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Podcast Profile: Science Weekly

podcast imageTwitter: @guardianscience (followed by 125 science writers)
Site: www.theguardian.com/science/series/science
231 episodes
2021 to present
Average episode: 16 minutes
Open in Apple PodcastsRSS

Categories: News-Style

Podcaster's summary: Twice a week, the Guardian brings you the latest science and environment news

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List Updated: 2023-Mar-23 12:55 UTC. Episodes: 231. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

2023-Mar-23 • 18 minutes
Three years on: are we any closer to understanding long Covid?
Ian Sample hears from Scotland’s Astronomer Royal Catherine Heymans about her experience of long Covid and how it has impacted her life. He also speaks to Professor Danny Altmann, an immunologist at Imperial College London, about the current scientific understanding of the condition, and whether we’re any closer to a treatment.
2023-Mar-21 • 16 minutes
Willow Project: what could the ‘carbon bomb’ mean for the environment?
Madeleine Finlay speaks to Guardian West Coast reporter Maanvi Singh about the Biden administration’s approval of a controversial new oil drilling project on Alaska’s North Slope. She also hears from Kristen Monsell, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, which is part of a coalition that’s filing a lawsuit to challenge the decision.
2023-Mar-16 • 16 minutes
How will gene editing change medicine and who will benefit?
Ian Sample speaks to Guardian science correspondent Hannah Devlin about the latest developments and debates about gene editing to emerge from a summit at the Francis Crick Institute in London. The summit heard from the first person with sickle cell disease to be treated with a technique known as CRISPR. He also hears from Prof Claire Booth about ensuring these cutting edge treatments are made available to everyone who needs them
2023-Mar-14 • 15 minutes
The Last of Us: could the next pandemic be fungal?
Madeleine Finlay speaks to Guardian science correspondent Linda Geddes about the possibility of a fungal pandemic like the one depicted in apocalyptic thriller The Last of Us. They discuss the strange world of fungi, the risks of infections and treatment resistance, and what we can do to protect ourselves from future fungal threats
2023-Mar-09 • 18 minutes
Everything Everywhere All at Once: could the multiverse be real?
The film Everything Everywhere All at Once has enjoyed critical acclaim and awards success. Ahead of the Oscars, where it’s tipped to sweep the board, Ian Sample speaks to theoretical physicist and philosopher Sean Carroll about why we seem to be drawn to the idea of multiple worlds, and what the science says about how the multiverse might actually work
2023-Mar-07 • 13 minutes
Matt Hancock’s messages: how scientifically literate should our politicians be?
Ian Sample speaks to mathematical biologist Kit Yates about what Matt Hancock’s leaked WhatsApp messages reveal about scientific understanding at the heart of government during the pandemic, and what should be done to prepare for the future
2023-Mar-02 • 16 minutes
What should we do about the rise in children vaping?
Madeleine Finlay speaks to former Guardian health editor Sarah Boseley about the rise in vaping among under-18s and what can be done to discourage more children from taking up the habit. She also hears from Prof Linda Bauld about the impact of vaping on young people
2023-Feb-28 • 14 minutes
What are ‘forever chemicals’ and why are they causing alarm?
Madeleine Finlay speaks to environmental journalist Rachel Salvidge about PFAS, also known as ‘forever chemicals’, which have been found at high levels at thousands of sites across the UK and Europe. Rachel explains what they are, how harmful they can be, and what can be done to mitigate their harmful effects
2023-Feb-23 • 16 minutes
15-minute cities: mundane planning concept or global conspiracy?
Madeleine Finlay speaks to the Guardian’s architecture and design critic, Oliver Wainwright, about why the relatively obscure concept of the 15-minute city has become a magnet for conspiracy theories in recent weeks. And hears from Dr Richard Dunning about how the theory can be implemented in a way that’s fair to all residents
2023-Feb-21 • 13 minutes
Are weight loss injections the solution to the obesity crisis?
Ian Sample speaks to Guardian science correspondent Nicola Davis about the news that Wegovy, an appetite suppressant popular with celebrities in the US, will soon be sold at UK pharmacies. It’s a prescription drug aimed at helping people with obesity lose weight, but some argue it doesn’t tackle the root cause of the disease
2023-Feb-16 • 15 minutes
Online misogyny: what impact is it having on children?
Madeleine Finlay speaks to Guardian education correspondent Sally Weale, and to consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr Dickon Bevington, about the impact online misogyny is having on children in the real world
2023-Feb-14 • 14 minutes
Antibiotic resistance: where do we go next?
