The Life Scientific

The Life Scientific is a BBC Radio 4 science programme, presented by Professor Jim Al-Khalili, in which each episode is dedicated to the biography and work of one living scientist.[1][2][3][4] The programme consists of an interview between Jim al-Khalili and the featured scientist. A variety of third parties contribute anecdotes about each programme's subject.[4]

The Life Scientific
Running time30 minutes
Home stationBBC Radio 4
Hosted byJim Al-Khalili
Original release11 October 2011 (2011-10-11) – present
No. of episodes137
Websitebbc.co.uk/programmes/b015sqc7
Podcastbbc.co.uk/programmes/b015sqc7/episodes/downloads

The programme is broadcast on Tuesday mornings in the United Kingdom,[4] and is available online via iPlayer, as is an archive of past issues.[5]

The programme's BBC Programme Identifier (PID; a unique identifier) is b015sqc7.[1]

GuestsEdit

Guests have included:[6]

Name Date Topic Programme page
Paul Nurse 11 October 2011 Biology, winning the Nobel Prize and being President of the Royal Society [7]
Steven Pinker 18 October 2011 Science writing and cognitive psychology [8]
Jocelyn Bell Burnell 25 October 2011 Astronomy [9]
Michael Marmot 1 November 2011 How stress kills [10]
Colin Blakemore 8 November 2011 Neuroscience [11]
Molly Stevens 15 November 2011 Growing human bones in a test tube [12]
Nicky Clayton 22 November 2011 The intelligence of birds [13]
John Sulston 29 November 2011 Biology [14]
Uta Frith 6 December 2011 Changing how we view brain disorders [15]
Tim Hunt 13 December 2011 Molecular biology and winning the Nobel Prize [16]
Robert Winston 20 December 2011 IVF, the House of Lords and scientists' ethical responsiility [17]
Colin Pillinger 27 December 2011 Life on Mars [18]
Robin Murray 7 February 2012 The cause of schizophrenia [19]
Chris Stringer 14 February 2012 Paleoanthropology and who our ancestors were [20]
Tony Ryan 21 February 2012 The future of nanotechnology [21]
Iain Chalmers 28 February 2012 Health services


Martin Rees 6 March 2012 The multiverse


John Lawton 13 March 2012 Ecology
Tejinder Virdee 20 March 2012 The search for the Higgs boson
Angela Gallop 27 March 2012 Forensic science
James Lovelock 8 May 2012 The Gaia hypothesis, microwave ovens [1]
Frances Ashcroft 15 May 2012 The link between blood sugar and insulin
Lloyd Peck 22 May 2012 Giant sea spiders
Barbara Sahakian 29 May 2012 Alzheimer's Disease
Bob May 5 June 2012 Public trust


John Pickett 12 June 2012 GM wheat
Steve Jones 7 August 2012 Snail studies
Pat Wolseley 14 August 2012 Her obsession with lichen
Martin Siegert 21 August 2012 Under the Antarctic ice
Ann Dowling 28 August 2012 Silent aircraft



Richard Dawkins 4 September 2012 Being a biologist and author
Andrea Sella 11 September 2012 Why my chemistry demonstrations are filling theatres
David Nutt 18 September 2012 Research into drugs and the brain
Sunetra Gupta 25 September 2012 Being a scientist and novelist
Mark Walport 2 October 2012 Being Government Chief Scientific Advisor
Hugh Montgomery 9 October 2012 The gene for fitness
Monica Grady 16 October 2012 Life on Mars
Jared Diamond 4 December 2012 Gall bladders, global history and the birds of Papua New Guinea


