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Science Weekly

Science Weekly

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


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Mercury 13: the forgotten women of the space race - Science Weekly podcast

As the space race heated up in the 1960s, 13 aviators passed the same tests as Nasa?s first astronauts, later going on to be called the Mercury 13. But because they were women, Nasa wouldn?t even consider them. One of those women was Wally Funk, who joins Nicola Davis and author Sue Nelson this week as they discuss what could and should have been. Help support our independent journalism at
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Dark Patterns: the art of online deception ? Science Weekly podcast

Have you ever been caught out online and subscribed to something you didn?t mean to? Ian Sample has and so he tasked Jordan Erica Webber with finding out how companies play on our psyches to pinch our pennies and what we can do about it. Help support our independent journalism at
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Cross Section: Giles Yeo ? Science Weekly podcast

Why do some of us pile on the pounds, while others seem to get away with it? Hannah Devlin speaks to Dr Giles Yeo about some of the latest findings from the field of obesity research ? from the role of our genes and how heritable our weight is, to how, as a society, we?ve become overweight and what we can do about it.. Help support our independent journalism at
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What happens when we can't test scientific theories? ? Science Weekly podcast

String theory gained traction 35 years ago but scientists have not found any evidence to suggest it is correct. Does this matter? And should it be tested? Ian Sample debates this with Eleanor Knox, David Berman and Peter Woit. Help support our independent journalism at
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150 years of the periodic table ? Science Weekly podcast

Nicola Davis invites Prof Brigitte Van Tiggelen and Dr Peter Wothers on to the podcast to look at how the periodic table took shape and asks whether it might now be in jeopardy. Help support our independent journalism at
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The fight against HIV: then and now ? Science Weekly podcast

Earlier this year, the UK government announced it wanted to end new HIV transmissions in England by 2030. Hannah Devlin looks at the history of the epidemic, including its impact on the gay community, recent promising drug trials and whether Britain can meet its target. Help support our independent journalism at
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Cross Section: Frans de Waal ? Science Weekly podcast

What can we learn from chimps when it comes to politics and power? Ian Sample meets the leading primatologist Prof Frans de Waal of Emory University to discuss good leadership and what we can learn from our closest living relatives.. Help support our independent journalism at
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Tomorrow's weather forecast: fair with a good chance of improvement ? Science Weekly podcast

Science Weekly joins forces with our sister technology podcast, Chips with Everything, to look at the future of weather forecasting. Graihagh Jackson finds out how accurate predictions currently are, while Jordan Erica Webber discusses how street cameras and connected cars could improve the forecast further. Help support our independent journalism at
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Cross Section: Hiranya Peiris ? Science Weekly podcast

What happened before the Big Bang? This is one of the hardest questions scientists are trying to answer, but Prof Hiranya Peiris is not daunted by the challenge. Hannah Devlin invited Peiris on the podcast to discuss the origins of our universe. Help support our independent journalism at
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Are alternative meats the key to a healthier life and planet? ? Science Weekly podcast

How do protein substitutes compare with the real deal? Graihagh Jackson investigates by speaking to dietician Priya Tew, the Guardian?s Fiona Harvey and author Isabella Tree. This podcast was amended on 18 May 2019. An earlier version incorrectly claimed that Vitamin B12 is also known as Folate or Folic Acid. Whilst Folate/Folic Acid is also a B Vitamin, it is not Vitamin B12.. Help support our independent journalism at
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The problem with sex ? Science Weekly podcast

Access to help for sexual problems is patchy and many fear the consequences of cuts to sexual health services could be profound. Nicola Davis investigates Please note: this podcast contains discussion of sexual abuse. Help support our independent journalism at
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Oceans of Noise: Episode Three ? Science Weekly podcast

Wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson concludes a three-part journey into the sonic environment of the ocean examining the possible threats caused to marine life by noise pollution. In this final episode he looks at solutions and discovers an unlikely role for sound artists such as himself. Help support our independent journalism at
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Oceans of Noise: Episode Two ? Science Weekly podcast

Wildlife recordist Chris Watson is joined by award-winning sound artist Jana Winderen on a voyage around Norway?s Austevoll islands, aboard a research vessel recording the grunting of spawning cod. Help support our independent journalism at
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Oceans of Noise: Episode One ? Science Weekly podcast

Wildlife recordist Chris Watson begins a three-part journey into the sonic environment of the ocean, celebrating the sounds and songs of marine life and investigating the threat of noise pollution. Help support our independent journalism at
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Black holes: seeing 'the unseeable' ? Science Weekly podcast

Using a global network of telescopes, scientists have managed to capture an image of a black hole for the first time. Hannah Devlin investigates why it?s more than just a pretty picture. Help support our independent journalism at
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Cross Section: Barry Smith - Science Weekly podcast

