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Science

The Guardian's Science Weekly

theguardian.com

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The award winning Science Weekly is the best place to learn about the big discoveries and debates in biology, chemistry, physics, and sometimes even maths. From the Guardian science desk  Ian Sample, Hannah Devlin &  Nicola Davis meet the great think...Show More
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36:35 | Aug 23rd

During our summer break, we’re revisiting the archives. Today, Wildlife recordist Chris Watson concludes this three-part journey into the sonic environment of the ocean, celebrating the sounds and songs of marine life and investigating the threat of ...Show More

28:52 | Aug 16th

During our summer break, we’re revisiting the archives. Today, Wildlife recordist Chris Watson presents the second instalment of a three-part journey into the sonic environment of the ocean, celebrating the sounds and songs of marine life and investi...Show More
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34:34 | Aug 9th

During our summer break, we’re revisiting the archives. Today, Wildlife recordist Chris Watson begins a three-part journey into the sonic environment of the ocean, celebrating the sounds and songs of marine life and investigating the threat of noise ...Show More

35:27 | Aug 2nd

We revisit the archive as Ian Sample looks at why some people continue to deny anthropogenic global heating, despite the scientific evidence. Could better communication be the key? And what tips can scientists and journalists take from political camp...Show More

29:09 | Jul 26th

The Science Weekly team are taking a bit of a break so we’ll be revisiting some of our favourite shows from the archive. Including this one from 2017, when Nicola Davis looked at why so many women with autism are misdiagnosed and how this issue reson...Show More

30:05 | Jul 19th

As the space race heated up in the 1960s, 13 aviators passed the same tests as Nasa’s first astronauts, later going on to be called the Mercury 13. But because they were women, Nasa wouldn’t even consider them. One of those women was Wally Funk, who ...Show More

26:45 | Jul 12th

Have you ever been caught out online and subscribed to something you didn’t mean to? Ian Sample has and so he tasked Jordan Erica Webber with finding out how companies play on our psyches to pinch our pennies and what we can do about it. Help support...Show More

26:14 | Jul 5th

Why do some of us pile on the pounds, while others seem to get away with it? Hannah Devlin speaks to Dr Giles Yeo about some of the latest findings from the field of obesity research – from the role of our genes and how heritable our weight is, to ho...Show More

26:34 | Jun 28th

String theory gained traction 35 years ago but scientists have not found any evidence to suggest it is correct. Does this matter? And should it be tested? Ian Sample debates this with Eleanor Knox, David Berman and Peter Woit. Help support our indepe...Show More

24:52 | Jun 21st

Nicola Davis invites Prof Brigitte Van Tiggelen and Dr Peter Wothers on to the podcast to look at how the periodic table took shape and asks whether it might now be in jeopardy. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguard...Show More

26:09 | Jun 14th

Earlier this year, the UK government announced it wanted to end new HIV transmissions in England by 2030. Hannah Devlin looks at the history of the epidemic, including its impact on the gay community, recent promising drug trials and whether Britain ...Show More

28:10 | Jun 7th

What can we learn from chimps when it comes to politics and power? Ian Sample meets the leading primatologist Prof Frans de Waal of Emory University to discuss good leadership and what we can learn from our closest living relatives.. Help support our...Show More

26:45 | May 31st

Science Weekly joins forces with our sister technology podcast, Chips with Everything, to look at the future of weather forecasting. Graihagh Jackson finds out how accurate predictions currently are, while Jordan Erica Webber discusses how street cam...Show More

25:16 | May 24th

What happened before the Big Bang? This is one of the hardest questions scientists are trying to answer, but Prof Hiranya Peiris is not daunted by the challenge. Hannah Devlin invited Peiris on the podcast to discuss the origins of our universe. Help...Show More

30:09 | May 17th

How do protein substitutes compare with the real deal? Graihagh Jackson investigates by speaking to dietician Priya Tew, the Guardian’s Fiona Harvey and author Isabella Tree. This podcast was amended on 18 May 2019. An earlier version incorrectly cla...Show More

34:13 | May 10th

Access to help for sexual problems is patchy and many fear the consequences of cuts to sexual health services could be profound. Nicola Davis investigates Please note: this podcast contains discussion of sexual abuse. Help support our independent jou...Show More

34:56 | May 3rd

Wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson concludes a three-part journey into the sonic environment of the ocean examining the possible threats caused to marine life by noise pollution. In this final episode he looks at solutions and discovers an unlikel...Show More

29:09 | May 3rd

Wildlife recordist Chris Watson is joined by award-winning sound artist Jana Winderen on a voyage around Norway’s Austevoll islands, aboard a research vessel recording the grunting of spawning cod. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="...Show More

34:52 | May 3rd

Wildlife recordist Chris Watson begins a three-part journey into the sonic environment of the ocean, celebrating the sounds and songs of marine life and investigating the threat of noise pollution. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="...Show More

26:36 | Apr 26th

Using a global network of telescopes, scientists have managed to capture an image of a black hole for the first time. Hannah Devlin investigates why it’s more than just a pretty picture. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www...Show More

