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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 AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 21 June
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SUE NELSON
Sue Nelson
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Thursday 21 June 2007
A human heart between donor and recipient. Taken by the heart surgeon, Francis Wells.
A human heart between donor and recipient. Taken by heart surgeon Francis Wells.

The Heart Exhibition

The heart is no ordinary bodily organ. Ever since man first noticed its vital role, centuries before understanding the circulation of the blood, the heart has fulfilled a very special role in the human condition – spiritually and anatomically.

This week a new exhibition area opens at the home of the Wellcome Trust, just opposite Euston Station in Central London.

The £31million makeover presents two permanent exhibitions and one temporary space which will house an exhibition about The Heart.

Dr Ken Arnold, the head of public programmes at the Wellcome Trust, and Mr Francis Wells, cardio-thoracic surgeon at Cambridge’s Papworth Hospital join Sue in the studio to talk about the collection, the collector, and a live open heart surgery that Francis will be performing as part of the exhibition.

String Theory – knot good enough?

Radio 4 Drama’s science season continues on Saturday with Charlotte Jones’ play Humble Boy. In it, a young physicist turns to String Theory in an attempt to unite the irreconcilable in his life. But is he doomed to failure?

A skirmish in science has erupted recently and string theory – the idea that all particles are actually minute strings vibrating in 11 dimensional reality – has suffered a backlash.

Some are suggesting that 20 years with nothing to show for it is just not good enough. And that it’s now time to abandon string theory and find a different way to unite gravity with quantum mechanics.

Two researchers who have been blogging on the subject – albeit from different sides of the fence, and different sides of the USA, are Drs Peter Woit and Sean Carroll, who join Sue for our continued science/drama tie-in.

NEXT WEEK:    Science on the stage...
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