Professor Brian Cox Live and the Infinite Monkey Cage

By | 17:54 1 comment

It will comes as no surprise to my regular readers that I'm a Prof. Brian Cox fan
(Or 'Professor Lovely' as a delightfully snarky friend calls him)

When I heard that he was hosting a live tour I jumped at the chance to see one of his lectures 'for real', and headed to Sheffield City Hall on Thursday 6th Oct, ready to be educated in all things space, not really knowing what to expect.

When the show opened with a video of singing muppets I was, to say the least, a bit confused, but certainly entertained. Talk about an intro!

As it happened, the show was effectively an extension of Brian Cox and Robin Ince's Radio 4 programme 'The Infinite Monkey Cage', where Brian and Robin take a look at the world through a scientist's eyes, with Brian to provide the science and with Robin bringing humor and taking on the role of the interested and self-educated everyman. While the focus was on the lecture style, at times Robin would also interject to lighten the mood, banter, and join in with Brian as well as encouraging audience participation, such as through tweeting science questions. Robin was funny and charming and the two got along very well. Having never heard of 'The Infinite Monkey Cage' before, I was intrigued to check it out (but more on that later).

The meat of the show though was, of course, Brian's main lecture. It focused around the discovery of the Big Bang and how we can detect the size and composition of our incredibly large universe, and drifted into questions about the possibility of alien life on other planets and the probability of finding anything that resembles us. While fans will have been introduced to these concepts in varying details in his other programmes, it still managed to be fresh and was delivered with his classic mix of gentle passion and wonder, and his ability to make the concepts approachable without compromising on precision.This made the whole talk very engaging. While time flew during the lecture, Robin's interjections managed to keep everything fresh, which helped keep the energy levels going. All in all it was a great night out for anything with a curiosity for sciences, especially fans of Brian's wide range of work.

Can I still See Him?

If you'd like to check out the show the good news is that it has proved so popular that Brian Cox Live has been given a series of arena dates as well for 2017. These will be visiting Derby, Nottingham, Newcastle, Glasgow and Wembley in May 2017. There are also a whole host of 2016 dates still on the cards, running up to the 2nd of December, if you can score the tickets. So why not give it a try? I certainly enjoyed myself.

The Infinite Monkey Cage

As I said, Robin and Brian's banter was a lot of fun, so when they mentioned (through muppet-song) that the show was a product of the programme Infinite Monkey Cage naturally I had to go searching to find it.
The great news is that all 14 series' are available to download on BBC radio 4's Iplayer account here.
I've listened to a couple so far and they've been delightful, bringing in interesting guests (both comedians and scientists) to weigh in on a whole variety of subjects. I know where my 5GB data limit will be going on my phone on the morning commute....
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