Science Weekly

By The Guardian

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Category: Science & Medicine

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Subscribers: 2213
Reviews: 7

 May 7, 2019
Thanh you for making the podcats.

 Mar 8, 2019

 Dec 14, 2018

 Nov 13, 2018
good.But to wipe out Pete Ellinger need time.

Pete Ellinger
 Oct 1, 2018
Sadly another podcast with warped views on ecosystems. Think on, an extinction equals an opportunity for evolution to exploit! It just takes time!


The award-winning Science Weekly podcast is the best place to learn about the big discoveries and debates in biology, chemistry, physics – and sometimes even maths. Ian Sample, Hannah Devlin and  Nicola Davis meet the great thinkers and doers in science and technology. Science has never sounded so good! We'd love to hear what you think, so get in touch via @guardianaudio or

Episode Date
Oceans of Noise: Episode Two – Science Weekly podcast
During our summer break, we’re revisiting the archives. Today, Wildlife recordist Chris Watson presents the second instalment of a three-part journey into the sonic environment of the ocean, celebrating the sounds and songs of marine life and investigating the threat of noise pollution First released: 03/05/2019. Help support our independent journalism at <a href=""></a>
Aug 16, 2019
Oceans of Noise: Episode One – Science Weekly podcast
During our summer break, we’re revisiting the archives. Today, Wildlife recordist Chris Watson begins a three-part journey into the sonic environment of the ocean, celebrating the sounds and songs of marine life and investigating the threat of noise pollution First released: 03/05/2019. Help support our independent journalism at <a href=""></a>
Aug 09, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
Aug 02, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
Jul 26, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
Jul 19, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
Jul 12, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
Jul 05, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
Jun 28, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
Jun 21, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
Jun 14, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
Jun 07, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
May 31, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
May 24, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
May 17, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
May 10, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
May 03, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
May 03, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
May 03, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
Apr 26, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
Apr 19, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
Apr 12, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
Apr 05, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
Mar 22, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
Mar 22, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
Mar 15, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
Mar 08, 2019
Farewell to Nasa's Mars rover Opportunity – Science Weekly podcast
Nicola Davis bids a fond farewell to the Mars rover Opportunity after Nasa declared the mission finally over, 15 years after the vehicle landed on the red planet.. Help support our independent journalism at <a href=""></a>
Mar 01, 2019
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 <a href=""></a>
Feb 22, 2019
Cross Section: Paul Davies – Science Weekly podcast
Nicola Davis talks to the theoretical physicist Paul Davies, who has been trying to find the solution to one of humankind’s trickier questions – what is life?
Feb 15, 2019
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.
Feb 08, 2019
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.
Feb 01, 2019
Toxic legacy: what to do with Britain's nuclear waste – Science Weekly podcast
The UK has a problem and it isn’t going to go away anytime soon. But what to do about it? This week Geoff Marsh explores plans to bury the UK’s nuclear waste deep underground
Jan 25, 2019
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
Jan 18, 2019
Exploring the far side of the moon – Science Weekly podcast
Hannah Devlin looks at why there is renewed interest in lunar exploration following the Chinese Chang’e 4 adventure on the far side of the moon
Jan 11, 2019
Did a supervolcano cause the dinosaurs' demise? – Science Weekly podcast
Some scientists are beginning to question whether it really was an asteroid impact that led to the dinosaurs’ extinction – instead, they think it may have been a supervolcano in India. Graihagh Jackson investigates
Jan 04, 2019
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?
Dec 28, 2018
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
Dec 21, 2018
Oh my: a psychological approach to awe – Science Weekly podcast
Nicola Davis asks what’s behind one of humanity’s most powerful and possibly evolutionarily important emotions
Dec 14, 2018
Gene-edited babies: why are scientists so appalled? – Science Weekly podcast
Last week Dr He Jiankui announced he had created the world’s first gene-edited babies. Hundreds of Chinese scientists have signed a letter condemning the research. Hannah Devlin delves into why He’s research has caused such uproar
Dec 07, 2018
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
Nov 30, 2018
Can we trust artificial intelligence lie detectors? – Science Weekly podcast
Liar liar, pants on fire? In this collaboration between the Guardian’s Science Weekly and Chips with Everything podcasts, we explore whether it will ever be possible to build intelligent machines to detect porky pies
Nov 23, 2018
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.