Coffee is a drink adored the world over. But have you ever wondered why a fresh brew smells better than it tastes? Prof Barry Smith has spent his career pondering how the senses work together to produce flavour perception and so Graihagh Jackson invited him into the studio to talk taste. Help support our independent journalism at
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Why fast fashion should slow down ? Science Weekly podcast

Science Weekly teams up with the Chips with Everything podcast to examine the environmental price tag of our throwaway culture and explore how technology could help the clothing industry follow a more sustainable model. Graihagh Jackson and Jordan Erica Webber present. Help support our independent journalism at
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Cross Section: David Spiegelhalter ? Science Weekly podcast

Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter has a passion for statistics but some argue this type of number crunching is losing its influence and its ability to objectively depict reality. Nicola Davis and Ian Sample investigate how significant statistics are in today?s ?post-truth? world. Help support our independent journalism at
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Vitamania: should we all be popping vitamin pills? ? Science Weekly podcast

With almost half of British adults taking a daily vitamin, Graihagh Jackson and guests examine our love of supplements - including recent announcments about fortifying flour with folic acid. Help support our independent journalism at
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Blood: the future of cancer diagnosis? ? Science Weekly podcast

Could a simple blood test catch cancer before symptoms appear? Nicola Davis goes beyond the hype and investigates the future of blood diagnostics and cancer. Help support our independent journalism at
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Cross Section: Matt Parker - Science Weekly podcast

Happy International Pi Day. To celebrate, Hannah Devlin is joined by the mathematician and comedian Matt Parker to discuss maths anxiety, how much today?s world relies on number crunching and what happens when we get it wrong. Help support our independent journalism at
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Gender data gap and a world built for men

Today is International Women?s Day, and so Science Weekly teams up with the Guardian?s tech podcast, Chips with Everything. Nicola Davis and Jordan Erica Webber look at the repercussions of a male-orientated world ? from drugs that don?t work for women to VR headsets that give them motion sickness. Help support our independent journalism at
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Farewell to Nasa's Mars rover Opportunity ? Science Weekly podcast

Nicola Davis bids a fond farewell to the Mars rover Opportunity after Nasa declared the mission finally over, 15 years after the vehicle landed on the red planet.. Help support our independent journalism at
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Do we need another massive particle collider? Science Weekly podcast

With the Large Hadron Collider reaching its upper limits, scientists around the world are drawing up plans for a new generation of super colliders. Ian Sample weighs up whether or not the potential new discoveries a collider may make will justify the cost of building them.. Help support our independent journalism at
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Cross Section: Paul Davies ? Science Weekly podcast

Nicola Davis talks to the theoretical physicist Paul Davies, who has been trying to find the solution to one of humankind?s trickier questions ? what is life?
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Where on earth is North? - Science Weekly podcast

Earth?s north magnetic pole wandering so quickly in recent decades that this week, scientists decided to update the World Magnetic Model, which underlies navigation for ships and planes today. Ian Sample looks at our relationship with the magnetic north.
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Cross Section: Jo Dunkley ? Science Weekly podcast

Jo Dunkley is a professor of physics and astrophysical sciences at Princeton University. Hannah Devlin talks to her about what it?s like to work on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope in Chile, where they need to bring oxygen tanks for safety.
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Toxic legacy: what to do with Britain's nuclear waste ? Science Weekly podcast

The UK has a problem and it isn?t going to go away anytime soon. But what to do about it? This week Geoff Marsh explores plans to bury the UK?s nuclear waste deep underground
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How do we define creativity? - Science Weekly podcast

In our latest collaboration, Ian Sample teams up with Jordan Erica Webber of Chips with Everything to look at why artwork produced using artificial intelligence is forcing us to look at how we define creativity
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Exploring the far side of the moon ? Science Weekly podcast

Hannah Devlin looks at why there is renewed interest in lunar exploration following the Chinese Chang?e 4 adventure on the far side of the moon
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Did a supervolcano cause the dinosaurs' demise? ? Science Weekly podcast

Some scientists are beginning to question whether it really was an asteroid impact that led to the dinosaurs? extinction ? instead, they think it may have been a supervolcano in India. Graihagh Jackson investigates
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Cross Section: Hannah Fry ? Science Weekly podcast

Dr Hannah Fry won the Christopher Zeeman medal in August for her contributions to the public understanding of the mathematical sciences. Ian Sample has invited her on the podcast to discuss her love of numbers. Plus, he asks, can we really use this discipline to predict human behaviour?
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Cross Section: Dame Jane Francis - Science Weekly podcast

Prof Dame Jane Francis knows Antarctica better than most: she?s spent the majority of her career researching this icy landscape. Ian Sample talks to her about what it?s like to camp in Antarctica and what her findings can tell us about our future on this planet
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Oh my: a psychological approach to awe ? Science Weekly podcast

Nicola Davis asks what?s behind one of humanity?s most powerful and possibly evolutionarily important emotions
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Gene-edited babies: why are scientists so appalled? ? Science Weekly podcast