23:16 | Apr 19th

Coffee is a drink adored the world over. But have you ever wondered why a fresh brew smells better than it tastes? Prof Barry Smith has spent his career pondering how the senses work together to produce flavour perception and so Graihagh Jackson invi...Show More

25:26 | Apr 12th

Science Weekly teams up with the Chips with Everything podcast to examine the environmental price tag of our throwaway culture and explore how technology could help the clothing industry follow a more sustainable model. Graihagh Jackson and Jordan Er...Show More

23:56 | Apr 5th

Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter has a passion for statistics but some argue this type of number crunching is losing its influence and its ability to objectively depict reality. Nicola Davis and Ian Sample investigate how significant statistics are in to...Show More

21:00 | Mar 22nd

With almost half of British adults taking a daily vitamin, Graihagh Jackson and guests examine our love of supplements - including recent announcments about fortifying flour with folic acid. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https:/...Show More

17:16 | Mar 22nd

Could a simple blood test catch cancer before symptoms appear? Nicola Davis goes beyond the hype and investigates the future of blood diagnostics and cancer. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">...Show More

22:17 | Mar 15th

Happy International Pi Day. To celebrate, Hannah Devlin is joined by the mathematician and comedian Matt Parker to discuss maths anxiety, how much today’s world relies on number crunching and what happens when we get it wrong. Help support our indepe...Show More

24:54 | Mar 8th

Today is International Women’s Day, and so Science Weekly teams up with the Guardian’s tech podcast, Chips with Everything. Nicola Davis and Jordan Erica Webber look at the repercussions of a male-orientated world – from drugs that don’t work for wom...Show More

25:19 | Mar 1st

Nicola Davis bids a fond farewell to the Mars rover Opportunity after Nasa declared the mission finally over, 15 years after the vehicle landed on the red planet.. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/scienc...Show More

30:02 | Feb 22nd

With the Large Hadron Collider reaching its upper limits, scientists around the world are drawing up plans for a new generation of super colliders. Ian Sample weighs up whether or not the potential new discoveries a collider may make will justify the...Show More

23:26 | Feb 15th

Nicola Davis talks to the theoretical physicist Paul Davies, who has been trying to find the solution to one of humankind’s trickier questions – what is life?

22:22 | Feb 8th

Earth’s north magnetic pole wandering so quickly in recent decades that this week, scientists decided to update the World Magnetic Model, which underlies navigation for ships and planes today. Ian Sample looks at our relationship with the magnetic no...Show More

24:08 | Feb 1st

Jo Dunkley is a professor of physics and astrophysical sciences at Princeton University. Hannah Devlin talks to her about what it’s like to work on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope in Chile, where they need to bring oxygen tanks for safety.

31:31 | Jan 25th

The UK has a problem and it isn’t going to go away anytime soon. But what to do about it? This week Geoff Marsh explores plans to bury the UK’s nuclear waste deep underground

24:55 | Jan 18th

In our latest collaboration, Ian Sample teams up with Jordan Erica Webber of Chips with Everything to look at why artwork produced using artificial intelligence is forcing us to look at how we define creativity

25:23 | Jan 11th

Hannah Devlin looks at why there is renewed interest in lunar exploration following the Chinese Chang’e 4 adventure on the far side of the moon

25:46 | Jan 4th

Some scientists are beginning to question whether it really was an asteroid impact that led to the dinosaurs’ extinction – instead, they think it may have been a supervolcano in India. Graihagh Jackson investigates

22:44 | Dec 28th, 2018

Dr Hannah Fry won the Christopher Zeeman medal in August for her contributions to the public understanding of the mathematical sciences. Ian Sample has invited her on the podcast to discuss her love of numbers. Plus, he asks, can we really use this d...Show More

23:32 | Dec 21st, 2018

Prof Dame Jane Francis knows Antarctica better than most: she’s spent the majority of her career researching this icy landscape. Ian Sample talks to her about what it’s like to camp in Antarctica and what her findings can tell us about our future on ...Show More

28:30 | Dec 14th, 2018

Nicola Davis asks what’s behind one of humanity’s most powerful and possibly evolutionarily important emotions

22:51 | Dec 7th, 2018

Last week Dr He Jiankui announced he had created the world’s first gene-edited babies. Hundreds of Chinese scientists have signed a letter condemning the research. Hannah Devlin delves into why He’s research has caused such uproar

24:46 | Nov 30th, 2018

Tim Peake beat 8,172 applicants for a spot on the European Space Agency’s astronaut training programme. Ian Sample talks to him about the selection process and the intensive training he went through

26:54 | Nov 23rd, 2018

Liar liar, pants on fire? In this collaboration between the Guardian’s Science Weekly and Chips with Everything podcasts, we explore whether it will ever be possible to build intelligent machines to detect porky pies

19:10 | Nov 16th, 2018

Food is an essential part of everyone’s life but how does what we eat affect our health? Could we eat to treat our illnesses? Top oncologists from around the world are beginning to study the role of diet in cancer treatment and early results look pro...Show More

