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30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 24 February 2011

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. We find out why the Christchurch earthquake caused such devastation. Quentin will be joined by the UK's Red Squirrel champion to find out about repopulating Anglesey with the native animal. Also on the programme - a new high tec glass house that the Royal Horticultural Society will be building to track new pests and diseases in our gardens. And finally how Scott of the Antarctic is now helping ecologists learn about the changing ecosystems on the icy continent.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

  • New Zealand Earthquake

    New Zealand Earthquake

    (Image showing Christchurch Cathedral's devastated spire. Crown copyright 2011: New Zealand Defence Force)

    Before the earthquake on New Zealand’s South Island last September, the fault line it occurred on wasn’t even known about. Following the far more damaging and deadly aftershock which hit the city of Christchurch this week, there are concerns over whether it means the whole area is much more vulnerable than we previously thought. Quentin is joined by Dr Elisabetta Mariani, from Liverpool University, who has just returned from drilling the major fault line in New Zealand.

    University of Liverpool: Dr Elisabetta Mariani
  • Grey Squirrel Control

    Grey Squirrel Control

    Two thirds of people in the UK now think that grey squirrels should be controlled or even removed, according to a new survey by the European Squirrel Initiative. But how practical is it to stop this grey tide as it sweeps the red squirrel towards extinction? Quentin finds out more from Dr Craig Shuttleworth, an advisor to the European Squirrel Initiative.

    European Squirrel Initiative
  • Scott’s carbon animals

    Scott’s carbon animals

    Tiny Antarctic marine creatures collected 100 years ago by Antarctic explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott give new clues about change in polar animals. By comparing present-day bryozoans – a sea-bed filter-feeding animal that looks like branching twigs – with specimens from Scott’s expeditions, scientists have found the first conclusive evidence of increased carbon uptake and storage by Antarctic marine life. Lead author Dr David Barnes from the British Antarctic Survey joins Quentin to explain more.

    British Antarctic Survey: Dr David Barnes
  • RHS Research Centre

    RHS Research Centre

    (Image: RHS Wisley, credit: RHS/John Harpur)

    The Royal Horticultural Society is announcing a new campaign to raise nearly £600,000 for a new research facility. The RHS is the only independent organisation that now funds research into gardening. The Office for National Statistics estimates that 4.3% of land use in England is domestic garden, so there is a real need for a dedicated centre devoted to horticultural research, says the RHS. Dr. Roger Williams, Head of Science at the Royal Horticultural Society, joins Quentin to explain more.

    The Royal Horticultural Society


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