Big Questions

Nominated for BAFTA and Indie awards

Five programmes, five stories about pioneers of science whose discoveries changed the world, our understanding of how it works, and how we live now

DVDs of the whole series now available in the UK!

Faraday’s famous inventions

How a young man who had never been to school became one of the greatest inventors and scientists Britain has ever produced.

Adam Hart-Davis relates how Michael Faraday’s early experiments with electricity led to the invention of the electric motor and generator. At the Royal Institution he demonstrates Faraday’s original motor, made of copper wire and a magnet immersed in mercury. The high point of the programme comes when Adam dons a protective “Faraday suit” and is exposed to 400,000 volts at the National Grid research lab.

Darwin’s Evolution

How Charles Darwin, a rather aimless young man who liked hunting and shooting, became the author of the most profound - and controversial - theory of the life sciences.

Adam Hart-Davis meets young apes, interviews biologist Richard Dawkins, looks for fossils at Lyme Regis and examines a three million year old hominid skull in his search for the origins of the theory of evolution which so upset traditional views of creation.

Mendel and the gene splicers

How a monk in an obscure monastery in central Europe worked out the basic laws of genetics.

Adam Hart-Davis learns from a modern plant breeder how Gregor Mendel did his historic experiments with peas. He then investigates how genetic science today is controversially being used to create bigger fish and bananas which won’t turn black. He meets Emily Thackray, an 18 year old with cystic fibrosis, to find out how gene therapy may help young people with genetic diseases.

Mendeleev’s Dream

What is the world made of? Adam Hart-Davis describes the ages-old search to discover the nature of matter: from the ancient Greek idea that the universe was made of fire, air earth and water to current understanding of how elements are created in supernovas and stars.

Adam reveals how the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev discovered the relationship between the elements in a dream and went on the produce the first periodic table. Explosions galore as he tries to recreate 19th century chemical experiments - and a stomach churning moment as he tells the tale of the alchemist who tried to make gold from urine but discovered phosphorus instead.

Hubble’s Expanding Universe

Where do we come from, where are we going, and are we alone in the Universe?

Adam Hart-Davis investigates the biggest questions in science through the story of the astronomer Edwin Hubble, who discovered that the Universe consisted not of one, but of countless galaxies - and that it is still continuing to expand.

Series producer: Catharine Alen-Buckley
Assistant producer and director: Bindu Mathur
Executive producer and director: Robert Eagle

DVDs - direct from the producer

£15.99 (UK only) including postal charges and VAT

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