Science programme reporting on developments across the disciplines.

20111208

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Quentin Cooper reports on developments across the scientific disciplines.

20111215
20111222
20111229

In this special edition, Adam Rutherford finds out which four finalists will be competing for the title of BBC Amateur Scientist of the Year.

Over 1,000 people entered 'So You Want to Be a Scientist?' hoping to put their scientific questions to the test. During the last few weeks on Material World, we've met the 10 amateur scientists on this year's shortlist. But which of them will make the final four to turn their idea into an experiment?

Nobel prize-winning biologist Sir Paul Nurse chairs the judging panel and is joined by astronomer Dr Lucie Green, statistician Dr Yan Wong from Bang Goes the Theory and science journalist Mark Henderson. They'll decide which entries show the most scientific promise and discuss how these budding amateur scientists might go about designing their experiments.

Producer: Michelle Martin.

Revealing the four finalists competing to become the BBC's Amateur Scientist of the Year.

20120105

The ancient Mayans had two calendars; the solar calendar of the agricultural year and a lunar calendar on which they based their religious festivals. The two don't coincide very often. The longest cycle they considered lasts 5 125 years and completes a cycle on 21st December 2012 at the midwinter solstice. That has given rise to predictions that this is when the world will end - something not stated in the Mayan texts. It was also the basis for the Hollywood epic "2012" with earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and all the special effects of modern film making.

So how might the world actually end? Could geological or cosmic catastrophe take place this year, and if not, how do we know? But this is not just about geology and astronomy. It's also about human psychology. Why do predictions of an apocalypse continue? What drives those who invent them, and their followers who sometimes have such strong beliefs that they commit mass suicide?

And will the world end eventually, and if so, how and when? Quentin Cooper investigates the end of the world with the help of astronomers, psychologists and anthropologists.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Quentin asks if the world will end in 2012 and why people make apocalyptic predictions.

20120112

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines.

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Over the next two weeks Radio 4 will be broadcasting plays about Freud's famous cases. Deborah Levy has dramatised the stories of Dora and Little Hans.

In Material World Quentin Cooper will be exploring Freud's approach to understanding his patients and asking how scientific it was. And he will be looking at Freud's legacy in the 21st century.

Quentin will also be presenting his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Quentin Cooper asks if Freud was a scientist, and reviews the week's science.

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Quentin Cooper reports on the science behind the news and the news in science. Each week, scientists describe their work, conveying the excitement they feel for their research.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines.

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Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines.

20120315

An update from 'So You Want to Be a Scientist' - Material World's search for the BBC's Amateur Scientist of the Year. One of our four finalists, Dara Djavan Khoshdel aged 25 from Bournemouth, starts his experiment at Modern Art Oxford. He's testing people's emotional reactions to paintings using a skin galvanometer, which measures our micro-sweating. But will the strength of people's reaction match the financial value of each artwork?

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Quentin Cooper with an update from the 'So You Want to Be a Scientist' talent search.

20120322

This week's programme features another finalist from 'So You Want to Be a Scientist' - Material World's search for the BBC's Amateur Scientist of the Year. Izzy Thomlinson, aged 18 from Shropshire, tests people's reactions to horrible sounds at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham. From scraping fingernails down a blackboard to squeaky polystyrene, what is the most annoying sound in the world and do the sounds that make us wince change with age? Presented by Quentin Cooper.

Producer: Julian Siddle.

Quentin Cooper with an update from the 'So You Want to Be a Scientist' talent search.

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Science magazine programme.

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Science programme reporting on developments across the disciplines. Each week, scientists describe their work, conveying the excitement they feel for their research projects

Quentin Cooper talks to researchers behind all that's new and news across science

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In this Week’s programme Gareth Mitchell looks at the future of road transport. According to transport researchers the car as we know it will have to become a thing of the past if traffic is to continue flowing. Drivers will need to be more like passengers and leave much of the decision making about what vehicles do on our roads to computerised transport management systems.

It’s just over a century since scientists first showed that cosmic rays can come from distant stars. Subsequent research into their effects here on earth has led to the worrying conclusion that they could destroy much of our global communications infrastructure. We hear about those early cosmic ray pioneers and the role of hot air Balloons in determining where they come from, with Professor Alan Watson from Leeds University. And speak to Dr Christopher Frost from The Rutherford Appleton laboratory’s Neutron Irradiation facility, who is trying to recreate the effects of those rays to see how they affect modern electronics.

And from our ‘So You Want to be a Scientist’ experiment, we look more widely at what makes us talk the way we do.

Science magazine programme.

20120503

Quentin Cooper examines the practicalities of expanding wind farms in the North Sea. Last week a meeting of European ministers called for greater investment in wind technology, and an industry consortium was launched to look at ways of increasing the amount of offshore power that could be generated from the North Sea. The engineering challenges are huge, we get to grips with the big questions on how to wire up the sea for electricity production and look to the shape of future wind turbines, which would need to increase in six years if the plan is to be realised.

Gamma rays can be bent. A French research institute has found a way of refracting these radioactive beams in much the same way as visible light. The discovery opens up a whole new area of research, and potential Nano scale probing technologies which could seek out many materials from drugs’ to nuclear waste and have the potential to treat cancer much more accurately than any current radiation based methods.

A few weeks ago we discussed the government’s plans to give the security services greater powers to snoop on our online activities. The plan would need the co operation of internet service providers, and mobile phone companies who would have to hand over data showing the activities of their customers. One person who knows all about the methodology is the author who goes by the pseudonym DR K, in the past he has been a computer Hacker, and written a book about his experiences, The Real Hacker’s Handbook.

Also, on today's So You Want To Be A Scientist. Our 18 yr old amateur scientist Izzy Thomlinson launching a national experiment on Horrible Sounds this week.

Together with her mentor, Prof Trevor Cox, they’ve designed an online test to find out why some people are more sensitive to nasty noises than others.

You can take part by listening to a selection of noises, from nails scraping down the blackboard to squeaking polystyrene, and rating them on a scale of ‘not unpleasant’ to ‘extremely unpleasant’.

Take the test now by clicking on the link below!

Science magazine programme.

20120510

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Producer: Julian Siddle.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

2012051720120521

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Producer: Julian Siddle.

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In this week's programme Angela Saini asks whether the UK government's plans for future energy provisions live up to public expectations. New research shows the public generally favour renewable technologies over fossil fuels, but can the reality of our energy needs be squared with the public's wishes? We discuss this with public perception and energy policy experts Professors Nick Pidgeon from Cardiff University and Jim Watson from Sussex University.

We also look at how street lighting is affecting micro environments. Insects and arachnids seem to grow and multiply under new whiter brighter street lights. We discuss the consequences of this with researcher Thomas Davies from Exeter University.

Silicon chips are a key component of computers, but now a new type of chip with moveable silicon offers the chance of much faster operation and the preservation of huge amounts of data without the need to power the chips. Tony Kenyon form the University College London's Photonic Materials lab heads the team behind the new invention.

We also look at earthquake prediction and ask why it is currently impossible so say exactly when and where earthquakes will occur.

Producer: Julian Siddle.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

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Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

It's 80 years since British Physicist James Chadwick discovered the Neutron. Finding this key particle led to the development of many different branches of science from theoretical physics to modern medicine, engineering and electronics. Quentin Cooper discuss the significance of Chadwick's work and his legacy with Professor Peter Rowlands, from Liverpool University - where Chadwick worked on particle accelerators and Professor Andrew Harrison, from the Institut Laue-Langevin, one of the world's leading neutron research facilities.

We hear the first results from one of our 'So You Want to Be a Scientist' teams. What noises do we really find horrible and why?

And we examine the state of the world's helium supply. It's not just used to inflate party balloons, helium has a key role in protecting sensitive microelectronics and enabling the correct functioning of medical scanners and equipment used in the study of neutrons. It occurs in the same deposits as natural gas, but is not managed well by the industries which extract and store it according to Dr Richard Clarke from the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy.

Producer: Julian Siddle.

80 years of neutrons, why helium gas isn't a laugh and horrible noises we love to hate.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

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Quentin Cooper looks at the outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in Scotland. He speaks to leading bacteriologist Professor Hugh Pennington about the causes of the disease, its history and why Legionnaires', one of the world's most dangerous bacterial pathogens, is so hard to detect.

We look at the transit of Venus. Venus passed between the earth and the sun earlier this week - and won't do so again for over 100 years. Observed in past centuries this phenomenon is credited with helping devise methods to navigate the earth's oceans, but it is also helping us now to detect distant planets that we cannot see.

And we catch up with 'So You Want to Be a Scientist' finalist Val Watham. After a lot of hard work analysing the results, Val can finally shed some light on whether horizontal or vertical stripes are more flattering.

Producer: Julian Siddle.

Legionnaires' bacteriology, why Venus is good for science and the true illusion of stripes

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

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This month sees the 100th anniversary of the birth of British mathematician and computer pioneer Alan Turing. Lauded by many as one of the founding fathers of information technology, his visionary ideas and theories are at the heart of our digital age. Yet until relatively recently he was forgotten, his achievements ignored. We discuss his legacy with Dr Tilly Blyth, curator if computing and information at London's science museum and Dr Peter Bentley, reader in computer science at University College London and the author of the recently published 'digitized' in which he compares the work of Alan Turing with other computer age pioneers.

Just ahead of the finals in Cheltenham, we catch up with two of our 'So You Want to Be a Scientist?' finalists. William Rudling can finally shed some light on whether people who look similar also have similar voices. And we hear from Dara Djavan Khoshdel if people's emotional response to an artwork is a good predictor of the monetary value of that artwork.

Producer: Julian Siddle.

Quentin Cooper looks into the science stories of the week and speaks to scientists who are making headlines.

20120621

The culmination of the BBC's Amateur Scientist of the Year. Adam Rutherford presents the finals of 'So You Want to Be a Scientist?' recorded in front of an audience at the Cheltenham Science Festival.

