The Infinite Monkey Cage Podcast

Christmas Special: The Science of Magic (The Infinite Monkey Cage)

The Infinite Monkey Cage Christmas Special: The Science of Magic The Infinite Monkeys bring their own brand of yule friendly science and comedy to the BBC Radio 4 Christmas schedule, and this year add an extra sprinkling of festive magic. Brian Cox and Robin Ince will be joined on stage by some very special guests to look at the science behind some of our best loved magic tricks and illusions. Actor, writer and illusionist Andy Nyman,actor and comedian Diane Morgan, Professor of Psychology and magician Richard Wiseman, and theologian and broadcaster Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou will all be demonstrating how basic human psychology and evolution allow us to see and believe the seemingly impossible. They'll be exploring how some basic psychology can lead to some truly impressive deceptions, and ask how easy it is to trick the human mind, even a mind like Brian's. Prepare to be amazed. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.

Volcanoes (The Infinite Monkey Cage)

Volcano! Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Jo Brand and Volcano experts Professor Tamsin Mather and Professor Clive Oppenheimer. They look at the very latest technology that is used to predict the next big volcanic eruption, as well as the history and importance of volcanoes and volcanic activity on our planet. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.

The Mind v the Brain (The Infinite Monkey Cage)

The Mind V The Brain. It's one of the hardest problems in neuroscience. How do the chemical processes and electric signals produced by our brains result in the complex and varied experiences and sense of self that we might describe as our mind? Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by comedian Katy Brand, and neuroscientists Professor Uta Frith and Professor Sophie Scott to ask whether the mind is simply a product of the biology of our brain, or is there more to it than that? Can you have a brain without a mind, and is the mind simply an unexpected consequence, an emergent property, of our highly evolved and sophisticated brain. They'll also be tackling the question of free will, and whether we really have any, and if you could in theory simulate a fully working brain, with all its signals and complexity, would a mind naturally emerge? Producer: Alexandra Feachem.

antibiotics (The Infinite Monkey Cage)

Antibiotics Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Chris Addison, Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, and Professor Martha Clokie to look at the history and future for antibiotics. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.

How Animals Behave (The Infinite Monkey Cage)

How Animals Behave Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Rufus Hound, Zoologist and broadcaster Lucy Cooke and Professor Rory Wilson to discover how we learn about what animals are up to when we are not looking, and some of the hilarious mistakes we've made in the process of discovery. They'll be hearing about why the sex life of eels has remained so enigmatic, how the mystery of the wandering albatross has been solved, and why making underwear for frogs finally solved the riddle of how babies are made.

Before the Big Bang (The Infinite Monkey Cage)

Brian Cox and Robin Ince transport the cage of infinite proportions, for the first of 2 programmes from the Edinburgh Festival. They are joined on stage by cosmologists Carlos Frenk and Faye Dowker and actor and comedian Ben Miller and comedian and fellow physics PhD alumnus Richard Vranch.

Modern World (The Infinite Monkey Cage)

Brian Cox, Robin Ince and Paul Foot ask if the modern world is a force for good or evil.

Glastonbury (The Infinite Monkey Cage)

Brian Cox and Robin Ince transport their cage of infinite proportions to the Glastonbury Festival as they take to the stage with their special brand of science and comedy. They are joined by singer KT Tunstall and physicists Fay Dowker and Jeff Forshaw to discuss all things Quantum, in the most unlikely of places!

Teenage Brain (The Infinite Monkey Cage)

The Teenage Brain Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by impressionist Rory Bremner, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL Sarah-Jayne Blakemore and Professor of Zoology at Manchester University Matthew Cobb to look at the working of the teenage brain, and why teenagers are so, well, teenagery. Stomping off to your bedroom, being embarrassed by your parents, wanting to fit in with your peers and a love of risky behaviour are all well known traits associated with our teenage years, exasperating parents through the ages. But new research into dynamic changes going on in the brain during these key years has revealed that it's not just hormones that are responsible for these behaviours. Could a better understanding of what is going on during these formative years not only help teenagers themselves, but inform our education system and even help prevent many of the mental health problems that often begin during adolescence?

