Science In Action [World Service]

Episodes

TitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
20170608 (WS)

20170615 (WS)

20170504 (WS)

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

20170511 (WS)

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

20170601 (WS)

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

20170608 (WS)

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

20170615 (WS)

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

20170504 (WS)

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

20170511 (WS)

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

20170601 (WS)

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

20170608 (WS)

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

20170615 (WS)

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

2012053120120601
20120601 (WS)

The Transit of Venus will occur next week, the last time until 2117

The Transit of Venus will be visible from some parts of the world next week and it will be the last chance to see this astronomical phenomenon for more than a 100 years. Drs Robert Massey and Colin Wilson are on the programme to tell us how to view the event safely, why it happens, what scientists are hoping to find out and how this could help in the search for exoplanets.

Rice water filter

The World Health Organisation calls access to clean water one of the most basic needs for public health. With that one step, a huge battle against all kinds of diseases will be won. 1.8 million people die every year from diarrhoeal diseases. The vast majority are children under five. 88% of those cases are attributed to unsafe water. That is why inventions like a filter in use in Cambodia are so exciting. A pot made of rice husk and clay provides clean water for years. Mike Roberts is the country director of the non-profit organisation iDE who introduced the filter to Cambodia. He came into the Science in Action studios, with one of the filters, to show us how they work. It has also just been announced that the project is one of the winners of the Ashden Award, an international prize given to sustainable projects worldwide.

Neutron is 80

This week marks the 80th anniversary of the publication of the proof that neutrons exist. That meant for the first time that scientists knew for certain how atoms are constructed, with electrons, protons and neutrons. Eventually that led to nuclear science, from atom bombs to novel medical scanning techniques. James Chadwick, who discovered it, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. Dr Peter Rowlands, a physicist from the University of Liverpool, tells us the story of the discovery.

The Transit of Venus will occur next week, the last time until 2117

The Transit of Venus will occur next week, the last time until 2117

The Transit of Venus will be visible from some parts of the world next week and it will be the last chance to see this astronomical phenomenon for more than a 100 years. Drs Robert Massey and Colin Wilson are on the programme to tell us how to view the event safely, why it happens, what scientists are hoping to find out and how this could help in the search for exoplanets.

Rice water filter

The World Health Organisation calls access to clean water one of the most basic needs for public health. With that one step, a huge battle against all kinds of diseases will be won. 1.8 million people die every year from diarrhoeal diseases. The vast majority are children under five. 88% of those cases are attributed to unsafe water. That is why inventions like a filter in use in Cambodia are so exciting. A pot made of rice husk and clay provides clean water for years. Mike Roberts is the country director of the non-profit organisation iDE who introduced the filter to Cambodia. He came into the Science in Action studios, with one of the filters, to show us how they work. It has also just been announced that the project is one of the winners of the Ashden Award, an international prize given to sustainable projects worldwide.

Neutron is 80

This week marks the 80th anniversary of the publication of the proof that neutrons exist. That meant for the first time that scientists knew for certain how atoms are constructed, with electrons, protons and neutrons. Eventually that led to nuclear science, from atom bombs to novel medical scanning techniques. James Chadwick, who discovered it, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. Dr Peter Rowlands, a physicist from the University of Liverpool, tells us the story of the discovery.

Transit of Venus

The Transit of Venus will be visible from some parts of the world next week and it will be the last chance to see this astronomical phenomenon for more than a 100 years. Drs Robert Massey and Colin Wilson are on the programme to tell us how to view the event safely, why it happens, what scientists are hoping to find out and how this could help in the search for exoplanets.

