Hi Reddit, Professor Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince here, hosts of the BBC Radio 4 show and podcast, The Infinite Monkey Cage. In March we kick off our first U.S. tour of The Infinite Monkey Cage Live and joining us will be astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson in New York, paleontologist Paul Sereno in Chicago, physicist Sean M. Carroll in LA and astronomer Seth Shostak in San Francisco. Additional guest panellists will be announced at a later date.

For tickets and more on the U.S. tour visit – http://www.infinitemonkeycage.com/

Check out our podcast on iTunes or here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/timc

Ask Us Anything!


Hi All - thanks so much for all the questions. We are off to record an episode of infinite monkey cage now, so dashing off, but robin will try and answer a few more of your questions later. Please keep listening or come and see us in person for The Infinite Monkey Cage Live, in the USA in March!

Comments: 268 • Responses: 75  • Date: 

FranRabelais44 karma

Robin, how do you deal with the cognitive dissonance of being a heterosexual man, and needing desperately (like us all) to bear Brian's children?

infiniterobin43 karma

we have an Alien Resurrection style laboratory, filled with jars of the nearly cloned Brian's. We just can't get the hair right.

TomBombadrilldo20 karma

What are we doing this week in quantum, Brian? Oh and did you see the girl knitting in your lecture last week?

infiniterobin13 karma

The momentum operator.

JoshayyH16 karma

As someone who has just got a D in A-Level Maths, is it true that you yourself got that first time round too, Mr. Cox?

If so, what advice can you give?

infiniterobin30 karma

Yes - I got a D at A-level - I thought that going to New Order gigs was good preparation for the exam. I subsequently found out that practice is necessary for understanding !


popeshoe12 karma

Hello Chaps, I like your shows very much.

What is the angriest you've ever got due to some anti-science idiocy?

infiniterobin25 karma

Robin is constantly angry. I am resigned to the idiocy.


infiniterobin68 karma

shut up, I am not. No one sees the real you on telly, grumpily looking up at an eclipse and shouting that someone has stolen the moon.

DaveyB_11 karma

Would you rather fight 1 horse sized duck or 100 duck sized horses?

infiniterobin5 karma

1 horse sized duck


infiniterobin10 karma

100 duck sized horses.

veedubpolo10 karma

Hey Prof Cox, do you still practice/play the keyboard?

infiniterobin21 karma

while he is typing his answers on Reddit with one hand, he is playing all his favourite Meat Loaf songs with the other on his Yamaha

por-nor-she10 karma

Are there any other fruit that causes such debate amongst the scientific community as strawberries? Have we landed on a verdict about their state of existence yet?

infiniterobin10 karma

Yes - I am now convinced that Strawberries are alive, because they can die. Seeds don't live forever


infiniterobin7 karma

the verdict will be out early next year

DaveyB_9 karma

Whether scientist or comedian, who has been your favourite guest to appear on TIMC?

infiniterobin25 karma

the actor Brian Blessed was the most passionate by volume, and wonderful because there was always a fear of what may happen next. I was worried to see that Brian Cox was more impressed by seeing Patrick Stewart's communicator badge than a genuine meteorite sample. It is very rare that I haven't found our guests impressive. I also love seeing the great writer Alan Moore confounding Brian Cox, as he is a self-declared wizard and e don't have many of those on science shows, and it is always a joy to see a particle physicist being beaten in an argument by a wizard.

joelylarge9 karma

For Brian: Will you be doing any Manchester Uni lectures in the near future?

infiniterobin18 karma

Yes - I lecture twice a week to the firs year students - this coming Thursday will be about the momentum operator in quantum mechanics :-)


jake01128 karma

Huge long time fan guys!

Firstly: how did you two meet and what inspired you to make a podcast together?

Secondly: what's a commonly misinterpreted science fact that can be answered in inspiringly humorous manner?

