The Infinite Monkey Cage does a U.S. tour, and has a show in Chicago avec moi

I’ve never listened to the BBC’s “Infinite Monkey Cage” show (I almost never have time to listen to podcasts), but I feel that I have, because Matthew Cobb, Brian Cox’s colleague at Manchester Uni, has been on the show several times and has told me a lot about it. Apparently it’s good, as I’ve never heard anything but praise for it, and perhaps the greatest praise is this: it’s been #1 on the iTunes chart for all podcasts from the UK. That is amazing for a show about science. As of this weekend I’m going to listen to the show, and I have a new reason as well.

The show (official website with more information here; BBC website here; Facebook here; and Twi**er site here) stars physicist (and former rock star) Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince, who educate and entertain their audience by bantering with a panel of scientists and Famous People. The show is recorded before a live audience.

So far the shows have been limited to the UK, but now the crew is going on the road—for a four-city tour of the U.S. As they’ve just announced, those cities include New York on March 5, Chicago on March 7, Los Angeles on March 12, and San Francisco on March 13. The list of scientist-guests is here, and there are more participants to come (look for updates).

I know almost all the scientists announced so far: they include Neil deGrasse Tyson, Janna Levin, Sean Carroll (the physicist) and Carolyn Porco. The great thing for me is that I’ll get to be on the show in Chicago along with my paleontologist colleague Paul Sereno, often described as “the new Indiana Jones.” I’d better bone up (Sereno, who excavates and studies dinosaur fossils, is already boned up). All the shows, as they are in the UK, will also be broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

I have a feeling tickets will sell fast, as the interest is likely to be high and the venues are small. Ticket information is here, and I’ll post the direct links to the ticket pages.  If you’re going to the Chicago show, I’ll see you there.

Oh, and congrats to Dr. Cox, who has just been named the Royal Society’s first Professor for Public Engagement in Science.
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41 Comments

  1. Posted January 30, 2015 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    The great thing for me is that I’ll get to be on the show in Chicago along with my paleontologist colleague, Paul Sereno (often described as “the new Indiana Jones”).

    That’s fantastic news! I’m a huge fan of the show and I listen to it as a podcast because it’s about 15 mins longer than the radio edit.

    I also recommend the No Such a Thing as a Fish podcast for fans of the Stephen Fry show Q.I. It’s a podcast by the researchers for Q.I. and involves them discussing their favourite facts they’ve discovered this week.

    • bric
      Posted January 30, 2015 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      I would like to mention a few other excellent BBC podcasts –

      Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time often has science subjects (as well as history, culture, philosophy and religion) http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/iots/all

      Science In Action http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/scia

      Jim al-Khalili’s The Life Scientific http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/tls/all

      BBC Inside Science http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/inscience

      and, not sciency at all but for film buffs everywhere Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/kermode

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 31, 2015 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

        All of those are excellent and highly recommended.
        I often share offices with people who insist on having the pap-du-jour pop noise on the radio, so plugging my ears in and sticking on a podcast is often the only way I can get any work done.

      • bric
        Posted February 1, 2015 at 3:01 am | Permalink

        It’s probably worth mentioning that Stephen Fry is one of the guests on next week’s Kermode and Mayo Show; and this week’s No Such Thing has an awful lot of facts about kissing cats’ anuses. Some of the regulars here might not want to miss that . . .

      • Dominic
        Posted February 2, 2015 at 8:31 am | Permalink

        Lord Bragg – distantly related to the two Nobel Braggs – is a bit accommodationist for my liking, but has huge respect for Wallace & Darwin, which mitigates it a tad.

  2. tamethyst
    Posted January 30, 2015 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    This show is brilliant, suffers no foolish superstition and doesn’t mind ridiculing mumbo jumbo

  3. Chris
    Posted January 30, 2015 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations, it should be a lot of fun!

  4. tamethyst
    Posted January 30, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    The great thing about The Infinite Monkey Cage also is via the Podcasts it’s easily played over an iPhone speaker while driving any distances. The shows are only about 30 mins so most car journeys they can be enjoyed.

  5. moleatthecounter
    Posted January 30, 2015 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Just ask Robin Ince to do his Carl Sagan impersonation… It’s very good.

    • Posted January 30, 2015 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Or Richard Feynman!

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 30, 2015 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Robin Ince is hilarious and very witty.