This year's finalists are:

- Izzy Thomlinson, an 18 year old student from Shropshire, is trying to find out why sounds like nails scratching a blackboard make some people squirm

- Dara Djavan Khoshdel, a 25 year old mature student from Bournemouth, has been measuring whether our emotional reaction to art is correlated to its financial value

- Val Watham, a 53 year old management consultant from Berkshire, has designed a study to investigate whether horizontal or vertical stripes are more flattering to wear

- William Rudling, a 69 year old caricaturist from Leeds, wants to know whether people who look the same also sound the same

The four finalists present their results to a panel of judges - solar scientist Dr Lucie Green from UCL, evolutionary biologist Dr Yan Wong from Bang Goes the Theory and science journalist Mark Henderson.

After deliberating the merits of each experiment in terms of design, methodology and conclusion, the judges will choose the person they think deserves to become the next BBC Amateur Scientist of the Year.

Producer: Michelle Martin.

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Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

Quentin Cooper looks into the science stories of the week and speaks to scientists who are making headlines.

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This week scientists at CERN in Geneva have discovered a sub-atomic particle they think might be the long-sought Higgs Boson particle. Quentin talks to leading CERN scientists Professor Jim Virdee and his colleague at Imperial College, Professor Gavin Davies, about the implications of this finding.

Also in today's programme, Quentin visits the annual Summer Science Exhibition at the Royal Society. Dr Phil Manning explains how particle physics does not just allow scientists to find Higgs, but can also tell us about the colour of dinosaurs. His group uses a particle accelerator to 'read' fossils. At another stand, Dr Gianluca Memoli and Ian Butterworth from the National Physical Laboratory tell Quentin why the sound of bubbles can have interesting medical applications. And Dr Stephen Leslie maps the genetic make-up of the different peoples in the UK. Quentin finds out he is actually more of a soft Southerner than the tough Northerner he fancied himself to be...

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

Quentin Cooper looks into the science stories of the week and speaks to scientists who are making headlines.

2012071220120716

With the Olympics only weeks away, airport security has been high on the government's agenda. Recent long queues and the time taken to clear security at Heathrow in particular has been criticised by MPs.

In this week's programme Angela Saini visits the Farnborough International air show to find out how technology might speed up the airport security process. David Smith from FLIR demonstrates a mock-up of a future passenger check-in, where hidden radioactivity detectors can spot suspicious isotopes before those carrying them know they've been scanned. And with the European Union keen to allow bottles of water to be carried again onto planes next year, he demonstrates a scanner which should be able to detect liquid explosives.

Angela also speaks to Oliver Böcking and Mark Stevens, of start-up company DNA-Tracker, about how their technology could track mobile phones to check for suspicious behaviour as passengers move around the terminal.

Angela also discusses with Civil Engineer Peter Budd how good airport design can make visiting airports a positive experience.

And we hear from Designer Bill Walmsley about synthetic sandbag technology, now used to defend many of our airports from car bombs.

Quentin Cooper looks into the science stories of the week and speaks to scientists who are making headlines.

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Researchers have found new evidence that suggests Neanderthals may have used medicinal herbs to treat their ailments. In northern Spain they have found evidence they ate certain plants with no nutritional, but some medicinal, benefits.

99.9% of all creatures that ever roamed the Earth are no longer alive today. As a memorial to all species lost since the dodo, the project MEMO (Mass Extinction Monitoring Observatory) will erect a huge bell-tower on the Isle of Portland in Dorset.

Also in Dorset, a science/art collaboration as part of the Cultural Olympiad is unveiled next week on and around the Jurassic Coast. The producer and earth science advisor to "Exlab" discuss what will be seen and also the criticism that there was little or no science included in the festivities.

We also take a look at "crowd funding" as a new means to fund scientific research. Matt Salzberg has set up Petridish.org as a means to connect scientists and potential donors. Science communicator Alice Bell will join Quentin in the studio to discuss implications and potential ethical pitfalls.

Neanderthal medicine, commemorating extinctions, ExLab and the ethics of crowd funding.

Science programme reporting on developments across the disciplines. Each week, scientists describe their work, conveying the excitement they feel for their research projects.

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Simulating a whole bacterium, UK tsunamis, melting Greenland ice, and herd behaviour.

Researchers at Stanford University and the J Craig Venter Institute have managed for the first time to make a computer simulation of an entire organism. Quentin is joined by Markus Covert, the team's leader, to learn how the scientists were able to successfully simulate the workings of the simple bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium.

While it is unlikely that the UK will be hit by a tsunami caused by an earthquake, rare but very large underwater landslides could cause a huge amount of destruction in coastal areas. A UK-wide project, led by researchers at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, has recently been awarded a grant of £2.3 million to investigate such tsunami threats to the UK. Quentin speaks with Peter Talling to discuss the severity of the tsunami threat and the importance of this research.

NASA has announced that this month an unusually large percentage of the surface of the Greenland ice sheet has melted. It is far from unusual for Greenland's ice caps to melt slightly in summer, but the geographical extent and speed of the current melt have not been observed since the satellite age, and perhaps have not happened since the late 19th century. Quentin is joined from the University of Sheffield by Edward Hanna to find out whether the reaction to the news this week was proportional.

Finally Quentin is joined in the studio by Dr Andrew King of the Royal Veterinary College to discuss herd behaviour of sheep. By kitting out a herd of sheep and a sheepdog with small GPS backpacks, his group has found evidence that sheep in a herd will display selfish behaviour in order to stay safe, for the first time quantifying a previously qualitative theory.

Science programme reporting on developments across the disciplines and hearing from scientists about their work.

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While school children are enjoying a well-deserved holiday, Quentin Cooper discusses the use of phonics to teach children to read and looks at the extent to which neuroscience can help inform education policy. He is joined from Cambridge by Usha Goswami and from York by Charles Hulme.

Quentin also finds out how a mathematical approach can help elucidate the historical basis of some of our oldest classical texts. Padraig Mac Carron and Ralph Kenna, join him from Coventry University.

And Alex Kacelnik joins Quentin from Oxford to discuss the question as to whether or not animals have empathy.

A look at phonics and neuroscience, maths and the epic classics, and animal empathy.

Quentin Cooper looks into the science stories of the week and speaks to scientists who are making headlines.

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Quentin Cooper reports on the latest surface rover mission to Mars, NASA's Curiosity.

Quentin Cooper reports on the latest surface rover mission to Mars - NASA's Curiosity, or Mars Science Laboratory - twice as long, twice the science, and five times as heavy as its famous forebears.

Landing on the floor of the Gale Crater, next to a mountain of sedimentary strata, the 10 different instruments carried on board will provide more knowledge of the geological history of Mars - including the possibility of microbial life during an earlier, wetter epoch of Mars' past - than any previous mission.

Quentin Cooper reports on the latest surface rover mission to Mars - NASA's Curiosity - twice as long, twice the science, and five times as heavy as its famous forebears. Producer: Alex Mansfield.

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How a child with total paralysis could kick a football using a brain-controlled suit.

A suit that is controlled by the brain is close to enabling a quadriplegic child to kick a football. Neuroscientist Professor Miguel Nicolelis has pledged that he's close to perfecting an entire robotic body suit that will be operated by thought alone. Users will be able to imagine an action, and the brain will send signals to the prosthetic device to complete the action. Based at Duke University, Professor Nicolelis tells Quentin Cooper that his recent research has given him new confidence that his World Cup pledge is deliverable. By placing sensors all over the exo-skeleton, the robotic arm or body suit can now send signals back to the brain, giving the user a sense of touch.

Butterflies in Japan, around Fukushima, have been affected by exposure to radioactive material following the nuclear meltdown 18 months ago, a new study in the journal, Scientific Reports, suggests. Scientists found an increase in leg, antennae and wing shape mutations among the Pale Grass Blue butterfly. Biologist Tim Mousseau from the University of South Carolina studies the impacts of radiation on animals and plants in Chernobyl and Fukushima and says the Japanese research has important implications for life in Fukushima.

Parkinson's Disease is a neurological condition with no cure. It's also very difficult to diagnose because there is no objective test. But now, a UK mathematician could be close to providing a fast and cheap way to make early diagnosis, using voice-pattern recognition. Dr Max Little, a research fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, developed an algorithm while studying at Oxford University. Changes to speech is one of the main symptoms of the disease, and by collecting 10,000 voice samples from people around the world, hopes are that the rich voice dataset will be able to identify specific symptoms and provide early diagnosis. Also in the conversation is Dr Keiran Breen, Director of Research and Innovation at Parkinson's UK, who thinks this research will be of benefit.

British scientists are preparing to set off for the Antarctic in an ambitious project to drill down into a sub glacial lake that hasn't seen the light of day for hundreds of thousands of years. Engineers from the British Antarctic Survey are using a giant drill to bore down three kilometres into Lake Ellsworth in an expedition that's been 15 years in the planning. Using high-pressure hot water, Andy Tait, lead drill engineer, describes the challenges and aims of the project.

Producer: Fiona Hill.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

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Quentin Cooper investigates Mars, bomb-proof make-up, toilets of the future, and bird song

As public interest in the red planet reaches a peak and NASA's Rover Curiosity begins tentatively to roll across the Martian surface, their next lander - called InSight - is announced to some fanfare. Based on an older, simpler, static probe, InSight will look for "Marsquakes" and teach us about the deep seismic structure of Mars. But as the former head of Science and Robotic Missions at the European Space Agency, now President of the Royal Astronomical Society, Prof David Southwood tells Quentin, there is some disappointment for planetary scientists, and fears that with budgetary cuts jeopardising many planned missions, Curiosity could be the last hurrah for this golden age of Martian exploration.

A global challenge to invent a new toilet that doesn't need water, electricity or a septic system, doesn't pollute and costs less than five cents a day is being worked on by scientists around the world. Professor Sohail Khan from Loughborough University is one of the winners of the "Reinvent the Toilet" competition run by the Gates Foundation. His team's design is based on hydrothermal carbonisation - a sort of pressure cooker which converts waste into something that looks and smells like coffee.

When a bomb explodes in a warzone, it produces a blast wave and then a thermal heat wave that can reach temperatures of over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Scientists in the USA have developed a camouflage make-up designed to protect exposed skin for 15 seconds - and in some cases up to a minute - from this intense heat. Professor Robert Lochhead and a team at the University of Southern Mississippi were commissioned by the Department of Defence to develop the make-up. It protects soldiers from the searing heat of roadside Improvised Explosive Devices as well as providing traditional camouflage. Field trials are now underway. The team used silicones, which absorb radiation at wavelengths outside the intense heat spectrum, instead of the traditional hydrocarbon ingredients used in cosmetics.