Thanks for doing an ama!

infiniterobin41 karma

we met years ago in a cafe in London where Brian was playing the songs of Bon Jovi on a keyboard to entertain diners in a soft rock themed restaurant while I was a roller blading waiter. One busy day, I collided into his keyboard with such force that Brian thought he might have seen evidence of why the universe has mass, one thing led to another, and thus the podcast

PhilosophersStone18 karma

I am a high school student thinking about pursuing a job in astronomy. Any advice or recommendations? And how did you get started down the road to astronomy and physics Dr. Cox?

infiniterobin19 karma

My advice is to study hard - and in particular practice your mathematics :-) If you are interested in teh physics and can do the maths, you'll be fine

DaveyB_7 karma

Were you ever surprised at the popularity that The Infinite Monkey Cage has gained since you first started?

infiniterobin33 karma

I'm suprised that Robin became as popular as he is, yes


dansden6 karma

What is next big discovery in astrophysics that you would like see or is most likely?

infiniterobin15 karma

I would like to see a theoretical explanation of dark energy and the field that presumably drove inflation. If it also included the Higgs field, I'd be even happier!


hilly6 karma

Hi Robin, I recently saw you perform a wonderfully frantic stand up gig in Newcastle. You mentioned having a break from stand up, what will you be doing in the meantime? Looking forward to future readings from Crab Moon!

infiniterobin8 karma

I am touring until the end of June, UK, USA, Norway and Australia, then I hope to write a Monkey Cage book, make a few documentaries, and read voraciously (including some killer crabs books)

fantalemon5 karma

Prof. Cox - I have 100 questions I'd love to ask but the most pressing has to be: What did you think of Interstellar?

infiniterobin19 karma

I enjoy watching scientists getting really cross with each other about it, though I have heard the science adviser did a better job than whoever did Sunshine

WiredUK5 karma

My 8 year old nephew has a major obsession with space, in particular black holes. What do you think I can do to encourage him to carry on this interest in astronomy into his teens and beyond? I already take him to sciences centres, museums, planetariums etc. which he absolutely loves.

infiniterobin5 karma

I always think that Feynman's The Pleasure of Finding Things Out is a great parenting manual on how to enthuse your children.

tosbourn5 karma

Hey guys – If you could get one book onto the UK curriculum what would it be and why?

infiniterobin7 karma

Cosmos - or perhaps Surely You Must Be Joking Mr Feynman. Because they both show science for what it truly is - which is a complete framework for living :-)


infiniterobin6 karma

I'll go with Carl Sagan's Demon Haunted World also, Chris Frith's Making up the Mind is a good book for pondering how subjective your mind's image of reality may be

jamesasterisk3 karma

Hi Robin!

I've been to almost all of your 9 Lessons and Carols for Godless People events. They were definitely the highlight of the Christmas season for my friends and I.

You also first introduced me to Feynman at a 'Free Fringe' show in Edinburgh many many years ago. I gave you £3 and avoided eye contact, sorry about that. You read out that beautiful passage about when he first truly accepted his wife had died when he saw a dress she would have liked (I think I recall that correctly). I went and purchased the rest of his books and read them feverishly.

My question, since you've read so much about his life, what's your go-to Feynman story for someone who's never come across him before?

infiniterobin5 karma

I think the story What Do You Care What Other People Think? about the relationship with and death of his first wife is a beautiful and human story. Also, just seeing the footage of Feynman, gravely ill and soon to return to the hospital, playing the bongos is life affirming https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKTSaezB4p8

eudoxia1233 karma

Hey guys, thanks for doing this AmA. Do you think British soceity is doing enough to get young people interested in STEM subjects, and if not what more could be done to have this happen?

Also, Brian, since you shot into the limelight for your (amazing) documentaires, how has this effected your pre-TV career?

