Thursday is the zenith of the week for the small group I have had the joy of working amongst these last few days. 16:30 on Thursday, to be precise, with the live broadcast of “Material World”. I was able to be a small part of the last ever episode of this show, and contributed notes and queries on the topic of Scientific Uncertainty.
Yesterday I managed to recruit Profs Angela McLean (Oxford, Zoology) and Ian Stewart (Warwick, Maths) to the cause, to discuss the nature of certainty or otherwise in scientific discoveries, predictions, and methods. The results are available for all to hear here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b02yl46w My bit lies between horse DNA and cutlery!Having written out a handful of potential questions for the presenter Gareth Mitchell, to put to the guests, together with expected possible responses from them, my work was incorporated into a draft script, as one third of the half hour content. I wrote some words for the website, found an appropriate photo and got permissions, and sat back. Angela arrived at NBH in good time, and Alex Mansfield took us up to the studio, guiding the process expertly as ever. Ania Lichtarowicz oversaw the entire process with calm professionalism, providing reassurance and encouragement in good measure.
Watching the show go out live was nail biting, What might go wrong? Who might dry up? Which major statesman might die in the next 30 minutes and upset the entire schedule? In the end Gareth was a master, guiding the discussion smoothly and seamlessly, a joy to watch and hear. Relief, and sadness, at the final episode of a great piece of radio. The only live science show on BBC Radio. I am glad I was there, just in time, to take part and to see it.