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The Infinite Monkey Cage

Author: BBC Radio 4

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Witty, irreverent look at the world through scientists' eyes. With Brian Cox and Robin Ince.
126 Episodes
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Brits in Space

Brits in Space

2019-10-1400:59:4733

Brits in Space!Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by astronaut and author of "The Astronaut Selection Test Book", Tim Peake, first British astronaut Helen Sharman and comedian Mark Steel for a Brits in Space Special. Tim and Helen talk about their different experiences of training to be an astronaut and the challenges of life in space. They also look to the future as the panel talk about the various options being considered for long term space flight with planned future missions to the Moon and ultimately Mars.
The Periodic Table How well do you know your Fe from your Cu, and what the heck is Np?? Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Katy Brand, Prof Polly Arnold and Prof Andrea Sella to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Dmitri Mendeleev's great achievement. They find out how scientists first realised that the elements that form the ingredients that make up our planet , are able to be organised in such a logical and ordered way, and whether its still a useful tool today. They also discover why one of the guests has been called the Free Solo equivalent of chemists because of the skill and danger involved in their work. Producer: Alexandra Feachem
Science of Dreaming

Science of Dreaming

2019-09-3000:44:4445

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Bridget Christie, neuroscientist Professor Penny Lewis and psychologist Richard Wiseman to explore the science of dreaming. Our dreams have fascinated humans for millennia and then Freud came along and told us they really did mean something, and mostly they were about sex and anger. Was he right? Why do we dream and can we find meaning in the content of our dreams? Can our dreams help us solve problems, give us new ideas, help us write a symphony, even if they can't predict the future? The panel also discuss what is going on in the brain whilst we sleep, and how memories are formed and consolidated while we snooze. It turns out the phrase "better to sleep on it" has a strong scientific argument.Producer: Alexandra Feachem
Clever Creatures

Clever Creatures

2019-09-2300:41:2842

Those Clever CreaturesBrian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by comedian and author Danny Wallace, ornithologist Professor Tim Birkhead and marine biologist Helen Scales to look at animal intelligence. We have all heard about clever chimps that can count, and about how we can compare the intelligence of humans and the great apes - but have we underestimated many of the other animal species? It would seem so, with remarkable examples of cunning, smart behaviour from animals as diverse as birds, octopuses and even fish. So how do you test a guppies IQ and can a crow really outsmart a gorilla, or even a human...prepare to be amazed. Producer Alexandra Feachem
Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs

2019-09-1600:47:0052

Brian Cox and Robin Ince return for a new series of their multi-award winning science/comedy show. They kick off with arguably any child's first interest in science - dinosaurs! They are joined by comedian Rufus Hound and palaeontologists Susannah Maidment from the Natural History Museum and Steve Brusatte from the University of Edinburgh to find out what the latest research and exciting fossil finds have revealed about these epic creatures. Are we in a new age of dinosaur discovery? What are the big questions that dinosaur hunters are hoping to uncover, and did they go extinct at all? Producer: Alexandra Feachem
Astronaut Special (Repeat)

Astronaut Special (Repeat)

2019-07-2500:29:1324

In this episode from 2017, Brian Cox and Robin Ince transport the cage to the Starmus Festival in Trondheim, Norway, for an extraordinary gathering of astronauts. They are joined on stage by NASA astronauts Sandra Magnus and Terry Virts, ESA astronaut Claude Nicollier, and Apollo 16's Charlie Duke, one of the last people to have walked on the moon. They talk about their personal journeys to fulfill their long-held dreams, and literally reach for the stars. They hear from Charlie Duke about the extraordinary Apollo missions he was part of, including his role as Capsule Communicator for the very first moon landing, before taking his own first steps on the lunar surface as part of Apollo 16. They explore the different experience of astronauts from Charlie's era, and those who now become residents of space, spending months and months aboard the International Space Station, and the challenges each mission brings. And Claude Nicollier describes his epic spacewalk to repair the Hubble Telescope.Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
The Infinite Moonkey Cage

