Twitter: @guardianscience (followed by 127 science writers)
2021 to present
Average episode: 16 minutes
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Podcaster's summary: Twice a week, the Guardian brings you the latest science and environment news.
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|2022-Sep-27 • 17 minutes|
How a man and his dogs discovered the cause of narcolepsy
Madeleine Finlay speaks to one of the winners of this year’s Breakthrough prize, Prof Emmanuel Mignot, about how he uncovered the cause of narcolepsy, why it is similar to diabetes, and how his work may finally result in a treatment for the condition
|2022-Sep-22 • 17 minutes|
Why is the NHS in crisis, and can it be fixed?
Ian Sample hears from acute medicine consultant Dr Tim Cooksley about what’s happening within the NHS, and speaks to the Guardian’s health policy editor, Denis Campbell, about how the UK’s health and social care systems ended up in crisis and whether they can be fixed
|2022-Sep-20 • 18 minutes|
How will Jacob Rees-Mogg tackle the energy and climate crises?
Against a backdrop of a cost of living crisis caused in part by soaring energy prices, the UK’s new prime minister, Liz Truss, appointed MP Jacob Rees-Mogg as secretary of state for business and energy. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Fiona Harvey about his plans to extract ‘every last drop’ of North Sea oil and gas, and the government’s commitment to green energy
|2022-Sep-15 • 12 minutes|
How air pollution is changing our view of cancer
A groundbreaking new study has revealed how air pollution can cause lung cancer, and promises to rewrite our understanding of the disease. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Hannah Devlin about how scientists uncovered the link
|2022-Sep-13 • 12 minutes|
Why do we grieve the death of public figures?
Ian Sample talks to Prof Michael Cholbi about what grief is, how losing a public figure can have such a profound impact on our lives, and why there’s value in grieving
|2022-Sep-08 • 16 minutes|
Could a new vaccine tackle rising rates of Lyme disease?
As cases of tick-borne Lyme disease grow around the world, a new vaccine will soon be tested on thousands of volunteers. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Dr Eoin Healy about what causes Lyme disease and how the vaccine works, and hears from a special guest about their own experience of getting ill with the disease.
|2022-Sep-06 • 13 minutes|
What could go wrong at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant?
The recent shelling of attack of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant – Europe’s largest – has triggered international concern. But what are the risks of a nuclear disaster? Ian Sample speaks to Prof Claire Corkhill about what will happen if the plant loses power, and how a nuclear meltdown could be avoided
|2022-Sep-01 • 14 minutes|
100 days until Cop15: what next to save nature?
It is now less than 100 days until Cop15, the UN convention on biological diversity. With the Earth experiencing the largest loss of life since the dinosaurs, these talks will be critical for the future of the planet and humanity. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Phoebe Weston about how negotiations have been going so far, and what’s next on the road to Cop15
|2022-Aug-30 • 12 minutes|
What is raw sewage doing to the UK’s rivers and seas?
Raw sewage, containing wet wipes, excrement and used sanitary products, is being regularly discharged into British rivers and seas. Last year, water companies released untreated sewage into waterways for 2.7m hours. Madeleine Finlay speaks to reporter Helena Horton about why this is happening and the damage it is doing to the environment
|2022-Aug-25 • 16 minutes|
What’s going on with UK teenagers’ mental health?
Todays’ teenagers don’t have it easy – they are faced with the aftermath of the pandemic, a cost of living crisis, the impacts of social media and an uncertain future caused by the climate crisis. It may be no surprise they are increasingly reporting mental health problems. But is this the full picture? And how do we best help adolescents?
|2022-Aug-23 • 15 minutes|
How did mammals come to rule the world?
Mammals first appeared on Earth at least 178 million years ago, and have since shared the planet with dinosaurs, survived an asteroid, and made it through an ice age. Now, they’re facing their biggest threat yet – humans. Nicola Davis describes the incredible history of mammals and what it can tell us about their, and our, future
|2022-Aug-18 • 12 minutes|
From the archive: Will Silicon Valley help us live to 200 and beyond? – podcast
Billions are being poured into scientific efforts to understand and stave off the effects of ageing. Ian Sample finds out about how Silicon Valley startups aim to keep the rich younger and healthier for longer
|2022-Aug-16 • 17 minutes|
From the archive: What are the hidden costs of our obsession with fish oil pills?
A study found more than 1 in 10 capsules were rancid. Yet, these supplements are part of a billion-dollar industry mining one of the most productive marine ecosystems on Earth
|2022-Aug-11 • 12 minutes|
From the archive: Are western lifestyles causing a rise in autoimmune diseases?
Ian Sample investigates whether western lifestyles, from fast foods to urbanisation, could be behind the rapid rise in autoimmune diseases around the world
|2022-Aug-09 • 16 minutes|
From the archive: Why are climate and conservation scientists taking to the streets?
Madeleine Finlay speaks to conservation scientist Dr Charlie Gardner about why many researchers around the world are leaving their labs to protest – and why he thinks civil disobedience is the only option left
|2022-Aug-04 • 16 minutes|
James Lovelock and the legacy of his Gaia hypothesis
Global environment editor Jonathan Watts describes the incredible legacy left behind by the scientist, inventor and maverick James Lovelock. Best known for the Gaia hypothesis of the Earth as a self-regulating system, Lovelock’s immense influence on the environmental movement will continue to be felt in the critical decades ahead
|2022-Aug-02 • 11 minutes|
Is it time for a complete overhaul of car wreck rescue techniques?
Anand Jagatia speaks to Linda Geddes and Dr Tim Nutbeam about new research on the best way to free someone from a wreckage
|2022-Jul-28 • 13 minutes|
Which Tory leadership candidate is the ‘greenest’?
Ian Sample chats to Fiona Harvey about which of the final two Tory leadership candidates is the ‘least bad’ when it comes to green policies, and why one of the world’s most urgent issues has taken a back seat in the contest
|2022-Jul-26 • 15 minutes|
Learning how to cope with ‘climate doom’
Anand Jagatia speaks to psychotherapist Caroline Hickman about climate anxiety, and how we can turn feelings of doom into positive action
|2022-Jul-21 • 13 minutes|
Have Biden’s climate pledges just been killed off?
Ian Sample speaks to Prof Elizabeth Bomberg about recent developments that have hobbled the US government on climate action
|2022-Jul-19 • 14 minutes|
‘Falling from the sky in distress’: the deadly bird flu outbreak sweeping the world
Avian influenza is sweeping across the world, killing millions of birds. In the UK, wild seabird populations are being hit hard. Phoebe Weston tells Madeleine Finlay about the devastating impact
|2022-Jul-14 • 15 minutes|
James Webb space telescope: thousands of galaxies in a grain of sand
Astronomer Prof Ray Jayawardhana speaks to Ian Sample about the first spectacular images from the JWST – and what they tell us about the cosmos
|2022-Jul-12 • 13 minutes|
Why have Australian honeybees been put into lockdown? Podcast
Madeleine Finlay finds out why the varroa mite, a deadly parasite, poses such a threat and what it means to put bees into lockdown
|2022-Jul-07 • 16 minutes|
Roe v Wade: why vasectomies are no answer to abortion restrictions
The US supreme court recently overturned Roe v Wade, making abortions illegal in roughly half the country. The ruling sparked debate around men’s reproductive choices and vasectomies as a contraceptive method. Madeleine Finlay explores the dark history of vasectomies and busts some myths around the procedure
|2022-Jul-05 • 14 minutes|
New Covid wave: Is this what ‘living with covid’ looks like?
Another wave of Covid has hit the UK, driven by even more transmissible variants of Omicron BA.4 and BA.5. Ian Sample asks whether this will translate into hospitalisations and deaths, and whether we should now expect ongoing cycles of Covid waves in the months and years to come
|2022-Jun-30 • 12 minutes|
Is polio in our sewage as worrying as it sounds?
Ian Sample speaks to epidemiologist Nicholas Grassly to find out how worried we should be about poliovirus in London sewage, and what it means for the global effort to eradicate polio.
|2022-Jun-28 • 17 minutes|
Shitcoins: are pointless cryptocurrencies a scam or a gamble?
Madeleine Finlay speaks to UK technology editor Alex Hern about how his identity was stolen to flog a doomed cryptocurrency, and what it revealed about scams, gambling and the culture of digital, decentralised coins
|2022-Jun-23 • 13 minutes|
Rewilding with wolves: can they help rebuild ecosystems?
Phoebe Weston talks to Ian Sample about whether wolves have the power to regenerate landscapes – and what that means for the reintroduction debate
|2022-Jun-21 • 16 minutes|
Seagrass meadows: can we rewild one of the world’s best carbon sinks?
Seagrass meadows support an incredible array of biodiversity but they have disappeared at a frightening pace. Science Weekly’s Madeleine Finlay visits a rewilding project in Hampshire and speaks to marine biologist Tim Ferrero about the challenges of replanting them
|2022-Jun-16 • 12 minutes|
How Google’s chatbot works – and why it isn’t sentient
AI researcher Kate Crawford speaks to Ian Sample about how Google’s AI system actually works, and why it’s unlikely to have a life of its own.
|2022-Jun-14 • 13 minutes|
How much does smoking damage our mental health?
According to some estimates smoking causes one in 10 deaths worldwide. A lesser known side-effect of cigarettes is the damage they cause to our mental health. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Dr Gemma Taylor about the link between smoking and mental heath and how to bust the myth that smoking is a stress reliever
|2022-Jun-09 • 16 minutes|
Why would Boris Johnson want to bring back imperial units?
Science editor Ian Sample speaks to metrology historian James Vincent about how measurement has always been deeply entwined with politics and power – and why it’s unlikely we’ll be getting rid of pints in pubs any time soon.
|2022-Jun-07 • 13 minutes|
Is pollution making us fat?
According to a major scientific review, chemical pollution in the environment is supersizing the global obesity epidemic. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Damian Carrington about these ‘obesogens’ and how they are changing our bodies
|2022-Jun-02 • 20 minutes|
The hidden science of bisexuality with Julia Shaw
Dr Julia Shaw talks about the history of measuring bisexuality, sexual behaviour in the animal kingdom, and how we can improve health outcomes for bi people.
|2022-May-31 • 12 minutes|
Why are there so few drugs you can take during pregnancy?
Only two new medicines have been approved for use during pregnancy in the last 40 years. Ian Sample talks to women’s health professor Peter Brocklehurst about why pregnant women are so often excluded from pharmaceutical research and development, and how we can make sure they benefit from modern medicine
|2022-May-26 • 13 minutes|
What should we do about monkeypox?
Ian Sample talks to virologist Oyewale Tomori about why monkeypox is flaring up, whether we should fear it, and what we can learn from countries such as Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
|2022-May-24 • 14 minutes|
What will the cost of living crisis do to our health?
Millions in the UK are now struggling with higher food and energy prices. Madeleine Finlay hears from Prof Michael Marmot about the ways poverty makes you sicker. This cost of living crisis could be “austerity squared”, he warns
|2022-May-19 • 13 minutes|
The destruction of Gran Chaco, forgotten sister of the Amazon rainforest
It’s a wake-up call for the world’s forests. Madeleine Finlay hears from biodiversity reporter Patrick Greenfield about what his trip deep inside Argentina’s precious region showed him and what’s needed to end deforestation by 2030, as promised at Cop26
|2022-May-17 • 13 minutes|
Is the world keeping Cop26’s climate promises?
Six months on from Cop26, Ian Sample speaks to environment correspondent Fiona Harvey about progress made and how much the war in Ukraine could derail efforts to achieve climate goals
|2022-May-12 • 15 minutes|
Why aren’t women getting diagnosed with ADHD?
Madeleine Finlay speaks to Jasmine Andersson about her experience of getting a late ADHD diagnosis, and Prof Amanda Kirby on why the condition is so often missed in women and girls
|2022-May-10 • 11 minutes|
‘It’s a hellfire!’: how are India and Pakistan coping with extreme heat?
