The Nobel Laureate discusses the links between global population, consumption and the environment, and the implications for sustainable development. How can we all live and flourish on a finite Earth?
Funds are pouring into brain research, but what does this relatively new science mean for us? Taylor looks at the promise of drugs that could boost our brain-power, at the potential for more subtle marketing techniques and even at the prospect of machines that could read our minds. She looks at the science behind these claims and at how scientists look inside the human brain.
100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?
In Sapiens, Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, palaeontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?
This event was recorded for broadcast on the BBC World News programme Talking Books.
Words are grained into our landscapes, and landscapes are grained into our words. Landmarks is about the power of language to shape our sense of place. It is a field guide to the literature of nature, and a glossary containing thousands of remarkable words used in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales to describe land, nature and weather. The author of The Old Ways, Mountains of the Mind and The Wild Places shows that language, well used, is a keen way of knowing landscape, and a vital means of coming to love it.
Leader of the Green Party Natalie Bennett and Maggie Simmons from WAGGGS discuss the impact of climate change on human rights around the world and how this in turn impacts on both the reality and our idea of home, with Rebecca Attwood of the Environmental Justice Foundation.
Earthquakes in the last decade have revealed that rich nations have become resilient in terms of loss-of-life, while much smaller earthquakes have killed up to 30% of urban populations in countries that are far less well prepared. What is behind the sombre conclusion that ‘the rich pay and the poor die’?
What would you do if you had to power the UK? Kate, Marcus and Mark get to grips with how to generate enough energy to keep the lights on and power their appliances. Dependency on overseas supplies, volatile fossil fuel prices and the need for a low-carbon economy makes this one of the biggest challenges facing the country. Chaired by Mark Lynas and using the 2050 calculator.
Revered by ancient Egyptians, tortured by Medieval Catholics, cats have been human companions for thousands of years. Animal behaviour expert, Bradshaw explores cat history and behaviour from swivelling whiskers to talking tails – you’ll never look at your cat the same again.
The Nobel Prize-winning chemist in conversation with the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Inside Science and author of The Book of Humans.
Everyone knows about DNA. It is the essence of our being, influencing who we are and what we pass on to our children. But the information in DNA can’t be used without a machine to decode it. The ribosome is that machine. Older than DNA itself, it is the mother of all molecules. Virtually every molecule made in every cell was either made by the ribosome or by proteins that were themselves made by the ribosome.
A fascinating insider account, Gene Machine charts Ramakrishnan’s unlikely journey from his first fumbling experiments in a biology lab to being at the centre of a fierce competition at the cutting edge of modern science.
From historical gardens like Versailles and Vaux le Vicomte to the kitchen gardens of the Michelin chef Alain Passard. There are grand potagers, like Villandry and La Prieure D’Orsan, and allotments and back gardens spotted on the way.