Brian Cox and Robin Ince host a witty, irreverent look at the world through scientists' eyes.

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'Beastly Bodies' Kids Special - Steve Backshall, Jess French and Adam Kay

July 24, 2024 0:42:39 8.43 MB ( 32.5 MB less) Downloads: 0

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by adventurer and naturalist Steve Backshall, veterinarian Jess French, and comedian and former doctor Adam Kay, as they are put to the test by an audience of curious children at Cheltenham Science Festival. We find out who would win in a battle between a shark and a crocodile (the answer involves a tennis court), why humans don’t sweat like dogs, whether macrophages might help us overcome antibiotic resistance and if AI might one day enable us to understand and directly communicate with animals.Producer: Melanie Brown Exec Producer: Alexandra Feachem BBC Studios Audio Production

Science of Board Games - Jess Fostekew, Marcus du Sautoy and Dave Neale

July 17, 2024 0:43:11 8.64 MB ( 32.8 MB less) Downloads: 0

Brian Cox and Robin Ince, go past jail, climb a ladder and build a civilisation as they explore the science behind our favourite board games. Joining them in the library (or was it the conservatory?) is mathematician, Marcus du Sautoy who discusses the global history of games as well as his tips for winning at Monopoly. Joining him is games designer and play researcher Dave Neale who explains how key games are to developing a theory of mind alongside Jessica Fostekew, comedian and gaming enthusiast who admits to becoming a more ruthless gamer as time goes by.Producer: Melanie Brown Exec Producer: Alexandra Feachem BBC Studios Audio Production

The Wonder of Trees - Dame Judi Dench, Tony Kirkham and Tristan Gooley

July 10, 2024 0:42:29 40.78 MB Downloads: 0

Brian Cox and Robin Ince leaf through the latest tree science with Dame Judi Dench, Tony Kirkham and Tristan Gooley. Dame Judi Dench shares her great love for treekind and describes how over time she has come to create a small woodland in her garden and how meaningful that is for her. Tony Kirkham, former head of Kew Arboretum and Gardens shares some of the amazing journeys he's been on to find unusual and rare trees around the world. Navigator Tristan Gooley, has spent a lifetime learning how to read trees, he explains how nearly everything on a tree can provide clues into the environment around it and how elements like leaf shape and colour can help us to use trees as a compass to navigate our way.Producer: Melanie Brown Exec Producer: Alexandra Feachem BBC Studios Audio production

New series coming soon!

July 05, 2024 0:01:00 0.95 MB Downloads: 0

Brian Cox and Robin Ince preview the topics and guests coming up in the new series of The Infinite Monkey Cage which starts on Wednesday 10 July, 2024.

The Infinite Monkey's Guide To… Audience Favourites (Pt 2)

May 29, 2024 0:22:16 21.37 MB Downloads: 0

`This week it's over to you the listeners, as we hear some of your favourite moments from The Infinite Monkey Cage. Comedian Claire Hooper hears about the mating rituals of spiders, which use several of their legs in this complex process. But she discovers the females of the species get their own back by eating the males once the deed is done. Comedian Noel Fielding explains how he made a plasticine figure of singer Joey Ramone, prompting Robin to wonder about the pitfalls of building a real-life Frankenstein. And writer Alan Moore tells Jonathan Ross how he used string theory as inspiration for a comic strip... about a virtuoso violinist.New episodes are released weekly on Wednesdays. If you’re in the UK, listen to the full series on BBC SoundsProducer: Marijke Peters Executive Producer: Alexandra FeachemEpisodes Featured: Series 26: Australia's Scariest Spiders Series 14: 200 Years of Frankenstein Series 2: Science Fiction, Science Fact Series 22: Space Archaeology Series 5: The Science of Sound

The Infinite Monkey's Guide To… Tiny Things

May 22, 2024 0:22:08 21.24 MB Downloads: 0

Brian Cox and Robin Ince shuffle through the archive to find the smallest things in the world of science, from a particle so tiny nobody has ever actually seen it, to the millions of microbes we’re all made up of. They ask the short-of-stature comedian Andy Hamilton how he’d feel about being three times bigger, which he admits could come in handy if he ever met a mammoth, leading to an unexpected discussion about a potential new TV gameshow format. Entomologist Erica McAlister is back to tell the team about her favourite fly, which can burrow into a human head to lay its eggs, and we learn about a project to make ants glow in the dark using nano-gold which went a little bit wrong.New episodes will be released on Wednesdays. If you’re in the UK, listen to the full series on BBC Sounds: bbc.in/3K3JzyFProducer: Marijke Peters Executive Producer: Alexandra FeachemEpisodes featured: Series 16: What particles remain to be discovered? Series 19: Microbes: Secret rulers of the world? Series 6: Does size matter? Series 23: In praise of flies Series 24: Astronauts

