25 - 28 August 2014
Copyright restrictions prevent us from making these programmes available as audio on demand or podcasts.
Monday 25 August 2014: Antibiotics Resistance Crisis
The discovery and harnessing of antibiotic drugs in the mid twentieth century led some medics to predict the end of infectious diseases. But the bacteria fought and continue to fight back, evolving resistance to many of the drugs that used to kill them. Public health officials warn that without new drugs, medicine will return to the days where ‘a cut finger on Monday leads to death of Friday’. Without protective antibiotics to keep infections at bay, scores of standard surgical operations and chemotherapy for cancer will become too risky. Roland Pease looks at scientific issues behind the gathering crisis. The last new class of antibiotics was discovered in the 1980s. Are there any others in the pipeline?
Tuesday 26 August 2014
Election programme scheduled (minor party leaders' debate)
Wednesday 27 August 2014: Grapes of Wrath Revisited
Seventy five years ago the American author John Steinbeck published what was to become his most-celebrated novel: The Grapes of Wrath. At the centre of the book is the story of the Joad Family whose farmland in Oklahoma, in America's mid-west, has turned to dust and whose farm has been repossessed. Faced with destitution they make the epic journey from Oklahoma to California in search of work and a better life. Along the way they are victims of prejudice and face exploitation at the hands of unscrupulous employers. The book was an overnight success and for many became the parable of America's experience of the Great Depression. But it was also controversial with its critics seeing it as little more than thinly disguised left-wing propaganda. The BBC's North America Editor, Mark Mardell explores the relevance of the book's themes in today’s America.
Thursday 28 August 2014: Goodbye Ireland, Goodbye Gaelic Football
Gaelic Football is Ireland's most popular sport - there are clubs in every parish of the country. The game is very much part of the Irish identity. But it is losing its lifeblood. And all because of emigration. John Murphy goes to the far west of Ireland, to learn about this uniquely Irish game and hear how clubs are struggling to keep going as more and more young people leave the country, to find jobs abroad.