The Infinite Monkey Cage (Series 1-10)

The descriptions for Series 11-20 and Series 21 and onwards can be found on separate pages.

Series 1

1. Science and Comedians

This episodes asks why a disproportionate number of comedians started their adult lives wanting to be scientists.

Guests: Dara O'Briain, Dr Alice Roberts

2. Extraterrestrial Life

Taking a look at the search for ET via the SETI Institute in California, as well as science conspiracies and UFOs.

Guests: Jon Ronson, Seth Shostack

3. Quantum Physics

Asking the question of whether astrology shares its roots with more scientific pursuits.

Guests: Ben Miller

4. Science and Religion

A special Christmas edition – a look at whether religion could be good for your health.

Guests: Victor Stock, Adam Rutherford

Series 2

1. Popular Science (Cheltenham Science Festival)

This programme questions whether there is genuine interest in science, or whether celebrity culture has dumbed it down.

Guests: Ben Miller, Robert Winston

2. Trust Me, I'm a Scientist

Discussing the issue of trust in science, the programme takes a look at why some people believe in psuedoscience rather than empirical evidence.

Guests: Ben Goldacre, Dave Gorman

3. Science Fiction, Science Fact

The four discuss alternative universes and multiple dimensions, and the fact that fact is often far more interesting than anything in fiction.

Guests: Alan Moore, Brian Greene

4. Things Can Only Get Better?

Looking at the notion of perfection and the latest biomedical advances, this episode looks at the limits of science and the attempt to create the perfect human body.

Guests: Mark Steel, Colin Blakemore

Series 3

1. Apocalypse

This episode looks into apocalyptic theories, including whether the Mayans foresaw 2012 and the state of the Sun in about five billion years.

Guest: Andy Hamilton

2. Modern World

The discussion questions whether the modern world is a force for good or evil, and whether simpler and more natural existences may be better for the future.

Guest: Paul Foot

3. Randomness

Coincidence is the focus of this programme, and asks whether maths means the phenomenon is more common and predictable than one might think.

Guests: Tim Minchin, Alex Bellos

4. Philosophy

With the rate of scientific progress, the question is posited about whether philosophy and religion is negated as we further understand more and more about the universe.

Guests: Alexei Sayle, Julian Baggini

Series 4

1. What Don't We Know?

This episode focuses on asking questions about what we don't know, about whether we know what we don't know, and whether there are some things which will never been known.

Guests: Paul Foot, Steve Jones, Marcus Chown

2. Six Degrees

The discussion revolves around whether there are only six degrees of separation between everyone, and the background of the theory which tackles everything from maths to biology.

Guests: Stephen Fry, Simon Singh

3. So You Want To Be an Astronaut?

The future of space travel is in doubt as the space shuttle programme comes to an end, and the chances of humans moving out into the solar system are up in the air.

Guests: Helen Keen, Dr Kevin Fong

4. Is Cosmology Really a Science?

Taking a look at whether the practice of cosmology is really a science, and if scientific theories need to be testable to be called science, with talk about where that leaves currently untestable theories.

Guests: Alan Moore, Ed Copeland, Dallas Campbell

5. Is There Room for Mysticism in a Rational World? (Glastonbury Special)

Guests: Billy Bragg, Graham Coxon, Shappi Khorsandi, Tony Ryan

6. Science vs the Supernatural: Does Science Kill the Magic?

A discussion of the supernatural and asking whether a belief in ghosts, psychic abilities and other-world phenomenon is harmless fun or a sign of more worrying implications.

Guests: Andy Nyman, Richard Wiseman, Bruce Hood

Series 5

1. What's the North Ever Done for Us? (Manchester Science Festival)

At Manchester University, this episode discusses the scientific achievements which have been made in the north of England including Rutherford splitting the atom and Nobel Prizes for Physics.

Guests: Jon Culshaw, Jeff Forshaw, Matthew Cobb

2. A Balanced Programme on Balance

Science portrayal in the media is under scrutiny, and there are questions as to whether opinion is ever as valid as evidence as well as a look at whether believers in the supernatural are unfairly treated.

Guests: Katy Brand, Paul Nurse

3. The Origins of Life

The panel discuss the science of creation and the latest theories about the origins of life.

Guests: Tim Minchin, Adam Rutherford, Nick Lane

4. The Science of Sound

A look at why some sounds are pleasant and others horrible, and the impact of sound on the human emotion.

Guests: Trevor Cox, Chris Plack, Tom Wrigglesworth

5. I'm a Chemist Get Me Out of Here

This show talks about the impact of Chemistry and its place within the sciences including the relation to Physics as Brian Cox terms “the social science of molecules”.

Guests: Dara O'Briain, Andrea Sella, Tony Ryan

6. The Science of Christmas

Guests: Richard Dawkins, Mark Gatiss, Roger Highfield

Series 6

1. Oceans: The Last Great Unexplored Frontier?

Looking down into the oceans, this programme questions whether the seventy percent which make up the planet are really the last unexplored frontiers.

Guests: Dave Gorman, Lloyd Peck, Bramley Murton

2. Science Mavericks

Featuring the stories of science mavericks who used unusual methods and pushed boundaries in the pursuits of their scientific theory.

Guests: Marcus Brigstocke, Kevin Fong, Aoife McLysaght, Barry Marshall

3. Does Size Matter?

The panel take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of size, and why being really small is possibly a superpower.

