Episodes
For this special Christmas episode, Brian Cox and Robin Ince visit the Australian Wine Research Institute in Adelaide to find out what science can teach us about wine. They are joined by stand-up comedian Tim Minchin, Nobel Prize winner and vineyard owner Brian Schmidt, flavour chemist Mango Parker and sensory and consumer scientist Patricia Williamson. The panel are put through their paces as they sample a variety of wines, learning the hard way that the majority of wine’s flavour isn’t...
Published 12/24/22
Published 12/24/22
Brian Cox and Robin Ince visit Canberra for the first of 4 special episodes recorded in Australia. This week they visit the amazing Canberra Deep Space Communication Centre where scientists communicate with, and track the 200 or so spacecraft that are currently exploring our vast solar system and even beyond. They are joined by Astrophysicists Mark Cheung and Alan Duffy, Nobel prize winner Brian Schmidt and comedian Alice Fraser as they track legendary space craft like Voyager, still...
Published 12/17/22
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian and author David Baddiel, psychologist Prof Karen Douglas, biologist Prof Matthew Cobb and philosopher Dr Timotheus Vermeulen to discover why conspiracy theories and conspiracy theorists seem to be booming. From flat earthers to moon hoaxers and holocaust deniers, is there something about society today that encourages beliefs that seem to go against all evidence and reason? Or are conspiracies just part of the human condition, and each to their...
Published 12/10/22
Brian Cox and Robin Ince tackle the thorny issue of their own differing experiences of ageing, as they find out why Robin seems to be doing it so much more quickly than Brian and whether science might have the answer. They are joined by comedian Sarah Kendall, Professor Dame Linda Partridge, world-renowned expert on the biology of ageing, and Dr Andrew Steele, author of "Ageless: The new science of getting older without getting old." Can the scientists answer the age-old monkey cage question...
Published 12/03/22
Brian Cox and Robin Ince continue their LA science adventure as they visit Caltech in Pasadena to meet the scientists hunting for planets orbiting distant stars in solar systems far far from our own. They are joined in their quest by Python Legend Eric Idle and Exo-planet hunters Dr Jessie Christiansen from Caltech and Dr Tiffany Kataria from NASA's JPL who are using the latest telescopes to identify distant planets outside of our own solar system. Despite their distance from us,...
Published 11/26/22
The Infinite Monkey Cage teleports to California for this special episode recorded at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. They are joined by comedian and talk-show host Conan O'Brien, alongside JPL's Dr Katie Stack Morgan and Dr Kevin Hand, and discuss the incredible missions that are hunting for signs of life within our own solar system. From the iconic Mars Rovers currently exploring the martian surface, to amazing future missions to Jupiter's icy moon Europa, the panel discuss the...
Published 11/19/22
Brian Cox and Robin Ince return for a new series with an illustrious panel of experts to discuss what scientists have learnt from Covid and what we have all learnt about the nature of science by watching it happen so spectacularly over the course of the pandemic. They are joined by Dame Sarah Gilbert, creator of one of the very first Covid vaccines, Immunologist Prof Dan Davis and Dr Chris Van Tulleken, infectious disease clinician and broadcaster. They discuss the incredible speed of...
Published 11/12/22
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Sara Pascoe and the very numerate Prof Hannah Fry, maths comedian Matt Parker and statistician Prof David Spiegelhalter for a unique maths class. Are some of us just innately bad at maths or can everyone get to grips with algebra and calculus? What do our panel wish they'd been taught at school, and what is the key to a life-long love of numbers? Get your calculators ready! Executive Producer: Alexandra Feachem
Published 09/03/22
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Alan Davies and neuroscientists Prof Uta Frith and Prof Sophie Scott. They discover the secret to why humans are such social creatures and why two brains are definitely better than one. Our brains are wired to learn from and mimic other brains we come into contact with, even though most of the time we don't even realise that is what they/we are doing. The subtle cues we get from other people and the information in their brains, affects our...
Published 08/27/22
Brian Cox and Robin Ince look back at Planet Earth from the unique perspective of space with the help of astronauts Nicole Stott and Chris Hadfield, Space scientist Carolyn Porco and comedian and author Katy Brand. What can we learn about our own planet by looking back at it from space? The panel talk about the emotional response of looking back on earth, either from the ISS or via amazing photographs like Voyager's Pale Blue Dot, and the importance of realising our own place and...
Published 08/20/22
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by Monty Python's Eric Idle, and cosmologists Dr Netta Engelhardt and Dr Janna Levin as they tackle one of the biggest challenges in cosmology. What happens when you throw something (Robin!) into a black hole? Is the information about Robin lost forever, or is there a chance, sometime in the far future, a super intelligent alien civilisation could piece back some key information to discover proof he ever existed? Are Robin and his cardigans lost for all...
Published 08/13/22
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by Ted Lasso's Brendan Hunt, Professor of forest ecology and author of "The Mother Tree", Suzanne Simard and botanist Mark Spencer to discover how trees and plants communicate and what they are saying. Suzanne's incredible discovery that trees form a wood wide web of communication has changed our entire understanding of forests and how they work. With the help of amazing fungi, this incredible network of communication allows the trees and plants in a...
