This very early series of  Vega science videos feature Helen Sharman on Life in Space, Chris Freeman on Bernal,  John Murrell on States of Matter and John Maynard-Smith on Flight and was originally broadcast on the BBC2 Learning Zone.  The Masterclasses reveal these scientists personal views on key concepts and achievements as well as their approach to scientific method.  In this way we see how science advances our understanding of how nature and the physical world work as well as what science can do. 


Bernal and the Social Function of Science - Chris Freeman, Science Policy Research UnitBernal and the Social Function of Science - Science Video: Chris Freeman, Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU)

Professor Chris Freeman, the founder and first director of the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex introduces J.D. Bernal.  As well as becoming one of the first social scientists Bernal was the father of the protein crystallography techniques which enabled the double helix structure of DNA to be unravelled.

 
Flight in Birds and Aeroplanes - John Maynard Smith, University of SussexFlight in Birds and Aeroplanes - Science Video: John Maynard Smith, University of Sussex

John Maynard Smith, one of our most eminent evolutionary biologists and scientific communicators originally trained as an engineer and spent the war years designing aircraft.  In this video he describes the way that flight developed in the animal kingdom. The fossil record indicates that the long tails which stabilised the flight of the first birds evolved into shorter, less stable, structures which allowed greater agility.

 
Life in Space - Helen Sharman gives a vibrant account of her experiences in spaceLife in Space - Science Video: Helen Sharman gives a vibrant account of her experiences in space

Helen Sharman, the UK`s first astronaut, gives a vibrant account of her personal experience of life in space using models and film to illustrate the key scientific concepts involved in spaceflight.

 
States of Matter - John Murrell, University of SussexStates of Matter - Science Video: John Murrell, University of Sussex

Scientist John Murrell discusses in this video the basic physical principles relating to the gaseous, liquid and solid states with the aid of models and demonstrations. Attention is drawn to phase changes and subtle features involving intermediate phases such as liquid crystals, supercritical fluids and pseudosolids. These aspects are developed further in interactive discussions.

 


 

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