Higher channels

January 28, 2000

John Davies looks for useful TV and radio programmes. (All times pm unless stated.)

Pick of the week

Since it started last autumn, the Open University's Science Night (Thursdays/Fridays BBC2) has recycled some interesting material. Next month (from February 10-11) it begins a complete rerun of the late Jacob Bronowski's magnificent history-of-science survey, The Ascent of Man. This week, we get to see a 1973 Michael Parkinson interview with Bronowski, surely one of this century's great science communicators.

SATURDAY January 29

Archive Hour - Oh Boy, Oh Boy, He's Going Down (8.00 R4). Sean Street, professor of radio at Bournemouth University, on the medium's unscripted moments.

Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves (8.00 C4). The persecution of the Roma in the Czech Republic.

The Brains Trust (10.30 R3). Louis de Bernieres, Steven Rose, Eamon Duffy, et al.

SUNDAY January 30

Bad Blood (7.00 History Channel). One for the medical ethics seminar: the story of the "Tuskegee experiment", in which a group of African Americans with syphilis were, "in the interests of science", left untreated for their disease.

Twenty Twenty (7.15 R4). New discussion series about the future. Programme one's guests include genetics guru Steve Jones.

Blair's Thousand Days (8.00 BBC2, 9.30 Wales). Michael Cockerell, who can usually be relied on to unearth new insights, offers a portrait of the PM. First of two parts.

MONDAY January 31

Take Ten Teachers (4.15 World Service, repeated Friday 7.30). Series profiling teachers around the world from Bombay and Thailand to Germany, Scotland and Costa Rica.

Counterblast: Organic Food - The Modern Myth (7.30 BBC2). The European Science and Environmental Forum's Roger Bate on "flawed assumptions" behind organic trends.

If We Had No Moon (8.00 Discovery Channel). How the moon has helped Earth's evolution along and what life might have been like without it.

Twenty Minutes - Keepers (8.40 R3 and rest of week, times vary). Five programmes in which curators and museum directors talk to Tim Marlow, beginning with Irving Finkel, the British Museum's assistant keeper of western Asiatic antiquities.

TUESDAY February 1

Unreliable Evidence (9.00 am R4). Clive Anderson's legal talk series returns with a discussion on the future of the Law Lords.

Body Chemistry (9.30 BBC2). New series about the chemicals of the human body and their effect on our lives.

WEDNESDAY February 2

Origins - The Human Factor (9.00 R4). Second of Aubrey Manning's investigations into the origins of early man. With Reading archaeologist Steven Mithen and the Natural History Museum's Chris Stringer.

THURSDAY February 3

The Material World (4.30 R4). What are the scientific procedures for naming new plants, animals, stars or other discoveries? Answers from botanist Sandy Knapp, zoologist Geoff Boxshall and astronomer Jacqueline Mitton.

Churchill's Secret Army (8.00 C4). Part two of absorbing now-it-can-be-revealed history of the wartime Special Operations Executive, in which we learn of some of its failures.

Horizon: Supervolcanoes (9.30 BBC2). About the huge caldera (collapsed volcanic crater) under America's Yellowstone Park and the consequences if it erupted.

Open University: Parkinson (12.45 am BBC2). See pick of the week.

More details can be found at: www.thesis. co.uk. Email: Davieses@aol.com

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