IMAGE: Scientists can learn a lot by looking at the annual growth rings of trees such as the Oak. A database of growth rings, for each year, going back almost 7,000 years has been compiled at Queen's University Belfast, where Prof Mike Baillie has been a leader in this field for many years. [Credit: English Heritage]
THE QUESTION IS--- Answers to the big science questions ---
This week's question is: Could our climate reach a tipping point, beyond which change can not be controlled? The question is put to Peter Lynch, Professor of Meteorology, University College Dublin.
WHAT'S it ALL ABOUT? --- Experts explain their science ---
The topic this week is Geo-chronology, the science that aims to determine the age of the Earth and all its materials. We talk to Professor Mike Baillie, Queen's University Belfast, an expert and pioneer in the study of the annual tree growth rings as a marker for climate change, and past geological events.
IN THE NEWS --- A science story making the news ---
A technological breakthrough that paves the way for a new generation of super fast and energy efficient microchips has been announced by researchers at Tyndall National Institute in Cork. Lead researcher, JP Colinge, explains some of the detail behind the breakthrough and what it means for users of computers.
SCIENTIFIC LIVES --- Ireland's greatest scientists profiled ---
Denis Burkitt, from Belfast, is one of our greatest medical scientists. He discovered the cause of what became known as Burkitt's Lymphoma, which caused the deaths of huge numbers of African children in his lifetime. We speak about the man, his achievements, and his personal motivation, with William Reville, Public Awarness of Science Officer at University College Cork.
UCD Meteorology and Climate Centre [http://mathsci.ucd.ie/met/index.php]
Professor Mike Baillie [http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/gap/Staff/AcademicStaff/ProfEmeritusMikeBaillie/]
Tyndall National Institute, Cork [http://www.tyndall.ie/]
Understanding Science, at UCC [http://understandingscience.ucc.ie/pages/sci_denisburkitt.htm]
Science Spin Magazine [http://www.sciencespin.com]
Science Spinning Blog [http://www.seanduke.wordpress.com]
Archived Podcasts [http://www.sciencespin.podomatic.com]