India and Pakistan have experienced their hottest April in 122 years. Temperatures are nearing 50C. Ian Sample talks to Shah Meer Baloch about what such extremes do to the body and how south Asia is adapting to inevitable heatwaves.
|2022-May-05 • 10 minutes|
Why is the UK suffering HRT shortages?
The UK is short of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) products, medications that make a big difference to those going through menopause. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Nicola Davis about why demand isn’t being met and what impact this is having on people’s lives
|2022-May-03 • 15 minutes|
Will the Large Hadron Collider find a new fifth force of nature?
Madeleine Finlay speaks to Hannah Devlin and Prof Jon Butterworth about a mysterious finding at the Large Hadron Collider that could be pointing to the existence of a fifth fundamental force of nature
|2022-Apr-28 • 10 minutes|
What’s behind the mysterious global rise in childhood hepatitis?
Guardian science editor Ian Sample speaks to Prof Deirdre Kelly about the unusual increase in children with severe hepatitis
|2022-Apr-26 • 14 minutes|
Preventable author Devi Sridhar on how she handles Covid trolls
Ian Sample speaks to Prof Devi Sridhar about her experience as a scientist during the Covid-19 pandemic, what it was like working alongside politicians, and what we should learn from the last few years
|2022-Apr-21 • 13 minutes|
Space junk – how should we clean up our act?
Ian Sample talks to Prof Don Pollacco and Prof. Chris Newman about the threat posed by space junk, and how we can tackle the problem
|2022-Apr-19 • 13 minutes|
Manifestation: why the pandemic had many of us seeing ghosts - Science Weekly podcast
Madeleine Finlay asks why the past couple of years may have prompted a surge in reports of paranormal activity and what it tells us about our own psychology
|2022-Apr-14 • 12 minutes|
Does China need to rethink its zero-Covid policy?
After putting its 26 million residents into lockdown, Shanghai has struggled to contain the spread of Covid-19 and provide residents with basic necessities. As a result, it is now easing restrictions. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Vincent Ni about whether this could be a sign of the end for China’s zero-Covid policy
|2022-Apr-12 • 15 minutes|
Why are climate and conservation scientists taking to the streets?
Madeleine Finlay speaks to conservation scientist Dr Charlie Gardner about civil disobedience – and why he thinks it’s the only option left
|2022-Apr-07 • 13 minutes|
Why has the UK (finally) expanded its Covid symptoms list?
After scrapping free rapid tests, and with the highest levels yet of Covid-19, this week the UK expanded its official Covid symptom list. Madeleine Finlay asks, why now?
|2022-Apr-05 • 15 minutes|
Why is England keeping the abortion ‘pills by post’ scheme?
Last week MPs voted to keep the ‘pills by post’ abortion service introduced at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Madeleine Finlay finds out about the benefits of self-managed medical abortions and whether ‘Plan C’ could ever become available from pharmacies
|2022-Mar-31 • 12 minutes|
Can the science of PTSD help soldiers in Ukraine?
Experiencing distressing events, such as wars, can cause people to develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Ian Sample looks at why some end up with this debilitating condition, and how understanding more about the psychology of PTSD could help build emotional resilience
|2022-Mar-29 • 14 minutes|
COP15: is 2022 the year we save biodiversity?
Government negotiators from around the world are gathered in Geneva to hammer out the details of a Paris-style agreement for nature. But with time running out to stem the destruction of life-sustaining ecosystems, will it be enough?
|2022-Mar-24 • 13 minutes|
Two years on, what have we learned about lockdowns?
Ian Sample speaks to Prof Adam Kucharski about how well lockdowns have worked around the world since 2020
|2022-Mar-22 • 14 minutes|
As the energy crisis bites, could fracking ever actually work?
Amid soaring energy prices the UK government has said it is considering all options for securing supplies and dampening costs – including fracking. Anand Jagatia explores why fracking is back on the table and whether it could ever really be a viable solution
|2022-Mar-17 • 12 minutes|
Covid cases are rising again – how worried should we be?
Science correspondent Nicola Davis speaks to Anand Jagatia about the increase in coronavirus infections and what it could mean.
|2022-Mar-15 • 11 minutes|
10% of the world’s wheat comes from Ukraine - will war change that?
Together, agricultural exports from Russia and Ukraine account for about 12% of global food calories. Madeleine Finlay finds out how the war between the two countries could impact the supply and cost of food around the world
|2022-Mar-10 • 14 minutes|
How come some people haven’t had Covid yet?
There are countless individuals who have knowingly been exposed to Covid-19, often multiple times, but have never had a positive test. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Linda Geddes about how scientists are trying to solve the mystery of why some people don’t catch Covid
|2022-Mar-08 • 13 minutes|
Is Russia losing the information war?
Since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, disinformation and propaganda has been rife across both state-controlled media and digital platforms. Ian Sample finds out about the myths propagated online, and who is winning the disinformation war
|2022-Mar-03 • 14 minutes|
What have fossil fuels got to do with the invasion of Ukraine?
Madeleine Finlay speaks to Fiona Harvey about how Vladimir Putin has weaponised Russia’s fossil fuels, and how Europe could reshape its energy supplies for the future
|2022-Mar-01 • 15 minutes|
Act now: understanding the latest warnings in the IPCC report
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued its bleakest warning yet, showing a rapidly narrowing window for action to avoid the worst impacts of climate breakdown. Ian Sample speaks to environment editor Damian Carrington about the report’s findings, and what it means for the future of humanity
|2022-Feb-24 • 13 minutes|
Covid-19: what’s the evidence for vaccinating kids?
When the announcement came that all children aged five to 11 in England will be offered a Covid vaccine, emphasis was placed on parental decision-making. But for many it won’t be an easy choice. Ian Sample hears how the evidence stacks up.
|2022-Feb-22 • 14 minutes|
Will storms like Eunice become the norm?
