15 - 18 June 2015
Copyright restrictions prevent us from making these programmes available as audio on demand or podcasts.
Monday 15 June 2015: A Great Charter for the Digital Age
Eight hundred years ago England’s King John and England’s warring barons agreed on a peace treaty that would resolve future disputes and curb the king's power. It was called the Magna Carta – and is enshrined today as a democratic principle. Matthew Solon’s radio drama ‘The Great Charter’ updates the story behind the Magna Carta and charts ‘the fight for rights and freedoms in the 21st Century’s supra-state: the Internet’. It imagines a scary future where civilisation as we know it is collapsing because the networks have failed. Only one man – an engineer - can bring the world back from the abyss. But there is a heavy price to pay. The Great Charter explores a range of contemporary issues such as information security and cyber-terrorism. To discuss these ideas, Gareth Mitchell of the BBC World Service digital programme ‘Click’ chairs a panel which brings together experts the computer scientist, Professor Dame Wendy Hall and Mahima Kaul who heads the Cyber and Media Initiative at the Observer Research Foundation in India to discuss the concepts with playwright Matthew Solon and commentator, Bill Thompson.
Tuesday 16 June 2015: The Resurrection Men
The demand for bodies from medical schools and tissue banks is at an all-time high, and there aren’t enough corpses to go around. This programme takes a look at the business of selling dead bodies in America.
Wednesday 17 June: Stephanie Shirley: Software Pioneer
As a young woman, Stephanie Shirley worked at the Dollis Hill Research Station in north-west London, building computers from scratch: but she told young admirers that she worked for the Post Office, hoping they would think she sold stamps. In the early 1960s she changed her name to Steve and started selling computer programs to companies who had no idea what they were or what they could do, employing only mothers who worked from home writing their code by hand with pen and pencil and then posting it to her. By the mid-80s her software company employed eight thousand people, still mainly women with children. She made a lot of money, but these days Stephanie thinks less about making money and more about how best to give it away. She talks to Jim al-Khalili about software and charity.
Thursday 18 June 2015: Who Killed Alberto Nisman?
Wyre Davies investigates the mysterious death of Alberto Nisman, the special prosecutor who had accused Argentina’s government of trying to cover up the deadliest terror attack in the country’s history. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets of Buenos Aires, demanding to know how and why he died. The issue is dominating President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s final year in office. Nisman was found dead, with a gun by his body, the night before he was due to testify about the alleged cover-up in Congress. Was it suicide or was it murder?