Nov 16, 2018
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?
Nov 09, 2018
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 Cochrane’s Editor we quoted from a Reuters piece was a part inclusion of this statement The episode included two authors of the PACE trial. The trial is considered controversial and has received criticisms. It has not been retracted Since publishing, the complainant has been named by Cochrane. And the details of the complaints have been made publicly available. Read them here. Updated: 07/08/19
Nov 02, 2018
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
Oct 26, 2018
Mars is barred: why we shouldn't go to the red planet – Science Weekly podcast
Elon Musk believes we should colonise Mars to ensure the survival of the human race. But is this reasoning compelling enough? Hannah Devlin ponders the case against setting our sites on Mars
Oct 19, 2018
A step in the right direction: could implants help people walk again? – Science Weekly podcast
Four people with paraplegia were recently implanted with electrodes in their lower backs. They all regained movement below their injuries, and two walked again. This week Nicola Davis investigates this technique – epidural stimulation – and other approaches for treating spinal cord injuries
Oct 12, 2018
The weight is over: will kilograms get an upgrade? – Science Weekly podcast
On 16 November, scientists vote on whether to update the way we measure the kilogram. This week, Ian Sample investigates the history of the metric system, and finds out how universal constants might now make it more robust
Oct 05, 2018
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
Sep 28, 2018
Opioid addiction: can the UK curb the looming crisis? – Science Weekly podcast
The US has been in the grip of an ‘opioid epidemic’ since the 1990s, and now a rise in opioid prescriptions and deaths is being seen across the pond. Ian Sample investigates and asks: what can we do the curb the looming crisis?
Sep 21, 2018
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.
Sep 14, 2018
Could a new force of nature reveal the universe's dark side? – Science Weekly podcast
We can see only 4% of the observable universe – the rest is made up of invisible ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’. Now scientists are looking for a postulated force of nature that could open a door to the dark side. Ian Sample investigates
Sep 07, 2018
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
Aug 31, 2018
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.
Aug 24, 2018
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
Aug 17, 2018
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
Aug 10, 2018
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
Aug 03, 2018
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
Jul 27, 2018
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
Jul 20, 2018
From Ebola to Nipah: are we ready for the next epidemic? – Science Weekly podcast
The 2014 Ebola outbreak killed over 10,000 people before it was eventually brought under control. As new infectious diseases appear around the world, what can we learn from past outbreaks to better prepare ourselves?
Jul 13, 2018
Did dinosaurs stop to smell the flowers? – Science Weekly podcast
Is it true that dinosaurs had a role to play in the emergence of flowers? Nicola Davis investigates whether herbivores caused plants to blossom
Jul 06, 2018
Slice of PIE: a linguistic common ancestor – Science Weekly podcast
Nicola Davis explores Proto-Indo-European, the hypothetical common ancestor of modern Indo-European languages and asks, where did it come from? How and why did it spread? And do languages evolve like genes?
Jun 29, 2018
Gene-edited pigs: can we engineer immunity? – Science Weekly podcast
Pigs have been rendered immune to a disease that has cost billions. Hannah Devlin questions whether this could be the future of eliminating debilitating and costly viruses in livestock
Jun 22, 2018
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
Jun 15, 2018
The psychological effects of inequality – Science Weekly podcast
Wealth inequality has skyrocketed in the UK, as has anxiety, stress and mental illness. Could the two be linked? Richard Lea investigates
Jun 08, 2018
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
Jun 01, 2018
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.
May 25, 2018
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
May 18, 2018
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?
May 11, 2018
Cross Section: Carlo Rovelli – Science Weekly podcast
Guest host Richard Lea reimagines time with theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli. What is time, after all? Should we be thinking about it differently?
May 04, 2018
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?
Apr 27, 2018
The science behind why we fight – Science Weekly podcast
This week, Ian Sample asks: why do humans fight? Can science tell us anything about what drives us to violence?
Apr 20, 2018
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?
Apr 13, 2018
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
Apr 09, 2018
What our teeth tell us about our evolutionary past – Science Weekly podcast
This week, Nicola Davis asks: what clues do our teeth hold about our species? And what can they tell us about our past?