19:40 | Nov 9th, 2018

Nicola Davis sits down with Nobel prize-winning scientist Sir Venki Ramakrishnan to discuss the competition he faced in the race to discover the ribosome – AKA the gene machine. Is competition good for science, or would a collaborative approach be be...Show More

25:24 | Nov 2nd, 2018

There are concerns that a science journal may revise a paper amid pressure from activists. What role should the public play and should science have boundaries to protect its integrity? Ian Sample presents. Since publishing, we received complaints. We...Show More

24:05 | Oct 26th, 2018

Fifty years ago, the average woman in Botswana had seven children. Now she will have fewer than three. Enabling women to control their fertility has had huge ramifications for their health, education and employment – could President Trump’s ‘ global ...Show More

27:38 | Oct 19th, 2018

Elon Musk believes we should colonise Mars to ensure the survival of the human race. But is this reasoning compelling enough? Hannah Devlin ponders the case against setting our sites on Mars

25:55 | Oct 12th, 2018

Four people with paraplegia were recently implanted with electrodes in their lower backs. They all regained movement below their injuries, and two walked again. This week Nicola Davis investigates this technique – epidural stimulation – and other app...Show More

25:50 | Oct 5th, 2018

On 16 November, scientists vote on whether to update the way we measure the kilogram. This week, Ian Sample investigates the history of the metric system, and finds out how universal constants might now make it more robust

34:14 | Sep 28th, 2018

What can a materials scientist learn from artists? How do you make robotic trousers? And what should we do about plastics? Hannah Devlin sits down with Mark Miodownik to find out

25:32 | Sep 21st, 2018

The US has been in the grip of an ‘opioid epidemic’ since the 1990s, and now a rise in opioid prescriptions and deaths is being seen across the pond. Ian Sample investigates and asks: what can we do the curb the looming crisis?

27:04 | Sep 14th, 2018

From making violins sound beautiful, to beer and bread, to creating life-saving medicine, fungi have an array of very useful attributes. This week, a report demonstrates just how little we know about this kingdom of life and what we are set to gain i...Show More

22:28 | Sep 7th, 2018

We can see only 4% of the observable universe – the rest is made up of invisible ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’. Now scientists are looking for a postulated force of nature that could open a door to the dark side. Ian Sample investigates

21:10 | Aug 31st, 2018

Invasive species have been blamed for wiping out native populations. Conservationists face a hard choice: should they kill one species to save another? The answer is often yes. Nicola Davis explores this dilemma and asks whether there’s a more compas...Show More

26:52 | Aug 24th, 2018

This degenerative illness has a few genetic quirks which scientists believe could cause secondary health benefits. Emerging research suggests that people with Huntington’s are less sickly, don’t get cancer as often and even have more brain cells. Han...Show More

21:12 | Aug 17th, 2018

Heatwaves have ravaged much of the northern hemisphere, causing wildfires, destruction and death. Some are blaming heat stress for an increase in chronic kidney disease in Central America. Graihagh Jackson investigates the causes and health effects o...Show More

24:57 | Aug 10th, 2018

In this special collaboration between the Guardian’s Science Weekly and Chips with Everything podcasts, we explore why it’s so hard to mimic nature

24:23 | Aug 3rd, 2018

Species are hard to define, as they don’t fit neatly into the categories that science wants to put them into. But increasingly, people are naming new species without enough evidence to suggest they are indeed a separate taxon. Graihagh Jackson invest...Show More

27:13 | Jul 27th, 2018

This week, the world’s first IVF baby turned 40. The procedure has come a long way since 1978, and more than 6 million IVF babies have now been born. But should we be concerned about the rising numbers of fertility treatments? And are we becoming les...Show More

28:38 | Jul 20th, 2018

Happiness means something different to all of us, be it contentment, pleasure or joy. But could pursuing it leave us sad instead? Nicola Davis explores the science and psychology of happiness

27:25 | Jul 13th, 2018

The 2014 Ebola outbreak killed over 10,000 people before it was eventually brought under control. As new infectious diseases appear around the world, what can we learn from past outbreaks to better prepare ourselves?
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

30:32 | Jul 6th, 2018

Is it true that dinosaurs had a role to play in the emergence of flowers? Nicola Davis investigates whether herbivores caused plants to blossom

29:49 | Jul 6th, 2018

Is it true that dinosaurs had a role to play in the emergence of flowers? Nicola Davis investigates whether herbivores caused plants to blossom

29:41 | Jun 29th, 2018

Nicola Davis explores Proto-Indo-European, the hypothetical common ancestor of modern Indo-European languages and asks, where did it come from? How and why did it spread? And do languages evolve like genes?

24:23 | Jun 22nd, 2018

Pigs have been rendered immune to a disease that has cost billions. Hannah Devlin questions whether this could be the future of eliminating debilitating and costly viruses in livestock

27:02 | Jun 15th, 2018

Do you know what noise a hungry sea anemone makes? Soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause does. Armed with over 5,000 hours of recordings, he takes Ian Sample on a journey through the natural world and demonstrates why sound is such a powerful tool for c...Show More

28:09 | Jun 8th, 2018

Wealth inequality has skyrocketed in the UK, as has anxiety, stress and mental illness. Could the two be linked? Richard Lea investigates

26:29 | Jun 1st, 2018

Each and everyone of us has a voice that is unique. As a result, we make a lot of assumptions about someone from just the way they speak. But are these judgements fair? And what if they’re wrong? Nicola Davis explores

25:46 | May 25th, 2018

Nuclear energy is back on the UK government’s agenda. However, concerns about safety have plagued this technology for decades. Given it kills less people than wind, coal or gas, why are we so radiophobic? Ian Sample investigates.

25:36 | May 18th, 2018

Every year, more people die from asbestos exposure than road traffic accidents in Great Britain. Many countries still continue to build with this lethal substance – but why? Hannah Devlin investigates

30:37 | May 11th, 2018

This week: Hannah Devlin explores how scientists are growing human brains in labs. Why are they so keen to explore the possibilities? What are the ethical concerns being raised by experts?

34:05 | May 4th, 2018

Guest host Richard Lea reimagines time with theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli. What is time, after all? Should we be thinking about it differently?

29:19 | Apr 27th, 2018

This week: Nicola Davis investigates the death by fowl play of one of the world’s most famous dodo specimens. So what do we know about the dodo as a species? And what questions does this murder case raise?

28:51 | Apr 20th, 2018

This week, Ian Sample asks: why do humans fight? Can science tell us anything about what drives us to violence?

30:36 | Apr 13th, 2018

This week, Hannah Devlin asks: what are sceptics of alternative medicine saying about its rise? And what can their thoughts tell us about how the scientific sceptic movement is approaching the conversation?

34:33 | Apr 9th, 2018

For our final episode of this series, Daniel Glaser (with a little misguided help from his producer Max) attempts to unpick what the brain does – and doesn’t do – when we read

28:16 | Apr 6th, 2018

This week, Nicola Davis asks: what clues do our teeth hold about our species? And what can they tell us about our past?

37:43 | Apr 2nd, 2018

When it comes to perceiving the world around us, how much of it is due to ‘bottom-up’ sensory data and how much comes from the ‘top-down’ predictions we make? Most importantly; how can the delicate dance between the two lead to hallucinations?

26:45 | Mar 30th, 2018

Scientists are tasked with helping us understand our world. When the science is right, they help move humanity forward. But what about when science is wrong?

28:58 | Mar 23rd, 2018

Hannah Devlin speaks to neuroscientist Prof Sarah-Jayne Blakemore about her groundbreaking research into the adolescent brain

28:27 | Mar 23rd, 2018

Daniel Glaser explores the complex relationship between mind and body when it comes to emotion

01:07 | Mar 20th, 2018

In episode three of the second season of A Neuroscientist Explains, Daniel Glaser revisits a weekly column that saw him roped into what is now being called a crisis for psychology and further afield

27:08 | Mar 16th, 2018

Ian Sample talks to two fellow Guardian reporters and a professor of environmental toxicology about the Salisbury spy poisoning

01:11 | Mar 15th, 2018

In episode two of the second season of our A Neuroscientist Explains podcast, Daniel Glaser explores the evolutionary origins of social conformity

25:46 | Mar 9th, 2018

Nicola Davis asks: can we increase the window of brain plasticity in the later stages of life? And what do we know about the implications of doing so?

35:48 | Mar 5th, 2018

Dr Daniel Glaser is back. To kick off season two he asks whether there is a connection between reward and addiction. And can we really get addicted to Twitter?

37:40 | Mar 2nd, 2018

We ask Prof Steven Pinker whether today’s doom and gloom headlines are a sign we’re worse off than in centuries gone by, or if human wellbeing is at an all-time high

01:18 | Feb 27th, 2018

Dr Daniel Glaser and Producer Max are back for a second season of A Neuroscientist Explains – and this time they’re going it alone!

27:05 | Feb 23rd, 2018

Ian Sample delves into a preliminary study of US embassy staff said to have been targeted by an energy source in Cuba. With no unifying explanation, what do scientists think happened?

31:02 | Feb 16th, 2018

Ian Sample asks: how safe is vaping? Can it help people stop smoking? And should it be available via a doctor’s prescription?

40:34 | Feb 7th, 2018

What role might culture play in intelligence? And how does human culture differ from culture found in other animals? Nicola Davis explores our evolutionary history

32:59 | Feb 1st, 2018

Hannah Devlin explores why 2018 is such a bumper year for seasonal flu and asks how scientists are trying to fight back

40:58 | Jan 24th, 2018

Our final mini-series episode asks what impact might AI have on society – and who decides when to turn it off?

