#BrainFood brings you the best shows on TV and radio, science apps and books to activate your mind, and fun events to visit. This week – Britain’s Greatest Invention, BioBlitzing in Bath, and the remarkable science of CRISPR.
BBC Radio 4, Wed 14 June, 9:00-9:30pm
Robert Grosseteste was a man ahead of his time. A 13th Century Bishop obsessed with rainbows, colour and light streaming through cathedral windows, he went on to propose that the Universe was born in an explosion of light. It was nothing less than a medieval Big Bang – a remarkable idea that Philip Ball explores in this episode of Science Stories.
Jennifer Doudna & Samuel Sternberg, Bodley Head, £20
You might not have heard of CRISPR, but this technology could be one of the most significant breakthroughs of recent times. In /A Crack in Creation/, CRISPR co-inventor Jennifer Doudna, and her fellow researcher Samuel Sternberg, describe how this invention allows scientists to rewrite the genetic code, giving us the power to cure disease, create new sources of food and energy, and even redesign entire species. How can we harness its potential, while avoiding its obvious dangers?
BBC Two, Thur 15 June, 8:30-10:00pm
We Brits are an inventive bunch, and here’s your chance to decide which is the best invention of them all. Presented by Hannah Fry and Ant Anstead live from the Science Museum Group’s vast stores, seven celebrities will each make the case for their favourite innovation. Will it be the humble fridge or the ubiquitous smartphone? The steam engine, television or jet engine? Antibiotics, maybe? Or perhaps concrete: the most used man-made substance on Earth.
Various venues from Bristol to Bath, until 25 June
The Festival of Nature returns with a fortnight of events along the River Avon. The centrepiece of the festival is the Bristol Free Family Weekend on Sat 10 & Sun 11 June, featuring over 100 organisations, plus live entertainment and a secret mobile cinema. Elsewhere across the festival, nature lovers will be able to enjoy wildlife walks along the river, a ‘Marvellous Moths Night’, and a 24-hour BioBlitz in Bath.
Adobe has joined the OCR (‘optical character recognition’) market with this scanning app. It allows you to turn your phone or tablet into a text recognition tool, capturing notes, documents, receipts and forms as digital text. In other words, a scanned image becomes a smart, searchable pdf. A perfect way to store those hastily scribbled notes for posterity.