Ian Sample speaks to science correspondent Hannah Devlin about genetically modified bacteria, plant toxins, and the hunt for bacteria-killing viruses
2023-Feb-09 • 16 minutes
What can we really learn from home blood testing kits?
Private blood tests offer customers a way to check their health from the comfort of their home. But what happens if there’s an abnormal result? Madeleine Finlay speaks to health journalist Emma Wilkinson and consultant chemical pathologist Dr Bernie Croal about how these tests work, how to interpret your results and whether an already overstretched NHS is being left to deal with the worried well
2023-Feb-07 • 14 minutes
How has the Russia-Ukraine war disrupted science?
As we approach a year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Ian Sample talks to physicist Professor John Ellis, and Arctic governance expert Svein Vigeland Rottem, about how the world of science has had to adapt
2023-Feb-02 • 15 minutes
Can we restore England’s lost wildlife?
This week the government published a major environmental improvement plan for England, including pledges on green spaces, wildlife habitat restoration and tackling sewage spills. Madeleine Finlay speaks to the Guardian’s environment editor, Fiona Harvey, about the state of nature in the UK, what this plan promises to do and whether it’s likely to deliver.
2023-Jan-31 • 12 minutes
How to spot the exotic green comet (and what might get in the way)
This week star gazers will be hoping to catch sight of an exotic green comet that last passed by Earth 50,000 years ago. But, unlike the view our Neanderthal ancestors would have had, light pollution will make witnessing this celestial event an impossibility for many. Ian Sample speaks to astronomy journalist Dr Stuart Clark about how best to see the comet, and why it’s time to rethink our relationship with the night sky
2023-Jan-26 • 15 minutes
How will ChatGPT transform creative work?
Ian Sample speaks to Prof John Naughton about how ChatGPT works, hears from author Patrick Jackson about how it will change publishing, and asks where the chatbot technology could end up
2023-Jan-24 • 14 minutes
Overcoming burnout: a psychologist’s guide
The resignation of New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern has prompted a renewed focus on burnout. Madeleine Finlay speaks to cognitive scientist Professor Laurie Santos about its symptoms, causes, and the best ways to recover
2023-Jan-19 • 12 minutes
Could the return of El Niño in 2023 take us above 1.5C of warming?
Scientists have predicted the return of the El Niño climate phenomenon later this year. Its arrival will result in even higher global temperatures and supercharged extreme weather events. Ian Sample speaks to environment editor Damian Carrington about what we can expect from El Niño and whether we’re prepared
2023-Jan-17 • 12 minutes
What’s the reality behind the ‘Love Island smile’?
As the ninth series of ITV show Love Island kicked off yesterday, viewers may have noticed contestants’ perfectly straight, white teeth. But are there risks associated with achieving a flawless smile? Madeleine Finlay speaks to dentist Paul Woodhouse about some of the dangers of dental tourism
2023-Jan-12 • 15 minutes
How did we save the ozone layer?
A UN report has found the Earth’s ozone layer is on course to be healed within the next 40 years. Madeleine Finlay speaks to atmospheric scientist Paul Newman about this momentous achievement and whether it really is the end of the story
2023-Jan-10 • 16 minutes
Our science predictions for 2023
Ian Sample and science correspondent Hannah Devlin discuss the major stories they are expecting to hit the headlines in 2023.
2023-Jan-05 • 15 minutes
Best of 2022: 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
2023-Jan-03 • 16 minutes
Best of 2022: Why aren’t women being diagnosed with ADHD?
In this episode first broadcast in May 2022, Madeleine Finlay speaks to Jasmine Andersson about her experience of getting a late ADHD diagnosis, and asks Prof Amanda Kirby why the condition is so often missed in women and girls
2022-Dec-29 • 14 minutes
Are we finally nearing a treatment for Alzheimer’s?
Back in November, researchers hailed the dawn of a new era of Alzheimer’s therapies. After decades of failure, a clinical trial finally confirmed that a drug, lecanemab, was able to slow cognitive decline in patients with early stages of the disease. Ian Sample speaks to Prof Nick Fox about what these results mean, and what it could mean for the future of Alzheimer’s disease treatments.
