BBC The Infinite Monkey Cage Live – Museum Science Industry Manchester
Last week Doc and I had an adult only evening out and given Doc’s love of all things science, what better way of spending the evening then watching a live recording of BBC Radio 4’s The Infinite Monkey Cage. The Infinite Monkey Cage is hosted by Professor Brian Cox and Robert Ince and often they perform live recordings so the general public can attend. The show we watched was a free event at the Museum of Science Industry, Manchester and I thought was a great way of the general public to have a fantastic evening out.
BBC The Inifitie Monkey Cage
I will be honest, I hadn’t heard of the show before our visit but I knew Doc was a huge fan and I love to try new activities. The show is a really popular science show on Radio 4, which combines scientific information with lots of humour and thought provoking topics. I loved the shows’ ethos of showing the funnier side of scientists and science in general and aiming to bring it more mainstream with really great topics covered. Robert Ince and Professor Cox are joined in the show by different panel members and have a great mixture from specialists in science to comedians.
A little about the Museum of Science and Industry which is a fantastic day out and I am always surprised when people haven’t heard of the Museum. The Museum is home to great collections of scientific information and also hosts lots of touring exhibitions throughout the year. I love the MSI is keen to promote science to future generations and runs great sessions aimed at Tots, to school aged children but also has lots of events to promote science to adults. The science festival in October has so many incredible activities for the whole family.
The Infinite Monkey Cage Show we watched
The show we watched being recorded was about how science can be found in and around us in the home. Living with a scientist I am often shown how amazing science is but what I loved about this topic is how simple everyday activities we take for granted are so scientifically complex. The two examples given by the panelists were about the flushing of the toilet and how sugar mixes into a cup of coffee. For someone who isn’t usually into science, it was remarkable to see how much science we see everyday, and we have become so used to it that we no longer have the wonder that the process for these things to happen is extremely complex. The panelist on the day were two leading female scientists from University of Manchester and UCL and were joined by the hilarious Russell Kane. For me this was a great mix of panelists and I loved to seeing leading female scientist being part of the show. As a a mother of a little girl I am super keen to promote science and engineering and listening to these panellist talk, was inspiring for me. In addition, Russell Kane is one of my favourite comedians and added lots to the show and was really funny.
What we thought
I thought the recording was fantastic and very fitting to watch it in the Museum of Science and Industry. Often I think the image of science is very stuffy and boring, so to watch something like this was really refreshing. For me the choice of of topic was perfect as it highlights that science is part and parcel of everyday life, not something detached. I left the show really inspired and a little in awe when you realise just how incredible life really is. In addition, what really stood out for me was the panelists who were all incredible and highly talented professionals within all their respective fields. One of my favourite parts in the show was the discussion of science in the future, should we retain more traditional methods of working or should everything be electronic. The discussion of how much information is available and how little we now is was something we discuss in our house. I loved the panelists and the quirkiness of some of the exhibits, my favourite being the old hard disk drives being turned into a musical instrument, which could be programmed to play certain music. We all loved the Imperial March being played and it shows with a little imagination things can be repurposed for a different purpose in the future. If you haven’t listened to the show before, I do recommend that you tune into the next show on BBC Radio 4. As a person who isn’t that into science, I loved the show and would recommend it to everyone! Obviously my science mad hubby was in his element!
Photographs were provided by the Museum of Science and Industry