33:21 | Jan 17th, 2018

In this episode of our new mini-series, Ian Sample explores how AI is providing insights into cancer diagnosis, intelligence, and physics

38:14 | Jan 10th, 2018

In the second episode of this mini-series, Ian Sample asks if human-level intelligence is what we should be aiming for. And can we replicate something we can’t even define?

35:24 | Jan 4th, 2018

In the first episode of our Questioning Artificial Intelligence mini-series, Ian Sample explores some of the key hurdles for machine learning, including reasoning and social intelligence

34:27 | Dec 27th, 2017

Two hundred years after the publication of Frankenstein, how relevant are the themes and concerns of Shelley’s gothic tale to today’s readers?

33:26 | Dec 20th, 2017

With do-it-yourself Crispr kits now available online, Hannah Devlin asks if it’s really possible to edit your own DNA, is it safe and how should it be regulated?

32:00 | Dec 13th, 2017

Divisions between left and right, young and old, metropolitan and rural have never been greater. How can we connect with those we disagree with? And what happens if we fail?

33:07 | Dec 6th, 2017

Nicola Davis explores the origins of antiseptic surgery and asks what we might learn from its founding father about taking on today’s biggest healthcare threats

31:37 | Nov 29th, 2017

Where did human language come from? What role does it serve? And how might emojis and GIFs enhance human interaction?

28:08 | Nov 22nd, 2017

What role might the immune system play in mental illness? And how might this challenge long-held beliefs about the divide between body and brain?

30:42 | Nov 15th, 2017

Ian Sample looks to the future and asks what might the technologies of tomorrow look like? And how might they change our world?

31:31 | Nov 8th, 2017

Hannah Devlin discusses the limits of human performance with sports scientist Professor John Brewer and amateur marathon runner Vicky Solly

28:15 | Nov 1st, 2017

This week, Ian Sample and Nicola Davis explore the complex relationship between poverty, stress, and life expectancy

32:55 | Oct 25th, 2017

In this week’s Science Weekly podcast, Nicola Davis asks two of popular science’s best known stars a host of pressing questions. What role should scientists play in society? What might the future hold for humanity? And will we ever build Northampton ...Show More

26:47 | Oct 18th, 2017

Ian Sample speaks with two members of an ambitious project that hopes to crack one of neuroscience’s biggest mysteries

24:22 | Oct 12th, 2017

Why are so many women with autism often misdiagnosed? And how does this issue resonate with broader ideas of neurodiversity?

28:48 | Oct 4th, 2017

Nicola Davis is joined by mathematician Marcus du Sautoy to explore zero, infinity and everything in between

23:58 | Sep 27th, 2017

What does later life look like for the growing population of childhood cancer survivors? And how might their experiences change the way we treat this group of diseases?

28:25 | Sep 20th, 2017

Nicola Davis speaks with two experts on the frontline of cybercrime to find out how the changing digital landscape is leaving us all vulnerable to cyber attacks

27:48 | Sep 14th, 2017

Hannah Devlin delves into the case of a shamed Japanese scientist to explore how statistical malpractice is damaging science - whether employed knowingly or not

26:12 | Sep 6th, 2017

In this edition of Science Weekly, Ian Sample explores whether it is possible to communicate with those in a ‘vegetative’ state – and what are the ethical and legal ramifications?

32:59 | Aug 30th, 2017

Nicola Davis delves into the world of plastics to find out exactly how and why they became so widespread, and what can now be done to curtail the ever-present problems they can cause

28:32 | Aug 23rd, 2017

Ian Sample speaks with Prof Max Tegmark about the advance of AI, the future of life on Earth, and what happens if and when a ‘superintelligence’ arrives

26:17 | Aug 16th, 2017

Hannah Devlin speaks with the IT pioneer about her life as a woman in tech, having a son with autism, and how it all led to her later role as a philanthropist

27:27 | Aug 10th, 2017

Hannah Devlin explores the science and ethics behind a landmark study that successfully edited the genomes of developing embryos. How did they do it? What did they hope to achieve? And, further down the line, what kind of doors might research like th...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

32:52 | Aug 2nd, 2017

Science Weekly hosts the authors of Universal: a guide to the cosmos for a special live recording answering questions about the big bang, the multiverse and more
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

32:09 | Jul 26th, 2017

Ian Sample sits down with Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson to discuss the future of the workplace and the role artificial intelligence will play
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

01:54 | Jul 25th, 2017

This Thursday, we’ll be recording a very special Q&A episode with Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw and we want your questions!
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28:34 | Jul 19th, 2017

What can advances in neuroscience and psychology reveal about this age-old phenomenon? And how might digital avatars help patients answer back?
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

30:03 | Jul 12th, 2017

In an age where Google sees trillions of searches a year, what can our usage of it reveal? How accurate are these ‘big data’ representations? And how might this all be used for the greater good?
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

28:34 | Jul 6th, 2017

Ian Sample delves into our evolutionary past to explore the role creativity and collaboration may have played in early human societies
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31:04 | Jun 28th, 2017

Hannah Devlin sits down with experimental physicist Athene Donald to explore her work in polymers and role as an advocate for gender equality in science
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31:35 | Jun 21st, 2017