John Gurdon 18 December 2012 Cloning a frog decades before Dolly the Sheep
Amoret Whitaker 8 January 2013 Insects and their role in helping solve crimes [2]
Robert Mair 15 January 2013 Tunnelling under Big Ben, Crossrail and engineering for the future [3]
Annette Karmiloff-Smith 22 January 2013 Should babies under two watch TV? [4]
Noel Sharkey 29 January 2013 Robotics and psychology [5]
Valerie Beral 5 February 2013 Breast cancer [6]
Alan Watson 19 February 2013 His quest to discover the source of cosmic rays [7]
Sue Ion 26 February 2013 Working in the nuclear industry [8]
Nancy Rothwell 7 May 2013 Neuroscience [9]
Sanjeev Gupta 14 May 2013 What links the English Channel to valleys on Mars? [10]
John Krebs 21 May 2013 Birds, foot and mouth disease and badgers [11]
Linda Partridge 28 May 2013 The science of longevity [12]
Athene Donald 4 June 2013 The physics behind everyday stuff [13]
Ewan Birney 11 June 2013 Deciphering the human genome and junk DNA [14]
David Spiegelhalter 18 June 2013 Risk and uncertainty [15]
Elizabeth Stokoe 25 June 2013 Studying real-life conversations [16]
Russell Foster 20 August 2013 Circadian rhythms and jet lag [17]
Joanna Haigh 27 August 2013 Climate [18]
Mark Lythgoe 3 September 2013 Medical imaging and mountain climbing [19]
Mike Benton 10 September 2013 Digging up dinosaurs in remote places [20]
Ian Stewart 17 September 2013 Sci-fi and popularising maths [21]
Sophie Scott 24 September 2013 The science of laughter [22]
Jenny Graves 1 October 2013 Kangaroos and the death of the Y chromosome [23]
Wendy Hall 8 October 2013 The development of the web [24]
Peter Higgs 18 February 2014 The real story of the Higgs boson [25]
Sue Black 25 February 2014 Identifying human bodies [26]
Vikram Patel 4 March 2014 Global mental health [27]
Mark Miodownik 11 March 2014 Nuclear weapons, 3D printers and smart materials [28]
Anne Glover 18 March 2014 Glow-in-the-dark bacteria and advising ministers [29]
Alf Adams 25 March 2014 His small idea that changed the world (the strained-layer quantum-well laser) [30]
Veronica van Heyningen 1 April 2014 The gene that builds the eye [31]
Julia Slingo 8 April 2014 Being chief scientist at the Met Office [32]
Michael Rutter 3 June 2014 Child psychiatry [33]
Janet Hemingway 10 June 2014 Malaria and the coming of insecticide resistance [34]
Chris Lintott 17 June 2014 Crowd sourced astronomy and Galaxy Zoo [35]
Sandy Knapp 24 June 2014 Her adventures collecting plants in South America [36]
Chris Llewellyn Smith 1 July 2014 Nuclear fusion [37]
Zoe Shipton 8 July 2014 Fracking [38]
Jeremy Farrar 15 July 2014 Fighting viruses [39]
Carol Robinson 22 July 2014 Chemistry [40]
Brian Cox 23 September 2014 Quantum mechanics [41]
Jackie Akhavan 30 September 2014 Explosives [42]
Elspeth Garman 7 October 2014 Crystallography [43]
Chris Toumazou 14 October 2014 Inventing medical devices [44]
Margaret Boden 21 October 2014 Artificial intelligence [45]
Richard Fortey 28 October 2014 Fossils [46]
Sally Davies 4 November 2014 Public health [47]
Dave Goulson 11 November 2014 Bees [48]
John O'Keefe 10 March 2015 Memory [49]
Matt Taylor 17 March 2015 The Rosetta space mission [50]
Sarah-Jayne Blakemore 24 March 2015 Teenage brains [51]
Jane Francis 31 March 2015 Antarctica [52]
Stephanie Shirley 7 April 2015 Computer coding [53]
Nigel Shadbolt 14 April 2015 The World Wide Web [54]
Susan Jebb 21 April 2015 Nutrition [55]
Anil Seth 16 June 2015 Consciousness [56]
Kate Jones 23 June 2015 Bats and biodiversity [57]
Henry Marsh 30 June 2015 Brain surgery [58]
Dorothy Bishop 7 July 2015 Language disorders [59]
Carlos Frenk 14 July 2015 Dark matter [60]
Niamh Nic Daéid 21 July 2015 Forensic science [61]
E. O. Wilson 28 July 2015 Ants and evolution [62]
Geoff Palmer 4 August 2015 Brewing [63]
Carol Black 6 October 2015 Public health [64]
Danielle George 13 October 2015 Electronics [65]
Robert Plomin 20 October 2015 The genetics of intelligence [66]
Patrick Vallance 3 November 2015 Pharmaceuticals [67]
Kathy Willis 10 November 2015 Botany [68]
Paul Younger 17 November 2015 Energy for the future [69]
Peter Piot 9 February 2016 Tackling ebola and HIV [70]
Naomi Climer 16 February 2016 Engineering [71]
Nick Lane 23 February 2016 The origin of life on earth [72]
George Davey Smith 1 March 2016 Health inequalities [73]
Venki Ramakrishnan 8 March 2016 Ribosomes [74]
Helen Sharman 15 March 2016 Being an astronaut [75]
Carolyn Roberts 22 March 2016 Flood control [76]
Lawrence Krauss 31 May 2016 Dark energy [77]
Marcus du Sautoy 7 June 2016 Mathematics [78]
Sheila Rowan 14 June 2016 Gravitational waves [79]
Nick Davies 21 June 2016 Cuckoos [80]
Hazel Rymer 28 June 2016 Volcanoes [81]
Faraneh Vargha-Khadem 5 July 2016 Memory [82]
Georgina Mace 12 July 2016 Threatened species [83]
Trevor Cox 19 July 2016 Sound [84]
Ian Wilmut 4 October 2016 Dolly the Sheep [85]
Frans de Waal 11 October 2016 Chimpanzees [86]
Lynne Boddy 15 November 2016 Fungi [87]


