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.

    Monkeypox

    Monkeypox

    A new study published in the British Medical Journal suggests monkey pox might be passed from person to person before symptoms show. Esther Freeman, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School and Director of Global Health Dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital, has been following the current wave of transmission and gives us her analysis of this latest finding,

    The COP 27 climate summit kicks off next week. To discuss some of the issues we are joined by Simon Lewis, Professor of global change science at University College London and Swenja Surminski, Professor in Practice at the Grantham Research Institute and a member of the UK's Committee on Climate Change.

    Mark Miodownik, the UCL Professor of Materials & Society, tell us the results of his citizen science project looking at composting plastics.

    And from the short list for the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize, we hear from Professor Rose Anne Kenny on her book Age Proof: The New Science of Living a Longer and Healthier Life.

    • 34 min
    Turtle Voices, a Pandemic Retrospective and a Nose-Picking Primate

    Turtle Voices, a Pandemic Retrospective and a Nose-Picking Primate

    New recordings featuring the voices of 53 species of turtle, caecilian and tuatara previously thought to be silent have illuminated the evolutionary origins of vocal communication. Gabriel Jorgevich-Cohen a PhD student at the University of Zurich has travelled the world collecting recordings and summarised his findings in Nature Communications this week. He spoke to BBC science correspondent Georgina Rannard who explains his findings, what they mean, and shows us some of her favourite turtle sounds.

    What was it like to advise the government during the height of the pandemic? How soon did experts realise the colossal impact Covid would have? Were mistakes made? The latest in our series of interviews with those shortlisted for the Royal Society Insight Investment Book prize, Vic sat down with co-authors Sir Jeremy Farrar and Anjana Ahuja to talk about their book Spike: the Virus vs the People.

    Anne-Claire Fabre Assistant Professor at the University of Bern and Curator of mammals, Natural History Museum Bern turns her scientific curiosity toward a surprising and perhaps perturbing behaviour in one of her research animals as she spoke to us about her paper published in the Journal of Zoology this week. Whilst investigating the Aye Aye, a nocturnal primate with two long thin fingers Anne-Claire witnessed the creature putting them to good use picking its nose and went on to uncover a big gap in our understanding of this icky behaviour.

    Presenter Victoria Gill
    Producer Emily Bird

    • 31 min
    The BBC at 100

    The BBC at 100

    Recorded in front of an audience at Bradford’s National Museum of Science and Media, we’re delving into the next 100 years of broadcasting, examining the science and technology behind what we’ll watch and listen to. And what the seismic technological shifts mean for all of us.

    Victoria Gill is joined on stage by four people who give us an audio tour of that media future.

    Lewis Pollard the curator television and broadcast at the museum.

    Dr Karen Thornton programme leader teaching film and television production at the University of Bradford.

    Bill Thompson technology commentator.

    Gemma Milne writer and researcher interested in how science and technology impacts all of us. And author of Smoke and Mirrors - how hype obscures the future and how to see past it.

    BBC Inside Science is produced in partnership with the Open University

    • 50 min
    Avian flu

    Avian flu

    Avian or bird flu is normally seasonal, disappearing as migratory birds leave for winter. However a new strain which seems to spread more easily between wild birds and into poultry has led to the deaths of far more birds than usual.

    David Steel, Nature Reserve Manager on the Isle of May relates his observations of the effects on seabirds. And Nicola Lewis, Director of the Worldwide Influenza Centre at the Francis Crick Institute tells us why this particular stain is so severe.

    Climategate was a strange kind of scandal, based entirely on misinformation pushed by climate change deniers. In his new book Hot air, shortlisted for the Royal Society Insight Investment science book prize, Climate scientist Peter Stott assess the impact of their campaign.

    Pong was a very basic video game developed in the 1970s, now Australian researchers have trained human brain cells in a dish to play the game, Dr Brett Kagan from Cortical Labs explains why.

    • 29 min
    Coronavirus - new variants

    Coronavirus - new variants

    The virus which causes Covid 19 is continuing to evolve, but into several different closely related strains rather than more new variants such as Delta and Omicron. Ravi Gupta, Professor of Clinical Microbiology at Cambridge university gives us his assessment of the current picture, and Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Welcome Trust, comments on global efforts to counter the virus.

    The Nobel prizes were awarded this week. Science Journalist Philip Ball looks at the winning discoveries and the scientists behind them.

    And shortlisted for the Royal Society Insight Investment Science book prize, we hear from Henry Gee, author of A Very Short History of Life on Earth.

    • 34 min
    Fracking Science

    Fracking Science

    The government has lifted a moratorium on fracking imposed in 2019 following a series of small earthquakes caused by exploratory drilling. The British Geological Survey was asked to investigate, we speak to two of the authors of their new report into fracking and earthquakes, seismologist Brian Baptie and Geologist Ed Hough.

    We also look at more practical aspects of fracking in the UK with Professor Richard Davies from Newcastle University, asking how to viably extract shale gas in the UK and whether, with concerns over climate change, we should really be contemplating this at all.

    The production of Bitcoin consumes as much energy as a medium sized European country. Benjamin Jones from New Mexico university and Larisa Yarovaya from Southampton Business School explain why generation of the cryptocurrency has come to require such huge amounts of energy.



    And we hear from Maria Fitzgerald, chair of the panel for the Royal Society book prize on what makes a good science book

    Inside Science is produced in partnership with the Open University

    • 32 min

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