Higher channels

November 13, 1998

John Davies scans the weekly schedules for TV and radio programmes of academic relevance. (All times pm unless stated.) Pick of the Week

Science at War (Thursday 9.25 BBC2). Documentary about germ warfare. Starting in the ruins of Unit 731, where Japanese General Ishii directed experiments on Chinese prisoners, the programme tells of Britain's wartime experiments with anthrax on a Scottish island and America's postwar development of "aero-biology". Under Nixon, the United States renounced biological warfare, but treaties have failed to put the genie back in the bottle, as we know from Iraq.

Also this week

FRIDAY November 13

Search for the Great Apes (7.00 National Geographic). What Diane Fossey discovered about mountain gorillas and orang-utans. And among Channel 5's nature documentaries this week, Paradise in Peril (Sunday 8.00) looks at primates in the "once vast Upper Guinea forest."

Saturday November 14

United Irishman (2.30 Radio 4). The story of Wolfe Tone, hero of Ireland's 1798 uprising. On the same theme, Radio 3's Sunday Feature the following day (5.45) explains how Sheridan's 1799 play Pizarro was a coded defence of the unsuccessful rebellion.

Cold War (10 BBC2). The impact of the USSR's Sputnik launch in 1957.

Sunday November 15

Michael Ondaatje in Conversation (4.30 R4).

The Idea of the City (5.00 BBC World Service, repeated Tuesday 3.30am and 11.30am). Series on the evolution of cities worldwide, and their future.

Monday November 16

Anatomy of Desire (10.00 C4). Four-part series about human sexuality starts with "Instinct" and the usual comments about "our ancestral past" and what men and women are "programmed" to do.

Wednesday November 18

Behind Closed Doors (7.30 BBC2). First of series on British secret societies visits Mount St Bernard Abbey, Leicestershire, whose monks were apparently "editorially involved" in making the programme.

Thursday November 19

Law in Action (4.0 R4). A look at how environmental laws are working.

John Davies

(Davieses@aol.com)

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