Hopefully we can find a way to make the outside of the ship really, really look like the Beagle, because that’s the inspiring thing: people want to see the Beagle sailing into Galápagos with scientists aboard.
Dammit, Karen, you finally made me cry.
Dr Kirsten Sanford talks with the Beagle Project‘s Director of Science, Dr Karen James, FCD, about the Beagle Voyage, DNA barcoding, space-flight, mockingbirds, and sciencey stuff in episode 37 of Dr. Kiki’s Science Hour.
The show notes are available here.
Postscript [28-Mar-2010]: You can now also download a video of the show here (137MB mp4).
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:
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.
On the six million year old story of human evolution.
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.
On plate tectonics, a theory that transformed our idea of the earth.
On the Anglo-Austrian philosopher Karl Popper.
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.
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.
This afternoon, the Beagle Project‘s Director of Science, Dr Karen James, and I recorded a podcast, which I have named ‘Messages from Above’, for reasons which will become apparent if you listen to it. It contains lots of Darwinny goodness, and some pretty cool space stuff.
I’ve never been in a podcast before. They might just catch on.
…recorded in deepest Wales, in online now. And top-notch stuff it is too.
Peter McGrath interviews fellow projecteer Dr Karen James about why we need an HMS Beagle, what it’s got to do with Nasa, what the Doc does for her day job, how Darwin’s statue moved, and a bunch of other stuff. All accompanied by courting house sparrows. Go and download immediately.
Well done, chaps. The Emmy is in the post.
The guest this week on BBC Radio 4′s Great Lives programme was Sir David Attenborough. Sir David nominated Robert Hooke. Great choice! Hooke’s biographer, Lisa Jardine, also contributed. I’m downloading the podcast as I type.
I caught the following while I was demolishing my kitchen this afternoon:
BBC Radio 4: GreatLives – Alfred Russel Wallace
The man who almost scooped Darwin. Redmond O’Hanlon chooses naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace as his Great Life. When you compare their jungle adventures, there’s a similarity between the two. Dr Sandy Knapp adds to the general enthusiasm for beetles, butterflies and bugs, and Matthew Parris presents.
Duration, 28mins. The programme is available on the mp3 file for one week only [apologies for the previous broken link].
BBC: In Our Time: Genetic Mutation (podcast)
Melvyn Bragg discusses genetic mutation with his guests Steve Jones, Professor of Genetics in the Galton Laboratory, University College London; Adrian Woolfson, lectures in Medicine at Cambridge University and Linda Partridge, Weldon Professor of Biometry at University College London.
Downloading to my iPod as I type…
Royal Society Podcasts: Robert FitzRoy FRS: sailing into the storm (mp3)
John Gribbin is the author of more than a hundred books of popular science, including ‘FitzRoy: the remarkable story of Darwin’s Captain and the invention of the weather forecast’. In this talk, he discusses FitzRoy’s career as captain of HMS Beagle and as a pioneering meteorologist.
Postscript: I have now listened to the podcast. It was very interesting, although the recording quality was pretty poor.
See also: FitzRoy’s Bicentenary