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Thinking Allowed

Normalizing Dirty Work - Fenian Diaspora

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

How do those tackling society's dirtiest jobs make their occupations seem more palatable?

Mortuary worker, sewer engineer, sex worker, refuse collector… how do the people who do society's dirtiest jobs manage to make their occupations seem more palatable?

NORMALIZING DIRTY WORK

Laurie Taylor is joined by Professor Blake Ashforth, Rusty Lyon Chair in Strategy in the W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University and co-author of Normalizing Dirty Work: Managerial Tactics for Countering Occupational Taint, a research study which looked at how 54 managers, in 18 ‘dirty work’ occupations in America, utilise a series of social tactics to ‘normalise’ the social stigma attached to their occupation. They discuss how workers, who are employed in a dirty occupation, are able to retain a relatively high occupational self esteem and pride.

FENIAN DIASPORA

Dr Gerry Kearns, Senior Lecturer in Geography at the University of Cambridge talks about his current research into the Irish abroad and their effect upon terrorist activities at home during the late 19th century.  Dr Kearns examines the ‘Fenian Diaspora’ to look for the mechanisms that underlie relationships between emigrants and nationalist conflicts at home.

Click On

Series 1 Episode 4

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

Rajesh Mirchandani investigates just how many people are using unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

Rajesh Mirchandani investigates just how many people are using unsecured Wi-Fi networks, challenges the users and businesses who are leaving themselves open to hackers.

Rajesh Mirchandani presents a series covering the latest developments and issues in the world of IT.

He investigates just how many people are using unsecured Wi-Fi networks - challenging the users and businesses who are leaving themselves open to hackers involved in illegal activities, including downloading child pornography and online banking details theft.

Rajesh also questions the use of Open Source software and considers the benefits and drawbacks for the voluntary sector where money saved on software may not offset the higher costs of IT support.

The Making of Modern Medicine

Episode 14: Changing disease identity

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

A side effect of progress in medical thinking is that diseases had identities changed.

A side effect of progress in medical thinking is that diseases often had their identities changed over time. Andrew looks at the disease that became known as tuberculosis.

A major narrative history series exploring over 2,000 years of western medicine, written and presented by medical historian Andrew Cunningham.

We assume all diseases are eternal. But a side-effect of progress in medical thinking is that diseases often had their identities changed over time. New measuring tools meant that it was impossible to say whether a disease, before and after scientific medicine developed, was in fact the same disease.

Andrew examines the many changing identities of consumption - soon to become known as tuberculosis - a widespread disease throughout 19th century Europe, affecting people of all ages and from all walks of life.

The readers are Tamsin Greig, Scott Handy and Peter Capaldi.

Material World

Dry Rot - Contagious Laughter

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

Exploring just why laughter is so contagious, with Quentin Cooper.

Quentin Cooper talks to neuroscientist Professor Sophie Scott about her research on the brain cells that determine why when we hear laughter, we feel compelled to join in.

Dry Rot

The dry rot fungus, Serpula lacrymans is the most destructive timber decay fungus in the Northern Hemisphere, Australia and New Zealand. It not only brings about the dramatic decay of timber but its ability to spread across non-nutritional surfaces, such as concrete, makes it particularly pervasive. The mere mention of “dry rot” instils a sense of fear and dread in any home-owner but the destruction of the dry rot fungus in our buildings often pales in comparison with the damage wrought by remedial treatments.

Quentin talks to Dr Jagjit Singh, a mycologist and the managing director of Environmental Building Solutions Ltd. He says “Often the lack of understanding of the biology of the fungus is primarily responsible for misconceived ideas about its treatment.” He’s been on an expedition to the Himalaya to discover the origins of the fungus. They’re joined by Dr Sarah Watkinson, a researcher in the Plant Sciences Department of Oxford University with The Joint Genome Institute in America sequencing the S.lacrymans genome.

The aim of the project is primarily to find novel strategies for bio-energy production but the genome sequence itself will contribute to a greater understanding of the biological processes that underlie its role in woodland ecosystems and provide clues for novel control strategies.

