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Science

The Infinite Monkey Cage

Updated 4 days ago

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

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

iTunes Ratings

1047 Ratings
Average Ratings
925
76
24
8
14

So good

By timmy j 87 - Oct 16 2019
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Great experts, great comedians, priceless comedy, thought provoking reflections.

Absolutely the top score, using the Kelvin scale

By Jeff W in Texas - Sep 22 2018
Read more
Love the physics and your staff’s chemistry.

iTunes Ratings

1047 Ratings
Average Ratings
925
76
24
8
14

So good

By timmy j 87 - Oct 16 2019
Read more
Great experts, great comedians, priceless comedy, thought provoking reflections.

Absolutely the top score, using the Kelvin scale

By Jeff W in Texas - Sep 22 2018
Read more
Love the physics and your staff’s chemistry.

Listen to:

Cover image of The Infinite Monkey Cage

The Infinite Monkey Cage

Updated 4 days ago

Read more

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

Quantum Physics

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Physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince take a witty, irreverent and unashamedly rational look at the world according to science.

Physicist turned comedian Ben Miller joins Brian and Robin to discuss quantum physics, and if astrology really shares its roots with more scientific pursuits. They also discuss the largest scientific experiment ever undertaken, currently storming ahead in a large underground tunnel just outside Geneva.

Dec 14 2009

25mins

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The Mind v the Brain

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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.

Aug 07 2017

50mins

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Philosophy

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Physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince are joined by special guests Alexei Sayle and philosopher Julian Baggini to discuss Stephen Hawking's recent comment that "philosophy is dead". Does the progress of science mean the need for disciplines such as philosophy and even religion are negated as we understand more and more about how the world works. Or are there some things, such as human consciousness, that science will never be able to fully explain.

Producer: Alexandra Feachem.

Dec 06 2010

30mins

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Parallel Universes

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Brian Cox and Robin Ince stretch the cage of infinite proportions this week to encompass not just our own universe, but any others that might be lurking out there as well. They'll be joined by QI creator John Lloyd, the Astronomer Royal, Professor Sir Martin Rees, and solar scientist Dr Lucie Green to talk about one of the most tantalising ideas of cosmology, that of parallel universes. Are we inhabiting a universe that is just one of a possibly infinite number of others and how would we ever know? Is this an idea that is destined to remain one of the great scientific thought experiments, and a staple of science fiction, or will science ever progress enough to truly put the idea of multiverses to the test.

Producer: Alexandra Feachem.

Jul 16 2012

28mins

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Are We Living in a Simulation?

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Are we living in a simulation?

Elon Musk thinks we definitely could be, and it seems he is not alone. The idea that we might simply be products of an advanced post-human civilisation, that are simply running a simulation of our universe and everything it contains, has taken hold over the last few years. Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by comedian Phill Jupitus, Philosopher Professor Nick Bostrom and Neuroscientist Professor Anil Seth to ask what the chances are that are living in some Matrix like, simulated world and more importantly, how would we ever know?

Producer: Alexandra Feachem.

Jul 31 2017

38mins

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How We Measure the Universe

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How to Measure the Universe

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by comedian Jo Brand, and physicists Prof Jo Dunkley and Dr Adam Masters to look at how we go about measuring our universe, from measuring the contents of atmospheres of planets and moons at the outer edges of our solar system to looking far back in time to study the very earliest beginnings of the cosmos. Our ability to learn about phenomena and worlds that seem almost impossibly out of reach, now give us an incredible insight into the universe we occupy, and how we got here. Brian and Robin find out about some of the big new missions providing information into our own solar system and beyond, and find out what big questions in cosmology still remain a tantalising challenge?

Producer: Alexandra Feachem

Feb 11 2019

38mins

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Artificial Intelligence

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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.

Jan 12 2016

43mins

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Volcanoes

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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.

Feb 12 2018

42mins

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The Universe: What Remains to Be Discovered?

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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.

Aug 01 2016

46mins

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Before the Big Bang

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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.

Aug 04 2014

41mins

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Climate Change

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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?

Feb 15 2016

49mins

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Through the Doors of Perception

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This week, Brian Cox and Robin Ince attempt to walk through the doors of perception. On the way, they'll encounter the nature of consciousness, the secret messages hidden in pop songs, the problem of objectivity (it's subjective) and how time appears to warp. This week's guests are psychologist and presenter of Radio 4's All in the Mind, Claudia Hammond, Neuroscientist Beau Lotto and the writer Alan Moore. Producer: Rami Tzabar.

