Brave New World Series with Stephen Hawkings

BBC & National Geographic



In this landmark series by National Geographic and the BBC, Professor Stephen Hawking and a dynamic team of scientists are on a mission to explore the cutting edge of science, and use the experience and knowledge they gain to imagine how a  future world will look.



  • Brave New World: Virtual World

    The barriers between the physical and virtual worlds begin to blur as Stephen Hawkings and his team of scientists explore the latest innovations: Carin Bondar takes part in a remarkable 3D virtual training program for the military. Aarathi Prasad tests a new system that can map places inaccessible to GPS. Daniel Kraft looks into bio-printing, where designs created on computers are turned into three dimensional living tissue. Chris Eliasmith investigates the latest gaming technology: a breakthrough in virtual reality that promises the most immersive experience yet. And finally, Jim Al-Khalili tests the ultimate VR application: a computer that can read our minds.

  • Brave New World: Inspired By Nature

    Aarathi Prasad road tests Boston Dynamics incredible animal inspired robots. Chris Eliasmith assesses how gecko feet are leading to a new concept in adhesion technology. Daniel Kraft explores how deep water is being used to train astronauts. Jim Al Khlalili looks into how re-engineering a virus to work for us could prevent pandemics, and Carin Bondar discovers how Nikola Tesla's dream of wireless power is finally being realised by harnessing one of nature's greatest phenomena: magnetism.

  • Brave New World: Code Red

    Dealing with crises has always been one of science's greatest challenges. In this episode, Stephen Hawking and his team investigate astonishing breakthroughs that are making human life less fragile in the face of danger. First on the agenda, Chris Eliasmith looks into a helicopter that can take people out of the equation by flying without a pilot. Daniel Kraft then tests out the latest high tech bomb disposal robot. Jim Al Khalili takes part in a shooting contest using a sniper rifle equipped with jet fighter style target tracking technology. Carin Bondar examines a face recognition system with the potential to identify criminals in 15 seconds, and finally, Aarathi Prasad checks out a revolutionary innovation that could soon give oxygen to people that can't breathe.

  • Brave New World: Perfect City

    In this episode, Stephen Hawking and his team investigate how science is on the cusp of making urban living not just a richer experience, but more fun. Already, more than half the worlds population live in cities. By 2050 it is expected that two thirds will live in urban areas how will their increasing demands be satisfied?Jim Al Khlalili kicks off at the Paris marathon, where a new innovation that harvests energy from footsteps undergoes its biggest trial to date.Chris Eliasmith then tests out an amazing robotic army that could transform online shopping.Daniel Kraft investigates a spectacularly realistic digital actor that uses technology set to revolutionise entertainment and Carin Bondar looks at the rise of the smart home.Finally, Aarathi Prasad visits New York where a controversial fertility control experiment is being applied to the citys rat infestation problem.Hawking ties the concepts and breakthroughs together and presents a vision of how science is shaping every aspect of what city life will be like in the future.

  • Brave New World: Designer Humans

    In this episode, Stephen Hawking and his team investigate how breakthroughs in technology are being applied to human being, not only for more effective repairs and replacement body parts, but also for upgrading the brain! Ultimately, will science be able to improve on evolution? First up, Jim Al Khlalili travels to Oxford, to test a radical new innovation that uses electrical stimulation of the brain to improve maths ability. Aarathi Prasad then checks out how ligament damage that affects over 400,000 people in the US alone is being tackled with advanced regenerative techniques. Carin Bondar investigates MIT's cutting edge bionic limbs and Chris Eliasmith looks into new technology that will revolutionise our approach to sight. Lastly, Daniel Kraft visits the US army's Natick research centre to discover how science is enabling precision, tailor made training to improve an individual's capabilities. Hawking ties the concepts and breakthroughs together and presents a vision of how we will become stronger, how our senses will be heightened and whether people will all one day become super intelligent cyborgs.

  • Brave New World: Hyper Connections

    In this episode, Stephen Hawking and his team investigate the dawning of a new age where machines talk to machines, where previously isolated sciences come together to form new disciplines, and where even on an atomic level, new connections are being made every day. First, Jim Al Khalili is in Zurich to get to the bottom of how advanced quadrocopters work in unison to perform astonishing feats better than people can. Daniel Kraft then investigates how bioengineering shrimp shells has led to a lifesaving new innovation in blood clotting products. Chris Eliasmith discovers how biologists and engineers have joined forces to develop an unmanned aerial vehicles with the agility of a pigeon. Carin Bondar tests out a new electric sports car that uses computerised battery management and a radical 3 wheel design to outperform rivals, and finally Aarathi Prasad creates her own star when she checks out progress on the largest scientific experiment ever, the ultimate connection: nuclear fusion. Hawking ties the concepts and breakthroughs together and presents a vision of how science itself is adapting and reinventing - how the more we connect the world, the more we can turn what's in it to our advantage.



Episode 6: Hyper Connections