Apr 06, 2018
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?
Apr 02, 2018
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?
Mar 30, 2018
Inside the secret life of the teenage brain – Science Weekly podcast
Hannah Devlin speaks to neuroscientist Prof Sarah-Jayne Blakemore about her groundbreaking research into the adolescent brain
Mar 23, 2018
A Neuroscientist Explains: how whooping increases your enjoyment
Daniel Glaser explores the complex relationship between mind and body when it comes to emotion
Mar 23, 2018
A Neuroscientist Explains: psychology's replication crisis – podcast trailer
In episode three of the second season of A Neuroscientist Explains, Daniel Glaser revisits a weekly column that saw him roped into what is now being called a crisis for psychology and further afield
Mar 20, 2018
What do the chemical signatures of deadly nerve agents tell us about their origins? – Science Weekly podcast
Ian Sample talks to two fellow Guardian reporters and a professor of environmental toxicology about the Salisbury spy poisoning
Mar 16, 2018
A Neuroscientist Explains: the origins of social behaviour – podcast trailer
In episode two of the second season of our A Neuroscientist Explains podcast, Daniel Glaser explores the evolutionary origins of social conformity
Mar 15, 2018
Is it possible to enhance and rewire the adult brain? – Science Weekly podcast
Nicola Davis asks: can we increase the window of brain plasticity in the later stages of life? And what do we know about the implications of doing so?
Mar 09, 2018
A Neuroscientist Explains: is the internet addictive?
Dr Daniel Glaser is back. To kick off season two he asks whether there is a connection between reward and addiction. And can we really get addicted to Twitter?
Mar 05, 2018
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
Mar 02, 2018
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!
Feb 27, 2018
What happened to US diplomats in Cuba? – Science Weekly podcast
Ian Sample delves into a preliminary study of US embassy staff said to have been targeted by an energy source in Cuba. With no unifying explanation, what do scientists think happened?
Feb 23, 2018
E-cigarettes and the burning issues around vaping - Science Weekly podcast
Ian Sample asks: how safe is vaping? Can it help people stop smoking? And should it be available via a doctor’s prescription?
Feb 16, 2018
Culture and the mind: a new theory of human intelligence – Science Weekly podcast
What role might culture play in intelligence? And how does human culture differ from culture found in other animals? Nicola Davis explores our evolutionary history
Feb 07, 2018
Why is the flu so bad this year? - Science Weekly podcast
Hannah Devlin explores why 2018 is such a bumper year for seasonal flu and asks how scientists are trying to fight back
Feb 01, 2018
Questioning AI: does artificial intelligence need an off switch? - Science Weekly podcast
Our final mini-series episode asks what impact might AI have on society – and who decides when to turn it off?
Jan 24, 2018
Questioning AI: what can scientists learn from artificial intelligence? – Science Weekly podcast
In this episode of our new mini-series, Ian Sample explores how AI is providing insights into cancer diagnosis, intelligence, and physics
Jan 17, 2018
Questioning AI: what kind of intelligence will we create? – Science Weekly podcast
In the second episode of this mini-series, Ian Sample asks if human-level intelligence is what we should be aiming for. And can we replicate something we can’t even define?
Jan 10, 2018
Questioning AI: what are the key research challenges? – Science Weekly podcast
In the first episode of our Questioning Artificial Intelligence mini-series, Ian Sample explores some of the key hurdles for machine learning, including reasoning and social intelligence
Jan 04, 2018
Frankenpod 200: celebrating Mary Shelley’s masterpiece - Science Weekly podcast
Two hundred years after the publication of Frankenstein, how relevant are the themes and concerns of Shelley’s gothic tale to today’s readers?
Dec 27, 2017
DIY Crispr: biohacking your own genome – Science Weekly podcast
With do-it-yourself Crispr kits now available online, Hannah Devlin asks if it’s really possible to edit your own DNA, is it safe and how should it be regulated?
Dec 20, 2017
Poles apart: how do we save society? - Science Weekly podcast
Divisions between left and right, young and old, metropolitan and rural have never been greater. How can we connect with those we disagree with? And what happens if we fail?
