Exchanges At the Frontier is a unique series of events from BBC World Service with the Wellcome Collection in which the world's leading scientists are tested over the impact of their work by the philosopher and public intellectual AC Grayling.
The urgent and critical subjects of climate change, the origin of the universe, life on other planets, the nature of consciousness, and the most ambitious and expensive science project the world has ever known are all presented to the public in a clear new light by the world's leading authorities in their fields.
In the first of the series, on the eve of the United Nations Climate Change Conference AC Grayling talks to Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The IPCC comprises 4,000 of the world's climate change scientists and in 2007 he collected the Nobel Peace Prize on their behalf.
Their latest survey of the effects of global warming, The Fourth Assessment Report forms the scientific basis for the discussions in Copenhagen and is accepted by all of UN recognised governments.
In this programme AC Grayling and members of the audience ask Dr Pachauri to spell out the truth on climate change and the future for the human race.
Over the next five weeks on Exchanges At The Frontier, the US cosmologist Lawrence Krauss, the Ghanaian nuclear physicist Tejinder Virdee, the Canadian neurophilosopher Patricia Churchland and the American astronomer Seth Shostak explore the frontiers of science.
With the help of a public audience AC Grayling discusses the Large Hadron Collider at Cern with the man behind the building of the CMS machine; he explores the latest breakthroughs in neuroscience with an expert who says free-will is an illusion and the deliberations of the mind are automatic responses; and on the 8th and 9th of December he discusses the Origins of the Universe, and the existence of a strange force which permeates the Universe – dark energy.
(Image: Rajendra Pachauri. Credit: Getty)