Nov 25 2013

41mins

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Are humans still evolving?

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Are humans still evolving?

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian and author David Baddiel, Professor of Evolutionary Genetics Aoife McLysaght, and geneticist and broadcaster Adam Rutherford to ask whether human beings are still evolving? Has the invention of modern medicine, and technology meant that survival of the fittest is a thing of the past or are humans evolving new adaptations that will help us cope and survive better in our ever changing world (better thumbs for texting anyone?). If evolution happens over 1000's of years, could we even tell if we were evolving as a species, or have humans reached peak human?

Producer: Alexandra Feachem

Jan 28 2019

47mins

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What Is Reality?

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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.

Feb 01 2016

41mins

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The Human Story: How We Got Here and Why We Survived.

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The Human Story: how we got here and why we survived.
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Ross Noble, Professor Danielle Schreve and Professor Chris Stringer as they look at the tricky job of piecing together the history of modern humans and how we came to be here. They look back to the earliest known human ancestors and the fossils and tools that have allowed us to paint the picture of our journey out of Africa, to become the last surviving human species on the planet. They ask why we have gone from more than 5 or 6 species of humans some 200,000 years ago, to just 1 today. They also look at how discoveries made in just the last 5 years have completely transformed our understanding of human history and what new DNA technology has revealed about our ancient past. They also reveal what surprising tropical animal remains have been found buried deep under Trafalgar Square.

Producer: Alexandra Feachem.

Feb 06 2017

40mins

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When Quantum Goes Woo

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When Quantum Goes Woo

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by Bad Science author, Ben Goldacre, Professor of Particle Physics at Manchester University, Jeff Forshaw, and comedian Sara Pascoe. They'll be looking at why quantum physics, in particular, seems to attract some of the more fringe elements of pseudoscience and alternative medicine, and whether there is anything about the frankly weird quantum behaviour of particles, like the ability to seemingly be in two places at once, that really can be applied to the human condition. When spiritual healers and gurus talk about our own quantum energy and the power of quantum healing, is it simply a metaphor, or is there more to this esoteric branch of science that we could all learn from?

Feb 09 2015

44mins

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What Is Death?

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"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.

Jun 24 2013

28mins

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Solar System

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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.

Feb 02 2015

54mins

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Science and Religion

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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 Victor Stock, Dean of Guildford Cathedral, and science journalist Adam Rutherford for a special Christmas edition of the programme. Adam explains why religion really could be good for your health, and can Victor convert Robin and Brian in time for the festive season?

Dec 21 2009

25mins

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GCHQ

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The Code Breakers

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Katy Brand, as they transport the cage of infinite proportions to the home of modern day cryptography and codebreaking., GCHQ. They'll be discovering how far we've come from the days of the humble code book and the birth of machines like Enigma. and how the new digital era has turned us all into modern day code breakers and cryptographers, without us even realising it.

Producer: Alexandra Feachem.

Aug 13 2018

38mins

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Brits in Space

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Brits in Space!

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by astronaut and author of "The Astronaut Selection Test Book", Tim Peake, first British astronaut Helen Sharman and comedian Mark Steel for a Brits in Space Special. Tim and Helen talk about their different experiences of training to be an astronaut and the challenges of life in space. They also look to the future as the panel talk about the various options being considered for long term space flight with planned future missions to the Moon and ultimately Mars.

Oct 14 2019

59mins

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Anniversary of the Periodic Table

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The Periodic Table

How well do you know your Fe from your Cu, and what the heck is Np?? Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Katy Brand, Prof Polly Arnold and Prof Andrea Sella to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Dmitri Mendeleev's great achievement. They find out how scientists first realised that the elements that form the ingredients that make up our planet , are able to be organised in such a logical and ordered way, and whether its still a useful tool today. They also discover why one of the guests has been called the Free Solo equivalent of chemists because of the skill and danger involved in their work.

Producer: Alexandra Feachem

Oct 07 2019

37mins

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Science of Dreaming

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Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Bridget Christie, neuroscientist Professor Penny Lewis and psychologist Richard Wiseman to explore the science of dreaming. Our dreams have fascinated humans for millennia and then Freud came along and told us they really did mean something, and mostly they were about sex and anger. Was he right? Why do we dream and can we find meaning in the content of our dreams? Can our dreams help us solve problems, give us new ideas, help us write a symphony, even if they can't predict the future? The panel also discuss what is going on in the brain whilst we sleep, and how memories are formed and consolidated while we snooze. It turns out the phrase "better to sleep on it" has a strong scientific argument.