Contagious Laughter

Ever heard a joke that you don’t quite understand and yet you laugh anyway just because everyone else is? Quentin explores why laughter is so contagious. New research by Professor Sophie Scott, a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (ICN) at UCL has discovered the neural processes that determine why when we hear laughter we feel compelled to smile, or even laugh as well.

The implications for contagious laughter reach beyond using canned laughter to make us laugh at comedies. Professor Robin Dunbar is a British anthropologist and an evolutionary psychologist who is Director of the Lucy to Language Project. This is the British Academy’s Centenary Research Project looking into the archaeology of the social brain. He suggests that it had for early humans (and has for us today) an instrumental role in the establishment and maintenance of large social groups.

In Business

Walk to Wisdom

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28 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Anil Gupta journeys through India in search of local knowledge and inventions.

Twice a year, professor Anil Gupta leads a troop of followers on foot across villages in India in search of local knowledge and inventions. Peter Day joins them.

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In Business

Leading Edge

Reports from the American Association for the Advancement of Science

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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

Reports from the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Geoff Watts reports from the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Geoff Watts reports from the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science – the year's most important gathering discussing the latest research from a vast range of science medical and technological fields.

Global warming

New research provides dramatic evidence of climate change. Lonnie Thompson of Ohio State University reveals his latest findings for the Quelccaya ice cap in Peru.

Infant memory

Scientists have often been puzzled by our inability as adults to remember events from early life. Recent studies have shown that infants DO form memories, so why do we fail to hang on to them?

Bionics and the brain

Bionic eyes and replacement electronic arms are two of the latest smart prosthetics currently being trialled in patients to restore lost function after injury.

Geoff hears how the adaptability of our brain in learning how to work with this new technology has been largely underestimated.

Maths and the visual arts

Mathematics is being used to decipher distinct statistical signatures from an artists work. This offers new insights into a consistency of style and could help uncover fakes.

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Leading Edge

The Making of Modern Medicine

Episode 15: Sisters of charity

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

How the nursing profession was transformed thanks to an enterprising Florence Nightingale.

How the nursing profession was transformed from the role of virtually a domestic servant thanks to an enterprising Florence Nightingale.

A major narrative history series exploring over 2,000 years of western medicine, written and presented by medical historian Andrew Cunningham.

According to the Nursing Record, a typical nurse in the 1830s was like Sarah Gamp in Charles Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit - a domestic servant who was incompetent and rough with patients.

By the 1880s, a nurse was young, neat and uniformed and had been formally trained. How did this change come about? As Andrew reveals, an enterprising Florence Nightingale gave us a new kind of nurse - offering a vocation that girls 'of good character' increasingly were called to undertake.

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

Francine Stock talks to one of Hollywood's most celebrated names, Clint Eastwood.

Francine Stock talks to one of Hollywood's most celebrated directors and stars, Clint Eastwood, as his film, Letters From Iwo Jima, reaches British cinemas.

Francine Stock talks to one of Hollywood's most celebrated directors and stars, Clint Eastwood. As his film, Letters From Iwo Jima, reaches British cinemas, he reflects on the often ambiguous themes of heroism and conflict in his work.

A Point of View

Flying People, Flagrant Piffle

BBC Radio 4
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10 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Clive James reflects on the martial arts movie and meaningless violence.

From Bruce Lee to Jean-Claude Van Damme to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Clive James reflects on the martial arts movie, and says meaningless violence is still meaningless no matter how you dress it up.

Genre

Open Book

China Mieville, Derek Landy, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Historical Books for Children

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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

China Mieville joins Mariella Frostrup to discuss Un Lun Dun, his first children's novel.

Award winning science-fiction novelist China Mieville joins Mariella Frostrup to discuss Un Lun Dun, his first novel for younger readers.

China Mieville

Award winning science fiction writer China Mieville has written his first book for young readers. Un Lun Dun is the story of two teenage heroines who discover a parallel version of London which they must save from the threat of a malevolent Smog, an evil gathering of pollution bent on death and destruction.

