iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Tony Ryan

Listen now 28 mins

Listen in pop-out player

Tony Ryan

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 21 February 2012

What do miniature solar cells, making clothes that dissolve in the rain and new treatments for motor neurone disease all have in common? Chemistry - according to Professor Tony Ryan of Sheffield University. He develops innovative materials with nanotechnology. In this week's, The Life Scientific, Tony Ryan talks to Jim Al-Khalili and explores issues around the still controversial science of nanotechnology, including how safe it is and how scientists need to learn to talk to the public.

Much of Tony's work involves unlikely collaborations to discover novel ways of solving problems and of communicating science. He argues that chemistry can solve today's global challenges such as supporting the needs of 7 billion people in terms of food and power.

Clothes that absorb a dangerous greenhouse gas and sheets of plastic solar cells are just a few of his ongoing projects. He says chemistry needs to learn how to recycle every atom, whilst still providing all the things that people want - energy, food, electronics, clothing, and drugs.

Producer: Geraldine Fitzgerald.


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 Inside Science

Adam Rutherford explores the research that is transforming our world.

Free download

  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.