Moments Of Genius

Episodes

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20100110

20100110

Geoff Watts introduces an omnibus edition of the Moments of Genius which have aired throughout the past week on Radio 4, from the moment a Dutch draper stared at a drop of pond water to an experiment that put Einstein to the test.

Geoff and guests enjoy and discuss the choices of, among others, mathematician Marcus du Sautoy, writer Eoin Colfer, Professor Lord Winston, Carol Vorderman and comedian Ben Miller. They consider if scientists really do have moments of genius or if it is just a useful fiction, and what it takes to be a genius.

Omnibus20101212

Geoff Watts and guests, Nobel laureate Sir Tim Hunt and Mark Henderson, listen to and discuss the week's Moments of Genius and ask if scientists get the recognition they deserve.

Moments include the discovery of the structure of DNA when playing with cardboard cutouts of the different building blocks; how Hooke's observations of the behaviour of a metal spring launched modern science and the moment Edward Jenner proved the principle of vaccination, experimenting on an eight year old boy.

Producer: Anna Buckley.

Geoff Watts and guests discuss the past week's Moments of Genius.

01*20100110

Geoff Watts introduces an omnibus edition of the Moments of Genius which have aired throughout the past week on Radio 4, from the moment a Dutch draper stared at a drop of pond water to an experiment that put Einstein to the test.

Geoff and guests enjoy and discuss the choices of, among others, mathematician Marcus Du Sautoy, writer Eoin Colfer, Professor Lord Winston, Carol Vorderman and comedian Ben Miller.

They consider if scientists really do have moments of genius or if it is just a useful fiction, and what it takes to be a genius.

Geoff Watts and guests discuss some of the past week's Moments of Genius choices.

02Barry Marshall2010120720101209

Nobel Laureate Barry Marshall describes his favourite moment in the history of science.

Nobel Laureate, Professor Barry Marshall describes the moment Kary Mullis worked out how to make millions of copies of DNA, a technique that launched bio-technology.

02Elizabeth Blackburn2010120820101210

Nobel laureate Elizabeth Blackburn describes the moment Edward Jenner proved the principle of vaccination, saving milions of lives worldwide ever since.

Nobel laureate Elizabeth Blackburn describes her favourite moment of scientific genius.

02Sir Harry Kroto2010120720101210

Nobel laureate Harry Kroto describes his favourite moment in the history of science: the moment Robert Hooke described how springs behave.

A moment that, he believes, launched modern science.

Nobel laureate Harry Kroto describes his favourite moment in the history of science.

02Sir Martin Evans2010120620101209

Nobel laureate Sir Martin Evans describes his favourite moment of scientific genius.

Nobel laureate Professor Sir Martin Evans describes the moment scientists worked out how the DNA code was read, in a chaotic lab in the attic of the Pasteur Institute in Paris.

A moment of genius that launched modern biology.

02Venki Ramakrishnan2010120620101208

Nobel laureate Venki Ramakrishnan describes how the structure of DNA was discovered.

Nobel laureate Venki Ramakarishnan describes how James Watson discovered the structure of DNA when playing with cardboard cut-outs of the different building blocks.

0201Stephen Fry2010052420100528

Stephen Fry describes his favourite moment in the history of science: a moment of genius that transformed public health.

Stephen Fry describes his favourite moment in the history of science.

0202Brian Eno2010052420100528

Music producer, Brian Eno, describes his favourite moment in the history of science.

In 1970, the British mathematician John Conway worked out the Game of Life.

I'm not a mathematician but this idea made immediate sense to me", says Brian.

The Game of Life proves that incredibly complex things can be generated from something startlingly simple.

It's like a board game that has a very simple set of rules.

You expect to be able to predict the outcome but you absolutely can't.

"You just have to keep watching it happen to believe it, " says Brian who has spent many many hours doing just that.

The Game of Life is deeply counter-intuitive.

It sheds light on what makes evolution possible and has had a huge influence on Brian Eno's music."

0203Sir Tim Hunt2010052520100526

Nobel prize winning scientist, Sir Tim Hunt describes his favourite moment in the history of science.

The experimental German biologist, Theodore Boveri, is one of Tim Hunt's heros: He isn't exactly a household name but he should be".

In 1902, Boveri knew nothing about DNA and yet, in a beautiful set of experiments on sea urchin eggs, he worked out what happens when cells divide.

This was fifty years before Watson and Crick and others confirmed that Boveri's theory of chromsomes was absolutely spot on.

A moment of genius chosen by Nobel prize winning scientist Sir Tim Hunt."

0204Samuel West2010052520100527

Actor Samuel West describes his favourite moment in the history of science.

Why things burn, why we have any weather at all, why everything living tends to die: these are just a few of the questions that are answered by the rather prosaically named, Second Law of Thermodynamics.

The Second Law states that, energy-wise, everything tends to chaos.

It's a law of physics but also a personal motto for actor, Samuel West

0205Caroline Lucas2010052620100527

Another well known figure describes a favourite moment in the history of science.

02OMNI20100530

Geoff Watts and guests describe the week's Moments of Genius chosen by five well known figures and explore what drives scientific research.

With moments of scientific genius chosen by Stephen Fry, Brian Eno, the first Green MP Caroline Lucas, Nobel Prize winning scientist, Sir Tim Hunt, and actor Samuel West; this Omnibus edition of Moments of Genius shows that it's not only scientists who get excited about science.

From a mathematical breakthrough, the Game of Life, to the importance of washing your hands, guests Phil Ball and Patricia Fara listen again to the moments of genius broadcast during the week and discuss what makes such moments happen.

Producer: Anna Buckley.

Geoff Watts and guests discuss the week's Moments of Genius.