Thanks - The St Wilfrid's 6th Form A2 physics students.

infiniterobin7 karma

I think we need to find as many ways as possible to show people the incredibly rich imagination that our society is built on. We need to keep finding new ways of getting science into the mass media, it still isn't in the news enough. We also need to educate people that they shouldn't be scared to ask questions. there is no shame in not knowing about science, but there is in not wanting to know.

chrisheid3 karma

As a layman I really enjoy listening to your podcast and the subjects you discuss. Is it hard to break down these subjects to make them understandable by a larger audience?

infiniterobin9 karma

the useful weapon we have is that I am not very clever, so the show always has to be easy enough for me to understand. When we did a show about cosmology at the Glastonbury festival, you could hear brains cracking as the quantum behaviour became more peculiar to the minds of the 3000 weary and chemically confused audience members.

theWelshladysbed3 karma

I work with Ben Goldacre - what bad science can I use at work (psychiatric ward) to wind him up?

infiniterobin3 karma

for nostalgic purposes, why not resurrect the Gillian Mckeith poo sieve and declare that a sieved poo is all that is needed to diagnose a mental health issue.

RustySpongeGaming3 karma

What made you take the plunge into astronomy and the sciences, also how do you go against the stigma that science isn't cool and just for nerds?

I love everything science but alot of people par it off saying its nerdy. Also love the stuff you do!!!

infiniterobin13 karma

I tell anyone who tells me that science isn't cool that I feel sorry for them, and ask them to refrain from using any of the products of science in future, including antibiotics. If that doesn't work I slap them around the head with a copy of Newton's Principia.


poookie132 karma

Hello Professor Cox and Mr. Ince

I've been listening in to TIMC since it began and I have to say you both are geniuses! To Robin Ince, thank you for the jaw-achingly funny comedy that adds so much colour to the broadcast. To Professor Cox, your work has rekindled my enthusiasm for knowledge and science. You're my hero. Thank you so much for doing this AMA, I've been waiting for for a chance to ask you a few questions!

For Professor Cox:

  1. You just finished The Human Universe a few weeks ago, thank you for that, it was one of the best documentaries I've ever watched. In all your travels, which was your favourite place to visit?
  2. You said it took you 2 years to make. Your patience and effort really shows. Does that mean we have to wait about 2 years for the next one? :(
  3. Did you like the new Cosmos series? What did you think about the heavy special effects and the "ship of the imagination"?

For Robin Ince:

  1. How has involvement in science changed your standup since you started?
  2. Have you ever considered switching over to science and writing funny books with lots of knowledge too?

To the both of you:

Any chance either of you want to come say hello in Toronto any time soon? We have cinnamon buns and tea and maybe even strawberries! ;)

infiniterobin2 karma

1) Ethiopia and Svalbard 2) Yes! 3) Yes I did like it very much - particularly for its ambition to bring a scientific way of thinking to as wide an audience as possible.


infiniterobin2 karma

I hope that we will do a Monkey cage book next year which is a good start as my other books have so far been about my favourite Bad Books and an anthology of horror stories. I started to stick bits of scepticism in my stand up in the late 90s, and it really excited me. I now find that it is a fantastic motivator to come up with new stand up shows all the time. each week i read of some new idea and think, how can I turn that into a joke or routine or show, and the act of trying to turn it into jokes also helps me start to understand

hehyih2 karma

Whats your secret to never aging?

infiniterobin12 karma

he sucks the lifeblood out of me. Every time we do a show, I look 4 years older and his hair is smoother and fuller. I was 23 when we began the series 5 years ago, I am now 106

kittysquee2 karma

Hello! Seeing Robin on Monday and the Christmas Compendium of Reason next Friday -very excited! I've seen Robin several times in the Black Box in Belfast. Who will your special guests be for next week or is that all top secret hush hush stuff?

(P.S. Robin you're going to be dead tired next Sunday you poor thing!).

infiniterobin5 karma

keeping our secret guests secret, though Alice Roberts has mentioned she will be on 19th and Steve Backshall on 18th, plus Festival of Spoken Nerd at both, but it is a long bill and don't expect to make the last train.

ctolsen2 karma

Thanks for all the entertainment and knowledge from the two of you so far, I greatly appreciate it.

