Stranger Fruit

Best Science Show – Brit Edition


Seed asks “What’s the best science TV show of all time?” As I grew up in Ireland in the 70’s & 80’s, my answer obviously features British science shows. Bora has already mentioned Don’t Ask Me with the wonderful Magnus Pyke. I’ll add “Tomorrow’s World” (more of a future tech show) and “Life on Earth” with David Attenborough. The latter – in 1979 – sealed the deal for me … I was destined to be a biologist. Never got to sit among Mountain Gorillas though …


  1. #1 Timothy Chase
    October 20, 2006

    I don’t know if you are aware of what is happening out in the UK right now, but for some time, creationist organisations (pretty much all YEC) have been forming and making a coordinated attack upon British education – which we have been exposing. We recently formed the British Centre for Science Education to respond to this, and among other things we are now receiving assistance from the NCSE in your part of the world and parliment is considering legislation which would ban the teaching of creationism in science classes.

    In any case, I was looking around for good sources on news in evolutionary biology among the blogs that I subscribe to, and I thought you might like to know that you have been added to our links.

    In case you would like to check out the website, we are at:

  2. #2 dileffante
    October 20, 2006

    Hey! Thanks for reminding me of Life On Earth, or rather, “Vida en la Tierra”, as it was called in my country. THAT was really a great show, and I loved it! I also remember with warmth Bronowski’s The Ascent of Man, which (I learn now through wikipedia) was commissioned, unsurprisingly, by the good Attenborough. A pity that Sagan’s Cosmos was aired by a channel that didn’t reach my town at that time, but the book version was one of the first books I ever bought.

  3. #3 Julie Stahlhut
    October 21, 2006

    “Life on Earth” made me an Attenborough fan as well, during a time in my life when I was on a different career track that bored the crap out of me. Some years later, I had the good fortune to actually meet the man, at a reception in, of all places, rural Sturgis, Michigan. (A community college there had a speakers’ program that managed to bring in world-renowned figures in the sciences and humanities, a story that itself could take up a gazillion bits of blogspace. That tiny town, an hour south of Kalamazoo, was one of five stops that Sir David made on the entire North American continent during that lecture tour!)

    At the time, I was 35, and halfheartedly beginning a graduate program in computer science. On the drive home, I asked my husband how he’d feel about my spending seven or eight years getting a Ph.D. in biology instead of two years getting an M.S. that would make more money. His answer: “We’re both going to be so much happier if you do that!”

    In fact, it took me ten years, but I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.

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