Instant Genius

Instant Genius

By Our Media

Whether you’re curious about getting healthy, the Big Bang or the science of cooking, find out everything you need to know in under 30 minutes with Instant Genius. The team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine talk to world-leading experts to bring you a bite-sized masterclass on a new subject each week. New episodes are released every Monday and Friday and you can subscribe to Instant Genius on Apple Podcasts to access all new episodes ad-free and all old episodes of Instant Genius Extra.

Episodes

How dreaming affects our creativity

Have you ever had a difficult decision to make and after much thought and deliberation decided that you should sleep on it and see how you feel in the morning? I’d venture most of us have at one point or another. But is there any science to back up this common habit? In this episode, the second of a two-part series, I speak to neurosurgeon and bestselling author Rahul Jandial about his new book This is Why You Dream: What your sleeping brain reveals about your waking life. We talk about the strange phenomenon of sleep paralysis, how the dreaming brain can work alongside the waking brain to help us solve problems, and what we can learn from the weird and wonderful phenomenon of lucid dreaming. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
16/05/2424m 43s

What happens in our brains when we dream?

The chances are most of us will remember at least one dream we’ve had recently. But where do dreams come from, why is their content often universal across different cultures, and what can we learn from studying nightmares? In this episode, the first of a series of two, I speak to neurosurgeon and bestselling author Rahul Jandial about his new book This is Why You Dream: What your sleeping brain reveals about your waking life. We talk about what’s going on in the different areas of our brains when we dream, how the dreaming brain differs from the waking brain, and the intimate links that exist between our emotions, imagination and ability to dream. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
12/05/2423m 56s

How the evolution of eggs has shaped life on Earth

If most of us hear the word ‘egg’ it’s likely our minds will immediately turn to the hens’ eggs that we enjoy fried, poached or scrambled for our breakfast. But on closer inspection it turns out that the natural world is filled with all manner of different kinds of eggs that are as varied and fascinating as the animals that produce them. And what’s more, eggs have helped to shape life on Earth as much as life has shaped them. In this episode I speak to zoologist and award-winning science writer Jules Howard about his new book Infinite Life: A Revolutionary Story of Eggs, Evolution and Life on Earth. He tells us about the fascinating evolution of eggs over hundreds of millions of years, the strange and varied forms they’ve taken over all of this time, and how the story all began with jellyfish. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
09/05/2433m 32s

How our everyday rituals affect our happiness and wellbeing

Do you brush your teeth before you shower in the morning, or do you shower first? Perhaps you like to give yourself a pep talk in the bathroom mirror before you’re about to give an important presentation at work. Or maybe you always cook a particular meal on special occasions. These are all examples of the personal rituals that many of us perform in our daily lives. But where do they come from, why are we so attached to them, and can they really help us to have a better day or make a more successful presentation? In this episode I speak to Prof Michael Norton, a behavioural scientist based at Harvard University. He tells me about the fascinating discoveries he made while writing his new book The Ritual Effect: The Transformative Power of Our Everyday Actions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
05/05/2430m 53s

How making the right dietary choices can help to keep us healthy in every stage of our lives

From the time that we are first developing in the womb right through until we are in our old age, the food we eat has a huge impact on our health and wellbeing. But exactly what should we be feeding our infants, how do the dietary choices we make as adolescents affect us later in life and how can we approach nutrition as we age to make sure we stay healthy for as long as possible? In this episode I speak to Dr Federica Amati, a medical scientist and head nutritionist at the ZOE project. We talk about the latest thinking on nutritional science she outlines in her book Every Body Should Know This: The Science of Eating for a Lifetime of Health. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
02/05/2437m 24s

The psychology and neuroscience of nostalgia

Whether they’re triggered by looking through old family photographs, hearing a piece of music you haven’t heard for years or eating a favourite childhood snack, feelings of nostalgia often come flooding into our hearts and minds. But what is going on in our brains when we have these feelings? In this episode I catch up with writer and historian Dr Agnes Arnold-Forster a writer, author of the new book Nostalgia: A History of a Dangerous Emotion. She tells us how this intriguing emotion has gone from being thought of as a deadly disease to being used as a therapy to treat degenerative cognitive conditions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
28/04/2426m 49s

The neuroscience of remembering and forgetting

We all forget things from time to time, it’s a normal part of everyday life. But according to the latest research in neuroscience, it is forgetting, not remembering that is the brain’s default action. So why is this? In this episode I speak to Prof Charan Ranganath, director of the Dynamic Memory Lab at UC Davis and author of the book Why We Remember: The Science of Memory and How it Shapes Us. He tells us how memories form in our brains, how they are intimately linked to our emotions and imagination, and why we often walk into another room and forget why we went there in the first place. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
25/04/2431m 46s

Is our orbital space at breaking point?

When it comes to thinking about sustainability, most of us usually keep our feet on the ground. But as we extend our reach beyond this small rocky planet and out into the solar system, is it time to think about how we use space sustainably too?   Our guest today is Aaron Boley, Associate Professor of astronomy and astrophysics at The University of British Columbia and co-author of Who Owns Space?: International Law, Astrophysics and the Sustainable development of space.   With hundreds of thousands of satellites planned for launch in the next few years, Aaron is warning that our orbital space is getting too crowded and could be heading for a dangerous point of no return.   Is there still time for us to learn from our mistakes down at ground level and build a sustainable future among the stars? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
21/04/2437m 3s

How to build a quantum computer

There is little doubt that the advent of the computer has had one of the most far-reaching impacts of any invention in the history of mankind. These days, it’s difficult for most of us to imagine life without them. But building ever faster processors is becoming something of a challenge. The solution to this could be quantum computers – machines so powerful they can tackle problems that would take even the biggest supercomputers we have today billions of years to solve. In this episode I speak to Prof Winfried Hensinger, director of the Sussex Centre for Quantum Technologies. We talk about his work on creating the world’s first large-scale quantum computer, how it works, and how quantum computers could help scientists do everything from breaking complex forms of encryption to creating innovative new medicines. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
18/04/2429m 36s

How to keep your immune system healthy

We often hear about the importance of our immune system, but how can we maintain it and keep it healthy? The answer is easier than you might think. We spoke to Bobby Cherayil, the author of the new book The Logic Of Immunity, deciphering an enigma to learn more about the importance of a healthy immune system. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
14/04/2424m 52s

The potential health benefits of green tea

Be it drank first thing in the morning, as an afternoon pick-me-up or to soothe our souls after hearing some bad news, we Brits love a cup of tea. But over recent years, the traditional cup of black builders’ tea has found a new rival vying for our attention in cafés and on supermarket shelves – its more traditional cousin green tea. Many people are making the change not for reasons of flavour but for its supposed health benefits. But is there any truth in this? In this episode I speak to Justin Roberts, a professor of nutritional physiology based at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. He tells us all about the nutritional content and potential health benefits we can gain from drinking this ancient beverage. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
11/04/2425m 23s

How the mind affects physical health and vice versa

For years researchers around the world have viewed the brain and body as separate entities, to be treated using different methods and even in different hospitals. However, recent discoveries have turned this picture on its head. We now know that our brains and immune systems are intimately linked and have a huge influence on each other. In this episode I speak to Dr Monty Lyman a medical doctor, researcher and author who studies the relationship between the mind and the immune system. We talk about the latest science he outlines in his book The Immune Mind: The New Science of Health. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
07/04/2430m 44s

How AI will make the world a better place, not bring it to an end

Artificial Intelligence can seem scary, especially with rapid advancements, but what if it actually improves our future? We spoke to Nick Bostrum, a leading philosopher at the University of Oxford and author of the new book Deep Utopia to find out why AI could be a force for positive change. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
04/04/2427m 30s

Busting social media diet and nutrition myths

These days as many as 60 per cent of us are turning to the Internet or social media to get health advice. It’s a staggering number, especially when you consider the fact that literally anyone, regardless of their background or qualifications, can set up an account and start giving out lifestyle or dietary tips that can have a huge effect on our wellbeing. In this episode I speak to Dr Idz, an NHS doctor with a background in nutritional research. He’s has made it his mission to fight the misinformation doled out on social media and provide scientifically accurate health advice. In doing so, he has racked up almost 2 million followers on TikTok and almost 300k on Instagram. He tells us about some of the most common, and potentially dangerous, nutrition myths that abound on social media that he busts in his book Saturated Facts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
31/03/2434m 34s

What happens in our bodies as we age? And is it possible to turn back the clock?

Be it biology, psychology or philosophy, ageing and death are undoubtedly two of the most difficult concepts to tackle in any field of research, so where do we even begin? In this episode I speak to Prof Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, a researcher based at Cambridge University’s MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, a former president of the Royal Society and recipient of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. We talk about the fascinating discoveries he outlines in his latest book Why We Die: The New Science of Ageing and the Quest for Immortality. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
29/03/2442m 33s

How science can help you have better conversations

Do you ever find yourself in a meeting at work or in a social occasion and notice how someone in the room seems able to effortlessly and succinctly put their ideas across while also listening to others and giving them room to speak? Chances are that person is a supercommunicator. In this episode I’m joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Charles Duhigg to talk about his book Supercommunicators: How to Unlock the Secret Language of Connection. He tells us how by asking deeper questions, listening correctly and approaching difficult conversations with an open mind we can all learn how to be better communicators. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
25/03/2431m 59s

Synaesthesia: How some of us experience music as shapes and colours and words as flavours

Do you experience sounds or music visually as certain shapes? Or perhaps you are able to ‘taste’ words or ‘hear’ colours. If so, it sounds like you have synaesthesia, a neurological phenomenon that leads to some of us experiencing a merging of different senses that are not typically connected. In this episode we catch up with Prof Jamie Ward, a psychologist and synaesthesia researcher based at the University of Sussex. He tells us about the varying forms synaesthetic experiences can take, what we know about their impacts on cognition and creativity and how it’s likely that you’ve met a synaesthete without even realising it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
22/03/2425m 0s

Why you’re not actually addicted to your phone

Just about everywhere we look today, screens, and in particular social media, are being called addictive, and being blamed for causing mental health problems and damaging childhood development. But does the evidence support this? In today’s episode we catch up with Pete Etchells, professor of psychology and science communication at Bath Spa University and author of Unlocked: The real science of screen time. Pete tells us why we need to redefine our relationship with technology and why social media, for all its ills, may not be as bad as we often make out. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
18/03/2434m 48s

How personalised medicine is about to change healthcare

There’s no doubt new advances in science and technology are having a huge impact on the way we live our lives these days. From Big Data and artificial intelligence to genomics and wearable devices that track daily our activity. Of course, medicine is no exception. All of these technological steps forward are pointing healthcare towards a coming era of personalised medicine that focusses more directly on the needs of the individual patient. In this episode we speak to Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, David Weatherall Chair in Medicine at the University of Liverpool, NHS Chair of Pharmacogenetics, and a consultant physician at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. He tells us how advances in medical techniques such as genetic screening and a focus on patients’ differing reactions to treatment can go beyond a one-drug-fits-all approach to healthcare and even treat diseases before symptoms appear. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
15/03/2429m 5s

How some of the most fascinating discoveries in astronomy were made by accident

For those of us on the outside, scientific discoveries can often appear to be neat, tidy and well thought out in advance. Theorists come up with a hypothesis on a chalkboard and then it’s up to the experimentalists to attempt to prove their theories right or wrong through observation. But this isn’t always the case, especially when it comes to astronomy. In this episode we catch up with Chris Lintott, a professor of astrophysics at the University of Oxford and a presenter on BBC’s Sky at Night to talk about his book Our Accidental Universe. He tells us about the many unexpected discoveries astronomers have made almost by accident, and how with a bit of luck, and the right kind of eyes, the mysteries of the Universe are hiding in plain sight, just waiting to be discovered. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
11/03/2431m 27s

The surprising role of clouds in climate change

Clouds aren’t just the harbingers of bad weather. Turns out, they are crucial players in the climate – and so, too, in climate change. In this episode we speak to climate scientist Dr Paulo Ceppi, who contributed to Greta Thunberg’s The Climate Book, to learn about how clouds change our world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
08/03/2427m 4s

Why giraffes are undergoing a silent extinction

There can be few animals that are as iconic and instantly recognisable as giraffes. But despite their unique, almost mystical appearance and enduring worldwide popularity, their numbers are dwindling. According to researchers, they are undergoing something known as a silent extinction. In this episode we catch up with Dr Sam Penny, a conservationist and lecturer based at Bristol Zoological Society. He tells us about the current thinking on the existence of not one but several different giraffe species, how they only have one remaining genetic relative, and goes on to talk about his own conservation work in Cameroon’s Benoue National Park. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
04/03/2435m 53s

Why we are seeing the return of infectious diseases

In the first quarter of 2024, infectious diseases including measles, plague, and cholera have all reared their ugly heads again. Are we seeing an unprecedented level of disease re-emergence? Why do they come back? And what would it take for another Black Death to happen? To find out, we spoke to Paul Hunter, Professor in Medicine at UEA’s Norwich Medical School. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
01/03/2428m 14s

How to overcome social paranoia and anxiety

Do you often find yourself worrying that people are talking about you behind your back? If so, don’t worry: according to our guest, Prof Daniel Freeman, it’s an extremely common thought pattern – and one you can easily break free from. Daniel is a Professor of Psychology at Oxford University and author of new book Paranoia: A Psychologist’s Journey Into Extreme Mistrust and Anxiety. In this episode, he explains the link between paranoia and social anxiety, exactly how to tell how paranoid you are – and simple strategies to build self-esteem and reduce your social paranoia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
26/02/2436m 47s

How feelings of listlessness and aimlessness has become an epidemic, and how we can beat it

Are you feeling demotivated and aimless and struggling to figure out why? If so, it sounds like you might be languishing – a term used to describe the epidemic of listlessness that has spread across the globe in recent years. In this episode we speak to Dr Corey Keyes, author of Languishing: How to Feel Alive Again in a World That Wears Us Down. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
23/02/2430m 43s

Placebo: Why this miraculous experience really works

The placebo effect is a seemingly wonderful experience, healing people with no apparent cure - but how does it really work? We spoke to Jeremy Howick, an epidemiologist and author of the new book The Power of Placebos to find out. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
19/02/2427m 52s

How to cope with whatever life throws at you

We all have a breaking point. But how close we come to it – and how we cope – comes down to our unique blend of genetics and life experiences. In this episode, we speak to health psychologist Prof Vincent Deary about how we’re adapted to get through with tough times, the physiological processes at work when we’re struggling, and how to build yourself back and recover from fatigue. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
16/02/2431m 39s

How understanding your boredom can improve your life

It's easy to try to ignore feelings of boredom, but it can actually be trying to tell you something. We spoke to James Danckert, a professor of cognitive neuroscience to find out more about this strange feeling. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
12/02/2428m 6s

How animals speak to each other

From birdsong to wolf howls, from dolphins’ clicks and whistles to gibbons’ whoops and wows, the natural world is filled with a myriad of animal vocalisations that are as varied as they are numerous. But what is their purpose? How did they evolve? And will we ever be able to understand them?   In this episode we catch up with Dr Arik Kershenbaum, a zoologist based at the University of Cambridge and author of the new book Why Animals Talk.   He tells us why some animals are chattier than others, how wolves have regional accents and how dolphins give themselves names. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
09/02/2430m 39s

How to perfect your coffee routine

Coffee is a drink favoured by billions of people around the world, but doing it right isn't easy.  We spoke to Christopher Hendon, a computational materials chemist and coffee expert from the University of Oregon.  He talks us through how to make great coffee at home, where to spend your money, and debunks the myths of the coffee world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
05/02/2427m 31s

Why humans need laughter

Laughter is a fundamental part of our lives, but why do we do it? We spoke to Sophie Scott, a professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University College London to better understand why and how we laugh. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
02/02/2425m 28s

Why hedgehog numbers are falling and how we can stop it

Whether it’s from reading Beatrix Potter’s Mrs Tiggy-Winkle or from encounters in our own gardens, many of us have a special place in our hearts for hedgehogs. But sadly, the charismatic mammals are having a bit of a hard time of late, with their numbers declining across the globe. So, what can we do to help them? In this episode we catch up with Dr Sophie Lund Rasmussen, a research associate at WildCRU, at the University of Oxford, or as she is otherwise known Dr Hedgehog. She tells us about the current state of hedgehog conservation, what she’s learnt from many years of studying them and how we can make our gardens more hedgehog friendly. To find more about her work studying hedgehogs, follow her on Facebook. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
29/01/2426m 24s

How to lose weight the scientific way

Chances are, many of us will have tried to drop a few pounds at some point in our lives. And it’s likely that to do so we will have cut down on the amount of calories we are consuming, exercised a bit more and relied on willpower to stop ourselves reaching for the biscuit tin, bag of crisps or can of fizzy drink. But is there a more effective method? In this episode we catch up with Dr Andrew Jenkinson, a bariatric surgeon based at University College London Hospital and author of the book How to Eat Well (And Still Lose Weight). He tells us how our brains are hard-wired to crave salty, fatty, sugary foods and how gaining a better understanding of our biology can help us to turn our unhealthy eating patterns into healthy ones, for good. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
26/01/2425m 7s

Avocados: Nutritional superfood or environmental disaster?

Since their first appearance on our supermarket shelves several decades ago, avocados have gone from being a mere exotic curiosity to a regular feature on many millennials’ breakfast tables. But how has this happened and what does it mean for our diets, the food industry and the environment? In this episode we speak to Honor May Eldridge, a food and farming expert and author of the book The Avocado Debate. She tells us about the avocado’s fascinating journey from everyday staple in traditional South and Central American cuisine to western superfood, how nutritious the fruit really is and whether or not we should feel guilty for eating smashed avocado on toast? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
22/01/2427m 41s

How to pace yourself in an exhausting world

How can we rearrange our lives to get a bit more energy? In her new book Pace Yourself: How to have energy in an exhausting world, Amy Arthur traces the latest science that can help you find the right pace in every aspect of your life to make your day-to-day a little less exhausting. This episode, Amy talks us through surprising insights like why having toast for breakfast may not be the best start to your day, warning signs for spotting when you’re close to exhaustion, and her top tips for protecting your energy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
19/01/2429m 40s

The science of the paranormal: Why we see ghosts, UFOs and visions of our past lives

UFOs, tarot cards, and ghostly figures. The paranormal world is all around us, but how can the unexplainable be explained? We spoke to Chris French, the head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London to find out more about the world of the paranormal. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
15/01/2433m 8s

Has the Moon entered a new epoch?

In our short history of space exploration, humans have already changed the Moon significantly. From the cultural heritage of our first footprints to the damage caused by spacecraft crashes, our presence is almost frozen in time in the Moon’s dusty regolith. Now, researchers are arguing for the formalisation of a new epoch on the Moon: the lunar Anthropocene. This epoch, they argue, began in 1959 with Russia’s Luna 2 spacecraft becoming the first ever to land on the Moon. We spoke to one of the researchers, space archaeologist Dr Justin Holcomb at the University of Kansas in the US, to learn more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
12/01/2426m 52s

Email overload: How a full inbox affects your mental health, and what you can do to take back control

It’s a feeling most of us will have experienced at some point: you arrive at work in the morning and open your email client only to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of unread messages staring back at you. In this episode we catch up with Dr Emma Russell, a psychologist based at the University of Sussex. She tells us about the far-reaching effects dealing with a constant stream of emails can have on our mental health, why some of us are more prone to these negative effects than others, and how we can take back control. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
08/01/2427m 48s

The anti-ageing wonder drugs of the near future

Could you ever take a pill that actually prevents ageing? If we’re lucky, absolutely. In fact, such a pill might be available within the next decade. That’s according to our guest today Andrew Steele, the author of Ageless: The New Science of Getting Older Without Getting Old. In this episode, the second and final of our anti-ageing specials, Andrew unpacks the most promising longevity drugs currently being trialled. If you haven’t done so already, check out part one of this series, where Andrew explains the simple lifestyle changes that can slow, stop and potentially reverse your biological age. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
05/01/2432m 52s

Simple ways to slow your biological age (and maybe even reverse it)

How would you like to slow, stop or even reverse your body’s ageing? Although that might sound like science fiction, a growing body of research suggests that ageing isn’t inevitable, that you can control a large proportion of how you age. How exactly? That’s just what we’ll be unpacking across two episodes with guest Andrew Steele, the author of Ageless: The new science of getting older without getting old. In this first part of our anti-ageing special, we’ll go through how to assess your own biological age, and how to slow it with several simple lifestyle changes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
29/12/2340m 49s

How finding moments of awe can bolster your mental health

Great mountains, beautiful movies and moments to appreciate life in all its glory. These are all experiences that make us feel a sense of awe, but what actually is awe, why do we feel this emotion and is it good for you? We spoke to Dacher Keltner, a leading psychology professor and author the book Awe: The New Science Of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life to find out. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
22/12/2334m 18s

Tinnitus: What causes the persistent ringing or buzzing of the ears and how can we treat it?

