Brian Cox and Robin Ince host a witty, irreverent look at the world through scientists' eyes.
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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 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 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 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
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
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
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by Dr Jane Goodall DBE, comedian Bill Bailey and primatologist Dr Cat Hobaiter to find out what we've learnt in the 60 years since Jane first discovered the chimpanzees of Gombe. From tool use, to language and even to culture, her revolutionary work has transformed our understanding of our great ape cousins, and ourselves. The panel chat about how far our understanding has come in that time, and talk about their own unique close-up experiences of chimpanzees, macaques and baboons, and Bill gets a masterclass in how to speak Chimp from a true expert! Producer: Alexandra Feachem
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by a dazzling panel of sun worshippers from actor, comedian and musician Tim Minchin to solar scientist Professor Lucie Green and biologist Professor Steve Jones. They look at how the evolution of life was only possible because of our position relative to the sun and its possibly unique behaviour, and how rare that situation might be across the rest of the universe. They also look at how the sun makes you feel and its vital importance to all creatures, especially snails. Producer: Alexandra Feachem
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by a stellar panel of space travellers as they get tips on surviving isolation from a group with a truly unique insight. They are joined by astronauts Helen Sharman, Chris Hadfield, Nicole Stott and Apollo 9's Rusty Schweickart to talk Space X, the future of space travel and how a trip to Mars will be the ultimate test of our ability to survive isolation.
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian and writer Sara Pascoe, biological anthropologist Alice Roberts and space archaeologist Sarah Parcak. They look at how archaeology today looks far more Star Wars than Indiana Jones, as an archaeologist's list of kit can now include satellites and lasers. They discover how searching for clues from space has led to the discovery of several ancient lost Egyptian cities and how the study of ancient DNA and artefacts reveals our similarities, not differences, with our ancient forebears. Producer: Alexandra Feachem
Brian Cox and Robin Ince look at the weird and wacky world of black holes as they ask a question that has been troubling scientists for years: What happens if you push Matt Lucas into a black hole? They are joined by the very game Matt Lucas, alongside cosmologist Sean Carroll and astrophysicist Janna Levin to discover just how strange things might get for our intrepid volunteer, as he ventures into the interior of a black hole. From holograms to spagettification. it turns out science fact is far more bizarre than anything that science fiction could possibly imagine. Producer: Alexandra Feachem
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are back for new series, for now at least, as they take an upbeat look at all the different ways our Universe might end. They are joined by legendary comedians Steve Martin and Eric Idle, alongside astrophysicist Katie Mack and cosmologist Brian Greene, to find out which end the panel might prefer. Will we go with the Big Rip or possibly the Big Crunch, or even death by giant bubble that expands so rapidly it wipes out our universe almost instantly? On that cheery note the panel vote for their favourite apocalyptic ending and wonder what they might be doing and what they hope to have achieved when the final moment comes. Producer: Alexandra Feachem
UFO SPECIAL Brian Cox and Robin Ince host a close encounter of the 1st kind with comedian Lucy Beaumont, astronomer Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Director of Jodrell Bank Professor Tim O’Brien, and science presenter Dallas Campbell to ask if UFOs and aliens have visited Earth? They explore why Lucy's home city of Hull appears to have had more than its fair share of alien visitations, as well as learning about the genuine scientific effort to look for intelligent life elsewhere in our universe. This episode is also available to watch, so you can see our truly out of this world panel in full technicolour glory. Just look for The Infinite Monkey Cage UFO TV Special on BBC iplayer. Producer: Alexandra Feachem
Brian Cox and Robin Ince send comedian Lucy Beaumont to investigate UFO sightings in the extra-terrestrial hotspot of... Hull! Lucy is joined by her mum GIll Adams who claims to have experienced a number of close encounters of the third kind and they return to Longhill Estate where a UFO was reported in the 1960s. Local historian Mike Covell takes Lucy through the documented accounts of prolific UFO sightings in and around the East Yorkshire area.