Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

BBC Four Autumn 2009/Winter 2010

Arts and Culture are at the heart of the new season on BBC Four

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The Secret Life Of Chaos

Chaos theory has a bad name. It conjures up images of unpredictable weather, economic crashes and science gone wrong. But there is a fascinating and hidden side to chaos, one that scientists are only now beginning to understand. It turns out that chaos theory answers a question that humankind has asked for millennia: how did we get here?

Professor Jim Al-Khalili sets out to uncover one of the great mysteries of science, exploring how a universe that started off as dust ended up with intelligent life, and how order emerged from disorder.

In the course of a breathtaking 60 minutes, Professor Al-Khalili reveals the science behind the beauty of the natural world and discovers that, far from it being magic or an act of God, it is, in fact, an intrinsic part of the laws of physics.

Having seen The Secret Life Of Chaos, viewers will never be able to look at the world in the same way again.

VAA

A Furnace production

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Beautiful Minds

Beautiful Minds

Great minds don't always think alike. In fact, offbeat thinking has led to some of the greatest scientific discoveries of our age. Britain's most influential and respected scientists explain how their unique scientific perspectives have redefined how we think about the world around us.

Opening the series is astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell-Burnell, who talks us through her detection of pulsars, a by-product of supernova explosions that make all life in the Universe possible. She and the other scientists featured in the series reveal how their esoteric calculations have helped to reveal the weird world of the sub-atomic, their personal passions and the inspirations that led to their "Eureka" moments.

They also explain what inspired them to devote their lives to scientific research and what they feel are the far reaching consequences of their discoveries.

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BBC Productions

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Aristotle's Lagoon

Aristotle's Lagoon

Teacher of Alexander The Great and student of Plato, Aristotle is unquestionably one of the most important philosophers of all time. He was also the founder of modern biology and one of the first men to attempt to explain the human soul scientifically.

Nearly 2,400 years ago, Aristotle arrived at the island of Lesvos where he made some of his most extraordinary discoveries about nature and the very science of life.

Evolutionary biologist, Professor Armand Marie Leroi (presenter of What Darwin Didn't Know), explores Aristotle's work, including his zoological classification – a system inspired by the island's flora and fauna which existed well into the 19th century. Aristotle's Lagoon shows how his apparently prescient views of human biology and the soul were influenced by his island discoveries and how his studies laid the foundations for modern biology.

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BBC Productions

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Science

Never afraid to ask the big questions, Beautiful Minds interviews three of Britain's most influential and respected scientists to discover their unique perspectives on why science matters.

Professor Jim Al-Khalili asks how chaos theory can be used to explain the mysteries of the universe in The Secret Life Of Chaos and Aristotle's Lagoon investigates how this father of philosophy is also seen as the founder of modern biology.

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