To Infinity and Beyond (The Infinite Monkey Cage)

This week on the Infinite Monkey Cage, Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedy producer John Lloyd, mathematician Colva Roney Dougal and writer Simon Singh, to explore the universality of mathematics, the nature of infinity and the role of numbers in everyday life. Producer: Rami Tzabar.

Secret Science (The Infinite Monkey Cage)

Simon Singh and Dave Gorman join Brian and Robin to discuss Bletchley Park.

Risk (The Infinite Monkey Cage)

The Infinite Monkey Cage returns in the first of a new series and turns its gaze on the science of risk. Professor Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince bring their witty and irreverent take on the world to a programme all about the science of risk. Together with guests David Spiegelhalter, Sue Ion and former Goodie, Graeme Garden, the team explores such questions as: why is seven the safest age to be? Should badgers wear bicycle helmets? How safe is nuclear power and how worried should we be by the threat of asteroid impact? Producer: Rami Tzabar.

Brain Science (The Infinite Monkey Cage)

Jo Brand joins Brian Cox and Robin Ince for witty, irreverent science chat.

When Two Stars Collide (The Infinite Monkey Cage)

When Two Stars Collide Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by comedian Dara O'Briain, Professor Sheila Rowan of Glasgow University and Professor Nils Andersson of Southampton University to look at last summer's spectacular discovery of gravitational waves from two colliding neutron stars. The observation of this huge cosmic event not only confirmed one of Einstein's great predictions, some 100 years ago, but also revealed the source of gold in our universe. Brian, Robin and guests look at how this momentous discovery brought together nearly 1/3 of the world's astronomers and astrophysicists as they raced to point their telescopes at the collision, but also confirmed the presence of gravitational waves, first predicted in Einstein's theory of general relativity back in 1915. They also discover why the source of our heavier elements such as gold and platinum has been so difficult to prove, until now. Producer: Alexandra Feachem The Infinite Monkey Cage book How to Build A Universe (Part 1) is out now and available to buy from all the usual places.

What Is Death? (The Infinite Monkey Cage)

What Is Death? In the first of a new series of the award winning science/comedy series, Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by comedian Katy Brand, biochemist Nick Lane and forensic anthropologist Sue Black to discuss why death is such an inevitable feature of a living planet. As well as revisiting such weighty scientific issues, such as when can a strawberry, be truly declared to be dead, they'll also explore the scientific process of death, its evolutionary purpose and whether it is scientifically possibly to avoid it all together.

Fierce Creatures (The Infinite Monkey Cage)

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by naturalist Steve Backshall, zoologist Lucy Cooke and comedian Andy Hamilton as they battle it out to decide which creature wins the title of earth's most deadly. The panel reveal their own brave encounters with a host of venomous, toxic and just downright aggressive beasts, including the bullet ant, rated the most painful stinging insect on the planet, deadly tree frogs and snakes, sharks, scorpions and hippos. They ask whether our seemingly innate fear of snakes and spiders is justified, and whether the deadliest creature on the planet is in fact a human being.

Solar System (The Infinite Monkey Cage)

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Jo Brand, planetary scientist Professor Monica Grady and NASA scientist Dr Carolyn Porco as they discuss some of the most exciting and technically ambitious explorations of our solar system. They'll be looking at the Rosetta mission that has, for the first time, landed a probe on a comet, and the Cassini-Huygens mission which is bringing us extraordinary information about Saturn and its moons, and what these explorations of the far reaches of our solar system might tell us about our own planet.

Extraterrestrial Life (The Infinite Monkey Cage)

Series in which physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince take a witty, irreverent and unashamedly rational look at the world according to science. Robin and Brian are joined by alien abduction expert Jon Ronson and Seth Shostack from the SETI Institute in California to discuss science conspiracies, UFOs and the search for ET.

Space Exploration (The Infinite Monkey Cage)

Brian and Robin are joined by Patrick Stewart, Ben Miller and Monica Grady.

Space Tourism (The Infinite Monkey Cage)

Space Tourism Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by actor and space enthusiast Brian Blessed, Director of Virgin Galactic Stephen Attenborough and space medicine expert Dr Kevin Fong to talk about the possibilities of space exploration for mere mortals. Is travel beyond our own planet the reserve of highly trained astronauts and cosmonauts, or are we about to see a new era of space travel, where a round trip to the moon is not beyond the grasp of many ordinary members of the public, and is it a good idea?

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