Age-related hearing loss is inevitable and irreversible, but now British birdwatchers are worried it could be affecting their ability to record and survey, accurately, bird species with higher-pitched song. Eminent birder, Richard Porter, put the peregrine among the pigeons when he admitted his inability to hear certain species' birdsong in an article in British Birds magazine. At the RSPB's annual British Bird Fair, he tells Quentin that he's concerned that higher range hearing loss could be distorting the all-important surveys of British birds. Acknowledging the possibility of an "age hearing" effect on the data, Andy Clements, Director of the British Trust for Ornithology, outlines new research, planned for the Autumn, to measure volunteers' hearing abilities and cross reference this with known bird populations.

Quentin Cooper looks into the science stories of the week and speaks to scientists who are making headlines.

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Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines...

The Kepler spacecraft has spotted a binary star system with more than one planet orbiting. Furthermore, one of the planets could have liquid water.

An image of the rocky base of Mount Sharp on Mars shows a feature which, to a terrestrial geologist, looks exactly like evidence for a river delta.

This week a paper in the Journal of Neuroscience looks at the physical structure of piano tuners' brains. An area in the hippocampus shows changes in size that relate to the amount of time piano tuners have been working, not to their age.

And it is suggested by researchers in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that chimpanzees won't punish thieves unless they are themselves the victim. Could it be that "third party punishment" is unique to humans among the higher primates?

Piano tuners' brains, exo-planets and chimp justice. Quentin Cooper presents science news.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

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Quentin Cooper features some of the highlights of the British Science Festival in Aberdeen, including research into foods that could make us feel full for longer that could be useful to help people lose weight. He'll also be finding out why Aberdeen University ecologists have been tracking voles in the north west of Scotland and how the flooded old mines under Glasgow could be a source of heating for homes and offices. And there's a report on the latest news about the human genome which reveals more of what our DNA actually does.

Quentin Cooper features some of the highlights of the British Science Festival in Aberdeen

Quentin Cooper features some of the highlights of the British Science Festival in Aberdeen, including the future of oil and gas exploration.

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Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. Material World this week is full of record breakers: an experiment involving 61 million people, an update on what is happening with the furthest-flung man-made object from Earth; the Voyager space craft, the largest botanical project ever completed - the Flora of Tropical East Africa and the biggest award for engineering - The Queen Elizabeth Prize.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

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Quentin Cooper asks how climate computer modelling is being used to determine future UK energy policy. Also on the programme how flies could help feed livestock; could growing protein on larvae be an ingenious solution to food shortages? And how bumblebees find their food in the wild - the first study to look at their behaviour outside the laboratory.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

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The Gravity Fields festival aims to celebrate the legacy of the town's most famous son, Sir Isaac Newton. For eight days the town will be home to talks, exhibitions, science and arts shows, actors and processions. Quentin talks to some of the scientists taking part. Also on the programme the 50th anniversary of the publication of "Silent Spring" the book that launched the environmental movement, and how the Sumatran earthquake in April may be responsible for quakes all over the planet.

The Gravity Fields festival aims to celebrate the legacy of the town's most famous son, Sir Isaac Newton. For eight days the town will be home to talks, exhibitions, science and arts shows, actors and processions. Quentin talks to some of the scientists taking part.

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This week Material World looks into what happens when published research is wrong, or worse fraudulent? When a published peer reviewed article is subsequently found to have something wrong with it, journals may send out a "retraction notice". But do these notices tell the whole story? Research out this week suggests that up to two thirds of retracted papers are due to scientific misconduct, rather than simple error. Also ecologists ask the public to help them identify 2 million bat calls and test tube spiders; how one of the largest British spiders has been reared in captivity and is now being released into the wild.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

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This week is Nobel week, when the most recent recipients find out they've won the world's most important awards. We speak with three of this year's winners of the Science awards; Prof. Sir John Gurdon for Physiology or Medicine, Prof. Serge Haroche for Physics, and Prof. Brian Kobilka for Chemistry.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

2012101820121022

The ten year randomised badger culling trial was set up under the eye of Lord Krebs. On Material World this week he outlines some of the scientific knowledge - and the gaps in that knowledge - that relate to the two licences granted recently to pilot wider badger culls in England. Badgers can carry TB and infect cattle. Bovine TB is a significant and growing problem for British farmers.

As part of the inaugural Biology Week, Prof. Adam Hart outlines the results from this year's "Flying Ant Survey", promoted by the Society of Biology. 6000 sightings were reported by the public. And it seems that this year at least, there was no single genuine "Flying Ant Day...

Two interesting new exoplanets have been announced this week: one discovered by the crowd research site planethunters.org which would seem to have four suns; the other, orbiting one of our nearest stars, alpha centauri B, and likely to be our nearest planetary neighbour outside of our solar system.

And finally, this year marks 50 years of British involvement in space. Royal Mail has released a set of stamps covered with images from ESA space probes of the sights of our solar system. Stuart Clark explains.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

2012102520121029

Seven members of a panel convened by Italy's Civil Protection Department in the days prior to the L'Aquila earthquake of 2009 have this week been sentenced to six years each in prison. The trial has been watched eagerly around the world by seismologists and earthquake specialists around the world.

The men - fours scientists, two engineers and a government official - were found guilty of manslaughter for downplaying the risks of a big earthquake happening, after months of weaker tremors. But did the scientists get too close to a political role in those confused days? Will the verdict deter other scientists from offering their advice in future?

Prof Tom Jordan, who chaired an International Committee formed at the request of the Italian government to look into risk communication gives his thoughts on the verdict, and Dr Roger Mussen and Prof Robert Holdsworth give a UK view on the consequences for science.

Dr Jacob Dahl is trying to decrypt one of the oldest known written languages, proto-Elamite. He's putting hi-tech images of over 1000 clay tablets online, and hopes that with international cooperation he'll have cracked the code in the next two years.

And Dr Leonel Dupuy describes his breakthrough in the development of a see-through soil which will revolutionise crop studies, enabling extraordinarily highly detailed images of root systems in vivo.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

2012110120121105

In a few weeks the Government will unveil its new energy bill. Recently energy sources and prices have occupied a lot of headlines, and a couple of weeks ago much was made over an industrial process to convert air into petrol. What links all these things together is the often under-reported issues surrounding energy storage. John Loughhead and Malcolm Wilkinson discuss the various challenges and possible solutions to storing electrical energy to bridge the gaps between a varying energy demand and an intermittent renewable supply.

Just a little over a decade ago a massive international effort went into the first sequencing of a human genome. This week, scientists writing in the journal Nature present a study that has sequenced the genomes of over a thousand individuals, from many different countries. It hopes to provide a reference map of local variabilities to help researchers understand indicators of disease or medicinal effectiveness in individuals.

Also on the programme; the real threats to British trees. Ash dieback may be in the headlines but between 3 to 4 million larches have been felled since 2009, horse chestnuts are seldom being replanted because of the destruction caused by the leaf miner moth and bleeding canker and will the elm ever recover from Dutch elm disease? Professor Clive Brasier, Andrew Halstead and Dr. Micheal Pocock discuss the 10 current epidemics that are infecting trees in Britain.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

2012110820121112

Climate change alone could wipe out wild Arabica coffee by the end of this century, according to new research published in the journal PLOS One. Commercially grown Arabica coffee is from limited genetic stock and the loss of the wild crop could have significant implications for the sustainability of high quality coffee. Dr. Aaron Davis, Head of Coffee Research at Kew Gardens, who led the study, discusses the findings with global crop wild relative expert Dr. Nigel Maxted from the University of Birmingham.

A haul of stone blades from a cave in South Africa suggests that early humans were already masters of complex technology more than 70,000 years ago. The journal Nature reports on the new find which suggests that early humans passed on this knowledge down the generations. Dr. Curtis Marean, an archaeologist at Arizona State University in Tempe, who led the team that found the bladelets and Dr. Matthew Pope from the University College London argue that this could be the earliest evidence of truly modern human behaviour.

Finally why are birds migrating to the UK literally falling out of the sky and dying - Graham Madge from the RSPB explains more.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

2012111520121119

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines.

A report this week issued by Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the RSPB suggests that crucial mistakes in our carbon accounting procedures make burning biomass in the form of wood appear a better idea than it really is. In fact, they go so far as to suggest we'd be better off sticking with coal. Yet recently some of the UK's biggest coal-fired plants have announced big increases in their biomass mix. From Princeton University in the US, Tim Searchinger - upon whose work much of the report is based - outlines the thinking. Gaynor Hartnell, CEO of the industry's Renewable Energy Association disputes the report.

Also this week, many results form the different LHC experiments at CERN are being presented at a meeting in Kyoto. Many scientists' hopes over the years have been that the LHC will find unexpected results and discoveries that will herald the "New Physics" - the theories that will take us beyond the standard model. A favourite has been supersymmetry. This week, a new type of decay (a Bs meson decaying into a muon and an anti muon) has been observed at a rate that almost exactly supports the standard model, rather than anything more exotic. And as we go to air, even the recently discovered Higgs boson seems to be nothing more exciting than a bog-Standard Model Higgs. But are reports of supersymmetry's demise highly exaggerated?

In the Netherlands, researchers have been working out whether emotions may be transmitted between humans via "Chemosignals" in people's sweat. You don't smell them, they are neither pleasant nor unpleasant, but left on a sweaty rag and wafted under female's noses they elicited a fear-like (and a disgust-like) response.

And finally Lambert Dopping-Hepenstal of consortium ASTRAEA talks to Quentin about imminent testing of civilian applications for Unmanned Aircraft, AKA drones...

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

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Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

2012112920121203

Dr Roy Davey analyses the latest Energy Bill statement by the Energy Secretary.

An expedition of scientists, helicopter pilots, chefs and engineers embark on a four month mission to eradicate the brown rat from South Georgia. Professor Tony Martin, the team's leader, will be talking to Quentin about how his team will spread rat bait across 94,000 hectares of land.

