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The Dance of Nature

From schools of fish to starlings to atomic particles, group behaviour in nature discussed by Jim Al-Khalili, Melissa Bateson, Andrew McBain and Richard Bevan. Rana Mitter hosts.

From schools of fish to starlings to atomic particles. what does group behaviour look like in nature? Rana Mitter is joined by BBC Radio 4’s presenter of The Life Scientific Jim Al-Khalili, Melissa Bateson, Andrew McBain and Richard Bevan. Recorded with an audience at Sage Gateshead for the 2018 Free Thinking Festival.

Jim Al-Khalili is Professor of Physics at the University of Surrey and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s The Life Scientific and TV documentaries including Gravity and Me: The Force that Shapes Our Lives and The Beginning and End of the Universe. His books include Paradox: the Nine Greatest Enigmas in Science, Black Holes, Wormholes and Time Machines, Quantum: a Guide for the Perplexed and he’s edited What’s Next ? What Science Can Tell Us About Our Future.

Melissa Bateson is Professor of Ethology at Newcastle University, an expert in behavioural biology who has studied the behaviour of starlings, hummingbirds and humans.

Andrew McBain is a Professor of Microbiology at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on the responses of biofilms to antimicrobial treatments and the interaction of microorganisms colonising the skin, nasopharynx, oral cavity and intestine with the human host in health and disease

Richard Bevan is a lecturer in the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences at Newcastle University. His research interests are in animal ecophysiology; the way that animals interact with their environment both physiologically and behaviourally and how this is vital in understanding and interpreting their biology.

Producer: Torquil MacLeod

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44 minutes