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Podcasts



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One to One

Jay Elwes meets artist Simon Periton (4 days old [18/11/19])

audioWhat does it mean to "look at" something? Do an artist and a scientist look at a sunset in the same way? Jay Elwes talks to the artist Simon Periton, whose work includes the installations in the new Farringdon Crossrail station. Simon explains how he looks for ideas in everyday objects, taking inspiration from windows, leaves and even empty tin cans. Producer: Chris Ledgard

Jay Elwes meets Nasa's John Mather (4 days old [18/11/19])

audioHow do different people look at the world around them? Do a scientist and an artist see a sunset the same way? In the first of two programmes, we meet the Nobel prize winning astrophysicist, John Mather. Dr Mather is the Senior Project Scientist on the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the Hubble. He talks to the journalist Jay Elwes about the "telescope of the imagination", and how technology can help us look back through space and time to picture our universe in its early days. Producer: Chris Ledgard

City or Country? Alys Fowler meets Gregory Leadbetter (10 days old [12/11/19])

audioAcclaimed gardening writer, Alys Fowler, tries to work out where she wants to live, in the city or the countryside, with the help of poet, Gregory Leadbetter. Alys grew up in deepest rural England but for years has found happiness in the city of Birmingham, her small garden and local allotment. But she's starting to feel the pull of the countryside again, and the access to the natural world it offers. However, Gregory - through the lens of poetry - discusses how paying close attention to nature wherever you are can have a profound effect. Producer: Karen Gregor

City or Country? Alys Fowler meets Ruth Allen (17 days old [05/11/19])

audioAcclaimed gardening writer, Alys Fowler, tries to work out where she wants to live, in the city or the countryside, with the help of outdoor counsellor, Dr. Ruth Allen. Alys grew up in deepest rural England, but for years has lived in Birmingham. She loves the city, and her small garden and allotment, but is starting to feel a pull to return to her roots. But should she? If she does, will the countryside offer her what she feels is missing from her life, a deeper connection with nature, or does the city provide all she needs? Producer: Karen Gregor

Benjamin Zephaniah meets Kevin McEleny (38 days old [15/10/19])

audioIn approximately half of couples experiencing difficulty conceiving, part of the problem lies with the male. Despite this, male infertility is a largely under-researched and taboo subject. To find out why, and what needs to be done, Benjamin Zephaniah meets consultant urologist Kevin McEleny, who leads the Male Fertility Service at the Newcastle Fertility Centre in the International Centre for Life. Producer Sarah Blunt. Support Organisations Fertility Network UK offers information, advice and support for anyone suffering from infertility related problems. http://fertilitynetworkuk.org T[...]

Benjamin Zephaniah meets Terri Clothier (45 days old [08/10/19])

audioTerri Clothier discusses how her husband’s fertility problems affected her and their relationship. When Terri married Richard (who we heard from in the previous programme ) she knew she wanted a family. They both did. Terri imagined life with two children. But this hasn’t happened. They were unaware that Richard had a fertility problem. Whilst friends and family were starting their own families Richard and Terri felt alone and isolated. A feeling they describe as grieving. Producer Sarah Blunt. Support Organisations Fertility Network UK offers information, advice and support for anyone suff[...]

Benjamin Zephaniah meets Richard Clothier (52 days old [01/10/19])

audioBenjamin Zephaniah is infertile. This is not something you hear men readily admit. It has been a taboo subject. This has resulted in many men with fertility problems feeling isolated and guilt-ridden whilst also grieving for the child they cannot have by natural methods. Richard Clothier describes his experiences. Benjamin meets Richard’s wife Terri in the next programme. Producer Sarah Blunt Support Organisations Fertility Network UK offers information, advice and support for anyone suffering from infertility related problems. http://fertilitynetworkuk.org The Human Fertilisation and Embr[...]

Growing Up with a Gay Dad (115 days old [30/07/19])

audioDavid Gregory-Kumar is a BBC journalist, and a gay dad. For this edition of One to One, he speaks to Sophie Mei Lan about her experience of growing up with a gay dad and step-dad. Sophie Mei Lan is a journalist, blogger and vlogger in her early 30s. She grew up, from the age of 3, partly with her gay dad and step-dad. She talks to David about the severe bullying she faced in high school, and how she learned to cope. But she also recalls the lighter, if rather excruciating, moment when she was mistaken for her dad's child-bride. Now that Sophie herself is a mum she sees a world that is more[...]