The Infinite Monkey's Guide To… The Future

May 15, 2024 0:19:43 18.92 MB Downloads: 0

We know the universe is rapidly expanding but what happens if other galaxies disappear from view? That’s what Eric Idle wants to know as he ponders the future and what it holds in store. Solar scientist Lucie Green says this is not worth dwelling on because we’ll all be wiped out by an asteroid at some point anyway, which leads to a discussion about whether anywhere is still safe. Away from physics, Brian Cox and Robin Ince learn that one of the major contributors to global warming is the urinal cooling industry, which raises important questions about human stupidity. Should we let another species have a go? Chris Addison reckons dolphins might do a better job than we have but admits there are some major logistical issues.New episodes will be released on Wednesdays. If you’re in the UK, listen to the full series on BBC Sounds: bbc.in/3K3JzyFProducer: Marijke Peters Executive Producer: Alexandra FeachemEpisodes featured: Series 22: The end of the universe Series 3: Apocalypse Series 13: Climate Change Series 19: The future of humanity Series 15: The human story: How we got here and how we survived

The Infinite Monkey's Guide To… Failure

May 08, 2024 0:16:54 16.22 MB Downloads: 0

Brian Cox and Robin Ince embrace failure in its many forms, with a frank look at the importance of making mistakes. They examine the flaws in Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution with the anthropologist Alice Roberts, as she tells them no idea is totally watertight. And sometimes scientific error even leads to important discoveries – just ask the heart patients who took a pill that did nothing for their medical condition but did boost their libido and which we now know as Viagra. But other failures in the field of medicine have had more serious consequences, and Dr Chris van Tulleken questions why we’re not better at drug development for the poorest parts of the world.New episodes will be released on Wednesdays. If you’re in the UK, listen to the full series on BBC Sounds: bbc.in/3K3JzyFProducer: Marijke Peters Executive Producer: Alexandra FeachemEpisodes featured: Series 15: Science’s Epic Fails Series 11: Serendipity Series 25: What Have We Learnt From Covid?

The Infinite Monkey's Guide To… Gambling

May 01, 2024 0:19:16 18.49 MB Downloads: 0

Robin Ince and Brian Cox ask why some people always seem to win as they investigate the science of gambling. They hear how playing monopoly is no way to make friends, but don’t worry, because psychologist Richard Wiseman claims that it’s never really good fun anyway. In fact, games are mainly a form of social bonding and studies show deception could even be essential to human behaviour, which may just explain why so many people cheat. So should we even bother playing them? Well, it just so happens that solving maths problems can help us in other areas of life, so the team tackle a conundrum involving a goat, a cabbage and very hungry wolf, before becoming side-tracked by a debate over why the three were ever on a trip together in the first place, let alone trying to cross a river.New episodes will be released on Wednesdays. If you’re in the UK, listen to the full series on BBC Sounds: bbc.in/3K3JzyFProducer: Marijke Peters Executive Producer: Alexandra FeachemEpisodes featured: Series 15: How to Beat the House and Win Series 3: Randomness Series 11: Deception

The Infinite Monkey's Guide To… The Gods

April 24, 2024 0:22:24 21.5 MB Downloads: 0

Robin Ince and Brian Cox tackle the thorny debate over whether science and religion can co-exist. But forget the tension between the church and the researchers – Eric Idle wants an answer to the important question of whether God is in gluten free communion bread? Katy Brand launches the inaugural theologian’s corner with a pair of Reverends, who explain that comedians and the clergy have a lot in common, including a tendency to like the sound of their own voices. As we learn more about how our universe works, will there even be a need for religious belief? Since some research suggests fundamentalists and zealots tend to be less intelligent, perhaps there’s a case to be made for some healthy scepticism.New episodes will be released on Wednesdays. If you’re in the UK, listen to the full series on BBC Sounds: bbc.in/3K3JzyFProducer: Marijke Peters Executive Producer: Alexandra FeachemEpisodes featured: Series 1: Science and Religion Series 4: Is There Room for Mysticism in a Rational World? The Infinite Monkey Cage 100 Series 21: Quantum Worlds Series 10: Irrationality

The Infinite Monkey's Guide To… Talking to Aliens

April 17, 2024 0:19:44 18.94 MB Downloads: 0

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are on a mission to discover whether extra-terrestrials exist. But if there really is other life out there, what would it look like?Comedian Conan O’Brien is hoping for lizard-like creatures with superhuman strength, while Greg Proops imagines little green girls, like the ones in the Star Trek series he grew up with. Or possibly Ewoks. Either way, nobody can agree on the best way to communicate with them if we do ever make contact. Should we send them complicated equations so they realise how intelligent we are, and is playing Bach to aliens too much like showing off?New episodes will be released on Wednesdays. If you’re in the UK, listen to the full series on BBC Sounds: bbc.in/3K3JzyFProducer: Marijke Peters Executive Producer: Alexandra FeachemEpisodes featured: Series 1: Extraterrestrial Life Series 25: Exploring Our Solar System Series 12: San Francisco Special Series 9: To Infinity and Beyond

The Infinite Monkey's Guide To… Gardening

April 10, 2024 0:18:29 17.74 MB Downloads: 0

Robin Ince and Brian Cox dig into the secret lives of plants to discover that there’s more going on in your average garden than you might at first think. They hear why trees are better than humans at re-growing broken bits, while comedian Ed Byrne reveals a surprising understanding of horticulture, despite dropping out of his university degree early. And while they’re still no closer to discovering if they’re alive or dead, the team find a new debate to have about strawberries, as they argue with forensic botanist Dr Mark Spencer over whether they should be classified as an invasive species. But what about other common pests? Phill Jupitus tells them about an intimate encounter with grey squirrel, and entomologist Erica McAllister puts up a strong defence of the mosquito, claiming they don’t deserve such a bad reputation.New episodes will be released on Wednesdays. If you’re in the UK, listen to the full series on BBC Sounds: bbc.in/3K3JzyFProducer: Marijke Peters Executive Producer: Alexandra FeachemEpisodes featured: Series 11: What’s the Point of Plants? Series 18: Invasion! Series 23: Bats v Flies

The Infinite Monkey's Guide To… Love

April 03, 2024 0:19:45 18.96 MB Downloads: 0

Love is in the air(waves) as Brian and Robin trawl through the Monkey Cage archive. From using maths to find a boyfriend or girlfriend, to why birds and bees have far more exciting sex lives than you might imagine, this week’s episode is all about passion.Number crunching might not sound sexy but mathematician Hannah Fry tells Robin Ince and Brian Cox why research shows it pays to be proactive when you’re searching for a partner, even when that means risking total humiliation. But when it comes to the world's most extraordinary mating rituals the best place to look is… in the garden. Female bees go on a special nuptial flight, where they’re impregnated by males mid-air, and we hear how cockerels are surprisingly picky when it comes to which chicken they choose to cosy up with.New episodes will be released on Wednesdays. If you’re in the UK, listen to the full series on BBC Sounds: bbc.in/3K3JzyFProducer: Marijke Peters Executive Producer: Alexandra FeachemEpisodes featured: Series 13: Maths of Love and Sex Series 17: The Secret Life of Birds Series 27: Bees v Wasps Series 17: How Animals Behave

The Infinite Monkey's Guide To… Murder

March 27, 2024 0:20:35 19.76 MB Downloads: 0

Brian Cox, Robin Ince and their guests will send a shiver down your spine as they sift through the science on murder, and hear some of the more creative techniques scientists use to catch killers. Apparently rambling through brambles is a great way to find buried bodies at the edge of abandoned fields and entomologist Amoret Whitaker says she relies on flies and fleas to tell her whether a crime has been committed. According to criminal psychologist Dr Julia Shaw, we’ve all got it in us to bump someone off, but it isn’t just humans who have this homicidal intent. The zombie wasp paralyses her cockroach prey, then slowly eats it alive, and we also hear about the murderous mushrooms threatening unsuspecting worms.New episodes will be released on Wednesdays. If you’re in the UK, listen to the full series on BBC Sounds: bbc.in/3K3JzyFProducer: Marijke Peters Executive Producer: Alexandra FeachemEpisodes featured: Series 26: The Perfect Murder Series 12: Forensic Science Series 16: Will Insects Inherit the Earth? Series 27: Bees v Wasps Series 27: The Magic of Mushrooms

Higgs Boson

March 20, 2024 0:42:31 40.81 MB Downloads: 0

Brian Cox and Robin Ince visit CERN’s Large Hadron Collider in Geneva in search of the Higgs boson. Joining them on their particular quest is comedian Katy Brand, actor Ben Miller and physicists Tevong You and Clara Nellist. They find out which particle is the one you’d most want to spend time with at a party, how cosmology is inspiring experiments in the collider and why the Higgs Boson - known as the 'god' particle' - is of so much interest to science.Producer: Melanie Brown Executive Producer: Alexandra Feachem