Science Weekly

Science Weekly Podcast

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Science Weekly podcast will now explore some of the crucial scientific questions about Covid-19. Led by its usual hosts  Ian Sample,  Hannah Devlin and  Nicola Davis, as well as the Guardian's health editor Sarah Boseley, we’ll be taking questions – some sent by you – to experts on the frontline of the global outbreak. Send us your questions here:  theguardian.com/covid19questions

Do smart assistants need a feminist reboot? Part 2
According to a UN study published last year, smart assistants with female voices are often programmed with contrite and demure responses to verbal abuse or harassment, entrenching harmful gender biases. In the second of two episodes, Alex Hern takes a look at the sexualisation of female AI and robots, what this means for how we treat them, and asks how we can give them a feminist reboot. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Do smart assistants need a feminist reboot? Part 1
From Rosie the Robot in the 1960s animated sitcom The Jetsons to Siri and Alexa today, technologies that perform the roles of housekeeper and secretary are often presented as female. What does the gendering of these machines say about our expectations of who should be doing this kind of work? In the first of two episodes exploring the world of fembots and female AI assistants, the Guardian’s UK technology editor, Alex Hern, examines whether smart assistants are reinforcing harmful gender stereotypes. Help s...

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Covid-19: is it possible to predict how sick someone could get?
Nine months in, and with over 30 million people having been infected with Covid-19, we now know some of the main factors that put people at higher risk of a severe case of the disease, such as age and having other health problems. But there is still a lot to learn about why some people, and not others, become very ill from catching Sars-CoV-2. Nicola Davis takes a look at the researchers attempting to rapidly work out how to predict who is going to get very sick. Help support our independent journalism at t...

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What does it mean to be alive? Paul Nurse on defining 'life'
Is it possible to define the biological, chemical and physical functions that separate cells, plants and even humans from inanimate objects? In his new book, Paul Nurse, Nobel prize winner and director of the Francis Crick Institute, addresses a question that has long plagued both philosophers and scientists – what does it really mean to be alive? Speaking to Madeleine Finlay, Paul delves into why it’s important to understand the underlying principles of life, the role of science in society, and what life m...

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Covid-19 ethics: should we deliberately infect volunteers in the name of science? Part 2
Teams around the world are hard at work developing Covid-19 vaccines. While any potential candidate will need to be tested on thousands of volunteers to prove its safety and efficacy, some scientists have argued that the race to the finish line could be sped up by human challenge trials — where participants are infected with a special strain of the virus. Ian Sample delves into some of the misconceptions and hurdles inherent in this kind of research. In the second of two episodes, Ian explores the importanc...

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Covid-19 ethics: Should we deliberately infect volunteers in the name of science? (part 1)
Would you be willing to have a dose of Sars-CoV-2 sprayed up your nose for medical research? For thousands around the world, the answer is yes. Eager volunteers have already signed up to take part in human challenge trials, where participants would be deliberately infected with the virus in order to better understand the disease, and rapidly develop a treatment or vaccine. But should such studies go ahead with a dangerous and relatively new virus? In the first of two episodes, alongside a panel of experts I...

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Covid-19: what happens when flu season hits? (part 2)
As the northern hemisphere heads into autumn and winter, cold and flu are beginning to spread and more people find themselves with coughs, fevers and a runny nose. With Covid-19, this brings new challenges. Should we quarantine at the first sign of the sniffles? Could co-infections of flu and Covid-19 make your symptoms worse? Do we have the capacity to test for more than one virus? In part 2 of our investigation into what happens when flu season hits, Ian Sample speaks to Prof Peter Horby about what it mig...

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Covid-19: what happens when flu season hits? (part 1)
For those of us in the northern hemisphere, flu season is quickly approaching. This raises an important question: what will it mean for Covid-19? Could hospitals be overloaded? Is co-infection likely and could it make symptoms worse? Or, will transmission of Sars-CoV-2 prevent the spread of seasonal influenza? In the first of two parts, Ian Sample addresses the question of flu and Covid-19 by investigating how different respiratory viruses interact. Speaking with Prof Pablo Murcia, Ian explores the interpla...

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Covid-19: why do pandemics trigger civil unrest? – podcast
As countries entered lockdowns to mitigate the impact of Covid-19, many citizens came out to protest against measures such as social distancing, face masks and potential vaccination programmes. Demonstrations have subsequently erupted around around the world, with causes ranging from the Black Lives Matter movement to protests against inequality and corruption. Taking a look at some of the social psychology underpinning such action, Nicola Davis asks Prof Clifford Stott why pandemics can trigger social unre...

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The science of healthy eating: Why are we still getting it wrong?
According to a recent study, obesity increases the risk of dying of Covid-19 by nearly 50%. Governments around the world are now hoping to encourage their citizens to lose weight. But with so much complex and often contradictory dietary advice, as well as endless fads, it can be hard to know what healthy eating actually looks like. How many pieces of fruit and vegetables should you eat a day? Will cutting out carbs help you lose weight? Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day? Speaking to Tim...

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From the archives: the fate of Arctic sea ice
As the Science Weekly team continue their summer break, we’re digging through the archives. Today’s episode takes us back to 2016, when Ian Sample explored the crisis of melting Arctic sea ice. Recently, this worrying phenomenon hit the headlines once again when a new model found that the Arctic could experience summers completely free of sea-ice as early as 2035. In our episode from the archive, Ian asks a host of experts what some of the potential ramifications might be of the total disappearance of Arcti...

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From the archives: nudge theory and the psychology of persuasion
While the Science Weekly team take a summer break, we’re bringing you an episode from the archives – one that seems particularly pertinent as the pandemic continues and governments take a more prominent role in our day-to-day lives. Back in 2017, Ian Sample investigated how we’re constantly “nudged” to change how we act. Exploring the psychology, history and ethics of nudge theory, Ian spoke to the Harvard Law School professor Cass Sunstein and Dr David Halpern, one of the field’s founders, who is currently...

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From the archives: nudge theory and the psychology of persuasion
While the Science Weekly team take a summer break, we’re bringing you an episode from the archives – one that seems particularly pertinent as the pandemic continues and governments take a more prominent role in our day-to-day lives. Back in 2017, Ian Sample investigated how we’re constantly “nudged” to change how we act. Exploring the psychology, history and ethics of nudge theory, Ian spoke to the Harvard Law School professor Cass Sunstein and Dr David Halpern, one of the field’s founders, who is currently...

