BBC Discovery


An in-depth look at the most significant ideas, discoveries and trends in science, from the smallest microbe to the furthest corner of space. Podcast weekly on Mondays.
Weekly English United Kingdom Science
52 Episodes
1 – 20

Tooth and Claw: Great White Sharks

Adam Hart investigates the most famous and feared predator in all the ocean – the great white shark! With rows of large, serrated teeth, it’s often thought of as a ferocious man-eater and was the villain of the film Jaws – which frightened a generation of beachgoers. This star of…
27 Nov 2023 27 min

Tooth and Claw: Wolverines

Adam Hart investigates the largest terrestrial member of the weasel family – the wolverine. They’re far more than just a superhero played by Hugh Jackman! With a reputation for gluttony and ferocity, these solitary killers use snowstorms to hunt much larger prey. Found in the snowy tundra and boreal forests…
20 Nov 2023 27 min

The Life Scientific: Alex Antonelli

With the world's biodiversity being lost at an alarming rate, Alexandre Antonelli, Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, has made it his life's mission to protect it. He is a bio-geographer revealing how changes to the Earth's landscape, such as the formation of mountain ranges and rainforests,…
13 Nov 2023 27 min

The Life Scientific: Paul Murdin

Astronomer Paul Murdin believes a good imagination is vital for scientists, since they're so often dealing with subjects outside the visible realm. Indeed, over a long and successful career his imagination has taken him on a journey through space, discovering various new and unusual celestial occurrences - notably the first…
6 Nov 2023 27 min

The Life Scientific: Bahija Jallal

Some of the most complex medicines available today are made from living cells or organisms - these treatments are called bio-pharmaceuticals and in this episode of The Life Scientific Dr Bahija Jallal, CEO of Immunocore, shares her story of leaving her home in Casablanca, Morocco to become a world leader…
30 Oct 2023 27 min

Chris Barratt

Reproductive science has come a long way in recent years, but there's still plenty we don't understand - particularly around male fertility. The reliability and availability of data in this field has become more of a concern in light of a study published this year, suggesting that sperm counts worldwide…
23 Oct 2023 28 min

Gideon Henderson

We’re used to hearing the stories of scientists who study the world as it is now but what about the study of the past - what can this tell us about our future? Gideon Henderson’s research focuses on trying to understand climate change by looking at what was happening on…
16 Oct 2023 28 min

Deborah Greaves

If you’ve ever seen the ocean during a storm, you’ll understand the extraordinary power contained in waves. On an island nation like Britain, that power could well be harnessed to produce clean energy; so why have we barely begun to tap this bountiful resource? Deborah Greaves is trying to change…
10 Oct 2023 28 min

Metamorphosis: Bee brains and the cockroach

Erica McAlister on the bee intellect and whether bigger brains are always better. Plus cockroaches may be reviled by many people, but Erica discovers the extraordinary flexibility of their simple nervous system led to the birth of neuroendocrinology. (Photo: A cockroach. Credit: Aymen Jemli / Getty Images)
2 Oct 2023 28 min

Metamorphosis: Soldier fly and desert beetle

Erica McAlister on the innocuous wasp-like black soldier fly, a crown jewel of a fast-growing insect farming industry that's addressing the urgent need to find cheap clean protein. And how Namib Desert beetles have evolved in a very special environment, where the only source of water exists in the air…
25 Sep 2023 28 min

Metamorphosis: Blowflies and Dazzling disguise

Blowflies may be some of the most reviled insects on the planet, but as Erica McAlister discovers, they are central to the surprisingly long tradition of forensic entomology and how there's more than meets the eye in the distinctive structural colour of the morpho butterfly wing, whose dazzling sheen is…
18 Sep 2023 27 min

Metamorphosis: Drosophila melanogaster, hoverfly

Dr Erica McAlister uncovers a treasure trove of remarkable insights from the insect world including the innocuous flies that are Drosophila melanogaster. More is known about these flies than any other animal on the planet, as a model for human genetics. And the hoverfly that arguably undergoes the biggest transformation…
11 Sep 2023 28 min

Metamorphosis: Jumping Fleas and Mighty Mouthparts

Dr Erica McAlister uncovers a treasure trove of remarkable insects from the humble flea whose jump enables them to fly without wings and the mystery of the hawkmoth’s tongue, whose varying length has offered the simplest and most effective proof of Charles Darwin's theory of Natural Selection in action.
4 Sep 2023 27 min

Harald Haas

Imagine a world in which your laptop or mobile device accesses the internet, not via radio waves – or WiFi – as it does today but by using light instead: LiFi. Well, that world may not be as far away as you might think. In fact, the technology is already…
28 Aug 2023 27 min

Anne-Marie Imafidon

Anne-Marie Imafidon passed her computing A-Level at the age of 11 and by 16, was accepted to the University of Oxford to study Maths and Computer Science. She's used to the 'child prodigy' label that's followed her throughout her career, but that doesn't mean she's had an easy ride. It…
21 Aug 2023 27 min

Anne Ferguson-Smith

Our genes can tell us so much about us, from why we look the way we look, think the way we think, even what kind of diseases we might be likely to suffer from. But our genes aren't the whole story. There are other, complex and intriguing systems within every…
14 Aug 2023 27 min

The Life Scientific: Bruce Malamud

From landslides and wildfires to floods and tornadoes, Bruce Malamud has spent his career travelling the world and studying natural hazards. Today, he is Wilson Chair of Hazard and Risk and Executive Director of the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience at Durham University - but as he tells Jim…
7 Aug 2023 29 min

The Life Scientific: Andre Geim

The world around us is three-dimensional. Yet, there are materials that can be regarded as two-dimensional. They are only one layer of atoms thick and have remarkable properties that are different from their three-dimensional counterparts. Sir Andre Geim created the first-ever man-made 2D material, by isolating graphene, and is one…
31 Jul 2023 8 min

In Search of Stardust

Norwegian jazz musician Jon Larsen was having breakfast one clear spring morning when he noticed a tiny black speck land on his clean, white table. With no wind, birds or planes in sight, he wondered if it fell from space. Dust from space isn’t as fanciful as it sounds. Billions…
24 Jul 2023 30 min
1 – 20