It was bonfire night in the UK earlier in November and with the nights drawing in and winter in the air we’re dedicating this R.Science episode to something that’s sure to keep us warm over winter: fire.

In November’s episode of R.Science we talk to researchers about the interaction between science and mankind, how to study fires which happened millions of years ago and what inspired a firefighter to start studying fire. We also catch up with a volcanologist, and we take a visit to the archives with Royal Society librarian Keith Moore.


00:50 Professor Andrew Scott, one of the organisers of our fire and mankind discussion meeting talks about how people interact with fire.

02.05 Professor Clare Belcher, another of the organisers of the meeting, told us how charcoal can be used to investigate the effects of fires that happened millions of years ago.

06.15 Professor Stephen Pyne, who was also at the meeting, told us how his job as a fire fighter ignited his passion for the subject.

15.15 We caught up with Professor Stephen Sparks, a volcanologist, discusses his career studying volcanoes before an event, Volcanoes and Us, where he was in conversation with Professor Jim Al-Khalili.

19.45 We delve into the archives with our librarian, Keith Moore. Keith is a regular contributor to our history of science blog, the Repository, where you can read more about the history of science and the treasures in our archive.


Listen to this episode