12: History of the World: Part 1Science(ish) add
How much does Geography inform History? Why did humanity first emerge where it did? What influence do ancient rock formations have on U.S politics? In the final episode of the season, Rick and Michael try to answer all this and more, diving into Mel Brooks’ History of the World: Part 1.
Featuring: Lewis Dartnell
11: DeadpoolScience(ish) add
Will we ever be able to regrow limbs? The more we learn about the incredible regenerative abilities of salamanders and planarian worms, the closer we come to coaxing our bodies into repairing any injury. Through Marvel’s Deadpool, Rick and Michael tackle the growing field of regenerative medicine.
Featuring: Prof Michael Levin
10: Inside OutScience(ish) add
Personality testing is a multi-billion dollar industry. But how reliable are assessments like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator? Can we really find out which Lord of the Rings character Michael is? Rounding off our animated classics trilogy of animated classics, the lads jump into Pixar’s Inside Out.
Featuring: Dr Merve Emre
9: AntzScience(ish) add
Does nature prefer hierarchy? When we look out into nature, we see hierarchical systems everywhere. Is it inevitable that humans follow suit? The lads dive into the 1998 animation Antz to find out why these systems evolved and more importantly, how wrong Jordan Peterson actually is.
Featuring: Prof Adam Hart
8: WALL-EScience(ish) add
Every year we produce over 2 billion tonnes of waste. That figure is only going up. Never before has the question been more pressing: what should we do with all our stuff? From atop a giant pile of broken printers, Rick and Michael discuss Pixar’s 2008 masterpiece WALL-E.
Featuring: Prof Margaret Bates
7: GeostormScience(ish) add
What if we could control the weather? Inspired by the futuristic disaster film Geostorm, the boys delve into the contentious field of geoengineering. Can or should we tinker with the Earth’s climate to mitigate the risks of runaway climate change? What if we have no other choice?
Featuring: Prof David Keith
6: IcarusScience(ish) add
When Bryan Fogel’s 2017 docu-thriller Icarus exposed Russia's Olympic doping programme, it sent shockwaves through the sports community. This week the boys explore the long and bizarre history of doping in sport and the perpetual arms race between the dopers looking for a little extra boost and the scientists trying to catch them.
Featuring: Professor Chris Cooper
5: Dante's PeakScience(ish) add
Without volcanoes there would be no life on Earth. But just how afraid of supervolcanoes - like the one in Yellowstone National Park - should we be? Inspired by 90s disaster movie Dante’s Peak, the boys explore just how bad it could get for humanity and, of course, for Pierce Brosnan.
Featuring: Dr Michael Poland
4: WestworldScience(ish) add
What better way to kick off Christmas than a deep dive into the ethics of sex robots? Exploring the science and pitfalls of dystopian drama Westworld, the boys sit down with renowned computer scientist Kate Devlin to discuss her new book ‘Turned On: Science, Sex and Robots.’
Featuring: Kate Devlin
3: BlindnessScience(ish) add
Could we be on the cusp of eradicating vision loss? Through the 2008 epidemic thriller ‘Blindness’, the boys explore the mind-boggling complexity of the eye and the conditions that led to its evolution in the animal kingdom. With tens of millions of people around the world affected by vision loss, a wave of promising new technologies has raised hopes of restoring sight to those left in the dark.
Featuring: Samantha De Silva
2: MoonrakerScience(ish) add
With the declaration of Trump’s ‘Space Force’, the domain of space is ever closer to becoming a new and potentially terrifying theatre of war. Through the Roger Moore classic Moonraker, the boys examine our reliance on vulnerable satellites and the ramifications of asteroid mining, whilst enjoying a martini or two.
Featuring: Joan Johnson-Freese
1: Fight ClubScience(ish) add
To kick off Series 4, Michael asked Rick to hit him as hard as he can… with knowledge! Through the Brad Pitt/Ed Norton classic Fight Club, the boys dive headfirst into the uncomfortable world of pain research. From the world’s most painful ailments, to the fascinating history of pain relief and the devastating impact of chronic conditions, we explore what makes pain so vital to the human journey.
Featuring: Professor Irene Tracey
33: Is LIGO right?Science(ish) add
The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics went to ‘a discovery that shook the world’, gravitational waves. These were detected by the LIGO experiment, a century after Einstein first predicted them. But behind the celebration, another story has been brewing which calls into question the science beneath the headlines. Might LIGO have got it wrong? Enter Science(ish)’s very own Dr Michael Brooks.
Featuring: Dr Andrew Jackson
32: First ManScience(ish) add
Just 66 years after the Wright brothers’ first flight, humans somehow managed to put a man on the moon. How did this happen? In this bonus episode, the boys mark the release of the film First Man by delving into the perilous science behind the original moon shot. From conspiracies to canine cosmonauts, Science(ish) brings it all down to Earth for you - and with unique insight from the behind the camera.
31: PiScience(ish) add
Do some numbers have special significance? Inspired by Darren Aronofsky’s film Pi, Rick and Michael explore the greatest numbers known to humankind. From the mercurial zero which medieval Italy declared “illegal”, to the golden ratio that can explain something as abstract as beauty, this episode charts why humans have fallen so deeply in love with mathematics.
Featuring: Prof Ian Stewart
30: Doctor StrangeScience(ish) add
Can meditation change your brain? Rick and Michael take a moment to reconnect with their breath and journey into the mystical science behind the film Doctor Strange. Exploring how monks use meditation to stave off hypothermia and send their gamma brain waves off the charts, this episode brings you the neuroscience behind the western world’s latest obsession: mindfulness.
Featuring: Dr Danny Penman
29: FrankensteinScience(ish) add
Could we create Frankenstein’s monster? The boys celebrate the 200th year anniversary of Mary Shelley’s genre-defining novel with a deep-dive into the underbelly of science: from grave-robbing and re-animating the dead, to the cutting edge of synthetic biology, this episode tackles the fundamental ethical conundrum at the heart of science fiction’s most famous book.
Featuring: Dr Kathryn Harkup
28: RoundersScience(ish) add
Can science beat the casino? Through the Matt Damon-Ed Norton classic Rounders, the boys explore how mathematicians have tried to conquer the world of gambling. From gaming the national lottery to blackjack and roulette, there’s more to probability theory than predicting the weather - in this episode it’s all about the cold hard cash.
Featuring: Prof Adam Kucharski
27: Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyScience(ish) add
What if our universe is just a giant computer? In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy the Earth is just a computer calculating the meaning of life, and in this episode the boys tackle one of the boldest claims of modern science: that everything we think, feel, and touch is simply the product of some fundamental computer code running in the background. Buckle your ears in, it’s time to peek behind the curtain.
Featuring: Prof Juergen Schmidhuber