Rice water filter

The World Health Organisation calls access to clean water one of the most basic needs for public health. With that one step, a huge battle against all kinds of diseases will be won. 1.8 million people die every year from diarrhoeal diseases. The vast majority are children under five. 88% of those cases are attributed to unsafe water. That is why inventions like a filter in use in Cambodia are so exciting. A pot made of rice husk and clay provides clean water for years. Mike Roberts is the country director of the non-profit organisation iDE who introduced the filter to Cambodia. He came into the Science in Action studios, with one of the filters, to show us how they work. It has also just been announced that the project is one of the winners of the Ashden Award, an international prize given to sustainable projects worldwide.

Neutron is 80

This week marks the 80th anniversary of the publication of the proof that neutrons exist. That meant for the first time that scientists knew for certain how atoms are constructed, with electrons, protons and neutrons. Eventually that led to nuclear science, from atom bombs to novel medical scanning techniques. James Chadwick, who discovered it, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. Dr Peter Rowlands, a physicist from the University of Liverpool, tells us the story of the discovery.

2012053120120604
20120604 (WS)

The Transit of Venus will occur next week, the last time until 2117

2012060720120608
20120608 (WS)

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

04/05/2017 Gmt
18/05/2017 Gmt20170518 (WS)

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

25/05/2017 Gmt20170525 (WS)

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

A Strangely-formed Exoplanet20170511 (WS)

Atmospheric elements in a distant exoplanet hints at an unusual planet formation

Atmospheric elements in a distant exoplanet hints at an unusual planet formation

How To Survive Without Air20170420 (WS)

The naked mole-rat shows off its breath taking super-powers

The naked mole-rat shows off its breath taking super-powers

Science In Action20170622 (WS)
20170629 (WS)
20170706 (WS)

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

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This week's science news.

A few decades ago, when you drove down a country road anywhere in Europe, your car windscreen would get splattered with the squashed bodies of flying insects. It's known as the 'windscreen phenomenon'. But now, there seem to be far fewer flying insects than there used to be. Scientists have long suspected that insects are in dramatic decline, but new evidence confirms this. Research at more than 60 protected areas in Germany suggests flying insects have declined by more than 75% over the past 30 years.

Splitting the Cost of Biodiversity
Globally, $14.4 billion was spent between 1996 and 2008 to help stop the decline in the World's plants and animals. There were some overall successes, with an average reduction in biodiversity loss of 29% per country over this time. However, not all countries are doing well - with the USA (mainly Hawaii), Indonesia, Malaysia, China and India some of the poor achievers. New research has looked at the numbers for each country and at how pressures from human development goals can conflict with saving biodiversity, and has calculated what each country needs to spend to reach biodiversity targets.

Hollywood Science
In the quest for a good storyline and lots of action, Hollywood doesn't always get its science right. The science of geophysics can get mangled in the plot. In the 1997 blockbuster 'Volcano', Tommy Lee Jones fights to save residents from volcanic lava flowing through the streets of LA, however the city is located neither near a hot spot nor a subduction zone which would be needed for a volcano to emerge. But rather than worrying about this and getting angry and shouting at the screen, top geophysicist Seth Stein, at Northwestern University, says that pointing out scientific errors can be a great place to engage students in the subject and help inject the healthy scepticism needed to be a good scientist.

Durian Fruit
It smells awful, and is banned in many public places, but to many Southeast Asians its creamy flesh is delicious. Why is there such a dichotomy between the smell and taste of the 'King of Fruit'? New genetic analysis may hold the answers and may even help technologists to engineer the smell out of the durian.

Presenter: Roland Pease
Producer: Fiona Roberts

Photo: Hoverfly Credit: Dr. Paul F. Donald

In the short window of time between the VIRGO gravitational wave detector being switched on, in Pisa in Italy, and the LIGO detector, in the US, being switched off for an upgrade, the teams detected the signal they had hoped for, but dared not expect. A space-altering gravity ripple, followed by a gamma ray burst signal and when the World’s telescopes turned to the Hydra constellation they also saw an optical flash. These signals were from two neutron stars, having danced a death spiral and crashed into one another 130 million years ago. It’s been nicknamed a ‘Bling Nova’, because this massively energetic reaction, is where lots of the gold, platinum and heavy metals in the Universe come from.

