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Peter and the Wolf

Science + comedy + you = Infinite Monkey Cage

Friday 25 June 2010, 18:16

Steve Bowbrick Steve Bowbrick Head of Interactive, Radio 3

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Scientist 600

Monday's Infinite Monkey Cage is going to be a pretty big deal - recorded live in front of an audience of science and comedy fans at the Royal Society's See Further Festival this weekend. And here's the neat thing: during Monday's transmission of the programme (at 1630 on Radio 4) we're hosting a live chat about the programme and its various grand themes - which I'm reliably informed will include multiple dimensions and alternate universes - here on the blog.

To join in, tweet using the hashtag #MonkeyCage or type your comments directly into the chat which will be live here on the blog from 1600 Monday. We're hoping to tempt some of the programme's creators and guests to join in - schedules allowing - and we're sure that the Twittersphere's huge band of science nuts, geeks and rationalists will be out in force so join us on Monday and, in the meantime, if you've got any questions about how it all works, leave a comment here.

Steve Bowbrick is editor of the Radio 4 blog

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    Comment number 1.

    Enjoyed the live recording on Friday. Interesting point about scifi writers sometimes being given credit for invention in hindsight, when there original idea wasn't quite what naturally developed later. Not sure which category Arthur C Clarke's satellite communication idea fits in to. Any good examples from the panel of scifi ideas being turned into real inventions?

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    Comment number 2.

    As a society we seem to pay research money to a few individuals to look into the great mysteries around us. Seems to me there are lots of other problem solving minds in the general population, as well as scifi writers. Would a scientific version of "Crime Watch" detailing some of the current unknowns help? A chance to go really deep into an issue on TV, and would be more of less free. "Can you identify this particle? Our staff are ready for your call. Don't have nightmares."

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    Comment number 3.

    Good points phil. Did William Gibson invent cyberspace? I like to think so.

    And your second idea sounds a bit like Radio 4's 'So You Want to be a Scientist?', in which amateurs investigate real world phenomena using scientific methods. Well worth checking out.

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, Radio 4 blog

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    Comment number 4.

    Excellent programme - thanks.

    Am struck by Brian Greene's "relativity for dogs" analogy. Isn't the difference between us and the uncomprehending canines the fact that we have acquired the power to upgrade - we already use man-made machines to increase our processing power every day, and we may now be close to gaining the understanding and ability to rewrite our own software code as well?

    I'm not claiming this would necessarily be a good thing, you understand, or that there may not be other factors restricting the limits of our understanding, but think there may be a fundamental difference between us and those dogs.

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    Comment number 5.

    The IMC. Some hate it, I say have fun, science has to be an everyday topic for everyone, as the proverbial hits the fan in terms of population explosion, AGW, pollution, energy shortfall, species loss, and all the rest of it, the public have to join in and debate and vote in a more informed way; so keep up the good work, humour is a good entree, and lots of adults need healing for damage done by boring childhood chemistry teachers!

    If the public start to make informed demands then finally, maybe, the polifools may take advice and act!

 

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Find out about this year's panel and theme