You are both rational, scientific thinkers who also work creatively and artistically. Does that combination have any particular benefits? Or perhaps some drawbacks?

infiniterobin6 karma

arts and science both highlight the delights of human imagination. What we are attempting to do is draw an audience into ideas of the universe which will hopefully change their perceptions of what it is to be a living, self conscious being in this universe, we never have to go too deeply into the mathematics, so the two disciplines can survive together.

infiniterobin6 karma

I think that science is a creative subject - it's undoubtedly true that the greatest scientists - Einstein, Feynman, Newton - made conceptual leaps that required great imagination. The difference between science and art, though, is that there is an absolute test for the value of a scientific theory, which is that it must agree with Nature. A theory can't be a great work of science if it's wrong, no matter how beautiful it is.


KimC6662 karma

Good morning from across the pond to you both :-) Brian, thanks for this opp to ask. Q: How has your worldview evolved from the beginning of the 'Wonders' series to now (summed?) as a direct result of the many experiences you've had at the most beautiful places on planet earth, actually witnessing particular events that are personally meaningful to you (Soyuz, 1st Eclipse) & seeing the different world cultures & beliefs...so many times? Love to know, really. Thanks if you get to this, all the best !

infiniterobin3 karma

Good question. I've become significantly more impressed with the Human race actually. I now think we are a rare and valuable part of the universe. This came in part from learning a bit of biology in Wonders of Life and Human Universe.


WiredUK2 karma

To both: Having had the fortune of seeing TIMC recorded live and seeing Robin performing many times, have you ever considered taking TIMC on tour (other than the Fringe!)?

infiniterobin5 karma

yes, i hope we will do that again. as we are doing US, it seems that we really should do the UK too

Zenuri2 karma

What do you think about the idea that religious belief arose and grew because it conferred a survival advantage - namely improved group cohesion, collaboration, functional hierarchy etc?

infiniterobin3 karma

before we had the tools of science, gods or a god seemed to offer some solution, though even two thousand years ago there were thinkers who were sceptical. Shared belief and interest will bring people together, whether that is a love of REM or worship of Poseidon (though REM had higher T shirt sales). We have evolved altruism and empathy, and curiosity, and hopefully that curiosity cane be used well to now avoid dogmatism, whether that is fundamentalist religion or Stalinism.

misterrii2 karma

Firstly, I love The Infinite Monkey Cage and I recommend it to everyone I know. Thank you both for making a great programme!

This is a question for both of you, really, as - like Robin - I studied for a BA at university rather than a BSC - I am absolutely fascinated by science, particularly anything that involves the things that happen outside of our planet, and I want to know more. Aside from academia, what would you recommend as the most effective way to build my knowledge and start to better-understand everything that's going on around us?

P.S. Robin. - please come back to Winchester/Southampton again!

infiniterobin3 karma

never be scared of asking questions. buy a telescope and a microscope. Don't be satisfied if you end any week without having discovered something that has changed the way you see the world. Read.

JWR_422 karma

On Thursday the Cambridge Union Society will be debating "This House Believes that Scientists Should Run the Country", do you think scientists should play a larger role in running nation states?

infiniterobin5 karma

I think it would be useful to have more people with a scientific understanding involved in politics rather than from a PR background. We need to find more people who respect evidence rather than respect spin.

infiniterobin3 karma

Yes. Because good scientists understand better than most how to weigh evidence and to challenge their own predjudices. That's what a scientific training is about.


Multiblouis2 karma

Did you ever read a book as a child that inspired you to be... You?

infiniterobin3 karma



[deleted]2 karma

Brian is there one question you'd like answered about the universe?

infiniterobin3 karma

Is eternal inflation correct


StumpyGoblin2 karma

Robin, what is the most entertaining or interesting topic you've discussed on the Infinite Monkey Cage? Same question for Brian. Thanks for the podcasts!

infiniterobin3 karma

our show about what might have happened before the big bang was a favourite. Any show with alan moore always leads to new thought experiments.