Many of us will have experienced a ringing or whining noise in our ears at some point, perhaps after going to a concert or working a long shift in a loud environment. But for some, the ringing sound never stops. These people have something know as tinnitus. In this episode we catch up with Dr Lucy Handscomb, a lecturer in audiology at University College London’s Ear Insitute. She tells us what’s going on in our bodies when we hear these mysterious sounds, the impact they can have on our lives and what we can do to lessen their effect. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
18/12/2327m 45s

Simple ways to prevent (and reverse) type 2 diabetes

A staggering 415 million people around the world today are living with diabetes, with almost half of those cases undiagnosed. In fact, it’s perfectly possible for a person to have type 2 diabetes for decades without knowing it. This may sound scary, but recent research has suggested that type 2 diabetes is not only easily preventable but also reversible. How exactly? Our guest today, Dr Jason Fung, will explain all. Sometimes called the inventor of intermittent fasting, Jason is the author of The Diabetes Code: Prevent and Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Naturally, and The Diabetes Code Journal. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
15/12/2341m 36s

Aphantasia: How people with no mind’s eye see the world

When you hear the word ‘horse’ do you find it difficult to conjure up a mental image of what a horse looks like? If so, it sounds like you’re an aphantasiac. Those with aphantasia have no ‘mind’s eye’ and are unable to form visual imagery in their heads. So how do they think, how do they remember events, and do they even have an imagination? In this episode we catch up with Professor Julia Simner, a neuropsychologist based at the University of Sussex. She answers these questions and more and share with us her own experiences as an aphantasiac. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
11/12/2331m 24s

The truth about bodyfat

At this time of year most of us will likely be a little concerned about piling on a few pounds after overindulging in food and drink over the holidays. But what is happening in our bodies when gain a bit of extra insulation? Why is fat more likely to be stored in certain places, are all types of bodyfat the same, and are some people really more prone to gain weight than others? In this episode we catch up with Dr Rebecca Dumbell, a researcher based at Nottingham Trent University’s School of Science and Technology. She tells us all about the different properties of the fats we consume, how body fat comes in different forms and what we should be doing if we want to shift that troublesome spare tyre. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
08/12/2328m 32s

Can we predict the future of the climate?

The climate is notoriously unpredictable and hard to plan for, but can and should we try to understand its future, or simply prepare for what is to come. We spoke to leading climate scientist David Stainforth to find out. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
04/12/2331m 0s

The strange science of near-death experiences

What happens after we die is one of the biggest questions we ask. Over centuries it’s been asked not only by scientists, but by philosophers, theologists and laymen alike. But how on Earth do we go about studying it? Could near-death experiences provide us with an answer? In this episode we catch up with Dr Neil Dagnall, a cognitive and parapsychological researcher based at Manchester Metropolitan University. He tells us all about the long and storied history of near-death experiences, the wide-ranging nature of their content and what we know about what is occurring in our brains when we are having one. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
01/12/2324m 54s

How AI is going to transform the classroom

The Royal Institution has been putting on the science spectacles for children known as the Christmas Lectures almost every year since 1825. For 200 years, the shows have inspired young science lovers in subjects sweeping from chemistry and astronomy through to psychology and climate change. This year, they turn to artificial intelligence. Delivering the 2023 Christmas Lecture is Mike Wooldridge, professor of computer science at the University of Oxford. In this episode, Mike gives us a sneak peak at his take on the lecture’s iconic use of props – plus an insight into how he thinks AI is going to change the world for children. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
27/11/2337m 54s

Chris Packham wants you to be a scientist – and then forget the science

In this episode, we hear about Chris Packham’s guide to saving the planet. Think of the most iconic creature in the world. Now put that creature into its natural habitat, and imagine all the ways it connects with other parts of the sprawling web of life. You’re now thinking of nature as we should be thinking about it, according to the biologist and presenter – who has written the foreword for a new book called Habitats. In this episode, we spoke to Chris about his top tips for making the most of nature, a close encounter with a baboon, and what he thinks about COP28. Chris even gives us a peak at some childhood memorabilia that reveals what he wanted to be before he became a biologist. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
24/11/2338m 47s

How using science can make you a better cook

Never mind so-called molecular gastronomy. Even without Michelin-Starred chefs’ use of spherification, sous vide and meat glues, there’s more than enough science going on in the kitchen to get your teeth into. In this episode we catch up with George Vekinis, a research director and former head of the education office at the National Centre for Scientific Research, in Athens, Greece. He tells us all about how his two lifelong passions, science and cooking, led him to write his new book Physics in the Kitchen, why food often tastes better the day after it’s cooked, and breaks down his method of cooking the perfect steak. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
20/11/2336m 37s

Inside the brain of a thrill seeker

Whether its jumping out of planes or climbing giant mountains, some people live for the thrill. But are their brains different and can you become a thrill seeker? We spoke to Brendan Walker, a thrill engineer and expert in all things exhilarating to find out. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
17/11/2331m 56s

Why we find cuteness so appealing

Why do so many of us find babies, kittens and puppies so cute? How did the now-widespread Japanese notion of kawaii end up transcending cultural boundaries? And can cute things help us with our mental health? To answer these questions and more, we catch up with Joshua Paul Dale, a professor of American literature and culture based at Chuo University in Tokyo. He tells us all about his pioneering work in the field of cute studies and his new book Irresistible: How Cuteness Wired our Brains and Conquered the World. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/11/2323m 9s

Intrusive thoughts – why we get them and how to cope with them

Do you ever find yourself going about your daily business when suddenly an unpleasant thought pops into your head? These are known as intrusive thoughts. The majority of us experience them without any ill effects. However, for some people they can be highly distressing. In this episode we catch up with Dr Scott Cairney, a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of York. He tells us all about what is going on in our brains when we have intrusive thoughts, what we can do to limit their impact on our lives and the connection they have to sleep. To take part in a short survey related to sleep and intrusive thoughts produced by Scott and his team, please click here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
10/11/2328m 13s

How black holes’ even stranger siblings could be the source of dark matter, with Carlo Rovelli

These days, largely thanks to science fiction movies, most of us will be familiar with the idea of black holes – regions of spacetime where gravity is so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape it. But what about white holes? In this episode we catch up with theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli, author of the book White Holes: Inside the Horizon. He tells us all about his ground-breaking work investigating what is happening inside black holes, how they can give birth to white holes and how white holes may be the best candidate for dark matter yet. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/11/2329m 56s

How to beat burnout

Whether its from work, home life or just general pressure, more and more people are suffering from burnout. But what is it, and how can you beat it? We spoke to Sarah Boss, clinical director at The Balance to find out. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
03/11/2324m 43s

Why are the world's plants disappearing – and can we save them?

In October, Kew Gardens released a report inspired by a dream of Charles Darwin’s. Described as the most comprehensive plant database ever produced, the State of the World’s Plants and Fungi 2023 report not only details the discoveries of over 18,000 new plant and fungi species since 2020 – but also the fact that many of these are already threatened with extinction. We spoke to one of the scientists behind the report – Dr Matilda Brown, conservation science analyst at RGB Kew – to learn more about why plants are disappearing all over the world and what we can do to save them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
30/10/2332m 7s

The future of panda conservation

There can be few animals as iconic and instantly recognisable as pandas. The black and white bears are beloved the world over thanks to their distinctive appearance, entertaining personalities and relative scarcity. In this episode we catch up with Kristine Gandia a researcher based at the University of Sterling. She tells us what she has learnt during her time observing and studying these fascinating animals. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
26/10/2330m 50s

Becoming an artist with robotics and AI

Sougwen Chung is one of the TIMES 100 most influential people in AI. Through the use of AI, robotics and other forms of futuristic tech, she creates mindblowing artwork. But how does she do it, what are the ethical considerations and where does she see art going in the future? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
22/10/2329m 19s

How the successful return of beavers to UK rivers is a positive argument for rewilding

Around a decade ago, beavers were spotted in the rivers of southwest England for the first time in 400 years. But exactly what impact have they made on the waterways they live in during this time? In this episode we speak to Prof Richard Brazier, a researcher based at the University of Exeter and co-director of the Centre for Resilience in Environment, Water and Waste. He tells us what he and his team have learned from studying these charismatic and often misunderstood animals over the last ten years, and how they provide a compelling argument for the reintroduction of other species. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
19/10/2332m 41s

How learning to fail better can help us to succeed

Not all failures are equal. In fact, some of them can present us with valuable opportunities to learn new things and make new discoveries. The trick is failing in the right way. In this episode we catch up with Amy Edmondson, Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School and author of the book The Right Kind of Wrong: Why Learning to Fail Can Teach us to Thrive. She tells us how to identify different types of failure, how we can examine their causes and how we can learn to fail better to make our lives richer and more rewarding. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
15/10/2331m 3s

Will we be able to have babies in space?

Future human races may indeed live extra-terrestrial lives. But how will we reproduce and continue survival once we’re in space? To find out, we spoke to space gynaecologist – yes, you read that right – Dr Varsha Jain from the University of Edinburgh. We cover everything from the myths about women’s bodies in space that stopped them being allowed on the early missions, right through to the impacts of space on a pregnancy, and the future of space babies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
12/10/2331m 48s

Can AI ever really be ethical?

Artificial intelligence has grown drastically in recent years, entering everything from art to medicine. We talk to Nigel Cannings, an expert in artificial intelligence to better understand the ethics behind AI and copyright, working rights and energy consumption. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
08/10/2337m 2s

What clean energy will look like after renewables

When it comes to the climate crisis, energy is one of the biggest and most complex topics. To help us break it down into something more manageable, we spoke to engineer Dr Bart Kolodziejczyk from Monash University in Australia. (Bart has advised everyone from the UN to the World Economic Forum on clean energy technologies). In this episode, Bart tells us about the surprising energy transition that he predicts will happen after renewables, the research he’s working on that could reduce global carbon emissions by a whopping 10 per cent, and what you can do to help transition our energy towards a sustainable future. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
05/10/2330m 14s

The future of drug discovery

If we learnt anything from the COVID-19 pandemic it was that, as a society, we owe a huge debt to the scientists around the world that work, day in, day out, on developing medicines to keep us healthy and to fight disease. But how does this process work? In this episode we catch up with Prof Simon Ward, Director of the Medicines Discovery Institute at Cardiff University. He tells us about the journey a new medicine has to take, starting from its initial inception in the lab, through various rigorous clinical trials before it can finally be used in clinics and hospitals around the world to save lives. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
01/10/2331m 46s

Sustainability Special – Why ‘biodegradable’ doesn’t mean what you think

We humans depend on the Earth’s natural resources for our very existence so it’s vital that we take as good care of them as we can. However, it’s abundantly clear that the environment isn’t in great shape at the moment. In this special six-part series we explore the different factors affecting the sustainability of our natural resources, investigate what their current state is and discuss what we could be doing to take better care of them. And in this episode, we’re delving into the biggest myths of biodegradability, which itself is actually a rather misleading term. To debunk the biggest biodegradability mistruths we’re joined by Mark Miodownik, a professor of materials science at University College London, and author of Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
28/09/2331m 54s

Sustainability Special - The potential of smart materials

We humans depend on the Earth’s natural resources for our very existence so it’s vital that we take as good care of them as we can. However, it’s abundantly clear that the environment isn’t in great shape at the moment. In this special six-part series we explore the different factors affecting the sustainability of our natural resources, investigate what their current state is and discuss what we could be doing to take better care of them. Smart materials are a tool that have grown in popularity in recent years. Able to change properties back and forth, these materials can be used to revolutionise everything from the clothing industry to the buildings that we live in, making our world both smarter and more sustainable. We’re joined by Anna Ploszajski, a material scientist and writer to find out more about these materials. She guides us through shape-shifting clothes, heat-absorbing roof tiles and everything in-between. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
24/09/2328m 57s

Sustainability Special - Solving the world’s plastic pollution problem

We humans depend on the Earth’s natural resources for our very existence so it’s vital that we take as good care of them as we can. However, it’s abundantly clear that the environment isn’t in great shape at the moment. In this special six-part series we explore the different factors affecting the sustainability of our natural resources, investigate what their current state is and discuss what we could be doing to take better care of them. Thanks to its ease of manufacture, versatility and durability plastic can be used for making everything from packaging and building materials to children’s toys and clothing. But the material’s great success comes with an equally big downside – how do we dispose of it once we are finishing using it? In this episode we catch up with Dr Costas Vellis, a lecturer in resource efficiency systems at the University of Leeds. He tells us how widespread plastic pollution is, how we have reached this point and what we can do to solve the problem. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
21/09/2335m 4s

Sustainability Special – How can we make our food more secure?

Like it or not, food plays a central role in all of our lives. It’s so important that whole societies and economies have formed around it, wars are fought over it, and, now, the way we consume it is having profound impacts on the planet. So just how stable are the food systems on which most of us depend? In this episode, Prof Tim Benton, research director at Chatham House, joins the podcast to talk about food security. Tim has been working on issues in food, ecology, biodiversity, sustainability for 30 years. We humans depend on the Earth’s natural resources for our very existence, so it’s vital that we take as good care of them as we can. However, it’s abundantly clear that the environment isn’t in great shape at the moment. In this special six-part series we explore the different factors affecting the sustainability of our natural resources, investigate what their current state is, and discuss what we could be doing to take better care of them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
17/09/2337m 0s

What mass extinctions can teach us about the future of life on Earth

Most of us are aware that an asteroid strike led to the extinction of the dinosaurs some 66 million years ago. But fewer are aware that this was just one of several mass extinction events to have occurred throughout the Earth’s history. In this episode we catch up Prof Michael Benton, a palaeontologist based at the University of Bristol and author of the new book Extinctions: How Life Survives, Adapts and Evolves. He tells us all about the previous extinctions that have changed the balance of life on Earth, how they happened and what we can learn about the future of the planet by studying them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
14/09/2329m 3s

Neil DeGrasse Tyson explains the Universe’s greatest mysteries

What’s beyond our Universe? Will time travel ever be possible? And what might aliens look like? All huge questions that today we’re asking a special guest, Neil DeGrasse Tyson – astrophysicist and author of the new book To Infinity and Beyond: A Journey of Cosmic Discovery.  In a wide-ranging conversation, DeGrasse Tyson unpacks the biggest scientific mysteries of our Universe, from whether space is really empty, to if humans are actually smart enough to make sense of the cosmos. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
10/09/2332m 35s

The bizarre science of cat behaviour

Why is it that cats sleep so much? Can they be taught any tricks? And are dogs actually smarter than cats? These are just some of the questions you might have wondered about our feline friends, questions we’re putting to Dr Zazie Todd. Todd is a dog and cat behaviour expert and is the author of Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy. In this episode, she unpacks the most misunderstood cat body language, the science behind making a cat like you, and the simple things you can do to upgrade a cat’s life. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
07/09/2333m 35s

The truth about fasting and time-restricted eating

Lose weight, gain more energy, boost your metabolism and even live for longer: these are some of the claims made by the adherents of fasting and time-restricted eating. But was does the science say? In this episode we catch up with Prof Javier Gonzalez, a physiologist based at the University of Bath’s Department of Health. He tells us all about the effects fasting has on our bodies and brains, breaks down some of the myths surrounding it and tells us the safest way we should go about it if we’re thinking about giving it a try. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
03/09/2326m 5s

Why we should be doing more to prepare for contact with alien civilisations

Are we alone in the Universe? It’s probably one of the most hotly debated questions in science today. In this episode we catch up with theoretical physicist Prof Avi Loeb, author of the new book Interstellar – The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and our Future Beyond Earth. He talks to us about the tantalising possibility that we have already observed alien technology travelling through space, why we should be doing more to look for it and what he found on his recent expedition to retrieve Interstellar material from the depths of the Pacific Ocean. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
31/08/2339m 1s

Busting testosterone myths

Mere mention of the word ‘testosterone’ is likely to bring to mind images of bodybuilders with bulging muscles or angry, aggressive men that are constantly spoiling for a fight. But what does the science really say? In this episode we catch up with Dr Channa Jayasena, an endocrinologist based at Imperial College London. He helps us to break down some of the myths surrounding this often-misunderstood hormone. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
27/08/2324m 27s

The Science of De-extinction

When an animal is extinct that means we’ll never see the likes of it again, right? Well, not quite. Not if biotechnology and genetic engineering company Colossal Biosciences have anything to say about. A few years ago the company launched with the bold aim of bringing animals such as woolly mammoths, dodos and Tasmanian Tigers back from extinction. In this episode we catch up with Ben Lamm, founder and CEO of Colossal Biosciences. He tells us all about how the ambitious project got started, how they plan to bring back extinct animals and why we might being seeing baby mammoths sooner than we think. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
24/08/2329m 11s

How science can help you make better decisions

From picking out what to wear in the morning, to choosing your profession or where to live, life is full of decisions, both big and small. But what can science do to help us make better choices? In this episode we catch up with Prof Sherheryar Banuri, a behavioural economist based at the University of East Anglia and author of the new book The Decisive Mind: how to Make the Right Choice Every Time. He talks to us about how even the smallest of decisions can have a huge impact on our lives, the traps we should look out for when making decisions and the simple changes we can make in our lives to make better choices. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
20/08/2331m 51s

How dementia affects the brain, and how we’ll one day beat it

According to the World Health Organization, dementia currently affects an estimated 55 million people worldwide. But despite its prevalence, there is very little in the way of effective treatments. In this episode we catch up with Tara Spires-Jones, Professor at the UK Dementia Research Institute at the University of Edinburgh and President of the British Neuroscience Association. She tells us all about the different types of dementia, how they progress and the latest thinking on how we can beat the disease once and for all. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
17/08/2328m 5s

How AI is changing the world of scams

AI, deepfakes and advanced technology has made scams more advanced than ever. We spoke to Oli Buckley, a professor of cyber security at the University of East Anglia to learn what these scams look like and how to avoid them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/08/2328m 48s

How False Memories can trick your mind

Do you consider yourself to have a good memory? Perhaps you can recall the minor details of events that occurred years ago. But how about remembering something that didn’t even happen? This is known as a false memory, and we all have them. In this episode we catch up with Dr Julia Shaw, a psychologist at University College London and author of The Memory Illusion. She tells us all about the ways in which false memories can trick our brains and how it is even possible to implant a false memory into a person’s head. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
10/08/2343m 59s

What we’re all getting wrong about ADHD

We’ve all heard of ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. But there’s actually a lot scientists don’t for sure know about the condition. From its causes, to what actually defines the disorder – or if it’s a disorder at all – is all hotly debated. To guide us through the latest ADHD research, we’re joined by one of the world’s biggest experts on the topic, Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke. He’s professor of Developmental Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience at King’s College London. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/08/2334m 17s

The new world of AI relationships, with Marco Dehnert

Artificial intelligence has a new role. It is acting as people’s friends, mentors and even romantic partners. But what are the ethics of this, and is it what we can expect in the future? We spoke to Marco Dehnert, an expert in human-machine relationships to understand more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
03/08/2328m 55s

Why the next gold rush is happening at the bottom of the ocean

We now know that the deep sea is full of bizarre creatures, and these have found a special place in our imaginations. But some people have their eyes on a different sort of ocean riches: the rare minerals and metals embedded in underwater mountains and rocks for use in everything from phones to electric cars. At the time of recording, representatives from countries around the world have just decided to delay a decision on deep sea mining laws by two years. So what’s the deal with the seabed, and why is everyone talking about it right now? Marine biologist Dr Helen Scales joins us for today’s podcast to talk about deep sea mining, the lures of the ocean’s resources, and the fine balance between exploration and exploitation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
30/07/2334m 11s

Weight loss: What actually works?

If you’re looking to lose a bit of weight, it’s easy to get lost in the complex and often contradictory health advice you can find online, from the fad diets, to the extreme exercise regimes.  But what actually works? To answer this and much more, we’re joined by Dr Adam Collins, Associate Professor of Nutrition at the University of Surrey. He unpacks the science-backed core principles of weight loss, why losing muscle alongside fat can be an issue, and what actually happens in your body during a calorie deficit.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
27/07/2334m 55s

Simple ways to overcome imposter syndrome

Do you ever feel like a fraud in your everyday life, and everyone’s about to find out you don’t really belong? If so, you’ve likely experience imposter syndrome – a pattern of self-doubt that persists despite all your accomplishments. Why is it these feelings emerge? And can a person actually be cured of imposter syndrome? To answer these questions and much more, we’re joined by Dr Jessamy Hibberd, Clinical Psychologist and author of book The Imposter Cure: How to stop feeling like a fraud and escape the mind-trap of imposter syndrome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
23/07/2335m 4s

Global heatwave: Could our taps soon run dry?