Olive oil could be used to preserve ancient stone buildings, like York Minster. Synchrotron X-ray methods are used to understand the protective powers of olive oil for stone. Dr Karen Wilson will be joining Quentin on the line from Cardiff.

Also, Quentin talks to Professor Martyn Poliakoff about the new "Romantic Chemistry" exhibition at the Royal Society. The exhibition looks at the most unusual elements discovered by Fellows of the Society during the Romantic period (1780-1825).

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

2012120620121210

With the on-going climate talks in Doha not hitting the headlines Quentin Cooper asks whether such large scale and largely incomprehensible meetings are effective at delivering anything worthwhile on climate change. Can science take the initiative from the policymakers and present the subject in a way which interests and inspires the public?

We also interview James Watson the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA on the reissue of his classic work on the subject 'The Double Helix'.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

2012121320121217

Earlier this week, Steven Hawking was awarded 3 million dollars for his contribution to theoretical physics. 7 scientific leaders at CERN received the same amount between them. We look at the impact of awarding such prizes. While they create headlines for the scientists involved - do they help promote the science and are they fair, given the collaborative nature of contemporary scientific research?

We also look at the mystery of Piltdown man. Once thought of as the missing link between ancient apes and humans this Sussex fossil was exposed as a fake more than 50 years ago. The mixture of human, orang-utan and chimpanzee parts is the subject of a new scientific investigation using modern techniques including DNA analysis. Researchers hope to solve the mystery of who produced the hoax and why.

Also on the programme we speak to mathematicians who may have found a way of making computers process information thousands of times faster than they do now.

And we discuss the 'science of Middle earth' how far the fantasy of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Hobbit stories accurately reflect science.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

2012122020121224

This week Quentin Cooper looks at new research into the usefulness of I Q tests. The hundred year old measure of intelligence has often been derided for being culturally biased, sexist and unfairly divisive. Now the largest ever study of IQ tests examines asks what such tests really measure and how far they can provide a useful way to compare the abilities of different people.

We also look to Antarctica, a project to drill through the frozen surface of Lake Ellsworth has been suspended due to problems with a hot water powered drill. Scientists hope to resume drilling by Christmas day and obtain samples for their search for life forms that may have existed for millennia below the lakes frozen surface.

We talk to Alexander Kumar a doctor who has spent the past 9 months living in Antarctica as part of an European Space Agency project to look at the physiological and psychological impact of extreme cold and isolation - which ESA hopes will help inform future long distance space missions to other planets.

And we hear from children's presenters Dick and Dom about their new science series 'How Dangerous' which is being broadcast on 4 Extra starting on Christmas Eve.

Recorded in front of an audience Quentin Cooper and guests, Adam Rutherford, Mark Miodownik, Claudia Hammond and Dalls Campbell, discuss the unsung heroes of science.

2013010320130107

Winter vomiting, superhero physics and why military scientists design underpants.

Winter vomiting bug is with us once again but what can science tell us about this recurrent illness? We talk to experts in Britain and the US who are looking at the current outbreaks.

We also hear about the use of fictional superheroes to further our understanding of physics.

We showcase your suggestions for unsung scientific heroes and we look at why the British military is employing scientists to design underpants for soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

2013011020130114

Quentin Cooper looks into the science stories of the week and speaks to scientists who are making the headlines.

2013011720130121

Why is the smog in Beijing and northern China so bad at the moment and how does it compare to the UK? Dr Gary Fuller, Senior Lecturer in Air Quality Measurement at King's College London and Peter Brimblecombe, Professor of atmospheric chemistry at the University of East Anglia discuss the current situation. Are the alternatives to researching on animals currently realistic? A new post is being created at Queen Mary, University of London to try and find other options to animal testing. Dr. Alpesh Patel, from the Dr. Hadwen Trust and Professor Dominic Wells from the Royal Veterinary College are in the studio. Also how scientists have managed to study exploding stars much more closely. Dr Alison Laird, joins Quentin Cooper from the University of York's Department of Physics.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper looks into the science stories of the week and speaks to scientists who are making the headlines.

2013012420130128

The Dreamliner is grounded and engineers are still trying to determine what went wrong. But what challenges do scientists face when designing planes? Professor Peter Bruce from St. Andrews University and Jeffrey Jupp, visiting professor at Bath University discuss. Professor Wendy Barclay from Imperial College London explains the controversies around H5N1 research and why it can now be restarted. Also, did wolves change their diets to become dogs? Dr. Erik Axelsson from Uppsala University in Sweden joins us on the line. And the science behind the decision to take mackerel off the sustainable food list.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

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Quentin Cooper investigates the science in the news and the news in science.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

2013021420130218

Quentin Cooper looks at the coronavirus that has been transmitted from one individual to another in the UK. Professor Maria Zambon, an expert virologist at the Health Protection Agency, and Ian Jones, Professor of Virology at Reading University, discuss these latest infections, what is being done to find out more and why coronaviruses are being so closely studied. Will science be able to trace the sources of horsemeat that have illegally entered the European food chain? Chris Smart from Leatherhead Food Research explains more about DNA identification of potentially contaminated meat. Another use for DNA could be as a data storage device. Dr. Nick Goldman from the European Bioinformatics Institute in Cambridge tells Quentin Cooper how. And Davide Dominoni from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology has found that city dwelling blackbirds are ready to reproduce earlier than their rural counterparts - and it appears to be because of increased light exposure.

Quentin Cooper investigates the science in the news and the news in science.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

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Next week, representatives of the 188 nations that have signed the Chemical Weapons Convention meet in the Hague for its third review. Professor Leiv Sydnes, from the University of Bergen in Norway, chaired last year's international assessment of the impact of scientific advances on the Convention. He has expressed his concerns in the journal Nature that chemical and biological weapon advancement has gone beyond current legislation.

From chemical to biological warfare, Quentin Cooper moves to the nuclear threat posed by North Korea. Dr. David Keir, Scientist and Programme manager at VERTIC - an NGO which monitors the development, implementation and effectiveness of international agreements - talks about the scientific credibility of plans by North Korea to restart its plutonium reactor. Are the on-going claims of increasing their nuclear capabilities realistic?

President Obama announced a major new scientific project to push forward the field of neuroscience. The BRAIN project is a $100million initiative to unlock the mysteries of our grey matter. Professor John Hardy, from UCL's Institute of Neurology, is one of the leading global Alzheimer's scientists in the UK and explains how significant technological progress has allowed this project to be created.

Foot and Mouth disease spreads quickly through livestock populations costing up to $4billion every year in developing countries, and also regularly infects animals in the developed world. Current vaccines are effective but difficult to make and administer. A completely new type of vaccine, much safer, easier and cheaper to make than the current one, has been developed by UK researchers. Professor Ian Jones, from the University of Reading and Dr. Bryan Charleston, from the Pirbright Institute explain their work.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

2013041120130415

The future of open science? Fewer dusty journals, more research in the cloud.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

20130418
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DEFRA's Chief Scientific Advisor meets with scientists at the Royal Society to discuss future strategies in controlling bovine TB. Ian Boyd has called together sixty leading experts in bovine TB with the aim of developing new strategies in controlling the disease. He speaks to Quentin Cooper from the meeting. Also on the programme Christl Donnelly, Professor of Statistical Epidemiology at Imperial College London, and James Wood Alborada Professor of Equine and Farm Animal Science at Cambridge, both of whom were at the meeting.

The rediscovery of a mystery animal in the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery's underground storeroom proves that a non-native 'big cat' prowled the British countryside at the turn of the last century. When the skeleton of the animal was compared to the mounted skin, researchers realised that the description in the records was wrong and that it was in fact a Canadian lynx. The researchers studied the teeth of the lynx and looked at strontium isotopes in the bones to find out where it lived. Dr Ross Barnett, from the University of Durham and the Natural History Museum of Denmark at the University of Copenhagen, tells us more.

Shark teeth found at the bottom of aquariums are being used by scientists at Birmingham University to find out about biological diversity in ancient seas. Ultimately the work could help predict what will happen to life in the currently warming seas. Sharks lose teeth regularly and researchers think that clues to marine biological diversity over millions of years may be locked up in sharks' teeth. Studying oxygen isotopes, which are incorporated into sharks' teeth as they develop, can reveal the temperature of the seawater the shark lived in at the time. Dr. Ivan Sansom, a Palaeobiologist, is leading the project.

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

20130502
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Currently, scientific research in the UK receives an estimated 4.9 billion euro from the European Research Council's FP7 program, a figure that is likely to climb to as much as 8 billion euro when the current program finishes in 2013. With the possibility of a referendum on EU membership becoming more apparent, what would happen to UK scientific research if the UK were to leave the EU altogether? UKIP MEP Roger Helmer and Professor Ed Hinds of Imperial College London discuss the implications with Gareth Mitchell.

The existence of pear-shaped nuclei has long been predicted, but although some qualitative hints of this nuclear shape have been found, the quantitative information to back this up has been sparse. By using accelerated beams of heavy, radioactive ions, a team lead by researchers at the University of Liverpool recently found a clear pear shape in the nucleus of radium isotopes. As explained by Professor Jonathan Butterworth from University College London's Department of Physics and Astronomy, these findings hold huge promise in furthering our understanding of nuclear structure and also, testing the standard model of particle physics.

By examining White Dwarf stars in the nearby Hyades Cluster, Dr Jay Farihi from the University of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy, found that these dead stars were 'polluted' by low levels of carbon and lots of silicon. Dr Farihi hopes to use these findings to gain invaluable insights into the fate of our own solar system when, as predicted, the sun ceases to exist in 5 billion years.

Gareth Mitchell presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

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Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20130620
01/03/201220120305

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines.

01/04/201020100405
01/07/201020100705

350 years ago, a group of 'natural philosophers' got together to found a club in London. With the patronage of Charles II, they called it 'The Royal Society'. Today it is the nation's elite academy of sciences and, to celebrate the anniversary, it is staging its Summer Exhibition this week on the Southbank of the Thames. Quentin Cooper visits the exhibition to see a model volcano, a holographic mine detector, a flying penguin, segments of the biggest telescope in the world, the longest-lived animal on Earth and to test his own cultural evolution. Plus amateur snail science at the Gardener's Question Time Summer Garden Party.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Quentin Cooper visits the Royal Society's Summer Exhibition on London's Southbank.