Dec 13, 2017
Fighting infection: from Joseph Lister to superbugs - Science Weekly podcast
Nicola Davis explores the origins of antiseptic surgery and asks what we might learn from its founding father about taking on today’s biggest healthcare threats
Dec 06, 2017
Cross Section: Sophie Scott - Science Weekly Podcast
Where did human language come from? What role does it serve? And how might emojis and GIFs enhance human interaction?
Nov 29, 2017
Healthy body, healthy mind: a new approach for mental disorders - Science Weekly podcast
What role might the immune system play in mental illness? And how might this challenge long-held beliefs about the divide between body and brain?
Nov 22, 2017
Tomorrow's technology: from asteroid mining to programmable matter – Science Weekly podcast
Ian Sample looks to the future and asks what might the technologies of tomorrow look like? And how might they change our world?
Nov 15, 2017
Running smart: the science of completing a marathon – Science Weekly podcast
Hannah Devlin discusses the limits of human performance with sports scientist Professor John Brewer and amateur marathon runner Vicky Solly
Nov 08, 2017
How does socioeconomic position affect our health? - Science Weekly podcast
This week, Ian Sample and Nicola Davis explore the complex relationship between poverty, stress, and life expectancy
Nov 01, 2017
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?
Oct 25, 2017
Decisions, decisions: the neuroscience of how we choose – Science Weekly podcast
Ian Sample speaks with two members of an ambitious project that hopes to crack one of neuroscience’s biggest mysteries
Oct 18, 2017
The Party: how can gender affect autism spectrum disorders? – Science Weekly podcast
Why are so many women with autism often misdiagnosed? And how does this issue resonate with broader ideas of neurodiversity?
Oct 12, 2017
From zero to infinity: a brief history of counting – Science Weekly podcast
Nicola Davis is joined by mathematician Marcus du Sautoy to explore zero, infinity and everything in between
Oct 04, 2017
Childhood cancer survivors: a unique perspective – Science Weekly podcast
What does later life look like for the growing population of childhood cancer survivors? And how might their experiences change the way we treat this group of diseases?
Sep 27, 2017
The cybercrime arms race: fighting back against the hackers - Science Weekly podcast
Nicola Davis speaks with two experts on the frontline of cybercrime to find out how the changing digital landscape is leaving us all vulnerable to cyber attacks
Sep 20, 2017
Statistical vigilantes: the war on scientific fraud – Science Weekly podcast
Hannah Devlin delves into the case of a shamed Japanese scientist to explore how statistical malpractice is damaging science - whether employed knowingly or not
Sep 14, 2017
The grey zone: reaching out to patients with disorders of consciousness
In this edition of Science Weekly, Ian Sample explores whether it is possible to communicate with those in a ‘vegetative’ state – and what are the ethical and legal ramifications?
Sep 06, 2017
Plastics: a villainous material? Or a victim of its own success? – Science Weekly podcast
Nicola Davis delves into the world of plastics to find out exactly how and why they became so widespread, and what can now be done to curtail the ever-present problems they can cause
Aug 30, 2017
Being human in the age of artificial intelligence - Science Weekly podcast
Ian Sample speaks with Prof Max Tegmark about the advance of AI, the future of life on Earth, and what happens if and when a ‘superintelligence’ arrives
Aug 23, 2017
Cross Section: Dame Stephanie Shirley – Science Weekly podcast
Hannah Devlin speaks with the IT pioneer about her life as a woman in tech, having a son with autism, and how it all led to her later role as a philanthropist
Aug 16, 2017
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?
Aug 10, 2017
A peek behind the cosmic curtain: Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw answer your questions
Science Weekly hosts the authors of Universal: a guide to the cosmos for a special live recording answering questions about the big bang, the multiverse and more
Aug 02, 2017
Minds and machines: can we work together in the digital age? - Science Weekly podcast
Ian Sample sits down with Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson to discuss the future of the workplace and the role artificial intelligence will play
Jul 26, 2017
Science Weekly live: call for listener's questions - Science Weekly podcast
This Thursday, we’ll be recording a very special Q&A episode with Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw and we want your questions!
Jul 25, 2017
Hearing voices: the science of auditory verbal hallucinations - Science Weekly podcast
What can advances in neuroscience and psychology reveal about this age-old phenomenon? And how might digital avatars help patients answer back?