The UK has been hit with a series of storms whose high winds and heavy rain have brought widespread flooding, travel chaos, and damaged infrastructure. But does climate breakdown mean that this rare event will happen more often? Could these kinds of storms get worse, too?
|2022-Feb-17 • 12 minutes|
Will Silicon Valley help us live to 200 and beyond?
Billions are being poured into scientific efforts to understand and stave off the effects of ageing. Ian Sample finds out about how Silicon Valley start-ups aim to keep the rich younger and healthier for longer
|2022-Feb-15 • 14 minutes|
What will ‘living with Covid’ actually mean?
All Covid regulations in England are due to be abolished on 24 February. Madeleine Finlay hears about the scientific evidence for this decision and what the changes could look like
|2022-Feb-10 • 14 minutes|
Why does Elon Musk want to read your mind?
Elon Musk’s company Neuralink is now recruiting for a director to run clinical trials of their brain-computer interface in humans. Madeleine Finlay asks how far the technology has come, what benefits it could have, and if in the future we could all end up storing our memories on the cloud
|2022-Feb-08 • 11 minutes|
How worried should we be about the new Omicron subvariant?
The new Omicron subvariant BA.2 appears to be even more transmissible than its close relative BA.1, Omicron, which rapidly spread across the globe last November. So what do we know about it, and how worried should we be? Ian Sample investigates
|2022-Feb-05 • 49 minutes|
Weekend: episode one of a new podcast
In our first episode, Marina Hyde reflects on another less than stellar week for Boris Johnson, Edward Helmore charts the rise of Joe Rogan, Laura Snapes goes deep with singer George Ezra, and Alex Moshakis asks, “Are you a jerk at work?”
|2022-Feb-03 • 13 minutes|
Are we getting any closer to understanding long Covid?
With researchers beginning to unravel the mystery of long Covid, a disorder with symptoms ranging from extreme fatigue to tinnitus and rashes, Ian Sample asks what we do and don’t know about long Covid and whether we’re getting any closer to treatments
|2022-Feb-01 • 15 minutes|
Alternative menopause treatments: empowering or exploitative?
Madeleine Finlay speaks to Linda Geddes about the evidence behind the huge range of menopausal products and treatments available today
|2022-Jan-27 • 17 minutes|
What are the hidden costs of our obsession with fish oil supplements?
A recent study has found that more than 1 in 10 fish oil capsules are rancid. Yet, these supplements are part of a billion-dollar industry mining one of the most productive marine ecosystems on Earth. Is it time we rethought our obsession with fish oil? Madeleine Finlay investigates
|2022-Jan-25 • 13 minutes|
Are animals the future of human organ transplantation?
Ian Sample talks to Prof Art Caplan about the science behind the world’s first transplant of a genetically altered pig heart into a living person
|2022-Jan-20 • 11 minutes|
Are western lifestyles causing a rise in autoimmune diseases?
Ian Sample investigates whether western lifestyles, from fast foods to urbanisation, could be behind the rapid rise in autoimmune diseases around the world
|2022-Jan-18 • 10 minutes|
Covid-19: the Omicron wave is slowing - what lies on the other side?
Madeleine Finlay speaks to Nicola Davis about when the Omicron wave might end – and what we should expect after it does
|2022-Jan-13 • 16 minutes|
Why Theranos’s blood-testing claims were always too good to be true
Madeleine Finlay speaks to Rupert Neate and Dr Ben Mazer about the conviction of Elizabeth Holmes, and why her claims seemed impossible from the start
|2022-Jan-11 • 12 minutes|
Is the world’s most important glacier on the brink of collapse?
The Thwaites glacier in Antarctica is melting at an increasing pace, and currently contributes 4% of annual global sea level rise. Ian Sample finds out about a new mission to study it, and why it’s known to some as the most important glacier in the world
|2022-Jan-06 • 14 minutes|
Why are so many people getting re-infected with Covid-19?
3.5 million people in the UK caught Covid last week, and for many this won’t be the first time. So how many of us are getting reinfected? And what could monitoring these cases tell us about what public health measures are required?
|2022-Jan-04 • 13 minutes|
Why is it so hard to lose that festive weight – and keep it off? – podcast
Madeleine Finlay speaks to health journalist David Cox on the science of metabolism, and what it means for our health
|2021-Dec-30 • 22 minutes|
From the archive: Carlo Rovelli on how to understand the quantum world (part two)
In the second of two episodes, Ian continues his conversation with Carlo Rovelli as they discuss how we should think about quantum physics, and how it affects our understanding of the world
|2021-Dec-28 • 24 minutes|
From the archive: Carlo Rovelli on the weirdness of quantum mechanics (part one)
In the first of two episodes, Ian Sample sits down with physicist Carlo Rovelli to discuss the ideas in his book Helgoland, and the strange consequences of quantum theory
|2021-Dec-23 • 16 minutes|
Covid-19: what will Omicron mean for 2022? podcast
A day after the UK recorded 106,122 new daily cases, Madeleine Finlay speaks to the Guardian’s science editor Ian Sample about what the weeks and months ahead might look
|2021-Dec-21 • 18 minutes|
Environment stories you might have missed in 2021
Madeleine Finlay hears about the top environment stories of the year, from wood burners to wild bison
|2021-Dec-16 • 14 minutes|
The climate crisis and devastating drought in eastern Africa
As countries in eastern Africa suffer its third poor rainy season, millions are facing starvation and both livestock and wildlife are dying in large numbers. So what’s causing the droughts, and what can be done to help people in these regions?
|2021-Dec-14 • 14 minutes|
Covid-19: Will boosters be enough to slow down Omicron?
Madeleine Finlay speaks to Ian Sample about the spread of Omicron, and what we can do to prevent a tidal wave of hospitalisations and deaths
|2021-Dec-09 • 11 minutes|
Nasa’s new space telescope and its search for extraterrestrial life
Ian Sample is joined by Prof Beth Biller to talk about the James Webb space telescope, which is scheduled to launch on 22 December, and could give us a view of the universe deeper and more sensitive than we’ve ever had before
|2021-Dec-07 • 11 minutes|
Covid-19: How fast is the Omicron variant spreading? podcast
Madeleine Finlay speaks to Nicola Davis for update on the Omicron variant, and how quickly it might be spreading
|2021-Dec-02 • 12 minutes|
Is TikTok giving people Tourette’s Syndrome?