01/09/201120110905

This week, Quentin Cooper hears about some of the first skilled toolmakers, a new design of battery that won't set your laptop ablaze, cloning wildcats to keep their pedigree pure, and, as the Hollywood horror Apollo 18 is released, why should we go back to the Moon?

Producer: Martin Redfern.

The first hand axe, better batteries, cloning wildcats, why we should return to the Moon.

01/12/201120111205

This week, Quentin Cooper hears about the impact of thawing permafrost on climate change; how generations of space worms may lead the way for humans to reach Mars; and how DNA barcoding is identifying species and spotting fraud.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

The risk of thawing permafrost, space worms and DNA barcoding.

02/02/201220120206

Quentin Cooper discusses a survey of ethical attitudes to sharing genome information; why having many friends calls for a bigger brain; how the last of our So You Want to Be a Scientist finalists plans to study emotional responses to art; and how volcanic eruptions triggered a little ice age.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Genome ethics, having friends takes brains, emotional art, and triggering an ice age.

02/06/201120110606

New E-coli strain found in Germany.

Quentin Cooper talks to Professor George Griffin, Head of the Academic Centre for Infection at St George's, University of London.

Hominid teeth

Early cavemen had foreign brides! An international team of researchers has been studying hominid teeth from two caves in South Africa. They were looking at the ratios of different types or isotopes of strontium in the teeth which they thought might reflect changing diet due to seasonal migration. Instead, they found a significant difference between the teeth of males and females. Most of the males had strontium values similar to those in the nearby rocks, suggesting they had lived in the same area for most of their lives, whereas many of the females seems to have come from different areas. Professor Julia Lee-Thorp, from the University of Oxford, explains more.

Science and Innovation

Writer Mark Stevenson, has curated a series of talks at the British Library as part of their Out of This World exhibition. His talk, ‘The Age of Entanglement’ looks at human interaction with science and innovation and whether we are too dependent on technology and how we view progress. He believes that science and innovation in the UK is being stifled and that there is a fear about progress. Last week, David Cameron and President Obama announced a key collaboration initiative concentrating on science, innovation and education. Obama called science education "critical to our future prosperity" and said that the U.S. and U.K could continue to emphasize "investments in education, science, technology, infrastructure -- things that help our economies grow". How dependent are we on technology and innovation? Quentin talks to Mark Stevenson and Sir Martin Taylor.

Fly Your Thesis!

Postgraduate students from Leicester have just had the next best thing to a spaceflight. They are back from a series of flights in France with the European Space Agency aboard a plane sometimes dubbed ‘the vomit comet'. It was part of an initiative called ‘fly your thesis’ in which PhD student projects get the chance to fly in a series of parabolic flights that simulate the weightlessness of space. Apart from the fun of experiencing zero gravity, they were also investigating one of the mysteries of the early stages of planetary formation.

David Gray and Dr Charly Feldman from Leicester University, join Quentin to explain more.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

02/09/201020100906

Quentin Cooper presents this week's digest of science in and behind the headlines. In this edition; The Cluster mission is ten years old this week. Quentin discusses how its findings help us understand the protective properties of the magnetosphere against solar winds. The problem of cracking concrete and its potential bacterial solution is discussed as Quentin looks at bio-concrete which uses a strain of mineral-eating bacteria to do the job. As the humble fruit fly stars in its own conference Quentin takes a closer look at how important Drosophilia are in genetic experiments and interviews with all four So You Want To Be A Scientist finalists at the crucial results phase of their experiments.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper talks to scientists publishing their research in peer reviewed journals.

02/12/201020101206

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Producer: Roland Pease.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

03/02/201120110207

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

03/03/201120110307

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. As the UNESCO Women in Science Awards are announced, Material World asks why so few top scientists are women. Quentin wonders why women succeed in medicine, veterinary and life sciences, but far fewer reach the highest level in other areas. Also in the programme: a meteorite containing ammonia supports the theory that life on Earth came from outer space. And we answer a listener's question about black squirrels that are spreading across East Anglia.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

03/05/20122012050320120507

Science magazine programme.

03/05/201220120507

Quentin Cooper examines the practicalities of expanding wind farms in the North Sea. Last week a meeting of European ministers called for greater investment in wind technology, and an industry consortium was launched to look at ways of increasing the amount of offshore power that could be generated from the North Sea. The engineering challenges are huge, we get to grips with the big questions on how to wire up the sea for electricity production and look to the shape of future wind turbines, which would need to increase in six years if the plan is to be realised.

Gamma rays can be bent. A French research institute has found a way of refracting these radioactive beams in much the same way as visible light. The discovery opens up a whole new area of research, and potential Nano scale probing technologies which could seek out many materials from drugs’ to nuclear waste and have the potential to treat cancer much more accurately than any current radiation based methods.

A few weeks ago we discussed the government’s plans to give the security services greater powers to snoop on our online activities. The plan would need the co operation of internet service providers, and mobile phone companies who would have to hand over data showing the activities of their customers. One person who knows all about the methodology is the author who goes by the pseudonym DR K, in the past he has been a computer Hacker, and written a book about his experiences, The Real Hacker’s Handbook.

Also, on today's So You Want To Be A Scientist. Our 18 yr old amateur scientist Izzy Thomlinson launching a national experiment on Horrible Sounds this week.

Together with her mentor, Prof Trevor Cox, they’ve designed an online test to find out why some people are more sensitive to nasty noises than others.

You can take part by listening to a selection of noises, from nails scraping down the blackboard to squeaking polystyrene, and rating them on a scale of ‘not unpleasant’ to ‘extremely unpleasant’.

Take the test now by clicking on the link below!

Science magazine programme.

03/06/201020100607
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Fission at Fukushima?

It's been eight months since the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan's Honshu Island. Now at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, despite all the efforts to stabilise and disable the power station, there are signs that nuclear fission may still taking place within one of the reactors. There's also fresh speculation based on atmospheric modelling that the scale and range of radioactive emissions from the plant, at the time of the disaster, were much greater than the Japanese government reported. Quentin is joined by Robin Grimes, Professor of Materials Physics and Director of the Centre for Nuclear Engineering at Imperial College London, to discuss how significant these findings are.

Airships - The Future of Air Travel?

This week the Airships Association has held a meeting in London to galvanise interest in a new European project to develop commercial airships. Paul Stewart, Professor of Control Engineering and Pro-Vice Chancellor in research at Lincoln University, outlines to Quentin why he believes the airship may well be one of the main forms of air travel in the future.

Legend of the Sunstone

How did the Vikings make their epic voyages, even supposedly reaching America? According to Norse legends they wielded a "Sunstone", a rock capable of working out where the sun was, even if, as was often the case in the far north, conditions were overcast. But there may well be some truth behind the myth - at least according to a paper just published by the Royal Society. Quentin speaks to Vasudevan Lakshminarayanan, Professor of Physics and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, to see if there's any substance to the stories.

Producer: Fiona Roberts.

Quentin Cooper discusses the latest events at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.

04/11/201020101108

The International Space Station - is it worth the cost? Giant Dragonflies from the First Forests; The Electrical Generator that Changed the World.

The International Space Station; Giant Dragonflies; Objects that changed the World.

05/01/201220120109
05/05/201120110509

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

05/08/201020100809

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. This week we're back discussing the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and how the leaking well will be permanently sealed. Quentin finds out how proteins can function without water and the science of snails - do they have a homing instinct?

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper dissects the latest science.

06/01/201120110110

2011 is the International Year of Chemistry: Quentin hears about the largest molecule, how legitimate research on neurochemicals was subverted by designer-drugs makers, the value of rare earth elements, and green chemistry.

The producer is Roland Pease.

2011 International Year of Chemistry: the largest molecule; green chemistry, rare elements

06/05/201020100510
06/10/201120111010
07/04/201120110411

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to Professor Alison Bruce from Brighton University about the latest developments at the Fukushima plant in Japan. He's joined in the studio by Dr. Fred Kavalier a GP and former genetics consultant to discuss pre-pregnancy diagnosis and what genetic conditions it could possibly help detect. Professor Ian Stewart will also be in the programme explaining why maths is fundamental to biology, which is also the subject of his latest book "Mathematics of Life" and Royal Society Head Archivist Keith Moore is bringing in some of the scientific travel manuscripts that have been scanned and put online for all to enjoy.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

07/07/201120110711

This week, Quentin Cooper hears how krill fertilise the Southern Ocean. He visits the Royal Society's Summer Science exhibition to hear about hearing, see about seeing and smell rotten fish. And he hears how science meets art in a new exhibition in which the artist is his own canvas.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Quentin hears about krill, sensations at the Royal Society, and the science of body art.

07/10/2010

07/10/201020101011

With a new batch of Nobel Prizes in Medicine, Chemistry and Physics announced this week, Quentin Cooper assesses the new Laureates' impact on science.

Producer: Roland Pease.

Quentin Cooper and guests assess the latest Nobel Science Prizes.

08/03/201220120312

Quentin Cooper asks if tourists and scientists may be bringing aliens into Antarctica. He checks out a controversial collision 12 900 years ago in which an asteroid impact may have changed the climate. He hears how one of our amateur scientists is investigating why we hate nasty noises and he discovers how star-quakes could help us discover habitable planets.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Aliens in Antarctica, meteor impacts, nasty noises and star-quakes.

08/04/201020100412
08/07/201020100712

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines.

The first full-sky image from Europe's Planck telescope revealing the oldest light in the Universe was published this week. Quentin Cooper speaks to Planck scientist Dr. Dave Clements to find out what this imag is really showing.

This week we find out about the earliest inhabitants on the British Isles. Stone tools discovered at a site in Norfolk suggest that early humans arrived in Britain 800000 years ago, pushing back previous estimates by 100000 years. Their diet must have been rich in meat to survive the harsh winters. Quentin also finds out about our much older ancestors from Kenya who thanks to a varied diet of crocodiles and catfish were able to grow bigger brains.

