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Sir David Attenborough’s latest insight into science is filmed at the University

Sir David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough BBC Books

Press release issued: 20 January 2012

Legendary broadcaster Sir David Attenborough has made a starring appearance in one of Bristol University’s laboratories, which provided the backdrop for part of his upcoming series looking at the unparalleled change in our planet’s history he’s witnessed during his career.

The 85-year-old, who has been the face and voice of natural history programmes for 60 years, discussed the Miller-Urey experiment for a new BBC series due to be shown in autumn 2012.

A demonstration of equipment used in the classic experiment, first carried out by Stanley Miller and Harold Urey in 1952, was filmed in one of the School of Biological Sciences’ laboratories.

It’s widely thought to be the classic experiment on the origin of life, using chemicals to simulate the hypothetical conditions present in the atmosphere of the primordial Earth and testing for the occurrence of organic compounds necessary for evolution.

The new series, which hasn’t had its title confirmed yet, is being produced by the BBC’s Natural History Unit based in Bristol.

It will feature a trio of films that focus upon the areas with which Sir David has been most closely involved: filmmaking, science and our relationship with the natural world. 

The BBC promises that each episode will be richly illustrated with the images he has spent 60 years capturing in addition to new footage in which he revisits the stories and locations featured in previous series. He brings them up to date with the latest developments and his own personal anecdotes to create an inimitable insight into a unique half-century.

  • Work on a new £50million state-of-the-art building to house the University of Bristol’s School of Biological Sciences is currently underway. The flagship 13,500 square meter facility will sit on the corner of St Michael’s Hill and Tyndall Avenue. The project underscores the University's belief that many of the century's most exciting and important scientific advances will come from biology and that the next generation of biology graduates will have unprecedented opportunities.


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