The Guardian's Science Weekly


Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.

Category: Science & Medicine

Open in iTunes

Open RSS feed

Open Website

Rate for this podcast

A Podcast Republic user
 Jul 27, 2018

A Podcast Republic user
 Jul 17, 2018


The award winning Science Weekly is the best place to learn about the big discoveries and debates in biology, chemistry, physics, and sometimes even maths. From the Guardian science desk  Ian Sample, Hannah Devlin &  Nicola Davis meet the great 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
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? – podcast
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 - 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
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 - podcast
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 – podcast
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? – podcast
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 – podcast
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 – podcast
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 – podcast
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 - podcast
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? – 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?
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 – podcast
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 - podcast
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 – podcast
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 - podcast
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 - podcast
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’ - podcast
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 - podcast
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 - podcast
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