One of our finalists of the 'So you want to be a scientist?' talent search has been collecting data to test out his theory. Sam O'Kell and his mentor Professor Geoff Lawday have been testing a pressure suit at the Roskilde music festival to find out how crowds behave when listening to different bands.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper dissects the latest science.

08/09/201120110912

Quentin Cooper hears about the fossils of a small but surprisingly well-formed possible human ancestor from South Africa; how one writer has come to understand and live with her beautiful genome; and how all the gold we can mine once rained down from above.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Quentin Cooper on human ancestry, beautiful genomes and gold from the sky.

08/12/201120111212

Quentin Cooper asks if it's worth extracting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and how it might be done with carbon nanotubes. He hears how industry is planning for a world shortage of rare elements. A 500 million year old monster eye with 16 000 lenses and the first finalists shortlisted from listeners who want to be a scientist.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Catching carbon from air, scarce elements, fossil eyes and amateur scientist candidates.

09/02/201220120213

Quentin Cooper asks if Freud was a scientist, and reviews the week's science.

09/06/201120110613
09/09/201020100913

Quentin Cooper presents this week's digest of science in and behind the headlines. In this edition: Business Secretary Vince Cable has unveiled plans for a squeeze on public funding for scientific research. Quentin discusses what impact this could have on British science. Quentin talks to archaeologist Dr Timothy Taylor about why, despite our frailty, humans have become the dominant species. Quentin also asks why the European eel is on the decline. He talks to Dr Julian Metcalfe from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), about the 'Eeliad' project which will use GPS to track eels as they migrate across the Atlantic Ocean. And, a week before the So You Want To Be A Scientist final, Nina Jones and her mentor Dr Bernie Hogan analyse the results from their Facebook experiment & discuss their findings.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Discussing Vince Cable's plans to squeeze public funding for scientific research.

09/12/201020101213

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. In the programme this week he discusses the new government proposals to include fewer science voices on the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. Getting into space is still proving harder than it looks, Quentin looks back on recent mishaps in man's attempts to conquer space. Also in the programme, will we soon be sequencing our own genomes in our own homes?

Producer: Roland Pease.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

10/02/201120110214

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to a leading Egyptian scientist about the state of research in the country under the current regime and finds out if a change in leadership will help academia and industry. Also in the programme: how alien marine life is costing the UK taxpayer more than £2bn a year and how the country will need to adapt its infrastructure to the changing climate. Quentin also discovers how fleas jump.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

10/03/201120110314

Adam Rutherford presents the weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. Joining him on the programme this week is Dr Ian Crawford from Birkbeck College, University of London, who will be discussing the future of human space flight and what it holds now that the final shuttle missions are almost completed. Also on the show; we find out what daffodils are really made of and we visit the science museum where the orginal workshop of engineer James Watt is about to be opened to the public. Finally, the champion of science that makes us laugh and think Marc Abrahams, the creator of the Ig Nobel awards, is in the studio.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

10/05/20122012051020120514
10/06/201020100614
10/11/201120111114

This week Quentin investigates fracking for oil and gas - could it cause earthquakes or contaminate water supplies? Listening to the ground with an optical fibre to hear what's going on down a borehole. A visit to the new Hidden Heroes exhibition at the Science Museum and a last chance for amateur scientists to enter 'So You Want To Be A Scientist.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Fracking for gas, listening to quakes, hidden heroes and amateur science.

11/11/201020101115

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Bigger bangs at CERN; What made last winter so cold? Invisibility cloaks come closer.

Producer: Roland Pease.

Bigger bangs at CERN; Last winter's deep cold; Invisibility cloaks.

12/01/201220120116

This week, as Education Secretary Michael Gove calls for better computer science in schools, Quentin looks at how cheap or open source software and hardware could help. Seeing the invisible: the most detailed map of dark matter in the universe has been unveiled at this weeks' meeting of the American Astronomical Society. Royal Horticultural Society reveals its list of the worst garden pests of 2011. And Adam Rutherford samples horrible sounds with So You Want To Be A Scientist finalist Izzy Thomlinson.

Producer: Martin Redfern, Victoria Kent.

Teaching computer science, mapping dark matter, emerging pests and nasty noises.

12/04/201220120416
12/05/201120110516
12/08/201020100816

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. This week he looks to the night sky to see the Perseid Meteor Shower, he explores a new carbon capture project that is getting started in California this month. Quentin also delves into the world of Photonic Molecular Materials as he finds out about the process of making solar cells cheaper and out of plastic, and the So You Want To Be A Scientist noctilucent cloud experiment is coming to an end so we hear the latest from our finalist, John Rowlands.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper on meteors, carbon capture, plastic solar cells and noctilucent clouds.

13/05/201020100517
13/10/201120111017
14/04/201120110418

On this week's programme, Quentin Cooper speaks to Leila Battison, part of the team who have discovered fossils of some of the first life forms on Earth in Loch Torridon in northwest Scotland. The research could change the way we think early life evolved. Also, Dr Drew Endy the director of BIOFAB, the world's first open source synthetic biology factory, explains how he hopes to provide generic genetic parts to bioengineers to speed up developing new organisms. Quentin goes to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich to see one of the oldest chronometers in pieces - it's being studied as part of preparations for the 300th anniversary of the Longitude Act in 2014. Finally Doug Millard, the Space Curator from the Science Museum talks about Yuri Gagarin and the technology used to blast him into space.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

14/07/201120110718

This week, Quentin Cooper explores hidden landscapes under the ice of Antarctica and underwater volcanoes off its coast. He hears of a vast land that emerged from the North Atlantic, only to be lost again beneath the waves. He asks what the quest for mythical monsters can bring to human psychology and the study of rare species. And he hears the mathematical secrets of the Tibetan singing bowl.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Quentin explores hidden landscapes, mythical monsters and Tibetan singing bowls.

14/10/2010

14/10/201020101018

14/10/201020101018

Stem cell trials - Geron's spinal cord therapy starts after years of regulatory wrangles. Human remains and archaeology - researchers complain of burdensome regulations. And a brief encounter with a comet chaser

NASA's Deep Impact space probe is closing in on the Comet Hartley 2; Quentin hears about the science astronomers hope to learn from the encounter.

Stem cell trials; human remains and archaeology; and a brief encounter with a comet chaser

15/03/201220120319

Quentin Cooper with an update from the 'So You Want to Be a Scientist' talent search.

A new set of Hominin remains from a Cave in China prove difficult to place in the human family tree. The "Red Deer Cave People" share some traits with modern humans, and some with older relatives. Do they represent hybrids from interbreeding 11,500 years ago or could they represent a new species previously unknown to science? Lead author Darren Curnoe from the University of New South Wales and Dr Isabelle de Groot from the Natural History Museum in London discuss the findings.

Co-curator Ghislane Boddington and Prof Noel Sharkey talk to Quentin about a new exhibition opening on Friday at FACT, Liverpool, called "Robots and Avatars". The vision of numerous artists of a near future where we freely interact with colleagues and friends in the form of robots or remote projections as avatars will be on display. What are the implications for how we live and work?

An update from 'So You Want to Be a Scientist' - Material World's search for the BBC's Amateur Scientist of the Year. One of our four finalists, Dara Djavan Khoshdel aged 25 from Bournemouth, starts his experiment at Modern Art Oxford. He's testing people's emotional reactions to paintings using a skin galvanometer, which measures our micro-sweating. But will the strength of people's reaction match the financial value of each artwork?

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Quentin Cooper with news of a new hominin puzzle from China, and where art meets science.

15/04/201020100419
15/09/201120110919

Quentin Cooper reports from the British Science Festival in Bradford on nuclear power from thorium, plants to clean up explosives residues, lie detection through facial expression, ethical use of human tissue and geoengineering with artificial volcanoes to counter global warming.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Quentin Cooper reports from the British Science Association Festival in Bradford.

15/12/201120111219

Quentin Cooper presents the latest on the search for the Higgs particle, hears about a scheme to pair scientists with members of Parliament, announces the next group of shortlisted candidates for So You Want to Be a Scientist and sniffs the smell of the Moon from a lunar exhibition in Liverpool.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

The Higgs particle, pairing scientists with MPs, amateur scientists and moon art.

16/02/201220120220
16/06/201120110620

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly round-up of the latest science research.

16/12/201020101220

2010 - year of disasters. Floods, wild fires, volcanoes, earthquakes, and a record breaking oil spill. Material World has time and again been reporting on some of the disasters that have struck over the year. And earth scientists gather at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco to review their data from each event, Quentin Cooper asks how science helped, and what the lessons are for the future.

Producer: Roland Pease.

2010 - year of disasters. Quentin Cooper asks how science helped, and how it improved.

17/02/201120110221

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. Could severe flooding in the UK in 2000 have been caused by climate change? Quentin finds about the latest research which suggests that greenhouse gases, produced by humans, are to blame. Quentin also discusses the largest solar flare for four years & asks what effects it might have on electronics and telecommunications. He also discovers why Vincent van Gogh's sunflowers are turning brown, and he hears about new images that are providing novel insights into the physical structure of comets.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

17/03/201120110321

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

17/06/201020100621
17/11/201120111121

Quentin Cooper and guests discuss the science that is changing our world this week.

18/11/201020101122

Quentin Cooper presents this week's digest of science in and behind the headlines. In this edition: the development of disease resistant crops the better to feed our swelling population; trapping anti-hydrogen atoms to unravel one of the great mysteries in physics; and exhuming the body of Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe to find out whether he really died of a bladder infection.

The producer is Roland Pease.

Crop breeding improved; catching anti-atoms; Tycho Brahe exhumed.

19/01/201220120123

This week, Quentin Cooper studies the most detailed 3D map yet made of the entire land surface of the Earth. He looks into a dusty cabinet containing some of Darwin's fossil collection and asks if climate change could have been responsible for the fall of the Khmer empire in Cambodia.

Adam Rutherford joins another of our amateur finalist in 'So You Want to Be a Scientist?'. Val Watham from Berkshire wonders if the right stripes really do make you look slimmer and embarks on an experiment to prove it.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

The world in 3D, Darwin's lost fossils, fashionable stripes, and the end of Angkor.

