Belfast Telegraph

TV scientist Alice Roberts goes on an archaeology adventure in Northern Ireland

By Aaron Tinney

Celebrity scientist Professor Alice Roberts will examine the history of architecture in Northern Ireland for a new TV series.

The doctor, anatomist, anthropologist, professor and presenter travelled the province in an electric car for the show.

She posted yesterday on Twitter: "Having fun driving my all-electric Renault Zoe on my archaeological adventures in Northern Ireland."

She added in an earlier Twitter post showing a montage of photos of Cave Hill, the Titanic Quarter and an ancient loom: "I've had a wonderful week filming in #Belfast for a brand new @channel4 history series - fantastic place & people."

Details of the new Channel 4 programme are under wraps.

But anyone who has seen Roberts on BBC's Coast will know she loves to whip out her watercolours to depict the beauty of the scenes around her, so it is likely the new series will feature her daubing Northern Ireland's architectural highlights.

Roberts' popularisation of subjects such as archaeology and biology led to her being made Professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham.

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Alice has been filming this week for a TV series

She has spent her TV career, which began on Channel 4's archaeological dig programme Time Team, travelling the world from Africa to Australia.

Archaeology and architecture have been constant themes in her shows.

Since then she has been hailed - along with Professor Brian Cox - as one of a new generation of "sexy scientists" who have helped popularise the subject at universities.

She has some way to go to gain widespread support as a recent study by the Cambridge and Essex universities suggests the more attractive and sociable scientists are, the less people believe they are really any good at their subjects.

But the 44-year-old Bristol-born scientist has already gone up against TV's most heavyweight boffin, Sir David Attenborough.

She criticised his support for the aquatic ape hypothesis - the theory that human ancestors descended from the trees via an aquatic evolutionary phase - saying it lacked credible evidence to support it.

Roberts did biology, chemistry and physics at A-level, and also art.

After studying medicine at Cardiff University, she was briefly a doctor before getting a job in the anatomy department at Bristol University and stumbling into her media career via a guest spot on Time Team.

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