Jul 19, 2017
Big data: what can the internet tell us about who we really are? – Science Weekly podcast
In an age where Google sees trillions of searches a year, what can our usage of it reveal? How accurate are these ‘big data’ representations? And how might this all be used for the greater good?
Jul 12, 2017
A history of human creativity: the good, the bad, and the ugly – Science Weekly podcast
Ian Sample delves into our evolutionary past to explore the role creativity and collaboration may have played in early human societies
Jul 06, 2017
Cross section: Athene Donald – Science Weekly podcast
Hannah Devlin sits down with experimental physicist Athene Donald to explore her work in polymers and role as an advocate for gender equality in science
Jun 28, 2017
Out with the old: new treatment on cell ageing process – Science Weekly podcast
Ian Sample explores research on cellular senescence and the role this therapeutic approach can play in age-related diseases and health issues
Jun 21, 2017
Face value: the science of first impressions – Science Weekly podcast
Hannah Devlin delves into the world of human faces and asks: how does the brain process them? And how do faces affect our ideas about people?
Jun 16, 2017
Solar spacecraft: two missions to the sun - Science Weekly podcast
Nicola Davis speaks with two scientists about their respective missions to the sun - what burning questions do they hope to answer? And what are some of the obstacles?
Jun 11, 2017
Cross Section: Robbert Dijkgraaf – Science Weekly podcast
This week, Nicola Davis sits down with mathematical physicist Professor Robbert Dijkgraaf to discuss The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge
Jun 04, 2017
The Bell-Beaker folk - Science Weekly podcast
Hannah Devlin looks at a genome study that may explain the spread of bell-shaped pottery beakers across Europe 4,500 years ago
May 28, 2017
Is graphene really worth the hype – science weekly
Nicola Davis investigates what makes graphene the ‘wonder material’ and whether it can bring commercial success to the UK
May 21, 2017
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?
May 14, 2017
Erica answers: responses from an android - Science Weekly podcast
Erica - the world’s ‘most beautiful and intelligent’ android - responds to people’s questions about her memories, superintelligence, and the future of humanity
May 03, 2017
How Artificial Intelligence will change the world: a live event - Science Weekly podcast
Recorded in front of a live audience as part of our Brainwaves series, Ian Sample asks a group of experts how AI will change our social landscape - for better or worse
Apr 27, 2017
Breakthrough Starshot: getting to Proxima Centauri b – Science Weekly podcast
Hannah Devlin explores the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative, which aims to use lasers to propel spherical sails to Alpha Centauri - our closest star system - over four light years away
Apr 20, 2017
The evolution of reason: a new theory of human understanding – Science Weekly podcast
Ian Sample and Nicola Davis delve into the world of reason and ask why do we have it? How does it work? And what insights might our evolutionary past provide?
Apr 13, 2017
First Impressions: what can babies see? - Science Weekly Podcast
What can we see when we’re born? How does this develop with time? And how can our culture and language affect the way we perceive the world around us?
Apr 11, 2017
Cross Section: Lawrence Krauss - Science Weekly podcast
Nicola Davis asks theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and science communicator Professor Lawrence Krauss about the secrets of the universe
Apr 05, 2017
Built on bones: the history of humans in the city - Science Weekly podcast
Ian Sample and bioarchaeologist Brenna Hassett explore the history of our relationship with an urban lifestyle – the good, the bad, and the ugly
Mar 28, 2017
Cryogenic preservation: from single cells to whole organs – Science Weekly podcast
Hannah Devlin looks at recent advances in the field of cryopreservation and asks how close we are to applying these technologies to whole organs
Mar 22, 2017
How to write a successful science book – Science Weekly podcast
To celebrate the announcement of the 2017 Wellcome Book Prize shortlist, Hannah Devlin asks three of its featured authors about the secrets to writing a successful science book
Mar 15, 2017
Is it time for an update to evolutionary theory? - Science Weekly podcast
The extended evolutionary synthesis is controversially proposed as an update to evolutionary theory as we know it. Nicola Davis explores the arguments
Mar 08, 2017
Exoplanets orbiting Trappist-1 and the search for life – Science Weekly podcast
Hannah Devlin explores the research behind the recent announcement of seven Earth-size planets and asks how we might probe their nature, including a suitability for life Exoplanet discovery: seven Earth-sized planets found orbiting nearby star
Mar 01, 2017
A neuroscientist explains: teaching morality to robots
Dr Daniel Glaser delves into the murky world of Artificial Intelligence and asks whether true intelligence can exist without an understanding of morality
Feb 26, 2017
Nudge theory: the psychology and ethics of persuasion - Science Weekly podcast
This week, Ian Sample explores the psychology behind ‘nudging’, its usage by governments, and some of the ethical quandaries involved
Feb 22, 2017
A neuroscientist explains: magnetic resonance imaging
Dr Daniel Glaser explores the history and science behind a well known method of brain imaging, including a trip for producer Max into an MRI scanner
Feb 19, 2017
Poison tales: the chemistry of crime fiction – Science Weekly podcast
Nicola Davis sits down with Dr Kathryn Harkup to discuss a shared love of crime fiction and the chemistry contained within their poisonous plots
Feb 15, 2017
A neuroscientist explains: listener's emails about empathy
Responding to some of our listener’s emails, Dr Daniel Glaser ponders whether dogs have a Theory of Mind, the neuroscience behind bilingualism, and the value of introspection
Feb 14, 2017
A neuroscientist explains: how we perceive the truth
Dr Daniel Glaser explores what the wiring of the brain can tell us about how we perceive the world
Feb 12, 2017
Is emergent quantum mechanics grounded in classical physics? - Science Weekly podcast
Does strange quantum behaviour emerge from run-of-the-mill classical physics? If so, what does this tell us about the fundamental nature of reality?
Feb 09, 2017
A neuroscientist explains: listener's emails about memory
Responding to some of our listener’s emails, Dr Daniel Glaser explores the role of photographs for recall, and the vividness of musical memory
Feb 08, 2017
A neuroscientist explains: the need for ‘empathetic citizens’
What is the neuroscience behind empathy? When do children develop it? And can it be taught?
Feb 05, 2017
Cross Section: Uta Frith – Science Weekly podcast
Nicola Davis sits down with Professor Uta Frith to talk autism, passion, rebellion and the role of women in science
Feb 01, 2017
A neuroscientist explains: how the brain stores memories
How do brains and computers differ when it comes to memory storage? And what clues can we get from the ageing brain?
Jan 29, 2017
The narcissistic scientist: big brain, big head? – Science Weekly podcast
How prevalent is narcissism in science? Has this changed over time? And how could it threaten the fundamental pillars of science?
Jan 25, 2017
A neuroscientist explains: how music affects the brain
In the first episode of this new podcast, Dr Daniel Glaser asks what effect does music have on our brains? And how can it be harnessed for therapy?
Jan 22, 2017
Communicating climate change: a psychoanalysis – Science Weekly podcast
What is the psychology behind climate change denial? Can it be overcome? And what communication tips can scientists take from political campaigns?
Jan 19, 2017
Universal grammar: are we born knowing the rules of language? – Science weekly podcast
Do all human languages share a universal grammar? And can science shed light on a schism that’s divided the world of linguistics for over half a century?
Jan 11, 2017
Stephen Hawking at 75: a brief history – Science Weekly podcast
The origin of the universe, the distribution of galaxies, and the nature of black holes – it’s all in a day’s work for one of the most prominent scientists of all time
Jan 08, 2017
Recast: Us and Them - Science Weekly podcast
Are we biologically primed to fear outsiders? And can science help us bridge the divide when conflicts arise?
Dec 27, 2016
Juno probe's Jupiter mission update - Science Weekly podcast
What has Juno revealed since it dropped into Jupiter’s orbit earlier this year? And how is the probe holding up against the solar system’s largest gas giant?
Dec 20, 2016
The male contraceptive pill: how close are we? – Science Weekly podcast
Over 100 million women around the world use the female contraceptive pill. But why isn’t there a male alternative? And are the barriers to its creation scientific or social?
Dec 14, 2016
Cross Section: Neil deGrasse Tyson – Science Weekly podcast
What first attracted one of the world’s foremost astrophysicists to the night sky? Are we alone in the universe? And how can scientific thinking benefit us all?
Dec 07, 2016
Big Unknowns: can we stop ageing? – Science Weekly podcast
With advances in medicine, science, and technology allowing humans to live longer than ever, can we finally crack the code of ageing and stop it altogether?