Being a Gay Dad (122 days old [23/07/19])

audioDavid Gregory-Kumar talks about parenting with fellow gay dad, Chris Hurlston. David is a BBC journalist, and he's also a gay dad. Across three editions of One to One he is exploring different aspects of gay parenting. Today he meets Chris Hurlston whose children were carried by surrogate mothers, one from India and the other from Nepal. David and Chris discuss their different experiences of surrogacy, the challenges of raising a daughter, and the protests against teaching LGBT equality in the city where they both live. Producer: Karen Gregor

A Surrogate's Story (129 days old [16/07/19])

audioDavid Gregory-Kumar is a BBC journalist, and he's also a gay dad. Across three editions of One to One, he's exploring different aspects of gay parenting. Today he speaks to DaJon, the surrogate who carried his, and his husband Suraj's, baby girl. Producer: Karen Gregor

(C) BBC 2019

One to One

Jay Elwes meets artist Simon Periton (4 days old [18/11/19])

audioWhat does it mean to "look at" something? Do an artist and a scientist look at a sunset in the same way? Jay Elwes talks to the artist Simon Periton, whose work includes the installations in the new Farringdon Crossrail station. Simon explains how he looks for ideas in everyday objects, taking inspiration from windows, leaves and even empty tin cans. Producer: Chris Ledgard

Jay Elwes meets Nasa's John Mather (4 days old [18/11/19])

audioHow do different people look at the world around them? Do a scientist and an artist see a sunset the same way? In the first of two programmes, we meet the Nobel prize winning astrophysicist, John Mather. Dr Mather is the Senior Project Scientist on the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the Hubble. He talks to the journalist Jay Elwes about the "telescope of the imagination", and how technology can help us look back through space and time to picture our universe in its early days. Producer: Chris Ledgard

City or Country? Alys Fowler meets Gregory Leadbetter (10 days old [12/11/19])

audioAcclaimed gardening writer, Alys Fowler, tries to work out where she wants to live, in the city or the countryside, with the help of poet, Gregory Leadbetter. Alys grew up in deepest rural England but for years has found happiness in the city of Birmingham, her small garden and local allotment. But she's starting to feel the pull of the countryside again, and the access to the natural world it offers. However, Gregory - through the lens of poetry - discusses how paying close attention to nature wherever you are can have a profound effect. Producer: Karen Gregor

City or Country? Alys Fowler meets Ruth Allen (17 days old [05/11/19])

audioAcclaimed gardening writer, Alys Fowler, tries to work out where she wants to live, in the city or the countryside, with the help of outdoor counsellor, Dr. Ruth Allen. Alys grew up in deepest rural England, but for years has lived in Birmingham. She loves the city, and her small garden and allotment, but is starting to feel a pull to return to her roots. But should she? If she does, will the countryside offer her what she feels is missing from her life, a deeper connection with nature, or does the city provide all she needs? Producer: Karen Gregor

Benjamin Zephaniah meets Kevin McEleny (38 days old [15/10/19])

audioIn approximately half of couples experiencing difficulty conceiving, part of the problem lies with the male. Despite this, male infertility is a largely under-researched and taboo subject. To find out why, and what needs to be done, Benjamin Zephaniah meets consultant urologist Kevin McEleny, who leads the Male Fertility Service at the Newcastle Fertility Centre in the International Centre for Life. Producer Sarah Blunt. Support Organisations Fertility Network UK offers information, advice and support for anyone suffering from infertility related problems. http://fertilitynetworkuk.org T[...]

Benjamin Zephaniah meets Terri Clothier (45 days old [08/10/19])

audioTerri Clothier discusses how her husband’s fertility problems affected her and their relationship. When Terri married Richard (who we heard from in the previous programme ) she knew she wanted a family. They both did. Terri imagined life with two children. But this hasn’t happened. They were unaware that Richard had a fertility problem. Whilst friends and family were starting their own families Richard and Terri felt alone and isolated. A feeling they describe as grieving. Producer Sarah Blunt. Support Organisations Fertility Network UK offers information, advice and support for anyone suff[...]

Benjamin Zephaniah meets Richard Clothier (52 days old [01/10/19])

audioBenjamin Zephaniah is infertile. This is not something you hear men readily admit. It has been a taboo subject. This has resulted in many men with fertility problems feeling isolated and guilt-ridden whilst also grieving for the child they cannot have by natural methods. Richard Clothier describes his experiences. Benjamin meets Richard’s wife Terri in the next programme. Producer Sarah Blunt Support Organisations Fertility Network UK offers information, advice and support for anyone suffering from infertility related problems. http://fertilitynetworkuk.org The Human Fertilisation and Embr[...]

