BBC HomeExplore the BBC


Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC Radio
BBC Radio 4 - 92 to 94 FM and 198 Long WaveListen to Digital Radio, Digital TV and OnlineListen on Digital Radio, Digital TV and Online

PROGRAMME FINDER:
Programmes
Podcasts
Schedule
Presenters
PROGRAMME GENRES:
News
Drama
Comedy
Science
Religion|Ethics
History
Factual
Messageboards
Radio 4 Tickets
Radio 4 Help

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 

Science
THE MATERIAL WORLD
MISSED A PROGRAMME?
Go to the Listen Again page
PROGRAMME INFO
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.
Contact Material World
LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 19 April
PRESENTER
QUENTIN COOPER
Quentin Cooper
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Thursday 19 April 2007
James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (copyright Joint Astronomy Centre, Hawaii)
Picture Credit: Phil Allen (PGL) and Simon Stewart (BP)

SILVERPIT DEBATE
About 65 million years ago, an object 120 metres wide and weighing 7 million tonnes fell from space. It plunged into the shallow sea off the coast of what is now Yorkshire. It left a 3km crater, and showered havoc and destruction on the surrounding area.

Or so many geologists think.

In 2002, Phil Allen published the discovery of what was hailed in many quarters as the UK’s first and so far only impact crater. Since then, some have cast doubt over its origins.

Could the strange, ring-shaped fault lines surrounding the Silverpit Crater, as it came to be known, point to a more earthly genesis?

The debate has rumbled on ever since, and recently the Geologist leading the case for the opposition has presented what he believes to be further evidence supporting his subterranean theory.

Professor John Underhill of Edinburgh University is joined by the Silverpit’s discoverer, Phil Allen of Production Geoscience Ltd to thrash it out with Quentin.

MANAGING UNCERTAINTY IN COMPLEX MODELS
In many branches of science, more and more predictions are made by running computer models.

But as these models get increasingly complex, a better understanding of the mathematics of uncertainty is becoming essential, especially when important policy decisions hinge on the scientists’ predictions.

From flu outbreaks to climate change, from bridges and plumbing, scientists have to assess the degree of uncertainty by comparing different predictive models.

The MUCM (Managing Uncertainty in Complex Models) project has been set up to draw together a set of statistical rules and technologies that could impact on all areas of science for the better.

Leader of the £2 million project, Professor Tony O’Hagan of Sheffield University’s Department of Probability and Statistics and Dr Peter Challenor, Head of Ocean Observations and Climate Research Group at the University of Southampton discuss the odds of success.
Listen Live
Audio Help
DON'T MISS
Leading Edge
The Material World
Current Programmes
Previous Programmes
Science, Nature & Environment Programmes
Current Programmes
Archived Programmes

News & Current Affairs | Arts & Drama | Comedy & Quizzes | Science | Religion & Ethics | History | Factual

Back to top


About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy