Bedtime stories for scientists

Where will science take you at bedtime? Image:

I remember listening to audiobooks as a child and there were years where I wouldn’t sleep unless I had a tape playing in the background. To a child, silence can be pretty ominous and I suppose there is something comforting in having ‘someone else’ in the room with you, narrating a story as you fall asleep. Even now, when all I seem to crave is silence, there is still something comforting in putting on a pair of headphones and escaping into a world led by the voice of another.

A while back I recorded Lizzie Crouch reading a series of extracts from popular science books – intended as little audio ‘bedtime stories’ for scientists. At first we thought about adding in additional sound to enhance the recordings, but upon reflection it was clear that they worked a lot better on their own. There are thousands of great audiobooks out there, but I suppose very few cover popular science – so here’s an attempt to bring you just that.

Lizzie is going to be posting a new one each week, you can hear the first one below (an extract from ‘Trilobite!’ by Richard Fortey), but listen to the rest over at her blog.

The Joy of Birds

Finally figured out how to embedd this video…

This is a short video I produced last month with Nisha Ligon, Tom Welch and Camilla Ruz for the Guardian website. It features BBC wildlife presenter Kate Humble and Martin McGill who were promoting their new book ‘Watching Waterbirds with Kate Humble‘ at the London Wetlands Centre.

We got really lucky with the weather. Turning up at Hammersmith station in the morning we were greeted with a torrential downpour – not ideal for shooting wildlife outside. Thankfully the rain subsided just as we arrived at the Wetlands Centre and we were granted with an afternoon’s worth of sunshine to walk round the site and capture some of the wildlife on camera.

Check out the video below to have a look for yourself!

Watch here:

… or below if it works:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The London Wetlands Centre is an unusual oasis of wildlife and greenery which is situated surprisingly within the city confines near Hammersmith. It provides people with a great chance to break free from the usual urban surroundings and take in some of the natural scenery usually reserved to those living outside the city limits.