Brian Cox and Robin Ince host a witty, irreverent look at the world through scientists' eyes.
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Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Alan Davies and neuroscientists Prof Uta Frith and Prof Sophie Scott. They discover the secret to why humans are such social creatures and why two brains are definitely better than one. Our brains are wired to learn from and mimic other brains we come into contact with, even though most of the time we don't even realise that is what they/we are doing. The subtle cues we get from other people and the information in their brains, affects our own wiring and experience of the world. With this incredible complexity, might we ever be able to create an artificial brain that mimics our own and the human experience? Executive Producer: Alexandra Feachem
Brian Cox and Robin Ince look back at Planet Earth from the unique perspective of space with the help of astronauts Nicole Stott and Chris Hadfield, Space scientist Carolyn Porco and comedian and author Katy Brand. What can we learn about our own planet by looking back at it from space? The panel talk about the emotional response of looking back on earth, either from the ISS or via amazing photographs like Voyager's Pale Blue Dot, and the importance of realising our own place and significance in the vast cosmos. Executive Producer: Alexandra Feachem
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by Monty Python's Eric Idle, and cosmologists Dr Netta Engelhardt and Dr Janna Levin as they tackle one of the biggest challenges in cosmology. What happens when you throw something (Robin!) into a black hole? Is the information about Robin lost forever, or is there a chance, sometime in the far future, a super intelligent alien civilisation could piece back some key information to discover proof he ever existed? Are Robin and his cardigans lost for all eternity? Executive Producer: Alexandra Feachem
The Wood Wide Web
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by Ted Lasso's Brendan Hunt, Professor of forest ecology and author of "The Mother Tree", Suzanne Simard and botanist Mark Spencer to discover how trees and plants communicate and what they are saying. Suzanne's incredible discovery that trees form a wood wide web of communication has changed our entire understanding of forests and how they work. With the help of amazing fungi, this incredible network of communication allows the trees and plants in a forest to pass information backwards and forwards to help protect themselves against predators and optimize resource. Incredibly, this could even be viewed as a form of intelligence. Brian and Robin find out how this should change the way we look at all plants, and in particular how we manage our forests and discover some of the secrets of those whispering trees. Executive Producer: Alexandra Feachem
Exploring the Deep
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian and musician Tim Minchin and oceanographers Diva Amon and Jon Copley to uncover what mysteries still lie at the bottom of our oceans. It is often said that we know more about the surface of the Moon then we do about our own ocean floor, but is that really true? What have modern-day explorers such as Diva and Jon discovered during their many expeditions to the deepest points of our oceans, and can they persuade Tim to join them on their next voyage? From extraordinary life forms with incredible survival strategies, to the gruesome sex life of the angler fish, the panel discuss some of the greatest discoveries of the last few years, and what questions they still hope to answer. Executive Producer: Alexandra Feachem
Bats v Flies
Brian Cox and Robin Ince kick off the new series by tackling one of the greatest questions ever posed by science: which are better, bats or flies? Joining them for this unusual version of animal Top Trumps are a bat expert (Prof Kate Jones), a fly expert (Dr Erica McAlister) and Dave Gorman. Pitching arguably two of the least-lovable groups of creatures against each other, the battle for victory explores why we should favour flies or find bats beautiful. Although both are much maligned thanks to their association with some nasty diseases, Erica and Kate battle furiously to show why their respective species should be loved not loathed and how our planet would simply not be the same without them. Dave Gorman joins the panel in an attempt to help adjudicate. Executive Producer: Alexandra Feachem
The Infinite Monkey Cage is Back
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are back with a new series of The Infinite Monkey Cage. Looking for the new episode? It will be available everywhere from the 23rd of July. But if you can’t wait to hear it and are in the UK, listen on BBC Sounds today where new episodes are available first - 28 days before other podcast apps.
