Stephen Serjeant

Department of Physics & Astronomy
Open University


Science broadcasting

I'm leading a team of science faculty academics consulting (with our technology colleagues) on the BBC1 series Bang Goes The Theory. I've previously served as deputy associate dean for science broadcasting in the Science Faculty, before taking on the head of astronomy role.

I also write a monthly science quiz for The Times, in its science magazine Eureka.

The Open University has a unique relationship with the BBC. With the OU/BBC Fifth Agreement, we have moved to mainstream prime-time programming and no longer broadcast course materials in the small hours.

We fully fund and co-produce about 30 BBC TV and radio projects every year, commissioning programmes from both independent and in-house suppliers, including the BAFTA award-winner Coast, James May’s Twentieth Century, Child of Our Time, Timewatch, Nature of Britain, Rough Science, and Sir David Attenborough’s landmark series Life In Cold Blood.

A broadcast project is much more than simply a TV or radio series. There are leaflets and brochures, telephone help lines, on-line chats, message boards, downloadable images and texts, podcasts, blogs, and many other supporting materials for our series. A major portal for our public engagement is the website, run jointly by the Open University and the BBC. This website covers much of our broadcasting output, including an extensive dedicated section on The Planets And Beyond, and including free online learning materials for the public.