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The Code of Life: Great Scientists in Their Own Words

Mon Dec 30, 7-8pm, BBC4

When they’re simply names on a page, it’s easy to forget that scientists are people, too. Complete with their own foibles and quirks, the various scientists responsible for discovering DNA, its double helix structure, sequencing the human genome and so on are anything but bland. With voice recordings, interview footage from the archives and insights from contemporary scientists, ‘The Code of Life’ provides a fascinating look at the stories behind the Nobel prizes.

Personality clashes, disagreements and rivalries show that the road hasn’t always been a smooth, wholesome and collaborative one. By integrating the colourful and eccentric characters with the science itself, ‘The Code of Life’ does an excellent job of informing and educating, while also entertaining. Covering everyone from Schrödinger and Watson and Crick through to Sanger, Brenner and Sulston, this is an absorbing offering which is as much academic soap opera as science documentary.