Last month saw the hottest June on record – and, while July has seen heavy downpours in the UK, much of Europe and the US experienced life-threatening heatwaves. As things heat up, aquifers shrivel – and London’s 90-day supply of water means the city is never far from its taps running dry. That’s Day Zero: a benchmark that several cities around the world have come alarmingly close to – or, in some cases, even reached – in the last decade. But what happens when that day comes? In today’s episode we speak to Professor Priti Parikh, infrastructure engineer at University College London, about the looming threat of Day Zero and how household tricks all the way national innovations can offer promising solutions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
20/07/2332m 33s

How loneliness can affect your health, and what you can do to combat it, with Prof Andrea Wigfield

A recent study found that nearly 50 per cent of adults in the UK reported having feelings of loneliness, at least occasionally. It’s a fairly shocking stat, but what effect is this having on our collective health? In this episode we catch up Prof Andrea Wigfield, director of the Centre for Loneliness Studies at Sheffield Hallam University. She tells about the different types of loneliness we can feel, the risks it poses to our mental and physical health and what we can do to limit its impact. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
16/07/2340m 39s

The Mysteries of the Octopus, with Prof David Scheel

Octopuses are surely one of the most unusual animals on Earth. They have eight limbs, three hearts, a doughnut-shaped brain and bleed blue blood. It’s little wonder, then, that they have inspired awe and curiosity in everyone from artists and filmmakers to biologists and science fiction writers. In this episode we catch up David Scheel, professor of marine biology at Alaska Pacific University. He tells us what he has learned in his 25 years of studying these fascinating animals, and what new discoveries he made when writing his book, Many Things Under a Rock: The Mysteries of Octopuses. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/07/2340m 6s

Why touch is our most misunderstood sense, with Prof Michael Banissy

Would you call yourself a bit of a hugger? Or does the mere thought of a stranger brushing past you in a cafe make your skin crawl? When it comes to being touched, we all have our own attitudes and opinions. But what can science tell us about this understudied and often misunderstood sense? In this episode we catch up with Prof Michael Banissy, a social neuroscientist based at Goldsmiths University in London and author of the new book When we Touch. He tells us all about the fascinating discoveries he has made about everything from the effects of mother’s skin-to-skin contact on a new born’s growth and development to the boost in performance sports team’s get when they regularly hit high fives. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
09/07/2337m 10s

Allergies, with Theresa MacPhail

This week, we’re talking about allergies. Everything from hay-fever to serious nut allergies plague our daily life, but why do we get them? I’m joined by Theresa Macphail, to discuss this topic. She’s the author of the new book Allergic: How our immune system reacts to a changing world. She explains what allergies are, why some are more dangerous than others, and whether there is a possible future where we no longer have to worry about allergies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/07/2328m 54s

The argument for a four-day workweek, with Alex Pang

For many, working only four days a week – and enjoying a longer weekend – might sound like a pipe dream: However, some workplaces are now experimenting with just that. 61 UK companies recently piloted a four-day workweek, with above 90 per cent of them continuing the scheme after the six-month trial. What impact does a four-day workweek have on a person’s productivity, mental health and physical wellbeing? And are there many drawbacks to working less? To answer this and much more, we’re joined by Alex Pang, productivity researcher, author of Work Less, Do More and programme director at non-profit organisation 4 Day Week Global. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
02/07/2337m 47s

The intriguing science of phages, with Tom Ireland

Even before the global COVID pandemic, simple mention of the word ‘virus’ was likely to send shivers down most of our spines. But it turns out not all viruses are nasties. Ever heard of a phage? They are a type of virus that infect bacteria. Despite being one of the most common forms of life on Earth we still only know very little about them. However, current research suggests they may just be one of our greatest allies in the fight against superbugs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
29/06/2336m 51s

The race to bury nuclear waste in hidden bunkers, with Lewis Blackburn

As the UK builds more nuclear reactors, there is an increasing pressure to find somewhere to put the waste. But what actually is nuclear waste? Does it actually look like a bright green sludge? Where does currently go? To answer these questions I’m joined by Dr Lewis Blackburn, nuclear materials scientist at the University of Sheffield. He talks about the incredible research going into sealing, burying and locking away nuclear waste, the relationship between nuclear and space (and why we can’t just fire off our nuclear waste on a rocket), and the vast timescales when it comes to nuclear waste that go beyond human lives, including the people working on them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
25/06/2336m 2s

How mental imagery training could boost your motivation, with Dr Jon Rhodes

Whether your goal is mastering a new skill or losing weight, you’ll know the importance of motivation and effective planning. And one intriguing new field of psychology called Functional imagery training may help here. As an increasing number of compelling studies show, vividly visualising attaining your goal and the road bumps along the way could leave you better motivated when setbacks occur. That’s why functional imagery training is now being used by athletes and the military. How does it work? And how promising are the results? We speak to Dr Jon Rhodes, lecturer in psychology at the University of Plymouth, to find out. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
22/06/2335m 22s

The fascinating chemistry of fermentation, with Andrea Sella

From kimchi to kombucha to kefir, you’ve probably noticed that fermented foods are trendy right now. They appeal to the daring, but also to people who may not even know they are eating fermented foods when they enjoy their beer, bread, and cheese. In fact, these fermented goodies have actually been around for hundreds of years – but what actually are they, and why do we like them?   This week, I’m joined by Andrea Sella – a professor of chemistry at University College London and a keen fermenter. Speaking to Andrea behind the scenes of the Cheltenham Science Festival, we discussed the importance of sugars to creating and digesting food, why and how we overcome disgust responses to get pleasure out of fermented foods, and how new fermentation techniques could help us lower our greenhouse gas emissions – along with some chemist’s tips for creating delicious fermented meals.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
18/06/2338m 45s

How to Retire in Good Health, with Tania Wiseman

Thinking about retiring? Or maybe someone in your family is. Hopefully, we’ll all reach the age where we can at some point. But how can we navigate it in good mental and physical health, for ourselves and our loved ones? In this episode we speak to Tania Wiseman, associate professor of occupational therapy at Swansea University. She runs us through what can happen to us when we retire and how to best cope with it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
15/06/2333m 1s

The psychology of why we feel ghostly presences, with Ben Alderson-Day

At our core, humans are deeply curious about the unknown – and ghostly spirits are no exception. From Hamlet to The Sixth Sense to Ghostbusters, the excitement or horror of encountering ghosts or spirits is ingrained in the human imagination. But for many people it’s very real: for people who feel someone’s presence who isn’t there, or see someone or something, or hear voices. In this episode of Instant Genius, we spoke to psychologist Ben Alderson-Day ahead of the Cheltenham Science Festival about why some of us believe in ghosts, science mediums and psychological disorders, and what makes someone more likely to feel presences. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
11/06/2333m 8s

How to spot a narcissist, with Dr Erica Hepper

Be it in the office or at home, it’s likely there’s at least one narcissist in your life. But what exactly are the key traits of narcissism? Are narcissists necessarily bad people? And how can you tell if you’re one? To answer these questions and much more, we’re joined by Dr Erica Hepper, lecturer in psychology at the University of Surrey. She also unpacks the key misconceptions about narcissism, its causes, and whether narcissists can ever change their behaviour. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
08/06/2338m 37s

Solving the UK’s water pollution problem, with Dr Tanja Radu

Currently only 14 per cent of UK rivers are rated as having a ‘good’ ecological status. Agricultural runoff and the release of untreated sewage are the leading causes of water pollution. But why are rivers in such a bad way and what can we do about it? In this episode we speak to Dr Tanja Radu, senior lecturer in water engineering at Loughborough University. She tells us how we’ve reached this point in river pollution, the risk it poses to human health and what we can do to set things right. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
04/06/2328m 56s

Why perfectionism is on the rise and how we can combat it, with Thomas Curran

In this episode we speak to Thomas Curran, Assistant Professor of Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at the London School of Economics and author of The Perfection Trap – The Power of Good Enough in a World that Always wants more. He tells us why perfectionism is on the rise, why that’s a bad thing and what we can do about it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
01/06/2335m 25s

The hidden ways ocean currents change our world, with Helen Czerski

You may have heard the phrase ‘we know more about the moon than the deep sea’ – it’s now an old phrase, dating back to 1948. In fact, we actually know quite a bit more about the ocean than you might think – which physicist and oceanographer Helen Czerski shows in her new book Blue Machine. But it’s still full mysteries, and that’s why Helen says that the secrets of the moon and the ocean are incomparable, because when it comes to the ocean there is just so much more to know, and we urgently need to uncover more. In this episode we speak to Helen about some of the secrets hidden – and found – in the ocean’s currents, including shipwrecks and missing planes, what we’ve learned from rubber ducks and Finding Nemo, and the swirling currents in underwater rivers and waterfalls. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
28/05/2333m 8s

Inside the mind of a dog, with Prof Alexandra Horowitz

In this episode we speak to Alexandra Horowitz, professor of canine cognition at Barnard College, Columbia University and author of Inside of a Dog – What Dogs, See, Smell and Know. She tells us what your dog is trying to tell you when they stare at you, what causes them to tilt their heads from side to side and why so many of them seem to like rolling in poo. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
25/05/2333m 33s

Breasts, with Dr Philippa Kaye

It goes without saying that breasts get a lot of attention. But less focus is given to the science behind them: why do we have them? Why are they all different, and does it matter? What happens when things go wrong? GP and author Dr Philippa Kaye is out to change that in her latest book, Breasts: An Owner’s Guide. In today’s podcast she tells us about the science of human breasts, the benefits – and costs – of having them, current research in breast cancer and sports, and how to take care of yours. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
21/05/2335m 28s

Time travel, with Lawrence Krauss

From HG Well’s The Time Machine, to Doctor Who and Back to the Future, time travel has become a beloved staple of science fiction. But will humans ever actually be able to jump through time? According to physics, quite possibly. To explain this today, we’re joined by Lawrence Krauss, theoretical physicist and author of the new book The Known Unknowns: The Unsolved Mysteries of the Cosmos. He delves into the strangest theories of time travel, time tourism, and also what most time travel movies get wrong. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
18/05/2328m 16s

Body language myths, with Prof Geoff Beattie

Want to get better at interpreting body language? Well, most books on the topic are unlikely to help you. At least, that’s the argument of Geoff Beattie, professor of psychology at Edge Hill University. He claims that most stereotypes of non-verbal communication, be it defensive arm-crossing or nervous hair twiddling, are vastly misunderstood. In this episode, Beattie unpacks these body language myths – and also explains science worth paying attention to. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
14/05/2333m 4s

AI’s fight to understand creativity, with Ahmed Elgammal

Artificial intelligence has seeped into the art world, creating incredible paintings, winning art competitions, and turning amateurs into Picasso. But how does it work, and can it really replace artists? We spoke to Ahmed Elgammal, a professor of computer science at Rutgers University to find out. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
11/05/2331m 16s

How to boost your creativity, with Hilde Ostby

Ever had an ‘aha’ moment? The point where your thoughts somehow finally coalesce into a revelation? Or have you ever wondered where your creative impulses come from and how they’re formed? In this episode we speak to Hilde Ostby, author of the book The Key to Creativity, the Science Behind Ideas and How Day Dreaming Can Change the World. She tells us about nature of creativity, where it comes from and how we can nurture it in our own lives. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
07/05/2336m 6s

Ultra-processed Food with Dr Chris van Tulleken

Have you ever struggled to put that packet of biscuits back in the cupboard after opening them? Or found yourself dialling for your favourite takeaway more often than you’d really like to? If so, it sounds like you’ve been under the influence of ultra-processed food. But what exactly are they and what are they doing to our bodies when we consume them? In this episode I speak to Dr Chris van Tulleken, BBC TV presenter and infectious diseases doctor based at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in London. He tells me about the surprising discoveries he made about UPF when writing his latest book – Ultra-Processed People - Why Do We All Eat Stuff That Isn’t Food … and Why Can’t We Stop? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
04/05/2344m 30s

How the battle for space will change the world, with Tim Marshall

As space travel becomes more common, questions are being raised over laws in space, how it will be split up amongst countries and even the risk of potential star wars. We spoke to author Tim Marshall to find out about the future of space politics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
30/04/2334m 56s

Out-of-body experiences, with Dr Jane Aspell

Out-of-body experiences have long fascinated humans, with accounts of people feeling as if they’ve floated above their own bodies going back thousands of years. But what causes them? Intriguing new findings by neuroscientists could provide some answers. One such researcher is Dr Jane Aspell, head of the Self and Body lab at Anglia Ruskin University. She joins us to explain what happens in the brain during an out-of-body experience – and how virtual reality and the metaverse can replicate these events. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
27/04/2330m 29s

A bold new theory of dyslexia, with Prof Usha Goswami

About 1 in 10 people in the UK have dyslexia, which is a neurological difference that can result in difficulties learning to read and write. But what exactly causes it? Scientists aren’t in full agreement, but our guest this episode – Professor Usha Goswami, a leading neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge – poses one intriguing theory. Her work so far suggests that dyslexia is not a visual disorder, but rather a difference in how sound and rhythm are processed in the brain. She joins us to explain all. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
23/04/2331m 27s

The fight to keep our brains private, with Nita Farahany

In the not too distant future, we could all be wearing wearables that scan our brain waves, understanding how we feel, think and act. Before then, author Nita Farahany argues that we need to rethink our rules to privacy to include our brains. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
20/04/2327m 35s

The science of hay fever, with Sam White

Hay fever is something huge parts of the population deal with every year, but what actually causes it, is it genetic and is it something that is faced all over the world? We spoke to Dr Sam White, a senior lecturer of immunology and genetics at Nottingham Trent University to find out more about this common issue. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
16/04/2323m 33s

The multiverse, with Lord Martin Rees

The idea of the multiverse, a hypothetical group of coexisting multiple universes, has long been a staple of science fiction books and movies but the theory is actually grounded in bona fide science. It has been gathering momentum amongst cosmologists for several decades but what exactly does the theory say and what evidence is there to back it up? In this episode, we’re joined by the Astronomer Royal and fellow of Trinity College Cambridge, Lord Martin Rees. He tells us about his thoughts on the possibility of the existence of the multiple universes, what parallel universes might look like and how our universe evolved to produce the ideal conditions for life. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/04/2339m 3s

Synchronizing your body clock, with Prof Russell Foster

Your body clock, or circadian rhythm, doesn’t just influence your energy levels throughout the day. Recent studies have revealed that your internal timekeeper also has a significant impact on your bodyweight, immune system, mental health, sleep quality and more. How can this be possible? And what are the simple things you can do to live more in sync with your biological timepiece? To answer these questions and more, we’re joined by Russell Foster, professor of circadian neuroscience at the University of Oxford and author of Life Time: The New Science Of The Body Clock, And How It Can Revolutionize Your Sleep And Health. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
09/04/2336m 11s

The origin of the Universe, with Prof Thomas Hertog

When the University of Leuven professor of theoretical physics Thomas Hertog first met famed cosmologist Stephen Hawking he found himself confronted with two questions: “Why is the Universe the way it is? Why are we here?”. The two would go onto to seek answers to these profound questions during a close collaboration that lasted for twenty years. In this episode, Prof Hertog tells us about his time working with Hawking, his new book, On the Origin of Time, and the path that led the two of them to hit upon the revolutionary new theory that the laws of physics are born and evolve as the Universe they govern takes shape. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/04/2332m 49s

How human disease changed history, with Dr Jonathan Kennedy

Over time, we have become infected with various viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms, which have had a huge impact on our evolution and history. In this episode, Dr Jonathan Kennedy, a reader in politics and global health, tells us about the close links between disease and colonialism, how infection shaped the migration of humans out of Africa, and what we can all learn from the COVID pandemic. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
02/04/2329m 53s

Art and the brain, with Susan Magsamen

At one time or another it’s likely that we’ve all experienced the profound effect that engaging with art can have on us. Be it listening to a favourite song, reading a moving poem or walking around a much-loved gallery. But is there more to these experiences than mere entertainment? We speak to Susan Magsamen the founder of the International Arts + Mind Lab (IAM Lab), at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine about the new book she has co-authored with Google’s Vice President of Design Ivy Ross, Your Brain on Art. She tells us exactly what is going on in our brains when we engage with art and how these powerful effects can be used to boost our health and wellbeing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
30/03/2332m 8s

Overcoming insomnia, with Prof Guy Leschziner

If you suffer from insomnia, you’ve probably heard the same old advice before: don’t drink caffeine in the afternoon, get plenty of exercise during the day, and don’t take your phone to bed. But what if you do all that and still can’t sleep? To get more insight into insomnia and the techniques shown to overcome it, we speak to Guy Leschziner, Professor of Neurology and Sleep Medicine at King's College London. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
26/03/2337m 40s

UK wildlife, with Dr Philip Wheeler

BBC’s Wild Isles, presented by Sir David Attenborough, is currently showing on Sunday evenings. The series showcases British wildlife, shining a light on some of the animals and plants we share our islands with. In this episode, we speak to Dr Philip Wheeler, a senior lecturer of ecology at the Open University. He is a consultant on Wild Isles, and here he tells us about some of the wildlife featured in the series. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
24/03/2327m 32s

When humans become prey, with Adam Hart

What happens when fearsome predators like tigers, lions and crocodiles live alongside humans? Ecologist Adam Hart explores how conservation works when the species we want to protect also happens to be deadly. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
20/03/2339m 24s

Key lessons from the world’s longest happiness study, with Prof Robert Waldinger

What are the most important, achievable things you can do to live a happier life? It’s a big question that’s been researched for many years by Robert Waldinger. He’s a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the man in charge of the world’s longest-running scientific study of happiness. Waldinger joins us to discuss the key findings of this research, the biggest happiness myths and also how much money you actually need to be happy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
17/03/2340m 29s

Social anxiety, with Dr Ellen Hendriksen

Research suggests that – unless you’re a psychopath – you’ve experienced anxiety about a social situation at some point. But why? What is it that makes humans afraid of others? And how can we manage these worries? To answer these questions and much more, we’re joined by psychologist Dr Ellen Hendriksen, a world-leading expert on social anxiety and author of How To Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic And Rise Above Social Anxiety. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/03/2340m 10s

Future of transportation, with Paris Marx

Will we soon see self-driving cars and fancy city automation? Or will existing transport finally improve? We spoke to Paris Marx, author of the book Road to Nowhere to find out what the future of transport will look like. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
10/03/2329m 58s

Earth’s inner core, with Dr Jessica Irving

A recent study carried out at Peking University has found that Earth’s inner core, a giant ball of iron located in the middle of the planet, is slowing down its rotation. But what exactly does this mean? We speak to Dr Jessica Irving, a seismologist based at the University of Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences. She tells us how scientists study the goings on deep inside Earth, what we can learn about the life cycles of planets and whether the news should be cause for alarm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/03/2327m 50s

Snakes, with Prof Mark O’Shea

Whether you love them or are frightened of them, you cannot deny that snakes are fascinating, adaptable creatures. They are found on every continent except Antarctica, and occupy all sorts of habitats, from deserts, to swamps, to forests, oceans and trees. In this episode, herpetologist Prof Mark O’Shea, reveals how snakes move, why we have so few species in the UK, and how venom works. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
03/03/2347m 5s

The extraordinary psychology of Déjà vu, with Dr Akira O'Connor

Sorry if we’ve already asked, but do you know what causes déjà vu? Or why you experience it less as you get older? Just in case you're unsure, we got the answers from Dr Akira O’Connor, senior psychology lecturer at the University of St Andrews. In this episode, he talks us through the bizarre neuroscience of déjà vu, from what makes you more prone to it, to how you can easily create an artificial sense of déjà vu in somebody else. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
27/02/2332m 34s

Winter storms, with Alex Deakin

Storm Otto caused havoc across Scotland last week. Yet it was unusual in that it was the first named storm to hit our shores this autumn and winter.   Alex Deakin, a weather forecaster and meteorologist for the Met Office, reveals why we had such calm conditions this winter, why we name storms, and whether climate change could make storms worse. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
24/02/2318m 51s

The science of lying, with Professor Richard Wiseman

Think you can tell when someone’s being dishonest with you? Think again. Richard Wiseman, a professor of the public understanding of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire and host of the new podcast On Your Mind, busts the common myths around lie-detecting and reveals how you can identify if someone’s really telling the truth. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
20/02/2335m 59s

Fungal infections, with Dr Rebecca Drummond

The World Health Organisation recently released a report stating that fungal infections currently kill around 2 million people a year and that they present a growing threat to human life. For anyone who has been watching HBO’s fungal zombie TV series The Last of US this may be cause for alarm. But how big is the threat of fungal infections, how well equipped are we to deal with them and could a fungus ever really turn us all into mindless zombies? We speak to Dr Rebecca Drummond, Associate Professor of Immunology and Immunotherapy, at the University of Birmingham. She tells us about the fascinating lifecycles of fungi, the threats they pose to human life and why we should be doing more to protect ourselves from them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
17/02/2330m 41s

How to get more time in your day, with Dr Ashley Whillans

Constantly feeling like you never have enough hours in your day? Then you’re actually experiencing what psychologists call ‘time famine’. And it could be having major implications on your health, happiness and even productivity. So, how do you get more time? Social psychologist Ashley Whillans, author of Time Smart, unpacks key strategies that could help you reframe your time and feel more in control of your day. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/02/2340m 25s

The world’s ageing population and the ticking demographic time bomb, with Prof Jane Falkingham

It was recently reported that China has entered an era of negative population growth, after demographic statistics revealed a drop in numbers for the first time since 1961. And they are not alone, many other countries across the world are also experiencing dramatic falls in birth rates. This had led some researchers to suggest that many countries are facing a so-called demographic time bomb that will leave them with an ageing population and a shortfall of people of working age. We speak to Prof Jane Falkingham of the University of Southampton’s Centre for Research on Ageing. She tells us more about the world’s ageing population, how we have reached this point and what we can do to lessen its impact. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
10/02/2331m 49s

The science of persuasion, with Prof Vanessa Bohns

How strong are your powers of persuasion? Probably a lot greater than you realise. That’s according to social psychologist Vanessa Bohns, professor of organizational behaviour at Cornell University and author of book You Have More Influence Than You Think. In this episode, she explains the power of compliments, a concept called behavioural contagion, and how to convince somebody to do you a favour. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/02/2336m 33s

Light pollution, with Dr Greg Brown

A recent study carried out by the Globe at Night project – a citizen science program involving more than 50,000 observations from volunteers around the world – has found that the brightness of the night sky has increased by an average of 7 to 10 per cent a year for the last decade. This trend is making it increasingly difficult to observe the stars, especially from built-up urban areas. We speak to Dr Greg Brown, an astronomer and science communicator based at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. He tells us how bad the current situation really is, what it means for laypeople, astronomers and animals, and what measures we can take to get our view of the stars back. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
03/02/2321m 54s

How to enhance your focus with sound, with Dr Nick Perham

What music will improve your concentration most? Could the hubbub of a coffee shop increase your attention span? And what’s the deal with white noise? To answer all your questions about how to best use sound to boost your focus, we’re joined by Dr Nick Perham, reader in applied cognitive psychology at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
30/01/2322m 53s

How ChatGPT could revolutionise education, with Sam Illingworth

ChatGPT is a tool that can create essays, poems, full movie script and more from a simple worded prompt. We spoke to Sam Illingworth, an associate professor in the department of Learning Enhancement at Edinburgh Napier University to learn how it will change the education system. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
27/01/2331m 56s

The electrome, with Sally Adee

Every cell in our body – bones, skin, muscle, nerves – has a tiny voltage, like a battery. This bioelectricity enables our brains to send messages, but can also help us heal from injury and develop in the womb. In her new book, We Are Electric, science journalist Sally Adee explores our body’s electrome, and reveals the ways it could help us treat cancer, regenerate cells, and even halt ageing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
23/01/2337m 56s

Big Garden Birdwatch, with Adrian Thomas

From 27-29 January the RSPB (The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) will invite the nation to count the birds in our green spaces. Adrian Thomas, the RSPB’s chief expert on gardening for wildlife, joins us to explain what one of the world’s biggest crowd science projects has taught us so far and he shares the simple steps you can take to make your back garden more welcoming to birds. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
20/01/2343m 57s

Emotions, with Dr Dean Burnett

Ever wondered what is happening in your body and brain when you feel an emotion? How to better cope with negatives ones? Or why we even have them in the first place? We speak to neuroscientist and author Dr Dean Burnett about the surprising discoveries he made when writing his new book: Emotional Ignorance. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
16/01/2345m 19s

Biodiversity, with Dr Andrew Terry

In December 2022, representatives from governments and other official bodies from around the world met in Montreal for COP15: The UN Biodiversity Conference. Amongst the many things discussed was the so-called 30 by 30 target – the pledge to conserve 30 per cent of the planet’s terrestrial and marine habitat by 2030. In this episode, Terry, tells us about the significance of the target, the current state of the Earth’s biodiversity and what role we can all play in reversing its devastating loss. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/01/2335m 8s

How to change your habits, with Dr Gabija Toleikyte

Struggling to form a new habit? Or kick an unhelpful one? While behaviour change is doubtlessly difficult, it can be made easier with a few simple psychological tools. To explain this and the neuroscience of habit formation, we speak to Dr Gabija Toleikyte, lecturer in Psychology at Sheffield Hallam University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/01/2327m 53s

The food of the future, with Evan Fraser

Will we be eating lab-made meats in the future, or will vegetarianism be the new norm? And what will happen to the world’s thriving farming culture? We spoke to Evan Fraser, Director of the Arrell Food Institute to find out. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
30/12/2231m 22s

Forensic science comes to the Christmas Lectures, with Professor Dame Sue Black

Ever heard someone say: “I know them like the back of my hand”? It turns out the back of your hand can actually provide a forensic scientist with enough information to identify you. In this episode, forensic anthropologist Professor Dame Sue Black explains how the new science of digital identification works and discusses what we can expect from her upcoming Christmas Lectures. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
23/12/2236m 26s

Zombie viruses in the Arctic, with Dr Arwyn Edwards

The world’s polar regions are melting. Beneath the ice lurks all kind of microbes, but how much of a threat do they really present? Microbiologist Dr Arwyn Edwards of Aberystwyth University joins us to explore the threat of so-called ‘zombie viruses’ and he explains where the real danger lies. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
19/12/2234m 13s

Brain-controlled machines, with Tom Carlson

Controlling machines with brain waves sounds like something ripped from a science-fiction book, and yet this is something happening today. We spoke to Tom Carlson about the rapidly expanding world of brain-machine interfaces. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
16/12/2236m 3s

Vitamin D, Dr Gail Rees

During winter months, over 15% of UK adults are estimated to have a vitamin D deficiency. But what exactly does vitamin D do in our bodies? And is it technically a vitamin anyway? Dr Gail Rees, senior lecturer in human nutrition at the University of Plymouth, reveals all. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
12/12/2223m 31s

Bird flu, with Dr Alastair Ward

This year around the globe, an estimated 160 million domestic birds have died as a result of avian flu. But why has the virus spread so widely? And could humans be at risk? Dr Alastair Ward, associate professor of biodiversity and ecosystem management at the University of Leeds, explains all. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
09/12/2225m 41s

Mars in opposition, with Dr Stu Clark

This week Mars will be lit up by our Sun, providing astronomers and amateur stargazers a wonderful chance to study the Red Planet. Astronomer and author, Dr Stu Clark joins us to explore how our image of Mars has evolved over the last 150 years. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
05/12/2233m 58s

Genetic testing, with Sir Peter Donnelly

Professor of Statistical Science at the University of Oxford, and founder and CEO of Genomics PLC, Sir Peter Donnelly tells us about exactly what genetic screening can tell us about our health and what we can do to stay healthy regardless of our genes. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
02/12/2231m 56s

Robins, with Helen Wilson

Christmas is just around the corner, and what bird is more associated with the festive season than the robin? In this episode, we chat to Helen Wilson, an associate professor of human geography at the University of Durham, to delve into the natural history and cultural impact of one of the nation’s favourite birds. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
28/11/2230m 54s

How our lives are being gamified, with Adrian Hon

Whether you’re learning a new skill, trying to get healthy or simply progressing at work, you’ve likely experienced gamification. We speak to Adrian Hon, an author and games creator about why we should be cautious of gamification and its risks. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
25/11/2229m 53s

The future of UK space science, with Andrew Kuh

Andrew Kuh is the Exploration Technology Manager at the UK Space Agency. He explains the UK’s involvement with NASA’s Artemis 1 mission and the exciting future that lies ahead for UK space science. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
21/11/2216m 7s

What the Nordic people can teach us about a winter mindset, with Kari Leibowitz

The collective misery as the nights draw in and the days feel impossibly short is palpable at this time of the year. But it doesn’t have to feel this way. Kari Leibowitz, a researcher, writer and speaker who studies how our mindset influences our health and wellbeing, joins us to explain what studying the national Nordic psychology can teach us about getting through winter (and even maybe enjoying it!). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
18/11/2238m 44s

Climate breakdown, with Prof Bill McGuire

In this episode of Instant Genius, McGuire explains why it is now practically impossible for us to keep climate change on the right side of the 1.5-degree target set by the Paris Agreement, what the Earth could look like in 2100 and what we can still do to mitigate the worst impacts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
14/11/2220m 43s

Sleep disorders, with Dr Alice Vernon

In this episode of Instant Genius, Dr Vernon speaks to us about sleep disorders, or parasomnias. She tells us how scientific attitudes towards sleep disorders have changed over the years, what the latest thinking on treatments is, and what she learnt about her own sleep disorders while writing her latest book – Night Terrors: Troubled sleep and the stories we tell about it. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
11/11/2236m 18s

Kindness, with Claudia Hammond

Today, the world can feel like a bit of an unkind place. But according to Claudia Hammond, a psychologist and BBC Radio 4 presenter, that isn’t necessarily the case. There are easy ways to introduce more kindness into your life, which could even make you happier and healthier. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
07/11/2228m 49s

Heating and Health, with Dr Radha Modgil

With energy bills skyrocketing of late, many of us are thinking twice before putting the heating on, or maybe not even putting it on at all. But what effect could living in a cold home have on our health? We speak to Dr Radha Modgil, an NHS GP and BBC Science Focus columnist to find out more. In this episode of Instant Genius, Dr Radha explains what the cold does to the human body, who is most at risk and if the solution really is to heat the human, not the home. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
04/11/2216m 43s

The e-waste dilemma, with Josh Lepawsky

Is your smartphone becoming more environmentally friendly? Are tech companies doing enough to reduce their carbon footprint? Josh Lepawsky, a researcher in the geography of waste shares his views on the problem of e-waste. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
31/10/2226m 53s

COVID in waste, with Dave O’Connor and Marc Johnson

In this episode Jason speaks to virologists Dave O’Connor and Marc Johnson from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.   For the past year they have been hunting down a heavily mutated strain of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in a search that has led them to scour through everything from sewage water to dog poo.   In this episode they explain how viruses mutate, how there may be rogue forms of coronavirus still out there and how we can track viruses down. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
27/10/2220m 45s

Irrational thinking and beliefs, with Steven Pinker

Are we innately rational or irrational beings? What’s the common psychology that leads people to be sucked into conspiracy theories? Cognitive scientist Steven Pinker shares his theories about rational thought and how we can overcome psychological biases. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
23/10/2233m 11s

Flies, with Dr Erica McAlister

Yes, we moan about them biting us, landing on our food and invading our picnics, but did you know that flies are extremely important pollinators? And they also polish off a lot of the dead and decomposing stuff in nature, making the world a better place for us to live? Dr Erica McAlister, the curator of flies at the Natural History Museum, tells us why we should give these insects a little more love. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
20/10/2234m 17s

Medical Detection Dogs, Dr Claire Guest

Can animals sniff out cancer? Absolutely they can! It turns out that a dog’s incredible sense of smell can sniff out prostate cancer from a urine sample. Indeed, one recent study suggested that a dog can detect lung cancer from someone’s breath. So how do they do it? And how is this incredible talent being deployed in the real world? We talk to the co-founder of the Medical Detection Dogs charity Dr Claire Guest to find out. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
16/10/2245m 45s

Holding the Universe in your hands, with Dr Kimberly Arcand

What if you could hold a supernova in the palm of your hand? Or what if you could listen to a black hole? Dr Kimberly Arcand, a data visualiser for NASA, explains how astrophysics is moving beyond flat 2D images and how you can get involved at home. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/10/2234m 26s

The science of learning music, with Adriana Barton

Picking up an instrument is something we’ve all done, or thought about doing. But what is actually going on in our brains when we do? We talk to health writer and cellist Adriana Barton about her book: Wired for Music – A search for health and joy through the science of sound. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
09/10/2219m 34s

The science and soul of music, with prof Susan Rogers

Why do you love the songs that you do? Why does music have such a powerful hold over us? Can you love music without being musical? Neuroscientist prof Susan Rogers, who at one time worked with Prince as the audio engineer for Purple Rain, reveals what science can tell us about our musical taste, what our favourite songs might tell us about ourselves and, of course, what it was like to work with Prince. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/10/2246m 14s

Faecal transplants, with Dr Benjamin Mullish

The Food and Drink Administration in the States has recently recommended the use of faecal transplants to treat various bacterial infections. We spoke to Dr Benjamin Mullish, a researcher at Imperial College London’s Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction, about this promising new technique. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
02/10/2227m 26s

The future of self-driving cars, with Jack Stilgoe

Jack Stilgoe, a professor of science and technology policy, talks us through the future of self-driving cars, upcoming changes to the law surrounding them, and how they could change society. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
29/09/2231m 48s

The heart, with Sian Harding

Sian Harding, author of The Exquisite Machine: The new science of the heart, explains how the heart works, how to keep it healthy and the future of research into this essential organ. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
25/09/2236m 56s

Jupiter in opposition, with Dr Jonathan Nichols

On Monday 26 September, Jupiter will make its closest approach to Earth for 59 years, giving astronomers and stargazers a unique opportunity to observe and study the planet. To mark this moment, we spoke to planetary scientist Dr Jonathan Nichols from Leicester University, to understand the significance of this cosmological event and find out how new research is rewriting what we know about the enigmatic giant in our midst. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
22/09/2235m 58s

Spider season, with Prof Adam Hart

It’s that time of year again when we start to notice spiders coming into our homes. But what is the cause of this so-called ‘spider season’ and can any UK spiders actually cause us harm? Entomologist Prof Adam Hart from the University of Gloucester gives us the lowdown. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
18/09/2226m 26s

NASA’s DART asteroid deflection mission, with Tim Gregory

Geologist and chemist Tim Gregory tells us what to look out for when NASA’s DART spacecraft completes its year-long journey and crashes into an asteroid. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
15/09/2216m 55s

Dung beetles, with Sally-Ann Spence

Dung beetles are incredibly important insects. They keep fields clean by munching through dung, help aerate soil, and act as a food source for various animals. Dung beetle expert Sally Ann Spence tells us all about these little insects, reveals where you can find them, and explains why we should look after them. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
11/09/2233m 23s

Artemis’s First Launch, with Libby Jackson

Over the last couple of weeks Artemis has had two failed attempts at its first launch. Libby Jackson, the Exploration Science Manager for the UK space agency explains what went wrong, why failures are all part of the process and what’s in store for us all when we finally make it back to the moon. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
08/09/2237m 53s

Space weather, with Sean Elvidge

Jason Goodyer talks with Sean Elvidge on everything you need to know about weather in space. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
04/09/2225m 4s

Bringing back the Tasmanian tiger from extinction, with Helen Pilcher

When we bring back a species after it’s gone extinct, are we bringing back the real thing? Would we create a woolly mammoth or a hairy elephant? Biologist Helen Pilcher explains whether we can really bring back species from the dead, and how the research could help us protect species under threat of extinction. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
01/09/2248m 16s

The science of James Bond gadgets, with Kathryn Harkup

Kathryn Harkup, author of Superspy Science, talks us through the science of the craziest gadgets, schemes and fatalities in the James Bond series. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
29/08/2236m 55s

How plants solve crimes, with Prof David Gibson

You can’t escape plant matter. It’s everywhere. That’s why forensic botany – the study of plants to help investigate crime – is so powerful. Professor David Gibson explores how true crime cases have been solved using plants, algae, fungi and more. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
26/08/2229m 14s

Future of artificial intelligence, with Kate Darling

Dr Kate Darling, a researcher specialising in human-robot interaction at the MIT Media Lab talks to us about artificial intelligence and tells us why we don’t need to worry about a robot uprising. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
22/08/2230m 52s

Life on Mars, with Lewis Dartnell

Lewis Dartnell, an astrobiologist and research scientist and the University of Westminster, explains what we might find in the search for life on Mars. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
18/08/2234m 29s

What has caused the heatwave and drought, with Prof Dann Mitchell

Prof Dann Mitchell, a climate scientist at the University of Bristol, reveals what has caused the current heatwave and drought, and what the future outlook could be. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
14/08/2217m 29s

Drought, with Kevin Hiscock

Kevin Hiscock, a professor of environmental sciences at the University of East Anglia, unpacks the problems the UK is facing with drought and how to tackle them. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
11/08/2230m 48s

Instant Genius Update

We are now giving you double Instant Genius each week! From Monday 8th August 2022 you'll get a new episode from us every Monday and Friday. For those subscribed via Apple Podcasts Subscription service you will now receive all new Instant Genius episodes completely ad free. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
07/08/223m 27s

Seashells with Dr Helen Scales

Marine biologist, broadcaster and author Dr Helen Scales tells us all about seashells, where to find them, and what they can reveal about their inhabitants. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
07/08/2230m 22s

Inside the mind of a bee, with Prof Lars Chittka

How smart can an insect be? Lars Chittka, a professor of sensory and behavioural ecology and Queen Mary, University of London unpacks the incredible depth of intelligence exquisitely packed into the mind of a bee. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
31/07/2240m 43s

Deepfakes, with Sam Gregory

Technologist Sam Gregory explains what deepfakes are and why they have seen a sudden rise. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
25/07/2222m 53s

The evolution of human childhood, with Dr Brenna Hassett

Anthropologist Brenna Hassett, author of Growing Up Human, explains why our super-long childhood is so weird compared to the rest of the animal kingdom. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
17/07/2229m 43s

The science of crabs, with Peter Davie

Marine ecologist Peter Davie, author of Crabs: A Global Natural History, tells us about the biology and behaviour of these crustaceans. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
10/07/2235m 42s

Meteorites, with Dr Tim Gregory

Cosmochemist Dr Tim Gregory tells us about the exciting science of space rocks. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
03/07/2229m 29s

Animal senses, with Ed Yong

Science writer Ed Yong tells us about the staggering diversity of animal senses, from dogs’ powerful sense of smell to birds’ incredible colour vision. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
26/06/2228m 42s

Sloths, with Dr Rebecca Cliffe

Dr Rebecca Cliffe, founder and executive director of the Sloth Conservation Foundation, busts the myths around these loveable animals and explains just how bizarre their biology is. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
19/06/2234m 6s

Bitcoin, with Brett Scott

Brett Scott, author of Cloudmoney, explains how cryptocurrencies work, and why he believes Bitcoin will never be a true currency. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
12/06/2224m 19s

COVID numbers, with Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter

What story do the statistics tell about the pandemic? Sir David Spiegelhalter, the non-executive director the UK Statistics Authority, explores what lessons we’ve learned over the last two years. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
05/06/2227m 12s

The science of dreams, with Sidarta Ribeiro

Neuroscientist Sidarta Ribeiro speaks to us about what is going on in our brains when we dream. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
29/05/2231m 53s

The body clock, with Prof Russell Foster

Neuroscientist Prof Russell Foster explains how our circadian rhythms control functions throughout our entire bodies. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
22/05/2232m 30s

Dog intelligence, with Jules Howard

Zoologist Jules Howard, author of the new book Wonderdog, tells us how smart our pet pooches really are. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
15/05/2236m 22s

The first stars in the Universe, with Dr Emma Chapman

Physicist Dr Emma Chapman tells us everything we know – and everything we don’t – about the first stars to exist after the Big Bang. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
08/05/2226m 3s

Lichens, with Kerry Knudsen

Lichenologist Kerry Knudsen, from the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, tells us all about the biology of lichens. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
01/05/2225m 19s

The origins of religion, with Robin Dunbar

Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary psychology, explains why spirituality and religion took root in early humans. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
24/04/2237m 38s

Sound in the animal kingdom, with David George Haskell

Biologist David George Haskell, author of Sounds Wild and Broken, explains how and why the animal kingdom evolved to communicate by sound. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
17/04/2232m 18s

Corals, with Dr Jamie Craggs

Coral expert Dr Jamie Craggs tells us all about the biology of corals and reveals why they are so important for the planet. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
10/04/2222m 8s

Oral Health, with Dr Kami Hoss

Dentist Dr Kami Hoss explains how to take care of our teeth, debunking myths about plaque, cavities, fluoride and more. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
03/04/2237m 44s

The animal kingdom’s mathematicians, with Brian Butterworth

Brian Butterworth, author of Can Fish Count, explains how animals approach counting and mathematics, and how they are more like humans than you might expect. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
27/03/2223m 38s

Blood sugar and your health, with Jessie Inchauspé

Jessie Inchauspé, author of Glucose Revolution, explains how spikes in our blood sugar are affecting how well we function on a day-to-day basis, and even speeding up the ageing process. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
21/03/2222m 59s

The Neuroscience of Grief, with Mary-Frances O’Connor

Neuroscientist and psychologist Mary-Frances O’Connor explains the latest thinking on what happens to our brains when we experience grief and loss. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
14/03/2229m 28s

Hyenas with Prof Adam Hart

Prof Adam Hart explains why zoologists find Hyenas so fascinating, why they're so unlike other mammals and how having a few hyenas around isn't such a bad thing. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
07/03/2227m 41s

How biology got females wrong, with Lucy Cooke

Zoologist Lucy Cooke explains how biologists often overlook the female animal when it comes understanding the sexes in the natural world. She dispels some of the most stubborn myths that surround the female of the species and reveals what happened when a robot grouse went looking for love. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
28/02/2231m 8s

Preparing for disaster, with Michał Zalewski

Computer security expert Michał Zalewski explains what disasters we should be preparing for, and what simple, straight-forward things we can do to have the biggest impact. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
21/02/2223m 1s

The metaverse, with Prof David Reid

Virtual reality expert Prof David Reid explains the metaverse – a new form of internet focused on interactivity that we could all be experiencing very soon. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
14/02/2221m 29s

Mindwandering, with Moshe Bar

Cognitive neuroscientist Moshe Bar explains what the brain does when it goes wandering and how you can use the act of mindwandering – or daydreaming as some might call it – to give your mood and creativity a boost. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
07/02/2239m 54s

Crows, rooks and ravens, with Dr Kaeli Swift

Ornithologist Dr Kaeli Swift tells us all about corvids, from their lifestyle and intelligence to how you can befriend a crow. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
31/01/2228m 0s

The science of Intimacy, with Dr Michelle Drouin

Psychologist Dr Michelle Drouin, author of Out of Touch: How to Survive an Intimacy Famine, explains why intimacy, both physical and emotional, is essential for our mental health. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
24/01/2238m 14s

Breathing, your hidden superpower, with James Nestor

Science journalist James Nestor explains why so many of us are breathing wrong, and why it matters. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
17/01/2232m 39s

The origin and evolution of mammals, with Dr Elsa Panciroli

Palaeontologist Dr Elsa Panciroli takes us 300 million years back in time to an age long before the rise of the dinosaurs to chart the evolution of some of our most ancient ancestors.Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts.Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
10/01/2231m 20s

Gut health, with Dr Megan Rossi

Dietician and nutritionist Dr Megan Rossi explains why your gut health is important, and how you can improve it without cutting out your favourite foods.Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts.Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
03/01/2225m 55s

The science of ageing, with Dr Andrew Steele

Dr Andrew Steele, computational biologist and author of Ageless, explains what happens in our bodies as we get older, and why some species don’t seem to age at all.Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts.Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
27/12/2127m 26s

The James Webb Space Telescope, with Stuart Clark

Astronomer and science journalist Stuart Clark tells us everything we need to know about the most important, high-risk space mission of the decade. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
20/12/2129m 59s

Algae, with Ruth Kassinger

Science writer Ruth Kassinger, author of Bloom: From Food to Fuel, The Epic Story of How Algae Can Save Our World, tells us everything we need to know about this bizarre organism, from the animal that grows algae in its fur to why we should be including it in our diet. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/12/2127m 37s

Consciousness and comas, with Dr Adrian Owen

Cognitive neuroscientist Dr Adrian Owen explains how he’s been able to communicate with patients in vegetative states and comas, and what consciousness is like for a patient in this condition. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/12/2134m 4s

Eating for your brain, with Kimberley Wilson

Kimberley Wilson, a psychologist, nutrition expert and Great British Bake Off finalist, explains what we should eat to keep our brains healthy. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
29/11/2134m 52s

Gravity, with Marcus Chown

Science writer Marcus Chown tells us everything we need to know about gravity, from Isaac Newton’s apple falling from a tree to Einstein’s general relativity. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
22/11/2131m 3s

Brain myths with Dr Lisa Feldman-Barrett

Lisa debunks some common misconceptions about the brain and explains how our grey matter really works. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
15/11/2130m 56s

Dog behaviour, with Mat Ward

Mat Ward, author of What Dogs Want, debunks the myths of dog behaviour, and explains how to get your pup ready for your return to the office. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
08/11/2134m 40s

Health hacks, with Dr Michael Mosley

Dr Michael Mosley, host of the podcast Just One Thing, explains the simple lifestyle changes we can all make to improve our health and wellbeing. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
01/11/2133m 9s

UK wildlife, with Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin

The presenters of Autumnwatch and Chris and Meg's Wild Summer tell us about all the different types of wildlife you can see right here in the UK. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
24/10/2134m 44s

Psychology of evil, with Dr Julia Shaw

Criminal psychologist Dr Julia Shaw tells us how false memories can sway a trial and whether evil truly exists. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
17/10/2137m 26s

Mental Shortcuts, with Prof Marcus du Sautoy

Professor of mathematics Marcus du Sautoy reveals how thinking like a mathematician can help you make better decisions in all aspects of life. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
10/10/2136m 33s

