Copyright restrictions prevent us from making these programmes available as audio on demand or podcasts.
Monday 16 November The Genetics of Intelligence
Professor Robert Plomin talks to Jim al-Khalili about what makes some people smarter than others and why he is fed up with the genetics of intelligence being ignored. He specialized in behavioural genetics in the mid '70s when the focus in mainstream psychology was very much on our nurture rather than our nature, and genetics was virtually taboo. But he persisted conducting several large adoption studies and later twin studies. In 1995 he launched the biggest longitudinal twin study in the UK, the TED study of 10,000 pairs of twins which continues to this day.
Tuesday 17 November Sex and the Synod # 2 of 3
In the second of a three-part series, Helen Grady reports from Kenya, where the country’s most senior cleric, Archbishop of Nairobi Cardinal John Njue, takes an uncompromising approach to his Church’s rules about sex. He believes gay and lesbian Christians need counselling and that neither they nor divorced and remarried parishioners should be allowed to receive Holy Communion, the central rite of the Catholic faith. At Nairobi’s Cathedral, the Holy Family Basilica, Cardinal Njue’s views are echoed by mass-goers. But when Helen talks to Kenyan Catholics in their homes and workplaces a more complicated picture emerges, with not everyone following the Church’s guidelines for family life.
Wednesday 18 November Minecraft: More Than a Game
Jolyon Jenkins asks why our children are hooked on the computer game Minecraft. Does its alternate universe stimulate creativity, or make them disengage from planet Earth? He explores whether we should be harnessing children's enthusiasm and taking Minecraft into schools, as some educationalists propose.
Thursday 19 November Norway-Russia: An Arctic Friendship Under Threat
Tim Whewell is on assignment at a northern border post between Norway and Russia where a unique cross-border relationship is under threat after decades of cooperation. There is rising tension between Russia and Nato and relations have been further strained by the flow of refugees, now coming through Russia into the far north of Norway. Tim reports on what it means for the Norwegian outpost of Kirkenes, where Norwegians and Russians work closely together in the oil and fishing business and where cooperation and friendship go back decades.