2022-Dec-27 • 18 minutes
Exploded heads and missing fingers: Dame Sue Black on her most memorable cases
From a fragment of skull in a washing machine to a finger bone found by a dog walker, forensic anthropologist Prof Dame Sue Black has investigated a lot of strange and mysterious evidence. Nicola Davis hears from Sue Black about giving the Royal Institution Christmas lectures this year, the most unforgettable cases she helped solve, and the secret scientific clues hidden in our bodies
2022-Dec-22 • 13 minutes
The science of how to give better gifts
As Christmas approaches, many of us will have spent weeks trying to pick out the perfect presents for our friends and family. But what does science say about how to avoid unwanted gifts and unpleasant surprises? Ian Sample speaks to Julian Givi about his research unwrapping what we all really want under the tree
2022-Dec-20 • 14 minutes
What does Cop15’s buzzword ‘nature positive’ mean?
One of the key guiding phrases for the Cop15 summit has been becoming ‘nature positive’. But what does this really mean? Madeleine Finlay speaks to biodiversity reporter Phoebe Weston and biodiversity professor EJ Milner-Gulland about ‘nature positive’ and how to stop it becoming another way to greenwash.
2022-Dec-15 • 15 minutes
‘Nothing is impossible’: the major breakthrough in nuclear fusion
This week, American researchers achieved a major breakthrough in nuclear fusion – successfully generating more energy from a fusion reaction than was used to start it. Ian Sample speaks to Alain Bécoulet how close we are to using nuclear fusion to power our homes, and whether it will become the clean, safe, and abundant source of energy the world so desperately needs.
2022-Dec-13 • 14 minutes
Will Cop15 tackle the growing problem of invasive species?
Invasive species are one of the key drivers of biodiversity loss around the world, and often have a large economic impact on the areas they inhabit. At the UN’s biodiversity Cop15 countries will be discussing how best to tackle this growing issue. Ian Sample gets an update on how Cop15 is progressing from biodiversity reporter Patrick Greenfield, and speaks to Prof Helen Roy about why invasive species pose such a massive risk to native wildlife
2022-Dec-07 • 14 minutes
‘The biggest meeting for humanity’: Why Cop15 has to succeed
Yesterday, negotiators from around the world landed in Montreal, Canada for Cop15. The UN’s biodiversity conference comes at a critical time for nature: a million species are currently at risk of extinction and wildlife populations have plunged by an average of 69% between 1970 and 2018. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Prof Alexandre Antonelli about his passion for plants, concerns for biodiversity, and hopes for Cop15.
2022-Dec-06 • 16 minutes
Why are children in the UK at risk of serious strep A infections?
At least eight children in England and Wales have now died after contracting the Group A streptococci bacteria, and parents across the UK are being urged to look out for possible infections in their children. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Chrissie Jones about Strep A symptoms, and hears from Shiranee Sriskandan on how the bacteria evades our immune systems and if a vaccine could be on the horizon
2022-Dec-01 • 16 minutes
‘A possible extinction event’: the UK’s worst bird flu outbreak
The UK is in the middle of its worst outbreak of bird flu. To find out how both wild and captive bird populations are coping, Ian Sample speaks with Phoebe Weston, a biodiversity writer for the Guardian, and Paul Wigley, a professor in animal microbial ecosystems at the University of Bristol
2022-Nov-29 • 11 minutes
What are leap seconds, and why have we scrapped them?
Scientists and government officials recently voted to scrap leap seconds, which are added to synchronise atomic time and astronomical time. Madeleine Finlay speaks to scientist JT Janssen about what can go wrong when this happens
2022-Nov-24 • 14 minutes
How should we prepare for an ageing global population?
Last week the world’s population reached 8 billion, according to the UN. A lot of that growth has been among older age groups. So what happens when humanity gets older, and eventually begins to decline? Ian Sample speaks to Prof Vegard Skirbekk about how we got here and how we prepare for demographic change
2022-Nov-22 • 16 minutes
Will the Qatar World Cup really be carbon neutral?
It’s supposed to be the first ever carbon neutral World Cup, according to organisers Fifa and host Qatar. But with several new stadiums and fans flying in from around the world, that claim has come under scrutiny. Madeleine Finlay hears from sports reporter Paul MacInnes about the environmental impact of the tournament and asks whether football is ready to face up to its carbon footprint
2022-Nov-17 • 16 minutes
Cop27: where do climate scientists find hope?
Last year at Cop26 we heard from two climate scientists, Peter Stott and Katharine Hayhoe about their thoughts on progress. A year on, Ian Sample calls them back up to find out how they’re feeling now
2022-Nov-15 • 16 minutes
Cop27: has there been any progress in Sharm el-Sheikh?
As we head into the second week of Cop27, Madeleine Finlay hears from biodiversity reporter Patrick Greenfield about what it’s been like in Sharm el-Sheikh, and from environment editor Fiona Harvey about whether we could see any progress on staying within 1.5C of global heating
2022-Nov-09 • 15 minutes
Cop27: Is it time to rethink endless economic growth?
