BBC Two – Dara O Briain's Science Club
This show turned out to be very informative, and in a quirky respect quite funny. I’ve always enjoyed Dara’s take on anything science – mainly with him having a physics degree he knows a thing or two about science principles – and he knows just how to bring complex ideas and expressions back down to the human level for everyone else to understand.
I’m not sure on the semi live issue of the show, the edits were not done well, as though the show was recorded half hour before going live, but I do like the premise and I can not wait to see how they tackle more topics and wider themes…
Updated from a earlier posts
I really enjoyed this one, because I have a passing interest in particle physic and all that space/time theory. I also found the idea of vacuum energy from professor Jim al-Khalili quite an eye opener, that this could be the best candidate for ‘dark energy’ fascinating. That the universe could end up tearing itself apart was not something I had heard of before. I had heard of gravity waves, though how the wave were being looked for is quite simple really, though I don’t think that we will detect them any time soon, as even though there must be waves of gravity travelling through space, they are so minute that I feel we would not be able to detect them on the earth.
I was a bit surprised by the random clip of the man looking for Einstein’s brain, not sure what that was supposed to impart. But overall a thoroughly great second episode.
Updated 20th November 2012…
Dara O Briain’s Science Club – Life, Death & Extiction
Another cracking episode from Dara and the Science Club gurus. This time it was dealing with the issues of extinction, and more specifically if we were to blame for the biggest extinction event happening.
I have to say that this episode was a bit more ‘controversial’ than the previous two. Mainly for the section on should we give up on saving the pandas and, in a completely left field segue, celebrating the shotgun.
Now I understand both view points on whether we should continue spending so much money and resources on the Giant Panda – mega-fauna species, as the panda was referred to during the show – or let the species that is very particular in what it eats or when it mates, naturally die out, as seen in many species throughout the history of the earth. My opinion is that we should keep trying to save this species, even though the costs involved are quite large. I know they are not a key species in their ecosystem in china, not like the humble-bee; if you remove the bee from its ecosystem that ecosystem can collapse But Giant Pandas have become the ‘poster bear’ for conservation, ask most people about conservation and they will normally mention the @Panda as the most endangered creature. As such, I think we will keep people awareness and interest in conservation if we have a recognizable creature in the Panda that is seen as ‘cute’ and adorable to focus people’s minds on visiting Zoological Parks and giving to conservation charities. This will then help the charities and parks to fund programs to help other endangered species to survive. They have become the linchpin in the ‘ecosystem of conservation’; you remove them from the public’s idea on helping save a species, then more species will be lost in the long run.
The other aspect this program that was quite surprising was in its ‘celebration’ of the Shotgun. Mark Miodownik took us through a demonstration on how the shotgun works, and how, due to the development of the cartridge, the shotgun was able to kill many more animals. It was shown how the shotgun was able to kill 50 carrier pigeons in one shot and that within 20 years of creating the shotgun cartridge, the carrier pigeon became extinct.
I understand that the show has a need to offer varying viewpoints and not to shy away from the controversial questions, but Dara was almost gleeful in introducing the shotgun clip. And Mark was almost praising in how the shotgun was the most influential development in the extinctions of many species. Not quite in my taste, but an interesting point.
Again, overall I really enjoyed the show, but I am noticing that even though the subject matter they are covering each week is a broad spectrum, I do feel that they are only briefly scratching the surface of the topic. I would like to see more in-depth take on the subject, to try to have more of a debate and understanding from the premise of each show and not just quickly gloss over some aspects of each premise.
- BBC’s Science Club with Dara O Briain (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)