300 episodes

A weekly programme that illuminates the mysteries and challenges the controversies behind the science that's changing our world.

BBC Inside Science BBC Podcasts

    • Science

A weekly programme that illuminates the mysteries and challenges the controversies behind the science that's changing our world.

    The UK's first satellite launch

    The UK's first satellite launch

    The UK's first satellite launch faced several delays in 2022, but Virgin Orbit's Cosmic Girl is prepped for imminent take off. BBC science correspondent Jonathan Amos has been following the activity in Newquay and, alongside Melissa Thorpe head of Spaceport Cornwall, describes the potential this launch has to promote and bolster the UK's space industry.

    Is laziness a particularly human trait? Apparently not according to Dr Daniella Rabaiotti from the Zoological Society of London. Her research shows many animals engage in behaviour akin to laziness even within groups where others might be very active. There’s evidence for this from animals as diverse as wolves, frogs and pheasants. Dani says it’s a factor worth considering in animal behaviour studies, simply are we biased towards the more active and outgoing animals as they are the ones we tend to see?

    Victoria Gill speaks to the founder and CEO of Nature Metrics Dr Cat Bruce and Katie Critchlow about the tools they use to help companies measure biodiversity at their worksites. From taking water or soil samples it’s possible to detect the DNA of a multitude of organisms from large animals down to microbes. The technique should help map the biodiversity of a given area and inform decisions on development and conservation.

    BBC Inside Science is produced in collaboration with the Open University

    • 27 min
    Game changers

    Game changers

    Nations are racing to protect 30% of the planet by 2030 in an attempt to halt biodiversity loss, but one novel approach may be able to safeguard species under threat of imminent extinction. Vic visited Nature’s Safe in May, a cryogenic biobank, storing the genetic information of at risk species in futuristic biological freezers. But will it serve as a viable tool to bring wildlife back from the brink if the ecosystems in which these animals reside are degraded beyond repair?

    The Greenland ice sheet is melting, raising global sea level at an alarming rate. Marnie took to the ice with researcher Jason Box in September, and questions how current carbon emissions will influence melting in the future.

    Gaia revisits UN talks from March that attempted to put in place regulations capable of protecting the marine biodiversity of the high seas. Negotiations were unsuccessful at the time, but further talks have been held since. How much progress has been made?

    BBC Inside Science is produced in collaboration with the Open University.

    • 28 min
    A Scientifically Superior Christmas Dinner

    A Scientifically Superior Christmas Dinner

    How many Scientists does it take to cook Christmas dinner? Marnie seeks help from a food scientist, a geneticist, a doctor and a botanist to create the perfect festive feast.

    • 28 min
    Cancer cure, Strep A research and hopes for biodiversity

    Cancer cure, Strep A research and hopes for biodiversity

    Base editing is a technique for substituting the building blocks of DNA. It has only been around for a few years, so its use to apparently cure cancer was all the more remarkable, as BBC Health Correspondent James Gallagher tells us.

    We take a trip down the river Wye with ecologist Steve Ormerod who tells us why the river is a microcosm for some of the global issues being discussed at the UN Biodiversity summit in Montreal. BBC Environment Correspondent Victoria Gill gives us the latest on the state of negotiations there.

    And the current surge in infections associated with the streptococcus bacteria has led to deaths in a few cases. It is usually a seasonal infection, worse in the spring. We ask microbiologist Dr Claire Turner from Sheffield University why we seem to be seeing a surge of infections now and her research on strep vaccine targets.

    BBC Inside Science is produced in collaboration with the Open University.

    • 27 min
    Biodiversity

    Biodiversity

    The UN Convention on Biological Diversity summit, currently taking place in Montreal Canada, intends to develop ways of reducing the global loss of biological diversity by drawing up a series of international commitments to help humanity to live more harmoniously with nature. The scientific evidence paints a grim picture of species decline and extinction, pollution and destruction of natural habitats. The aim of the meeting is to find ways to stop and even reverse such decline.

    We meet leading figures involved in the negotiations, including:

    Elizabeth Mrema, the Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity

    Inger Andersen Executive Director of UN Environment Programme

    Indigenous leaders Viviana Figueroa and Lakpa Nuri Sherpa

    And scientists

    Professor Sandra Diaz from the University of Cordoba

    Dr Marla Emery Scientific Advisor with the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research.

    BBC Inside Science is produced in partnership with the Open University.

    • 28 min
    Killer smog

    Killer smog

    For a week at the beginning of December 1952, London was under a blanket of deadly smog. As a result, the Clean Air Act came into force a few years later banning smoky sulphurous fuels. However air pollution researchers are now concerned that rising emissions from wood burners may be undoing many of the gains from the Clean Air Act.
    We hear from Dr Gary Fuller, air pollution scientist at Imperial College London and author of The Invisible Killer, the Rising Global Threat of Air Pollution and How We can Fight Back.

    We also discuss emissions we can’t see, bacteria and even microplastics which are now present in the air. Catherine Rolph from the Open University tells us where we might find them.

    And we reveal the winner of the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize. You can find interviews with all the shortlisted authors in our previous programmes.

    BBC Inside Science is produced in partnership with the Open University.

    • 32 min

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