The Infinite Moonkey Cage

2019-07-2000:58:1145

A special hour long episode of the hugely popular science/comedy show, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo moon landings. Recorded at Cocoa Beach, Florida just down the road from Cape Canaveral, Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by some of the key players involved in landing the first people on the moon, on this day, 1969. Apollo 9 Astronaut Rusty Schweickart, Apollo flight director Gerry Griffin and Apollo children Jan and Andy Aldrin give their perspectives on arguably one of the greatest scientific and engineering achievements of all time. Keep listening for a very special guest appearance by Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes.Presenters: Brian Cox and Robin InceProducer Alexandra Feachem
Hannah Fry and Adam Rutherford present highlights from their podcast which investigates questions sent in by listeners using the power of science.
How We Measure the Universe

How We Measure the Universe

2019-02-1100:38:3697

How to Measure the UniverseBrian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by comedian Jo Brand, and physicists Prof Jo Dunkley and Dr Adam Masters to look at how we go about measuring our universe, from measuring the contents of atmospheres of planets and moons at the outer edges of our solar system to looking far back in time to study the very earliest beginnings of the cosmos. Our ability to learn about phenomena and worlds that seem almost impossibly out of reach, now give us an incredible insight into the universe we occupy, and how we got here. Brian and Robin find out about some of the big new missions providing information into our own solar system and beyond, and find out what big questions in cosmology still remain a tantalising challenge?Producer: Alexandra Feachem
How to Build a Bionic Human

How to Build a Bionic Human

2019-02-0400:42:4869

How to Build a Bionic Human.Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by "supervet" Noel Fitzpatrick, Dr Kevin Fong and comedian Lucy Beaumont to learn how to build a bionic human. They'll be looking at the development of artificial limbs and organs that have been pioneered during times of war and at the extreme end of emergency medicine, and find out how Noel Fitzpatrick is developing new techniques and bionic devices at his veterinary practice, that could eventually be used on humans.
Are humans still evolving?

Are humans still evolving?

2019-01-2800:47:2097

Are humans still evolving?Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian and author David Baddiel, Professor of Evolutionary Genetics Aoife McLysaght, and geneticist and broadcaster Adam Rutherford to ask whether human beings are still evolving? Has the invention of modern medicine, and technology meant that survival of the fittest is a thing of the past or are humans evolving new adaptations that will help us cope and survive better in our ever changing world (better thumbs for texting anyone?). If evolution happens over 1000's of years, could we even tell if we were evolving as a species, or have humans reached peak human?Producer: Alexandra Feachem
Origin of Numbers

Origin of Numbers

2019-01-2100:36:1775

The origin of numbers and can fish count?Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by mathematician Dr Hannah Fry, comedian Matt Parker and neuroscientist Prof Brian Butterworth to ask where numbers come from and can fish count? They'll be looking at the origin of numbers and whether counting is a uniquely human trait that actually started before the evolution of language.
The Future of Humanity

The Future of Humanity

2019-01-1400:35:5864

The Future of HumanityBrian Cox and Robin Ince take on the entire future of our civilisation, as they are joined by Astronomer Royal and former head of the Royal Society Lord Rees, Baroness Cathy Ashton and comedian, actor and director Chris Addison. They'll be talking about the biggest challenges facing humanity at the moment, and whether science offers the solution to some of these great problems, from Climate Change to the rise of AI.
Microbes: Secret Rulers of the World?Brian Cox and Robin Ince return for a new series of the hugely popular, award-winning science/comedy show. This week they are joined by comedian Ed Byrne, oceanographer Dr Jon Copley and planetary scientist Prof Monica Grady to ask whether the real master-race on planet Earth is not human but microbe. They'll be looking at how microbes are found in every extreme environment on the planet, how and when they first arrived on the Earth and why the hunt is on to find evidence of microbes in space.
GCHQ

GCHQ

2018-08-1300:38:2767

The Code BreakersBrian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Katy Brand, as they transport the cage of infinite proportions to the home of modern day cryptography and codebreaking., GCHQ. They'll be discovering how far we've come from the days of the humble code book and the birth of machines like Enigma. and how the new digital era has turned us all into modern day code breakers and cryptographers, without us even realising it. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Special Bonus Edition

Special Bonus Edition

2018-08-0900:18:0418

Brian Cox and Robin Ince reminisce about their favourite moments from 100 episodes of The Infinite Monkey Cage.
The Human Voice

