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Monday 22 June 2015: The Bone Wars

In the first of a new series looking at amazing events and characters from science history, Tracey Logan takes us back to the wild west of America, and looks at the extraordinary feud that came to be known as the Bone Wars. This is a tale of corruption, bribery and sabotage - not by cowboys, but by two palaeontologists, Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh, who would stop at nothing in their race to find new dinosaur fossils. This was the golden age of dinosaur discovery, and their bitter war led to the discovery of some of our most iconic dinosaur species: Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Diplodocus and Camarasuarus to name a few. What led these two seemingly respectable men of science to behave in such an unseemly way, and what was the legacy of this now infamous feud?

Tuesday 23 June 2015: The Moment that Made Putin 

In The Moment that Made Putin Chris Bowlby explores the story of Vladimir Putin's German years as a  KGB agent, and the  dramatic events he was caught up in as East Germany collapsed that shaped the Putin of today.   He saw crowds take control as communist power collapsed, and had to defend his KGB office in Dresden as demonstrators tried to break in. The story of his German years reveals much about where his strongest ambitions - and deepest fears - come from.

Wednesday 24 June 2015: Writing a New South Africa #2 

Poet Thabiso Mohare is in Cape Town to meet a new generation of writers, poets and playwrights and look at the theme of place and contested space in their work and the history of the city. In a city dominated by the huge Table Mountain which still ensures a certain amount of segregation.  He explores the status of Afrikaans in the region among the younger generation, with poet Toni Stuart and short story writer SJ Naude, uncovering the roots of a language that was appropriated as a tool of oppression but is still felt to be a language of struggle and resistance among the communities where it originated.

Thursday 25 June 2015: The Mysterious Magnate and Moldova’s Missing Millions

Tim Whewell investigates how a billion dollars has mysteriously disappeared from banks in Moldova – equivalent to more than an eighth of the country’s GDP. The trail leads through Britain to Latvia and to off-shore tax havens. Who is the secretive 28-year-old businessman investigators say masterminded the fraud? And how did he manage to win last week’s mayoral election in his family’s home town despite being charged in connection with the banking collapse?