Psychology Science

Covid-19 ethics: digital contact tracing (part 2)
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted many of the economic, health, and social disparities faced by minorities and those living in more deprived areas. Although track-and-trace apps have the potential to reduce the spread of Covid-19, there remain questions about what role digital contact-tracing systems might have in reducing – or increasing – inequality, and who an app will really work for. In the second part of a conversation about the ethics of track-and-trace apps, Ian Sample discusses these issues ...

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Covid-19: behind the app — the ethics of digital contract tracing part 1
As a trial of the revised English coronavirus app gets under way, many of us will be watching closely to see what it can and cannot do, and whether it could help to contain Covid-19. But alongside issues of efficacy are other, deeper questions about what this technology means for the citizens who use it – today and in the future. Split over two episodes, Ian Sample talks to Carly Kind and Seeta Peña Gangadharan about data privacy, the involvement of Google and Apple, and if we should expect track-and-trace ...

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From the archives: the chemistry of crime fiction
The Science Weekly team are taking a summer break – well, some of them – and so we’re bringing you an episode from the archive. And not just any episode, one of Nicola Davis’s favourites. Back in 2017, Nicola sat down with with Dr Kathryn Harkup to discuss a shared love of crime fiction and the chemistry contained within their poisonous plots. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: tracking the spread of a virus in real time
Central to infectious disease control is tracking the spread of a pathogen through the population. In Cambridge, UK, researchers are looking at genetic mutations in samples from Covid-19 patients to rapidly investigate how and where hospital transmissions are occurring. Dr Estée Török tells Nicola Davis what this real-time pathological detective work can reveal about the origins of an outbreak. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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The fight over the Hubble constant
When it comes to the expansion rate of the universe, trying to get a straight answer isn’t easy. That’s because the two best ways of measuring what’s known as the Hubble constant are giving different results. As each method becomes increasingly accurate, the gap between widens. Is one of them wrong? Or is it time to rejig the Standard Model of Cosmology? Madeleine Finlay investigates the so-called ‘Hubble tension’ with Prof Erminia Calabrese. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/scienc...

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Covid-19: does more testing always mean more cases?
Since the beginning of the pandemic, ‘test, test, test’ has been the key message from epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists and healthcare professionals alike. But how does a country know if it’s doing sufficient testing? Or that it’s catching enough of the asymptomatic cases? Nicola Davis speaks to Prof Rowland Kao about the positivity rate, a value that can help to answer some of these difficult questions. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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How Red Sea 'supercorals' are resisting the climate crisis
Ian Sample speaks to marine biologist Prof Maoz Fine about his surprising research on the relationship between increasing ocean temperatures and the Red Sea’s coral reefs. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: How risky is singing?
With evolving evidence on airborne transmission of Covid-19 and early super-spreading events linked to choir practices, musicians have been left wondering how risky it is to sing and play instruments in person. Investigating a listener question, Nicola Davis speaks to Prof Jonathan Reid about the science of aerosols and why he’s getting musicians to sing into funnels — in the middle of an operating theatre. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Are we in the midst of a new space race?
From Elon Musk’s SpaceX, to Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin – there is a growing interest in space exploration by some of the world’s least publicity-shy billionaires. But does the 2020 launch of the SpaceX Dragon 2 spacecraft really mark the beginning of a new privately financed space race? And what do recent international launches, such as the UAE’s Hope probe to Mars, say about changing geopolitical ambitions for space exploration? Ian Sample speaks to space policy veteran ...

