#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 – the search for a new Earth, graphic design in health, and the netherworld between life and death.
Wellcome Collection, London, 7 September 2017 – 14 January 2018, free
Health and graphic design might not sound like obvious bedfellows, but this exhibition reveals that their relationship runs deep. Find out how smart, powerful design is used around the world to raise awareness and inform the public, from digital teaching aids and 16th-Century anatomical pop-up books, to flashing pharmacy signs and comic books advocating safe sex.
BBC Radio 4, Wed 13 September, 8:45-9:00pm
The comedian and writer attempts to get his head around another puzzling topic. This week: fracking. How does it differ from traditional drilling, what gas does it produce, and what kind of effect does it have on the environment? Previous topics, including electricity, cryptic crosswords and the Kardashians, are all available to listen to online.
Adrian Owen, Faber & Faber, £16.99
Somewhere between life and death lies the grey zone, a realm of consciousness that was discovered by Dr Adrian Owen in 2006. This book charts the neuroscientist's attempts to communicate with those who inhabit this netherworld – people who are often labelled as being irretrievably lost. As his patients speak back, we’re prompted to ask: if a mind is able to exist unharmed within a deeply damaged brain, where does the true self lie?
BBC Two, Mon 11 September, 9:00-10:30pm
With the global population booming, and resources limited, it might not be long before we need to find another home planet. In fact, Prof Stephen Hawking thinks we only have 100 years. In this 90-minute special, Hawking is joined by engineer Prof Danielle George and physicist Dr Christophe Galfard to find out if, and how, humans can reach for the stars and settle on a second Earth.
iOS, Harry Slotwiner, free
Is it a shooting star? A UFO? No! It’s the International Space Station! Find the ISS in the night sky with this app, and then marvel at the fact that there are humans onboard this celestial speck. You’ll get notifications when the ISS is directly overhead, and there’s also an option to learn more about the current crew, as well as see the astronauts' stunning photos. A similar app is also available for Android users.