Endangered foods, with Dan Saladino

Food journalist Dan Saladino tells us all about endangered foods, and what we could stand to lose if these foods disappear. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
03/10/2131m 1s

Poisons, with Dr Raychelle Burks

Chemist Dr Raychelle Burks tells us all about poisons, from how to tell what substance was used, to whether there are any poisons that are undetectable. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
26/09/2132m 44s

The nature of time, with Colin Stuart

Astronomy author and speaker Colin Stuart explains why time has an arrow, its intimate relationship with space, and why it's impossible to go back in time and kill Hitler. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
19/09/2130m 39s

CRISPR, with Prof Fyodor Urnov

Prof Fyodor Urnov tells us how CRISPR is already changing the lives of people with genetic disorders, and why it’s essential that gene editing therapies are accessible to all. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
12/09/2132m 34s

Science denial, with Lee McIntyre

Lee tells us about why science denial is on the rise, from flat-Earthers to anti-vaxxers, and where conspiracy theories come from in the first place. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
05/09/2133m 34s

The decline of the insects, with Prof Dave Goulson

Entomologist Dave Goulson is the author of Silent Earth: Averting the Insect Apocalypse. He tells us how we can save the bugs and why they’re so important. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
29/08/2131m 36s

Migraines, with Dr Katy Munro

Headache specialist, author and podcast host Dr Katy Munro tells us what goes on in your body during a migraine. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
22/08/2132m 8s

Procrastination, with Dr Fuschia Sirios

Dr Fuschia Sirios, well-being researcher from The University of Sheffield, unpacks the psychology of procrastination – from why we do it, to how to stop. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
15/08/2126m 40s

Childhood, with Dr Emma Byrne

Dr Emma Byrne, author of How to Build a Human, tells us about the hidden science of childhood. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
08/08/2123m 46s

Calories, with Dr Giles Yeo

Trust Me, I’m a Doctor’s Giles Yeo tells us about the history of calorie counting and whether there’s such thing as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ calories. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
01/08/2130m 40s

Sleep, with Dr Matthew Walker

Dr Matthew Walker, professor of neuroscience, tells us about how sleep evolved and what happens when we don’t get enough. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
25/07/2131m 7s

The science of pain, with Dr Monty Lyman

Dr Monty Lyman, author of The Painful Truth, tells us what pain really is, how the placebo effect works, and why our emotions have a huge effect on the pain we feel. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
18/07/2133m 16s

Forensic anthropology, with Prof Sue Black

Prof Sue Black explains the science behind identifying a body at a crime scene. Warning: This episode contains a frank and academic discussion about forensic investigation – how it works and what clues a dead body might leave behind – which some listeners may find uncomfortable. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
11/07/2135m 18s

Personality change, with Dr Christian Jarrett

Cognitive neuroscientist Dr Christian Jarrett tells us all about what forms personality traits – and the simple ways to change yours. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
04/07/2127m 31s

Hidden geometry, with Jordan Ellenberg

Mathematician Jordan Ellenberg tells us about his book, Shape, and why geometry is about so much more than triangles and circles. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: sciencefocus.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
27/06/2133m 21s

The Neanderthals, with Dr Rebecca Wragg Sykes

Dr Rebecca Wragg Sykes tells us all about Neanderthals, and reveals how they continue to shape our view about deep human history. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius. Dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: https://www.sciencefocus.com/ Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
20/06/2139m 23s

The golden age of dinosaur discovery, with Prof Steve Brusatte

Prof Steve Brusatte tells us how the latest findings in palaeontology have turned our picture of dinosaurs on its head. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: https://www.sciencefocus.com/ Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
17/06/2136m 53s

The Big Bang, with Prof Jim Al-Khalili

Jim Al-Khalili, a theoretical physicist and Professor of Public Engagement in Science, tells us about the origins of the Universe. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: https://www.sciencefocus.com/ Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
16/06/2119m 15s

Your brain chemistry and you, with Ginny Smith

Science journalist and presenter Ginny Smith tells us about the chemicals that run your brain. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: https://www.sciencefocus.com/ Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
15/06/2135m 15s

The science of cooking, with Dr Stuart Farrimond

Food scientist, doctor and TV presenter Stuart Farrimond tells us about how you can use science to upgrade your cooking. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: https://www.sciencefocus.com/ Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
14/06/2126m 53s

The end of the Universe, with Dr Katie Mack

Theoretical astrophysicist, author and one of Twitter’s most-followed scientists Dr Katie Mack tells us about the Universe's ultimate fate. Once you’ve mastered the basics with Instant Genius, dive deeper with Instant Genius Extra, where you’ll find longer, richer discussions about the most exciting ideas in the world of science and technology. Only available on Apple Podcasts. Produced by the team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine. Visit our website: https://www.sciencefocus.com/ Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/06/2135m 32s

Welcome to Instant Genius

The podcast that gives you the chance to be an expert in everything. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
31/05/213m 27s

How AI and androids could shape the music of the future

While Daft Punk may have sadly split, machine-created music may be about to skyrocket in popularity. Not only are artificial intelligence neural networks now capable of creating original melodies, but scientists are also developing robots capable of playing – and improvising – live music. So, will AI and androids soon top the charts? And could they even replace human musicians entirely? On this week's episode of the Science Focus Podcast, Prof Nick Bryan-Kinns, director of the Media and Arts Technology Centre at Queen Mary University of London, joins staff writer Thomas Ling to explain groundbreaking new music technology. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Sticher, RSS, Overcast Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Could these gloves be the future of music? – Imogen Heap Why do humans make music? The psychology of the sea shanty: Why work songs are such earworms Meet the computer scientist teaching an AI to play Dungeons and Dragons The creator of Bellingcat on using the internet to investigate global affairs The future of human flight, with real-life Iron Man Richard Browning Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
24/05/2125m 52s

Could 'counterfactuals' solve the biggest problems in physics?

Most laws of physics tell us what must happen. Throw a ball in the air and it will come back down. But physicist Chiara Marletto, a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, says that laws like this only tell us part of the story. She believes that the rest lies in 'counterfactuals': things that could be. In her new book, The Science of Can and Can’t (£20, Allen Lane), she explains how these counterfactual properties could solve many of science’s biggest outstanding problems. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Sticher, RSS, Overcast Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Prof Avi Loeb on what 'Oumuamua tells us about the problem with modern physics Marcus Chown: Does the Big Bang really explain our Universe? Dr Douglas Vakoch: Should we try to contact aliens? Katie Mack: How will the Universe end? Sonia Contera: How will nanotechnology revolutionise medicine? Everything You Wanted To Know About… Physics with Jim Al-Khalili Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
17/05/2129m 2s

What happens to you after 40 days with no natural light?

Around two months ago, a group of 15 people – scientists, explorers and medics – travelled deep into a cave in the south of France. The expedition descended to a point so deep that natural light could not reach them, and there the team stayed for 40 days and 40 nights without clocks, phones or anyway of telling the time. The project’s goal was to understand what happens to our brains and bodies when we’re deprived of an external measure of time and they hoped to discover how a group of people could adapt to such an extreme situation. Just two weeks ago, that team emerged from the cave, and Christian Clot, the expedition’s leader and the designer of the DEEP TIME mission, joins editor Daniel Bennett on this week's episode of the Science Focus Podcast to talk about what the experiment discovered, how the expedition changed him and what ultimately happened when the team returned to the surface. Let us know what you think of the Science Focus Podcast by filling out our survey. By submitting it, you enter the prize draw to win one of seven £100 Voucher Express Gift Cards. It should take no more than five minutes. UK residents only. Full T&Cs. Take part in the survey Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Sticher, RSS, Overcast Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Why realistic humanoid robots need to learn to lip-sync The psychology of the sea shanty: Why work songs are such earworms Mental health and your brain: What happens when it goes wrong Why you can’t multitask (and why that’s a good thing) How to maximise your motivation, according to a neuroscientist Prof John Drury: The psychology of lockdowns Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
10/05/2137m 21s

Why do humans make music?

Our lives are full of music, from the songs we sing along to on the radio to the orchestral scores that bring a film to life. But why is it that humans love to make music, and how did it evolve in the first place? Musicologist Prof Michael Spitzer, author of the new book The Musical Human (£30, Bloomsbury), joins BBC Science Focus online assistant Sara Rigby on this week’s episode to explain. Let us know what you think of the Science Focus Podcast by filling out our survey. By submitting it, you enter the prize draw to win one of seven £100 Voucher Express Gift Cards. It should take no more than 5 minutes. UK residents only. Full T&Cs. Take part in the survey Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Sticher, RSS, Overcast Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: The psychology of the sea shanty: Why work songs are such earworms Could these gloves be the future of music? – Imogen Heap The neuroscience of happiness – Dean Burnett Dr Pete Etchells: Do video games encourage gambling behaviour? Why you can’t multitask (and why that’s a good thing) Phobias, paranoia and PTSD: Why virtual reality therapy is the frontier of mental health treatment Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
03/05/2127m 5s

The future of human flight, with real-life Iron Man Richard Browning

In this week's episode of the Science Focus Podcast, we talk to the "real-life Iron Man" – not Marvel's Tony Stark, but inventor Richard Browning. He’s the creator of the ‘Jet Suit’, which can fly one person through the air at speeds of 135km/h. He’s also founder and chief test pilot of Gravity Industries and author of new book Taking on Gravity (£20, Bantam Press). He explains his quite literal rise to success – and the future of human flight. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Sticher, RSS, Overcast Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Podcast: Why realistic humanoid robots need to learn to lip-sync Ritu Raman: Can you build with biology? Dr Erin Macdonald: Is there science in Star Trek? Meet the computer scientist teaching an AI to play Dungeons and Dragons How virtual reality is helping patients with phobias, anxiety disorders and more Dr Pete Etchells: Do video games encourage gambling behaviour? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
26/04/2127m 29s

Why realistic humanoid robots need to learn to lip-sync

In this week's episode of the Science Focus Podcast, commissioning editor Jason Goodyer speaks to Dr Carl Strathearn, a research fellow at the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University. He's currently conducting research on realistic humanoid robots, specifically on more realistically synchronising their speech and mouth movements. He tells us about how to get robots out of the Uncanny Valley, why the way a robot looks is so important, and why Data from Star Trek is an inspiration for his work. Read an edited excerpt from this interview Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription of this episode [this will open in a new window] Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: How virtual reality is helping patients with phobias, anxiety disorders and more Dr Pete Etchells: Do video games encourage gambling behaviour? Rana el Kaliouby: What if computers could read our emotions? Ritu Raman: Can you build with biology? Dr Erin Macdonald: Is there science in Star Trek? Robert Elliott Smith: Are algorithms inherently biased? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
19/04/2129m 48s

How to understand statistics in the news and when to trust them

In this week's episode of the Science Focus Podcast, editor Daniel Bennett speaks to Tom Chivers and David Chivers. Tom is a veteran science journalist and author and David is lecturer in economics at the University of Durham. As well as a surname, they share a passion for statistics, or more precisely for the way that numbers are used and presented in the media. Together they’ve written a new book: How to Read Numbers: A Guide to Statistics in the News and Knowing When to Trust Them. They talk to Daniel about how to understand the sometimes confusing stats surrounding health and risk, how to spot a suspicious claim when you see one, and how to think about the current concerns surrounding the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription of this episode [this will open in a new window] Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Sir David Spiegelhalter: There's no such thing as Blue Monday Matt Parker: What happens when maths goes horribly, horribly wrong? Hannah Fry: How much of our lives is secretly underpinned by maths? Prof Linda Scott: Why is there still economic inequality between men and women? Hannah Fry: What's the deal with algorithms? Robert Elliott Smith: Are algorithms inherently biased? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
12/04/211h 6m

The bizarre biology of the mantis shrimp

What is your favourite animal? If you know anything about the mantis shrimp, it might well be your top pick. Dwelling in shallow tropical waters, these mysterious predators not only wield one of the strongest punches in nature, but also a one-of-a-kind visual system that scientists are only just making sense of. One of these scientists is Dr Martin How from the University of Bristol. He joins us on this week's episode of the Science Focus Podcast to reveal more about mantis shrimp and their remarkable abilities. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription of this episode [this will open in a new window] Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Everything you ever wanted to know about… the deep sea with Dr Jon Copley Andrew Hunter Murray and Dan Schreiber: Is there really no such thing as a fish? Brad Lister: Are we facing an insect apocalypse? Neil Gemmell: The genetic hunt for the Loch Ness Monster Neil Shubin: How do big changes in evolution happen? Mark Lynas: Could leaving nature to its own devices be the key to meeting the UK’s climate goals? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
05/04/2122m 27s

The creator of Bellingcat on using the internet to investigate global affairs

In this episode of the Science Focus Podcast, we speak to Elliot Higgins, the founder of Bellingcat. If you haven’t heard that name before, then you might be surprised to know that Bellingcat is behind some of the biggest news revelations of the decade. They use social media and information freely available online to carry out what they call open source investigation. Their work has uncovered the use of chemical weapons in Syria, identified suspects in the Skripal poisoning in Salisbury and identified the people responsible for downing flight MH17 over Ukraine. Eliot speaks to editor Dan Bennett about his new book, We Are Bellingcat (£20, Bloomsbury), which tells the story of how a group of amateur hobbyists ended up taking on Russian spies. Read an edited excerpt of this interview Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription of this episode [this will open in a new window] Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Dr Julia Shaw: Why do we do bad things? Marcel Danesi: Why do we want to believe lies? Project Discovery: Could computer games help find a cure for COVID-19? Chris Lintott: Can members of the public do real science? Lara Martin: Meet the computer scientist teaching an AI to play Dungeons and Dragons Rana el Kaliouby: What if computers could read our emotions? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
29/03/2144m 39s

Prof Avi Loeb on what 'Oumuamua tells us about the problem with modern physics

In 2017, the Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii spotted an interstellar object passing by Earth for the first time. Shortly after, Harvard’s Prof Avi Loeb was met with a backlash from the scientific community for suggesting it could be of alien origin. Now, several years on, he has written a book, Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth, outlining why we still can’t out rule the possibility, and why scientists should always keep an open mind. We speak to Avi on this week's episode of the Science Focus Podcast. He tells us why he believes the object, 'Oumuamua, was of alien origin, and what problems this reveals about the way modern physics is conducted. Read an edited excerpt of this interview Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription of this episode [this will open in a new window] Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Dr Douglas Vakoch: Should we try to contact aliens? Bergur Finnbogason: Project Discovery and its search for exoplanets Dr Erin Macdonald: Is there science in Star Trek? What if the Earth’s magnetic field died? – Jim Al-Khalili Building a base on the Moon, and crafting believable sci-fi – Andy Weir Dr Becky Smethurst: How do you actually find a black hole? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
22/03/2144m 54s

Meet the computer scientist teaching an AI to play Dungeons and Dragons

Many of us have had a one-to-one interaction with artificial intelligence. Whether that’s through an automated chat service for customer service, or trying our hand at beating an AI built to play chess. But these experiences aren’t flawless, they’re not as smooth as our interactions with other human beings. One researcher trying to improve the language abilities of AI is Lara Martin, a postdoc at the University of Pennsylvania. More specifically, Lara is trying teach AI to tell stories. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription of this episode [this will open in a new window] Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Rana el Kaliouby: What if computers could read our emotions? Aleks Krotoski: What happens to your data when you die? Robert Elliott Smith: Are algorithms inherently biased? Pete Etchells: Are video games good for us? Jamie Susskind: How technology is changing politics Jim Al-Khalili: Why AI is not the enemy Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
15/03/2138m 38s

International Women’s Day: The forgotten female scientists of history

Today is International Women’s Day, and in this episode of the Science Focus Podcast, online assistant Sara Rigby talks to science historians Anna Reser and Leila McNeill, authors of Forces of Nature: The Women who Changed Science (£20, Frances Lincoln). They tell us about the women who engaged in science throughout history but don’t always get remembered – the midwives, the astronomers, and the wives and sisters. Read an edited excerpt from the interview Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription of this episode [this will open in a new window] Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Why aren't there more women in science? Angela Saini: Inequality in science Caroline Criado Perez: Does data discriminate against women? Kathryn D. Sullivan: What is it really like to walk in space? Subhadra Das: What part has science played in racism? Kevin Fong: What happened to Apollo 13? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
08/03/2139m 37s

How to maximise your motivation, according to a neuroscientist

As the UK enters its 13th month of lockdown restrictions and home-working, many surveys cite a slump in mental wellbeing and general productivity. But are there any scientific ways we can maximise our motivation and prevent procrastination? In this episode of the Science Focus Podcast, neuroscientist Dr Gabija Toleikyte, author of Why the F*ck Can't I Change, tells us all about it. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription of this episode [this will open in a new window] Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Why you can’t multitask (and why that’s a good thing) Dean Burnett: The neuroscience of happiness Daniel Freeman: How virtual reality is helping patients with phobias, anxiety disorders and more Anthony David: Why is there still such stigma around mental health? Pete Etchells: Are video games good for us? Sandro Galea: What is the difference between health and medicine? Helen Russell: What does it mean to be happy? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
01/03/2128m 51s

Inside the February issue with the BBC Science Focus team

In this episode of the Science Focus Podcast, we chat through the February 2021 issue of the magazine, which is on sale now. Managing editor Alice Lipscombe-Southwell opens the episode by telling us why it's so important artificial intelligence learns how to tell stories. Next up is editor Dan Bennett, who tells us about the world’s first airport for drones and flying cars, which is opening in Coventry, UK. Finally, commissioning editor Jason Goodyer tells about the latest developments in the study of dark matter. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Hannah Fry: How much of our lives is secretly underpinned by maths? Robert Elliott Smith: Are algorithms inherently biased? Bergur Finnbogason: Project Discovery and its search for exoplanets Ritu Raman: Can you build with biology? Robin Ince: Inside the mind of a comedian Finding the fun in science – Dara Ó Briain Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
21/02/2134m 46s

Mental health and your brain: What happens when it goes wrong

In the UK, one in four people experience a mental health problem each year. The reality of living with common problems like depression and anxiety is increasingly well-known. But how much do you actually know about what’s going on in your brain when your mental health suffers? Neuroscientist Dean Burnett, author of the new book Psycho-logical, tells us all about it on this episode of the Science Focus Podcast. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Dean Burnett: What’s going on in the teenage brain? The neuroscience of happiness – Dean Burnett Prof John Drury: The psychology of lockdowns How virtual reality is helping patients with phobias, anxiety disorders and more Elisa Raffaella Ferrè: What happens to the brain in space? Dr Guy Leschziner: What is your brain doing while you sleep? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
15/02/2149m 28s

Why rewilding success stories make us hopeful for the future

There are few places left on Earth that have been untouched by humans, and biodiversity is being lost at an unprecedented rate. Luckily, there are ambitious rewilding programmes around the world that aim to fix this by returning land to nature. In this week's episode of the Science Focus Podcast, we speak to Dr Andrea Perino, a scientist from the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research and an expert on rewilding. She tells us about the benefits of rewilding, whether it's acres of forest or just a tiny patch in your back garden. Read more about rewilding Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Mark Lynas: Could leaving nature to its own devices be the key to meeting the UK’s climate goals? Merlin Sheldrake: How have fungi shaped the world? Samantha Alger: What can we do to save the bees? Ross Barnett: Why should we be interested in prehistoric animals that aren’t dinosaurs? Sir David Attenborough: How can we save our planet? Brad Lister: Are we facing an insect apocalypse? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
08/02/2126m 53s

The psychology of the sea shanty: Why work songs are such earworms

2021 has got off to a strange start, with a surprising trend sweeping the internet: sea shanties. This ancient genre of music has exploded in popularity in recent weeks, thanks to people on social media singing them, sharing them and adding their own twists. In fact, they’ve become so popular that Bristol-based shanty band The Longest Johns have entered the top 40 in the UK singles chart. Naturally, we here at BBC Science Focus wanted to know what it was about sea shanties that makes them so catchy. So this week, we spoke to Professor Catherine Loveday of the University of Westminster. She’s a neuropsychologist who specialises in music. Read more about the science of sea shanties Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription of this episode [this will open in a new window] Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Could these gloves be the future of music? – Imogen Heap The neuroscience of happiness – Dean Burnett Dr Pete Etchells: Do video games encourage gambling behaviour? Why you can’t multitask (and why that’s a good thing) Phobias, paranoia and PTSD: Why virtual reality therapy is the frontier of mental health treatment How a scientist used viruses to save her husband’s life from a superbug Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
01/02/2122m 22s

Team talk: Beating pandemic burnout, the seasons of you and a daring giraffe rescue

In this episode of the Science Focus Podcast, we chat through the January 2021 issue of the magazine, which is on sale now. Editor Dan Bennett opens the episode by talking about new research that suggests that rather than following a pattern of spring, summer, autumn and winter, our bodies may have their own seasonal fluctuations that don’t match the calendar. Next up is managing editor Alice Lipscombe-Southwell, who tells us about how we can beat the pandemic burnout. Finally, commissioning editor Jason Goodyer tells the story of a daring rescue of endangered giraffes from an island where food is slowly running out. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription of this episode [this will open in a new window] Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: End of year roundup: The non-COVID science that brought us joy in 2020 Inside the December issue with the BBC Science Focus team The Science Focus team: What’s inside November’s issue? Why you can’t multitask (and why that’s a good thing) Prof John Drury: The psychology of lockdowns How a scientist used viruses to save her husband’s life from a superbug Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
25/01/2130m 36s

Why you can’t multitask (and why that’s a good thing)

Humans' ability to turn thoughts into actions has enabled us to change the world. But we've never been great at getting two things done at once. Understanding how our brain helps us achieve our goals through something called executive function, or cognitive control, can explain why we're so bad at multitasking. According to neuroscientist Prof David Badre, when we're armed with this knowledge we can begin to work together to become a better society. Badre's new book, On Task (£25, Princeton University Press) explains the mechanisms behind cognitive control. In this episode of the Science Focus Podcast we speak to Badre to find out more about how our brains work. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription of this episode [this will open in a new window] Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Dean Burnett: The neuroscience of happiness Daniel Freeman: How virtual reality is helping patients with phobias, anxiety disorders and more Anthony David: Why is there still such stigma around mental health? Pete Etchells: Are video games good for us? Sandro Galea: What is the difference between health and medicine? Helen Russell: What does it mean to be happy? Gordon Wallace: Is an implantable electronic device the future of medicine? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
18/01/2148m 0s

How virtual reality is helping patients with phobias, anxiety disorders and more

In the New Year issue, we cover the biggest ideas that you need to understand in 2021, and in the past few episodes of the podcast we’ve been talking to the experts who will explain these ideas in their own words. For the next in the series, we speak to Daniel Freeman, a Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Oxford. Daniel has been working with VR technology since 2001 and is a founder of Oxford VR, a University of Oxford spinout company. He tells us about using virtual reality to treat mental health problems. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription of this episode [this will open in a new window] Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Anthony David: Why is there still such stigma around mental health? Pete Etchells: Are video games good for us? Sandro Galea: What is the difference between health and medicine? Helen Russell: What does it mean to be happy? Gordon Wallace: Is an implantable electronic device the future of medicine? Dean Burnett: The neuroscience of happiness Dr Lucy Rogers: What makes a robot a robot? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
11/01/2137m 27s

How a scientist used viruses to save her husband’s life from a superbug

In this week's episode of the Science Focus Podcast, we're joined by AIDS researcher Professor Steffanie Strathdee. In 2015, Strathdee's husband was infected by superbug that was resistant to every antibiotic that the doctors could throw at it, but she was able to save his life with an experimental treatment made of viruses found in sewage. In the New Year issue of BBC Science Focus Magazine, we cover the biggest ideas that you need to understand in 2021. This episode is one of a series in which we talk to the experts who will explain these ideas in their own words. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Marcus Chown: Does the Big Bang really explain our Universe? Sonia Contera: How will nanotechnology revolutionise medicine? Professor Catharina Svanborg: Is the cure for cancer hiding in human breast milk? Brian Switek: How did bones evolve? Bill Bryson: What should we know about how our bodies work? Dr Monty Lyman: What does our skin tell us about ourselves? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
04/01/2147m 48s

Marcus Chown: Does the Big Bang really explain our Universe?

In the New Year issue of BBC Science Focus Magazine, we cover the biggest ideas that you need to understand in 2021. Over the next few episodes of the Science Focus Podcast, we’ll be talking to the experts who will explain these ideas in their own words. In this episode, we talk to science writer Marcus Chown, who tells us all about the major problems in our current understanding of cosmology. We discuss the Big Bang, dark matter, inflation, and what we still don't know about the formation of our Universe. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Katie Mack: How will the Universe end? Dr Douglas Vakoch: Should we try to contact aliens? Dr Jacob Bleacher: Why do we need to go back to the Moon? Elisa Raffaella Ferrè: What happens to the brain in space? Dr Erin Macdonald: Is there science in Star Trek? Kathryn D. Sullivan: What is it really like to walk in space? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
28/12/2049m 15s

End of year roundup: The non-COVID science that brought us joy in 2020

It’s been a long and strange year, and most of our attention has been focussed on the coronavirus. So, in this bonus episode of the Science Focus Podcast, the team talks about this year’s most interesting science that has nothing to do with COVID. We start off by talking about our favourite scientific developments of the year, and then we discuss the books and documentaries that we’ve loved. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Inside the December issue with the BBC Science Focus team The Science Focus team: What's inside November's issue? Dr Douglas Vakoch: Should we try to contact aliens? Dr Jacob Bleacher: Why do we need to go back to the Moon? Andy Weir: Building a base on the Moon, and crafting believable sci-fi Gretchen McCulloch: How has the internet affected how we communicate? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
24/12/2044m 49s

Prof John Drury: The psychology of lockdowns

In this week's episode of the Science Focus Podcast, we talk to Prof John Drury, a behavioural psychologist based at the University of Sussex who specialises in studying crowds and collective behaviour. The UK recently came out of the second COVID-19 lockdown, and went into a new three-tier system, with much of the country still in in the strictest tier. John tells us about why people respond to the restrictions differently, how to ensure people follow the rules, and what the long-term effects the lockdowns will have on our psychology. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Hugo Zeberg: How could Neanderthal genes affect COVID-19? Dr Rachel Brown: Why are some COVID-19 patients suffering from neurological complications? Project Discovery: Could computer games help find a cure for COVID-19? David Halpern: Nudge theory Dr Pete Etchells: Do video games encourage gambling behaviour? Dr Julia Shaw: Why do we do bad things? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
21/12/2028m 5s

Dr Pete Etchells: Do video games encourage gambling behaviour?

This week on the Science Focus Podcast, we're joined by Dr Pete Etchells, a professor of psychology with a particular interest how video games affect our mood and behaviour. Pete is also the author of the book Lost in a Good Game which explores why we love video games, and what they do for us. Today we’re talking about the relationship between gambling and video games: what we know and what don’t. We want you to help us with the research, so if you want to get involved in a real-life scientific study that could shape the conversation around gaming and gambling, stayed tuned and listen in for details at the end. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription [this will open in a new window] Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Pete Etchells: Are video games good for us? Project Discovery: Could computer games help find a cure for COVID-19? The neuroscience of happiness – Dean Burnett Dr Julia Shaw: Why do we do bad things? Anthony David: Why is there still such stigma around mental health? Brendan Walker: Where is the best place to sit on a rollercoaster? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
14/12/2043m 44s

Christmas Lectures 2020: How can we look after our planet?

Started by Michael Faraday in 1825, and now broadcast on national television, the Christmas lectures bring a science topic to our screens over three nights every year. The series of lectures has always been held within the Royal Institution in London, but this year, of course, is going to be slightly different. In this week's episode, editorial assistant Amy Barrett is joined today by three expert scientists, Tara Shine, Chris Jackson and Helen Czerski, who are going to be presenting the 2020 Christmas lectures, titled Planet Earth: A User's Guide. In lecture one, geologist Chris Jackson will reveal our Earth's climate story through the rocks and the fossil record. In lecture two, physicist and oceanographer Helen Czerski will talk about the part our oceans play in the climate crisis. And in lecture three, environmental scientist Tara Shine will talk about carbon emissions and what we're really breathing in. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription [this will open in a new window] Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Hannah Fry: How much of our lives is secretly underpinned by maths? Royal Institution Christmas Lectures past and present Sir David Attenborough: How can we save our planet? Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac: Has climate change determined our future? Everything you ever wanted to know about... the deep sea with Dr Jon Copley Mark Miodownik: Are biodegradable plastics really better than traditional plastic? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
07/12/2036m 11s

Inside the December issue with the BBC Science Focus team

In this episode of the Science Focus Podcast, we chat through the December 2020 issue of the magazine, which is on sale now. The issue is all about the search for extraterrestrial life, so managing editor Alice Lipscombe-Southwell starts us off by telling us about the most promising places in our Solar System to search for alien life. Commissioning editor Jason Goodyer tells us about a new drug delivery system that draws inspiration from parasitic hookworms, and then editorial assistant Amy Barrett brings us back around to ET by discussing why we want to believe in aliens. We close the podcast with details of our exciting new competition, judged by comedian and author Dara Ó Briain. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: The Science Focus team: What's inside November's issue? Finding the fun in science – Dara Ó Briain Dr Douglas Vakoch: Should we try to contact aliens? Bergur Finnbogason: Project Discovery and its search for exoplanets Ritu Raman: Can you build with biology? Robin Ince: Inside the mind of a comedian Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
30/11/2034m 48s

Genes and heredity - Everything you ever wanted to know about... the biology of life with Sir Paul Nurse

For this instalment in the Everything you ever wanted to know about... series, we’ve sourced questions from Google, our listeners and the Science Focus team to put to experts and help you understand key ideas in science, in short episodes. This week, we're joined by geneticist Sir Paul Nurse, the Director of the Francis Crick Institute in London and one of the recipients of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, which he shared with Leland Hartwell and Timothy Hunt. Paul has recently published a book that helps readers understand biology, called What is Life? (£9.99, David Fickling Books). He shared some of the concepts from the books with us over two quick-fire episodes. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
25/11/2023m 39s

Cells - Everything you ever wanted to know about... the biology of life with Sir Paul Nurse

For this instalment in the Everything you ever wanted to know about... series, we’ve sourced questions from Google, our listeners and the Science Focus team to put to experts and help you understand key ideas in science, in short episodes. This week, we're joined by geneticist Sir Paul Nurse, the Director of the Francis Crick Institute in London and one of the recipients of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, which he shared with Leland Hartwell and Timothy Hunt. Paul has recently published a book that helps readers understand biology, called What is Life? (£9.99, David Fickling Books). He shared some of the concepts from the books with us over two quick-fire episodes. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
23/11/2024m 41s

Dr Douglas Vakoch: Should we try to contact aliens?

In this week’s episode, I’m talking to Dr Douglas Vakoch, President of Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or METI. We talk about whether we should be broadcasting messages into space to signal our existence to intelligent alien species. We also discuss how we could create a message that an unknown species of alien could understand. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription [this will open in a new window] Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Dr Erin Macdonald: Is there science in Star Trek? Bergur Finnbogason: Project Discovery and its search for exoplanets What if the Earth’s magnetic field died? – Jim Al-Khalili Building a base on the Moon, and crafting believable sci-fi – Andy Weir Dr Becky Smethurst: How do you actually find a black hole? Kathryn D. Sullivan: What is it really like to walk in space? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
16/11/2030m 27s

Exploring the deep sea - Everything you ever wanted to know about... the deep sea with Dr Jon Copley

Our guest this week is Dr Jon Copley. Jon is a marine biologist, specialising in the deep sea. He went on the first mini sub dive to the world’s deepest hydrothermal vents, 5km down on the ocean floor, and also took part in the firs minisub dives to 1km deep in the Antarctic. Jon is also a science communicator and writer, who worked as a science advisor on the iconic BBC series Blue Planet II. He is also an associate professor of ocean exploration and public engagement at the University of Southampton. In 2019, he also published fantastic book called Ask an Ocean Explorer which tells you all about the ocean in 25 questions. Over three quick-fire episodes, Jon tells BBC Science Focus managing editor Alice Limpscombe-Southwell about the bizarre life found on the ocean floor, the habitats where they thrive, and what it's like to explore the deep sea in a submarine. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/11/2029m 38s

Deep sea habitats - Everything you ever wanted to know about... the deep sea with Dr Jon Copley

Our guest this week is Dr Jon Copley. Jon is a marine biologist, specialising in the deep sea. He went on the first mini sub dive to the world’s deepest hydrothermal vents, 5km down on the ocean floor, and also took part in the firs minisub dives to 1km deep in the Antarctic. Jon is also a science communicator and writer, who worked as a science advisor on the iconic BBC series Blue Planet II. He is also an associate professor of ocean exploration and public engagement at the University of Southampton. In 2019, he also published fantastic book called Ask an Ocean Explorer which tells you all about the ocean in 25 questions. Over three quick-fire episodes, Jon tells BBC Science Focus managing editor Alice Limpscombe-Southwell about the bizarre life found on the ocean floor, the habitats where they thrive, and what it's like to explore the deep sea in a submarine. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
11/11/2035m 34s

Deep sea creatures - Everything you ever wanted to know about... the deep sea with Dr Jon Copley

Our guest this week is Dr Jon Copley. Jon is a marine biologist, specialising in the deep sea. He went on the first mini sub dive to the world’s deepest hydrothermal vents, 5km down on the ocean floor, and also took part in the firs minisub dives to 1km deep in the Antarctic. Jon is also a science communicator and writer, who worked as a science advisor on the iconic BBC series Blue Planet II. He is also an associate professor of ocean exploration and public engagement at the University of Southampton. In 2019, he also published fantastic book called Ask an Ocean Explorer which tells you all about the ocean in 25 questions. Over three quick-fire episodes, Jon tells BBC Science Focus managing editor Alice Limpscombe-Southwell about the bizarre life found on the ocean floor, the habitats where they thrive, and what it's like to explore the deep sea in a submarine. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
09/11/2041m 54s

The Science Focus team: What's inside November's issue?

In this episode of the Science Focus Podcast we chat through the November 2020 issue of the magazine, which is on sale now. Editor Dan Bennett explains why, this month, we’re focusing on food myths. Scientist and writer Professor Tim Spector penned our cover feature to reveal the fact and the fiction surrounding diet and nutrition, and some of his research may have results that surprise you. Talking about the amazing variety of our ocean’s other-worldly sea slugs is managing editor Alice Lipscombe-Southwell. These small marine animals might sport cute faces and bright colours, but they’re armed with an array of deadly defences too. Commissioning editor Jason Goodyer digs into our piece about algorithms, which asks, what went wrong with the A Level results algorithm? And online assistant Sara Rigby scrutinises the stats around plug-in hybrid cars to find out if they’re as eco-friendly as marketed. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Matt Parker, Helen Arney and Steve Mould: What links coffee, snowflakes and frogs? Andrew Hunter Murray and Dan Schreiber: Is there really no such thing as a fish? Matt Parker: What happens when maths goes horribly, horribly wrong? Helen Russell: What does it mean to be happy? Robin Ince: What's inside the mind of a comedian? Dara Ó Briain: Can you find the fun in science? Ryan North: How do you invent everything? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
02/11/2046m 15s

Prof Linda Scott: Why is there still economic inequality between men and women?

In this week’s episode of the Science Focus Podcast, we talk to Professor Linda Scott, an expert in women’s economic development and Emeritus DP World Chair for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Oxford. Her book, The Double X Economy, has been shortlisted for the Royal Society Science Book Prize 2020. In it, she argues that when we economically empower women, we all succeed. Linda tells us about her work in women's economics, why the number of women joining the workforce is slowing down, and her idea for an '80 per cent Christmas' to close the gender pay gap. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription [this will open in a new window] Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Caroline Criado Perez: Does data discriminate against women? Pragya Agarwal: When does bias become prejudice? Why aren't there more women in science? Angela Saini: Is racism creeping into science? Robert Elliott Smith: Are algorithms inherently biased? Matt Parker: What happens when maths goes horribly, horribly wrong? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
26/10/2043m 32s

Everything you ever wanted to know about… cancer with Dr Kat Arney

In this week's episode of the Science Focus Podcast, we talk to Dr Kat Arney about cancer.  Kat is a science writer and broadcaster, and founder of the science communication consultancy First Create The Media. Her book, Rebel Cell is out now. She reveals how tissue becomes a tumour, how cells migrate to help cancer spread, and what scientists are doing right now to better understand the disease. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription [this will open in a new window] Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Matt Parker, Helen Arney and Steve Mould: What links coffee, snowflakes and frogs? Professor Catharina Svanborg: Is the cure for cancer hiding in human breast milk? Is gene editing inspiring or terrifying? – Nessa Carey Can we slow down the ageing process? – Sue Armstrong Eating for your genes – Giles Yeo How to get a good night’s sleep – Alice Gregory Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
19/10/2044m 47s

Hugo Zeberg: How could Neanderthal genes affect COVID-19?

In this week's episode of the Science Focus Podcast, we talk to Hugo Zeberg, a geneticist working at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.  Hugo has just published a paper that suggests those of us with a certain set of genes inherited from Neanderthals may suffer from more severe effects of COVID-19. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription [this will open in a new window] This podcast was supported by brilliant.org, helping people build quantitative skills in maths, science, and computer science with fun and challenging interactive explorations. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Dr Rachel Brown: Why are some COVID-19 patients suffering from neurological complications? Project Discovery: Could computer games help find a cure for COVID-19? Elisa Raffaella Ferrè: What happens to the brain in space? Sandro Galea: What is the difference between health and medicine? Nessa Carey: Is gene editing inspiring or terrifying? Dean Burnett: What’s going on in the teenage brain? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
12/10/2015m 51s

Matt Parker, Helen Arney and Steve Mould: What links coffee, snowflakes and frogs?

Today‘s podcast episode is a special one, with not one, not two, but three fantastic guests. We’ve teamed up with the three spoken nerds – Matt Parker, Steve Mould and Helen Arney – to bring you an episode of unnecessary details all about… ice. Steve explains how instant coffee is made, Matt gets irate about eight-pointed 'snowfakes' and Helen talks cryonic freezing. To hear more from the three spoken nerds, check out their new Podcast Of Unnecessary Detail. The song was “You And Me And Walt Disney”, produced by Helen Arney and Olly the Octopus and you can download it for free along with all the songs from Unnecessary Detail podcasts at helenarney.bandcamp.com Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription [this will open in a new window] This podcast was supported by brilliant.org, helping people build quantitative skills in maths, science, and computer science with fun and challenging interactive explorations. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Andrew Hunter Murray and Dan Schreiber: Is there really no such thing as a fish? Matt Parker: What happens when maths goes horribly, horribly wrong? Helen Russell: What does it mean to be happy? ? Robin Ince: What's inside the mind of a comedian? Dara Ó Briain: Can you Finding the fun in science? Ryan North: How do you invent everything? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/10/2054m 14s

Merlin Sheldrake: How have fungi shaped the world?

The fungal kingdom is vast, and yet much of it remains unknown to us – it’s estimated that only about 6 per cent of all fungal species have, so far, been described. But if fungi are all around us, why do we only know the names of a few? We might use yeast in baking, mushrooms in our cooking, or have been treated with penicillin, but biologist Merlin Sheldrake says there is much more wonder to be found in understanding our fungal friends better. His new book, Entangled Life, reveals the complexity of the fungal world. In it, he describes the fungal networks that connect trees and plants in something called the Wood Wide Web, and explains how fungi were crucial to the creation of the world we see around us today. We spoke to Merlin about this strange and wondrous lifeform. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription [this will open in a new window] This podcast was supported by brilliant.org, helping people build quantitative skills in maths, science, and computer science with fun and challenging interactive explorations. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: The Urban Birder: What wildlife can city-dwellers see? Samantha Alger: What can we do to save the bees? Mark Miodownik: Are biodegradable plastics really better than traditional plastic? Neil Shubin: How do big changes in evolution happen? Mark Lynas: Could leaving nature to its own devices be the key to meeting the UK’s climate goals? Brad Lister: Are we facing an insect apocalypse? Neil Gemmell: The genetic hunt for the Loch Ness Monster Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
28/09/2040m 45s

Sue Black: What stories do our skeletons tell?

In today’s episode, we’re chatting to Professor Sue Black, an anatomist and forensic anthropologist. You might’ve seen characters doing her job on television, in shows like NCIS or Silent Witness – although, they’re not quite an accurate portrayal, as you’ll find out. Over the course of her career, Sue has worked with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the United Nations, helping to identify victims and perpetrators from only sections of their bodies – perhaps a finger found in a bin bag, or the back of an assaulter’s hand caught on film. Her work has taken her to places such as Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Iraq. She talks to us about how science helps her piece together fragmented parts of a human jigsaw. This episode contains some graphic content, including descriptions of criminal acts and dissection, that some listeners might find upsetting. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription [this will open in a new window] This podcast was supported by brilliant.org, helping people build quantitative skills in maths, science, and computer science with fun and challenging interactive explorations. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Brian Switek: How did bones evolve? Mark O'Connell: Transhumanism: using technology to live forever Bill Bryson: What should we know about how our bodies work? Nathan Lents: Everything that's wrong with the human body Ritu Raman: Can you build with biology? Aleks Krotoski: What happens to your data when you die? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
21/09/2047m 17s

Professor Trevor Cox: Was Stonehenge an ancient acoustic chamber?

For decades, Stonehenge, the mysterious prehistoric circle of stones built on the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, has left scientists scratching their heads. Who exactly built it and what was it used for? In the latest attempt to get to the bottom of this mystery, a team of engineers based at the University of Salford have 3D-printed a scale model of the ancient monument in order to investigate the effect its unique structure would’ve had on conversations, rituals, and even music. We spoke to Professor Trevor Cox, the acoustic engineer heading up the study, to find out more. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription [this will open in a new window] This podcast was supported by brilliant.org, helping people build quantitative skills in maths, science, and computer science with fun and challenging interactive explorations. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Trevor Cox: To become Prime Minister, change your voice Natalie Starkey: What asteroids can tell us about our Solar System Mike Garrett: Is there anybody out there? Colin Stuart: The most mysterious objects in the Universe Dr Lucy Rogers: What makes a robot a robot? Pete Etchells: Are video games good for us? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
14/09/2031m 56s

Dr Julia Shaw: Why do we do bad things?

Everyone does bad things. We know deep down are wrong, but we do them anyway. Sometimes, people do things so bad that we call them evil. Criminal psychologist Dr Julia Shaw says there’s no such thing as evil. In her book Making Evil, she argues that we should ditch the idea altogether, and try to understand so-called “evil” people. In this week’s episode of the Science Focus Podcast, she talks about psychopaths, mental illness and why we do bad things. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription [this will open in a new window] This podcast was supported by brilliant.org, helping people build quantitative skills in maths, science, and computer science with fun and challenging interactive explorations. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Jack Lewis: Sin and why we do the things we shouldn't ASMR science: are 'brain tingles' more than just a feeling? Jesse Bering: What can psychology tell us about suicide? Pete Etchells: Are video games good for us? Helen Russell: What does it mean to be happy? Gary Barker: What does it mean to be a man? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
07/09/2045m 33s

James Hamblin: Should we all stop showering?

We know how important good hygiene is. It protects us from viral infections and diseases, but what if, by washing, soaping and scrubbing, we’re actually damaging our health? Dr James Hamblin, journalist and professor of public health, stopped showering five years ago. In his new book, Clean (£16.99, Bodley Head), he reveals how our skin is affected by the products we apply. The overuse of soap and cosmetic products – sold to us with the promise of caring for our skin – might even be causing some of the ailments we’re using them to try to treat. It hasn’t always been this way. Historically, humans have gone from seeing bathing as something vaguely sinful and reserved for the wealthy, to a daily necessity that, if neglected, is a huge social blunder. According to James, it’s time for a whole new perspective on cleaning. One that starts with a personal reflection of our relationship with our body. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription [this will open in a new window] This podcast was supported by brilliant.org, helping people build quantitative skills in maths, science, and computer science with fun and challenging interactive explorations. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Dr Monty Lyman: What does our skin tell us about ourselves? Phillippa Diedrichs: Is body positivity the answer to body image issues? Dean Burnett: The neuroscience of happiness Pete Etchells: Are video games good for us? Sue Armstrong: Can we slow down the ageing process? Helen Russell: What does it mean to be happy? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
31/08/2038m 49s

Katie Mack: How will the Universe end?

