25 September, 2023

British Antarctic Survey scientists are called up for their expertise this season, in a series of documentaries on radio and television.

Secrets of our Universe with Tim Peake, Channel 5

Could there be life beyond our planet? This was the ultimate question posed by Tim Peake on his new TV show which first aired on Channel 5 last week – and BAS was on hand to help him tackle it.

Earlier this year, British Antarctic Survey (BAS) had the pleasure of welcoming astronaut Tim Peake in Cambridge to film his new TV series ‘The Secrets of our Universe’ which is made up of three remarkable episodes. ‘The Planets’ (aired on 19th September and can be viewed on catch up), will be followed by ‘Stars & Black Holes’ and ‘Space Missions’ scheduled for Tuesday 26th September and Tuesday 3rd October.

The first episode ‘The Planets’ featured Tim and BAS scientist Maddie Lewis discussing the big question of whether life is possible beyond our earth.  In our Cambridge labs, they analyse a sample of Antarctic ice for evidence of possible life in sub-zero, icy conditions, much like the conditions found on Mercury.

Tim’s visit to BAS was part of a long trip across the world, from Cambridge to the Australian outback. His quest was to gather evidence from experts about what could be unfolding billions of miles away in the cosmos and to take viewers on a journey through the universe.

Evolution Earth, PBS

Coming soon to PBS this Autumn is “Evolution Earth,” a captivating five-episode documentary series. The show examines the journey of animals as they navigate the shifting landscapes of our rapidly changing planet, adapting their behaviours and even undergoing evolution.

Among the scientists at the forefront of this rapid change is BAS Scientist Victoria Warwick-Evans. She helps unravel vital patterns of animal behaviour in the harshest icy environments and how those patterns could offer valuable insights into potential solutions for our future world.

Victoria features in Episode 4, which takes a deep dive into the lives of polar bears in the Arctic, penguins in Antarctica, and other creatures surviving in icy realms.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage CBE BBC Radio 4

The UK’s Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage CBE, embarked on an expedition to the Arctic as part of an upcoming documentary series set to air on BBC Radio 4 in October. Simon journeyed to the Arctic Research station in Ny-Alesund, Svalbard, in search of inspiration for his upcoming creative works. In what is thought to be the world’s northern-most community, the Arctic Research Station is operated and managed by British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Simon joined up to 150 international researchers there to immerse himself in their work and learn about this rapidly changing environment.

Simon’s visit is due to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in a four part documentary. The first episode will go on air on October 10th at 11:30am.

Previously collaborating with British Antarctic Survey, Simon commemorated the naming of the new Royal Research Ship Sir David Attenborough  with a poem, Ark, which illustrated the impact of pollution and climate change on the natural environment, and called for polar science to help humans understand and reverse this damage: