iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Colin Blakemore

Listen now 30 mins

Listen in pop-out player

Colin Blakemore

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 08 November 2011

Colin Blakemore is a neuroscientist who nearly became an artist. He specialised in vision and the development of the brain, and pioneered the idea that the brain has the ability to change even in adulthood contrary to the popular view at the time.

Professor Blakemore, the youngest ever Reith Lecturer, is an influential science communicator and is committed to raising the profile of brain research. Because of his work he was targeted by animal rights campaigners for over a decade, but rather than keeping a low profile as advised, he decided to work with the activists and explain his point of view about the need for animal testing in medical research. He was appointed head of the Medical Research Council in 2003 but threatened to resign shortly after when he was refused a knighthood, because of his defence of animal research. He has been equally outspoken on many issues including classification of drugs and GM foods. His current areas of research include how the brain develops which has implications for many diseases including autism and schizophrenia.

He talks to Jim Al-Khalili about why he's not been afraid to stand up to his critics.

Producer: Geraldine Fitzgerald.


Featured in...

Jim Al-Khalili - Presenter

Jim Al-Khalili

Find out more about Jim Al-Khalili and listen to his Science Explorer journey.

Inside Science

Image for BBC Inside Science

Adam Rutherford explores the research that is transforming our world.


  1. Image for The Life Scientific

    The Life Scientific

    Each week, Jim al-Khalili invites a leading scientist to tell us about their life and work. He'll…

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