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.
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
25:46 | 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
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
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
How far is too far when it comes to the public directing research? There are concerns than a science journal may revise a paper amid pressure from activists. It raises the issue of what role the public should play and whether science should have boun...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
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
24:23 | 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
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?
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
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
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?
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?
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?
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
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
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
26:12 | 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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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?
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?
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
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?
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?
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?
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
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?
31:01 | Jul 22nd, 2016
Is there a biological basis for human division? And can science help us bridge the divide when conflicts arise?
37:16 | Jun 17th, 2016
Why do ideas discarded for centuries, like electric cars, return to the cutting edge of science and technology?
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?
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
45:14 | Apr 23rd, 2016
This week on Science Weekly we delve into a world not commonly ventured into by us scientists... Shakespeare
26:08 | Apr 8th, 2016
Biologist Sean B. Carroll, author of The Serengeti Rules, discusses the logic underpinning life
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
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
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?
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?