13/12/2012

Earlier this week, Steven Hawking was awarded 3 million dollars for his contribution to theoretical physics. 7 scientific leaders at CERN received the same amount between them. We look at the impact of awarding such prizes. While they create headlines for the scientists involved - do they help promote the science and are they fair, given the collaborative nature of contemporary scientific research?

We also look at the mystery of Piltdown man. Once thought of as the missing link between ancient apes and humans this Sussex fossil was exposed as a fake more than 50 years ago. The mixture of human, orang-utan and chimpanzee parts is the subject of a new scientific investigation using modern techniques including DNA analysis. Researchers hope to solve the mystery of who produced the hoax and why.

Also on the programme we speak to mathematicians who may have found a way of making computers process information thousands of times faster than they do now.

And we discuss the 'science of Middle earth' how far the fantasy of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Hobbit stories accurately reflect science.

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Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Mon 17 Dec 2012 21:00

Science prizes

Is it fair to give large cash prizes to specific individuals given the collaborative nature of contemporary scientific research?

Computers

Quentin speaks to mathematicians - Stephen Lynch and Jon Borresen - who may have found a way of making computers process information thousands of times faster than they do now.

Science of Middle-earth

And we discuss the ‘science of Middle-earth’ how far the fantasy of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit stories accurately reflect science.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Piltdown man

The mystery of Piltdown man. Once thought of as the missing link between ancient apes and humans this Sussex fossil was exposed as a fake more than 50 years ago. The mixture of human orang-utan and chimpanzee parts is the subject of a new scientific investigation using modern techniques including DNA analysis. Researchers hope to solve the mystery of who produced the hoax and why.

Fake early man

Fake early man
Did fake early man have a beard and moustache?

Inside Science

BBC Inside Science

Adam Rutherford explores the research that is transforming our world.