Madeleine Finlay talks to Sirin Kale and Dr Seonaid Anderson about the apparent increase in young people on social media developing Tourette’s-like tics and seizures
|2021-Nov-30 • 13 minutes|
Covid-19: how worried should we be about Omicron?
Madeleine Finlay speaks to Ian Sample about new Covid variant: what we know about it and what it could mean for the coming weeks and months
|2021-Nov-25 • 11 minutes|
Do lobsters have feelings? – podcast
A review of more than 300 scientific papers has found strong evidence that crustaceans, such as lobsters, crabs and crayfish, have feelings. So what does this mean for how we treat – and eat – them?
|2021-Nov-23 • 15 minutes|
Astronaut Chris Hadfield on life in space
Chris Hadfield, former astronaut and viral sensation, speaks to Ian Sample about life in space, the new race to the moon, and his new novel
|2021-Nov-18 • 11 minutes|
Inside Delhi’s air pollution crisis
Delhi is engulfed in its seasonal thick brown smog – air so toxic that schools and offices have closed. But where does all this air pollution come from, and what is India doing about it?
|2021-Nov-16 • 12 minutes|
Why does Covid-19 make things smell disgusting?
Growing numbers of people with Covid-19 are experiencing an unpleasant distortion of odours known as parosmia, where smells can trigger feelings of intense disgust. Madeleine Finlay talks to Linda Geddes and Dr Jane Parker about how parosmia affects people, and what might cause it.
|2021-Nov-12 • 17 minutes|
Cop26: the final day – have we made any progress on saving the planet?
Today, Science Weekly host Madeleine Finlay talks to the Guardian’s environment correspondent, Fiona Harvey, and environment editor, Damian Carrington, on how the final hours of Cop26 negotiations are going
|2021-Nov-11 • 15 minutes|
Cop26: can gas guzzling go green?
Today, Science Weekly host Madeleine Finlay speaks to environment reporter Oliver Milman about electric cars, ‘environmentally-friendly’ planes and the need to rethink transport
|2021-Nov-10 • 16 minutes|
Cop26: what do scientists think about the progress in Glasgow?
Today, the Guardian’s global environment editor, Jonathan Watts, talks to Katharine Hayhoe and Peter Stott about their work as climate scientists and how they feel Cop26 is progressing
|2021-Nov-09 • 15 minutes|
Cop26: solutions from the frontline
Today, Science Weekly host Madeleine Finlay and Guardian reporter Nina Lakhani attend the People’s Summit which brings together movements from across the world to build solutions for climate change
|2021-Nov-08 • 12 minutes|
Cop26: can our seas save us?
Today, the Guardian’s biodiversity reporter, Phoebe Weston, talks to one of the world’s leading marine ecologists, Dr Enric Sala, about the role our oceans can play in preventing climate catastrophe
|2021-Nov-05 • 14 minutes|
Cop26: are we finally saying goodbye to coal?
Today, host Madeleine Finlay talks to the Guardian’s energy correspondent Jillian Ambrose about plans to end coal use. And as Cop26 week one draws to a close, John Kerry gives his thoughts
|2021-Nov-04 • 13 minutes|
Cop26: can capitalism actually go green?
The Science Weekly podcast is in Glasgow, where we are bringing listeners daily episodes from Cop26. Each morning you will hear from one of the Guardian’s award-winning environment team. Today, host Madeleine Finlay talks to the Guardian’s biodiversity and environment reporter, Patrick Greenfield, and shadow Cop26 president Ed Miliband about the announcements from finance day
|2021-Nov-03 • 14 minutes|
Cop26: have we just saved our forests?
The Science Weekly podcast is in Glasgow where we will be bringing listeners daily episodes from Cop26. Each morning you will hear from one of the Guardian’s award-winning environment team. Today, host Madeleine Finlay, talks to Jon Watts about a significant announcement made by global leaders on forest and land use, and we hear from an indigenous leader in Guyana about why it might not be enough.
|2021-Nov-02 • 12 minutes|
Cop26 – the world leaders arrive
The Science Weekly podcast is in Glasgow where we will be bringing listeners daily episodes from Cop26. Each morning you will hear from one of the Guardian’s award-winning environment team. Today, host Madeleine Finlay hears why the Bahamas are under imminent threat from the climate crisis and what Guardian environment reporter Fiona Harvey makes of India’s commitment to be net zero – by 2070.
|2021-Nov-01 • 13 minutes|
Cop26: it’s finally here
The Science Weekly podcast is in Glasgow where we will be bringing listeners daily episodes from Cop26. Each morning you will hear from one of the Guardian’s award-winning environment team. Today, environment correspondent Fiona Harvey explains why this climate summit is so critical
|2021-Oct-28 • 13 minutes|
Daylight saving time could be bad for our health – should we get rid of it?
The clocks go back in the UK this Sunday – but research suggests it could be bad for the body. Anand Jagatia speaks to Linda Geddes and Prof Till Roenneberg about whether we should get rid of daylight saving time permanently
|2021-Oct-26 • 11 minutes|
Covid-19: with cases on the rise, will ‘plan B’ be enough in England?
Madeleine Finlay speaks to Nicola Davis about the UK’s recent rise in Covid cases and what early interventions could help us avoid longer-lasting measures
|2021-Oct-21 • 12 minutes|
Who are Insulate Britain and what do they want?
Eco-activist group Insulate Britain’s tactics may not be popular, but experts agree that meeting their demands would bring widespread benefits – from carbon emissions to jobs. So why aren’t we taking insulation more seriously?
|2021-Oct-19 • 12 minutes|
Covid-19: how 43,000 false negative tests were uncovered as wrong
Dr Kit Yates, a mathematical biologist, explains why it took so long for errors to be traced back to a Wolverhampton lab, and what the consequences could be
|2021-Oct-14 • 13 minutes|
The world finally has a malaria vaccine. Why has it taken so long?
