On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe explores life in the oceans. The biologist Luke Rendell studies the evolution of social learning in whales and dolphins, and seeks to define their culture beneath the waves. The seahorse is a creature with a rich mythical history and is the subject of Andrew Motion's latest poem, while the biologist Helen Scales weaves science, natural history and culture in her story of the seashell. The biochemist Nick Lane looks back over 4 billion years to explain why life is the way it is and believes energy flux is the vital factor that has driven the origin and evolution of life.
Producer: Katy Hickman.
Luke Rendell is a lecturer in biology at the Sea Mammal Research Unit and the Centre for Social Learning and Cognitive Evolution of the University of St Andrews.
The Cultural Lives of Whales and Dolphins, co-authored with Hal Whitehead, is published by The University of Chicago Press.
Luke will be speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival on Saturday 6 June.
Andrew Motion, former Poet Laureate, is Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Andrew will read a new poem, Consider the Seahorse, at ZSL London Zoo Aquarium on 29 April at 6.30pm, as part of the Authors for Animals series.
Nick Lane is a biochemist in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at University College London and leads the UCL Origins of Life Programme.
The Vital Question: Why is life the way it is? is published by Profile Books.
|Interviewed Guest||Luke Rendell|
|Interviewed Guest||Helen Scales|
|Interviewed Guest||Andrew Motion|
|Interviewed Guest||Nick Lane|