Many of the world's economies depend on growth, and an ever-increasing GDP. But is this really possible on a rapidly warming planet with finite resources? Ian Sample speaks to environmental economist Tim Jackson about reimagining economic growth, and what a sustainable economy could look like
2022-Nov-08 • 17 minutes
Cop27: Who are the real climate leaders?
At Cop27 yesterday, world leaders began making speeches about carbon targets and the impacts of climate breakdown. But offstage, indigenous leaders are still trying to get their voices heard. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Nina Lakhani about the need for climate justice, and hears from Nonhle Mbuthuma about her fight to protect South Africa’s Wild Coast
2022-Nov-03 • 15 minutes
Cop27: a chance for change – or more of the same?
With the UN’s climate change conference Cop27 beginning on Sunday, Madeleine Finlay hears from Guardian Australia’s climate and environment editor Adam Morton about the current path to catastrophic heating, claims of greenwashing and what’s likely to be on the agenda this year
2022-Nov-01 • 15 minutes
Could a prescription of surfing help with depression?
A new trial is exploring if prescriptions of surfing, gardening and dance classes can reduce anxiety and depression in people aged 11 to 18. NHS mental health trusts in 10 parts of England will use a range of sports, arts and outdoor activities with 600 young people to see if it can stop conditions worsening while the sufferers are on waiting lists for care. This kind of support is known as ‘social prescribing’, allowing health professionals to refer patients to a range of community groups and organisations...
2022-Oct-27 • 17 minutes
Stories from a medieval graveyard: worms, wounds, and wonky toes
Crushed by a cart, infected with parasitic worms and painful bunions. These may sound like curses you’d wish on your worst enemy, but researchers have discovered they were probably a normal part of medieval life. Madeleine Finlay hears from Nicola Davis as she investigates what old skeletons can reveal about the injuries and afflictions of those in centuries gone by
2022-Oct-25 • 14 minutes
Is it ethical to put human brain cells in a rat?
Researchers have transplanted human neurons into the brains of rats. Ian Sample speaks to the philosopher and bioethicist Julian Savulescu about how they managed it and how we decide where to draw the line in such an ethically complex field of science
2022-Oct-20 • 15 minutes
Can rituals help with our grief for the natural world?
Madeleine Finlay speaks to Prof Claire White about how performing rituals can help to manage our emotions and channel them into action, and hears a eulogy for a lost glacier
2022-Oct-18 • 14 minutes
How a scientific scandal could force sport to rethink concussion
Dr Paul McCrory is a world-renowned concussion expert whose work shaped concussion policy across global sport for the past 20 years. Last week, the British Journal of Sports Medicine retracted nine of his articles and attached an ‘expression of concern’ to another 74. Ian Sample hears from senior sports writer Andy Bull about what this means and what happens next.
2022-Oct-13 • 12 minutes
Could moth larvae be the answer to our plastic problem?
Madeleine Finlay speaks to environment editor Damian Carrington about how the saliva of wax worms can break down plastic bags – and where else we might find waste solutions in the natural world
2022-Oct-11 • 12 minutes
Why does Elon Musk want to buy Twitter?
Elon Musk’s controversial takeover of Twitter has been full of twists, turns and lawsuits. For now, it seems as if the acquisition is going ahead. But why does Musk even want to own Twitter? Ian Sample speaks to global technology editor Dan Milmo about Twitter’s influence, spambots and what could happen next
2022-Oct-06 • 15 minutes
Why is the government in Iran shutting down the internet?
Madeleine Finlay speaks to Azadeh Akbari about the government in Iran blocking internet access after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini – and to Alp Toker about how they, and other governments around the world, are able to do it
2022-Oct-04 • 12 minutes
Covid-19: is there a ‘twindemic’ coming?
The UK is currently experiencing another surge in Covid-19 cases, with numbers in England going up by 42% in recent weeks. Ian Sample talks to Prof Peter Openshaw about where we’re at right now, the spectre of a Covid and flu ‘twindemic’ this winter and what we can do to reduce the risk
2022-Sep-29 • 14 minutes
Why did Nasa smash its spacecraft into an asteroid?
This week, Nasa scientists successfully smashed a spacecraft into an asteroid, in a test to see whether it will be possible to deflect a killer space rock headed our way. Ian Sample speaks to Prof Colin Snodgrass, who worked on the mission, to find out how they pulled it off, if there are other ways to knock asteroids off course, and whether we could ever mine them for resources
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 CO2 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