Historical books for children

Caroline Lawrence, creator of the Roman Mystery series and Mary Hoffman, who has written her first historical detective story for children, join Mariella to discuss how to bring the past alive for young readers. They explain how they achieve a balance between historical accuracy and a page turning plot.

Derek Landy

Derek Landy is the latest children's author to be described as 'the new J K Rowling'. He's secured a huge publishing deal for his first book, Skulduggery Pleasant, the story of a magician detective, who just happens to be a skeleton.

Derek talks to Mariella about his sudden success.

The Making of a Marchioness

Frances Hodgson Burnett is best known now for her children's books, including The Secret Garden and Little Lord Fauntleroy. But in fact she also wrote forty novels for adults. The Making of a Marchioness is the story of genteel but impoverished Emily Fox-Seton and the marriage which transforms her life. Michelene Wandor, who has dramatised it for Radio 4 and publisher Nicola Beauman reveal why they love the book.

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Open Book

Great Lives

Series 8 Beatrix Potter

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Fiona Reynolds, former director of the National Trust, chooses writer Beatrix Potter.

4 Extra Debut. Fiona Reynolds, former director of the National Trust, chooses writer Beatrix Potter. With Francine Stock. From November 2005.

The Rook and Me

Episode 1: Winter - Roosting

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

At dusk, 40,000 rooks gather in the Yare Valley in Norfolk.

At dusk, 40,000 rooks gather in the Yare Valley in Norfolk, a black carpet covering entire fields before they disappear into the trees.

Mark Cocker indulges his obsession as he follows a colony of rooks over the course of a year

At dusk, 40,000 rooks gather in the Yare Valley in Norfolk, a black carpet covering entire fields before they disappear into the trees.

The Rook and Me

Episode 2: Spring - Breeding

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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Some rookeries date back hundreds of years. Why are birds so loyal to one site?

Mark Cocker follows a colony of rooks over the course of a year. 2/4: Spring - Breeding. Some rookeries date back hundreds of years. Why are birds so loyal to one site?

The Rook and Me

Episode 3: Summer - Eating

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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

As summer warmth dries out the earth, the young rooks have a hard time finding enough food

Mark Cocker follows a colony of rooks over the course of a year. 3/4: Summer - Eating. As summer warmth dries out the earth, the young rooks have a hard time finding enough to eat.

The Rook and Me

Episode 4: Autumn - Roosting Again

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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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The summer's scattering of rooks is over and their communal urges bring them together.

Mark Cocker follows a colony of rooks over the course of a year. The summer's scattering of rooks is over and their communal urges bring them together.

Great Lives

Series 8 Nevil Shute

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Adam Hart-Davis selects 'On the Beach' and 'A Town Like Alice' novelist Nevil Shute.

4 Extra Debut. Broadcaster Adam Hart-Davis selects 'On the Beach' and 'A Town Like Alice' novelist Nevil Shute. With Francine Stock. From December 2005.

Great Lives

Series 8 Dorothy Parker

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Helen Lederer chooses writer, poet and barbed wit, Dorothy Parker.

4 Extra Debut. Actress and comedian Helen Lederer chooses writer, poet and barbed wit, Dorothy Parker. With Francine Stock. From December 2005.

BBC Radio 4
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1 hour Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Author J K Rowling and Stephen Fry discuss the Harry Potter book series.

In a rare recorded conversation, J K Rowling and the voice of the Harry Potter audiobooks, Stephen Fry, discuss the process of bringing the stories to life on and off the page.

In a rare recorded conversation, Harry Potter's creator, J K Rowling, and the voice of the Harry Potter audiobooks Stephen Fry, discuss the process of bringing the stories to life on and off the page. In the course of this half-hour conversation, J K Rowling reveals her own favourite children's writer and her concerns about "sanitising" children's literature. She tells Stephen Fry about the process of writing a new book and asks him about the way he reads the stories.

Credits

Participant
JK Rowling
Participant
Stephen Fry

Saturday Review

Kevin MacDonald's The Last King of Scotland , Markus Zusak's The Book Thief

BBC Radio 4
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45 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

Tom Sutcliffe discusses cultural headlines with Fay Weldon, Esther Freud and John Carey.

Tom Sutcliffe and guests discuss the week’s cultural headlines.

Film - The Last King of Scotland - Directed by Kevin MacDonald

It was supposed to be a wild adventure in a far-off country, but when a naive young doctor arrives in 1970’s Uganda – hoping for fun, sun and to lend a helping hand -- he finds himself instead on a shocking ride into the darkest realm on earth: the human heart. This is the story of The Last King of Scotland, a powerful thriller that recreates on screen the world of Uganda under the mad dictatorship of Idi Amin. Starring Bafta nominees Forest Whitaker as Idi Amin and James McAvoy as Doctor Nicholas Garrigan, it is the feature film debut for Touching the Void director Kevin MacDonald.

Last King of Scotland , out now, certificate 15

Book - The Book Thief - by Markus Zusak

The number one New York Times best seller by prize winning children's author Markus Zusak. This is his adult novel, and tells the story of Liesel, a nine year old girl, living with her foster family on Himmel Street, in a rundown part of Munich. Her parents, communists, have been taken away to a concentration camp. The book itself is narrated by Death, and recreates life in Germany during the war from the point of view of a young German girl whose love of words brings us a startling perspective on the Third Reich.

TV Choice - Nuclear Secrets

In a series of five spy thrillers Nuclear Secrets explores the key turning points in the race for nuclear supremacy. From the development of the A-Bomb, via the Cuban missile crisis to the spread of nuclear weapons to the Middle East and beyond each story is told through the eyes of the men who risked everything to proliferate their nuclear secrets and those who tried to stop them. Spies or whistleblowers? Patriots or traitors? Nuclear weapons and the actions of these men have transformed the face of war. And now the world could pay the price.

A series of five x one hour documentaries, the first film of five is The Spy from Moscow. Soviet Colonel, Oleg Penkovsky, spied in the build up to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 - a conflict which brought us closer than ever to all-out nuclear war. The second itells the story of Klaus Fuchs, the superspy who helped give the secrets of the bomb to three different countries, launching the world on a path to nuclear proliferation.

Starts Monday 15 January 2007 9.00-10.00pm BBC2

Exhibition - Yinka Shonibare, MBE – White Flag at Half Mast

The Inaugural Jubilee Flagpole Commission by the Hayward Gallery 2007 heralds a year of transformation for the South Bank Centre, with the long awaited reopening of the Festival Hall in June. Starting the celebrations will be the Hayward Gallery, with its inaugural commission by Yinka Shonibare for the Jubilee Flagpole - situated in Jubilee Gardens opposite the Houses of Parliament. Concerned with the nationalistic connotations of all flags, Shonibare proposes his work represents no country in particular and is a flag without traditional boundaries.

Guest choice - The Time Machine by H G Wells

H G Wells' science fiction masterpiece is the choice of writer and critic Professor John Carey this week. Wells made his debut with The Time Machine (1895), a parody of English class division and a satirical warning that human progress is not inevitable, a message which still resonates in the present.

Profile

Lieutenant General David Petraeus

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10 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Profile shines the spotlight on an individual who is making the headlines.

Robert Fox assesses why Bush has picked Lieutenant General David Petraeus to do what’s been described as one of the toughest assignments since Vietnam.

'Tell me how this ends' - the rhetorical question repeatedly posed by Lieutenant General David Petraeus as he and his troops marched on Baghdad in 2003. Four years on, the American soldier has got to come up with some answers.

Lt Gen Petraeus – described as a unique combination of warrior and intellectual - has just been appointed the US military’s most senior man in Iraq. Robert Fox assesses why Bush has picked him to do what’s been described as one of the toughest assignments since Vietnam.

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Profile

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