Melvyn's motherlode

The good old BBC has yet again made me proud to be a licence-fee payer. They have just made the entire audio archive of Radio 4's wonderful In Our Time available online.

Unfortunately, you can't download the programmes as mp3 files to listen to in your car (I have a work-around, but it's complicated), some of the older programmes are only available in crappy RealPlayer™ format, and you need to be in the UK to listen to the programmes (unless you can figure out how to access the BBC iPlayer via a proxy server)—but, despite these reservations, this is a very big move by the Beeb.

Some programmes I shall enjoy listening to again include:

Baconian Science
On the Jacobean thinker Francis Bacon and Baconian Science.

The dispute between Sir Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz over who invented calculus.

Darwin: On the Origins of Charles Darwin
Darwin's early life in Shropshire and his three years at Cambridge.

Darwin: The Voyage of the Beagle
How Darwin's work during the Beagle expedition influenced his theories.

Darwin: On the Origin of Species
How Darwin was eventually persuaded to publish On the Origin of Species in November 1859.

Darwin: Life After Origins
Melvyn visits Darwin's home at Down House in Kent.

On the dawn of the age of electricity.

On the future of gene therapy and advances in evolutionary biology.

Human Evolution
On the six million year old story of human evolution.

Human Origins
On the evolution of the human species.

On the Prussian naturalist and explorer, Alexander Von Humboldt.

Lamarck and Natural Selection
On Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, the 18th century French precursor to Darwin.

On the rise of the mammals which began 65 million years ago.

The work and legacy of the often overlooked 19th century scientist James Clerk Maxwell.

On the attempt to define humanity's part in the natural world.

Plate Tectonics
On plate tectonics, a theory that transformed our idea of the earth.

On the Anglo-Austrian philosopher Karl Popper.

Science's Revelations
On whether science has ruined our sense of poetic wonder at the world.

The Cambrian Period
On the Cambrian period, when there was an explosion of life on Earth.

The Geological Formation of Britain
On the geological formation of Britain.

The KT Boundary
On the KT Boundary and the extinction of the dinosaurs.

The Lunar Society
On the 18th century group of pioneering scientists and engineers.

The Natural Order
On the science of taxonomy; the classification of the natural world.

The Origins of Life
On when and how life on earth originated.

The Permian-Triassic Boundary
On the Permian-Triassic boundary in evolutionary history.

The Royal Society and British Science: Episode 1
Melvyn Bragg travels to Oxford, where the young Christopher Wren and friends experimented.

The Royal Society and British Science: Episode 2
How Newton tested the lines between government-funded research and public access.

The Royal Society and British Science: Episode 3
The 19th century blooms scientifically with numerous alternative, specialist societies.

The Royal Society and British Science: Episode 4
The more discreet role played by the Society in the 20th century.

The Scientist
On the origin of the concept and the historical role of the scientist.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics
On the Second Law of Thermodynamics from steam to the Big Bang.

The Whale - A History
On the evolutionary history of the whale.

Richard Carter, FCD

Writer and photographer Richard Carter, FCD is the founder of the Friends of Charles Darwin. He lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteNewsletterMastodonetc…

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