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Science
THE MATERIAL WORLD
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Thursday 16:30-17:00
Quentin Cooper reports on developments across the sciences. Each week scientists describe their work, conveying the excitement they feel for their research projects.
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Listen to 5 April
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QUENTIN COOPER
Quentin Cooper
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Thursday 5 April 2007
16 Tuning Forks of Varying Materials, by Zoe Laughlin © Zoe Laughlin
Zoe Laughlin: 16 Tuning Forks of
Varying Materials

(© Zoe Laughlin)

Changing Climates, Evolving Humans

Humans are geographically the most widely distributed species of mammal on the planet. It is all too easy to put this, and the success in general of humans, down to our intelligence and our ability to manipulate our surroundings. It is tempting to see us as somehow immune to and above the “natural world”.

However each year natural disasters such as tsunamis, hurricanes and earthquakes are stark reminders that the environment plays a key role in shaping our future.

The Natural Environment Research Council’s (NERC) Environmental Factors in the Chronology of Human Evolution and Dispersal (EFCHED) programme has been set up to find out what affect the environment has had on human evolution.

Quentin discusses the issues with Professor Clive Gamble, Professor of Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London and Dr Michael Petraglia, Lecturer in Human Evolution at the University of Cambridge.

Sounds of Materials

Next week the Tate Modern in London is hosting an event to launch an audio tour of the gallery exploring the sounds of materials, entitled What Can the Matter Be?

Kings College London’s Materials Library has taken a slightly off-the-wall appraisal of the exhibits – looking at the science of the sounds of the materials.

Quentin is joined by Professor Trevor Cox of Salford University and Dr Mark Miodownic from King's to discuss the sounds materials make, with the aid of some studio props.
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