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Science
LEADING EDGE
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Thursday 21:00-21:30
Leading Edge brings you the latest news from the world of science. Geoff Watts celebrates discoveries as soon as they're being talked about - on the internet, in coffee rooms and bars; often before they're published in journals. And he gets to grips with not just the science, but with the controversies and conversation that surround it.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 5 February
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GEOFF WATTS
Geoff Watts
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Thursday 5 February 2009
Professor Chris Melhuish with Bert the robot
Professor Chris Melhuish with Bert the robot © Chris Melhuish

Funding Science to escape the recession
Lord Drayson, minister for science in the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills is asking scientists to prioritise funding. He wants money to be invested in research that is most likely to help us out of the current recession. The fear is that it is not possible to do high quality basic research and benefit industry.
Diary of a Teenage Scientist
What’s it like to be a teenage scientist in Britain? Diva is fourteen, gets called a geek by her friends, struggles with her maths and likes Audrey Hepburn. She tells us about her life.

Bert the Humanoid Robot
The University of the West of England and Bristol University collaborate in running the UK’s biggest robotics lab. One of the many projects going on there is called CHRIS: an acronym for Cooperative Human Robot Interaction Systems. But if these machines are going to be easy and comfortable to be with, how should they behave? And how human-like should we make them? Professor Chris Melhuish, director of the Bristol Lab, took our reporter Jo Dwyer to meet one of his non-human colleagues - called Bert.

Cancer Connections
Glasgow University’s Professor Muffy Calder is a computer scientist with experience of the design of telephone networks. So why does she think she can contribute something to understanding cancer and its treatment? Complex telephone networks comprise a set of pathways through which vast numbers of signals pass and interact. The signals are electrical rather than chemical, but the principles that govern their behaviour are much the same as cancer cells.

Is Britain getting worse at Maths
Mathematics earned itself a place in the news this week. Tory leader David Cameron launched a task force headed by Carol Vorderman. But have the British always been bad at doing their sums? Professor Celia Hoyles is professor of mathematics education at the Institute of Education in London. How does she rate the numeracy of children past and present?
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