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Top Science Stories of 2017

   2017    Science
Take a look back at many of the most fascinating science stories of 2017, a year full of stunning advancements in individual fields of study, from astronomy to biology, geology to history – when we piece these discoveries together we see the year in a new light.

Virunga

   2014    Nature
A group of brave individuals risk their lives to save the last of the world's mountain gorillas; in the midst of renewed civil war and a scramble for Congo's natural resources." Virunga National Park in the Congo is a place of unique natural beauty. It is the home to a plethora of wonderful animals and vegetation but as is so often the way, it has several serious problems that threaten it. It's the location of human violence, corruption and exploitation. The disasters that specifically loom are two different groups, the M23 and SOCO International. The former are a violent rebel force who engages in an ongoing civil war with the Congolese government and the latter are a British energy company who specialise in oil exploration. Both M23 and SOCO invade the park in their own ways and neither seems very interested in the laws that have been set up to protect the flora and fauna that exist there, far less the people who live there. It seems hardly surprising in the case of M23, as they are a paramilitary organisation who can hardly be expected to be concerned with such things but it is the more legitimate big business SOCO who seem more worrying if anything. We discover in fact that they have been involved in a bribery campaign, utilising M23 as enforcers. It's a very murky situation where big money walks all over an impoverished nation and disregards a natural space that they can see no value in in their pursuit of financial profit.

Dancing in the Dark

   2015    Science
Scientists genuinely don't know what most of our universe is made of. The atoms we're made from only make up four per cent. The rest is dark matter and dark energy (for 'dark', read 'don't know'). The Large Hadron Collider at CERN has been upgraded. When it's switched on in March 2015, its collisions will have twice the energy they did before. The hope is that scientists will discover the identity of dark matter in the debris. The stakes are high - because if dark matter fails to show itself, it might mean that physics itself needs a rethink.

David Attenborough Meets President Obama

   2015    Nature
In a far cry from the steamy jungles of Rwanda or the icy waters of the Arctic, British naturalist Sir David Attenborough has donned a necktie and met with US president Barack Obama to discuss climate change and the future of the planet. The two met at the White House — a place the naturalist had never yet explored — on Sir David's 89th birthday in May to film the interview". It was the first time the respected wildlife filmmaker had met an American president and he seemed a little awed by the experience. Mr Obama, who grew up watching Sir David's programs, seemed equally thrilled. The president has the environment and climate change on his radar and is anxious to see progress made as his presidency comes to a close. He faces stiff opposition from Republicans in Congress on his plans to tackle climate change, but remains determined to make changes before leaving office. "I don't have much patience for anyone who denies that this challenge is real," he said. "We don't have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society." Sir David, who has been called "the godfather of natural history TV" by the BBC, brought to the meeting six decades dedicated to sharing the wonders of the natural world with television audiences. After initially being rejected for television because his teeth were deemed "too big", Sir David went on to make his Life on Earth television series, which has been watched by more than 500 million people worldwide. His name is now synonymous with nature, conservation and wildlife. During the television interview, the men discussed global warming, renewable energy and how children and young people hold the key to reversing the damage.

First Second of the Big Bang

   2014    Science
The first second of the Universe, the creation of everything when space, time, matter and energy burst into existence. It is the most important second in history, which seals the Universe's fate and defines everything that comes after - including us.
Series: How the Universe Works
Breakthrough
Breakthrough

   2015    Medicine
Woody Allen A Documentary
Woody Allen A Documentary

   2011    History
The Normans
The Normans

   2010    History
The Crusades
The Crusades

   2012    History
Himalaya with Michael Palin
Himalaya with Michael Palin

   2004    Culture
The Private Life of Plants
The Private Life of Plants

   1994    Nature
The Story of Maths
The Story of Maths

   2008    Science
Art of Eternity
Art of Eternity

   2007    Art