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OU on the BBC: BBC Inside Science - Fireworks and fake co-authors

Updated Monday, 3rd November 2014

BBC Inside Science lights up the airwaves this week with a focus on fireworks. 

When and where

Thursday, 6th November 2014 16:30 - BBC Radio 4

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In BBC Inside Science, Adam Rutherford and guests illuminate the mysteries and challenge the controversies behind the science that's changing our world.

On this week's programme:

A fireworks display Creative commons image Icon Jonathan Chen under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license under Creative-Commons license Aging 101:

Adam Speaks to Professor Richard Faragher about biogerontology. With the numbers of over 75s expected to double by 2040, a key question becomes how to live well for longer. So where are we currently with the science of aging?

The Strange Case of Dr Stronzo Bestiale:

In 1987, physicist William G. Hoover had a paper on molecular dynamics rejected by two journals. He added Dr Stronzo Bestiale to the list of co-authors, changed the title, and resubmitted the paper. The Journal of Statistical Physics accepted it. Only problem? The new extra researcher doesn’t exist. And his fictional name means “Total A***hole” in Italian.

Adam Rutherford heads to New Scientist mag, which collects tales like that of Dr Bestiale. They unpick the serious point behind the science jokes: The scientific community looks out for who actually writes published papers, to keep inaccuracy and politics out of the science.


Roland Pease reports on a new sticky plaster developed at Queen’s University Belfast that can deliver drugs through a series of tiny microneedles.

Bonfire Night:

Marnie Chesterton visits the Firelab at University of Bolton and meets the scientists who get paid to set fire to stuff. They share some of the science behind your fireworks.


Forward trail to Rosetta landing next Wednesday. A clip from Andrew Luck Baker’s Frontiers programme.

Want to share your views on any of the topics discussed in the programme? Use the comments function on this page or talk about the programme on Twitter using the #insidescience hashtag. 

Listen to Inside Science

Tune in to BBC Radio 4 on Thursday 6 November at 16:30 to listen to this week's programme. More information and a link to listen again later will be available from the BBC's Inside Science pages




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