Fancy watching (or listening to) something new? Here’s our pick of the week’s science on TV and radio…
Planet Earth Live: a Tale of Three Bears
Another look at Sam, Sophie and Sybil, the three bear cubs who featured in a live series in May. Presented and narrated by Julia Bradbury, this is a chance to find out what the cubs have been up to since then.
Book of the Week: Bring Me Sunshine
BBC Radio 4 (FM only), 9.45-10.00am
Comic actor Stephen Mangan reads Charlie Connelly’s exploration of Britain’s obsession with the weather. Continues throughout the week.
Horizon: Defeating the Superbugs
All around the world, bacteria are becoming resistant to the antibiotics that we use to keep them at bay. Horizon meets the scientists who are tracking the spread of these potential killers and finds out how they plan to conquer the superbugs.
James May’s Things You Need to Know
Engineering is at the heart of this week’s dip into the world of science, with James May explaining how the world has been changed by “smart men with spanners”. The Top Gear presenter also teaches us why foul-tasting tea can help keep us safe on a plane, and why football can help us to understand nanotechnology.
The Life Scientific
BBC Radio 4, 9.00-9.30am
Andrea Sella is a showman, well known for packing theatres with his dramatic chemistry demonstrations. Jim Al-Khalili talks to the professor of materials and inorganic chemistry to find out whether he would prefer to be known for his research into rare metals.
BBC Radio 4, 11.00-11.30am
Brett Westwood focuses on bats this week, revealing how they're struggling to cope with our increasingly urbanised environment. He travels to Worcestershire in the hope of encountering the Bechstein’s bat, one of the rarest mammals in the country.
Costing the Earth
BBC Radio 4, 3.30-4.00pm
Conor Woodman looks at how exporting salmon to China could affect the Scottish environment.
The Three Rocketeers
Inspired by the comic book character Dan Dare, engineer Alan Bond has been making rockets in his back garden since he was a teenager. Repeatedly thwarted by a lack of government funding, he and two colleagues decided to do it themselves. The result? Skylon, a revolutionary new spacecraft.
Rosh Hashanah: Science v Religion
Science and religion are often dismissed as irreconcilable opposites. To mark the Jewish New Year, Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks meets up with three non-believing scientists: Professor Jim Al-Khalili, Baroness Susan Greenfield and Professor Richard Dawkins. Will he succeed in convincing them that science and religion need not be at war?
BBC Radio 4, 4.30-5.00pm
Quentin Cooper talks to scientists who publish their research in peer-reviewed journals, discussing how that research is used by the media and the public. The programme also looks at how science affects our daily lives, from predicting natural disasters to aiding us with cutting-edge technology.
Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design
Discovery Channel, 9.00-10.00pm
In the first of three programmes, Stephen Hawking presents an irresistible blend of philosophy and science, questioning why the universe exists and why it follows the laws that it does. Physics-phobes need not be afraid though: Hawking gently builds up the detail rather than diving straight into the heavy stuff.