02 Oct 2008

Open University scientists help make sense of The Material World on BBC Radio 4

Quentin Cooper - host of The Material World

Quentin Cooper - host of The Material World

Four programmes in BBC Radio 4’s popular natural science series, The Material World, will feature the work of different scientists from The Open University.

The scientists are Dr David Robinson, Senior Lecturer in Biological Science, Dr John Murray, Senior Research Fellow in Earth and Environmental Sciences (on Nov 20), John Zarnecki, Professor of Space Science (on Nov 27), and Dr Vincent Gauci, Lecturer in Earth Systems and Ecosystem Science (on Dec 4).

In the first programme, Quentin Cooper joins Dr David Robinson as he hunts for speckled bush crickets at Wittenham Clumps, near Didcot in Oxfordshire. David’s work is concentrating on recording the ultrasonic calls between male and female crickets and the technologies used to measure and record them. Quentin also visits the Natural History Museum to see living and dead examples of bush crickets and interviews cricket expert Judith Marshall.

Each programme follows a scientist as he works on a specific project, giving the listener insights into the particulars of scientific research.

As well as The Open University researchers, each programme also features work by scientists from other organisations, to show how science is a collaborative endeavour.

Further information about each episode, the series and the scientific issues being discussed can be found at www.open2.net/materialworld from Thursday October 9.

Editor’s Notes

The four programmes mentioned of the Material World are BBC and Open University co-productions for BBC Radio 4.

The episodes that The Open University has co-produced will be broadcast on October 9th, November 20th, November 27th and December 4th.

The series is also available to listen again on the BBC iPlayer. This is the fourth series that has been co-produced with The Open University.

The Executive Producer for the BBC is Deborah Cohen. Executive Producer for The Open University is Emma De’Ath. Broadcast and Learning Executive for The Open University is Dr Janet Sumner.

The Open University and BBC have been in partnership for more than 30 years, providing educational programming to a mass audience. In recent times this partnership has evolved from late night programming for delivering courses to peak time programmes with a broad appeal to encourage wider participation in learning.

All broadcast information is correct at time of issue.

Associated Open University Courses:-
S396 Ecosystems

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