Ian Sample explores research on cellular senescence and the role this therapeutic approach can play in age-related diseases and health issues
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

34:40 | Jun 16th, 2017

Hannah Devlin delves into the world of human faces and asks: how does the brain process them? And how do faces affect our ideas about people?
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

31:22 | Jun 11th, 2017

Nicola Davis speaks with two scientists about their respective missions to the sun - what burning questions do they hope to answer? And what are some of the obstacles?
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30:44 | Jun 4th, 2017

This week, Nicola Davis sits down with mathematical physicist Professor Robbert Dijkgraaf to discuss The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

18:18 | May 28th, 2017

Hannah Devlin looks at a genome study that may explain the spread of bell-shaped pottery beakers across Europe 4,500 years ago
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30:32 | May 21st, 2017

Nicola Davis investigates what makes graphene the ‘wonder material’ and whether it can bring commercial success to the UK
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

27:59 | May 14th, 2017

Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of people worldwide. But despite decades of research costing hundreds of millions of dollars, we have no cure. Why?
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16:33 | May 3rd, 2017

Erica - the world’s ‘most beautiful and intelligent’ android - responds to people’s questions about her memories, superintelligence, and the future of humanity
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47:46 | Apr 27th, 2017

Recorded in front of a live audience as part of our Brainwaves series, Ian Sample asks a group of experts how AI will change our social landscape - for better or worse
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34:48 | Apr 20th, 2017

Hannah Devlin explores the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative, which aims to use lasers to propel spherical sails to Alpha Centauri - our closest star system - over four light years away
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

39:48 | Apr 13th, 2017

Ian Sample and Nicola Davis delve into the world of reason and ask why do we have it? How does it work? And what insights might our evolutionary past provide?
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

31:14 | Apr 11th, 2017

What can we see when we’re born? How does this develop with time? And how can our culture and language affect the way we perceive the world around us?
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

28:55 | Apr 5th, 2017

Nicola Davis asks theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and science communicator Professor Lawrence Krauss about the secrets of the universe
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31:46 | Mar 28th, 2017

Ian Sample and bioarchaeologist Brenna Hassett explore the history of our relationship with an urban lifestyle – the good, the bad, and the ugly
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29:41 | Mar 22nd, 2017

Hannah Devlin looks at recent advances in the field of cryopreservation and asks how close we are to applying these technologies to whole organs
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28:48 | Mar 15th, 2017

To celebrate the announcement of the 2017 Wellcome Book Prize shortlist, Hannah Devlin asks three of its featured authors about the secrets to writing a successful science book
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42:16 | Mar 8th, 2017

The extended evolutionary synthesis is controversially proposed as an update to evolutionary theory as we know it. Nicola Davis explores the arguments
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

23:25 | Mar 1st, 2017

Hannah Devlin explores the research behind the recent announcement of seven Earth-size planets and asks how we might probe their nature, including a suitability for life Exoplanet discovery: seven Earth-sized planets found orbiting nearby star
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31:59 | Feb 26th, 2017

Dr Daniel Glaser delves into the murky world of Artificial Intelligence and asks whether true intelligence can exist without an understanding of morality
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35:30 | Feb 22nd, 2017

This week, Ian Sample explores the psychology behind ‘nudging’, its usage by governments, and some of the ethical quandaries involved
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48:43 | Feb 19th, 2017

Dr Daniel Glaser explores the history and science behind a well known method of brain imaging, including a trip for producer Max into an MRI scanner
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35:08 | Feb 15th, 2017

Nicola Davis sits down with Dr Kathryn Harkup to discuss a shared love of crime fiction and the chemistry contained within their poisonous plots
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12:37 | Feb 14th, 2017

Responding to some of our listener’s emails, Dr Daniel Glaser ponders whether dogs have a Theory of Mind, the neuroscience behind bilingualism, and the value of introspection
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33:31 | Feb 12th, 2017

Dr Daniel Glaser explores what the wiring of the brain can tell us about how we perceive the world
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38:56 | Feb 9th, 2017

Does strange quantum behaviour emerge from run-of-the-mill classical physics? If so, what does this tell us about the fundamental nature of reality?
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08:54 | Feb 8th, 2017

Responding to some of our listener’s emails, Dr Daniel Glaser explores the role of photographs for recall, and the vividness of musical memory
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37:14 | Feb 5th, 2017

What is the neuroscience behind empathy? When do children develop it? And can it be taught?
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33:52 | Feb 1st, 2017

Nicola Davis sits down with Professor Uta Frith to talk autism, passion, rebellion and the role of women in science
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34:14 | Jan 29th, 2017

How do brains and computers differ when it comes to memory storage? And what clues can we get from the ageing brain?
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25:06 | Jan 25th, 2017

How prevalent is narcissism in science? Has this changed over time? And how could it threaten the fundamental pillars of science?
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40:36 | Jan 22nd, 2017

