BBC Science Focus Magazine

BBC Science Focus Magazine November 2019

With accessible features illustrated with the world’s best photography, BBC Focus Magazine explains the theory behind scientific phenomena and really brings science to life. In every issue you’ll find news of the latest major scientific developments, a lively Q&A section plus exclusive and astonishing photographic reports that range from the breathtaking to the downright odd.

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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13 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
from the editor

In September, the IPCC released its report on the state of our oceans. Compiled from thousands of studies, it made grim reading. Together with the cryosphere, the blue parts of our planet have been absorbing most of the heat and CO2 we’ve been generating since the Industrial Revolution. And we’re set to witness the consequences. Overfishing, rising sea levels and acidic water conditions have led to empty fishing nets, receding shorelines and barren reefs that are ruining livelihoods that depend on the coast. But the report made one thing clear: there’s no escaping the consequences of an ocean that’s getting hotter. Warmer seas will whip up more floods, cyclones and hurricanes. And extreme weather patterns are likely to leave droughts in their wake. Fortunately, there is something to be optimistic about.…

1 min.
on the bbc this month...

The Life Scientific Jim Al-Khalili chats to neuroscientist and DeepMind co-founder, Demis Hassabis (pictured), for the 200th episode of The Life Scientific. 5 November, BBC Radio 4 Seven Worlds, One Planet Sir David Attenborough returns with a new series on the seven continents that make up planet Earth. 27 October, BBC One (Available on iPlayer) All In The Mind Dr Adam Kay, author of This Is Going to Hurt, and occupation health psychologist Prof Gail Kinman, discuss what makes a workplace stressful and what can be done about it, with presenter Claudia Hammond (pictured). BBC Radio 4 (Check Radio Times for details)…

1 min.

HELEN SCALES Helen, a marine biologist, science writer and broadcaster, takes a look at some of the pioneering projects that might just save the oceans. p48 ADAM PEARSON Is human selective breeding a thing of the past, or is it making a comeback through prenatal genetic testing? Disability activist Adam talks about the terrifying history, and future, of eugenics. p60 GINNY SMITH Ginny presents the British Psychological Society’s podcast PsyCrunch,which looks at how psychology research makes a difference to everyday life. This issue, we’ve asked her to investigate what keeps sleep scientists up at night. p78 HAYLEY BENNETT To kick off our new What if… ? series, science writer Hayley imagines a world in which fashion no longer exists. p83…

1 min.
eye opener

Velocity raptors TEXAS, USA Three of SpaceX’s Raptor rockets undergo testing at the company’s build and launch facility in Cameron County, Texas. The engines will power the next-generation Starship spacecraft, which is due to undertake its first orbital flight in 2020. Commerical operations – from launching satellites into orbit to refuelling other craft such as the ISS – will then commence in 2021. In total, 43 Raptor engines will power Starship: six in the Starship spacecraft itself, and 37 more in the Super Heavy rocket which blasts the entire payload into space. Both parts of the craft are reusable: Starship measures 9x50m, has a payload capacity of 100 tonnes and can carry cargo, passengers or fuel, while Super Heavy measures 9m x68m, has a maximum lift-off capacity of 3,680 tonnes and, after launch,…

1 min.
top tweets

@ISRpsychologist ECT is potentially life changing for many people in severe depressed states, but with newer treatments such as TMS [transcranial magnetic stimulation] offering similar results with fewer side effects, perhaps cash injections to alternative treatments is more beneficial? I don’t think ECT should be written off so quickly. @S08Allan I fail to see how inducing a seizure which causes memory problems does not violate the principle ‘First, do no harm’. @PsychRecovery Anyone who says ECT ‘saves lives’ never studied neuropathology.…

1 min.
letter of the month

Belief and science I enjoyed reading the article by Richard Dawkins (September, p62). I am a Christian who fully accepts the evidence for evolution. I am saddened by the number of church leaders I meet who have little understanding of evolution or else a misunderstanding of evolution, a problem cited by Dawkins in his article. My advice to both church leaders and Dawkins would be the same: expand your reading list and your debating circles to gain an understanding of the other camp’s evidence. Susan Bremner, Scottish Borders WRITE IN AND WIN! The writer of next issue’s Letter Of The Month wins a bundle of wildlife photography books courtesy of the Natural History Museum. The books – two ‘coffee table’ collections, plus a beautifully illustrated desk diary – all feature winning photos from the Wildlife…