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‘In Our Time’ tackles the physics of time

By Hamish Johnston

On Thursday mornings I drop my children off at school and walk to work listening to the BBC Radio 4 programme “In Our Time”, presented by Baron Bragg of Wigton — or Melvyn as he likes to be known.

Bragg is one of those rare intellectuals who seems completely at ease as a broadcaster and every week he somehow manages to get a panel of three academics into a lively discussion about just about anything from “St Hilda – the life and times of the Abbess of Whitby”, to “The Multiverse – the universe is not enough”.

This morning the subject was “The Physics of Time”, and the panel was Jim Al-Khalili, Professor of Theoretical Physics and Chair in the Public Engagement in Science at the University of Surrey; Monica Grady, Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences at the Open University; and Ian Stewart, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick.

You can listen to the programme here and you can find an archive of all programmes here.

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  1. Malcolm White

    This programme is usually interesting but I remember hearing one or two factual errors, such as Monica Grady (I think) saying that light from the sun took 8 seconds to reach the earth (it takes close to 8 minutes), which for me removes much of the value of it for informing the general public and makes me wonder how much else that I hear on this programme (on subjects I don’t know about) is incorrect.

  2. James D

    In September’s Science and Public Affairs (published by the British Association) Bragg’s written a nice article about the sometimes rocky relationship between ‘science’ and ‘culture’. He talks about how In Our Time aims to return science + scientists to the same spectrum as art + artists.
    If interested, it’s the cover story at:


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