Discovery [World Service]

Episodes

EpisodeTitleRepeatedComments
Summary
Summary20170821 (WS)
Summary20170925 (WS)
Summary20171002 (WS)
Summary20171002 (WS)

We go behind the scenes of a new exhibition on India at London’s Science Museum. What can historical objects tell us about India’s rich, and often hidden scientific past? We look at the influential mathematics, metallurgy and civil engineering of ancient India.

The exhibition also contain artefacts from India’s time under the British Empire. We ask how the many years of colonial rule shaped the more recent scientific development of India.

Science journalist Angela Saini presents.

Image: Bakhshali manuscript, Credit: Bodleian Library

Summary20171009 (WS)
Summary20171009 (WS)

For more than 200 years Britain ruled India, bringing many aspects of British culture to India - including European science developed during the enlightenment. However centuries earlier India had already pioneered work in astronomy, mathematics and engineering.

How was India’s scientific progress affected by colonialism? Did British rule hold the country back, or did it drive it forward? Presented by Angela Saini.

Picture: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) communication satellite GSAT-19, carried onboard the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-mark III ), launches at Sriharikota on June 5, 2017, Credit: ARUN SANKAR/AFP/Getty Images

Summary20171016 (WS)
Summary20171016 (WS)

This is a big story about a little snail. Biologist Helen Scales relates an epic tale that spans the globe and involves calamity, tragedy, extinction and we hope, salvation. It stars the tiny tree-dwelling mollusc from French Polynesia, Partula, a snail that has captivated scientists for centuries. Like Charles Darwin studied finches on the Galapagos, Partula became an icon of evolution because, in the living laboratories of the Pacific islands, it had evolved into multiple species. But a calamity drove Partula to extinction, when a botched biological control, the predatory Rosy Wolf Snail, was introduced. It was supposed to eat another problem mollusc, but in a cruel twist, devoured tiny Partula instead. An international rescue mission was scrambled to save a species and from just one or two rescued individuals, populations of this snail species have been built up over thirty years in captive breeding programmes in zoos around the world. And now, in the nailbiting sequel, we track Partula’s journey home.

Picture: Reintroduced Partula dispersing on Moorea in French Polynesia, Credit: ZSL

Presenter: Helen Scales
Producer: Fiona Hill

Summary20171023 (WS)
Summary20171023 (WS)

Sydney Brenner was one of the 20th Century’s greatest biologists. Born 90 years ago in South Africa to impoverished immigrant parents, Dr Brenner became a leading figure in the biological revolution that followed the discovery of the structure of DNA by Crick and Watson, using data from Rosalind Franklin, in the 1950s. Brenner’s insights and inventive experiments laid foundation stones for new science of molecular biology and the genetic age in which we live today, from the Human Genome Project to gene editing.

Sydney Brenner talks to biologist and historian Matthew Cobb of the University of Manchester about this thrilling period in biological science, and Dr Brenner’s 20 year-long collaboration with DNA pioneer Francis Crick: a friendship which generated some of their most creative research.

Producer: Andrew Luck-Baker

Picture: Sydney Brenner, Credit: Cold Spring Harbor Lab Archive

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Summary20120904
20120827
Summary20120917
20100128
Summary20120924
Summary20121001
Summary20121001
20120904
Summary20121008
Summary20121008
20091025
20091022
20091021
20120221
20120220
20110226
20110224
20110223
20120313
20120312
20100731
20100729
20100728
20090819
20090820
20100410
20100408
20100407
20090809
20090806
20090805
20110411
20110416
Summary20121015
Summary20121105
Summary20121105
20121008
20121001
20120917
20120806
20120723
20120730
20120729
20120728
20120724
20120716
20120722
Summary20121119
Summary20121119
20121105
Summary20121126
Summary20121203
Summary20121210
Summary20121217
Summary20121224
Summary20121224
20140421
20140428
20130225
20130304
20130318
20130311
20140721
20140407
20141013
Summary20121231
Summary20121231
20121001
Summary20130107
Summary20130114
20131028
20131111
20130107
20140630
20140331
Summary20130422
20130429
Summary20130722
Summary20130812
20131021
20140804
Summary20140113
20120702
20120709
20120708
20120703
Summary20140310
20131125
Summary20140505
Summary20140922
20140915
20140630
20140623
20140602
20140519
20140512
20140428
20140414
20140407
20140224
20140120
20140113
20140106
20131223
20131216
20131209
20131118
20131111
20131104
20131028
20131007
20131002
20130930
20130925
20130918
20130805
20130729
20130722
20130715
20130708
20130624
20130610
20130603
20130527
20130513
20130429
20130422
20130413
20130408
20130304
20130225
20130211
20130204
20130121
20130114
Summary20160822
Summary20160829
Summary20160905
Summary20160913
Summary20160926
20170508
20130902
20130708
20170515
20130128
20140728
20151116
20140929
20130401
20140915
20130715
20140414
20141006
20121210
Summary20161024
20141110
20121231
Summary20170605
Summary20170821 (WS)
Summary20170925 (WS)
Summary20171002 (WS)
20171009 (WS)
20171016 (WS)
Summary20171016 (WS)
20171009 (WS)
20171002 (WS)
Summary20171023 (WS)
Summary20111127
20120806
20160104
20160111
Summary20120417
20160118
Summary20080203
Summary20090514
20120214
20161212
Summary20090517
20160530
Summary20091118
20161121
20130805
20161017
20140811
20160215
Summary20100429
20100722
20100428
Summary20100506
Summary20110418
20160328
20160321
20170327
Summary20110620
Summary20110808
20121029
20130513
20160523
20160404
20111003
20110912
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20110815
20110801
20110725
Summary20111205
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20130617
20140519
20140623
20140707
20160125
20160201
Summary20120109
20170116
20131209
Summary20120204
Summary20120206
Summary20120206
20170220
20140303
20130204
20130218
20130211
Summary20120207
Summary20120207
20111212
Summary20120214
20161226
20161003
Summary20120317
20151109
20170109
20130923
20130121
Summary20120326
20160411
20150810
Summary20120430
20120416
20120305
20120213
20120206
20120130
20120123
20120116
20111219
Summary20120904
20151026
20170417
20170410
20170424
20160606
20160613
20160620
20160627
20150907
20150831
20150921
20150914
20170213
20121203
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20121015
20151214
20160208
20160229
20160222
20160307
20160314
20130909
20140616
20140609
Summary20121022
20121112
20161219
Summary20121231
20140512
20160425
20161212
20170227
Summary20130729
20160502
20161205
20160418
20130603
20130527
20130415
20140127
20131118
Summary20160704
20140120
20141117
20160815
20130826
20130701
20161010
20140908
20140922
20160516
20160509
20140526
20120827
20131014
20131007
20120716
20120723
Summary20161128
20131104
20170102
Summary20170130
20170123
20130506
Summary20170529
20170508
20170515
20170102
20170424
20170501
20170522
20170605
07Summary20160222
20181231
08Summary20180312