Anand Jagatia speaks to Dr Latif Ndeketa and Prof Chris Drakeley about how the new RTS,S vaccine works and why it’s been so difficult to produce
|2021-Oct-12 • 14 minutes|
Is gene editing the future of food?
With the UK’s announcement that it will ease the rules for growing gene-edited crops, we investigate what this could mean for our food in a changing climate
|2021-Oct-07 • 11 minutes|
Covid-19: will there soon be a pill that stops us getting sick?
Madeleine Finlay talks to Guardian science correspondent Hannah Devlin about a pill that early reports from clinical trials suggest halves hospitalisations and deaths
|2021-Oct-05 • 13 minutes|
Could machines sucking carbon out of the air help fight the climate crisis?
To keep temperature rises to below 2C, we’ll need to pull CO 2 back out of the atmosphere. Shivani Dave explores projects around the world trying to do just that
|2021-Sep-30 • 20 minutes|
CoolSculpting, Botox and fillers are on the rise – but are they safe?
After supermodel Linda Evangelista has said she is ‘permanently deformed’ from having a cosmetic procedure called CoolSculpting, we take a look at the safety of non-surgical aesthetic treatments
|2021-Sep-28 • 14 minutes|
Fleeing a war zone is traumatic – so is what happens next
As Britain begins its commitment to take in 20,000 people fleeing Afghanistan, we look at the psychological impacts of trying to start again in a new country.
|2021-Sep-23 • 13 minutes|
Covid-19: how effective are face masks, really?
We don’t have to wear face coverings, but should we be masking-up anyway? A year and a half into the pandemic, Madeleine Finlay asks what we now know about how masks protect us and when it’s worth putting one on
|2021-Sep-21 • 14 minutes|
Egg-freezing just got more attractive – but is it worth it?
Egg-freezing – it’s expensive, invasive and often unsuccessful. But, with a new limit of 55-years when freezing for social reasons, could it be the chance some need to preserve their fertility?
|2021-Sep-16 • 13 minutes|
Jaws made us scared of sharks but is a lack of sharks scarier?
Anand Jagatia speaks to Phoebe Weston about the recent update to the IUCN ‘red list’, which warns that over a third of all shark and ray species now face extinction
|2021-Sep-14 • 18 minutes|
Flu season: are we in for a bumpier ride this year?
With warnings that we could be facing a more serious flu season this year, Science Weekly explores the challenges of tackling influenza during a pandemic
|2021-Sep-09 • 10 minutes|
Are third vaccines and vaccine boosters the same thing?
Shivani Dave speaks to Eleanor Riley, professor of immunology and infectious disease at the University of Edinburgh, and Guardian science correspondent Nicola Davis about the distinctions between booster jabs and third jabs
|2021-Sep-07 • 13 minutes|
Why swearing is more complicated than you think
Shivani Dave speaks to psychologist Timothy Jay to find out why people swear and whether or not there are any benefits to using swear words
|2021-Sep-02 • 16 minutes|
Can we really solve the climate crisis by planting trees? (part two)
Getting trees into the ground isn’t simple. Reforestation often involves trade-offs and challenges. Phoebe Weston checks in on two projects where people are planting trees, and one where it’s not humans doing the planting at all
|2021-Aug-31 • 17 minutes|
Can we really solve the climate crisis by planting trees? (part one)
Patrick Greenfield and Phoebe Weston lead you through the science and controversy behind the idea that planting trees can solve the climate crisis
|2021-Aug-26 • 13 minutes|
Why aren’t children being vaccinated in the UK?
Shivani Dave speaks to Natalie Grover about the pros and cons of the children in the UK being offered Covid-19 vaccines
|2021-Aug-24 • 13 minutes|
What should we be feeding our cats?
In mid-June this year, some brands of cat food were recalled as a precaution after a sudden increase in cases of feline pancytopenia, a rare blood disease that can be fatal. Shivani Dave speaks to Daniella Dos Santos, a practicing small animal and exotic pet vet and the senior vice-president of the British Veterinary Association, to understand what the food recall means for cat owners, and to find out how best to feed our feline friends
|2021-Aug-19 • 17 minutes|
From the archive: the secret, sonic lives of narwhals
From 2020: Nicola Davis speaks to Evgeny Podolskiy about capturing the sonic world of narwhals
|2021-Aug-17 • 30 minutes|
From the archive: Are alternative meats the key to a healthier life and planet?
From 2019: how do protein substitutes compare with the real deal? Graihagh Jackson investigates
|2021-Aug-12 • 19 minutes|
From the archive: are national parks failing nature? (part 2)
From 2020: Patrick Greenfield and Phoebe Weston explore the impact that conservation and national parks can have on Indigenous communities and the biodiversity surrounding them
|2021-Aug-10 • 22 minutes|
From the archive: Are national parks failing nature? (part 1)
From 2020: Patrick Greenfield and Phoebe Weston investigate whether national parks benefit the environment and biodiversity, or if there might be a better way of doing things
|2021-Aug-05 • 15 minutes|
Are hair relaxers causing breast cancer in black women?
Research from the Black Women’s Health Study has found that long-term and frequent users of hair relaxers had roughly a 30% increased risk of breast cancer. Shivani Dave speaks to Dr Kimberly Bertrand about the research and to Tayo Bero about the effects these findings could have on the black community
|2021-Aug-03 • 15 minutes|
The billionaire space race
Shivani Dave speaks to Robert Massey, the deputy executive director at the Royal Astronomical Society, to understand what, if any, positives might come from what has been called ‘the billionaire space race’
|2021-Jul-29 • 16 minutes|
Testosterone in women’s athletics
Katrina Karkazis, a professor of sexuality, women’s and gender studies, specialising in ‘sex testing’ and sport regulations speaks to Shivani Dave about the rules that ban female athletes with naturally high testosterone
|2021-Jul-27 • 17 minutes|
Sporting super spikes: how do they work?
