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Foresight - The week ahead

Thursday 12 September How did they build that?

Defence - use of mass The best form of protection against an enemy is to build big, so take a trip to Scotland and the last great courtyard castle, which has walls up to 8m thick. Enough to keep out the sound of noisy neighbours in peacetime too, I'd wager. For wall obsessives, there's a programme on The Great Wall Of China, earlier in the day at 11am, same channel. Eric in Budleigh Salterton, I know you'll be watching.

Discovery Channel, 1.30pm Material world Between 9-13 September, the University of Leicester is hosting this year's British Association Festival of Science. The theme is science and the quality of life and if science is often in society's best interests. Ah, science and morality - a tough one.

BBC Radio 4, 4.30pm Costing the earth As a fresh generation of New Towns is being planned for the south of England, Alex Kirby looks back on 200 years of New Towns and asks experts if they can be built with a minimum of environmental destruction.

BBC Radio 4, 9pm Friday How did they build that?

Cantilever bridges Another in the series. This one looks at the design of one of the world's oldest structures, dating back to ancient China, and how the concept has developed using lighter stronger materials. The series continues same time, same place Monday with domes, Tuesday with foundations and Wednesday looks at sea defence.

It's all too much.

Discovery Channel, 1.30pm Sunday Why trains crash Examines the driver's role in railway disasters and considers whether human error is responsible for four out of five crashes.

Discovery Channel, 11pm Tuesday 100 years of discoveries Profiles the accomplishments of the 20th century, reviewing inventions, explorations and discoveries.

Discovery Civilisation, 7pm Until 21 September CerdÓ 19th century civil engineer Ildefons CerdÓ had some pretty big ideas when it came to transforming Barcelona from a sprawling and chaotic town into an organised 'new civilisation' as he put it. The exhibition celebrates his theories, his projects and the Barcelona Extension, something that has stood the test of time for nearly 150 years.

RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London Tel, (020) 7580 5533 www. riba-london. com New Book Ever more pi in the sky: who built Stonehenge Arthur G Williams challenges the view that the alignments at megaliths are generally there by chance, but were placed at locations of specific latitude and longitude. In a highly mathematical examination (your humble correspondent could make neither head nor tail of it) the author makes the case that the coordinates of Stonehenge and other sites around the world are anything but coincidental. Williams is keen to get comments and feedback from anyone with an interest in the subject. The book can be ordered at bookshops, quoting ISBN 0 9535079 2 0 Price £23 or £17 to ICE members direct from Arthur G Williams, 46 Northwood Avenue, Purley, Surrey, CR8 2EP If you know of events, exhibitions, books, programmes or websites that ought to be included in Foresight, contact Karl Thompson, tel (020) 7505 6682 e-mail- karl. thompson@ construct. emap. com

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