Ancient horses; Uncertainty; How cutlery affects taste

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New DNA sequencing techniques have helped reveal the genetic make-up of a horse dating back more than 700,000 years. Gareth Mitchell speaks to paleoecologist Prof Keith Dobney on the challenges and wider importance of this scientific breakthrough and they ponder which ancient genomes will most likely be laid bare in the future.

Uncertainty is an integral part of scientific research, and drives our quest for discovery. Expressions like "limits of confidence" are often treated by the public as a weakness and an indication that scientists don't really know anything "for sure". Sometimes commentators interpret uncertainty as a license for claiming anything could be true. How does scientific truth sit with uncertainty? Professor Ian Stewart, a mathematician from Warwick University, and Professor Angela McLean, from the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford, discuss why uncertainty is part of science and how acknowledging uncertainty is a strength rather than a weakness.

Effort spent carefully flavouring and seasoning your food could all be wasted if you don't pay attention to the cutlery you to eat it with. Prof Charles Spence joins the show from Oxford to explain why and possibly provide advice on which cutlery to use.

The producer is Ania Lichtarowicz.

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Thu 27 Jun 2013 21:00

Ancient horses

Ancient horses

New DNA sequencing techniques have helped reveal the genetic make-up of a horse dating back more than 700,000 years. Gareth Mitchell speaks to paleoecologist Prof Keith Dobney on the challenges and wider importance of this scientific breakthrough and they ponder which ancient genomes will most likely be laid bare in the future. 

Prof Keith Dobney

Dr Ludovic Orlando

Ancient horse bone yields oldest DNA sequence

 

Image Credit:  Dr Ludovic Orlando

 

 

 

Uncertainty

Uncertainty

Uncertainty is an integral part of scientific research, and drives our quest for discovery. Expressions like “limits of confidence” are often treated by the public as a weakness, a worry, and an indication that scientists don’t really know anything “for sure”. Sometimes commentators interpret uncertainty as a license for claiming anything could be true. How does scientific truth sit with uncertainty? Professor Ian Stewart, a mathematician from Warwick University, and Professor Angela McLean, from the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford, discuss why uncertainty is part of science and how acknowledging uncertainty is a strength rather than a weakness.

Professor Ian Stewart

Professor Angela McLean

 

Image Credit:  Dr Jon Heras Equinox Graphics

 

Cutlery changes tastes

Cutlery changes tastes

Effort spent carefully flavouring and seasoning your food could all be wasted if you don’t pay attention to the cutlery you to eat it with. Prof Charles Spence joins the show from Oxford to explain why and possibly provide advice on which cutlery to use…

Prof Charles Spence

The taste of cutlery

 

Image credit: John D McHugh/AFP/Getty Images

 

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