Brian Cox – In Search of Science
Professor Brian Cox introduces Britain's science heroes
Professor Brian Cox is going in search of the best of British science. Introducing his science heroes, Brian visits the places where they made their discoveries, recreating their experiments and examining their legacy to their scientific descendants. He finds that this tradition of innovation and discovery owes everything to the early pioneers – but he also exposes the often surprising themes that define modern science; how the business of discovery and innovation is a process of creative inspiration, collaboration and true grit. Brian finds out what science is, where science came from, and where science may be taking us.
Professor Brian Cox guides viewers through 350 years of British science to reveal what science really is, who the people are who practise it, and how it is inextricably linked to the past, present and future of each and every one of us.
Episode 1: Frankenstein’s Monsters
Professor Brian Cox guides viewers through 350 years of British science. He grapples with science’s darker side, asking why it often gets such a bad press.
Episode 2: Method and Madness
Professor Brian Cox celebrates Britain’s pivotal role in creating the systems of modern science, from Newton to hydrogen explosions and more.
Episode 3: Clear Blue Skies
Professor Brian Cox finishes the series by looking at the happy accidents that have led to scientific breakthroughs and considering just how discoveries are made.
In the first part, Professor Cox grapples with science’s darker side, asking why, when science has done so much for us, it often gets such a bad press. Starting with the original Frankenstein – the grisly 19th-century tale of George Foster‘s hanging and subsequent ‘electrocution’, Brian confronts the idea that science can go ‘too far’. From the nuclear bomb to genetic modification, British science has always been at the cutting edge of discovery, but are British scientists feckless meddlers, or misunderstood visionaries whose gifts to humanity are corrupted by the unscrupulous?
This time, Professor Cox celebrates Britain’s pivotal role in creating modern science. From performing Isaac Newton‘s iconic light experiment to meeting a wartime code breaker and making hydrogen explosions, Professor Cox leads the way through 300 years of British history. Along the way, he introduces the obsessive, eccentric, visionary characters who dragged science into the modern world by developing a powerful new way to investigate nature. He reveals what science really is, explores the mindset of those who practise it, and shows how science runs through the past, present and future of everyone.
British science has a long track record of accidental discoveries improving our lot. Wondering why the sky is blue helped British scientists crack bacterial infection, whilst looking for a way to make quinine helped make our world a much more colourful place, as it led to the discovery of the first synthetic organic dye. But is this the best way to carry on?
Professor Brian Cox ends his homage to British science by looking at how discoveries are made, asking whether it is better to let the scientists do their own thing, and hope for happy accidents, or to only back scientific winners at the risk of missing the occasional gems.