  6. Dermot C
    Posted January 30, 2015 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Good show! Next Monday, if memory serves, they have the builders in for a fiction special: a demolition of creationism. Not usually an issue in Blighty. x

  7. livinginabox
    Posted January 30, 2015 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    The Infinite Monkey Cage is excellent and thought-provoking.

  8. Posted January 30, 2015 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Neil deGrasse Tyson has been on the show before. I think that was the first time I’d heard him speak.

    Cosmos has raised his profile in the UK though.

  9. Posted January 30, 2015 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Sean Carroll (the physicist)

    I really enjoyed his book on the search for the Higgs particle. I don’t think I’d got my head around ‘spin’ before.

  10. MikeMc
    Posted January 30, 2015 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    It should be “All the shows, will also be broadcast on Radio4, as they are in the UK.”

  11. Genghis
    Posted January 30, 2015 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Many of the podcasts actually have extra material(as Robin Ince says -“that wasn’t deemed good enough for the radio”). Also BBC4 is the TV channel, Radio4 is the (obviously) radio channel.

  12. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted January 30, 2015 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    I think I like the people involved and the idea of the show slightly more than the show itself. It’s still good though.

  13. Diana MacPherson
    Posted January 30, 2015 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I remember Mathew being on the show about “dead” strawberries. 🙂

  14. Posted January 30, 2015 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Wait, what? How did I never make the connection that Brian Cox is that Brian Cox?! I’ll be darned. Brian Cox and Queen’s Brian May are to be credited for single-handedly (double-handedly?) raising the average IQ’s of badass rockers. And Brians, for that matter!

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 31, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      😀

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 31, 2015 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      Don’t forget the guy from Motorhead (or something similar) who’s also a commercial pilot in between tours. That’s not a profession for ignoramusses (ignoramouses ? ignoramice ? ) either.

      • merilee
        Posted February 1, 2015 at 12:00 am | Permalink

        Ignoramoose.

      • Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        Ah. That band has (or had, in my day) a big following with the tech geeks.

      • jeremyp
        Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden

    • jeremyp
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Brian Cox was the keyboard player in D:Ream. That disqualified whims “badass rocker” on two counts.

      • jeremyp
        Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        whims? That disqualified him as a “badass rocker” on two counts.

  15. Posted January 30, 2015 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Crap. I have a ticket to see The Book of Mormon that day.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 31, 2015 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      Email the cast. With half a chance they’ll postpone the show so they can attend TIMC too. (There being no such thing as bad publicity.)

  16. Keith Cook or more
    Posted January 30, 2015 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    We had a free to air channel here in New Zealand that broadcast quite a few science programmes, so what did they do? TVNZ coerced by the government ditched it. We tried to save it but to no avail.. no value on education just entertainment.. made me angry, still am. Anyhow, they were hosted by scientist like Brian Cox and Neil deGrasse and good quality content, what a shame for kiwis.
    Good luck with your show Prof. it should be good.

  17. John Williamson
    Posted January 30, 2015 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    An actual lol from the “…already boned up.” comment!

  18. Robert Seidel
    Posted January 30, 2015 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    > often described as “the new Indiana Jones.”

    Now what if he were doing foraminifera instead of dinos?

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 31, 2015 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      “The new Marie Stopes”?

  19. Marella
    Posted January 30, 2015 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I love Infinite Monkey cage. I have listened to every single one of the shows, usually while doing various chores.

  20. Muttley
    Posted January 30, 2015 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Love the show, the quality of the guests is amazing.

    Where else would you get an astronaut, a comedian, a professor, an actor, an ex-rock star physicist and an ex-rock star gay priest, during a Christmas special, refer to Jesus as “the magic baby”?

  21. merilee
    Posted January 31, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    sub

  22. merilee
    Posted January 31, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Wish it would come to Toronto!

  23. Diane G.
    Posted January 31, 2015 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Man, that sounds like fun!

  24. John
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    its a great show and the entire back catalogue is available on the BBC iplayer (VPN may be needed outside UK) And to prove ‘THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER’, I’ve also seen the show live which was a fantastic treat with Dara O’Brien, Ben Goldacre, ProCox, et al.

  25. Mark Reaume
    Posted February 10, 2015 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    If you have 3 hours to spare, Brian Cox was on Joe Rogan’s podcast yesterday. Joe has some ‘interesting’ ideas but I really like his style, humour and enthusiasm.


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