Behind the headlines


The Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution is just one of the city’s museums and centres of learning to be put out of physical action by the coronavirus lockdown.

However, in common with many other organisations, BRLSI is using its website to stay in business and launching one very relevant video series to do just that.

It’s attempting to go  “Behind the Headlines” to reveal the real story of the pandemic that has brought the world to a grinding halt.

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The multi-part video series, available to view on the BRLSI website (, covers such fascinating topics as:

  • Are viruses alive?
  • Why might the unusual longevity of bats play a crucial role in these viruses crossing to humans?
  • Why does it seem so difficult to test for the virus?
  • How does coronavirus spread (and can it really live on hard surfaces for 72 hours)?
  • What’s coming next?

Bath University academic Stuart Reynolds hosts the series, interviewing leading scientists in fields including microbiology and biochemistry. 

In the first episode, available now, Prof. Reynolds talks to Ed Feil, Emeritus Professor of Evolutionary Microbiology at the University of Bath about where the family of coronaviruses comes from and why they are posing such a huge problem for humanity.

“Right now, when our lives are being impacted in a way we never thought possible, we don’t get enough in-depth information about the science behind the coronavirus pandemic. So, it’s great that virtual BRLSI is stepping in to give those who want to know more a chance to look beyond the headlines.”

Covid 19: Behind the Headlines is the first of a new tranche of online features BRLSI is providing during the coronavirus lockdown. A whole range of other virtual content (including virtual coffee mornings, a virtual book club, online talks and special videos) is in the pipeline and will be going live over the coming days and weeks.