The end of the Universe may be a common feature in science fiction, but this one isn’t a crisis that can be averted by a team of superheroes. The Universe really will come to an end one way or another, and we have an idea how – five ideas, actually. In this week’s episode of the Science Focus Podcast, astrophysicist Dr Katie Mack talks to us about the future of the cosmos. She dives into these five possible apocalypses, from the Universe gradually fading out to the ‘quantum bubble of death’. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription [this will open in a new window] This podcast was supported by brilliant.org, helping people build quantitative skills in maths, science, and computer science with fun and challenging interactive explorations. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Dr Jacob Bleacher: Why do we need to go back to the Moon? Colin Stuart: The most mysterious objects in the Universe Professor Fay Dowker: What is the problem of quantum gravity? Dr Erin Macdonald: Is there science in Star Trek? Dr Becky Smethurst: How do you actually find a black hole? Mark McCaughrean: How do you launch a successful space mission? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
24/08/2042m 45s

Rana el Kaliouby: What if computers could read our emotions?

For many, the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions has isolated us from the people we love, reducing our social life to screens and Zoom meetings. But even with the added visual, communicating online still isn’t as straightforward as being in-person. It can feel like jokes fall flat when everyone has their microphone off, and the jittering of poor signal can make anyone’s face hard to read. But what if our computers could read and respond to our emotions? If the engagement of a virtual meeting could be shown on-screen to generate a buzz like the one of a live audience? That’s just one possibility of a future with emotionally intelligent machines. Researcher and CEO Rana el Kaliouby believes that by teaching computers to read facial expressions, they could detect early signs of Parkinson’s, prevent drivers from getting behind the wheel when tired, or help teachers design educational programmes that keep kids engaged. Rana speaks to us about making machines empathetic, being named by Forbes as one of America's top 50 women in tech, and how her research into human emotions has affected her personal life. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription This podcast was supported by brilliant.org, helping people build quantitative skills in maths, science, and computer science with fun and challenging interactive explorations. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Jim Al-Khalili: Why AI is not the enemy Lisa Feldman Barrett: How emotions are made Aleks Krotoski: What happens to your data when you die? Jim Davies: How do you use your imagination? Caroline Criado Perez: Does data discriminate against women? Robert Elliott Smith: Are algorithms inherently biased? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
17/08/2037m 33s

Dr Rachel Brown: Why are some COVID-19 patients suffering from neurological complications?

A recent study carried out at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, UCLH, on confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients has found neurological complications of the virus can, in some rare cases include delirium, brain inflammation, stroke and nerve damage. We spoke to Dr Rachel Brown, an MRC Clinical Research Training Fellow involved with the study to find out more. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read an edited version of the interview below This podcast was supported by brilliant.org, helping people build quantitative skills in maths, science, and computer science with fun and challenging interactive explorations. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Project Discovery: Could computer games help find a cure for COVID-19? Elisa Raffaella Ferrè: What happens to the brain in space? Sandro Galea: What is the difference between health and medicine? Nessa Carey: Is gene editing inspiring or terrifying? Dean Burnett: What’s going on in the teenage brain? Bill Bryson: What should we know about how our bodies work? COVID-19 could cause delirium, brain inflammation and stroke A study carried out on a small number of confirmed or suspected Covid-19 patients at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery has linked the coronavirus to a number of neurological conditions. Can you tell us about your research? COVID-19 is still predominantly a respiratory illness, but in a small subset of patients we’ve been seeing neurological symptoms and syndromes. Some of the early studies from Wuhan showed that around a third of patients were having neurological symptoms. In those early descriptions a lot of the symptoms that people were describing included things like headache and dizziness, loss of smell and things that could just really be attributed to viral illness. As we gained more experience, we noticed other cases appearing that looked a little bit different. We have information from... Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
10/08/2027m 2s

The Urban Birder: What wildlife can city-dwellers see?

Many of us have found solace in nature over the last few months, relishing our time outdoors, especially when it was limited to one form of exercise a day. A recent report by the RSPB found that people see access to nature as being important for health and wellbeing during and in recovery from the coronavirus crisis. One man who has always been connected to the natural world is David Lindo. Known by most as the Urban Birder, David is a champion for the wellbeing benefits of wildlife, encouraging us all to get outside and see what we can find, be it in the garden, the city, or the countryside. In this week’s episode of the Science Focus Podcast, David tells us about the human benefits of biodiversity, the need for conservation education, and diversity within the birding community. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription [this will open in a new window] This podcast was supported by brilliant.org, helping people build quantitative skills in maths, science, and computer science with fun and challenging interactive explorations. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Samantha Alger: What can we do to save the bees? Mark Miodownik: Are biodegradable plastics really better than traditional plastic? Neil Shubin: How do big changes in evolution happen? Mark Lynas: Could leaving nature to its own devices be the key to meeting the UK’s climate goals? Andrew Hunter Murray and Dan Schreiber: Is there really no such thing as a fish? Brad Lister: Are we facing an insect apocalypse? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
03/08/2048m 32s

Dr Michael Mosley: Why is sleep so important?

If, like us, you love to read a good science book, (and thanks to this podcast we’ve read a fair few over the years), you’ll probably recognise the feeling of having more questions about its subject at the end of the book than before you even turned page one. It’s because of this that we decided to launch the Science Focus Book Club, where we pick out what we think is an excellent, thought provoking science book and ask your questions to its author. You can sign up for the newsletter to find out which book is coming up next, but to give you a taster, in May, our legion of science book fans read Fast Asleep, by Science Focus columnist and BBC presenter Dr Michael Mosley. In this week’s podcast we’ve selected a few of our favourite Q&As where he explains everything you need to know about sleep; from what it is, why we need it and how to get more of it. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription [this will open in a new window] This podcast was supported by brilliant.org, helping people build quantitative skills in maths, science, and computer science with fun and challenging interactive explorations. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Dr Guy Leschziner: What is your brain doing while you sleep? Alice Gregory: How to get a good night's sleep Brian Sharpless: Exploding Head Syndrome Dean Burnett: The neuroscience of happiness John Lennox: Is religion compatible with science? Emma WhispersRed: Why ASMR gives you tingles Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
27/07/2036m 12s

Ritu Raman: Can you build with biology?

If I asked you to build a robot, the first materials you would probably reach for would be some metal bits and plastic bobs. However, mechanical engineer Ritu Raman designs machines made with biological material, and has created all manner of wonderful machines, including a walking robot made with muscle tissue. In this week’s episode of the Science Focus Podcast, she tells us about how to integrate biology into engineering and what these remarkable devices can do that traditional machines can’t. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription [this will open in a new window] This podcast was supported by brilliant.org, helping people build quantitative skills in maths, science, and computer science with fun and challenging interactive explorations. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Sonia Contera: How will nanotechnology revolutionise medicine? Sandro Galea: What is the difference between health and medicine? Gordon Wallace: Is an implantable electronic device the future of medicine? Professor Catharina Svanborg: Is the cure for cancer hiding in human breast milk? Nessa Carey: Is gene editing inspiring or terrifying? Dr Lucy Rogers: What makes a robot a robot? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
20/07/2031m 1s

Project Discovery: Could computer games help find a cure for COVID-19?

In a previous episode of the Science Focus Podcast, we discovered how a team of scientists harnessed the combined power of hundreds of thousands of players of the massively multiplayer online game Eve Online to help in the search for exoplanets. Now, the next phase of this programme, called Project Discovery, is turning its sights from the stars to the coronavirus pandemic. This week we speak to scientists Ryan Brinkman and Jerome Waldispuhl, and Project Discovery’s creator Atilla Szantner about why they intend to turn gamers into citizen scientists to help find a cure for COVID-19. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription This podcast was supported by brilliant.org, helping people build quantitative skills in maths, science, and computer science with fun and challenging interactive explorations. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Sonia Contera: How will nanotechnology revolutionise medicine? Chris Lintott: Can members of the public do real science? Dr Erin Macdonald: Is there science in Star Trek? Jim Al-Khalili: Why should we care about science and scientists? Dr Tilly Blyth: How has art influenced science? John Higgs: Are Generation Z our only hope for the future? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/07/2046m 8s

Dr Jacob Bleacher: Why do we need to go back to the Moon?

In 1969, Apollo astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people ever to walk on the Moon, a feat over the next three and a half years only 10 other space explorers would go on to achieve. Now it has taken nearly 50 years, but NASA once again has ambitions to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024. The Artemis Program is a wide-reaching effort by numerous space agencies and led by NASA, with ambitions to not only put human feet on the lunar surface but to build a permanent base there, with a lunar space station in orbit around the Moon. To find out more, this week we speak to Dr Jacob Bleacher, Chief Exploration Scientist for human exploration at NASA, about how we are going to get there, what effect deep space will have on the astronauts, and why now is the time to go back to the Moon. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription This podcast was supported by brilliant.org, helping people build quantitative skills in maths, science, and computer science with fun and challenging interactive explorations. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Elisa Raffaella Ferrè: What happens to the brain in space? Everything You Wanted To Know About… Physics with Jim Al-Khalili Dr Erin Macdonald: Is there science in Star Trek? Kevin Fong: What happened to Apollo... Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/07/2035m 25s

Subhadra Das: What part has science played in racism?

Not so long ago, English scientists believed that they could study differences between people and that certain ethnicities were ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than others – of course, white Europeans were put at the top of any list. In the 19th Century, anthropologist and statistician Francis Galton took this even further when he coined the term ‘eugenics’, the idea that science could better the human race by promoting the spread of certain genes, deemed ‘good’, and by halting the distribution of those deemed bad. While these Victorian ideas have since been refuted and discarded by the scientific community, there are those in society that turn to race science in an attempt to justify their bigotry and racism. Subhadra Das has spent the last eight years as a museum curator for the science collections at University College London, specialising in the history of scientific racism and the history of eugenics. She tells us how Francis Galton’s idea spread through Victorian society, and why it’s important to understand science’s racist history in order for us to move forward. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription [this will open in a new window] This podcast was supported by brilliant.org, helping people build quantitative skills in maths, science, and computer science with fun and challenging interactive explorations. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Adam Rutherford: Can science ever be rid of racism? Pragya Agarwal: When does bias become prejudice? Robert Elliott Smith: Are algorithms inherently biased? Caroline Criado Perez: Does data discriminate against women? Angela Saini: Is racism creeping into science? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
29/06/2033m 29s

Brendan Walker: Where is the best place to sit on a rollercoaster?

Brendan Walker originally trained and worked as an aeronautical engineer, but now has a far more thrilling job title, quite literally - he’s a thrill engineer. He’s been working with theme parks to help create the most exciting rollercoasters, using design principles to craft extreme, human emotional experiences to the rides. He tells us why people have a love/hate relationship with rollercoasters, the fine line between fun and fear, how to get your thrills in lockdown and most importantly, where the best place to sit on a rollercoaster might be. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full transcription This podcast was supported by brilliant.org, helping people build quantitative skills in maths, science, and computer science with fun and challenging interactive explorations. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Elisa Raffaella Ferrè: What happens to the brain in space? Jim Davies: How do you use your imagination? Dr Erin Macdonald: Is there science in Star Trek? Matt Parker: What happens when maths goes horribly, horribly wrong? Kathryn D. Sullivan: What is it really like to walk in space? Sir David Spiegelhalter: There's no such thing as Blue Monday Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
22/06/2049m 21s

Leonard Mlodinow: How did Stephen Hawking make science accessible?

Two years to the day the great physicist Professor Stephen Hawking was interred at Westminster Abbey, and at the time of his death, we spoke to one of the people that knew him best, Leonard Mlodinow. Leonard is an American theoretical physicist who worked with Stephen on the books The Grand Design and A Briefer History of Time, and his own book chronicling their time together, Stephen Hawking: A Memoir of Friendship and Physics (£20, Allen Lane), will be released in September this year. In this republished interview he speaks with BBC Science Focus editor Daniel Bennett about writing together, his qualities, and what they did when they weren’t talking physics. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast This podcast was supported by brilliant.org, helping people build quantitative skills in maths, science, and computer science with fun and challenging interactive explorations Read more about Professor Stephen Hawking: Can you solve these deviously difficult Stephen Hawking-inspired questions? Stephen Hawking (1942-2018): the theoretical physicist's life in pictures Twitter Tributes to Professor Stephen Hawking Remembering Professor Stephen Hawking   Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
15/06/2028m 27s

Pragya Agarwal: When does bias become prejudice?

No matter how open-minded we consider ourselves to be, all of us hold biases towards other people. Dr Pragya Agarwal is a behavioural and data scientist, ex-academic, and a freelance writer and journalist, who runs a research gender equality think tank The 50 Percent Project. Her new book, Sway: Unravelling Unconscious Bias (£16.99, Bloomsbury Sigma), unravels the way our implicit or 'unintentional' biases affect the way we communicate and perceive the world, and how they affect our decision-making, even in life and death situations. In this week’s podcast, she explains where these biases come from and why it’s important for us to recognise and unlearn them to help make the world a better, fairer place. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Why you should subscribe to BBC Science Focus Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Adam Rutherford: Can science ever be rid of racism? Angela Saini: Is racism creeping into science? Robert Elliott Smith: Are algorithms inherently biased? Caroline Criado Perez: Does data discriminate against women? Marcel Danesi: Why do we want to believe lies? Camilla Pang: How can science guide my life? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
08/06/2043m 38s

Anthony David: Why is there still such stigma around mental health?

Mental health has become a hot topic in recent years, with campaigns asking us to be kind on social media and to reach out to friends who are struggling. It seems now more than ever, we have a better understanding of what it means when someone is struggling with their mental health, but despite this, some people feel that the stigma surrounding it stops them from getting the help they need. Professor Anthony David is a neuropsychiatrist at University College London, whose book Into the Abyss (£14.99, Oneworld) tells the stories of patients he has treated and what their cases have taught him. He speaks to our editorial assistant Amy Barrett about why this stigma exists and whether it’s getting any better. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Why you should subscribe to BBC Science Focus Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Sandro Galea: What is the difference between health and medicine? Camilla Pang: How can science guide my life? Jesse Bering: What can psychology tell us about suicide? Caroline Criado Perez: Does data discriminate against women? Adam Rutherford: Can science ever be rid of racism? Phillippa Diedrichs: Is body positivity the answer to body image issues? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
01/06/2039m 26s

Luck, the paranormal and the Moon landings - Everything you ever wanted to know about…. illusions, magic and the paranormal

Our guest Prof Richard Wiseman is a spectacularly creative scientist who started off his career as a magician before becoming a psychologist. Over the last few decades, Richard has studied the art of deception, parapsychology and the concept of good luck alongside many other aspects of the human mind. Richard has a hugely popular YouTube channel called Quirkology, with a mere 2.15m subscribers and has written a book called Shoot For The Moon (£20, Quercus), which takes a closer look at the psychology that achieved the Moon landings. Over two quickfire, 30-minute episodes, Richard tells BBC Science Focus magazine editor Daniel Bennett how to make himself luckier, whether magicians make the best psychologists and why the stories we tell ourselves matter. And if you enjoyed this episode and want to learn more, check out any of Richard’s books at richardwiseman.wordpress.com or follow him on Twitter @RichardWiseman. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
28/05/2030m 24s

Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac: Has climate change determined our future?

Christiana Figueres is the former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and it was her work that led to its members signing the 2015 Paris agreement. Together with Tom Rivett-Carnac, she created Global Optimism, an organization focused on bringing about environmental and social change. Their book, The Future We Choose (£12.99, Bonnier), reveals that we are on the precipice of two futures: one where net-zero emissions is achieved, and one where it is not, and this week they’re talking to our editorial assistant Amy Barrett about the Paris Climate Agreement, why we need to reduce carbon emissions, and how we all have a role to play in combating climate change. Read the edited interview –"We stand at the fulcrum between two worlds. It really is a question of choosing what future we wan"t Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Why you should subscribe to BBC Science Focus Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Toby Ord: What are the odds civilisation will survive the century? Mark Miodownik: Are biodegradable plastics really better than traditional plastic? Samantha Alger: What can we do to save the bees? Chris Lintott: Can members of the public do real science? John Higgs: Are Generation Z our only hope for the future? Andrew Blum: How accurately can we predict the weather? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
26/05/2045m 28s

Illusions and Magic - Everything you ever wanted to know about... illusions, magic and the paranormal, episode 1

Our guest Prof Richard Wiseman is a spectacularly creative scientist who started off his career as a magician before becoming a psychologist. Over the last few decades, Richard has studied the art of deception, parapsychology and the concept of good luck alongside many other aspects of the human mind. Richard has a hugely popular YouTube channel called Quirkology, with a mere 2.15m subscribers and has written a book called Shoot For The Moon (£20, Quercus), which takes a closer look at the psychology that achieved the Moon landings. Over two quickfire, 30-minute episodes, Richard tells BBC Science Focus magazine editor Daniel Bennett how to make himself luckier, whether magicians make the best psychologists and why the stories we tell ourselves matter. And if you enjoyed this episode and want to learn more, check out any of Richard’s books at richardwiseman.wordpress.com or follow him on Twitter @RichardWiseman. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
21/05/2026m 51s

Elisa Raffaella Ferrè: What happens to the brain in space?

Here on Earth, we take the force of gravity for granted. For years, researchers have neglected to study its influence because of this very reason, but with commercial spaceflight on the horizon, researchers are now racing to discover what living off-Earth might do to our bodies and our brains. In this week’s episode, we hear from psychologist Dr Elisa Raffaella Ferrè. She explains how her studies are revealing the impact of gravity on our cognition through her experiments in a zero-g environment aboard the so-called ‘Vomit Comet’– the aircraft used to train astronauts for the weightlessness in space. Read the edited interview - This is your brain on space: how gravity influences your mental abilities Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Why you should subscribe to BBC Science Focus Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Dr Erin Macdonald: Is there science in Star Trek? Kathryn D. Sullivan: What is it really like to walk in space? Dean Burnett: What’s going on in the teenage brain? Lisa Feldman Barrett: How emotions are made Bill Bryson: What should we know about how our bodies work? Richard Wiseman: The mindset behind the Moon landing Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
18/05/2034m 32s

Sonia Contera: How will nanotechnology revolutionise medicine?

This week we talk to one of the world’s leading pioneers in the field of nanotechnology, Sonia Contera. Nanotechnology is the application of science at a truly nano scale. To put that in perspective, if a nanometre were the size of a cup of tea, a meter would cover the diameter of the whole Earth. Being able to control the world at such an intricate level has the potential to revolutionise medicine - enabling us to target cancer cells, deliver drugs and fight antibiotic resistance – but how do we create technology to that size? Sonia talks to our editorial assistant Amy Barret about how her work in nanotechnology began, building proteins unknown to nature, and why going nano is nothing like in the movies. Her book Nano Comes To Life (£22, Princeton University Press), is out now. Read the full transcription [this will open in a new window] Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Sandro Galea: What is the difference between health and medicine? Jim Al-Khalili: Why should we care about science and scientists? Gordon Wallace: Is an implantable electronic device the future of medicine? Professor Catharina Svanborg: Is the cure for cancer hiding in human breast milk? Nessa Carey: Is gene editing inspiring or terrifying? Dr Lucy Rogers: What makes a robot a robot? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
11/05/2038m 53s

Neil Shubin: How do big changes in evolution happen?

The first time a fish crawled out of the water and onto land, it was a turning point that led to brand new kinds of life. But this couldn’t happen on its own: that fish would have needed both lungs and legs. Neil Shubin, evolutionary biologist and author of Some Assembly Required (£18.99, Oneworld), says that fish didn’t evolve these traits to help them live on land. In fact, the reason they could live on land was that they repurposed the body parts they had already. The same remarkable changes have happened all through evolutionary history, from the first vertebrate life to the first flying dinosaurs. He speaks to our Online assistant Sara Rigby. Read the full transcription [this will open in a new window] Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Ross Barnett: Why should we be interested in prehistoric animals that aren’t dinosaurs? Brian Switek: How did bones evolve? Steve Brusatte: The truth about dinosaurs Neil Gemmell: The genetic hunt for the Loch Ness Monster James Lovelock: What can the father of Gaia theory tell us about our future? Andrew Hunter Murray and Dan Schreiber: Is there really no such thing as a fish? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
04/05/2038m 19s

Your questions – Everything You Wanted To Know About…Physics, episode six

Prof Jim Al-Khalili answers listeners’ questions about physics, the Universe and everything else. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
29/04/2035m 14s

Mysteries in physics – Everything You Wanted To Know About…Physics, episode five

Prof Jim Al-Khalili reveals some of the biggest unsolved mysteries. We talk about the plausibility of time travel, whether there are multiple universes and what we need to discover a ‘theory of everything’. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
28/04/2032m 41s

Energy – Everything You Wanted To Know About…Physics, episode four

Prof Jim Al-Khalili tackles thermodynamics – the study of energy. Together, we unravel the idea of entropy, talk about the direction of time and muse upon the inevitable heat death of the Universe. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
27/04/2029m 53s

Quantum physics – Everything You Wanted To Know About…Physics, episode three

Prof Jim Al-Khalili demystifies the strange world of quantum physics. We discuss the key experiments, how quantum effects play out in the real world and, of course, Schrödinger's infamous cat. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
26/04/2032m 54s

Space & Time – Everything You Wanted To Know About…Physics, episode two

Prof Jim Al-Khalili helps us get to grips with the big concepts in cosmology. We talk space time, relativity and, of course, the end of the Universe. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
25/04/2037m 7s

The Fundamentals – Everything You Wanted to Know About…Physics, episode one

Prof Jim Al-Khalili breaks down the building blocks of the Universe and reveals what simplicity, beauty and elegance have to do with physics. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
24/04/2037m 17s

Everything You Wanted To Know About Physics, with Prof Jim Al-Khalili

Let your curiosity run wild. No question is off-limits in this new podcast series from the team behind BBC Science Focus magazine. In Everything You Wanted To Know About… world-leading experts answer Google’s most searched for queries and tackle questions from our listeners. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
22/04/204m 8s

Sandro Galea: What is the difference between health and medicine?