ProprocrastinatorUK2 karma

Hi Both, has the science you've come across in TIMC inspired you in the work you do outside of it? If so what's changed your perspective the most?

infiniterobin2 karma

I have found that no single episode has stood out, each one influences ways I look at the world. I find the moment my mind squints when talking about quantum cosmology is an interesting sensation, as well as my increasing fascination with how our mind puts together our view of the world. Mainly, I think it is a constant reminder that I must seek evidence when hoping to form an opinion.

eu4lyfe2 karma

What do you think is the greatest mystery in the universe? (Besides women, of course.)

infiniterobin2 karma

I find the chance of self conscious life existing beyond our own planet pretty fascinating.

enestatli2 karma

Hello Robin, what do you think about Interstellar?

infiniterobin2 karma

still not seen it, but thoroughly enjoying the arguments about it. Yet again, after tonight's monkey cage recording, I engaged with two people who had just seen it and could not agree on it. Always good to see wormholes driving people apart.

noisymime2 karma

Brian recently did a tour of Australia, and you know that was good and all, but we all know its Robin that we really want to see (particularly on Q&A).

Robin, any plans of coming down under?

infiniterobin3 karma

I will be touring my show of science and foolishness in Australia next April - should be playing all cities. will be up on www.robinince.com soon. also, www.cosmicgenome.com has just put up its Australian science special.

takaSC21 karma

Do you think that the lack of maths in popular science is a problem? It frustrates me that because most audiences know less maths than they did at 16 you cannot give explanations or talk about science in a way that involves it.

infiniterobin2 karma

To a point, although the level of mathematics you need to do even basic quantum mechanics - differential equations, operators, complex algebra - means that it would end up being pretty high level and well beyond school level I think. So I'm not certain what the middle ground actually is. Special Relativity is easier!


DannyMB1 karma


infiniterobin3 karma

I know Brian still has the marble wash ripped jeans and perming solution of 1989, just waiting for the Dare revival

solitarysniper1 karma


infiniterobin3 karma

No is the short answer! You never know how these series will turn out when you're making the first few films. Having said that, I've always felt that people are naturally interested in space exploration and in science generally, so if you do get it right occasionally, then an audience exists!


forensic_freak1 karma

Hey, guys, I just started listening to your podcast as the last series ended. Been trying to catch up, it's fantastic stuff!

Robin, how informed do you keep yourself on popular scientific events?
Also, what's your favourite way to wind up each-other/the crew?

infiniterobin3 karma

I try to keep up to date with science publications and I am a voracious reader, it is the understanding that takes ages. There is usually a bit where Brian is talking where my mind takes a long hard look at itself and says, "be honest, you are lost now". I have generally found that mentioning any new age thinking makes Brian splutter and fume, or any non physics argument that says, "and of course, reincarnation can be explained by quantum behaviour"will have him breaking a pool cue and screaming

charliewr1 karma

Brian - What do you think our best bet is to lift public understanding or at least interest in science and space exploration? Another cold war? More great educators like yourself? Maybe private sector is the answer?


infiniterobin2 karma

Education. I firmly believe that knowledge delivers perspective, and if we spent more time and resources on education, we'd create a better society that valued reason, exploration and scientific progress to a far greater extent.


Hummmingbird1 karma

Professor Cox: What is the one question you most frequently get asked about when people meet you?

infiniterobin5 karma

they normally ask him to "point at something and smile, like you do on the telly"

BigDaddySanta1 karma

Star Trek: Original, or Next Generation?

infiniterobin3 karma

I enjoy both, but maybe, just maybe, the original for reasons of nostalgia and wig work

jordan1611 karma


infiniterobin2 karma

I love the work of Christopher Nolan, but haven't seen it yet. I am enjoying standing in the BBC science unit and, every day, watching scientists furiously arguing whether it is brilliant or nonsense or in-between. the fist fights are just around the corner.

