Lockdown: What to watch, listen to and explore from home
There are still plenty of science-y things you can do in lockdown.
Okay, we’re all stuck inside, which means we can’t go to the cinema or plan a trip to a museum at the drop of a hat. But there’s still plenty of science-y stuff to enjoy from the comfort of our homes.
Put on a science show
When things are getting a bit much, stick on an hour of science TV. The BBC is busy putting its rich library of educational series back up on iPlayer.
There’s Brian Cox’s brilliant series The Planets for those who need a little help bringing the Solar System to life, and Earth From Space for those who need something soothing. And if all else fails, there are plenty of boxsets of old David Attenborough shows available now.
Meanwhile, over on BBC Sounds, there’s a huge array of some of our favourite podcasts and radio series, including over 200 episodes of The Life Scientific with Prof Jim Al-Khalili and a wide range of expert guests.
You could also listen to any of the 15 seasons of the brilliant The Curious Cases Of Rutherford & Fry. For a touch of lighter listening, Sir David Attenborough reads The Peregrine, the British nature-writing classic by JA Baker.
Read more about how to cope with lockdown:
- Which science and tech shows to stream, watch and listen to during lockdown
- 5 mental health apps to help you through the coronavirus crisis
Stream TV together
Now that we’ve all run out of DIY to do, it’s time to relax. TeleParty from Netflix lets you watch TV shows with friends and family in distant places. It doesn’t sound like much, but it could make a difference to someone you know who’s living on their own.
It’s only available on the Google Chrome browser – you need to use your home computer to stream – but the app lets you sync your streams so you can enjoy shows at the same time.
Visit the zoo
Why not take the kids on a virtual day out to the zoo? Many zoos have turned to sharing the lives of their animals online; Chester Zoo, for example, runs a live virtual zoo day every Friday on their Facebook page and you can catch up with previous days on YouTube.
Meanwhile, Edinburgh Zoo is streaming live footage of their animals, including the giant panda Yang Guang, and the Sumatran tiger Dharma.
Tour a museum
It has never been easier (or cheaper) to explore some of the world’s finest art galleries and museums. Through Google’s Arts & Culture app, places like The Museum of Modern Art in the US, and the Palace of Versailles in France have made themselves virtually available. Just download the app on your phone or tablet, or visit their website via your computer.
To make the most of Arts & Culture, try it with a VR viewer – be it a high-tech Oculus or a Google Cardboard.
Many people who normally work in museums, science centres or research labs have taken to using Twitter as a new method of communicating their work. Check out the #ScienceFromHome and #MuseumFromHome hashtags for short culture bursts.
This post was originally published in May.
Amy is the Editorial Assistant at BBC Science Focus. Her BA degree specialised in science publishing and she has been working as a journalist since graduating in 2018. In 2020, Amy was named Editorial Assistant of the Year by the British Society of Magazine Editors. She looks after all things books, culture and media. Her interests range from natural history and wildlife, to women in STEM and accessibility tech.