A History of Rock
A History of Rock Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by rock enthusiasts Ross Noble, Paleontologist Susie Maidment and Geologist Chris Jackson to look at the history of rock. Unfortunately for Ross, this turns out to mean actual rolling stones, rather than THE Rolling Stones. We hear what secrets the study of rock reveals about the very birth of our planet, to the incredible creatures that walked the Earth many millions of years ago, preserved in our ancient stones. Producer: Alexandra Feachem
The Fundamentals of Reality
The Fundamentals of Reality Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by Nobel prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek, cosmologist Janna Levin, and comedians Eric Idle and Sara Pascoe to look at what physics has revealed about the reality of our universe. From Einstein's equations more than 100 years ago through to the amazing discoveries we've made in the last few years about black holes and gravitational waves, the universe we think we see is not necessarily the true fundamental reality that physics has uncovered. What is real and what is not? All will be revealed. Producer: Alexandra Feachem
The Science of Cooking
The Science of Cooking Brian Cox and Robin Ince get their chef's hats on as they look at the science of cooking. They are joined by comedian Katy Brand, author and food critic Grace Dent, material scientist Mark Miodownik and science writer Harold McGee, whose seminal book on the science of the kitchen launched the craze for molecular gastronomy. They look at some of the lores of the kitchen are backed up by the science, and ask whether a truly delicious dinner is really a science or an art. Is cooking just chemistry? Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
The Neanderthals Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by hominids Alan Davies, Neanderthal expert and author Rebecca Wragg Sykes, and paleontologist and woolly mammoth expert Tori Herridge and learn just how misunderstood our ancestors have been. The image of the lumbering, ape like, simple, grunting Neanderthal has been turned on its head with the discovery that we are far more related to Neanderthals then we ever thought possible. Nearly all Europeans will have around 2% Neanderthal DNA, and the revelation of widespread interbreeding between Neanderthals and modern humans has turned the idea of our exceptionalism on its head. It seems that what defines us may have defined the Neanderthals as well, and we are not so different after all. Producer: Alexandra Feachem
Under our Night Sky
Under The Night Sky Brian Cox and Robin Ince discover the importance of the night sky to human history and how our relationship with the stars has changed over the centuries. They are joined by star-gazer Jon Culshaw, astronaut Tim Peake, astrophysicist Lisa Harvey-Smith and astronomy writer Stuart Clark as they chart the changing nature of our relationship with the sky above us. They discuss ancient cave paintings depicting Orion's belt, the astronomical revolution that came with our understanding of how planets orbit the Sun, and how astronauts like Tim who have "touched the sky" have seen the stars in a totally unique way. Has our ever expanding knowledge about the stars twinkling above us removed some of the magic, or have modern missions and the incredible images of space we now see brought us closer, quite literally, to the sky above us? Producer: Alexandra Feachem
In Praise of Flies
In Praise of Flies Brian Cox and Robin Ince kick off a new series of Infinite Monkey Cage with a look at probably the least revered or liked group of insects, the flies. They are joined by fly sceptic David Baddiel , fly enthusiast and champion Dr Erica McAlister and maggot expert Matthew Cobb to discover why a life without flies would be no life at all. Can Erica and Matthew persuade David to put his fly gun down and learn to love those pesky pests, or is their reputation for being disgusting and annoying justified? What would a planet without flies look like? Producer: Alexandra Feachem
Does Time Exist?
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by actor and writer Mark Gatiss, theoretical physicists Carlo Rovelli and Fay Dowker to ask timely questions about time. Is time real, does it exist in the fundamental laws of physics, and if it doesn't, why do we experience the sensation of time passing? They look at the idea of the block universe, where our future is as real as our past, which worryingly leads to Robin's favourite question about free will...is that an illusion too? A timely look at the question of time and hopefully just in time... Producer: Alexandra Feachem
What is Life?
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedians Jo Brand and Ross Noble, alongside Nobel Prize winner Sir Paul Nurse and geneticist Prof Aoife McLysaght to ask the biggest question of all, what is life and how did it start? They look at the amazing feat of nature that has somehow created all of life from just four fundamental units of simple chemistry. From chickens to butterflies to yeast, we are all far more closely related then we think. But how did the spark of life occur and what has any of this got to do with Ewoks? Producer: Alexandra Feachem