Guests: Andy Hamilton, Mark Miodownik, Eleanor Stride

4. The Science of Symmetry

A discussion on the pervasive phenomenon of symmetry throughout the universe, and why it appears to be ubiquitous.

Guests: Marcus Du Sautoy, Adam Rutherford, Alan Moore

5. Parallel Universes

Parallel universes are one of the most interesting ideas in cosmology, and this episode discusses whether they actually exist, and if it can be proven.

Guests: John Lloyd, Martin Rees, Lucie Green

6. Science v Art (Latitude Festival)

A pitch of art against science to ask which has more importance to humankind, and whether the two cultures can every sit side by side.

Guests: Al Murray, Sara Pascoe, Jonathan Butterworth

Series 7

1. Space Exploration

This episode explores whether space is really the final frontier and if robotic space missions are going to increase negating the need for humans in space at all.

Guests: Patrick Stewart, Ben Miller, Monica Grady

2. Improbable Science

A look at some of the unlikely and odd avenues of research in science, and the discoveries and outcomes they lead to, with the Ig Nobel prize being the reward.

Guests: Marc Abrahams, Katy Brand, Matthew Cobb

3. Secret Science

Discussion about secret science, code-breaking and extraordinary achievements made by the team working at Bletchley during World War II.

Guests: Dave Gorman, Simon Singh, Sue Black

4. Brain Science

A talk about whether the science of the human mind will ever be fully understood, and what progress is being made as technological advances continue.

Guests: Jo Brand, Sophie Scott, Brian Butterworth

5. Creating Life

Science is on a quest to create life, and this episode discusses the modern techniques with regard to IVF, cloning, and artificial DNA.

Guests: Ed Byrne, Adam Rutherford, Philip Ball

6. Christmas Special: The Science of Christmas Behaviour

Guests: Mark Gatiss, Steve Jones, Richard Wiseman, Victor Stock

Series 8

1. What is Death?

This episode looks at why death is such an inevitable part of life on the planet, and what the true definition of death is along with the evolutionary purpose.

Guests: Katy Brand, Nick Lane, Sue Black

2. Glastonbury

Attending the Glastonbury festival, the panel discuss all things quantum-related.

Guests: KT Tunstall, Fay Dowker, Jeff Forshaw

3. Space Tourism

Questioning whether travel beyond our own planet will be the reserve of astronauts, or if a new age of space travel will allow ordinary members of the public to tour space.

Guests: Stephen Attenborough, Kevin Fong, Brian Blessed

4. What Makes Science a Science?

A look at whether the scientific method can be applied to topics such as history and politics, and whether economics and social science qualify as science at all.

Guests: Ben Goldacre, Sophie Scott, Evan Davis

5. Alfred Russel Wallace

The group discuss the life and works of Alfred Russel Wallace, a lesser known co-founder of evolutionary theory by natural selection.

Guests: Steve Jones, Aoife McLysaght, Tony Law

6. Science Museum

At the London Science Museum, the discussion covers the wonder of science to children and why adults seem to lose it.

Guests: Josie Long, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ian Blatchford, Richard Holmes

Series 9

1. Risk

A look at the science of risk with exploration of question such as whether the safest age is seven, the safety of nuclear power, and the threat of asteroids.

Guests: David Spiegelhalter, Sue Ion, Graeme Garden

2. Through the Doors of Perception

Exploring the nature of consciousness, secret messages contained within pop songs, and the problem with objectivity being subjective.

Guests: Claudia Hammond, Beau Lotto, Alan Moore

3. Science Rocks!

Travelling back in time, the group discuss when and how geology became science, the purpose of dinosaurs, and why cryptids are fascinating to those on the fringe of science.

Guests: Dave Martill, Hermione Cockburn, Ross Noble, Eric Idle

4. To Infinity and Beyond

The group debate the universality of mathematics, the nature of infinity, and the role of numbers in everyday life.

Guests: John Lloyd, Colva Roney Dougal, Simon Singh

5. Should We Pander to Pandas?

A debate has opened up on whether a disproportionate amount of time and money is spent on pandas, at the expense of other species.

Guests: Sandy Knapp, Simon Watt, Sara Pascoe

6. Science and Spin

Talking about whether the public is engaged in the complexities of science, and whether scientists communicate effectively with the general public.

Guests: Matthew Cobb, Sheena Cruikshank, Helen Keen, James Burke

Series 10

1. Numbers Numbers Everywhere

The panel discuss the relationship humans have with numbers, and why people can be oddly emotional about them.

Guests: Dave Gorman, Alex Bellos, Vicky Neale

2. Are Humans Uniquely Unique?

Posing the question of when humans are unique, the group look at traits evolved into humans such as language, culture and altruistic cooperation.

Guests: Keith Jensen, Katie Slocombe, Ross Noble

3. Does Science Need War?

War has played a significant role in the advancement of science breakthroughs, and the panel discuss whether one drives the other.

Guests: Katy Brand, Philip Ball, Kevin Fong

4. Can Science Save Us?

A look at some of the biggest challenges which face the planet such as climate change and food shortage, and whether scientific developments can save us.

Guests: Stephen Fry, Eric Idle, Tony Ryan, Lucie Green

5. Before the Big Bang

Guests: Carlos Frenk, Faye Dowker, Ben Miller, Richard Vranch

6. Irrationality

Guests: Josie Long, Paul Foot, Richard Wiseman, Stuart Ritchie