Professor Uta Frith discusses Alice Lee • 2018 • episode "S1E2" People of Science with Brian Cox

Category: Science

The pioneering developmental psychologist Uta Frith discusses Alice Lee, whose work in craniology challenged the idea that women were intellectually inferior because they have smaller brain sizes.

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People of Science with Brian Cox • 2018 • 6 episodes •

Sir David Attenborough discusses Charles Darwin

David Attenborough talks to Brian Cox about his admiration for the achievements of Charles Darwin, and how On the Origin of Species inspires him in his work in the natural world.

2018 • Science

Professor Uta Frith discusses Alice Lee

The pioneering developmental psychologist Uta Frith discusses Alice Lee, whose work in craniology challenged the idea that women were intellectually inferior because they have smaller brain sizes.

2018 • Science

Bill Bryson discusses Benjamin Franklin

The writer Bill Bryson talks to Brian Cox about his admiration for the US scientist, author and inventor Benjamin Franklin and his many achievements.

2018 • Science

Dame Sally Davies discusses Alexander Fleming and Howard Florey

Dame Sally Davies talks to Brian Cox about her interest in antibiotic resistance and admiration of Alexander Fleming and Howard Florey for their development of penicillin.

2018 • Science

Sir David Spiegelhalter discusses Thomas Bayes and Ronald Fisher

David Spiegelhalter discusses how the work of amateur mathematician Thomas Bayes and statistician Ronald Fisher helped to shape the current thinking of probability.

2018 • Science

Professor Julia Higgins discusses Michael Faraday

President of the Institute of Physics Professor Julia Higgins explores the life and work of Michael Faraday and how his curiosity and passion for communicating science inspires her.

2018 • Science

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Dame Sally Davies discusses Alexander Fleming and Howard Florey

Dame Sally Davies talks to Brian Cox about her interest in antibiotic resistance and admiration of Alexander Fleming and Howard Florey for their development of penicillin.

S1E4People of Science with Brian Cox • 2018 • Science

Birth of Life (Planet Science)

What are the origins of life? How did things go from non-living to living? From something that could not reproduce to something that could? Earth is estimated to be about 4.5 billion years old, and for much of that history it has been home to life in one form or another. Our planet is teaming with life, from the highest mountain to the deepest ocean; life is everywhere. But what was the firing pistol that started the evolutionary race? How did material go from non-living to alive? It's one of the most fundamental and difficult questions that has challenged us since the beginning of time.

2007 • Science

Avalanche: Making a Deadly Snowstorm

In March 2018 an international team of scientists gathered in a remote valley in the Canadian Rockies to conduct a unique experiment - to attempt to see into the heart of a massive avalanche to see if we can find ways to save lives in the future. Avalanches kill hundreds of people every year. Even in the UK 25 people have been killed by these forces of nature since the year 2000. But we know surprisingly little about them - why they happen or how they are able to produce destructive forces so powerful that they can flatten entire villages. Equally disturbing is the fact that climate change means that the pattern of avalanches is changing. They are occurring in places where they have never happened before. Finding out where might be in danger in the future is of vital importance. Answering all these questions could help save lives. The experiment attempts to provide those answers. The team of experts, gathered from all over the world, includes the programme's presenter Prof Danielle George. Her day job is studying space at Manchester University, but she is also a specialist in the design of experiments. She is even getting personally involved. As part of an experiment to test out safety equipment, Danielle puts on the latest breathing device intended to help you survive being caught in an avalanche. She then agrees to be buried under half a tonne of snow. The scientists hope to do what no one has ever managed before - to reveal the mysteries of an avalanche's destructive power by finding out what is going on at its very heart. Hitherto, our understanding of avalanches has been based on computer models - but these consistently underestimate the sheer power of these natural phenomena. To try and work out why, the scientists will conduct a range of cutting-edge tests, using the latest technology, including placing a car rigged with sensors right in the path of the avalanche. The plan is to set up the equipment and then unleash the avalanche by dropping explosives near the top of the slope. But the team are in a race against time. They have just three days to rig the mountain before the snow will come down the slope naturally. If they aren't ready in time, all their efforts will be wasted. Even worse, they are working in an active avalanche zone. For some scientists going out on the slopes to install their equipment means risking their lives. Interwoven with the main experiment are powerful and moving stories from survivors of these violent natural forces. We meet Casey George, whose two children were buried when an avalanche struck the small town of Missoula, Montana, completely out of the blue while they were playing. Their neighbour Fred Allendorf was inside his house when it was completely destroyed. The cataclysm claimed the life of his wife. Missoula had never been struck by an avalanche before. And no one could understand how a well-built house could be utterly demolished. The film meets British snowboarder Johno Verity, who was being filmed when an avalanche started right underneath him. His story provides clues as to what causes these disasters - a subtle change in the microscopic structure of snow deep beneath the surface. In a unique snow lab, where they can recreate different snow conditions, Danielle discovers exactly how snow can be transformed from something light and fluffy into a potential killer. And there is Elyse Saugstad, an expert skier who, despite years of experience, was caught unawares in an avalanche that killed three of her friends. All these stories emphasise just how unpredictable and devastating these events can be and why we need to understand and so be able to predict them better. In addition to being buried, Danielle George conducts another experiment into equipment that may help skiers survive being caught in an avalanche. Your chances of living rapidly diminish if you are buried for more than 15 minutes. She conducts a test with an inflatable airbag that is designed to keep you near the surface of an avalanche, making you easier to find. After two intense days of work by the scientific team, the experiment ends with over 1,000 tonnes of snow rushing down the mountainside. It triggers a whole host of censors and observational equipment. There is then a tense wait for results. But when they come, they are revealing. It seems that the team may have uncovered the first clues to an avalanche's unexplained power. If so, this could one day lead to significant breakthroughs in how we build houses and infrastructure that may lie in an avalanche's path and in how we devise safety equipment for skiers. It could be that this experiment will help save lives in the future.

2018 • Science

The Telescope

In the first of 3 episodes we take a look at how the telescope was invented, from Galileo to Edwin Hubble, and how the invention reaches the universe 13 billion light-years out. Narrated by Patrick Stewart.

Breakthrough the Ideas that Changed the World • 2019 • Science

Genetics

DNA analysis has given us the tools to map disease, solve crimes and more. But in our rush to decode DNA, are we leaping before we look?

S1E10History 101 • 2020 • Science

Across Oceans

Throughout history, human society has run on trade, and trade moved on the oceans. The innovations that allowed faster an more accurate oceanic travel revolutionized to the world. New inventions now help people move on water for fun and recreation.

S1E1Speed • 2019 • Science