Fancy watching (or listening to) something new? Here’s our pick of the week’s science on TV and radio…
Darwin’s Struggle: The Evolution of the Origin of Species
Documentary telling the little-known tale of how Darwin came to write his masterwork, On the Origin of Species. In the 20 years it took him to write the book, Darwin went through family tragedies, illnesses and periods of self-doubt. The end result, though, was a masterpiece that altered our perception of the world.
The Sky at Night
Sir Patrick Moore and friends discuss NASA’s Curiosity rover and the work it’ll be carrying out on the Martian surface. Also, expect to find out what we'll be able to see in the September night sky.
Horizon: How Small is the Universe?
After last week’s look at all things big, this episode of Horizon zooms down to the smallest objects in the universe. As things get smaller, we begin to enter a wonderland where miniature black holes, multiple dimensions and even parallel universes could become possible.
James May’s Things You Need to Know
Top Gear’s James May explores a subject that’s close to his heart: speed. Expect the usual fast-moving mix of animation and graphics, this week answering questions such as: how do cats survive falling out of high-rise buildings? How can you catch speeding bullets between your teeth? And why can’t a six-ton chicken run? Why, indeed.
The Life Scientific
BBC Radio 4, 9.00-9.30am
Jim Al-Khalili meets the evolutionary biologist and author Richard Dawkins, who talks about the inspiration for his first book, The Selfish Gene, and the motivation behind his controversial 2006 polemic, The God Delusion.
BBC Radio 4, 11.00-11.30am
Radio 4 welcomes a new series of Brett Westwood’s live show about conservation. This first episode looks back at the summer of 2012 and finds out how the UK’s wildlife coped with the abysmal weather. Plus: a night-time glow worm survey in Devon, and a project in Dungeness, Kent that aims to return the short-haired bumblebee to Britain.
BBC Radio 4, 4.30-5.00pm
Quentin Cooper reports back with some of the highlights from the British Science Festival in Aberdeen.
How the Universe Works
Discovery Channel, 9.00-10.00pm
Last in the series. The Earth was forged by a series of cataclysms, from a powerful supernova to an apocalyptic planetary collision. But without these events, we wouldn’t exist. Could the same unlikely chain of events have created other life-harbouring, Earth-like planets in the cosmos?