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Covid-19: what can sewage tell us?
It may be a respiratory virus, but studies have repeatedly found traces of Covid-19 in the faeces of infected patients. Using this to their advantage, scientists are sampling untreated sewage from wastewater plants in an effort to track the virus. Hannah Devlin speaks to Andrew Singer about how what we flush down the toilet can help detect emerging outbreaks – days before patients begin presenting with symptoms. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Booming blooms: how algae are turning the alps pink
They are usually associated with toxic, murky lakes. But algae blooms are increasingly turning up in icy regions too. Hannah Devlin speaks to Prof Marian Yallop about the recent appearance of pink snow in the Italian alps, and what the growing numbers of algal blooms could mean for melting glaciers and ice sheets. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: the relationship between antibodies and immunity
With antibodies having implications for both our understanding of previous coronavirus infections and potential future immunity, Nicola Davis talks to Prof Eleanor Riley about how best to test for them and asks whether antibodies are the only thing we should be looking for. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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How many contactable alien civilisations are out there?
Could there really be other civilisations out there in the Milky Way? Nicola Davis talks to Prof Chris Conselice, whose recent work revises the decades-old Drake equation to throw new light on the possibility of contactable alien life existing in our galaxy. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: Why are people suffering long-term symptoms?
Weeks and months after having a confirmed or suspected Covid-19 infection, many people are finding they still haven’t fully recovered. Emerging reports describe lingering symptoms ranging from fatigue and brain-fog to breathlessness and tingling toes. So why does Covid-19 cause lasting health problems? Ian Sample discusses some of the possible explanations with Prof Danny Altmann, and finds out how patients might be helped in the future. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Hubble at 30: a view into our cosmos
Thirty years ago, the Hubble space telescope was shuttled into orbit, and has since provided us with astonishing images and insights into the universe. Earlier this year, Hannah Devlin spoke to one of the astronauts who helped launch Hubble, Kathy Sullivan. The first American woman to walk in space, Sullivan describes her journey to becoming an astronaut, why Hubble was such a vital mission and why it continues to be so important today. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: why R is a lot more complicated than you think
Over the last few months, we’ve all had to come to terms with R, the ‘effective reproduction number’, as a measure of how well we are dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. But, as Nicola Davis finds out from Dr Adam Kucharski, R is a complicated statistical concept that relies on many factors and, under some conditions, can be misleading. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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The Durrington shafts: a remarkable discovery for Stonehenge's neighbour
Archaeologists surveying the land around Stonehenge have made a discovery that could change the way we think about our neolithic ancestors: a circle of deep shafts spanning 1.2 miles in diameter around Durrington Walls. Hannah Devlin speaks to Prof Vincent Gaffney about how he and his team made this incredible discovery and why the latest find is so remarkable. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: how worried should smokers be?
With reports that there are lower rates of smokers being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 in France and trials to test whether nicotine patches can reduce the severity of infection, but also data showing that smokers are more likely to contract the disease and develop severe symptoms, what’s actually going on here? Sarah Boseley talks to Dr Nick Hopkinson to find out more. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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How cephalopod cells could take us one step closer to invisibility
Watching the mesmerising patterns of squids, octopuses and cuttlefish has been the catalyst for much of Dr Alon Gorodetsky’s recent work, including his attempts to mimic their ability to become transparent. Nicola Davis talks to him about a recent paper where he engineered mammalian cells to share these optic properties - paving the way for exciting potential applications. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: should we be concerned about air conditioning?
Following on from several listener questions about the role of air conditioning in spreading or dissipating Covid-19 in buildings and on public transport, Hannah Devlin asks Dr Lena Ciric whether we should be turning our AC systems on or off. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Hydrogen Icebergs in space? The mystery of 'Oumuamua
When a strange spinning cigar-shaped object was spotted travelling through our solar system in 2017, it ignited scientific speculation and debate. Ian Sample speaks to Darryl Seligman, lead researcher on a recent study seeking to unravel the mystery of ‘Oumuamua. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: the psychology of physical distancing
As the world begins to unlock, many of us will be seeing friends and family again - albeit with guidelines on how close you can get to one another. But why is it more difficult to stay physically apart from friends and family than a stranger in a supermarket queue? Nicola Davis speaks to Prof John Drury about the psychology of physical distancing and why we like to be near those we feel emotionally close with. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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The secret, sonic lives of narwhals
Narwhals may be shy and elusive, but they are certainly not quiet. Nicola Davis speaks to geophysicist Dr Evgeny Podolskiy about capturing the vocalisations of narwhals in an arctic fjord, and what this sonic world could tell us about the lives of these mysterious creatures. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: is a second wave inevitable?
Ian Sample talks to Prof Carl Heneghan about the uncertainties in predicting future outbreaks of Covid-19 and what we can do to prevent them. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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When did modern humans first arrive in Europe?
New archaeological discoveries in the Bacho Kiro cave in Bulgaria have revealed that modern humans co-existed with Neanderthals for several thousand years. Nicola Davis speaks to Prof Jean-Jacques Hublin about the excavations, and what their findings tell us about when modern humans first arrived in Europe. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: the role of vitamin D
Sarah Boseley talks to Prof Susan Lanham-New about vitamin D and whether it could play a role in protecting us against Covid-19. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: How do you calculate herd immunity?
Herd immunity represents the percentage of people in a population who need to be immune to a disease in order to protect those who aren’t. Early on in the pandemic, researchers estimated the herd immunity threshold for Covid-19 to be 60%. Following a question from a listener, Ian Sample speaks to Rachel Thomas to explore the maths and find out exactly how herd immunity is calculated. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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The emotional rollercoaster of adolescent dogs
It’s an experience many dog owners have been through – their adolescent pooches appear to be more moody and rebellious. Now researchers have shown that dogs really do mimic human teenagers’ behaviour, becoming less responsive to instructions from their carer. To find out more about the difficult teenage doggy-years, Nicola Davis talks to Dr Lucy Asher about the study. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: can we compare different countries?
Nicola Davis asks mathematician Kit Yates how useful global comparisons are when it comes to the coronavirus outbreak, given the huge differences in demographics and public health responses. And, as per a question from a listener, what the best metric is when doing such comparisons?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: are pandemics becoming more common?
Ian Sample talks to Prof Kate Jones about whether the current coronavirus pandemic is part of a wider picture of increasing animal-to-human virus transmission. Are we are looking at a future where outbreaks of new infectious diseases become more common?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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The microbe that protects mosquitos from malaria
Every year more than 200m new cases of malaria are reported. And despite the dramatic reduction in cases and deaths over the past two decades, novel treatments and prevention strategies are badly needed. Speaking to Dr Jeremy Herren in Nairobi, Kenya, Nicola Davis hears how a newly-discovered microbe might offer mosquitos protection from the parasite and in doing so, prevent its spread. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: do we need more than one vaccine? Podcast
Hannah Devlin speaks to Prof Andrew Pollard about the work being done by different teams around the world to create a vaccine for Covid-19, and where his team at Oxford University fit into this international effort. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: why are some people losing their taste and smell?
As the coronavirus pandemic swept around the globe, anecdotal reports began to emerge about a strange symptom: people were losing their sense of taste and smell. To find out whether this effect is really down to Sars-CoV-2, and if so, why, Ian Sample talks to Carl Philpott. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Uncovering the mysteries of the 'crazy beast' – Science Weekly podcast
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to be our focus on Science Weekly, we also want to try look at other science stories. In this episode, Nicola Davis speaks to Dave Krause about the 66-million-year-old fossil of a cat-sized mammal dubbed ‘crazy beast’. A giant in its day, we hear how this now extinct branch of mammals – known as Gondwanatherians – offers new insights into what could have been. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: will my allergies make a difference?
As hay fever season approaches, Nicola Davis asks Prof Stephen Durham about the differences between the immune response to an allergen, such as pollen, and a pathogen, like Sars-CoV-2. Should those with allergies should be concerned about Covid-19?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: the psychology of conspiracy theories
With false information linking the coronavirus to 5G telecoms or Chinese labs being widely shared on social media, Ian Sample speaks to social psychologist Dr Daniel Jolley about why the pandemic is such fertile ground for conspiracy theories. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: What has the BCG vaccine got to do with it? – Science Weekly Podcast
Sarah Boseley talks to Prof Helen McShane about why there has been interest in the tuberculosis vaccine and whether it could play a role in protecting us against Covid-19. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: why are women less likely to die?
Hannah Devlin speaks to Prof Sabra Klein about why women are much less likely to become seriously ill or die from Covid-19, and what the implications of this knowledge for future treatments might be. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: what role might air pollution play? – Science Weekly Podcast
After a string of studies that highlight the possible link between air pollution and Covid-19 deaths, Ian Sample hears from Prof Anna Hansell about the complicated relationship between pollution, health and infection with Sars-CoV-2. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: how do you find drugs to treat the disease? – Science Weekly Podcast
Hannah Devlin speaks to Dr Miraz Rahman about how to find drugs to treat a new disease like Covid-19, and discusses repurposing old drugs such as the anti-malaria medicine hydroxychloroquine. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: how vulnerable are people with diabetes? – Science Weekly Podcast
Sarah Boseley speaks to Dr Dipesh Patel about the effects of Covid-19 on people with diabetes, including the role that glucose levels and a high BMI might play. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: is seven days in isolation enough?
How long should you remain in isolation if you have symptoms of Covid-19? It depends on who you ask. The UK government guidelines recommend seven days from the onset of symptoms, whereas the World Health Organization advises 14. To get to the bottom of this apparent disparity, Nicola Davis discusses viral shedding with Dr Charlotte Houldcroft, and asks what the evidence currently tells us about how long we stay infectious for. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: is seven days in isolation enough? – Science Weekly Podcast
How long should you remain in isolation if you have symptoms of Covid-19? It depends on who you ask. The UK government guidelines recommend seven days from the onset of symptoms, whereas the World Health Organization advises 14. To get to the bottom of this apparent disparity, Nicola Davis discusses viral shedding with Dr Charlotte Houldcroft, and asks what the evidence currently tells us about how long we stay infectious for. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: what would immunity look like?
Nicola Davis speaks to Dr Jenna Macciochi about something lots of listeners have written about; immunity to Covid-19. While the jury is still out, we hear how our bodies gain immunity to something and how immunity to other pathogens might give us clues about Sars-Cov-2. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: what would immunity look like? – Science Weekly Podcast
Nicola Davis speaks to Dr Jenna Macciochi about something lots of listeners have written about; immunity to Covid-19. While the jury is still out, we hear how our bodies gain immunity to something and how immunity to other pathogens might give us clues about Sars-Cov-2. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: how can social isolation affect us?
As the lockdown in the UK looks set to continue, Ian Sample speaks to Prof Carmine Pariante about the physiological and psychological effects of social isolation. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: how can social isolation affect us? – Science Weekly Podcast
As the lockdown in the UK looks set to continue, Ian Sample speaks to Prof Carmine Pariante about the physiological and psychological effects of social isolation. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: how vulnerable are people with asthma?
Nicola Davis speaks to Dr Andy Whittamore about the effects of Covid-19 on people with asthma and what they can do to protect themselves. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: how vulnerable are people with asthma? – Science Weekly Podcast
Nicola Davis speaks to Dr Andy Whittamore about the effects of Covid-19 on people with asthma and what they can do to protect themselves. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: how do you lift a lockdown?
Following the decision to end Wuhan’s lockdown this week, Hannah Devlin speaks to Dr Adam Kurcharski about the various aspects of lifting restrictive measures, including the importance of the timing and the role that testing could play. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: how do you lift a lockdown? – Science Weekly Podcast
Following the decision to end Wuhan’s lockdown this week, Hannah Devlin speaks to Dr Adam Kurcharski about the various aspects of lifting restrictive measures, including the importance of the timing and the role that testing could play. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: how are African countries coping?
Sarah Boseley speaks to Prof Trudie Lang about the outbreak on the continent and explores how a history of responding to Ebola and other public health emergencies could help. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: how are African countries coping? – Science Weekly Podcast
Sarah Boseley speaks to Prof Trudie Lang about the outbreak on the continent and explores how a history of responding to Ebola and other public health emergencies could help. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: what if I'm immunocompromised?
Hannah Devlin speaks to Dr Jenna Macciochi about how our immune systems fight off infections such as coronavirus, and – as per lots of your questions – what happens if we’re immunocompromised. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: how does it affect pregnancy?
Sarah Boseley speaks to Prof Sonja Rasmussen about how the virus might affect mothers who are expecting and their unborn child. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: how does it affect pregnancy? – Science Weekly Podcast
Sarah Boseley speaks to Prof Sonja Rasmussen about how the virus might affect mothers who are expecting and their unborn child. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: why is hand washing so effective?
With scientists still racing to find treatments for Covid-19, Nicola Davis speaks with Prof Pall Thordarson about why soap is so effective at deactivating Sars-CoV-2 and how this differs from hand sanitiser.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: why is hand washing so effective? – Science Weekly Podcast
With scientists still racing to find treatments for Covid-19, Nicola Davis speaks with Prof Pall Thordarson about why soap is so effective at deactivating Sars-CoV-2 and how this differs from hand sanitiser.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