In the lead-up to the athletics competitions at the Tokyo Olympic Games, Shivani Dave speaks to Geoff Burns, a biomechanist at the University of Michigan, about so-called ‘super spikes’
|2021-Jul-22 • 16 minutes|
How does the human body cope with extreme heat? (part two)
In the second part of our discussion on extreme heat, Shivani Dave speaks to Prof Mike Tipton about the impacts of extreme heat on the human body and what can be done to alleviate them
|2021-Jul-20 • 14 minutes|
Why are extreme weather events on the rise? (part one)
In the first of a two-part exploration on extreme heat, Shivani Dave speaks to Jonathan Watts about extreme weather events and why they look set to become more likely
|2021-Jul-15 • 17 minutes|
What are the risks of England unlocking on 19 July?
Nearly all coronavirus restrictions in England are set to be lifted from Monday 19 July. But what are the risks of unlocking when we could be in the middle of a third wave of infections? The Guardian’s science editor, Ian Sample, talks to Anand Jagatia about how cases, hospital admissions and deaths are modelled to increase in the coming weeks, as well as the risks from long Covid and new variants
|2021-Jul-13 • 18 minutes|
Covid-19: do we need to reframe the way we think about restrictions?
As ‘freedom day’ approaches, Shivani Dave speaks to Prof Stephen Reicher about how mixed messages surrounding restrictions can affect our behaviour
|2021-Jul-08 • 15 minutes|
How does Covid-19 affect chronic pain? (part two)
In the second part of our exploration of chronic pain, Anand Jagatia hears from Linda Geddes about how chronic pain is linked to Covid-19 and mental health, as well as why it affects more women than men
|2021-Jul-06 • 14 minutes|
Understanding chronic pain (part one)
Anand Jagatia explores what it’s like to live with chronic pain, and what science can tell us about the causes for these sometimes debilitating conditions
|2021-Jul-01 • 13 minutes|
Is hay fever on the rise?
Shivani Dave asks horticulturist, Thomas Ogren, whether hay fever symptoms have become more severe in recent times
|2021-Jun-29 • 14 minutes|
How effective is the new Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab?
Before Covid, dementia was the biggest killer in the UK and Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type. A controversial new drug for Alzheimer’s, aducanumab, is the first in nearly 20 years to be approved in the US, which will trigger pressure to make it available worldwide. The Guardian’s health editor, Sarah Bosley, talks Shivani Dave through the mixed evidence of its efficacy
|2021-Jun-24 • 15 minutes|
Are we really ready to live with Covid-19?
Speaking to Prof Siân Griffiths and Prof David Salisbury, Ian Sample asks if now is the time to go back to normality
|2021-Jun-22 • 17 minutes|
How clocks have shaped civilisations
Anand Jagatia talks to horologist David Rooney about his new book, which tells the history of civilisation in twelve clocks
|2021-Jun-17 • 23 minutes|
Inside the world of wildlife trafficking (part two)
In the second part of our look at wildlife crime, Phoebe Weston and Patrick Greenfield from the Guardian’s age of extinction project look at another victim: orchids.
|2021-Jun-15 • 18 minutes|
Inside the world of wildlife trafficking (part one)
We often think of the illegal trade in wildlife as involving charismatic megafauna such as elephants and big cats. But some of the biggest victims are more inconspicuous. Phoebe Weston and Patrick Greenfield from the Guardian’s age of extinction project explore wildlife crime in a two part series
|2021-Jun-10 • 19 minutes|
As indigenous languages die out, will we lose knowledge about plants?
Phoebe Weston speaks to Rodrigo Cámara Leret about the extinction of indigenous languages that could trigger the loss of medicinal knowledge about plants
|2021-Jun-08 • 18 minutes|
Anna Ploszajski: crafting to better understand material science
Material science allows us to understand the objects around us mathematically, but there is no formula to describe the sophistication of a handcrafted teacup. Dr Anna Ploszajski is a materials scientist who has travelled all over the UK, meeting makers to better understand her craft and theirs. She spoke to Shivani Dave about what she discovered and documented in her new book, Handmade.
|2021-Jun-03 • 23 minutes|
From the archive: Callum Roberts on a life spent diving in coral reefs
From 2019: Ian Sample speaks to Prof Callum Roberts about his life’s work exploring this marine habitat
|2021-Jun-01 • 22 minutes|
What can a wild night out teach us about ecosystem health?
Age of Extinction reporter Phoebe Weston takes a wild night out with author Chris Salisbury to discover how observing nocturnal wildlife can reveal the health of ecosystems
|2021-May-27 • 15 minutes|
Can Covid vaccines disrupt menstrual cycles?
Nicola Davis speaks to menstrual cycle experts Dr Kate Clancy and Dr Katharine Lee about the survey they have launched documenting changes in periods among people who have received a Covid-19 vaccine
|2021-May-25 • 20 minutes|
Could sniffer dogs soon be used to detect Covid-19? (an update)
Anand Jagatia speaks to the Guardian’s science correspondent Linda Geddes about a new study using dogs to detect Covid-19
|2021-May-20 • 20 minutes|
Have we entered the Anthropocene – a new epoch in Earth’s history?
Anand Jagatia speaks to geologist Dr Simon Turner from the Anthropocene Working Group, tasked with gathering evidence on whether it will become an official unit of geological time
|2021-May-18 • 21 minutes|
The reality behind NFTs
The Guardian’s technology correspondent, Alex Hern, talks to Shivani Dave about the pros and cons of non-fungible tokens
|2021-May-13 • 23 minutes|
Covid-19: what do we know about the variants first detected in India?
Anand Jagatia speaks to the Guardian science correspondent Nicola Davis and Prof Ravi Gupta about what we know of the Covid variants and how concerned we should be
|2021-May-11 • 21 minutes|
Melting away: understanding the impact of disappearing glaciers
Shivani Dave speaks to Prof Jemma Wadham about her 25 years studying the world’s glaciers
|2021-May-06 • 29 minutes|
How has our thinking on the climate crisis changed?
