Uncharted with Hannah Fry

BBC Radio 4

Behind every line on a graph, there lies an extraordinary human story. Mathematician Hannah Fry is here to tell us ten of them. Uncharted with Hannah Fry will lead us through ten captivating mysteries to reveal the power of numbers behind each one. Along the way we discover the remarkable people who followed the data and unearthed something extraordinary.

  • 14 minutes 44 seconds
    10. Devil in the Detail

    Thomas Herndon was happily studying economics at the University of Massachusetts, when one day is punctured by a discovery. It appears to be an anomaly which, if true, will shake the intellectual foundations of a global movement, and could undermine politicians around the world.

    Hannah Fry tells the extraordinary story of a student who will go head to head with two of the greatest economic minds in modern times. But can he win?

    Episode Producer: Lauren Armstrong-Carter Sound Design: Jon Nicholls Story Editor: John Yorke

    A series for Radio 4 by BBC Science in Cardiff.

    2 October 2023, 4:20 am
  • 14 minutes 10 seconds
    9. Access Denied

    A young researcher gains access to a secretive data set and discovers something shocking. What happens when a system designed to help people harms them instead?

    Hannah Fry tells a tale about the mysterious realm of artificial intelligence.

    Episode Producers: Lauren Armstrong-Carter and Clem Hitchcock Sound Design: Jon Nicholls Story Editor: John Yorke

    A series for Radio 4 by BBC Science in Cardiff.

    2 October 2023, 4:15 am
  • 14 minutes 14 seconds
    8. In the Habit

    What is the secret to ageing well?

    Humankind has been in search of an answer for millions of years. But one man believes he may have found the beginnings of an answer, and it’s hiding in a convent.

    Hannah Fry tells a tale of a single scatter graph which might reveal the key to longevity.

    Episode Producer: Lauren Armstrong-Carter Sound Design: Jon Nicholls Story Editor: John Yorke

    A series for Radio 4 by BBC Science in Cardiff.

    2 October 2023, 4:10 am
  • 13 minutes 48 seconds
    7. The Gossip Mill

    2008, Hungary: a researcher stands on a factory floor quizzing a bemused employee. The tile manufacturing company is in trouble, and the researcher is there to help. But his questions seem silly: Who do you go to for advice? Who do you chat to?

    What use is the science of networks to a company producing floor tiles?

    Hannah Fry tells a tale about the precarious power of networks.

    Episode Producer: Ilan Goodman Sound Design: Jon Nicholls Story Editor: John Yorke

    A series for Radio 4 by BBC Science in Cardiff.

    2 October 2023, 4:05 am
  • 13 minutes 50 seconds
    6. The Happiness Curve

    Life has its ups and downs, its sudden successes and unexpected obstacles. But amongst all the unpredictable variation, two economists believe they have identified a deep and powerful influence on our happiness: age. Happiness, it turns out, is U shaped.

    Hannah Fry tells a tale of orangutans, joy and misery…and joy!

    Presenter: Hannah Fry Executive Producer: Martin Smith Series Producer: Lauren Armstrong-Carter Episode Producer: Ilan Goodman

    A series for Radio 4 by BBC Science in Cardiff.

    2 October 2023, 4:00 am
  • 14 minutes 48 seconds
    5. The Choice

    How well do you make decisions?

    It’s never easy, but today John Carter is faced with an agonising choice and has just 60 minutes to make the right call. One path could lead to glory, while the other might result in death.

    Hannah Fry tells a tale of risk, decision making, and the single graph that changed it all.

    Episode Producer: Lauren Armstrong-Carter Sound Design: Jon Nicholls Story Editor: John Yorke

    A series for Radio 4 by BBC Science in Cardiff.

    25 September 2023, 4:20 am
  • 13 minutes 29 seconds
    4. This Train Has Been Delayed

    Singapore, 2016. A high-tech driverless train system starts glitching in wild and unpredictable ways. The train company, the government, even the military are at a loss: no-one can figure out what is causing the problem. Until Jason Bay and his team of data scientists assemble an old-fashioned timetabling graph, first developed in 19th century France, which exposes an invisible culprit.

    Behind every line on a graph, there lies an extraordinary human story. And mathematician Hannah Fry is here to tell us ten of them.

    Hannah Fry tells a tale of data detectives and very naughty trains.

    Episode Producer: Ilan Goodman Sound Design: Jon Nicholls Story Editor: John Yorke

    A series for Radio 4 by BBC Science in Cardiff.

    25 September 2023, 4:15 am
  • 14 minutes 10 seconds
    3. The Doctor Will See You Now

    It’s a hot summer’s day in 1998. Two couples stand side by side in a small courtyard. Brought together by chance, they may never have met if not for one thing. A tatty piece of paper, the contents of which will change their lives, and the lives of thousands across the country, forever.

    Hannah Fry tells the tale of this single sheet of A4 uncovered a dark pattern and a serial murderer hiding in plain sight.

    A warning for sensitive listeners, that this episode contains references to murder.

    Episode Producer: Lauren Armstrong-Carter Sound Design: Jon Nicholls Story Editor: John Yorke

    A series for Radio 4 by BBC Science in Cardiff.

    25 September 2023, 4:10 am
  • 13 minutes 59 seconds
    2. The Hockey Stick

    In 1998, the climate scientist Michael Mann published a simple graph shaped like an ice hockey stick: a long straight line which curves suddenly upward at the end. It was based on decades of intrepid work by scientists around the world. But the line held a stark warning. For Michael, notoriety, abuse and a global battle over the reality of climate change followed. Hannah Fry tells the remarkable story of the people behind the hockey stick: the scientists who scaled mountains and braved oceans in search of evidence, and the dramatic fallout when the world saw what they had found.

    Episode Producer: Ilan Goodman Sound Design: Jon Nicholls Story Editor: John Yorke

    A series for Radio 4 by BBC Science in Cardiff.

    25 September 2023, 4:05 am
  • 14 minutes 31 seconds
    1. The Returning Soldier

    It’s 1973 and the UK is in crisis: runaway inflation, industrial strike action and political turmoil. Unnoticed at the time - in hospitals and front rooms around the country - something odd is happening with the country’s newborns. A higher proportion of boys are being born than ever before in the 20th Century. What was behind this puzzling trend?

    Hannah Fry follows one researcher’s obsessive mission to unravel the mystery.

    Episode Producer: Ilan Goodman Sound Design: Jon Nicholls Story Editor: John Yorke

    A series for Radio 4 by BBC Science in Cardiff.

    25 September 2023, 4:00 am
  • 46 seconds
    Introducing Uncharted - with Hannah Fry

    Behind every line on a graph, there lies an extraordinary human story. Mathematician Hannah Fry is here to tell us ten of them.

    Uncharted with Hannah Fry will lead us through ten captivating mysteries to reveal the power of numbers behind each one. Along the way we discover the remarkable people who followed the data and unearthed something extraordinary.

    18 September 2023, 7:50 am
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