BBC Natural History Unit research request
The BBC Natural History Unit is looking for stories for the following new productions. We would be very grateful to hear of any scientists working in these areas.
'Monsoon' is a major new 5-part, landmark natural history series, which will follow the drama of the monsoon seasons in South Asia.
From India, through South East Asia and right across to Papua New Guinea, it will tell the story of how life here ebbs and flows with the huge seasonal changes , driven by the moods of this mighty weather system; looking at how the monsoon affects both the wildlife, and the people that live here.
Production has just started, and we will have two years to deliver the series, aiming for broadcast in 2014. It follows in the footsteps of other landmark series from the Natural History Unit and which many of the team have worked on, such as 'Frozen Planet', 'Life', 'Wild China' and 'Planet Earth'.
This will be an epic series, drawing on the latest state of the art technology, presented in stunning HD photography and focusing on the wildlife, landscapes, and people whose lives are shaped by the power of the monsoon.
It would be great to hear your ideas, please do send an email to Alison.Tunnicliffe@bbc.co.uk
Behavioural projects on lions
We are looking for any new projects on lion sociality and pride behaviour - either from a genetic point of view or from an observational perspective for a 2-parter on lions.
We publish exclusive stories about natural history and bring together the best wildlife news on bbc.co.uk. We have a growing UK and international audience averaging half a million unique users a week.
We are always on the look out for stories, especially any new research, presentations, or interesting things encountered in the natural world. But generally things with a more 'timely' or news bent.
Our stories appear on the NHU's Earth News web site here and also throughout BBC news.
Any ideas - please contact: Jody.firstname.lastname@example.org or Matt.Walker@bbc.co.uk.
We are interested in desert ecology stories for our new series about biodiversity ‘How Life Works’.
We are looking for conservation stories across the UK as well as the world, either short-form stories, for example a piece of research which is happening during our transmission year, or long-form involvements, whereby we can revisit a topic regularly. Our aim is to use the individual species as the hook for the audience, which can then open up the wider potential of survival/re-introduction and conservation programmes being undertaken, either just for this species, or at a larger biosphere level. Capturing these stories can be either by pre-recordings, interviews or possibly live conversations, using either our own staff, or locally sourced media providers.
Contact: Andrew.Dawes@bbc.co.uk or Julian.Hector@bbc.co.uk.
SciTalk: Connecting Scientists and Writers
Most of us will have been irritated at times by the grossly inaccurate depictions of scientists in novels that leap off the shelves of airport bookstalls - but it's up to us as scientists to do something about it, and take control of our own image in fiction.
SciTalk is a project to help fiction-writers meet with scientists. Its principal aim is to make possible personal contact between scientists and writers - playwrights, poets and novelists - one-to-one and face-to-face. To facilitate these contacts, a database and web site have been set up by novelist and former scientist Ann Lingard and physicist and information scientist Peter Normington, with NESTA (UK) support.
If you are a scientist who is intrigued by the idea of talking to a writer about what you do, how you do it, and what drives you on, then please register with SciTalk, and let writers know what you have to offer. You should be prepared to meet, and to show the writer where you work, so that he or she can experience the images, sounds (and smells) and learn the jargon, that are so important in lending credibility and a 'sense of place' to fiction.
SciTalk is all about enthusiasm and communication - and the fun and challenge of questioning others, and explaining what you do. Writers and scientists can both suffer from stereotypical images. If SciTalk helps fiction-writers to enjoy using science and to include scientists as believable characters - and helps scientists learn how writers work and what they mean by 'research' - then the project will have achieved success.
For further details contact: email@example.com, or visit the web page at www.scitalk.org.uk. Supported by NESTA - the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, UK.
"I'm all for writers and scientists talking to one another. I've benefited a great deal from talking to - actually, much more from listening to - experts in various fields, and anything that helps put us all in touch with one another is excellent. Congratulations on coming up with such a good idea, and all power to it!"
Philip Pullman, novelist
"This is a great initiative. It will allow writers to get to know scientists as real human beings, and so portray scientific work in a fresh and vivid way. Just as importantly, it will give scientists an insight into both the curiosity and the concerns of non-scientists about work in the laboratory. It will be particularly valuable if it can open doors to scientists who are normally hidden from view."
Sir John Sulston, Nobel Laureate, FRS, and former Director of the Sanger Centre
"This is a great initiative of the kind that science education desperately needs ...It is vital to stoke the imaginations of writers -- and, through them, readers -- to understand the beauty and the massive impact of science on everyday life."
Professor Sir Harry Kroto, Nobel Laureate for his work on buckminster-fullerene