In the second special episode marking 200 years of the Guardian, Phoebe Weston is joined by Jonathan Watts, Prof Naomi Oreskes and Alice Bell to take a look at climate coverage over the years
|2021-May-05 • 27 minutes|
What can we learn from the 1918 flu pandemic? – podcast
In a special episode to mark the Guardian’s 200th anniversary, Nicola Davis looks back at the 1918 flu pandemic to see how it was reported and what we can learn from it today
|2021-Apr-29 • 22 minutes|
Unearthing the secret social lives of trees – podcast
Linda Geddes explores the underground networks trees use to send nutrients and signals to each other
|2021-Apr-27 • 23 minutes|
Can we create a climate-resistant coffee in time? – podcast
Food crops around the world are under threat from the impact of the climate crisis. Patrick Greenfield asks how scientists are working to find and develop alternatives
|2021-Apr-22 • 16 minutes|
Has the pandemic changed our sleep habits? – podcast
Linda Geddes explores whether the pandemic has changed when and how long we sleep
|2021-Apr-20 • 21 minutes|
Why is it so bad being a night owl? – podcast
Compared with early risers, people who prefer the evenings are at a higher risk of a range of negative health outcomes. But, why?
|2021-Apr-15 • 17 minutes|
Do humans respond differently to screams of pleasure and pain? – podcast
Unlike other animals, humans scream with joy, elation and pleasure. A new study is asking how we respond to these kinds of shrieks
|2021-Apr-13 • 26 minutes|
Covid-19: what’s going on with the AstraZeneca vaccine?
After a UK recommendation that healthy adults under 30 should have an alternative jab, Nicola Davis investigates the latest information on the AstraZeneca vaccine
|2021-Apr-08 • 14 minutes|
Covid-19: how does it cause heart damage?
Nicola Davis asks how Covid-19 causes people to suffer from heart injuries after they have recovered from the initial infection
|2021-Apr-06 • 23 minutes|
Why has the African elephant been split into two species?
Age of Extinction reporter Patrick Greenfield explores the reclassification of the African elephant and what it could mean for conservation
|2021-Apr-01 • 26 minutes|
Should we determine species through DNA? (part two)
Patrick Greenfield and Phoebe Weston explore a relatively new and controversial technology called DNA barcoding that is helping scientists to differentiate between species
|2021-Mar-30 • 26 minutes|
Why is it hard to get our head around fungi? (part one)
Could misclassifying the notoriously cryptic fungi have broader implications for what we know about the environment, and how we care for it?
|2021-Mar-25 • 19 minutes|
You can't bullshit a bullshitter, or can you?
Ian Sample finds out if there’s any truth to the old adage that you can’t bullshit a bullshitter
|2021-Mar-23 • 28 minutes|
Covid-19: what happens next?
A year on from the UK’s first lockdown, Ian Sample asks a panel of experts about treatments, vaccines and what the next 12 months may hold
|2021-Mar-18 • 22 minutes|
Carlo Rovelli on how to understand the quantum world (part 2)
In the second of two episodes, Ian continues his conversation with Carlo Rovelli as they discuss how we should think about quantum physics, and what it means for our understanding of the world
|2021-Mar-16 • 23 minutes|
Carlo Rovelli on the weirdness of quantum mechanics (part one)
In the first of two episodes, Ian Sample sits down with physicist Carlo Rovelli to discuss the ideas in his new book, Helgoland, and the strange consequences of quantum theory
|2021-Mar-11 • 24 minutes|
How do you make a convincing deepfake video? – podcast
Alex Hern finds out about the latest in deepfakes, and hears from the man behind the recent AI-generated Tom Cruise TikTok videos
|2021-Mar-09 • 29 minutes|
What are we missing out on by not talking to strangers?
Linda Geddes asks why the chats with strangers we’re currently missing out on are important, and finds out why it’s so challenging to end a conversation
|2021-Mar-04 • 17 minutes|
Does how we think influence what we think?
Why do we believe what we do? Natalie Grover investigates the links between how we think and what we think
|2021-Mar-02 • 18 minutes|
Covid-19: why are we feeling burnt out?
Ian Sample asks why many of us feel like we’ve ‘hit the pandemic wall’, and how we can look after our mental health over the coming months
|2021-Feb-25 • 25 minutes|
A practical guide to tackling the climate crisis
Natalie Grover explores the evidence on how best we can solve the biggest problem facing the planet today
|2021-Feb-23 • 27 minutes|
Did an ancient magnetic pole flip change life on Earth? – podcast
Nicola Davis explores how an ancient tree, pulled from a bog, has been used to uncover the timing and environmental impacts of the Earth’s last magnetic pole switch
|2021-Feb-18 • 24 minutes|
Why do humans struggle to think of ourselves as animals?
Madeleine Finlay explores what it means to be human, and why we find it so difficult to accept that this includes being animals
|2021-Feb-16 • 11 minutes|
Covid-19: why mix and match vaccines?
Sarah Boseley looks at why the UK has launched a trial to test the efficacy of combining different Covid-19 vaccines
|2021-Feb-11 • 16 minutes|
Covid-19: love in lockdown
How have couples navigated being together day-in day-out during the pandemic? Linda Geddes takes a look at the psychology of love during a lockdown
|2021-Feb-09 • 16 minutes|
What can the evolutionary history of turtles tell us about their future?
Turtles have been around on the planet for over 200 million years, but now many species face extinction. What can their evolutionary history teach us about saving these iconic creatures?
|2021-Feb-04 • 31 minutes|
From the archive: what's it like to live without smell?
In this episode from 2016, Science Weekly asks what it’s like to live without a sense of smell
|2021-Feb-02 • 18 minutes|
Covid-19: what can we learn from Manaus?
Sarah Boseley asks what the second wave of Covid-19 infections in the Brazilian city of Manaus can tell us about immunity, viral variants and the path through the pandemic