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30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 17 March 2011

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

  • Japan Nuclear Power Plant Crisis

    Japan Nuclear Power Plant Crisis

    Picture credit: National Land Image Information (Color Aerial Photographs), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan (taken 1975)

    In this week’s programme, Material World examines and explains the science behind the nuclear power plant crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan.

    Quentin Cooper talks to Professor Andrew Sherry, Director of the Dalton Nuclear Institute, about the science and engineering of nuclear power stations. Professor Richard Wakeford explains what radiation is and its effects. Professor Geraldine Thomas, Chair in Molecular Pathology, Imperial College London, explains the health effects of exposure to radiation and how it compares to the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Malcolm Grimston, expert on nuclear energy technology and policy from Chatham House discusses what went wrong in Japan and implications and lessons for elsewhere.


Inside Science

Image for BBC Inside Science

Adam Rutherford explores the research that is transforming our world.


  1. Image for Material World

    Material World

    Weekly science conversation, on everything from archaeology to zoology, from abacus to the…

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