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Heroes of Science Outreach
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I think there’s a set change in the way that science community is perceiving people who do outreach I think there’s a set change in the way that the science community is perceiving people who do outreach.  So there was, even as I was coming up as a phD student, there as an attitude to belittle those people who were doing outreach and for...

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Heroes of Science – Episode 16
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I would say the unsung hero is Dr Lykoudis and it makes all of us, perhaps, keep our eyes open for quirky discoveries. You might say, ‘Well, if Helicobacter has infected nearly all humans for the past hundred thousand years there were probably other people who discovered that, or almost discovered that, helicobacter caused ulcers’, and one of the great unsung heroes in that...

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Heroes of Science – Episode 15
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She would sit outside for hours and hours I would say my [hero] - and you might think she’s too known but at the time she wasn't - is Caroline Herschel.  She was the first, or one of the first, woman astronomers.  She would sit outside for hours and hours, she wasn't just a tea maker, she was the writer, she catalogued so much...

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Heroes of Science – Episode 14
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Acknowledge that kids are natural scientists.  I think the unsung heroes of science are definitely the teachers in primary school and also the mums and dads who are kind of into science themselves.  You know they say that children are natural scientists, they always test things, the terrible twos are always testing your patience and testing the limits of things, and when they're younger...

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Heroes of Science – Episode 13
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  It is an extremely odd curio. So one of the greatest unsung heroes of biology is the 20th century genius called J.B.S. Haldane who worked in loads of different fields including the origin of life, he was the guy who came up the term primordial soup but also he helped fuse the idea of genetics with evolutionary biology, with Natural Selection, Darwin’s ideas...

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Heroes of Science – Episode 12
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  What we’re interested in is how good the supporting evidence is and how rational it is to believe something. When we think of Bertrand Russell and his great desire to define something that was rock solid, something that would provide a basis for certain knowledge. He thought that was going to be the case in mathematics, and his work with Whitehead and Principia...

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Heroes of Science – Episode 11
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  1858’s been a bit of a boring year really… I would probably say Wallace, but actually the job has been done brilliantly for Wallace recently so…I think we’ve had Bill Bailey doing programmes on Alfred Russel Wallace and recently enough money was raised to actually have a statue commemorated to him at the Natural History Museum, so I think Wallace’s name is now...

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Heroes of Science – Episode 10
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What’s unique about Pitt Rivers in many respects is the way in which he’s approaching excavation. So Augustus Henry Lane-Fox Pitt Rivers, he was your classic Victorian polymath and he was a military man.  And in the mid 19th century, he’d been asked to improve the British rifle – sorry, just to give you a very long answer to that question – he’d been...

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Heroes of Science – Episode 9
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  Why is it the case that when you look in a mirror, that you’re not inverted sort of upside down rather than just left to right? So, one psychologist that I really admired was Richard Gregory who…he was a vision psychologist, and he was awesome, he’d had such a crazy life.  He was responsible for setting up the exploratorium in San Francisco, he...

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Heroes of Science Episode 8
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 The teeth of the children hide the evil seed of the mothers and fathers Dental anthropology, dental archaeology, not really an old sort of discipline, I would say one of my favourites is a guy called Robert Bunon. He was the royal tooth puller to the court of one of the Louis, I think the 15th, so he was royal tooth puller to the...

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Heroes of Science Episode 7
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I was very, very nervous.  I knocked on Richard Feynman’s door and he opened it. On Feynman’s letter I was a student in the mid-1980s at the California Institute of Technology, Caltech, where Feynman had been on the faculty since about 1951 and I actually did a course that Feynman taught.  It was called The Potentialities and Limitations of Computers and it was about...

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Heroes of Science Episode 6
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He’s got an opportunity now where he can really make a difference to the public health of people who are most in need Yeah…so, um, there’s a lot of people in science now that I admire and I think, um, the one person that I never ever thought I’d say this about, because I really had issues with this person initially, but I have...

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Heroes of Science Episode 1
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Scientists aren’t gents anymore, because they can’t afford to be because then they’ll lose their job The scientist that should be better known is of course me.  This is clearly the case.  I’m one of the world’s top six experts in the genetics of snails and the other five agree but nobody else is aware of it! It’s hard to know, but I think...

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Heroes of Science Episode 2
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Professor Maurice Wilkins was quite an interesting and impressive character. The person who sticks out in my mind the most as, I guess, an unsung hero, is Maurice Wilkins.  Because when you ask people in the street who won the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA, they say ‘That’s easy.  It was Crick and Watson.’  And that is...

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Heroes of Science Episode 3
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He was really the first person from the world of science, or academia more importantly, who understood that television was the way to educate people. On Jacob Bronowski I love Jacob Bronowski for a number of reasons.  One of them is sort of, quite, kind of visceral which is that he reminds me of my own family.  My own family are middle European Jews...

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Heroes of Science Episode 5
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What Sagan always comes across with is the excitement. I think for my generation of, kind of, middle aged humans, Cosmos was probably the core science show.  Obviously you do have natural history shows, things like, you know, David Attenborough’s Life on Earth – tremendously important – but there was something about Cosmos.  Had I been a little bit older it would probably have...

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Heroes of Science Episode 4
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Humans are not rational people and we use all these assumptions and short cuts when making decisions. My science hero would probably be Daniel Kahneman, just because he’s the only psychologist to have ever won a Nobel Prize.  Because there isn’t, currently, a Nobel prize in psychology.  But he managed to win the one in economics because his work is in the crossover between...

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