Thursday 10 July 2014, 16:20
This week Melvyn Bragg and guests discussed the sun
Monday 21 July 2014, 14:08
Editor’s note – Plants: From Roots to Riches is a 25-part series beginning on 21st July, broadcast Monday – Friday at 1.45pm
As an evolutionary biologist, Kew’s director of science, Prof Kathy Willis - knew where she wanted to begin her story for this new Radio 4 series – in front of Kew’s oldest resident - the cycad (Encephalartos altensteinii) in the iconic botanical garden's palm house.
By happy coincidence, the Cycad's arrival at Kew in 1775 coincided with the development of Carl Linnaeus’ binomial classification system for plants (and animals). All at once, the chaos of the plant world, which previously had no consensus on plant names, was reduced to order and modern botany, as we know it today, took root.The cycad (Encephalartos altensteinii)
In this new series Kathy Willis focuses on the major breakthroughs in botanical knowledge over the past 250 years as seen through the lens of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. In some cases Kew was the institution leading the scientific discoveries, in others it was responding to work elsewhere. Some of the science, of course, has changed beyond recognition in the 250 years since Kew was founded, with rapid advances...
Friday 18 July 2014, 14:35
Friday 11 July 2014, 12:21
Thursday 10 July 2014, 16:20
(Note for Ingrid, who always types these messages for me: this will be longer than usual, but all will be explained at the end of the blog.)
This morning’s programme has already been commented on widely, partly because all the contributors were women (although this has happened many times on the programme before and Tom Morris, the producer, did a headcount recently where he found that – without in any way trying to be politically correct – the...
Friday 4 July 2014, 12:51
I read with particular interest Mrs Dalloway’s London crawl. She covers a part of the West End that I have managed to write about to death over the last few years in this newsletter. It is odd how the very names – Regent Street, for instance, or St James’s Park – ring as resonantly (almost) as Skiddaw and Snowdon and even the Bristol Channel. City walks are more popular, partly because...
Friday 4 July 2014, 09:10Radio 4's forum for comments, queries, criticisms and congratulations
On this week’s Feedback we featured Jonathan Dimbleby making an unusual, and, perhaps for him, unique mistake on Radio 4's Any Questions. He attributed to a member of the panel a quote which was not theirs.
Here is the mistake in all its gory glory:
Thursday 3 July 2014, 13:58
I confess to being fascinated by book titles. Great ones pass into the language – from the sixties, for example, The Spy who Came in from the Cold and From Russia with Love – and I’m convinced that there are some fine novels that are unjustly ignored because the author has coined a title that is a turn-off. So one of the questions I wanted to ask the American writer Lorrie Moore when she joined this month’s group of Bookclub readers was an obvious one...
Friday 27 June 2014, 15:53
Friday 27 June 2014, 15:40
A couple of weeks ago I picked up a free magazine in London which included an interview with the much-feted veteran film-maker Ken Loach. He was publicising his latest film.
In the course of that interview Mr Loach quoted with approval the late Tony Benn’s statement to the effect that we don’t need the KGB in Britain as we have the BBC. Well, as someone who has worked off and on for the Corporation for over 40 years and had my share of rows with its bosses, I find such statements ludicrous.
However it is true that...
Friday 27 June 2014, 14:21
After the programme Miri Rubin spoke about pseudo-Hildegardian material running through into the late Middle Ages and being an inspiration to the Lollards. The Lollards were those who took on the first full English translation of the Bible by Wycliffe at the end of the 14th century, and at great risk to their lives (many of them were caught, tortured and sometimes executed) took copies around the country. There...