John Davies browses through the broadcasting week (all times pm unless stated).
Pick of the week "Losing Faith in Science" is the subtitle of Wednesday's The Commission (8.00 R4), in which Vivian Nathanson of the British Medical Association and others search for ways to bridge the gap between scientists and the public. Faith in science - and politicians - has been an issue in the BSE inquiry: its key moments are recalled in Beef Encounter (Sunday 8.00 C4). More straightforward science comes with Equinox (Monday 9.00 C4) and Horizon (Thursday 9.00 BBC2).
FRIDAY October 6 Twenty Minutes: Philosophical Lives (8.30 R3). Bernard Williams talks to Jonathan Ree.
Saturday October 7 The Irish Empire (5.55 BBC2). The final programme attempts to sum up contemporary Irishness at home and abroad.
Correspondent: Lessons from History (6.50 BBC2). Rebecca West's Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (1941) is Janine di Giovanni's companion as she revisits Bosnia.
Meet the Ancestors Canterbury Special (7.35 BBC2). The bones of Thomas a Becket and the Canterbury pilgrim business.
The Shakespeare for the Millennium Lecture (10.00 R3). Germaine Greer on the Bard's portrayal of monarchy.
Sunday October 8 The Book Show (11.30am Sky News, repeated 8.30). This week, historian Lucy Moore and novelist-biographer Peter Ackroyd.
Sunday Feature: Faultline (5.45 R3). Dennis Marks begins a four-part journey through the culture and history of Middle Europe.
Sunday Play: Moonlight (7.30 R3). Harold Pinter's 1993 play gets its first radio airing.
Beef Encounter (8.00 C4). See pick of the week.
Monday October 9 Contaminated: Karen Silkwood (7.00 History Channel). On the US nuclear whistleblower, 25 years after her mysterious death.
University Challenge (8.00 BBC2). University of Aberdeen versus University of York.
Equinox (9.00 C4). Racing-car technology and the psychology of racing drivers.
Tuesday October 10 Twenty Minutes: Walter Benjamin's Paris (8.00 and 9.20 R3). Two programmes on the influential thinker's unfinished Arcades project. First, a reading of extracts; then discussion led by Birkbeck's Steven Connor.
Why Doctors Make Mistakes (9.00 C4). On "breaking the code of silence".
Wednesday October 11 The Commission (8.00 R4). See pick of the week.
A History of Britain (9.30 BBC2). Part three: Dynasty. Simon Schama goes from 1087 to 1216, stressing the importance of Henry II and the Magna Carta, "the death certificate for despotism".
Night Waves (9.45 R3). Can universities cope with the changing needs of Britain?
Thursday October 12 Melvyn Bragg: In Our Time (9.00am R4). Jonathan Bate and others on the Romantics.
About Face (8.30 World Service, repeated Friday 2.30am, 3.30) With Camille Paglia.
Costing the Earth (9.00 R4). Environmental risk analysis, with the thoughts of former government pesticide adviser Colin Berry.
The Science of Secrecy (9.00 C4). How to decode Egyptian hieroglyphs.
Material World (4.30 R4). Focus on pain.
Horizon: Mega-Tsunami (9.30 BBC2). The destructive power of huge waves and the possibility that landslides may trigger them.
The Sopranos (10.30 C4). New series of the US drama series.
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