Producer: Alexandra Feachem

Sep 30 2019

44mins

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Clever Creatures

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Those Clever Creatures

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by comedian and author Danny Wallace, ornithologist Professor Tim Birkhead and marine biologist Helen Scales to look at animal intelligence. We have all heard about clever chimps that can count, and about how we can compare the intelligence of humans and the great apes - but have we underestimated many of the other animal species? It would seem so, with remarkable examples of cunning, smart behaviour from animals as diverse as birds, octopuses and even fish. So how do you test a guppies IQ and can a crow really outsmart a gorilla, or even a human...prepare to be amazed.

Producer Alexandra Feachem

Sep 23 2019

41mins

Play

Dinosaurs

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Brian Cox and Robin Ince return for a new series of their multi-award winning science/comedy show. They kick off with arguably any child's first interest in science - dinosaurs! They are joined by comedian Rufus Hound and palaeontologists Susannah Maidment from the Natural History Museum and Steve Brusatte from the University of Edinburgh to find out what the latest research and exciting fossil finds have revealed about these epic creatures. Are we in a new age of dinosaur discovery? What are the big questions that dinosaur hunters are hoping to uncover, and did they go extinct at all?

Producer: Alexandra Feachem

Sep 16 2019

46mins

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Astronaut Special (Repeat)

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In this episode from 2017, Brian Cox and Robin Ince transport the cage to the Starmus Festival in Trondheim, Norway, for an extraordinary gathering of astronauts. They are joined on stage by NASA astronauts Sandra Magnus and Terry Virts, ESA astronaut Claude Nicollier, and Apollo 16's Charlie Duke, one of the last people to have walked on the moon. They talk about their personal journeys to fulfill their long-held dreams, and literally reach for the stars. They hear from Charlie Duke about the extraordinary Apollo missions he was part of, including his role as Capsule Communicator for the very first moon landing, before taking his own first steps on the lunar surface as part of Apollo 16. They explore the different experience of astronauts from Charlie's era, and those who now become residents of space, spending months and months aboard the International Space Station, and the challenges each mission brings. And Claude Nicollier describes his epic spacewalk to repair the Hubble Telescope.

Producer: Alexandra Feachem.

Jul 25 2019

29mins

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The Infinite Moonkey Cage

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A special hour long episode of the hugely popular science/comedy show, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo moon landings. Recorded at Cocoa Beach, Florida just down the road from Cape Canaveral, Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by some of the key players involved in landing the first people on the moon, on this day, 1969. Apollo 9 Astronaut Rusty Schweickart, Apollo flight director Gerry Griffin and Apollo children Jan and Andy Aldrin give their perspectives on arguably one of the greatest scientific and engineering achievements of all time. Keep listening for a very special guest appearance by Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes.

Presenters: Brian Cox and Robin Ince
Producer Alexandra Feachem

Jul 20 2019

58mins

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Introducing The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry

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Hannah Fry and Adam Rutherford present highlights from their podcast which investigates questions sent in by listeners using the power of science.

Apr 18 2019

5mins

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How We Measure the Universe

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How to Measure the Universe

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by comedian Jo Brand, and physicists Prof Jo Dunkley and Dr Adam Masters to look at how we go about measuring our universe, from measuring the contents of atmospheres of planets and moons at the outer edges of our solar system to looking far back in time to study the very earliest beginnings of the cosmos. Our ability to learn about phenomena and worlds that seem almost impossibly out of reach, now give us an incredible insight into the universe we occupy, and how we got here. Brian and Robin find out about some of the big new missions providing information into our own solar system and beyond, and find out what big questions in cosmology still remain a tantalising challenge?

Producer: Alexandra Feachem

Feb 11 2019

38mins

Play

How to Build a Bionic Human

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How to Build a Bionic Human.

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by "supervet" Noel Fitzpatrick, Dr Kevin Fong and comedian Lucy Beaumont to learn how to build a bionic human. They'll be looking at the development of artificial limbs and organs that have been pioneered during times of war and at the extreme end of emergency medicine, and find out how Noel Fitzpatrick is developing new techniques and bionic devices at his veterinary practice, that could eventually be used on humans.

