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Taking scientists out of their labs and on to the streets
Monday 1 to Friday 5 December 2008, 3.45pm-4.00pm

Most scientists are passionate about what they do and believe it's in a good cause.

But what happens whey they're taken out of their comfort zone, to church or to the school gates, to try to explain what they do and why, to members of the public?

Five leading scientists working in controversial areas go face to face with some of their harshest critics.

Shoppers in a busy street

Programme 1 - Human Animal Embryos
Professor Stephen Minger is a stem cell expert.  He wants to make to make embryonic stem cells that are cloned from human tissue, by creating embryos that are part-animal and part-human.

What will the congregation of St Mary’s Anglican Church in Kent make of it all when Professor Minger joins their Sunday service?

Listen again Listen to programme 1

Programme 2 - Nuclear Power

Today former technical director of British Nuclear Fuels, Dr Sue Ion, visits an alternative technology centre in Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire.

Nuclear power is as low carbon option but will these alternative energy enthusiasts be convinced that it’s a necessary part of our energy future?

Listen again Listen to programme 2

Programme 3 - GM Foods

In this programme, the former chief scientific advisor to the government, Sir David King has breakfast at the Magic Café in east Oxford.

Sir David is passionate about GM crops and believes they could save the lives of millions of malnourished people around the world.

But the café was a hotbed of anti-GM activism back in the 1990s, when campaigners took direct action against GM crops.

Listen again Listen to programme 3

Programme 4 - MMR

As measles figures in the UK reach a 13 year high, this programme is about the MMR vaccine.

10 years ago, a paper in a medical journal suggesting the possibility of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism, sparked a controversy that just doesn’t seem to want to go away. The research has now been discredited but some parents are still worried about the vaccine.

How will immunisation expert, Dr David Elliman get on when he visits a primary School in Lambeth, south London - an area where MMR vaccination rates are among the lowest in the country?

Listen again Listen to programme 4

Programme 5 - Nanotechnology

Professor Tony Ryan talks nanotechnology in the Winter Gardens in Sheffield.

This new technology is already in 2 in 1 shampoos, tennis rackets and your mobile phone. It could transform our lives for the better but there are concerns that it might create new sets of problems.

The big challenge for Tony Ryan is to get people thinking about the science of the very small so they can take part in an informed debate on the subject and not veto it out of ignorance.

Listen again Listen to programme 5
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