Things to do this week: 20 – 26 May 2017

Looking for the best things to do this week? Don’t waste away being bored on the sofa… here’s our pick of ways to exercise your grey matter and nourish your neurons.

19th May 2017
Doctor Who: Time Vortex 360 © BBC Taster

#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: time travel with Doctor Who, get your head around human behaviour, and explore the archaeology of Crossrail.


Secrets of the Super Elements © BBC

Secrets of the Super Elements

BBC Four, Wed 24 May, 9:00-10:00pm

Buried within the depths of the periodic table are obscure elements that our modern world depends on. In this film, Prof Mark Miodownik reveals the magical properties of these super materials. Without them, our smartphones wouldn’t work and aeroplanes wouldn’t get off the ground, but these elements are already running out.


Sound © BBC


BBC Radio 4, Mon 22 – Fri 26 May, 9:45-10:00am

In 1997, Bella Bathurst began to go deaf. Over the next 12 years, her life was robbed of music and conversation. In BBC Radio 4’s book of the week, Bella explores the practical and emotional impacts of her hearing loss, and what it can tell us about listening and silence, music and noise.


Behave © Bodley Head
© Bodley Head


Robert Sapolsky, Bodley Head, £25

Why do we behave the way we do? Stanford biologist Robert Sapolsky pieces together the origins of human behaviour in this epic new book, from tribalism and xenophobia to morality and free will. It’s an engaging synthesis of a whole host of sciences, bringing together the latest thinking in neuroscience, genetics, psychology, anthropology, evolutionary history, and more.


Tunnel © Museum of London Docklands
© Museum of London Docklands

Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail

Museum of London Docklands, until 3 Sept 2017, free

Since work began in 2009, the construction of London’s newest railway has unearthed over 10,000 objects. This exhibition showcases some of the most exciting finds, which tell the stories of Mesolithic tool makers, inhabitants of Roman Londinium, and victims of the Great Plague of 1665. Alongside these objects, we’ll learn about the remarkable engineering behind the Crossrail project, due to open in 2018.


Doctor Who: Time Vortex 360 © BBC Taster
© BBC Taster

Doctor Who: Time Vortex 360

BBC Taster, play online for free

Live out your time travelling fantasies in the BBC’s first ever 360-degree arcade game. You can pilot the TARDIS by physically moving your smartphone or tablet around you, evading hazards and obstacles as you speed through space and time. And in a wonderfully Whovian twist, you’ll also need to remember to look behind you to escape threats emerging from the past.

For more fabulous apps, check out our list of the top 10 science apps for Android and iOS.


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