Wherever we look, we can see the results of scientific research and technological innovation: from the cellphones in our pockets to health-care drugs, from the clothes we wear to weather forecasts. Despite its overwhelming presence, however, many people still consider science unapproachable. The BBC’s documentary series “Rough science” shows in an original and entertaining way how science can be used in everyday life, starting from some basic knowledge, a substantial amount of curiosity, a trial-and-error approach and a lot of hard work aimed at developing new technical solutions.
In these documentaries, five scientists and experienced technicians are flown to a remote location and asked to share their expertise to build sophisticated devices and pass the tests they are given. To do that, they are only allowed to use their ingenuity and the materials they can find on site. Wood, pieces of metal and shells are used to build an alarm clock, a sound-recording device, a camera, a microscope, a transceiver, an accurate map of the island, a compass, a thermometer and even some ice. Because the only way to fully understand science is through a hands-on approach!
The episodes included in the show are from the first two series produced by BBC and are located on the Italian island of Capraia and on the Caribbean island of Carriacou, respectively. Let’s take a look at the challenges the scientists will have to face day after day.
To accurately calculate the spot where you are on a world map you need to find its coordinates, i.e. its latitudine and longitude. Can you do that without using a GPS navigator? Our scientists show you how, and finally find out on what mysterious island they have ended up. The team is then involved in the building of a radio device. The only raw material available - a toaster!