Bogof_offer1 karma

Prof. Brian....you constantly blow my mind with your facts. I'm a massive fan of yours and watch all your programmes/read your articles.

My question is, what is your favourite fact about the universe?

infiniterobin5 karma

If we put aside for the moment that 'fact' is a tricky idea in science, because everything is provisional - then the current idea from inflationary cosmology that the Universe may have been around a (long?) time before the Big Bang is fascinating.


140IQ1 karma

I was going down a different route to physics and recently remembered my love for space as a child, do you think pursuing a career in astronomy is a good idea? Also what would be a good way to go about it if I'm not currently studying the necessary requirements.

infiniterobin2 karma

My advice is to study the subject you find most fascinating. If you feel you are studying the wrong subjects, then I'd change! It's hard enough learning about the thing you love. It's very difficult to become good at somethign you're not that interested in.


ceres931 karma

So happy you are both doing this AMA, love the podcast!! As a Law graduate i have no background in science but still love learning/reading about things such as space and CERN. Any suggestions as to what the best way for a non sciencey person to learn about it is?

infiniterobin3 karma

I think much of it is about being alert and remaining curious. Choose books on subjects that may not be easy, but don't try to leap straight into the greatest imponderables. Don't be disheartened when you finish a book on quantum mechanics and don't understand it all, it is a long term project, trying to understand the universe, and you'll never have time to understand it all, but enjoy the ride.

MMSforSci1 karma

This question is for Prof. Cox as well as Mr. Ince. If you could put yourself in place of Scarlett Johansson in the movie 'Lucy', and attain all the knowledge in the Universe as well as the answers to everything, and impart that knowledge to humanity, but in return sacrifice your life, would you? And why?

Thanks guys!

infiniterobin2 karma

I haven't seen the film, but I am not sure if we got all the information of the universe in one fell swoop it would be a good thing. We are still having problems mastering fire and the wheel.

rossislegend1 karma

Hey Professor Cox, my grandmother is a very big fan of your work, could you say hello to her? :)

infiniterobin4 karma

Hello Granny :-)


jonathansalter1 karma

Hello Prof. Cox, what do you hold to be the most marvellous fact about the Cosmos?

infiniterobin3 karma

That it contains human beings. That's quite suprising!


escherbach1 karma


Who are your favourite Nobel Prize winners?

infiniterobin2 karma

Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov of course.


BIGGYtheCAT1 karma

Hello to both of you. My girlfriend and I are coming to see your Christmas show and can't wait! What should we expect to witness?? And Who's on guest list??

Thank you for making my brain melt with facts and ribs hurt from laughter

I can't wait for the 19th!!!!

infiniterobin2 karma

not mentioning anyone apart from those who have mentioned they'll be there, Steve Backshall on 18th, alice roberts on 19th, festival of spoken nerd on both, many many more

ChapLife1 karma

Robin, are you a bit miffed that Dara Ó Briain usurped your position when Brian started popping up on TV? Not wishing to stir the pot - I love you both as comedians - just wondering whether it was a deliberate decision on your behalf to not be the Prof's side-kick for TV, or whether you would have liked to do it but The Man thought that Dara was more TV-friendly (the swines)?

PS I think of both of you literally every time I eat a strawberry now, and have a minor crisis of conscience.