Coronavirusoutbreak Infectiousdiseases Medicalresearch Microbiology Biology Science

Covid-19: how do we test for it?
Hannah Devlin speaks with Prof David Smith about the various ways in which clinicians can test whether or not someone is infected with Sars-CoV-2. And, following the recent announcement that the UK government has bought millions of antibody tests, explores what these might be able to tell us. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: how do we test for it? – Science Weekly Podcast
Hannah Devlin speaks with Prof David Smith about the various ways in which clinicians can test whether or not someone is infected with Sars-CoV-2. And, following the recent announcement that the UK government has bought millions of antibody tests, explores what these might be able to tell us. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

Coronavirusoutbreak Infectiousdiseases Microbiology Biology Medicalresearch Science Hospitals

Covid-19: can ibuprofen make an infection worse?
Nicola Davis speaks to Dr Ian Bailey about the current guidance on taking ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs during a Sars-CoV-2 infection. And, why there was concern about whether these medications could make symptoms of the disease worse. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: can ibuprofen make an infection worse? – Science Weekly Podcast
Nicola Davis speaks to Dr Ian Bailey about the current guidance on taking ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs during a Sars-CoV-2 infection. And, why there was concern about whether these medications could make symptoms of the disease worse. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: how long can it survive outside the body?
Sarah Boseley speaks to Prof Deenan Pillay about how the virus contaminates surfaces and why headlines about how long it can survive may be misleading. And, following a number of listener questions, we find out whether or not Sars-CoV-2 can survive in a swimming pool. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: how long can it survive outside the body? – Science Weekly Podcast
Sarah Boseley speaks to Prof Deenan Pillay about how the virus contaminates surfaces and why headlines about how long it can survive may be misleading. And, following a number of listener questions, we find out whether or not Sars-CoV-2 can survive in a swimming pool. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: how effective is social distancing?
Ian Sample speaks to Prof Deirdre Hollingsworth about social distancing. What is it? How might it help to flatten the curve? And what are some of the big unknowns when it comes to predicting how effective it might be?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: how effective is social distancing? – Science Weekly Podcast
Ian Sample speaks to Prof Deirdre Hollingsworth about social distancing. What is it? How might it help to flatten the curve? And what are some of the big unknowns when it comes to predicting how effective it might be?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: why are there different fatality rates?
Hannah Devlin speaks to Prof Paul Hunter about fatality rates; why different figures are being quoted across the media; how the rates are calculated; and is the fatality rate the only useful number to look at?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: why are there different fatality rates?
Hannah Devlin speaks to Prof Paul Hunter about fatality rates; why different figures are being quoted across the media; how the rates are calculated; and is the fatality rate the only useful number to look at?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: why are there different fatality rates? – Science Weekly Podcast
Hannah Devlin speaks to Prof Paul Hunter about fatality rates; why different figures are being quoted across the media; how the rates are calculated; and is the fatality rate the only useful number to look at?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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A quest for meaning: Brian Greene on time and the cosmos - Science Weekly podcast
Investigating mind-bending concepts from string theory to quantum gravity has taken physicist Brian Greene on a journey through the universe and towards its ultimate demise. In his new book, Until the End of Time, Greene explores this cosmic impermanence and how we can still find meaning and purpose in human experience. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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A quest for meaning: Brian Greene on time and the cosmos - Science Weekly podcast
Investigating mind-bending concepts from string theory to quantum gravity has taken physicist Brian Greene on a journey through the universe and towards its ultimate demise. In his new book, Until the End of Time, Greene explores this cosmic impermanence and how we can still find meaning and purpose in human experience. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: what happens once someone is infected? Science Weekly Extra
Following our first Covid-19 episode last week, we received an incredible response, with so many interesting new areas to explore. One of those was what exactly happens once someone is infected with this new virus. As Nicola Davis find outs, whilst scientists are still racing to figure the exact details out, insights can be gleaned from other viral infections like influenza. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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The Gene Gap: can we trust science to police itself? – Science Weekly podcast
This week on the podcast, we’re bringing you the third and final episode from our Common Threads series, this time about trust in science. In particular, we ask how past controversies have led many to question gene editing, science and medicine, and if by focusing on the past, we can move forward. To listen to episodes one and two, search ‘The Gene Gap: Common Threads’ wherever you get your podcasts. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Covid-19: where in the body does it infect us? – Science Weekly Extra
As the coronavirus, or Covid-19, outbreak continues to unfold, many of us have been left with questions about exactly what we do and don’t know. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be releasing extra episodes of Science Weekly exploring some of those questions with experts on the frontline. In today’s episode, Ian Sample investigates where the virus infects us when it enters our bodies, and what difference this makes to disease severity and transmissibility. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian...

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The Gene Gap: who decides what happens next? – Science Weekly podcast
Gene-editing technologies have the power to change life as we know it. This week on the podcast, we’re bringing you another episode from our Common Threads series, this time about power. Who has the authority to speak for our species and to make decisions? Are we well informed, and who holds the power to inform us? To listen to episodes one and three, search ‘The Gene Gap: Common Threads’ wherever you get your podcasts. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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The Gene Gap: what makes us human? - Science Weekly podcast
Gene-editing technologies have the power to change life as we know it. This week on the podcast, we’re bringing you the first episode from our Common Threads series, part of an innovative new Guardian project called The Gene Gap. We’ll be talking about science but without the scientists – instead we’ll hear from the people who could be most affected by the promise of gene editing. This first episode explores identity. What makes us human? And what does it mean to be different in a world that strives for per...

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The Gene Gap: what makes us human? - Science Weekly podcast
Gene-editing technologies have the power to change life as we know it. This week on the podcast, we’re bringing you the first episode from our Common Threads series, part of an innovative new Guardian project called The Gene Gap. We’ll be talking about science but without the scientists – instead we’ll hear from the people who could be most affected by the promise of gene editing. This first episode explores identity. What makes us human? And what does it mean to be different in a world that strives for per...

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Exploring the start of the universe - Science Weekly podcast
What happened at the dawn of the universe, just trillionths of a second after the start of the big bang, remains a mystery. Revisiting these moments in his new book, At the Edge of Time, Dan Hooper explores many of the unknowns in cosmology. Hooper guides Ian Sample through the birth of our universe to its enigmatic constituents of dark matter and dark energy. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Ancient archaea: how life on Earth began - Science Weekly podcast
Around 3.5bn years ago the first forms of life emerged: bacteria and archaea. These so-called prokaryotes had the Earth to themselves for a very, very long time. Then, for some mysterious reason, another new microbial kingdom formed. Eukaryotic cells came into being and complex life began. But how and why did this happen? Hannah Devlin dives into the 12-year scientific odyssey that gives us an important piece of the puzzle. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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The race to the deep – Science Weekly podcast
Sixty years ago, explorers first descended the 11,000 metres to the Challenger Deep of the Mariana Trench, the deepest known point in the ocean. In the intervening decades we have discovered more about this mysterious and peculiar environment and its inhabitants. Nicola Davis speaks to Dr Jon Copley about the race to the ocean floor and what is lurking down there in the deep.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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The Wuhan Coronavirus: what we know and don't know - Science Weekly podcast
A new virus, never before seen in humans, has emerged from the city of Wuhan in China. Since the start of the outbreak, the virus has spread to more than seven countries and more than 500 people have been infected. Hannah Devlin speaks to Prof Ian Jones about exactly what a coronavirus is. And we hear from epidemiologist Dr Rosalind Eggo about how scientists model the spread of novel viruses, often with very little information. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Psychology in an emergency: Science Weekly podcast
As the bushfires continue to rage across Australia, thousands of people have ended up face to face with the emergency. It’s hard to imagine how you would behave in a disaster like this. Would you panic? Or act quickly and be organised? More than 50 years of psychological and sociological evidence covering mass emergencies shows that people typically behave with cooperation and coordination. Nicola Davis speaks to John Drury, professor of social psychology at the University of Sussex, about why this is, and ...

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Roy Baumeister on the power of negativity – Science Weekly podcast
Roy Baumeister is a social psychologist whose work focuses on the role of negativity in our perceptions. Together with US journalist John Tierney he is the author of a new book, The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It. Sitting down with Ian Sample, Baumeister talks about how he became interested in negativity and how we may be able to combat its impact on the way we view the world. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Happy New Year from the Science Weekly podcast
Happy New Year from the Science Weekly team. There is no new episode this week as we all take a festive break. The team will be back with a new episode on Friday 10 January. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Happy Christmas from the Science Weekly podcast
Happy Christmas from the Science Weekly team. There is no new episode this week as we all take a festive break. The team will be back with a new episode on Friday 10 January. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

Science

A year of science reporting – Science Weekly podcast
For the final science weekly of 2019 the Guardian’s Science team – Hannah Devlin, Ian Sample and Nicola Davis – talk through their top stories of the year including black holes, rebooted brains and seagulls. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Pioneering ketamine treatments: depression – Science Weekly podcast
Ketamine might sound like an unlikely candidate for treating addiction and depression. But a growing number of scientists believe the drug could help. In the second part of this Science Weekly mini series, Hannah Devlin speaks to another expert using ketamine in their work: a psychiatrist who has been conducting research on the use of ketamine for treating depression for several years. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Pioneering Ketamine treatments: alcohol dependency – Science Weekly podcast
Ketamine might sound like an unlikely candidate for treating addiction and depression. But a growing number of scientists believe the drug could help. Over the next two episodes of Science Weekly, Hannah Devlin speaks to two experts who are using ketamine in their work in very different ways. In this episode, we’re focusing on alcohol dependency and the findings that a single dose of Ketamine could positively impact on heavy drinkers. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Amy Dickman on her life of big cat conservation - Science Weekly podcast
Dr Amy Dickman is an internationally renowned conservation biologist. She’s dedicated her life to saving big cats in the wild, working in Africa for over 20 years on carnivore ecology and how to resolve human-wildlife conflict. Amy talks to Nicola Davis about her career trying to bring a halt to the decline in big cat populations, including the role that trophy hunting might play. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Up early or lying in: why we need different amounts of sleep – Science Weekly podcast
Requiring minimal amounts of sleep is sometimes seen as a badge of honour. But for many of us, being able to actually function is a different matter altogether. So why is it that some people seem to need more or less sleep? And what are some of the ramifications if we don’t get enough? Hannah Devlin speaks to two experts whose work is bringing new understanding to our sleeping behaviours. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Callum Roberts on a life spent diving on coral reefs – Science Weekly podcast
Callum Roberts is a British oceanographer, author and one of the world’s leading marine biologists. Sitting down with Ian Sample, Callum talks about his journey into exploring marine habitats, his subsequent work observing the world’s coral reefs and how, despite the urgent threat posed to the majority of these densely populated habitats, he still maintains an almost unswerving optimism for the future of his profession and of coral reefs in general. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com...

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Taking on Eysenck: one man's mission to challenge a giant of psychology – Science Weekly podcast
In 1992, Anthony Pelosi voiced concerns in the British Medical Journal about controversial findings from Hans Eysenck – one of the most influential British psychologists of all time – and German researcher Ronald Grossarth-Maticek. Those findings claimed personality played a bigger part in people’s chances of dying from cancer or heart disease than smoking. Almost three decades later, Eysenck’s institution have recommended these studies be retracted from academic journals. Hannah Devlin speaks to Pelosi abo...

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Artificial wombs and the promise for premature babies - Science Weekly podcast
In October, a team of Dutch researchers were awarded a grant of €2.9m to develop a working prototype of an artificial womb for use in the clinic. But they are not the only ones working on this kind of technology. In 2017, a team in Philadelphia created the ‘biobag’, which could sustain premature lambs. Both teams hope their artificial wombs could allow premature babies to continue to develop as they would in a real womb, improving their chance of survival. Nicola Davis asks: What does current neonatal inten...

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Inside the mind of the bullshitter: Science Weekly podcast
In 1986, philosopher Harry G Frankfurt wrote: “One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit.” This was the opening line of his seminal essay (later a book), On Bullshit, in which Frankfurt put forward his theory on the subject. Three decades later, psychologists are finally getting to grips with what might be going on in the minds of those who dabble in the dark arts of BS. Ian Sample asks two such psychologists what we can do to fight back. Help support our independent ...

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Stuart Russell on why now is the time to start thinking about superintelligent AI - Science Weekly podcast
Prof Stuart Russell wrote the book on artificial intelligence. Literally. But that was back in 1995, when the next few decades of AI were uncertain, and, according to him, distinctly less threatening. Sitting down with Ian Sample, Russell talks about his latest book, Human Compatible, which warns of a dystopian future in which humans are outsmarted by machines. But how did we get here? And what can we do to make sure these machines benefit humankind?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.c...

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The dangers of DIY genetic testing – Science Weekly podcast
Whether for ancestry or health, millions of us are choosing to have our genetic fingerprints analysed by using direct-to-consumer kits from private companies. But can the results of these tests be trusted in a clinical setting? Senior doctors have called for a crackdown on home genetic-testing kits and this week, Hannah Devlin finds out why. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Cleaning up our air – Science Weekly podcast
An estimated 7 million people die every year from exposure to polluted air. Nicola Davis looks at the science behind air pollution and at the policies to tackle it. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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The menopause: a new treatment for hot flushes? – Science Weekly podcast
Despite being something that will affect half the world’s population, the menopause, and how it can lead to things such as hot flushes, has historically been a bit of a ‘black box’ for scientists. But thanks to new insights from animal research, a much-needed alternative to hormone replacement therapy could be just around the corner. Hannah Devlin investigates. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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The menopause: a new treatment for hot flushes? – Science Weekly podcast
Despite being something that will affect half the world’s population, the menopause, and how it can lead to things like hot flushes, has historically been a bit of a ‘black box’ for scientists. But thanks to new insights from animal research, a much-needed alternative to hormone replacement therapy could be just around the corner. Hannah Devlin investigates. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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'Nature is quantum from the start': Sean Carroll, many worlds, and a new theory of spacetime – Science Weekly podcast
Ian Sample speaks to the theoretical physicist Sean Carroll about his mission to demystify quantum mechanics. It won’t be easy, though, as Carroll’s favoured interpretation of this fundamental theory – the ‘many worlds’ interpretation – results in a possibly infinite number of parallel universes. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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How to find life beyond Earth - Science Weekly podcast
As scientists at University College London announce the discovery of water in the atmosphere of a potentially habitable ‘super Earth’, Ian Sample explores our prospects for finding life beyond our own planet. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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How to stop MS in its tracks – Science Weekly podcast
Ian Sample visits Professor Richard Reynolds at the MS Society tissue bank to hear how research on brains of patients who died with multiple sclerosis is leading to novel insights and new treatments. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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How to stop MS in its tracks – Science Weekly podcast
Ian Sample visits Professor Richard Reynolds at the MS Society tissue bank to hear how research on brains of patients who died with multiple sclerosis is leading to novel insights and new treatments. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Oceans of Noise: Episode Three – Science Weekly
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 noise pollution First released: 03/05/2019. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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The psychology of climate science denial – Science Weekly podcast
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 campaigns?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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The interplay between gender and autism spectrum disorder – Science Weekly podcast
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 resonates with broader ideas of neurodiversity. We also hear from a listener about how this episode affected her life.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Mercury 13: the forgotten women of the space race - Science Weekly podcast
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 joins Nicola Davis and author Sue Nelson this week as they discuss what could and should have been. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Dark Patterns: the art of online deception – Science Weekly podcast
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 our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Cross Section: Giles Yeo – Science Weekly podcast
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 how, as a society, we’ve become overweight and what we can do about it.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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What happens when we can't test scientific theories? – Science Weekly podcast
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 independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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150 years of the periodic table – Science Weekly podcast
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 theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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The fight against HIV: then and now – Science Weekly podcast
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 can meet its target. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Cross Section: Frans de Waal – Science Weekly podcast
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 independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Tomorrow's weather forecast: fair with a good chance of improvement – Science Weekly podcast
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 cameras and connected cars could improve the forecast further. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Cross Section: Hiranya Peiris – Science Weekly podcast
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 support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Are alternative meats the key to a healthier life and planet? – Science Weekly podcast
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 claimed that Vitamin B12 is also known as Folate or Folic Acid. Whilst Folate/Folic Acid is also a B Vitamin, it is not Vitamin B12.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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The problem with sex – Science Weekly podcast
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 journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Oceans of Noise: Episode Three – Science Weekly podcast
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 unlikely role for sound artists such as himself. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Oceans of Noise: Episode Two – Science Weekly podcast
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 theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Oceans of Noise: Episode One – Science Weekly podcast
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 theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Black holes: seeing 'the unseeable' – Science Weekly podcast
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 theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Cross Section: Barry Smith - Science Weekly podcast
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 invited him into the studio to talk taste. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Why fast fashion should slow down – Science Weekly podcast
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 Erica Webber present. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Cross Section: David Spiegelhalter – Science Weekly podcast
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 today’s ‘post-truth’ world. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Vitamania: should we all be popping vitamin pills? – Science Weekly podcast
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 theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Blood: the future of cancer diagnosis? – Science Weekly podcast
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 theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Cross Section: Matt Parker - Science Weekly podcast
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 independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Gender data gap and a world built for men | podcast
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 women to VR headsets that give them motion sickness. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Gender data gap and a world built for men
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 women to VR headsets that give them motion sickness. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Do we need another massive particle collider? Science Weekly podcast
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 cost of building them.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod...

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Where on earth is North? - Science Weekly podcast
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 north....

Science

Cross Section: Jo Dunkley – Science Weekly podcast
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....

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How do we define creativity? - Science Weekly podcast
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...

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Cross Section: Hannah Fry – Science Weekly podcast
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 discipline to predict human behaviour?...

Science Mathematics

Cross Section: Dame Jane Francis - Science Weekly podcast
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 this planet...

Science Climatechange Environment Antarctica Worldnews


Cross Section: Tim Peake - Science Weekly podcast
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...

Science Space


Treating cancer: what role could our diet play? - Science Weekly podcast
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 promising. Hannah Devlin investigates....

Science Cancerresearch Medicalresearch

Cross Section: Sir Venki Ramakrishnan – Science Weekly podcast
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 better?...

Science Genetics Nobelprizes Biology Peopleinscience


What role should the public play in science? - Science Weekly podcast
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 value this feedback and we would like to highlight: The intention was to look at the relationship between science and the public. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (aka. myalgic encephalomyelitis) was intended as an example of the broader theme The response from Cochran...

Science Medicine

Falling fertility: lessons learned from Botswana – Science Weekly podcast
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 gag rule’ threaten this? Nicola Davis travels to Botswana to investigate...

Health Population Science Botswana Africa


Cross section: Mark Miodownik – Science Weekly podcast
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...

Science Materialsscience Chemistry Physics


Are fungi the secret to a sweet sounding violin? – Science Weekly podcast
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 if we tap into fungi as a resource. Hannah Devlin investigates....

Science Environment Fungi Music


Conservation: there will (not) be blood - Science Weekly podcast
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 compassionate approach...

Science Environment Conservation

Huntington's disease: the price paid for our big brains? – Science Weekly podcast
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. Hannah Devlin investigates....

Neuroscience Huntington'sdisease Science Evolution

Heatwaves: the next silent killer? - Science Weekly podcast
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 of heatwaves...

Science Climatechange Environment UKweather Wildfires


Biomimicry: Does nature do it better?
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...

Science Technology

Tricky taxonomy: the problems with naming new species – Science Weekly podcast
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 investigates why so-called taxonomic vandalism is on the rise and what we can do about it...

Taxonomy Science Biology Conservation


In vitro fertilisation: 40 years on – Science Weekly podcast
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 less fertile? Hannah Devlin investigates...

Science IVF Fertilityproblems

The dark side of happiness – Science Weekly podcast
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...

Science Neuroscience Psychology



Soundscape ecology with Bernie Krause – Science Weekly podcast
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 conservation...

Wildlife Environment Science Conservation Animalbehaviour Biology

Finding a voice: why we sound unique – Science Weekly podcast
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...

Science Neuroscience Psychology


Radiophobia: why do we fear nuclear power? – Science Weekly podcast
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....

Science Environment Nuclearpower Energy

Why is asbestos still killing people? – Science Weekly podcast
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...

Science Health Medicine Cancerresearch Medicalresearch Society

Growing brains in labs – Science Weekly podcast
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?...

Science Neuroscience Evolution Biology


The curious case of the dodo – Science Weekly podcast
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?...

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Alternative medicine and its sceptics – Science Weekly podcast
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?...

Science Alternativemedicine Medicine Health&wellbeing

A Neuroscientist Explains: how we read words - podcast
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...

Neuroscience Psychology Science

A Neuroscientist Explains: how we read words
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...

