Programme 4: 14th November 2007
Adam Walton examines the science behind the headlines and reveals the latest scientific research in Wales
Wednesday 14th November at 9.30pm
(Repeated Sunday 18th November at 5.03pm)
Looking for Planet Earth
Last week a team of astronomers announced that they'd discovered a new planet in a star system 41 light years away. This was the fifth planet to be discovered orbiting the star - which is called 55 Cancri - so the system now holds the record for the most planets outside our solar system. The number of extra-solar planets discovered so far stands at 264 but the total is increasing rapidly. Dr. Edward Gomez, Operations Manager of the Faulkes Telsecope Project at Cardiff University joins Adam on this week's programme to talk about the search for new planets, the astronomical equivalent of the search for a needle in a haystack.
So, why is this programme called The Science Cafe? Well, like all the best ideas we stole it, but for the best of reasons: science Cafes are a worldwide movement which bring science to a wider audience by taking it out of the laboratory and into pubs, theatres and, of course, cafes. There are now science cafes all over the world and on this week's programme we meet Duncan Dallas, the man who came up with the original idea. We're also joined by Dr. Emily Roberts, organiser of the Swansea Science Cafe and reporter Paul Morris reports from Emily's most recent event, held at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea.
Science Fact and Science Fiction
How accurately does science fiction reflect the scientific research which is actually going on? Equally, how much are scientists influenced by the science fiction they see in books and films? That's the theme of 'Different Engines' a new book co-authored by Prof. Mark Brake of the University of Glamorgan. Mark drops in to discuss mad scientists, alien invasions and definitions of SF.
Every week at the Science Cafe there's a shot of Espresso Science - a quick, fun experiment - from the Techniquest @ NEWI Science Discovery Centre in Wrexham. This week, Adam joins Diane Gray and John Griffith to make music with a drinking straw and a pair of scissors...
Listen to the latest Espresso Science online now
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