Monday, January 5, 2009

BBC Radio 4 on Darwin

BBC Radio 4 is broadcasting various Darwin-related programs this week:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/darwin/

If you don't get to listen to them in real time, you can listen to them via the links on the Radio 4 site or via the BBC iPlayer service: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/

I have listened to Craig Venter's Dear Darwin , which covered advances in our understanding about DNA and DNA sequences since Darwin's time and Venter's own work on genome sequencing, Venter's oceanic voyages and surveys (inspired by Darwin's Beagle voyage) and his attempts at synthetic biology. Sadly, although Venter has a reputation for being a mover and shaker in the field of genomics, he is not a natural orator. Also I feel he could have made more of the argument he used when recently taking to Dawkins--that we could recapitulate evolution, even if there were no fossil record, just from genome sequences. But it was worth listening to nonetheless.

NB: these programs may be available only for a short time and on most platforms come only as streaming audio. If you want to download them as MP3s to keep and listen to when you like, Mac users should use iPlayer Grabber (which pretends to be an iPhone):
http://fader.co.uk/post/iPlayer-Grabber-the-iPlayer-downloader-for-Mac-OS-X.aspx
and Linux/Windows users should look here:
http://po-ru.com/diary/bbc-iplayer-fix-hacked-again/ (but you will need to install Ruby).

Also, if you are outside the UK, follow the instructions here on how to find and set up a UK proxy server:
http://bbs.scoobynet.com/computer-related-34/658352-how-get-bbc-iplayer-work-outside-uk.html

2 comments:

Michael D. Barton, FCD said...

The first of In Our Time's 4-part series on Darwin is available:
http://thedispersalofdarwin.wordpress.com/2009/01/05/bbcs-in-our-time-on-the-origins-of-charles-darwin/

darwinsbulldog said...

The first of In Our Time's 4-part series on Darwin is available:
http://thedispersalofdarwin.wordpress.com/2009/01/05/bbcs-in-our-time-on-the-origins-of-charles-darwin/