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IFLScience Meets: Professor Brian Cox On Filming BBC Earth's "Universe"


Rachael Funnell

Social Editor and Staff Writer

clockOct 20 2021, 10:26 UTC
Brian Cox Universe

Cox's latest release is sure to trigger a few existential headaches, in a good way. Image credit: BBC / Freddie Claire

Professor Brian Cox, physicist and former musician, is a scientist of many professions. Acting professor of particle physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester, he’s also become well known for his contribution to radio and television co-hosting The Infinite Monkey Cage with comedian Robin Ince (who we recently interviewed about his book The Importance Of Being Interested) and presenting many groundbreaking documentary films and series including Wonders of the Universe and Brian Cox’s Adventures in Space and Time.

Now, the academic-turned-presenter is at the helm of a new documentary series from the BBC called Universe. The deep-dive into cosmology features arresting stills and animations of everything from the birth of the sun to the dying of the last star, black holes, and galaxy collisions. In the series, Cox hopes to guide viewers towards their understanding of one thing:


“What does it mean to live a finite, fragile life in an infinite eternal universe?” said Cox at the UK premiere of Universe. “This series is a very long answer to that short question.”

Existential crises, at the ready!

Here we asked him about highlights from the series, the science that inspired it, what it's like filming during a pandemic, and his tips for effective science communication.

Universe will air on October 27 at 9 pm, BBC Two, with all episodes available on iPlayer.

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