In the first episode of this new podcast, Dr Daniel Glaser asks what effect does music have on our brains? And how can it be harnessed for therapy?
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35:39 | Jan 19th, 2017

What is the psychology behind climate change denial? Can it be overcome? And what communication tips can scientists take from political campaigns?
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29:21 | Jan 11th, 2017

Do all human languages share a universal grammar? And can science shed light on a schism that’s divided the world of linguistics for over half a century?
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36:21 | Jan 8th, 2017

The origin of the universe, the distribution of galaxies, and the nature of black holes – it’s all in a day’s work for one of the most prominent scientists of all time
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32:31 | Dec 27th, 2016

Are we biologically primed to fear outsiders? And can science help us bridge the divide when conflicts arise?
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27:43 | Dec 20th, 2016

What has Juno revealed since it dropped into Jupiter’s orbit earlier this year? And how is the probe holding up against the solar system’s largest gas giant?
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27:45 | Dec 14th, 2016

Over 100 million women around the world use the female contraceptive pill. But why isn’t there a male alternative? And are the barriers to its creation scientific or social?
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33:26 | Dec 7th, 2016

What first attracted one of the world’s foremost astrophysicists to the night sky? Are we alone in the universe? And how can scientific thinking benefit us all?
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34:21 | Nov 29th, 2016

With advances in medicine, science, and technology allowing humans to live longer than ever, can we finally crack the code of ageing and stop it altogether?
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30:49 | Nov 22nd, 2016

Matter as we know it accounts for less than 5% of the known universe - the rest remains something of a mystery
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32:00 | Nov 15th, 2016

Free will has been debated by philosophers and theologians for centuries. Neuroscientists and psychologists have now entered the fray - but what new light can they shed? And just how free are we when it comes to “free” will?
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39:03 | Nov 8th, 2016

According to our best estimates, life first appeared on planet Earth around 3.8bn years ago. But what happened leading up to it? What conditions were necessary? And what is ‘life’ anyway’?
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03:27 | Nov 4th, 2016

How did life begin? Is free will an illusion? Where’s all the dark matter? And can we live forever? These are some of science’s big unknowns and in this returning mini-series, we’re going to pull some of them apart
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40:43 | Nov 1st, 2016

Like many kids, Mike Massimino dreamed of becoming an astronaut. Against all odds, he turned that dream into reality. This is his story
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37:15 | Oct 25th, 2016

When it comes to the ethics of genetic technologies who decides how far we should go in our pursuit for perfection?
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29:45 | Oct 18th, 2016

How much of our memory is fictitious? And how is this psychological research now being applied to the world of eyewitness testimony and victim statements?
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32:00 | Oct 11th, 2016

In the race for a unifying ‘theory of everything’ two frontrunners are miles ahead. But what will win? String theory? Loop quantum gravity? Or something else entirely?
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31:11 | Sep 29th, 2016

In the final episode of Brain waves, Dr Kevin Fong and Nathalie Nahai move from the science of emotion to the emotion of science. We learn about the years of research behind a flash of inspiration – and ask where the stereotype of the unemotional sci...Show More
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24:54 | Sep 27th, 2016

What happens without proprioception, our innate ability to know where and how our body is moving through space? And what can we learn from those who have lost it?
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32:06 | Sep 22nd, 2016

In the fourth instalment of Brain waves, Dr Kevin Fong and Nathalie Nahai explore the power that music has to trigger our emotions, and ask if there’s an evolutionary function behind it all. Plus, why do sad songs say so much?
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39:58 | Sep 20th, 2016

Has string theory become too fashionable? Do we place too much faith in quantum mechanics? And does mathematics exist in the external objective world?
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25:47 | Sep 15th, 2016

In the third episode of Brain waves, Dr Kevin Fong and Nathalie Nahai discover how our love of sport evolved out of ancient emotional experiences and ask how modern stadiums are designed to maximise sensation. Plus, we meet the world’s first “thrill ...Show More
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30:10 | Sep 13th, 2016

How do we define intelligence? How do we decide which animals possess it? And why are some people so uncomfortable with the idea of intelligence and consciousness existing outside the world of Homo sapiens?
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29:33 | Sep 8th, 2016

In the second instalment of Brain waves, Dr Kevin Fong and Nathalie Nahai explore what it’s like to live without smell. Plus, can a multisensory chef help anosmiac Lucy Mangan appreciate the joy of food?
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32:04 | Sep 6th, 2016

The extent of the Arctic sea ice continues to drop, but how accurate are the predictions that measure it? And what could happen if it finally disappears?
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35:08 | Sep 1st, 2016

What is love – and what does it have to do with meeting a bear in the woods? In the first of a five-part series, Dr Kevin Fong and Nathalie Nahai unpick the causes of emotions. But where’s the best place to start – history, culture, society or our bo...Show More
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37:11 | Aug 28th, 2016

Are cities anything more than the bricks, mortar, and steel that make them up? And what role can science and technology play in the cities of tomorrow?
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31:25 | Aug 21st, 2016

