Socialist Worker

Earth Story

by Paul McGarr
Issue No. 1734

On the evidence of the first episode the new series Earth Story (7.10pm, BBC2, continues from Monday 12 February) someone in the BBC has remembered the corporation's supposed commitment to 'public service broadcasting'.

The series looks at the physical make-up and evolution of the planet, and the living organisms on it. The viewing figures for countless programmes reveal widespread interest in popular science.

This shatters the right wing notion that people are only interested in soaps. Unfortunately much of what has appeared fails to live up to the audience and has often been poor, patronising or driven by assorted ideological stances.

The first episode of Earth Story avoided these failings. Biologist Aubrey Manning looked at the understanding scientists have made of the development of the earth.

He spoke to scientists who have carried out key research, and presented the evidence for their conclusions in a convincing, easily understood and clear fashion.

A fascinating picture emerged of the earth's physical structure, the understanding of how and why continents have moved, and of the possible role of such processes in shaping the evolution of life.

If the rest of the series follows the same pattern it should be informative.

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Sat 10 Feb 2001, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1734
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