The Human Voice

2018-08-0600:38:4142

The Human VoiceBrian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian and beatboxer Beardyman, acoustic engineer Prof Trevor Cox and neuroscientist Prof Sophie Scott to explore the amazing capabilities of the human voice. They chat about chatting, vocalise about voices and explore the extraordinary and unique way the human voice works from opera singing to laughter, and discovery why our voice has been so key to our success and survival as a species. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Immune System

Immune System

2018-07-3000:41:0447

The Immune SystemBrian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Shappi Khorsandi, Prof Dan Davis and Prof Steve Jones to look at our amazingly complex and clever immune system. They look at how the human body fights disease, and why it has been so little understood until now. Fear not though, a new revolution in understanding is underway, with some extraordinary insights into the cunning of our little white cells. The panel look at how this new understanding is already leading to some real breakthroughs in treatment for diseases such as cancer, and Shappi reveals the crucial role she played in one such discovery.Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Invasion

Invasion

2018-07-2300:41:3941

Invasion!Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Phill Jupitus, bat expert and ecologist Professor Kate Jones and forensic botanist Dr Mark Spencer to look at the problems caused by alien invasions, although not of the little green men kind. They look at why such innocent and innocuous sounding plants such as floating pennywort strike terror and fear in the heart of environmentalists up and down the country, and how clever microbes and diseases are able to jump from animals such as bats to humans causing devastating consequences. Producer: Alexandra Feachem.
Big Data

Big Data

2018-07-1600:45:0446

Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by Danny Wallace, mathematician Hannah Fry and science writer Timandra Harkness. They'll be going big on Big Data, and asking just how big is it? They'll be looking at where Big Data comes from, should we be worried about it, and what mysteries are hidden within the seemingly endless amounts of information that is collected about us as we go about our daily lives.
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Comments (94)

calmfocustruth

Typical SJW lovefest on IMC.... only g'tees Boris 2019 & Trump2020 ; )

Nov 3rd
Reply

Marie Banaghan

Did they say it's the last one next week?!

Oct 11th
Reply

TheIainDowieFanClub

Don't see the point of Katy Brand. She brings nothing to the podcast. She's like a slim Phil Jupitus. Pointless.

Oct 10th
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Ben Abrial

Is it time to replace Robin Ince yet? Jokes getting a bit repetitive having listened to all episodes and guessing most people have listened to them all as well. Seems nice guy, but think Dara or another comedian might add a more entertaining value

Oct 1st
Reply

Aaron B Harris

ok P how to. km lol LL

Sep 30th
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Keith M Sterback

And the ants were put on tiny stilts for that mentioned experiment

Sep 5th
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Keith M Sterback

I would like to add on the subject of the chimpanzees and their pattern memory. Those chimpanzees were trained for months, repeating that same pattern on the screen over and over. So, to suggest that chimpanzees are more keen on patturn memory does not carry full merit. Great show, by the way.

Sep 5th
Reply

Adheeth Anandan

l00l

Aug 26th
Reply (1)

TheIainDowieFanClub

Baddiel is a poor man's Phil Jupitus. And that's saying something.

Aug 5th
Reply

Ricky St. Louis

holy fuck, that women's accent is absolutely atrocious. At that point you should just speak a different language. Damn!

Jul 12th
Reply (2)

Edgar Huerta

Glad I found this podcast. It's always a good day when I find new material with Brian Cox.

Jul 10th
Reply (1)

calmfocustruth

Increasingly these episodes ridiled with SJW nonsence; Joe Brand can't help herself every visit 🙄

Jul 9th
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Amanda Thomson

who sings the song?

Jul 6th
Reply (1)

Drew Brid

Is that legit? Able to track insect populations and see how they move?

May 29th
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J B

Noel Fitzpatrick really used this as a soapbox. Derailed it. Annoying.

Apr 29th
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christina lim

so glad Stephen Fry is a guest on this. I could listen to him all day! so eloquent and intelligent 💖

Apr 11th
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Keith M Sterback

Lucy sounded really cute

Mar 15th
Reply

phil warcup

unfortunately I felt David Baddiel didn't add to this otherwise great conversation

Mar 13th
Reply (1)

Jack Grattan

Pretty interesting learned a lot

Feb 27th
Reply

Nick Prudhomme

I find it quite amazing that there is a suggestion of a necessary committee to approve of ethical treatment of machine intelligence while our world culture is majorly unconcerned with ethical treatment of animals.

Feb 26th
Reply
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