iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for 08/06/2011

Listen now 30 mins

Listen in pop-out player


30 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 08 June 2011

Dirt is dust, soil, refuse, excrement, bacteria, filth, sleaze, slime, smut. How easily the word changes its meaning from the physical to the moral. It is this fascinating relationship and threat which dirt seems to pose that is explored in the Wellcome Collection's exhibition 'Dirt: The Filthy Reality of Everyday Life'.

In a special edition recorded with an audience of the public at Wellcome, Laurie Taylor and a panel of experts explore the meaning of dirt, its relationship to order and how hygiene and the mass generation of dirt have become such potent symbols of civilisation.

He is joined by the anthropologist Adam Kuper, the writer and cartoonist Martin Rowson and the historian Amanda Vickery to discuss dirt and why it provokes such fear, loathing and occasionally desire.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

  • Exibition: Dirt: The Filthy Reality of Everyday Life

    Date: 24 March - 31 August 2011

    Venue: Wellcome Collection
    183 Euston Road
    London NW1 2BE

    Contact: +44 (0)20 7611 2222

    Book: Dirt: The Filthy Reality of Everyday Life
    Rosie Cox; Rose George; R.H. Horne; Robin Nagle; Elizabeth Pisani; Brian Ralph; Virginia Smith
    Publisher: Profile Books
    ISBN-10: 184668479X
    ISBN-13: 978-1846684791

    Find out more about the exibition 'Dirt'
  • Amanda Vickery

    Professor of Early Modern History at Queen Mary, University of London

    Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England
    Publisher: Yale University Press
    ISBN-10: 9780300168969
    ISBN-13: 978-0300168969

    Find out more about Amanda Vickery
  • Adam Kuper

    Visiting Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics

    Incest and Influence: The Private Life of Bourgeois England
    Publisher: Harvard University Press
    ISBN-10: 0674035895
    ISBN-13: 978-0674035898

    Find out more about Adam Kuper
  • Martin Rowson

    Author and Cartoonist

    Publisher: Vintage
    ISBN-10: 0099502658
    ISBN-13: 978-0099502654

    Find out more about Martin Rowson


Free download

  1. Image for Thinking Allowed

    Thinking Allowed

    Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works and discusses current ideas on how…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss