The Infinite Monkey Cage

The Infinite Monkey Cage

United Kingdom

Witty, irreverent look at the world through scientists' eyes. With Brian Cox and Robin Ince

Episodes

The Universe: What Remains to Be Discovered?  

Brian Cox and Robin Ince take to the stage at the Blue Dot Festival, at the home of Radio Astronomy, Jodrell Bank. They are joined on stage by Ben Miller, Charlotte Church, Dr Paul Abel and Professor Tim O'Brien to explore the big questions that are still to be answered about our Universe.

200 Years of Frankenstein  

Brian Cox and Robin Ince mark the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. They are joined on stage by Noel Fielding, evolutionary biologist Nick Lane and writer and expert in popular culture, Sir Christopher Frayling. They'll be looking at the cultural impact of this epic novel, and the long lasting impact it has had on the perception of science and scientists. They'll also be looking at the real science behind some of the ideas about life and the creation of life that Mary Shelley explored.

Battle of the Sexes  

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by Professor Sophie Scott, Professor Steve Jones and comedian Sara Pascoe. They will be tackling the age old battle of the sexes, and asking whether men really are from Mars, and women really are from Venus? Probably not, according to Brian as Venus is too hot! Moving on from the pedantry of physics, they'll be asking whether the divide between men and women is based on a fundamental difference in our genetics, in our brain function, or is it all down to our upbringing. Let the battle commence. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.

Science of Sleep  

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by Professor Russell Foster, Professor Richard Wiseman and comedian Katy Brand as they attempt to get to grips with the science behind Robin's insomnia. They'll be asking why we sleep, is 8 hours really enough, and why has every creature on the planet evolved with some period of inactivity? They'll also be investigating the purpose of dreams and whether analysing them has any useful purpose? Was Freud right with his symbolic interpretation of dreams, or if we dream about aggressive courgettes, does this reveal our inner most anxieties about.... aggressive courgettes? Producer: Alexandra Feachem.

The Recipe to Build a Universe  

The Recipe to Build A Universe Brian Cox and Robin Ince ask what ingredients you need to build a universe? They are joined on stage by comedian and former Science Museum explainer, Rufus Hound, chemist Andrea Sella and solar scientist Lucie Green, as they discuss the basis of all school chemistry lessons, the periodic table. They discover how the elements we learnt about at school are the building blocks that make up everything from humans to planet earth to the universe itself. They were formed in stars and during the big bang. The history of the discovery of the periodic table and the elements is a wonderful tale of genuine scientific exploration that has changed our understanding of where we come from and how life and the universe that we know came to be. The panel also ponder which element they might choose if they were building a universe from scratch and the audience suggest which elements they would remove from the periodic table if given the chance? Producer: Alexandra Feachem.

The Sound of Music  

The Sound of Music Brian Cox and Robin Ince take to the stage at Glastonbury Music Festival. They are joined by comedian Matt Kirshen, musicians KT Tunstall and Nitin Sawhney and scientists Lucy Cooke and Trevor Cox. No Julie Andrews for this special edition of the long running science/comedy show, although music does take centre stage as the panel discuss the evolution and science of why and how humans are programmed to love everything from the Rolling Stones to Rap to Rachmaninoff. They'll also be looking at whether there are any examples of music in the animal kingdom and whether gorillas really hum. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.

Brian and Robin's Infinite Inbox  

Brian Cox and Robin Ince answer The Infinite Monkey Cage listeners' questions.

Brian and Robin's Infinite Inbox  

Brian Cox and Robin Ince answer The Infinite Monkey Cage listeners' questions.

Climate Change  

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by guests Dara O Briain, Professor Tony Ryan and Dr Gabrielle Walker to discuss the ever-hot topic of climate change. They take a forensic look at the evidence that the climate is indeed changing, how we know that we are responsible, and what can be done to stop it. The scientific willing may be there, but is the political will finally catching up?

Maths of Love and Sex  

Robin Ince and Brian Cox get romantic (although unfortunately not with each other) as they discuss the mathematics of love and the statistics of sex. They are joined on stage by comedian and former maths student Paul Foot, mathematician Hannah Fry and statistician Professor Sir David Speigelhalter, as they discover whether a knowledge of numbers can help you in the affairs of the heart? Can a maths algorithm help you find your perfect mate at a party and what do the statistics tell us about what happens after the party, if you do! They find out whether mathematicians are more successful at dating than comedians, and whether a rational, scientific approach to love and life long happiness is really the answer.

What Is Reality?  