Last week Dr He Jiankui announced he had created the world?s first gene-edited babies. Hundreds of Chinese scientists have signed a letter condemning the research. Hannah Devlin delves into why He?s research has caused such uproar
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Cross Section: Tim Peake - Science Weekly podcast

Tim Peake beat 8,172 applicants for a spot on the European Space Agency?s astronaut training programme. Ian Sample talks to him about the selection process and the intensive training he went through
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Can we trust artificial intelligence lie detectors? ? Science Weekly podcast

Liar liar, pants on fire? In this collaboration between the Guardian?s Science Weekly and Chips with Everything podcasts, we explore whether it will ever be possible to build intelligent machines to detect porky pies
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Treating cancer: what role could our diet play? - Science Weekly podcast

Food is an essential part of everyone?s life but how does what we eat affect our health? Could we eat to treat our illnesses? Top oncologists from around the world are beginning to study the role of diet in cancer treatment and early results look promising. Hannah Devlin investigates.
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Cross Section: Sir Venki Ramakrishnan ? Science Weekly podcast

Nicola Davis sits down with Nobel prize-winning scientist Sir Venki Ramakrishnan to discuss the competition he faced in the race to discover the ribosome ? AKA the gene machine. Is competition good for science, or would a collaborative approach be better?
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What role should the public play in science? - Science Weekly podcast

There are concerns that a science journal may revise a paper amid pressure from activists. What role should the public play and should science have boundaries to protect its integrity? Ian Sample presents. Since publishing, we received complaints. We value this feedback and are in editorial discussions about how to respond. We would like to highlight: The intention was to look at the relationship between science and the public. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (aka. myalgic encephalomyelitis) was intended as an example of the broader theme We are awaiting a decision from Cochrane Review about the paper to inform any editorial decision The response from Cochrane?s Editor we quoted from a Reuters piece was a part inclusion of this statement The episode included two authors of the PACE trial. The trial is considered controversial and has received criticisms. It has not been retracted Since making this podcast, the complaint to Cochrane has been made publicly available. Read it here Updated: 03/05/19
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Falling fertility: lessons learned from Botswana ? Science Weekly podcast

Fifty years ago, the average woman in Botswana had seven children. Now she will have fewer than three. Enabling women to control their fertility has had huge ramifications for their health, education and employment ? could President Trump?s ? global gag rule? threaten this? Nicola Davis travels to Botswana to investigate
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Mars is barred: why we shouldn't go to the red planet ? Science Weekly podcast

Elon Musk believes we should colonise Mars to ensure the survival of the human race. But is this reasoning compelling enough? Hannah Devlin ponders the case against setting our sites on Mars
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A step in the right direction: could implants help people walk again? ? Science Weekly podcast

Four people with paraplegia were recently implanted with electrodes in their lower backs. They all regained movement below their injuries, and two walked again. This week Nicola Davis investigates this technique ? epidural stimulation ? and other approaches for treating spinal cord injuries
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The weight is over: will kilograms get an upgrade? ? Science Weekly podcast

On 16 November, scientists vote on whether to update the way we measure the kilogram. This week, Ian Sample investigates the history of the metric system, and finds out how universal constants might now make it more robust
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Cross section: Mark Miodownik ? Science Weekly podcast

What can a materials scientist learn from artists? How do you make robotic trousers? And what should we do about plastics? Hannah Devlin sits down with Mark Miodownik to find out
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Opioid addiction: can the UK curb the looming crisis? ? Science Weekly podcast

The US has been in the grip of an ?opioid epidemic? since the 1990s, and now a rise in opioid prescriptions and deaths is being seen across the pond. Ian Sample investigates and asks: what can we do the curb the looming crisis?
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Are fungi the secret to a sweet sounding violin? ? Science Weekly podcast

From making violins sound beautiful, to beer and bread, to creating life-saving medicine, fungi have an array of very useful attributes. This week, a report demonstrates just how little we know about this kingdom of life and what we are set to gain if we tap into fungi as a resource. Hannah Devlin investigates.
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Could a new force of nature reveal the universe's dark side? ? Science Weekly podcast

We can see only 4% of the observable universe ? the rest is made up of invisible ?dark matter? and ?dark energy?. Now scientists are looking for a postulated force of nature that could open a door to the dark side. Ian Sample investigates
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Conservation: there will (not) be blood - Science Weekly podcast

Invasive species have been blamed for wiping out native populations. Conservationists face a hard choice: should they kill one species to save another? The answer is often yes. Nicola Davis explores this dilemma and asks whether there?s a more compassionate approach
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Huntington's disease: the price paid for our big brains? ? Science Weekly podcast

This degenerative illness has a few genetic quirks which scientists believe could cause secondary health benefits. Emerging research suggests that people with Huntington?s are less sickly, don?t get cancer as often and even have more brain cells. Hannah Devlin investigates.
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