Published 08/06/22
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian and musician Tim Minchin and oceanographers Diva Amon and Jon Copley to uncover what mysteries still lie at the bottom of our oceans. It is often said that we know more about the surface of the Moon then we do about our own ocean floor, but is that really true? What have modern-day explorers such as Diva and Jon discovered during their many expeditions to the deepest points of our oceans, and can they persuade Tim to join them on their next...
Published 07/30/22
Brian Cox and Robin Ince kick off the new series by tackling one of the greatest questions ever posed by science: which are better, bats or flies? Joining them for this unusual version of animal Top Trumps are a bat expert (Prof Kate Jones), a fly expert (Dr Erica McAlister) and Dave Gorman. Pitching arguably two of the least-lovable groups of creatures against each other, the battle for victory explores why we should favour flies or find bats beautiful. Although both are much maligned...
Published 07/23/22
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are back with a new series of The Infinite Monkey Cage. Looking for the new episode? It will be available everywhere from the 23rd of July. But if you can’t wait to hear it and are in the UK, listen on BBC Sounds today where new episodes are available first - 28 days before other podcast apps.
Published 06/25/22
Robin explores the origins of laws that seem to govern our everyday lives but which aren’t really laws at all. You can hear all five episodes of the series in the Scientifically podcast where you can also find other great science programmes from Radio 4.
Published 03/10/21
A History of Rock Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by rock enthusiasts Ross Noble, paleontologist Susie Maidment and geologist Chris Jackson to look at the history of rock. Unfortunately for Ross, this turns out to mean actual rolling stones, rather than THE Rolling Stones. We hear what secrets the study of rock reveals about the very birth of our planet, to the incredible creatures that walked the Earth many millions of years ago, preserved in our ancient stones. Producer: Alexandra...
Published 02/15/21
The Fundamentals of Reality Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by Nobel prize winning physicist Frank Wilczek, cosmologist Janna Levin, and comedians Eric Idle and Sara Pascoe to look at what physics has revealed about the reality of our universe. From Einstein's equations more than 100 years ago through to the amazing discoveries we've made in the last few years about black holes and gravitational waves, the universe we think we see is not necessarily the true fundamental reality that...
Published 02/08/21
The Science of Cooking Brian Cox and Robin Ince get their chef's hats on as they look at the science of cooking. They are joined by comedian Katy Brand, author and food critic Grace Dent, material scientist Mark Miodownik and science writer Harold McGee, whose seminal book on the science of the kitchen launched the craze for molecular gastronomy. They look at some of the lores of the kitchen are backed up by the science, and ask whether a truly delicious dinner is really a science or an...
Published 02/01/21
The Neanderthals Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by hominids Alan Davies, Neanderthal expert and author Rebecca Wragg Sykes, and paleontologist and woolly mammoth expert Tori Herridge and learn just how misunderstood our ancestors have been. The image of the lumbering, ape like, simple, grunting Neanderthal has been turned on its head with the discovery that we are far more related to Neanderthals then we ever thought possible. Nearly all Europeans will have around 2% Neanderthal DNA,...
Published 01/25/21
Under The Night Sky Brian Cox and Robin Ince discover the importance of the night sky to human history and how our relationship with the stars has changed over the centuries. They are joined by star-gazer Jon Culshaw, astronaut Tim Peake, astrophysicist Lisa Harvey-Smith and astronomy writer Stuart Clark as they chart the changing nature of our relationship with the sky above us. They discuss ancient cave paintings depicting Orion's belt, the astronomical revolution that came with our...
Published 01/18/21
In Praise of Flies Brian Cox and Robin Ince kick off a new series of Infinite Monkey Cage with a look at probably the least revered or liked group of insects, the flies. They are joined by fly sceptic David Baddiel , fly enthusiast and champion Dr Erica McAlister and maggot expert Matthew Cobb to discover why a life without flies would be no life at all. Can Erica and Matthew persuade David to put his fly gun down and learn to love those pesky pests, or is their reputation for being...
Published 01/11/21
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by actor and writer Mark Gatiss, theoretical physicists Carlo Rovelli and Fay Dowker to ask timely questions about time. Is time real, does it exist in the fundamental laws of physics, and if it doesn't, why do we experience the sensation of time passing? They look at the idea of the block universe, where our future is as real as our past, which worryingly leads to Robin's favourite question about free will...is that an illusion too? A timely look at...
Published 08/26/20
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedians Jo Brand and Ross Noble, alongside Nobel prize winner Sir Paul Nurse and geneticist Prof Aoife Mclysaght to ask the biggest question of all: What is Life and how did it start? They look at the amazing feat of nature that has somehow created all of life from just four fundamental units of simple chemistry. From chickens to butterflies to yeast, we are all far more closely related than we think, but how did the spark of life occur, and what has...
Published 07/20/20