Roger Penrose 22 November 2016 Black holes, quantum mechanics, consciousness [88]
Julia Higgins 29 November 2016 Polymers [89]
Richard Morris 6 December 2016 How we know where we are [90]
Neil deGrasse Tyson 20 December 2016 Pluto [91]
Michele Dougherty 10 January 2017 Saturn [92]
Jan Zalasiewicz 17 January 2017 The Age of Man [93]
Sadaf Farooqi 24 January 2017 What makes us fat [94]
Alison Smith 31 January 2017 Algae [95]
Sean Carroll 7 February 2017 How time and space began [96]
Simon Wessely 14 February 2017 Unexplained medical syndromes [97]
Alan Winfield 21 February 2017 Robot ethics [98]
Alison Woollard 28 February 2017 What she has learnt from mutant worms [99]
Daniel Dennett 4 April 2017 The evolution of the human brain [100]
Nick Fraser 11 April 2017 Triassic reptiles [101]
Liz Sockett 18 April 2017 Friendly killer bacteria [102]
Graham MacGregor 25 April 2017 Tackling the demons in our diet [103]
Ann Clarke 2 May 2017 The Frozen Ark [104]
Fay Dowker 9 May 2017 A new theory of space-time [105]
Ottoline Leyser 16 May 2017 How plants decide what to do [106]
Tim O'Brien 23 May 2017 Transient stars and science and music festivals [107]
Tamsin Mather 30 May 2017 Volcanology [108]
Jennifer Doudna 19 September 2017 Gene editing [109]
Tracey Rogers 26 September 2017 Leopard seals and Antarctica [110]
Lucie Green 3 October 2017 The Sun [111]
Steve Cowley 10 October 2017 Nuclear Fusion [112]
Tim Birkhead 17 October 2017 Bird promiscuity [113]
Ellen Stofan 24 October 2017 Being NASA Chief Scientist [114]
Adrian Thomas 31 October 2017 The mechanics of flight
Eben Upton 16 January 2018 Raspberry Pi
Eugenia Cheng 23 January 2018 The mathematics of mathematics
Wendy Barclay 30 January 2018 The flu virus [22]
Richard Henderson 13 February 2018 The molecules of life
John Burn 20 February 2018 The genetics of cancer
Ailie MacAdam 27 February 2018 The biggest construction project in Europe
Clare Grey 6 March 2018 Big battery challenge
Steve Reicher 13 March 2018 Psychology of crowds
Callum Roberts 1 May 2018 Marine conservation
Carlo Rovelli 8 May 2018 Why time is not what it seems
Caroline Dean 15 May 2018 Genetic secrets of flowering
John Taylor 29 May 2018 Being an inventor
Adrian Thomas 5 June 2018 The mechanics of flight [23]
Frank Close 12 June 2018 Particle physics
Rachel Mills 19 June 2018 Exploring the sea floor
Jacqueline McGlade 23 October 2018 Monitoring the environment from space
Noel Fitzpatrick 30 October 2018 Becoming a supervet
Suzanne O'Sullivan 6 November 2018 Detective of the mind
Mike Stratton 13 November 2018 Cancer genes
Caroline Hargrove 20 November 2018 Formula One
Alastair Hay 27 November 2018 Banning chemical weapons
Maggie Aderin-Pocock 4 December 2018 Sky at Night presenter
Clive Oppenheimer 11 December 2018 Volcanic offerings of our angry earth
Jim Al-Khalili 5 February 2019 HIS life scientific
Interviewed by Adam Rutherford
[24]
Sue Black 12 February 2019 Women in Technology [25]
Gregory Winter 19 February 2019 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry [26]
Gwen Adshead 26 February 2019 The minds of violent offenders [27]
Donna Strickland 5 March 2019 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics [28]
Ken Gabriel 12 March 2019 Why your Smartphone is Smart [29]
Corinne Le Quéré 19 March 2019 Global carbon cycle [30]
Paul Davies 26 March 2019 Origin of life and the evolution of cancer [31]
Irene Tracey 2 April 2019 Pain in the brain [32]
Richard Peto 9 April 2019 Why smoking kills but quitting saves lives [33]
Erica McAlister 16 April 2019 The beauty of flies [34]
Richard Thompson 25 June 2019 Plastic pollution [35]
Ewine van Dishoeck 2 July 2019 Cosmic chemistry [36]
Turi King 9 July 2019 Ancient DNA [37]
Katherine Joy 16 July 2019 Lunar rock [38]
Robin Dunbar 23 July 2019 Why we have friends [39]
Jonathan Ball 30 July 2019 Arms race against viruses [40]
Richard Wiseman 1 October 2019 Lying, luck and the paranormal [41]
Anne Magurran 8 October 2019 How to measure biodiversity [42]
Martha Clokie 15 October 2019 The viruses that could improve our health [43]
Adrian Owen 22 October 2019 Scanning for awareness in the injured brain [44]
Saiful Islam 29 October 2019 Materials to power the 21st century [45]
Demis Hassabis 5 November 2019 Artificial intelligence [46]
Elizabeth Fisher 12 November 2019 Chromosomes in mice and men [47]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "The Life Scientific". BBC Online. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  2. ^ "Lord John Krebs on The Life Scientific, Radio 4". Future of Food. 2013-05-22. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  3. ^ Jones, Michael (2013-08-30). "Imperial in the news: The Life Scientific". Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Mahoney, Elisabeth (2011-10-11). "Radio head: The Life Scientific and One to One". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  5. ^ "The Life Scientific - Episode guide". BBC Online. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  6. ^ "Podcasts - The Life Scientific". BBC. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