What is Reality? Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by US superstar neuroscientist David Eagleman, Professor Sophie Scott and comedian Bridget Christie to ask what is reality? Is our sense of the world around us a completely personal experience and a construct of our brains? How can we ever know whether what one person perceives is exactly the same as what another person perceives. Is your sense of the world around you an illusion constructed by this extraordinary organ, the brain, that has no direct access to the outside world that it is helping you to understand.

Invisible Universe  

Brian Cox and Robin Ince transport the cage of infinite proportions to the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry. They are joined on stage by impressionist Jon Culshaw and astrophysicists Sarah Bridle and Tim O'Brien as they look up at the sky to discover that everything we see only accounts for 5% of the entire universe. So what is the rest of the universe made of? What are these mysterious elements known as Dark Matter and Dark Energy and would their discovery mean a complete re-writing of the laws of physics as we know them? Producer: Alexandra Feachem.

What is Race?  

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by comedian Shappi Khorsandi, science broadcaster Adam Rutherford and evolutionary geneticist Mark Thomas. They look at the thorny issue of race, and whether there is a scientific definition for the concept of race. Do our genes reveal racial differences, and if so do they tell us anything about our evolutionary history? They also look at the results of their own personal DNA tests...so which panellist is a little bit neanderthal and which one has a genetic history firmly rooted in the North! Producer: Alexandra Feachem.

Artificial Intelligence  

Artificial Intelligence Brian Cox and Robin Ince return for a new series of their award winning science/comedy show. Tonight the infinite monkey's are joined on stage by comedian Jo Brand, neuroscientist Anil Seth, and robotics expert Alan Winfield to discuss Artificial Intelligence. How close are we to creating a truly intelligent machine, how do we define intelligence anyway, and what are the moral and ethical issues that the development of intelligent machines might bring? Producer: Alexandra Feachem.

The Infinite Monkey Cage Christmas Special  

The Science of Doctor Who Brian Cox and Robin Ince celebrate the festive season with a look at the science of Doctor Who. Swapping the infinite cage for the Tardis, they are joined on stage by comedian Ross Noble, Professor Fay Dowker, Oscar winning special FX director Paul Franklin, author and Doctor Who writer Simon Guerrier and the Very Reverend Victor Stock. They discuss the real science of time travel, the tardis and why wormholes are inaccurately named (according to Ross!).

Episode 2  

Brian Cox and Robin Ince explore the legacy of Einstein's great theory, and how a mathematical equation written 100 years ago seems to have predicted so accurately exactly how our universe works. From black holes to the expanding universe, every observation of the universe, so far, has been held up by the maths in Einstein's extraordinary work. So how was he able to predict the events and behaviour of our universe, long before the technology existed to prove he was right, and will there ever be another theory that will supersede it? Brian and Robin head up the iconic Lovell telescope at Jodrell Bank to explore Einstein's theory in action, and talk to scientists who are still probing the mysteries hidden within General Relativity.

Episode 1  

It's 100 years since the publication of Einstein's great theory, and arguably one of the greatest scientific theories of all time. To mark the occasion, Brian Cox takes Robin Ince on a guided tour of General Relativity. With the help of some of the world's leading cosmologists, and a comedian or two, they explore the notions of space time, falling elevators, trampolines and bowling balls, and what was wrong with Newton's apple. It's a whistle stop tour of all you'll ever need to know about gravity and how a mathematical equation written 100 years ago predicted everything from black holes to the Big Bang, to our expanding universe, long before there was any proof that these extraordinary phenomena existed.

Forensic Science  

A Forensic look at Forensics No dead strawberries this week, but plenty of dead bodies, as Brian Cox and Robin Ince take a gruesome look at the science of death and some of the more unusual ways that forensic scientists are able to look for and gather clues and evidence. From insects that can be used to give a precise time of death, to the unusual field of forensic botany, It's not just DNA evidence that can be used to pinpoint someone to the scene of a crime. They are joined on stage by Professor Sue Black from the University of Dundee, Dr Mark Spencer, a forensic botanist at the Natural History Museum and comedian Rufus Hound.

Speed  

The Need for Speed The Monkey Cage returns from its tour of the USA, as Brian Cox and Robin Ince take to the stage of the BBC Radio Theatre to look at the science of speed. They are joined by comedian and former motoring correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, Alexei Sayle, Land Speed Record Holder Andy Green and Professor Danielle George from the University of Manchester. They'll be looking at the engineering challenges of creating the fastest vehicle on the planet, and whether the limits to human speed are engineering or the laws of physics themselves.

The Infinite Monkey Cage USA Tour: San Francisco  

Brian Cox and Robin Ince take to the stage in San Francisco for the last of their USA specials. They talk alien visitations, UFOs and other close encounters with astronomer Dr Seth Shostack, NASA scientist Dr Carolyn Porco, and comedians Greg Proops and Paul Provenza. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.

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