Neuroscience Psychology Science


A Neuroscientist Explains: where perception ends and hallucination begins
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?...

Science Neuroscience Mentalhealth Psychology Consciousness Humanbiology


The trouble with science - Science Weekly podcast
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?...

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Cross Section: Steven Pinker – Science Weekly podcast
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...

Science Psychology Scienceandscepticism Historyofscience StevenPinker


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

Science Neuroscience Psychology Lifeandstyle







Science, comedy, and society: Brian Cox and Robin Ince answer your questions
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 on Mars?...

Science Astronomy Physics Space BrianCox





Editing the embryo: removing harmful gene mutations - Science Weekly podcast
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 this open?...

Genetics Science Biology Reproduction Geneediting






Science weekly: can we cure Alzheimer's? – podcast
Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of people worldwide. But despite decades of research costing hundreds of millions of dollars, we have no cure. Why?...

Alzheimer's Medicalresearch Health Science Society

Science weekly: can we cure Alzheimer's?
Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of people worldwide. But despite decades of research costing hundreds of millions of dollars, we have no cure. Why?...

Alzheimer's Medicalresearch Health Science Society














Big Unknowns Series 2 trailer - the Science Weekly podcast
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...

Science



The eureka moment: how scientists learn to trust their gut – podcast
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 scientist came from...

Science Neuroscience Rosettaspaceprobe


The eureka moment: how scientists learn to trust their gut
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 scientist came from...

Science Neuroscience Rosettaspaceprobe

The man who lost touch – Science Weekly podcast
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?...

Science Psychology Neuroscience

Express yourself: how music plays with our emotions - podcast
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?...

Music Neuroscience Culture


Express yourself: how music plays with our emotions
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?...

Music Neuroscience Culture

Fever pitch: how sport hacks your emotions - Brain Waves podcast
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 engineer”...

Sport NFL Neuroscience Psychology


The nature of intelligence - Science Weekly podcast
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?...

Science Biology Evolution Animalbehaviour

Scents and sensibility: what's it like to live without smell?
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?...

Neuroscience Psychology Foodscience Science


The fate of Arctic sea ice – Science Weekly podcast
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?...

Science Climatechange Oceans Climatechange Environment

Brain waves: the science of emotion – podcast
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 bodies?...

Neuroscience Psychology

Brain waves: the science of emotion
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 bodies?...

Neuroscience Psychology


The secret lives of cities – podcast
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?...

Science Cities Sociology Materialsscience Urbanisation

The secret lives of cities
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?...

Science Cities Sociology Materialsscience Urbanisation


Big unknowns: what will become of us?
What does the future hold for humanity? And can we ever really know? Join us for a journey into the unknown...

Science Artificialintelligence(AI) Genetics

Big unknowns: what is consciousness?
What does it mean to be you? And how can science unpick the age-old debates around conscious experience? Join us for a journey into the unknown...

Science Neuroscience Consciousness Psychology Humanbiology


Big unknowns: is our universe infinite?
Does our universe go on forever? Or does it have boundaries? And what clues can science uncover? Join us for a journey into the unknown...

Science Space Mathematics Astronomy Physics


Do we want robots to be like humans?
Should machines have a concrete Mr Spock-like regard for logic or are there times when the best decision is a more human one?...

Robots Science Technology Ethics


The search for planet Earth's twin
Ian Sample talks to Stuart Clarke about his new book exploring exoplanets and alien worlds, and how to find another Earth...

Science Astronomy Space Physics


The future of gene research - podcast
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?...

Science Genetics Biology Health&wellbeing Geneediting

The future of gene research
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?...

Science Genetics Biology Health&wellbeing Geneediting


The truth about radiation - podcast
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...

Nuclearpower Nuclearwaste Science Fukushima

The truth about radiation
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...

Nuclearpower Nuclearwaste Science Fukushima


The psychology of money - podcast
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...

Science Money Psychology

The psychology of money
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...

Science Money Psychology


The truth of the tyrannosaurus
As we continue to discover new species of this huge dinosaur, is our understanding of it changing?...

Dinosaurs Science Fossils Biology Zoology Evolution


How do human voices work?
What makes our speaking voices so distinctive and so recognisable? How can we transform the way we use our voice?...

Science Biology


How harmful is cannabis? – podcast
What has convinced some researchers that the risks of heavy cannabis use now warrant public health campaigns to warn people of potential harm?...

Cannabis Drugs Science Schizophrenia Drugs Health Society Mentalhealth

How harmful is cannabis?
What has convinced some researchers that the risks of heavy cannabis use now warrant public health campaigns to warn people of potential harm?...

Cannabis Drugs Science Schizophrenia Drugs Health Society Mentalhealth


What happens inside the sun? - podcast
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...

Thesun Space Science Astronomy

What happens inside the sun?
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...

Thesun Space Science Astronomy


How do placebos work? The science of mind over body
Jo Marchant, science journalist and author of Cure, reveals the powerful and unexpected ways in which the mind can have a role in healing...

Placeboeffect Science Alternativemedicine Health&wellbeing Scienceandscepticism Medicalresearch

How do our genes actually work? Podcast
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...

Genetics Science Biology


The world's longest running human study turns 70
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...

Medicalresearch Science Health&wellbeing Books


A proper mouthful: how do we prevent food fraud? Podcast
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?...

Science Foodsafety Foodscience Horsemeatscandal Food&drinkindustry Themeatindustry Food

The end of chronic pain? podcast
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....

Science Medicalresearch Neuroscience


Ben Miller on the search for alien life
Why are we so fascinated by the idea that we aren’t alone in the universe?...

Science Alienlife Seti(SearchforExtraterrestrialIntelligence) Astronomy Space

The amazing designs of Leonardo Da Vinci - podcast
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...

Science LeonardodaVinci Engineering Artanddesign Technology Culture Museums

The amazing designs of Leonardo Da Vinci
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...

Science LeonardodaVinci Engineering Artanddesign Technology Culture Museums


What makes a good con artist? Podcast
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?...

Science Psychology Scams

The future of innovation in the NHS - podcast
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...

Science NHS Health Medicalresearch

The future of innovation in the NHS
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...

Science NHS Health Medicalresearch


Dark matter, dinosaurs and the science of uncertainties
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...

Science Physics Dinosaurs Particlephysics Space Astronomy