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Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

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New series of Horizon brings together Britain's leading science voices to tackle the most interesting questions and issues facing science today

Professor Marcus du Sautoy (Charles Simonyi Chair in the Public Understanding of Science) and Sir David Attenborough are two of the leading science figures set to feature in the latest run of Horizon, BBC's flagship science documentary strand.

This series explores topics as diverse as the search for black holes, stem cell tourism, string theory and the genetics of drinking; and will bring us some of the most interesting questions currently being explored by scientists around the world.

In The Secret You, Professor Marcus du Sautoy tackles the complex subject of consciousness, gathering insights from leading academics in science, religion and philosophy to piece together what we know and believe about the concept of self.

With the help of recent advances in neuroscience, Professor Marcus du Sautoy embarks on a journey through the private universe of his mind, a unique and personal place where even time travel is possible.

The results provide a fascinating insight into the science behind consciousness. At the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, Professor du Sautoy experiences an unnerving reality outside of his own body, one which raises both scientific and philosophical questions about our sense of self. And in the unlikely setting of Hollywood learns how individual neurons are dedicated to recognising individual people, such as Jennifer Aniston.

Professor Marcus du Sautoy says: "It's great that Horizon is prepared to tackle some of the biggest problems of science. Understanding how the brain gives us a sense of 'I' has been one of the greatest challenges for scientists and philosophers for centuries.

"It was a real privilege to make this programme with Horizon and to journey round the world to see the cutting edge research that is being done to unlock the mysteries of what happens in our heads."

In How Many People Can Live On Planet Earth? Sir David Attenborough will explore the thorny issue of population control. Timed to coincide with the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December, the programme will explore Sir David Attenborough's personal views on a difficult subject with lasting environmental consequences.

Andrew Cohen, executive producer, said: "Horizon is back with a challenging set of programmes covering some of the biggest questions in science. From consciousness to stem cells and black holes, Horizon is continuing to bring some of the most complex and important subjects to our audience in an engaging and thought provoking way."

Other episodes in the series include:

Fix Me
Three young people with currently untreatable conditions (paralysis, cardiomyopathy, leg amputation) examine the possibilities of stem cell therapies.

Who's Afraid Of A Big Black Hole?
Horizon follows a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) astronomy team on a unique search to image a black hole for the first time.

Alan's Quantum Leap
Alan Davies discovers string theory with mentors, Marcus Du Sautoy, high school physics teacher Becky Parker and MIT Professor, Seth Lloyd..

Notes to Editors

Horizon – The Secret You airs on BBC Two at 9.00pm, Tuesday 20 October 2009.

Titles, transmission information and programme line-up are not final and may be subject to changes.

VAA

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