This week we talk to the Sandro Galea, Dean of the school of public health at Boston University. His book, called Well: What We Need to Talk About When We Talk About Health (£18.99, OUP) takes a deep look at the differences between health and medicine, and looks at how everything from the environment, taxation, education and even luck plays a part in the overall health of a nation. Speaking before the coronavirus pandemic, he explains the surprising factors that influence public health, which countries are doing it well, and why he felt he had to write this book. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Read the full interview transcript [opens in a new window] Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Anthony Warner: Are we really too fat? Aleks Krotoski: What happens to your data when you die? Marcel Danesi: Why do we want to believe lies? Jim Al-Khalili: Why should we care about science and scientists? Bill Bryson: What should we know about how our bodies work? Caroline Criado Perez: Does data discriminate against women? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
20/04/2035m 45s

Toby Ord: What are the odds civilisation will survive the century?

This week we talk to the philosopher Toby Ord about the end of civilisation as we know it. Ok, it’s not all doom and gloom. As Toby says, he’s an optimistic person, but in his new book The Precipice (£25, Bloomsbury) he explains why we’re at a point in time where we, as a species, are teetering on the edge of extinction. We discuss how much potential us homo sapiens have, what’s putting our continued survival at risk, how civilisation as we know it could come to an end, and what are the odds we’ll see out the century. Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Michio Kaku: The future of humanity William Poundstone: Can we really predict when doomsday will happen? John Higgs: Are Generation Z our only hope for the future? Brad Lister: Are we facing an insect apocalypse? Randall Munroe: How do you find the worst solution to any problem? Sir David Attenborough: How can we save our planet? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/04/2035m 35s

Anthony Warner: Are we really too fat?

In this week's Science Focus Podcast chef and author of the book The Truth About Fat: Why Obesity is Not that Simple (£9.99, Oneworld), Anthony Warner chews the fat about, well, fat. Pretty much all of us have been tempted at some point in our lives to shed some weight around our midriff, especially when we see our BMI creeping over 25, but what does this actually mean, and is it really a reliable measure of general health? He speaks to our editorial assistant Amy Barrett about why the body needs fat, what influences our body shape, and why there is so much stigma about being obese. Read the full transcription Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Samantha Alger: What can we do to save the bees? Randall Munroe: How do you find the worst solution to any problem? Bill Bryson: What should we know about how our bodies work? Phillippa Diedrichs: Is body positivity the answer to body image issues? Professor Catharina Svanborg: Is the cure for cancer hiding in human breast milk? Giles Yeo: Eating for your genes Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
30/03/2047m 13s

Camilla Pang: How can science guide my life?

Dr Camilla Pang is a bioinformatician, who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder when she was eight years old. Her first book, Explaining Humans (£14.99, Viking), is a guide to navigating life, love and relationships using the lessons she’s learned in her scientific career so far. In it she draws on examples from how the different proteins in the human body can reflect the different roles in a social group, to the way how light refracts through a prism helping her to break down fear into something manageable. In this episode of the Science Focus Podcast, she discusses her current work using disease and cancer data, along with machine learning methods, to find patterns that can be used in healthcare and lead to the development of therapies. She also explains how her neurodiversity has affected the way she works. If you have a burning science question you want an expert to answer, send them to us on twitter at @sciencefocus, and we may answer them in a future episode. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Why AI is not the enemy – Jim Al-Khalili What we got wrong about pandas and teenagers Jim Davies: How do you use your imagination? Dean Burnett: What’s going on in the teenage brain? Dr Guy Leschziner: What is your brain doing while you sleep? Everything that's wrong with the human body – Nathan Lents Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
23/03/2038m 56s

Kevin Fong: What happened to Apollo 13?

This week we catch up with Kevin Fong about the new series of his award-winning podcast 13 Minutes to the Moon. Whereas the first series celebrated the 50th anniversary of one of humanity’s greatest scientific achievements, the Moon landing, the new season follows what could have been one of our worst disasters – an explosion aboard the spacecraft Apollo 13. We discuss what happened on this ill-fated mission, how it impacted the astronauts and staff at Mission Control, and whether catastrophe at space could ever happen again. If you have a burning science question you want an expert to answer, send them to us on twitter at @sciencefocus, and we may answer them in a future episode. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Kevin Fong: Why is the Moon landing still relevant 50 years on? Katherine Johnson: mathematician and NASA pioneer dies age 101 Dr Erin Macdonald: Is there science in Star Trek? Dr Becky Smethurst: How do you actually find a black hole? Mike Garrett: Is there anybody out there? Monica Grady: What is the future of space science? Richard Wiseman: The mindset behind the Moon landing Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
16/03/2037m 18s

Aleks Krotoski: What happens to your data when you die?

What happens to all your digital data once you die? We ask social psychologist, host of BBC Radio 4's Digital Human and BBC Science Focus columnist Aleks Krotoski about life after death, and she enlightens us on how much digital data is really out there, the value of virtual gravestones and why big data firms really don’t care if you’re alive or dead. If you have a burning science question you want an expert to answer, send them to us on twitter at @sciencefocus, and we may answer them in a future episode. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Dr Kathryn Mannix: What it’s really like to die Robert Elliott Smith: Are algorithms inherently biased? Gretchen McCulloch: How has the internet affected how we communicate? Caroline Criado Perez: Does data discriminate against women? John Higgs: Are Generation Z our only hope for the future? Jesse Bering: What psychology can tell us about suicide Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
09/03/2044m 40s

Professor Fay Dowker: What is the problem of quantum gravity?

This week, we’re going on a search for the theory of everything. The two main theories of physics are at odds with one another. Einstein's general relativity explains gravity, but it contradicts quantum theory: how we understand matter, atoms and particles. Theoretical physicist at Imperial College London Professor Fay Dowker has been working on a solution to this quantum gravity problem, and tells us why the theories are incompatible, and how she plans to bring them together. If you have a burning science question you want an expert to answer, send them to us on twitter at @sciencefocus, and we may answer them in a future episode. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Dr Erin Macdonald: Is there any science in Star Trek? Dr Becky Smethurst: How do you actually find a black hole? Kathryn D. Sullivan: What is it really like to walk in space? Hannah Fry: How much of our lives is secretly underpinned by maths? Robert Elliott Smith: Are algorithms inherently biased? Monica Grady: What is the future of space science? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
02/03/2053m 58s

Jim Davies: How do you use your imagination?

Imagine, just for one moment, that you’re flying. What can you see? How high up are you? Can you feel the rush of wind in your face? Keep these thoughts in mind while you listen to this week's podcast. Your imagination is a strange old thing, with some people experiencing vivid senses while some struggle to picture anything at all. In this episode, we speak to Jim Davies, whose book, Imagination: The Science of Your Mind's Greatest Power (£21.99, Pegasus), sheds light on this mysterious function of the brain. As you can imagine, we go deep into the neuroscience of conjuring up mental images, but we also find out why your memory doesn’t need to be perfect, the joys of playing video games after a bad day, the benefits of imaginary friends, and, rather bizarrely, how to make a better door. If you have a burning science question you want an expert to answer, send them to us on twitter at @sciencefocus, and we may answer them in a future episode. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Dean Burnett: What’s going on in the teenage brain? Gordon Wallace: Is an implantable electronic device the future of medicine? Dr Guy Leschziner: What is your brain doing while you sleep? Gustav Kuhn: Do you believe in magic? Helen Russell: What does it mean to be happy? Richard Wiseman: The mindset behind the Moon landing Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
24/02/2038m 55s

Mark Miodownik: Are biodegradable plastics really better than traditional plastic?

You’ve probably bought something from a corner shop and taken it home in a plastic bag that says it’s biodegradable, or eaten takeaway food with a compostable fork. But when you’re done with your bag or your fork, what do you do with them? Can you put them in your food waste bin, your compost heap, or even the recycling bin? To find out, we spoke to materials scientist Professor Mark Miodownik. Mark is leading the Big Compost Experiment, a nationwide citizen science experiment to explore whether home-compostable plastics really do compost in your garden. If you sent us a question for Mark, listen out for his answer towards the end of the episode. If you have a burning science question you want an expert to answer, send them to us on twitter at @sciencefocus, and we may answer them in a future episode. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Solving the plastic problem – Mark Miodownik How can we save our planet? – Sir David Attenborough Chris Lintott: Can members of the public do real science? Dr Erin Macdonald: Is there any science in Star Trek? John Higgs: Are Generation Z our only hope for the future? Mark Lynas: Could leaving nature to its own devices be the key to meeting the UK’s climate goals? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
17/02/2034m 35s

Dr Erin Macdonald: Is there any science in Star Trek?

This week we’re boldly going where no Science Focus Podcast has gone before. Dr Erin Macdonald is the new science consultant for the Star Trek franchise. With the release of Star Trek: Picard on Amazon Prime, she takes us through the science of both the new and classic series. She tells our production assistant and resident Trekkie Holly Spanner about supernovae, what a science consultant really does, and whether warp drive is possible. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: What if the Earth’s magnetic field died? – Jim Al-Khalili Building a base on the Moon, and crafting believable sci-fi – Andy Weir Dr Becky Smethurst: How do you actually find a black hole? Kathryn D. Sullivan: What is it really like to walk in space? Mark McCaughrean: How do you launch a successful space mission? Colin Stuart: The most mysterious objects in the Universe Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/02/2028m 55s

Adam Rutherford: Can science ever be rid of racism?

Adam Rutherford is a geneticist at the University College London, which has one of the most prestigious population, genetics and evolution departments in the world. However, the university was also the home of ideas such as eugenics and race science. Times have changed, and although our current understanding of genetics and biology should have consigned them to history, these insidious ideas are making their way back into the mainstream. In his new book, How to Argue with a Racist (£12.99, Weidenfeld & Nicolson), Adam wants to show his readers that what we understand as race doesn’t really hold up with the genomic data, why professional sport is not a particularly good data set for studying race, and whether we can ever truly remove racism from science. He speaks to our editorial assistant Amy Barrett. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Marcel Danesi: Why do we want to believe lies? Gaia Vince: What part does culture play in our evolution? Robert Elliott Smith: Are algorithms inherently biased? Caroline Criado Perez: Does data discriminate against women? Angela Saini: Is racism creeping into science? John Higgs: Are Generation Z our only hope for the future? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/02/2038m 51s

Ross Barnett: Why should we be interested in prehistoric animals that aren’t dinosaurs?

In this week's episode of the Science Focus Podcast we’re investigating long-extinct animals. No, not dinosaurs, they get plenty enough coverage already. Instead, we’re going to look at creatures that lived in the Pleistocene era, a period of time that covered the last known ice age. During this period enormous creatures roamed the Earth, with some surprising animals making what we now know as the British Isles their home. What makes these often-enormous animals so interesting is that they lived side-by-side humans and other early human species, which means we have more than just fossilised bone fragments to learn from - we have cave art, sculpture, tools and even cooking utensils that we can use to build our understanding. Ross Barnett is a palaeontologist, whose recent book The Missing Lynx: The Past and Future of Britain's Lost Mammals (£16.99, Bloomsbury Wildlife) explores the story of Britain’s lost megafauna. He speaks to our online assistant Sara Rigby about Britain’s biggest beasts, humans’ role in their extinction, and what they can teach us about the future of conservation. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Samantha Alger: What can we do to save the bees? Brian Switek: How did bones evolve? Mark Lynas: Could leaving nature to its own devices be the key to meeting the UK’s climate goals? Brad Lister: Are we facing an insect apocalypse? Steve Brusatte: The truth about dinosaurs Neil Gemmell: The genetic hunt for the Loch Ness Monster Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
30/01/2042m 23s

Samantha Alger: What can we do to save the bees?

We all appreciate the buzz of the humble bee in the garden, however, not a summer goes past without hearing news that our bee population is under threat, with the finger usually pointing at habitat loss or chemicals containing neonicotinoids. But in reality, there are a whole host of reasons why our vital bee population is in decline. And given they provide pollination services for every one in three bites of the food we eat, their survival is critical to our very way of life. In this episode of the Science Focus Podcast, University of Vermont environmental scientist and pollination specialist Samantha Alger talks about her work uncovering the secret life of bees, what is causing the decline in bee numbers, and what we can do so save them. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Mark Lynas: Could leaving nature to its own devices be the key to meeting the UK’s climate goals? Andrew Hunter Murray and Dan Schreiber: Is there really no such thing as a fish? Brad Lister: Are we facing an insect apocalypse? Nick Lyon: Filming a Dynasty Neil Gemmell: The genetic hunt for the Loch Ness Monster Steve Brusatte: The truth about dinosaurs Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
23/01/2044m 20s

Marcel Danesi: Why do we want to believe lies?

We all love a good story, and sometimes a lie is more interesting to hear than the truth, but there is more to it than spinning a good yarn. According to Marcel Danesi, linguist and author of the book The Art of the Lie (£11.95, Prometheus Books), throughout history certain ‘Liar Princes’ have perfected the art of lying to gain fame, fortune and notoriety. In this week’s podcast, he explains what makes them so effective at this so-called ‘Machiavellian intelligence’, what happens in the brain when we twist the truth, and why we’re all liars in one way or another. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Dean Burnett: What’s going on in the teenage brain? Gretchen McCulloch: How has the internet affected how we communicate? Lewis Dartnell: How geology can influence elections Jamie Susskind: How technology is changing politics Jack Lewis: Sin and why we do the things we shouldn't Trevor Cox: To become Prime Minister, change your voice Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
16/01/2026m 13s

Dr Becky Smethurst: How do you actually find a black hole?

By day Dr Becky, is an astrophysicist, unravelling the mysteries of supermassive black holes, but by night entertains science buffs like us on her YouTube channel. In this week's episode of the Science Focus Podcast she explains how to find a black hole (and why they’re actually incredibly bright), what an astrophysicist does all day, and why flooding YouTube with scientists is the best way to counteract disinformation and bogus theories. Her book Space: 10 Things You Should Know (£9.99, Orion), is out now and you can read an extract from it here. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Kathryn D. Sullivan: What is it really like to walk in space? Monica Grady: What is the future of space science? Mark McCaughrean: How do you launch a successful space mission? Kevin Fong: Why is the Moon landing still relevant 50 years on? Bruce Banerdt: What NASA's InSight will tell us about Mars Natalie Starkey" What asteroids can tell us about our Solar System Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
09/01/2049m 42s

Hannah Fry: How much of our lives is secretly underpinned by maths?

Hopefully by now the last crumbs of mince pie will be wiped clean and Grandad has woken up from his Christmas day nap. If you’re anything like us, that period between Christmas and New Year means only one thing – lazing in front of the TV and watching the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. This institution has been sharing the wonders of science and entertaining children and adults alike for generations, and this year’s host hopes this year will be no different. Our editorial assistant Amy Barret sat down with Hannah Fry, only the fourth mathematician to deliver one of the lectures, who’ll be showing the audience how maths secretly underpins much of the world around us in her lecture series called Secrets and Lies, broadcast on BBC Four on 26-28 December at 20:00. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Aoife McLysaght: What makes me 'me'? Adam Kay: Is Christmas really the most wonderful time of the year on labour ward? Chris Lintott: Can members of the public do real science? Jim Al-Khalili: Why should we care about science and scientists? Robert Elliott Smith: Are algorithms inherently biased? Hannah Fry: What's the deal with algorithms? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
26/12/1928m 43s

Adam Kay: Is Christmas really the most wonderful time of the year on labour ward?

If you’re stuffing your face with mince pies this Christmas Day, spare a thought for the hundreds of thousands of people working in the NHS providing vital medical support over the festive period. One person who has seen his fair share of Christmas shifts is comedian and writer Adam Kay, who in a previous life worked as a junior doctor. His new book, Twas the Nightshift before Christmas (£9.99, Harper Collins), is at times, a graphically intimate diary of what happens on a labour ward over the holidays. Our editorial assistant Amy Barrett spoke to Adam over the phone about whether Christmas is more dangerous than other seasons, some of the issues facing healthcare at this time of the year, and life after medicine. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Dean Burnett: What’s going on in the teenage brain? Sarah Harper: What does a world with an ageing population look like? Andrew Hunter Murray and Dan Schreiber: Is there really no such thing as a fish? Matt Parker: What happens when maths goes horribly, horribly wrong? Robin Ince: Inside the mind of a comedian Dara Ó Briain: Finding the fun in science Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
19/12/1926m 59s

Kathryn D Sullivan: What is it really like to walk in space?

Kathryn D Sullivan made history on 11 October 1984 when she became the first American woman to make an Extravehicular Activity, something most of us will know as a space walk, and in this episode of the Science Focus Podcast, she explains how maybe ‘walk’ isn’t the most appropriate way of describing it. She also reveals the importance of planning over plans, the influence of the Hubble Space Telescope, and whether this year’s news story about spacesuits for women was really as problematic as the headlines suggested. Let us know what you think with a review or a rating wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Mark McCaughrean: How do you launch a successful space mission? Monica Grady: What is the future of space science? Why is the Moon landing still relevant 50 years on? – Kevin Fong The most mysterious objects in the Universe – Colin Stuart Gaia Vince: What part does culture play in our evolution? Chris Lintott: Can members of the public do real science? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
12/12/1933m 43s

Brian Switek: How did bones evolve?

Brian Switek, the pen name of science writer and fossil fanatic Riley Black. This year she released a book called The Secret Life of Bones: Their Origins, Evolution and Fate (£9.99, Duckworth), which as well as explaining how and why we evolved bones, explains the relationship us humans have with these sturdy struts of osseous tissue. In this week's episode of the Science Focus Podcast, she helpfully explains what a bone is and how they turn into fossils, as well as how they revealed Richard III’s diet, were historically used to justify scientific racism, and why Hollywood is getting aliens all wrong. Let us know what you think with a review or a rating wherever you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Bill Bryson: What should we know about how our bodies work? Gaia Vince: What part does culture play in our evolution? Angela Saini: Is racism creeping into science? Neil Gemmell: The genetic hunt for the Loch Ness Monster Nathan Lents: Everything that's wrong with the human body Steve Brusatte: The truth about dinosaurs   Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
05/12/1942m 51s

Chris Lintott: Can members of the public do real science?

We’re living in the age of big data. Scientists can collect and store more information than ever before. So how can they manage it all? That’s where citizen science comes in. Members of the public can log in to the Zooniverse, the world’s largest citizen science platform, and do the hard work of sorting through the data. Whether that’s searching for alien planets or spotting penguins, the project’s co-founder Chris Lintott says that the public aren’t just helping out, but doing real science. In his new book, The Crowd and the Cosmos: Adventures in the Zooniverse (£20, OUP), Chris explains how, in just a few minutes in your lunch break, you can contribute to fields from astronomy to zoology. He speaks to BBC Science Focus online assistant Sara Rigby. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Jim Al-Khalili: Why should we care about science and scientists? Randall Munroe: How do you find the worst solution to any problem? Dr Tilly Blyth: How has art influenced science? Does data discriminate against women? – Caroline Criado Perez How can we save our planet? – Sir David Attenborough Monica Grady: What is the future of space science? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
28/11/1938m 43s

Dean Burnett: What’s going on in the teenage brain?

Why are teens so emotional? Why won’t they listen when adults depart their worldly knowledge? Why won’t they tidy their rooms? Well, there are plenty of parenting books out there that attempt to answer these questions, but in the new book Why Your Parents Are Driving You Up the Wall and What To Do About It (£8.99, Penguin) by neuroscientist, comedian and science writer Dean Burnett, for the first time, it’s teens who are getting an insight into their parents’ minds. The book is all about reverse parenting, and offers teens an answer to why their parents are always dragging them out of bed, why they’re so obsessed with asking ‘How was school?’ and other common complaints. He speaks to BBC Science Focus editorial assistant Amy Barrett. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Bill Bryson: What should we know about how our bodies work Are Generation Z our only hope for the future? – John Higgs Randall Munroe: How do you find the worst solution to any problem? What we got wrong about pandas and teenagers How emotions are made – Lisa Feldman Barrett The neuroscience of happiness – Dean Burnett Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
21/11/1946m 50s

Randall Munroe: How do you find the worst solution to any problem?

If you need advice for the best way to move house, predict the weather or take a selfie, Randall Munroe, the creator of the webcomic xkcd, can’t help you. But if you’re willing to get creative, Randall’s book How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems (£16.99, John Murray Press) will show you the worst ways to solve your problems, with some help from tennis star Serena Williams and astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield along the way. In this episode of the Science Focus Podcast, Randall talks to online assistant Sara Rigby about why the worst solution to a problem can be the most interesting. Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Stitcher, RSS, Overcast Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts. Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast: Bill Bryson: What should we know about how our bodies work? Jim Al-Khalili: Why should we care about science and scientists? Dr Tilly Blyth: How has art influenced science? Gretchen McCulloch: How has the internet affected how we communicate? Richard Dawkins: Can we live in a world without religion? Are Generation Z our only hope for the future? – John Higgs Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
14/11/1936m 47s

Gaia Vince: What part does culture play in our evolution?

Some scientists now believe we are living in a new epoch, the age of invention and human influence on the world, called the Anthropocene. In 2014, science journalist and broadcast Gaia Vince took readers on a journey through this new world in her award-winning book, Adventures in the Anthropocene. Documenting the startling impacts of human’s growth on Earth, Gaia opened eyes to the future that we have all but set in stone. Her new book, Transcendence (£20, Allen Lane), looks instead to our p