• Question: I am a girl aged 14. What science TV shows do you think i should watch to help me get better at science generally that i would be interested in?

    Asked by clifford1 to Meeks, Pete, Stephen, Steve, Tom on 22 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Marieke Navin

      Marieke Navin answered on 22 Jun 2010:

      I’m sure everyone will say this but Brian Cox’s Wonders series is brilliant!

    • Photo: Stephen Curry

      Stephen Curry answered on 22 Jun 2010:

      Anything that makes you more enthusiastic about science would be good. Recent good ones have been “Wonders of the Solar System” and Jim Al-Khalili’s series about Chemistry (his one on the Atom was bril’ too).

      But you shouldn’t just rely on TV – books are a much better source of info, if you really want to dig into a subject. Trouble is I’m not sure what I would recommend to a 14 yr old. A quirky choice, perhaps, but “Bad Science” by Ben Goldacre is a good one – his descriptions of bad science help to show what good science should be like!

    • Photo: Tom Hartley

      Tom Hartley answered on 22 Jun 2010:

      TV shows are good at sparking your interest in science and helping you understand how science works. They are not so good at developing scientific skills and knowledge. I like programmes like Brian Cox’s Wonders of the Solar System, because he gets you thinking in a scientific way, and shows how amazing and mysterious the world and planets can be. For me science is all about the thrill of finding new things out, so it is great to hear about new mysteries and wonders. I think Bang Goes The Theory is pretty good, too.

      Some scientific documentaries are a bit too “story-like” for my liking, they tend to centre on an individual scientist and the things they did to make some wonderful discovery. This is not really the way most science works, and I often think the story has been “jazzed-up” because the non-scientists who make the programmes think stories about people are more interesting than real science.

      One excellent exception to this was a wonderful programme about Jocelyn Bell Burnham who discovered pulsars. This was on BBC4 recently. If you ever get a chance to see it, or to see Prof Bell Burnham in the flesh, you should take it. She is a real inspiration, and the model of an open-minded scientist explorer. I have become a huge fan since seeing the programme.

    • Photo: Steve Roser

      Steve Roser answered on 22 Jun 2010:

      Hi again clifford1 – good chat this morning – A lot of the big shows are good and inspiring – I think we mentioned Brian Cox and Jim AlKhalili this morning, as being really inspiring presenters. I also like the really crazy shows like braniac, because they are FUN, and in teh end, thats a lot about what I do – have fun!