Bert, in Stafford.

infiniterobin3 karma

I had no choice on whether I was his TV sidekick or not, I am just glad these sort of shows are getting on TV. I would love us to get Monkey Cage on TV though, i think it could work well, and if it was a disaster, i think we could make an exuberant disaster.

leapofawesome1 karma

If you could take a time machine to produce Infinite Monkey Cages with great thinkers and comedians from the past who would it be?

infiniterobin5 karma

I would like David Hume, Lord Byron, Hypatia the last librarian of Alexandria, Laurel and Hardy, Marie Curie… I also think Rosalind Franklin on the same show as James Watson could be interesting

infiniterobin3 karma

Einstein, without a doubt.


capngreenbeard1 karma

What's your favourite bar/ pub/ watering hole in Manchester?

infiniterobin6 karma

I used to love Cafe Pop, but it has been a while since I have been there. What a lurid collection of LP covers adorning the wall.

yario1 karma

Following the latest news on the Higgs Boson results, there seems to be mixed feelings on the state of modern phisics and the underlying reality of our universe. I keep getting the impression that there is vertigo permeating the astrophysicist comunity as to what the new data implies. Could you adventure to explain, like I'm five ;), what these newly discovered implications are?

infiniterobin4 karma

I think that's correct. It's a very exciting time in physics at the moment because we have a lot of data and phenomena - The Higgs, dark energy, inflation - that we don't fully understand and certainly don't have a unified picture of. Perhaps we have a multiverse / perhaps there is some theory that unifies these three phenomena together / perhaps both ! Who knows. We need more data and more theoretical undestanding.


shunt161 karma

Hi guys, big fan of wonders Brian and Robin you once read to me from Mills & Boon (at Green Man). My question is to either of you; if you could educate people with one scientific fact you wished they understood - but generally don't - what would that be?

infiniterobin2 karma

quite often it is the theory of evolution as it currently is, so frequently misunderstood, so much more to know.

OwlPacino1 karma

Hi Brian and Robin, I’m a huge fan of both Infinite Monkey Cage and (Brian) your documentaries. In fact, a few years ago Wonders of the Universe made me realise that what I thought I knew about the study of physics, mathematics and astronomy was completely wrong – that actually they were each fascinating subjects, both in and of themselves but also in the inherent linkages between them and wider fields such as chemistry and geography. I put my lack of enthusiasm down to a fairly drab education which glossed over the majority of the more engaging and spectacular aspects of science. Do you think there are things which the education system in the UK (and elsewhere) could do better to entice more young people to science?

infiniterobin5 karma

talking to teachers, the big problem seems to be that it all becomes about knowing the facts that will lead to passing the exam, there is not enough time time to infuse and infect the pupils with fascination, with the desire to find out more. Science can become just a series of formulas, laws and theories detached from the universe even though they are there to explain it. It should be about giving the students the tools to investigate and the excitement to know more and scrutinise their world .

d_M_b1 karma

Imagine I had lived in a cave my entire life and knew nothing of modern science. What would be the first thing you would tell me to read/watch to start me on the road to understanding?

infiniterobin3 karma

Richard Feynman once answered this - he said the concept of atoms - that there are a limited collection of building blocks (we now know that there are 12 matter particles, four forces and the Higgs particle) out of which everythign else is made.

Although I suppose even more fundamental is the scientific method itself - which boils down to testing everything you say against nature.


infiniterobin3 karma

the first thing to watch would be the night sky above you to start contemplating the stars, think of the movement of them and you.

gaeilge1 karma

I'm a mechanical engineering graduate student and, if I may, also hilarious. I want to start a comedy radio science/engineering podcast in the US. (Love your show.) Any advice?

infiniterobin2 karma

just do it. don't try to deal with too much in any episode and work out how much you want to impart information and how much you want it to be jokes.

Shukenja1 karma

Hey, is it true that you aren't doing the Infinite Monkey Cage as a live show this year? Why not? :(

infiniterobin2 karma

we are doing two shows at hammersmith this Christmas and we hope to tour the UK again soon, we are off to US in March and I am off to Australia in April, but really hope we can all get back together in 2015 for UK too

yewtree71 karma

I am really looking froward to seeing you guys in Chicago next year!

Any concerns that an American audience will be not be able to follow along to the very English cultural idiosyncrasies of the show?

infiniterobin2 karma

to be honest, not all English people get our English idiosyncrasies, it should be fun.