Higher channels

May 12, 2000

John Davies scans the schedules (all times pm unless stated).

Pick of the week.

One of today's major scientific questions, the patenting and use of human genetic material, is probed in the second programme of the Designing Our Lives series (Monday 7.30 BBC2). Janice Kirkpatrick, visiting professor of design at Glasgow University, goes to the US for a quick briefing on patent law before getting a variety of views on the "ownership" of genes. Against are campaigner Jeremy Rifkin and patent-law expert James Boyle. Icelandic genetics entrepreneur Kari Stefansson takes a more commercial view.

FRIDAY May 12

The Brain (8.05 World Service, repeated Monday 3.05). Schizophrenia, with Chris Frith of the Institute of Neurology, and others.

SATURDAY May 13

One Foot in the Past: The Hero and the Harlot (7.35 BBC2). Dan Cruickshank on Nelson's scandalous personal life. Followed by Myths of Nelson's Navy (8.05 BBC2), the "myths" being (for instance) that the press gang was brutal, seamen were badly fed and women didn't sail with the navy. Exeter University's Nicholas Rodger and Brian Lavery of the National Maritime Museum are among those consulted.

The Archive Hour: Images of Belsen (8.00 R4). The concentration camp after liberation, with Imperial War Museum archive material and new interviews.

SUNDAY May 14

Sunday Feature: Mona Lisa - The Unvarnished Truth (5.45 R3). Louisa Buck on the murky history of the famous painting.

Phantoms in the Brain (8.00 C4). California-based neuropsychologist V. S. Ramachandran looks at oddities such as phantom limbs to illuminate the big questions on consciousness and mind-body relations.

Tate Modern (8.00 BBC2). "The Enemy Within". Marcel Duchamp's celebrated urinal/fountain (a centrepiece of the new Tate) is the basis for an exploration of the "virus" of the avant-garde and its challenge to the museum as an institution.

Ultimate Questions (11.00 ITV). First in ethical-debate series asks if it is ever right to tell a lie. Guests include Jonathan Aitken.

MONDAY May 15

Inventors Imperfect (11.00am R4). Adam Hart-Davis on Marconi and the other inventors of the wireless. More inventors, on Tuesday (BBC2).

Designing Our Lives (7.30 BBC2). See pick of the week.

True Stories: Mr Death (9.00 C4). Top US film-maker Errol Morris's portrait of Fred Leuchter, "expert" on capital punishment.

Night Waves (9.30 R3). Discussion on holistic thinking and what it means.

Real Estates (11.20 BBC2, also Tuesday and Wednesday). Newsnight spin-off exploring social exclusion in Britain.

TUESDAY May 16

Local Heroes (8.00 BBC2). Adam Hart-Davis returns with more pioneering inventors.

Tickling the Dragon's Tail (11.00 Discovery). The story of Canadian scientist Louis Slotin, involved in the atomic bomb's development.

WEDNESDAY May 17

Brits - The Secret War (9.30 BBC2). Peter Taylor on the British army's role in Ireland since 1968, with new testimony.

THURSDAY May 18

The Material World (4.30 R4). Should we worry about the invasion of "alien" plants? Durham University's Phil Gates discusses.

Costing the Earth (9.00 R4). The impact of industrial farming on the third world.

Elizabeth (9.00 C4). David Starkey reaches 1588, the summer of the Spanish Armada.

More programmes at: www.thesis.co.uk Email Davieses@aol.com

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