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Science Book Club – Episode 20
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So the Victorian period is notable for this real flourishing of interest in folklore and fairies So some of this came out of my post graduate work, my PhD, which was on how 19th century children learned about science using everyday objects, so some of the early kitchen chemistry, using every day objects like candles and the famous Michael Faraday lectures, pieces of chalk...

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Science Book Club – Episode 19
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I so often get the question, do you at them yourself, and I say yes, sure. OK, so we produced the Insect Cookbook and in this book…it’s not just a cookbook but it has everything you want to know about sustainable food in terms of insects. And so we have in the book recipes and the description of how you prepare things and what...

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Science Book Club – Episode 18
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Forty is the only number that spells out in alphabetical order.   I’ve written a book on the numbers 1 to 100 and it’s actually two books in one.  Half of it is the mathematics of these numbers, aimed at smart, curious, early high school kids who want a bit more than what they do at school, and a real fun adventure to get...

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Science Book Club – Episode 16
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One of the reasons why politics tends to do science badly is that science and those of us who care about it tend to do politics badly. So, the Geek Manifesto really emerged from a lot of things I was writing about for the Times over the past seven years or so. I found increasingly that an awful lot of both what was interesting...

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Science Book Club – Episode 15
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  The moment you actually start getting data is just beautiful.   My name is Jon Butterworth and I’m a physics prof here at UCL, in fact, and I work on the ATLAS experiment at CERN. I was one of the several thousand people who found the Higgs boson and I wrote a book about it called Smashing Physics which is kind of my...

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Science Book Club – Episode 14
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  50 years ago, people had a much better connection to the technology Further discussions with Lewis Dartnell about The Knowledge On the need for a pessimistic outlook I think there is certainly a need for some kind of wake up call or general realisation that we’ve had it good, we’ve had it easy so far, and things are going to get more difficult...

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Science Book Club – Episode 13
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  So I’m no doom sayer, I obviously hope that the apocalypse doesn’t happen in my lifetime. I think that all of us in society, and certainly myself, we feel this kind of disconnect between what I know and what I can do myself with my own hands and the kind of life support system that civilisation provides for itself, like, where does my...

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Science Book Club – Episode 12
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Nature has not only some mathematical properties but only mathematical properties. The basic theme of the book is I want to encourage us all to think big,  because we humans have again and again and again underestimated not only the size of our cosmos, realising that everything we thought existed was just a small part of a much grander structure like a planet, a...

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Science Book Club – Episode 11
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It’s aimed at anyone who has even a sneaking hint of a fondness for nature I’ve written a couple of books, in fact I’ve just finished the proofs – yesterday I sent them in – of my latest book on the iconography of hedgehogs, but that’s slightly more of a specialist subject, but I wrote a book called ‘A Prickly Affair’ all about hedgehogs...

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Science Book Club Episode 10
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 You’ve got Homer and Lisa kind of holding your hand through their mathematical world So my new book is The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets and the idea is that we all love The Simpsons, we all watch The Simpsons,  but what we’ve never noticed before is there’s a huge amount of mathematics in the show, and that’s because a lot of the writers...

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Science Book Club Episode 9
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I began to get insights into these things which perhaps I got because of my physics background. My book came about because I’ve got an editor at my publisher, Faber, and he took me to lunch and he said, ‘What you do is you explain complex physics to anyone.  How about using that skill to explain anything to anyone?’  So my book is about...

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Science Book Club Episode 8
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The Self Illusion is this approach to try to unpack what are the subsystems and mechanisms which generate the sense of self Well, The Self Illusion is to try and address this issue, or this experience,  that we all kind of have that we are somehow like puppet masters controlling a very complicated machine – namely our body – that we have free will,...

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Science Book Club Episode 7
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One of the great things about the ‘League’ is that you can play in all different sorts of conceptual areas. I suppose with ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ in general, and with the ‘Nemo’ series in particular, we have been imagining a world where every conceivable fiction actually existed and happened in the same world, in the same continuum, which includes all of those...

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Science Book Club Episode 6
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These materials are a reflection of who we are. Yeah, well, cause and effect in people’s lives, this is not a science, we do not know.  In the book I talk about how I, you know, I got stabbed, I mean, it’s a very traumatic moment in your life.  There are lots of traumatic moments in your life like getting dumped by your first...

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Robin Ince’s Science Book Club
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I think sometimes when people go back into science they actually pick the hardest books and it immediately puts them off science again. Somewhere on this app will probably be a very long version of me explaining why the top five books that I’ve chosen are in the top five so to save you a lot of time I would say if you are...

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Science Book Club Episode 1
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If you want to improve your chances of survival, you must explore. It was my first attempt at a book, and it started out as being the story of the last 100 years and how we utterly transformed our expectations of survival. I mean, when you look at the start of the 20th century compared to now, the things that we expect, you know,...

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Science Book Club Episode 2
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In a sense it’s the prequel and the sequel to evolution.  On the first half of the book My background is evolution and genetics but I figured all of the best books about those two subjects have already been written, so what I decided to do was to remove the 4 billion years of evolution that we all know about and talk about what...

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Science Book Club Episode 4
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Farming is the least natural thing that biology can do. Last month, Dr Adam Rutherford discussed the first half of his new book ‘Creation’, which dealt with the origin of life.  This month he moves onto part two, the future of life.   On the future of life Now the very same processes that have allowed us to understand the origin of life, the...

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Science Book Club Episode 3
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None of us are inherently superior to anybody else.  I begin the book in the obvious place for me which was with a creationist, and this is a guy called John Mackay who’s really influential in the whole international creationist movement.  He’s an Australian guy who considers himself a scientist and he spends a lot of time in Britain talking about creationism in schools,...

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Science Book Club Episode 5
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  Mun Keat Looi and Colin Stuart are two of the authors of ‘The Big Questions in Science’ along with Hayley Birch. When we thought about the topic of what are the big questions in science, you can answer it in many different ways. On the most asked questions MKL – I think the most we spent…so when we were coming up with the...

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