Whale and Dolphin Brain-size
A large brain, relative to our size, underpins sophisticated social structure in humans. Things like language, shared goals, teaching, consensus decision-making and empathy require great intelligence. Whales and dolphins also have exceptionally large and anatomically sophisticated brains. But until recently it has been unclear whether large brain size is linked to social structure in these marine mammals. A recent study suggests that large brains might similarly have arisen to provide the capacity to learn in response to the challenges of social living.

Picture: Artist’s concept of the explosive collision of two neutron stars. Credit: Illustration by Robin Dienel courtesy of the Carnegie Institution for Science

Presenter: Roland Pease
Producer: Fiona Roberts

By measuring how carbon moves through Earth's ecosystems we can get a grip on how human activities are altering the carbon cycle. NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) has been watching the Earth breathe from space since 2014 and the results show the impact of El Nino events, volcanic activity and forest fires and even the pollution from individual highways.

Acoustic Biodiversity
Incidental recordings of bird and insect calls before, during and after, the 2015 wildfires in Southeast Asia, reveals a clever way of assessing the damage caused by the haze from these fires to the biodiversity in Singapore.

Measuring the Power of Krakatau
The massive eruption in 1883 of the volcano Krakatau (Krakatoa) in Indonesia unleashed huge tsunamis (killing more than 36,000 people). The explosion is thought to be the loudest sound ever heard in modern history, with reports of it being heard up to 3,000 miles (4,800 km) from its point of origin. So it may be surprising to hear that there are very few remnants of the pumice rock, spewed out in huge numbers at the time. One rare sample survived and is being analysed, along with samples of dust from the deck of the boat that was nearest the volcano at the time, in order to calculate just how explosive the eruption was.

Sinking of the Anthenia
Just seven hours after Lord Chamberlain announced that Britain had joined the war against Germany in September 1939, the cruise ship The Athenia was sunk by a German U Boat off the coast of Ireland. Now, clever forensic examination of sea bed sonar scans, log books and weather charts has revealed the possible resting place of one of the first maritime casualties of World War Two.

Picture credit: NASA-JPL/Caltech

Three relatively easy to understand, and very well-deserved, Nobel Science Prize winning categories this year. The Nobel Prize in Physics 2017 was awarded to Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne "for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves".

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 was awarded to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson "for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution".

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2017 was awarded to Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young "for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm".

50th Anniversary of the Theory of Plate Tectonics
Scientists are celebrating 50 years of the theory of plate tectonics. This is geology’s equivalent of the ‘Theory of Evolution’ or the ‘Standard Model’ for physics. A fundamental, unifying principle that explains mountains, volcanoes, earthquakes and much, much more. Even down to why marsupials arrived in Australia. Roland gathers the key players to get the story.

Sonic weapons in Cuba?
US and Canadian diplomats in Cuba have been complaining of a whole host of symptoms, from hearing loss to feeling nauseated, over the past 10 months. This has led to speculation that some kind of new ‘sonic weapon’ is being used, where sound waves are being directed at these officials in order to do them harm. Professor of acoustics, at University of Salford, Trevor Cox explains how sound could be used as a weapon, but thinks these attacks are more likely to be explained by chemistry, psychology or politics.

(Photo: Black Holes Colliding producing Gravitational Waves © Advanced LIGO)

News from the worlds of science and technology.

From outer space to the atom's inner working, the BBC reports and explains the week's most important science stories.

From outer space to the atom's inner working, the BBC reports and explains the week's most important science stories."

The Earliest North Americans20170427 (WS)

Can a few broken bones and some rocks be evidence of North Americans 130,000 years ago?

Can a few broken bones and some rocks be evidence of North Americans 130,000 years ago?

Can a few broken bones and some rocks be evidence of North Americans 130,000 years ago?