12 - 15 May 2014
Copyright restrictions prevent us from making these programmes available as audio on demand or podcasts.
Monday 12 May 2014: Battery Matters
Perhaps the biggest problem facing makers of new technology is battery power – or lack of it. Peter Day looks at what's being done to re-invent the battery so they last longer. It's not just mobile phone and wearable technology manufacturers that are striving for longer lasting batteries, the electric vehicle is stalling (so to speak) because of the short distances between recharging and a limited service life of the battery.
Tuesday 13 May 2014: Sue Black: Forensic anthropologist
Forensic anthropologist professor Sue Black began her career with a Saturday job working in a butcher's shop. At the time she didn't realise that this would be the start of a lifelong fascination with anatomy. Her job has taken her to some extreme and challenging locations to identify human bodies, such as Kosovo, where she uncovered evidence used in the UN's War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. In her spare time, Sue Black also advises crime fiction authors like Val McDermid, providing inspiration for new plotlines and characters. Jim al-Khalili asks how she deals with the emotional pressures of the job, and why she is so fascinated by the inner workings of the human body.
Wednesday 14 May 2014: Being Brazilian #1 of 2
Brazil is South America's biggest and most influential country. With a population of 200 million, it’s now the 6th largest economy in the world. As the World’s media prepares to descend on Brazil for the 2014 World Cup, Julia Carneiro presents the first of two programmes which gets to the heart of Brazilian identity. In doing so, she casts off some of the myths about what being Brazilian is. In the programme we hear how Brazilians see themselves. What are the things which make people feel and think “Brazilian?” What are the common threads which bind Brazilians together, or divide them?
Thursday 15 May 2014: Professor Wole Soyinka, Nobel Literature Laureate 1986
Nigeria's century has been assessed as "100 years of trauma" and is no more apparent than in the kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls by a militant Islamist group that perceives learning as an alien imposition by Christians and Europeans. Wole Soyinka is Nigeria's most prominent writer, the first African to be awarded the Nobel prize for literature. Persecuted by past governments for his commitment to democracy, what does he make of how Nigeria has stood up to the pressures of insurgency, the temptations of oil wealth and the corruption critics say is endemic. Does a state that cannot even guarantee the safety of its children have a future?