What does the future hold for humanity? And can we ever really know? Join us for a journey into the unknown
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34:29 | Aug 12th, 2016

Is time a figment of the human mind or the most fundamental of phenomena? And what do the physical laws of nature reveal about its mysteries?
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31:01 | Jul 22nd, 2016

Is there a biological basis for human division? And can science help us bridge the divide when conflicts arise?
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0:00 | Jul 1st, 2016

Should machines have a concrete Mr Spock-like regard for logic or are there times when the best decision is a more human one?
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32:12 | Jun 24th, 2016

Ian Sample talks to Stuart Clarke about his new book exploring exoplanets and alien worlds, and how to find another Earth
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37:16 | Jun 17th, 2016

Why do ideas discarded for centuries, like electric cars, return to the cutting edge of science and technology?
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31:15 | Jun 10th, 2016

How does our genetic makeup help or hinder our chances in life? And as our ability to unravel DNA becomes more powerful, what are the implications?
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30:26 | Jun 3rd, 2016

Why do we fear radiation? Is it because so much about it is still unknown, or that it’s often invisible to us? Timothy Jorgensen of Georgetown University explains
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36:13 | May 27th, 2016

Should the current 14 day limit for growing human embryos in the lab be extended in light of recent breakthroughs?
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32:23 | May 20th, 2016

How does money change our thinking, feelings and behaviour? Claudia Hammond joins the podcast team to teach us how to take control of our cash
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41:02 | May 13th, 2016

As we continue to discover new species of this huge dinosaur, is our understanding of it changing?
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39:06 | May 6th, 2016

What makes our speaking voices so distinctive and so recognisable? How can we transform the way we use our voice?
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34:12 | Apr 29th, 2016

Steve Jones on science at the time of the French revolution - and why scientists were among the first to be sent to the guillotine
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45:14 | Apr 23rd, 2016

This week on Science Weekly we delve into a world not commonly ventured into by us scientists... Shakespeare
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0:00 | Apr 15th, 2016

What has convinced some researchers that the risks of heavy cannabis use now warrant public health campaigns to warn people of potential harm?
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26:08 | Apr 8th, 2016

Biologist Sean B. Carroll, author of The Serengeti Rules, discusses the logic underpinning life
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29:52 | Apr 1st, 2016

Professor Lucie Green explains why we should think of the sun as ‘ringing like a bell’ and why its sound is so important to the study of our star
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28:59 | Mar 25th, 2016

Jo Marchant, science journalist and author of Cure, reveals the powerful and unexpected ways in which the mind can have a role in healing
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32:38 | Mar 18th, 2016

How much of our genome is actually doing useful stuff? And what do our genes actually tell our cells to do? We guide you through the basics of genetics
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33:27 | Mar 11th, 2016

As the first batch of the best studied humans on the planet turn 70, we speak to Helen Pearson, whose book The Life Project explores this huge birth-cohort study
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52:40 | Mar 4th, 2016

Why did supersonic passenger flight end when Concorde retired in 2003? Could we still see a new generation of supersonic aircraft?
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29:04 | Feb 26th, 2016

From fake eggs to horsemeat burgers, food fraud is common, but hard to detect. How can we be sure that what we’re eating is the real thing?
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31:21 | Feb 19th, 2016

Scientists at University College London have made a discovery which makes mice pain-free, and have reversed painlessness in a woman with a rare condition.
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28:21 | Feb 12th, 2016

Why are we so fascinated by the idea that we aren’t alone in the universe?
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29:55 | Feb 5th, 2016

On the eve of a major new Science Museum exhibition, we look at Leonardo’s designs, and consider his influence on modern robotics and aeronautics
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28:45 | Jan 29th, 2016

How does the brain of the con artist differ from the rest of us? And how could some of their skills be redeployed for the greater good?
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36:02 | Jan 22nd, 2016

We look at the innovations that are changing the NHS today and asks what science on the horizon will transform the health service in the next decade
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31:01 | Jan 15th, 2016

We look at the science of uncertainties, taking in meteoroid impacts and gravity, to ask what role dark matter may have played in the demise of the dinosaurs
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44:09 | Jan 8th, 2016

A look at this year’s most exciting missions, from a probe bound for Mars, a spacecraft arriving at Jupiter and a sample return mission from an asteroid
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28:42 | Dec 14th, 2015

Tim Peake tells Ian Sample about ESA’s Principia mission, how to use a jetpack, and why flying into space won’t be the most dangerous thing he’s ever done
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28:27 | Dec 4th, 2015

As the Paris climate change conference takes place, author Tim Flannery talks to Ian Sample about the prospects for preventing irreversible climate change
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37:28 | Nov 27th, 2015

Will our great-grandchildren effectively be a different species from us?
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29:07 | Nov 20th, 2015

John Conway sheds light on the true nature of numbers, the beauty lying within maths and why game-playing is so important to mathematical discovery
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27:00 | Nov 13th, 2015

Should we distrust our own ability to reason? Why is debunking conspiracy theories such a risky business? And is David Icke a force for good?