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18 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 05 April 2014

The programme examines boredom and discovers the history of how it developed as an idea and consequently became a moral issue. Boredom is becoming a fashionable area of academic research where surprising conclusions have been reached about its effects and purpose. And even if today’s hi–tech workplace - or perhaps because of it - boredom is still to be found and presenting challenges as to how to deal with it.

Jo Fidgen discusses boredom with historian Dr Tiffany Watt-Smith from the University of London, Professor Missy Cummings, Institute for Brain Sciences, Duke University, North Carolina, USA and a former drone pilot Lt Col Bruce Black. She also submits herself to a boredom experiment with Dr Wijnand van Tilburg a psychologist at Southampton University. BBC archive recordings include Inside Job and Hancock’s Half Hour.

(Image of a lady yawning. Credit: Think Stock)



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