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15/03/2012

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 15 March 2012

A new set of Hominin remains from a Cave in China prove difficult to place in the human family tree. The "Red Deer Cave People" share some traits with modern humans, and some with older relatives. Do they represent hybrids from interbreeding 11,500 years ago or could they represent a new species previously unknown to science? Lead author Darren Curnoe from the University of New South Wales and Dr Isabelle de Groot from the Natural History Museum in London discuss the findings.

Co-curator Ghislane Boddington and Prof Noel Sharkey talk to Quentin about a new exhibition opening on Friday at FACT, Liverpool, called "Robots and Avatars". The vision of numerous artists of a near future where we freely interact with colleagues and friends in the form of robots or remote projections as avatars will be on display. What are the implications for how we live and work?

An update from 'So You Want to Be a Scientist' - Material World's search for the BBC's Amateur Scientist of the Year. One of our four finalists, Dara Djavan Khoshdel aged 25 from Bournemouth, starts his experiment at Modern Art Oxford. He's testing people's emotional reactions to paintings using a skin galvanometer, which measures our micro-sweating. But will the strength of people's reaction match the financial value of each artwork?

Producer: Martin Redfern.

  • Chinese Hominin Bones

    Chinese Hominin Bones

    A new set of hominin remains from a cave in China have been analysed and they prove puzzling to place in our family tree. These “Red Deer Cave People” share some traits with modern humans but other with earlier populations. Whether or not they belong to a new species of hominin, they suggest that there is an awful lot still to learn about how, when and even how many times humans migrated into Asia. Lead author Darren Curnoe from the University of New South Wales and Dr Isabelle de Groot from the Natural History Museum in London discuss the findings.

  • SYWTBAS Art appreciation

    SYWTBAS Art appreciation

    Another of our amateur enthusiasts, 25 year old Dara Djavan Khoshdel from Bournemouth, kicks off his 'So You Want to Be a Scientist?' experiment at Modern Art Oxford. He is testing people's emotional reactions to art using a skin galvanometer, which measures micro-sweating. Will people react more strongly to artworks that are more valuable, without knowing their price? Adam Rutherford gets strapped in to take part in the test.

  • Robots and Avatars

    Robots and Avatars

    "Visions of Our Communal Dreams", by Michael Takeo Magruder with Drew Baker, Erik Fleming and David Steele, 2012

    A new exhibition opens this week at FACT, Liverpool. Co-curator Ghislane Boddington and Prof Noel Sharkey talk to Quentin about the vision behind the exhibition – of a a near future in which we all make everyday interactions with robot and avatar friends and colleagues. How near are we really to such a reality, and what are the implications?

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