  7. ^ "Paul Nurse, The Life Scientific - BBC Radio 4". BBC.
  8. ^ "Steven Pinker, The Life Scientific - BBC Radio 4". BBC.
  9. ^ "Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, The Life Scientific - BBC Radio 4". BBC.
  10. ^ "Sir Michael Marmot, The Life Scientific - BBC Radio 4". BBC.
  11. ^ "Colin Blakemore, The Life Scientific - BBC Radio 4". BBC.
  12. ^ "Molly Stevens, The Life Scientific - BBC Radio 4". BBC.
  13. ^ "Nicky Clayton, The Life Scientific - BBC Radio 4". BBC.
  14. ^ "John Sulston, The Life Scientific - BBC Radio 4". BBC.
  15. ^ "Uta Frith, The Life Scientific - BBC Radio 4". BBC.
  16. ^ "Tim Hunt, The Life Scientific - BBC Radio 4". BBC.
  17. ^ "Lord Robert Winston, The Life Scientific - BBC Radio 4". BBC.
  18. ^ "Colin Pillinger, The Life Scientific - BBC Radio 4". BBC.
  19. ^ "Robin Murray, The Life Scientific - BBC Radio 4". BBC.
  20. ^ "Chris Stringer, The Life Scientific - BBC Radio 4". BBC.
  21. ^ "Tony Ryan, The Life Scientific - BBC Radio 4". BBC.
  22. ^ "Wendy Barclay and the flu virus, The Life Scientific - BBC Radio 4". BBC.
  23. ^ "Adrian Thomas on the mechanics of flight, The Life Scientific - BBC Radio 4". BBC.
  24. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Jim Al-Khalili on HIS life scientific". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  25. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Sue Black on women in tech". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  26. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, 2018 Chemistry Nobel Prize winner, Sir Gregory Winter". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  27. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Gwen Adshead on treating the minds of violent offenders". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  28. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, 2018 Nobel Prize winner, Donna Strickland, on laser physics". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  29. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Ken Gabriel, Why your Smartphone is Smart". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  30. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Corinne Le Quéré on the global carbon cycle". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  31. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Paul Davies on the origin of life and the evolution of cancer". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  32. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Paul Davies on the origin of life and the evolution of cancer". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  33. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Richard Peto on why smoking kills but quitting saves lives". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  34. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Erica McAlister on the beauty of flies". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  35. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Plastic pollution with Richard Thompson". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  36. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Ewine van Dishoeck on cosmic chemistry". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  37. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, DNA detective Turi King". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  38. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Katherine Joy on moon rock". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  39. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Robin Dunbar on why we have friends". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  40. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Jonathan Ball on his arms race against viruses". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  41. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Richard Wiseman on lying, luck and the paranormal". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  42. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Anne Magurran on how to measure biodiversity". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  43. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Martha Clokie on the viruses that could improve our health". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  44. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Adrian Owen on scanning for awareness in the injured brain". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  45. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Saiful Islam on materials to power the 21st century". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  46. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Demis Hassabis on artificial intelligence". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  47. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Elizabeth Fisher on chromosomes in mice and men". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-13.