19 - 23 October 2015
Copyright restrictions prevent us from making these programmes available as audio on demand or podcasts.
Monday 18 October: The Infinite Monkey Cage USA Tour #3 of 4
Brian Cox and Robin Ince take to the stage in Chicago, Illinois, to discuss fossil records and evolution. They are joined on stage by host of NPR's "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" Peter Sagal, comedian and Saturday Night Live alumnus Julia Sweeney, palaeontologist Paul Sereno and evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne.
Tuesday 19 October: The Pop Star and the Prophet
Aspiring pop star Sam York meets French polymath Jacques Attali, who predicted today's music crisis in 1976. Nearly forty years ago, Attali wrote a book called Noise which predicted a "crisis of proliferation" for recorded music - in which its value would plummet. As music sales went into freefall at the turn of the century, his prediction seemed eerily resonant to up-and-coming singer songwriter Sam York. Now struggling to earn a living as a musician, Sam visits Attali to help get an insight into his own future, learning that music itself may hold clues to what is about to happen in the wider world.
Wednesday 20 October: Novelist Jonathan Franzen
So much of our developed world culture is driven by the instant, all pervasive internet. Our opinions, our fantasies, our lives, delivered in bite sized chunks, consumed with a glance and a click. Jonathan Franzen writes novels, long novels, that take years to complete and days, not minutes to read. He has become one of the defining voices in contemporary American literature. So why does he hate so much of the culture around him?
Thursday 21 October: Macau: Monte Carlo of the Orient
In under a decade, Macau leapfrogged Las Vegas to become the world's most lucrative gambling centre. But after a decade of unparalleled growth Macau now faces both an economic downturn and a crackdown from mainland China, where gambling is banned. Claire Bolderson explores what Macau must do to keep both its VIP and mass-market visitors satisfied.