Feb 04 2019

42mins

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Are humans still evolving?

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Are humans still evolving?

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian and author David Baddiel, Professor of Evolutionary Genetics Aoife McLysaght, and geneticist and broadcaster Adam Rutherford to ask whether human beings are still evolving? Has the invention of modern medicine, and technology meant that survival of the fittest is a thing of the past or are humans evolving new adaptations that will help us cope and survive better in our ever changing world (better thumbs for texting anyone?). If evolution happens over 1000's of years, could we even tell if we were evolving as a species, or have humans reached peak human?

Producer: Alexandra Feachem

Jan 28 2019

47mins

Play

Origin of Numbers

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The origin of numbers and can fish count?

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by mathematician Dr Hannah Fry, comedian Matt Parker and neuroscientist Prof Brian Butterworth to ask where numbers come from and can fish count? They'll be looking at the origin of numbers and whether counting is a uniquely human trait that actually started before the evolution of language.

Jan 21 2019

35mins

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The Future of Humanity

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The Future of Humanity
Brian Cox and Robin Ince take on the entire future of our civilisation, as they are joined by Astronomer Royal and former head of the Royal Society Lord Rees, Baroness Cathy Ashton and comedian, actor and director Chris Addison. They'll be talking about the biggest challenges facing humanity at the moment, and whether science offers the solution to some of these great problems, from Climate Change to the rise of AI.

Jan 14 2019

35mins

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Microbes: Secret Rulers of the World?

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Microbes: Secret Rulers of the World?

Brian Cox and Robin Ince return for a new series of the hugely popular, award-winning science/comedy show. This week they are joined by comedian Ed Byrne, oceanographer Dr Jon Copley and planetary scientist Prof Monica Grady to ask whether the real master-race on planet Earth is not human but microbe. They'll be looking at how microbes are found in every extreme environment on the planet, how and when they first arrived on the Earth and why the hunt is on to find evidence of microbes in space.

Jan 07 2019

46mins

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GCHQ

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The Code Breakers

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Katy Brand, as they transport the cage of infinite proportions to the home of modern day cryptography and codebreaking., GCHQ. They'll be discovering how far we've come from the days of the humble code book and the birth of machines like Enigma. and how the new digital era has turned us all into modern day code breakers and cryptographers, without us even realising it.

Producer: Alexandra Feachem.

Aug 13 2018

38mins

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Special Bonus Edition

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Brian Cox and Robin Ince reminisce about their favourite moments from 100 episodes of The Infinite Monkey Cage.

Aug 09 2018

17mins

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The Human Voice

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The Human Voice

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian and beatboxer Beardyman, acoustic engineer Prof Trevor Cox and neuroscientist Prof Sophie Scott to explore the amazing capabilities of the human voice. They chat about chatting, vocalise about voices and explore the extraordinary and unique way the human voice works from opera singing to laughter, and discovery why our voice has been so key to our success and survival as a species.

Producer: Alexandra Feachem.

Aug 06 2018

38mins

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Immune System

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The Immune System

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Shappi Khorsandi, Prof Dan Davis and Prof Steve Jones to look at our amazingly complex and clever immune system. They look at how the human body fights disease, and why it has been so little understood until now. Fear not though, a new revolution in understanding is underway, with some extraordinary insights into the cunning of our little white cells. The panel look at how this new understanding is already leading to some real breakthroughs in treatment for diseases such as cancer, and Shappi reveals the crucial role she played in one such discovery.

Producer: Alexandra Feachem.

Jul 30 2018

40mins

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Invasion

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Invasion!

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Phill Jupitus, bat expert and ecologist Professor Kate Jones and forensic botanist Dr Mark Spencer to look at the problems caused by alien invasions, although not of the little green men kind. They look at why such innocent and innocuous sounding plants such as floating pennywort strike terror and fear in the heart of environmentalists up and down the country, and how clever microbes and diseases are able to jump from animals such as bats to humans causing devastating consequences.

Producer: Alexandra Feachem.

Jul 23 2018

41mins

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Big Data

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Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by Danny Wallace, mathematician Hannah Fry and science writer Timandra Harkness. They'll be going big on Big Data, and asking just how big is it? They'll be looking at where Big Data comes from, should we be worried about it, and what mysteries are hidden within the seemingly endless amounts of information that is collected about us as we go about our daily lives.

Jul 16 2018

44mins

Play