19/04/201220120423
19/05/201120110523
19/08/201020100823

Gareth Mitchell presents this week's digest of science in and behind the headlines. In this edition; DIY on the International Space Station, will astronauts have to be doing more of this work in the future? It's getting 'Hot in the City' - the latest predictions suggest our cities could be 10 degrees warmer than the countryside by the end of the century, Gareth explores the possible solutions. Can you prove anything with science? Gareth talks to scientists about why we ignore any science we don't agree with and fail to act on anything we do believe in; and monitoring the wolf population in Germany.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Gareth Mitchell explores DIY on the International Space Station, hot cities and wolves.

20/01/201120110124

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Producer: Roland Pease.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20/05/201020100524
20/10/201120111024

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science.

Producer: Deborah Cohen

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines.

21/04/201120110425

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He discovers the impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill on the Gulf of Mexico's wildlife one year on and the ongoing effect of Chernobyl on human health 25 years after the event. We also return to the islands of Tristan da Cunha for an update on the penguins, following the oil spill there and discover a strange exchange taking place between Saturn and one of its moons.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

21/07/201120110725

Quentin Cooper hears about the arrival of NASA's Dawn spaceprobe at the asteroid Vesta, the landing of the last Space Shuttle flight, attempts to reduce the number of animals used in scientific research and testing, and, as the two thousandth test match begins, the physics of cricket.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Quentin on Dawn over Vesta, reducing animal experiments and the physics of cricket.

21/10/2010

21/10/201020101025

Science Minister David Willetts tells Quentin Cooper and a panel of experts about the effects of the spending review on the research budget.

Producer: Roland Pease.

Science Minister David Willetts tells Quentin about the government's spending plans.

22/03/201220120326

This week's programme features another finalist from 'So You Want to Be a Scientist' - Material World's search for the BBC's Amateur Scientist of the Year. Izzy Thomlinson, aged 18 from Shropshire, tests people's reactions to horrible sounds at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham. From scraping fingernails down a blackboard to squeaky polystyrene, what is the most annoying sound in the world and do the sounds that make us wince change with age? Presented by Quentin Cooper.

Producer: Julian Siddle.

The science of auctions, life on the ocean floor, and why the clock change might kill us.

22/04/201020100426
22/07/201020100726

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. This week: seeing through clothes without getting personal, earworms you can't get out of your head, identifying an Anzac hero, how we want to be seen in a social network, and closing in on the mysterious Higgs boson.

Quentin Cooper on security cameras, earworms, Anzacs, Facebook and the God particle.

22/09/201120110926

Ehsan Masood with a weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He hears from the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and discuss how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Ehsan Masood presents this week's digest of science in and behind the headlines.

22/12/201120111226

This week, Quentin Cooper hears about a new planet the size of the Earth, simulating the brain with analogue chips, the last four in the long list of potential amateur scientists, how robins choose a sexy mate and how a warming climate is bad for your Christmas tree.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

New planets, brain chips, amateur scientists, Christmas trees and sexy robins.

23/02/201220120227
23/06/201120110627
23/09/2010

23/09/201020100927

Gene therapy. 20 years after the first trial, Quentin asks whether it will eventually make it into conventional medicine, and why it's taking so long.

Forensic archaeology in the search for the 'disappeared' from Northern Ireland's troubles. Last weekend, Charlie Armstrong, a victim of the IRA, was at last given a proper burial. John McIlwaine explains how geophysics helped trace his hidden remains.

And British geology in your pocket. To mark its 175th anniversary, the British Geological Survey crams its entire geological map of the British Isles into a smartphone app for all to use.

Producer: Roland Pease.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

24/02/201120110228

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. We find out why the Christchurch earthquake caused such devastation. Quentin will be joined by the UK's Red Squirrel champion to find out about repopulating Anglesey with the native animal. Also on the programme - a new high tec glass house that the Royal Horticultural Society will be building to track new pests and diseases in our gardens. And finally how Scott of the Antarctic is now helping ecologists learn about the changing ecosystems on the icy continent.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

24/03/201120110328

Quentin Cooper looks into the science stories of the week and speaks to scientists who are making headlines.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

24/11/201120111128

Top government scientists discuss risk and Quentin investigates insect flight.

25/11/201020101129

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

Producer: Roland Pease.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

26/01/201220120130

Do the health and bio-security risks of influenza research justify its benefits in preparing for the next pandemic? Could a fresh water bulge in the Arctic Ocean upset the British climate? Does the shape of someone's face affect the tone of their voice? And will the widening of the Panama Canal bring environmental benefits? Quentin Cooper questions the scientists involved.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

The next flu pandemic, an Arctic bulge, faces and voices and the Panama Canal.

26/04/201220120430
26/05/201120110530

Adam Rutherford stands in for Quentin this week and hears the latest news about the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland, the Grimsvotn eruption that caused it and its impact for aviation. He reports from his small garden in East London on how private gardens benefit the urban environment, and he discovers how scientists from Imperial College London are working out the shape of one of the smallest things known - the electron.

The producer is Martin Redfern.

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

26/08/201020100830

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. This week he finds out why it will take so long to reach the trapped miners in Chile. He catches up on the infestation of the Horse Chestnut Tree by tiny parasitic moths and also why our current thinking on how Black Holes are formed could be all wrong. And he talks to one of our So you want to be scientist finalists about the results from his experiments. Will Sam be able to to tell where the safest place to be in a crowd at a rock concert is?

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

27/01/201120110131

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He finds out about the oldest galaxy ever seen, estimated to have existed 480 million years after the big bang. Roland Pease travels to Trinity College Dublin to a new exhibition which marries biomedical science with art. Quentin answers your emails including what bedbugs smell like. Also, why chemical engineering is an increasingly popular subject to study at University.

Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

27/05/201020100531
28/04/201120110502
28/07/201120110801

This week, Quentin Cooper asks if physicists are seeing the first signs of the elusive Higgs particle and if culling badgers really can control bovine TB. He hears how flawed diamonds give clues to the first continental drift and how the drama at the axon terminal in brain cells has inspired music.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

New clues to Higgs, badgers and bovine TB and diamond clues to the deep Earth.

28/10/201020101101

Indonesian disasters: Quentin hears from the experts about the causes of this week's Sumatran earthquake and tsunami, and the latest eruption of Mount Merapi on Java, and how science can help.

Also, after the last in the series A History of the World in a Hundred Objects celebrates the latest in electrical gadgetry, Quentin sees the humble glass electrical valve that kick started the whole electronic revolution. The first electronics.

And pollution from space travel. As the world's richest line up for the first private flights into space, experts warn that rocket exhausts could exacerbate the problem of global warming.

Quentin Cooper examines the science behind the news.

29/03/201220120402

A leak of gas from a platform 150 miles off the Scottish coast is causing concerns, particularly over risks of explosion. We look at the environmental effects of the gas and ways of clearing it up. As with oil spills bacteria may play a role in its dispersal.

An environmental conference in London this week gave scientists the chance to get together ahead of the next round of international climate change negotiations. We look at the subject of geo –engineering. Once the realm of science fiction, the idea of using chemicals to seed clouds or reflect light back from the sun is now being seen as a serious option for dealing with climate change.

So You Want to be a Scientist. The clothes are ready for our experiment looking at the arguments over vertical versus horizontal stripes, which ones really do have a slimming or fattening effect?

Gas eating bacteria, how to save the world and what stripes might do to your figure.

29/04/201020100503
29/07/201020100802

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. This week: the science behind crowd management, could cross-bred bees remove deadly parasites in hives and could singing also help stop the bee decline. And are we born with built in grammar knowledge and if we're not, can we learn it?

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Quentin Cooper dissects the latest science.

29/12/201120120102
30/06/201120110704

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. This week: how climate models may be underestimating the severity of sudden climate change; how our interest in happy faces is in our genes; how the most distant quasar ever seen throws light on the early universe and how mobile phones are transforming our behaviour and revealing social and cultural differences.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

Quentin Cooper discusses climate change, quasars, mobile phones and happy faces.

30/09/2010

30/09/201020101004

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

The producer is Roland Pease.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

30/12/201020110103

Quentin Cooper catches up with the four finalists of the So You Want to Be a Scientist talent search that was featured in Material World across the summer. Have they continued to do research and think about science? 2010 has also been a year when the Royal Society aimed to engage the public more with science, through the events that were part of its Year of Science. What impact have these activities had?

Producer: Pamela Rutherford.

Quentin Cooper investigates the news in science and science in the news.

31/03/201120110404

Adam Rutherford presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

Ancient Horses; Uncertainty; How Cutlery Affects Taste20130627

How 700,000-year-old horse DNA could change the way scientists study evolution.

Ancient Horses; Uncertainty; How Cutlery Affects Taste20130627

New DNA sequencing techniques have helped reveal the genetic make-up of a horse dating back more than 700,000 years. Gareth Mitchell speaks to paleoecologist Prof Keith Dobney on the challenges and wider importance of this scientific breakthrough and they ponder which ancient genomes will most likely be laid bare in the future.

Uncertainty is an integral part of scientific research, and drives our quest for discovery. Expressions like "limits of confidence" are often treated by the public as a weakness and an indication that scientists don't really know anything "for sure". Sometimes commentators interpret uncertainty as a license for claiming anything could be true. How does scientific truth sit with uncertainty? Professor Ian Stewart, a mathematician from Warwick University, and Professor Angela McLean, from the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford, discuss why uncertainty is part of science and how acknowledging uncertainty is a strength rather than a weakness.

Effort spent carefully flavouring and seasoning your food could all be wasted if you don't pay attention to the cutlery you to eat it with. Prof Charles Spence joins the show from Oxford to explain why and possibly provide advice on which cutlery to use.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

How 700,000-year-old horse DNA could change the way scientists study evolution.

Clay On Mars, Neanderthals, Cholera,tapeworms2013032820130401

Quentin talks about 'dangerous' ideas at Edinburgh's International Science Festival.

Quentin Cooper is at the Edinburgh International Science Festival which runs until April 7th. With Professor Colin Blakemore and Professor Chris Rapley, he discusses "dangerous" ideas in science.