Nov 29, 2016
Big Unknowns: what is dark matter? – Science Weekly podcast
Matter as we know it accounts for less than 5% of the known universe - the rest remains something of a mystery
Nov 22, 2016
Big Unknowns: is free will an illusion? – Science Weekly podcast
Free will has been debated by philosophers and theologians for centuries. Neuroscientists and psychologists have now entered the fray - but what new light can they shed? And just how free are we when it comes to “free” will?
Nov 15, 2016
Big Unknowns: how did life begin? – Science Weekly podcast
According to our best estimates, life first appeared on planet Earth around 3.8bn years ago. But what happened leading up to it? What conditions were necessary? And what is ‘life’ anyway’?
Nov 08, 2016
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
Nov 04, 2016
Cross Section: Mike Massimino – Science Weekly podcast
Like many kids, Mike Massimino dreamed of becoming an astronaut. Against all odds, he turned that dream into reality. This is his story
Nov 01, 2016
Ethics and genetics: opening the book of life – Science Weekly podcast
When it comes to the ethics of genetic technologies who decides how far we should go in our pursuit for perfection?
Oct 25, 2016
False memories: from the lab to the courtroom - Science Weekly podcast
How much of our memory is fictitious? And how is this psychological research now being applied to the world of eyewitness testimony and victim statements?
Oct 18, 2016
The quest for a theory of everything – Science Weekly podcast
In the race for a unifying ‘theory of everything’ two frontrunners are miles ahead. But what will win? String theory? Loop quantum gravity? Or something else entirely?
Oct 11, 2016
Weapons of math destruction: how big data and algorithms affect our lives
In this special collaboration between the Guardian’s Science Weekly and Chips with Everything podcasts, we explore how big data and algorithms affect our lives - for better and worse
Oct 04, 2016
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
Sep 29, 2016
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?
Sep 27, 2016
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?
Sep 22, 2016
Cross Section: Sir Roger Penrose – Science Weekly podcast
Has string theory become too fashionable? Do we place too much faith in quantum mechanics? And does mathematics exist in the external objective world?
Sep 20, 2016
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”
Sep 15, 2016
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?
Sep 13, 2016
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?
Sep 08, 2016
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?
Sep 06, 2016
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?
Sep 01, 2016
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?
Aug 28, 2016
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
Aug 21, 2016
Big unknowns: is time an illusion? – Science Weekly podcast
Is time a figment of the human mind or the most fundamental of phenomena? And what do the physical laws of nature reveal about its mysteries?
Aug 12, 2016
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
Aug 05, 2016
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
Jul 29, 2016
Us and Them: are we biologically primed to fear outsiders? - Science Weekly podcast
Is there a biological basis for human division? And can science help us bridge the divide when conflicts arise?
Jul 22, 2016
What is the future of touch? - Science Weekly podcast
We get a feel for how the latest advances in haptic technologies are bringing us all closer together
Jul 15, 2016
The Juno probe: unearthing Jupiter’s past - Science Weekly podcast
After five years and 1.4bn miles, the Nasa spacecraft has arrived at its final destination, but what is this plucky little probe hoping to find?
Jul 08, 2016
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?
Jul 01, 2016
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
Jun 24, 2016
Second chance saloon: the power of old ideas
Why do ideas discarded for centuries, like electric cars, return to the cutting edge of science and technology?
Jun 17, 2016
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?
Jun 10, 2016
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
Jun 03, 2016
The ethics of growing human embryos in the lab
Should the current 14 day limit for growing human embryos in the lab be extended in light of recent breakthroughs?
May 27, 2016
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
May 20, 2016
The truth of the tyrannosaurus
As we continue to discover new species of this huge dinosaur, is our understanding of it changing?
May 13, 2016
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?
May 06, 2016
Revolutionary! Why was 1700s France such a fertile time for science? - Science Weekly podcast
Steve Jones on science at the time of the French revolution - and why scientists were among the first to be sent to the guillotine
Apr 29, 2016
The Science of Shakespeare - Science Weekly podcast
This week on Science Weekly we delve into a world not commonly ventured into by us scientists... Shakespeare
Apr 23, 2016
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?
Apr 15, 2016