Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss Daniel Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe. Published in 1719, it was an immediate success and is considered the classic adventure story - the sailor stranded on a desert island who learns to tame the environment and the native population. Robinson Crusoe has been interpreted in myriad ways, from colonial fable to religious instruction manual to capitalist tract, yet it is perhaps best known today as a children’s story. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Karen O’Brien, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education at the University of Birmingham; Judith Hawley, Professor of Eighteenth-Century Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London and Bob Owens, Emeritus Professor of English Literature at the Open University.
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Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the giant molecules that form the basis of all life. Macromolecules, also known as polymers, are long chains of atoms which form the proteins that make up our bodies, as well as many of the materials of modern life. We’ve only known about macromolecules for just over a century, so what is the story behind them and how might they change our lives in the future? Melvyn Bragg is joined by Athene Donald, Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Cambridge; Charlotte Williams, Reader in Polymer Chemistry and Catalysis at Imperial College London and Tony Ryan, Pro-Vice Chancellor for the Faculty of Science at the University of Sheffield.
Three-D printing may be poised to revolutionise the manufacturing industry. Peter Day asks if 100 years of mass production is running out of steam. Producer: Caroline Bayley Editor: Stephen Chilcott
Insights into the business world with Peter Day - featuring content from his Radio 4 In Business programme, and also Global Business from the BBC World Service.