If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Brave New World | Stephen Hawking

Described as nothing less than “a global exploration of the scientific breakthroughs that are transforming our lives in the 21st century”, this ambitious series, introduced by Professor Stephen Hawking, showcases some of the astonishing work being currently undertaken to find cures for disease and physical impairment, to create a new generation of intelligent machines and to expand our understanding of the universe.

A team of scientists, among them Richard Dawkins and Lord Winston, report on the discoveries that they consider will have the most far-reaching and life-changing effects. In tonight’s opener, veterinary scientist Mark Evans fuses his brain with a computer in Switzerland to test an entirely new breed of machine, and Professor Kathy Sykes is in America to experience the future of transport – in a driverless car.

In Italy, Jim Al-Khalili comes face to face with a baby-like robot that can mimic the learning skills of a child, and space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock visits one of the world’s largest telescopes in the Canary Islands, where the search is on for planets that human beings could, some day, colonise.

Machines. The team showcase breakthroughs in technology and engineering that are creating a new generation of machines. Mark Evans fuses his brain with a computer in Switzerland to test a new breed of machine. Kathy Sykes hits the streets of San Francisco to have the ride of her life as she experiences the future of transport in a driverless car.

Brave New World With Stephen Hawking - Machine

Health. The experts examine how scientists are fighting for our survival by battling the world’s big killer diseases. Biologist Aarathi Prasad joins virus hunters in the jungles of Africa, Robert Winston sees first-hand how the surgeons of the future could be robots, capable of operating round the clock, and Richard Dawkins investigates the way brain disorders might one day be treated using laser light and genetically modified brain cells.

Brave New World With Stephen Hawking - Health

Technology. The experts explore how 21st-century technology is shaping our future by changing the way we live, the way we communicate and our perception of the universe. Physicist Kathy Sykes explores how our mobile phones can give experts access to our every habit and action: a brave new world in which it’s hard to keep a secret but where urban planners can build cities around our needs.

Brave New World With Stephen Hawking - Technology

Environment. Science turns superhero as it battles to save the planet and preserve the human race. In California, physicist Jim Al-Khalili sees how the power of the world’s largest laser could create a fuel to answer all our needs, while at Longleat Sir David Attenborough helps collect the DNA of an elephant for the Frozen Ark – a project to save all the world’s species from extinction.

Biology. The experts unearth the amazing breakthroughs that are transforming the resilience and strength of the human body. Mark Evans joins the bio-prospectors in Central America exploring the untapped reserves of the oceans for life-changing drugs; Aarathi Prasad meets the remarkable old people who could hold the secret to a long and healthy life; and Robert Winston explores how our behaviour and environment may be influencing the genes of future generations in ways we once thought impossible.

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