And what is the lasting value of science festivals? Are they any more than "feel-good" events for the committed? Quentin discusses this theme with Ian Wall - who claims to have invented the Science Festival over 20 years ago and - Keir Liddle of Edinburgh Skeptics, an organisation which runs science events alongside arts festivals, including the Edinburgh Fringe.

High Speed Rail; Radioactive Waste; Universe Within Us; Quantum Biology.20130131

High Speed Rail; Radioactive Waste; Universe Within Us; Quantum Biology.20130131

Iranian Earthquake; Zebrafish; Curiosity Rover2013041820130422

The most powerful earthquake in Iran for half a century happened this week. More than 60 times the energy was released compared to the one nearby ten years ago which destroyed much of the city of Bam, killing 26,000 people. Yet so far the death toll from Tuesday's earthquake is far far lower. To explain this and more Dr Roger Musson from the British Geological Survey joins Quentin Cooper this week.

The genome of the tiny zebrafish has been sequenced in great detail, but why is this animal of such biological significance to researchers? Two new studies, published in the journal Nature, outline just why the zebrafish has proved so useful, and how studying and modifying its genome may not only lead to new ways of combating human diseases, but whole new concepts in biology. Discussing why the zebrafish has become the vertebrate model of choice for many scientists are Dr Jason Rihel from University College London, who uses zebrafish to study autism, schizophrenia and sleeping disorders, and Dr Derek Stemple, Head of Mouse and Zebrafish genetics at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute near Cambridge, whose team has completed this latest work.

Earth and Mars are currently in solar conjunction which means that the sun is between the two. This makes contacting NASA's Curiosity Rover on the Red Planet very tricky. It also means Paolo Bellutta, Curiosity's driver, gets a few days off work. He's used the free time to come to the UK and talk about what he does at the Royal Society of Chemistry in London. En route, he dropped into the Material World studio to say hello.

Junk Dna, Mine Fires, Homer2013022820130304

Is junk DNA really rubbish? Scientists dispute recent findings about our genetic code. Dr. Ewan Birney from the European Bioinformatics Institute defends his work, while Professor Chris Ponting from Oxford University discusses the latest research on the functionality of our DNA. Professor Mark Pagel from Reading University has analysed Homer's writing by using the language within his poems to date the work. And why did a fire start at the the last remaining pit in Warwickshire? Dr. Dr Guillermo Rein, from Imperial College, London and Tony Milodowski from the British Geological Survey explain how spontaneous heating events, like this fire, occur.

Kepler; Arctic Drilling; Sexy Brain Regions20130110

Kepler; Arctic Drilling; Sexy Brain Regions2013011020130114

London Science Festival Special20111027
London Science Festival Special20111031

Material World this week comes from the London Science Festival. Quentin Cooper presents an outside broadcast recorded in front of an audience at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

The programme celebrates citizen science and do-it-yourself discovery, as part of 'So You Want to Be a Scientist?', Radio 4's search for the next BBC Amateur Scientist of the Year.

Producer: Michelle Martin

A special recording from the National Maritime Museum as part of London Science Festival.

Multiverses; Culture-driven Evolution; Lee Smolin On Time2013053020130603

Laura Mersini-Houghton is appearing at this weekend's How The Light Gets In festival of philosophy and music in Hay-on-Wye.Born in Albania, she is a cosmologist at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill whose theory of the origin of the visible universe has attracted a lot of attention for its strong observational predictions.

As she and Marcus Chown explain to Quentin Cooper, the recently released data from the Planck telescope lend particular support.

Could the big blue blotch on the Cosmic Microwave Background be a kind of shadow cast just after the big bang by a neighbouring universe beyond our own?

"Are evolutionary changes in our genome a cause or a consequence of cultural innovation?"

In last week's journal Science, a piece by Simon Fisher and Matt Ridley suggested that contrary to much received wisdom, we must consider whether sometimes in the evolution of the human genome, it is cultural changes which have led to genetic ones.

According to Ridley, mistaking cause for effect is common in the science, and this realisation could have profound consequencies for our understanding of who - and why - we are.

Is time real after all?

Many physicists and thinkers over the last century or so have treated our experience of the passage of time as an illusional human adaptation, and is actually unreal.

Some powerful physics relies on time being reversible, and a lot of particle physics works equally well backwards as forwards.

But in Lee Smolin's new book, Time Reborn, he outlines his conclusions from 20 years thinking, that time is real after all.

As he explains to Quentin, more importantly for him this implies the laws of physics are not constant, but have likely changed over the course of the history of the universe.

Noise And Plane Design; Birdflu; Dogs; Mackerel2013012420130128

Noise And Plane Design; Birdflu; Dogs; Mackerel2013012420130128

Norovirus; Superheroes; Army Underpants20130103

Norovirus; Superheroes; Army Underpants2013010320130107

Smog; Exploding Stars; Animal-free Research2013011720130121

Smog; Exploding Stars; Animal-free Research2013011720130121

So You Want to Be a Scientist - the final

So You Want To Be A Scientist - The Final20100916

Four amateur scientists have turned their ideas into real experiments this year, with help from the Material World team. They were selected from 1,300 ideas sent in from around the UK, and this week they present their results in front of a live audience at the British Science Festival in Birmingham.

But who will be selected as the BBC's Amateur Scientist of the Year? The finalists are:

Ruth Brooks, aged 69, retired special needs tutor from Devon

"What is the homing distance of the Garden Snail (Helix aspersa) that decimates my plants? How far away do I have to dump them before they find their way back to my garden?"

Sam O'kell, aged 35, croupier from Manchester

"I believe the greatest crowd density at a music gig is not at the front, next to the barriers, but three rows back between 6-10 feet from the front. I would test this by wearing a pressure sensing vest beneath normal clothes, and take readings at different locations in the crowd."

Nina Jones, aged 17, A-level student from Milton Keynes

"What makes up a typical Facebook profile picture? Adults seem to choose pictures showing an event in their lives - their wedding, or a photo with their children - whereas teenagers seem to show themselves having a good time, often with friends at a party. Through investigation, I will test these predictions, and also look into why this occurs."

John Rowlands, aged 41, aerial photographer from Anglesey

"To investigate the frequency and brightness of noctilucent clouds (polar mesospheric clouds). They are believed to be linked to climate change, as there are no records of sighting pre-1850's. I will look at planetary waves, huge oscillations in the earth's upper atmosphere, and find out if they influence when noctilucent clouds occur."

On the judging panel:

- Prof Lord Robert May, former Chief Science Adviser for UK Government

- Prof Tanya Byron, Clinical Psychologist, author and broadcaster

- Mark Henderson, Science Editor of The Times

- Prof Trevor Cox, Acoustic Engineer, EPSRC Media Fellow

Presenter: Quentin Cooper

Producer: Michelle Martin.

The BBC's Amateur Scientist of the Year is revealed at the 2010 British Science Festival.

So You Want To Be A Scientist - The Final20100920

Four amateur scientists have turned their ideas into experiments this year. They were selected from 1,300 ideas sent in from around the UK, and this week they present their results in front of a live audience at the British Science Festival in Birmingham.

But who will be selected as the BBC's Amateur Scientist of the Year? The finalists are:

Ruth Brooks, 69, retired tutor from Devon

"What is the homing distance of the Garden Snail that decimates my plants? How far away do I have to dump them before they find their way back to my garden?"

Sam O'kell, 35, croupier from Manchester

"I believe the greatest crowd density at a music gig is not at the front, next to the barriers, but three rows back from the front. I would test this by wearing a pressure sensing vest beneath normal clothes, and take readings at different locations in the crowd."

Nina Jones, 17, A-level student from Milton Keynes

"What makes up a typical Facebook profile picture? Adults seem to choose pictures showing an event in their lives - their wedding, or their children - whereas teenagers seem to show themselves having a good time. Through investigation, I will test these predictions."

John Rowlands, 41, aerial photographer from Anglesey

"To investigate the frequency and brightness of noctilucent clouds. They are believed to be linked to climate change, as there are no records of sighting pre-1850s. I will look at planetary waves, huge oscillations in the earth's upper atmosphere, and find out if they influence when noctilucent clouds occur."

On the judging panel:

- Prof Tanya Byron, Clinical Psychologist and broadcaster

- Mark Henderson, Science Editor of The Times

- Prof Trevor Cox, Acoustic Engineer, EPSRC Media Fellow

Presenter: Quentin Cooper

Producer: Michelle Martin.

The BBC's Amateur Scientist of the Year is revealed at the 2010 British Science Festival.

So You Want To Be A Scientist - The Finals2012062120120625
So You Want To Be A Scientist Launch20110929

Material World announces the return of 'So You Want to Be a Scientist?' - the search for the BBC's Amateur Scientist of the Year.

Last year 69 year old gardener Ruth Brooks from Devon was crowned the winner for her research into the homing distance of snails. With the help of ecologist Dr Dave Hodgson from the University of Exeter, she created an experiment in her back garden to measure how far she should move her snails away to stop them coming back to eat her petunias.

"The whole year was filled with fun," said Ms Brooks. "For a non-scientist like me, it was great to have my research idea taken seriously. If I can do it, anyone can - just have a go!"

Now you can put your ideas, hunches and theories to the test. If you're chosen as one of Material World's four finalists, your entry will be turned into a real experiment which you'll carry out with the help of a professional scientist.

A panel of judges, chaired by Nobel prize winning scientist Sir Paul Nurse, will select four finalists in December. The amateur scientists start their research in January and will present their results at the Cheltenham Science Festival in June 2012, where the judges will choose a winner.

Entries are open online from 26 Sept until 31 Oct: www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/scientist.

The return of 'So You Want to Be a Scientist?' - Radio 4's amateur science award.

So You Want To Be A Scientist Launch20111003

The return of 'So You Want to Be a Scientist?' - Radio 4's amateur science award.

Unsung Heroes Of Science2012122720121231

Quentin Cooper and guests discuss unsung heroes of science.

Recorded in front of an audience Quentin Cooper and guests, Kevin Fong, Adam Rutherford, Mark Miodownik, Vivienne Parry and Dallas Campbell, discuss the unsung heroes of science

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