Pop idol turned top boffin Brian Cox doesn’t shy away from the big issues. With programmes such as Wonders of the Solar System, Wonders of Life and Human Universe, Cox, the heir apparent to His Eminence Sir David Attenborough, has dared to dream on a cosmic scale. Are there any limits to his mighty intellect?
In his latest adventure, Forces of Nature (BBC1, Monday), the ambitious prof boldly seeks to illustrate the workings of ‘the underlying laws of nature’. As wistful electronic music tinkled Eno ishly in the background, he assured us, in a metaphysical tone, that ‘the whole universe, the whole of physics, is contained in a snowflake’. Representing the combined effects of gravity, electromagnetism, the nuclear force of atoms and symmetry, the snowflake — no less than a bee, a manatee or even Professor Cox himself — is an index of the building blocks of creation.