Every child taken to a hospital accident and emergency department in England is to be checked against a computer database to help detect signs of abuse. The commander of Syria's military police Abdul Aziz al-Shalal says he has left the country because the Syrian army is not protecting the nation and has turned into gangs of killers. And throughout the programme, Today's Christmas guest editor, Sir Paul Nurse, the Nobel prize-winning geneticist and president of the Royal Society, talks about science and asks the novelist Ian McEwan why writers are so wary of scientific themes.
0615 Business news with Lesley Curwen on news of America's approach to the fiscal cliff.
0626 Sports news with Jonathan Legard.
0709 The Government due to announce on Thursday that hospitals will have a new system to help doctors and nurses spot children suffering from abuse and neglect. Nick Pickles, director of the so-called Big Brother Watch, explains what the move will hope to combat.
Sir Paul Nurse, Nobel Prize winning geneticist and President of the Royal Society is guest editing the Today programme this morning. Sir Paul explains his interest in astronomy to Today presenter Evan Davis and physicist Brian Cox.
0717 Business news with Lesley Curwen.
0720 The censors on the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) are anxious to know they are still in touch with public opinion. The BBFC's director David Cooke outlines how the the board have asked people from 180 households to watch recent releases like The Hunger Games and The Woman in Black, to see if they agree with the ratings the films were given.
0726 Sports news with Jonathan Legard.
0731 The commander of Syria's military police Abdul Aziz al-Shalal says he has left the country because the Syrian army is not protecting the nation and has turned into gangs of killers. Henry Hogger, Britain's ambassador in Damascus between 2000 and 2003, explains the challenges that military officials are facing in Syria.
0735 The paper review
Scientists often complain that journalists - in search of attention-grabbing headlines - misrepresent their work through simplification and exaggeration and journalists often complain that scientists are unwilling to explain what they do to the public. Today's guest editor, Sir Paul Nurse, wants to bridge that gap, so he took Today presenter John Humphrys on a tour of his lab at Cancer Research UK to see science in action.
0746 Thought for the Day with Reverend Dr John Polinghorne
Chancellor George Osborne on Thursday announced the award of investment funds totalling £21.5m to some of Britain's top universities to develop commercial uses for the "super-material" graphene. Guest editor Sir Paul Nurse began by asking him how central science was to the government's plans for reviving the economy.
0810 Every child taken to a hospital accident and emergency department in England is to be checked against a computer database to help detect signs of abuse. Dr Simon Eccles, a consultant in emergency medicine at Homerton Hospital, London, explains that the system will allow medical staff to see if the children they treat are subject to a child protection plan or being looked after.
Today's Christmas guest editor, Sir Paul Nurse, asks the novelist Ian McEwan why writers are so wary of scientific themes.
0820 The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games passed pretty much without a glitch this year. Sir John Armitt, chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority and who is now heading a review of infrastructure for the Labour Party, and Paul Deighton, chief executive of London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, discuss the lessons that can be learned in terms of building new infrastructure.
0826 Sports news with Jonathan Legard.
The questions thrown up by modern society come thick and fast, and an increasing number of them are directed towards scientists. Today science reporter Tom Feilden asks if what needed is a new contract between scientists and society on how to deliver, and receive, information about risk and uncertainty.
0841 The creator of Thunderbirds, Gerry Anderson, has died at the age of 83. Matt Zimmermann, who played Alan, Thunderbird Three, and Shane Rimmer, who played Scott Tracey, Thunderbird One, reflect on Mr Anderson's life.
0846 Business news with Lesley Curwen.
0848 Science experiments are often looked to to spark the kind of enthusiasm for science that will provide us with the ground breaking scientists of the future. Iman, Enes and Fuad, who are all seven and from the Argule Primary school which is just round the corner from where the new Francis Crick institute is being built in London, and Sir Paul Nurse conduct some science experiments in the Today programme studio.