Growing Up with a Gay Dad (115 days old [30/07/19])

audioDavid Gregory-Kumar is a BBC journalist, and a gay dad. For this edition of One to One, he speaks to Sophie Mei Lan about her experience of growing up with a gay dad and step-dad. Sophie Mei Lan is a journalist, blogger and vlogger in her early 30s. She grew up, from the age of 3, partly with her gay dad and step-dad. She talks to David about the severe bullying she faced in high school, and how she learned to cope. But she also recalls the lighter, if rather excruciating, moment when she was mistaken for her dad's child-bride. Now that Sophie herself is a mum she sees a world that is more[...]

Being a Gay Dad (122 days old [23/07/19])

audioDavid Gregory-Kumar talks about parenting with fellow gay dad, Chris Hurlston. David is a BBC journalist, and he's also a gay dad. Across three editions of One to One he is exploring different aspects of gay parenting. Today he meets Chris Hurlston whose children were carried by surrogate mothers, one from India and the other from Nepal. David and Chris discuss their different experiences of surrogacy, the challenges of raising a daughter, and the protests against teaching LGBT equality in the city where they both live. Producer: Karen Gregor

A Surrogate's Story (129 days old [16/07/19])

audioDavid Gregory-Kumar is a BBC journalist, and he's also a gay dad. Across three editions of One to One, he's exploring different aspects of gay parenting. Today he speaks to DaJon, the surrogate who carried his, and his husband Suraj's, baby girl. Producer: Karen Gregor

(C) BBC 2019

The Life Scientific

Elizabeth Fisher on chromosomes in mice and men (10 days old [12/11/19])

audioElizabeth Fisher, Professor of Neurogenetics at University College London, spent 13 years getting her idea – finding a new way of studying genetic disorders – to work. She began her research career at a time, in the 1980s, when there was an explosion of interest and effort in finding out what genes did what, and which of them were responsible for giving rise to the symptoms of various neurodegenerative conditions. Elizabeth has been particularly interested in those in which there are chromosomal abnormalities, like Down syndrome and Turner syndrome, as distinct from specific genetic disorders[...]

Demis Hassabis on artificial intelligence (17 days old [05/11/19])

audioIn the 200th episode of The Life Scientific, Jim Al-Khalili finds out why Demis Hassabis wants to create artificial intelligence and use it to help humanity. Thinking about how to win at chess when he was a boy got Demis thinking about the process of thinking itself. Being able to program his first computer (a Sinclair Spectrum) felt miraculous. In computer chess, his two passions were combined. And a lifelong ambition to create artificial intelligence was born. Demis studied computer science at Cambridge and then worked in the computer games industry for many years. Games, he says, are th[...]

Saiful Islam on materials to power the 21st century (24 days old [29/10/19])

audioNot so long ago, all batteries were single use. And solar power was an emerging and expensive technology. Now, thanks to rechargeable batteries, we have mobile phones, laptops, electronic toys, cordless power tools and other portable electronic devices. And solar power is reducing our reliance on carbon-based fossil fuels. None of this would have been possible without a deep understanding of the chemistry of materials that have particular properties – the ability to turn sunlight into energy for example. Professor Saiful Islam of the University of Bath tells Jim Al-Khalili how ‘the Woodstock[...]

Adrian Owen on scanning for awareness in the injured brain (31 days old [22/10/19])

audioNeuroscientist Adrian Owen has spent much of his career exploring what he calls ‘the grey zone’, a realm of consciousness inhabited by people with severe brain injuries, who are aware yet unable to respond to those around them. It's this inability to respond which has led doctors to conclude that they are unaware. In the late 1990's, Adrian started to question the assumption that they lacked awareness and a chance discovery set him on a novel path of enquiry - could some of these patients be conscious or aware even though they don’t appear to be? His research has revealed that some are, a[...]

Martha Clokie on the viruses that could improve our health (38 days old [15/10/19])

audioCould viruses improve our health where antibiotics have failed? As a child, Martha Clokie spent a lot of time collecting seaweed on Scottish beaches. She loves plants and studied botany for many years. But mid-career, she learnt about all the viruses that exist in nature. We tend to focus on the viruses that make us ill but there are trillions of viruses on earth and in the ocean and most of them eat bacteria. When a virus destroys a bacteria that attacks our bodies, then it could be just what the doctor ordered. Our enemy’s enemy is our friend. Martha became interested in how these viruses [...]

Anne Magurran on how to measure biodiversity (45 days old [08/10/19])

audioAnne Magurran started her career as an ecologist counting moths in an ancient woodland in northern Ireland in the 1970s, when the study of biological diversity was a very young science. Later she studied piranas in a flooded forest in the Amazon. Turning descriptions of the natural world into meaningful statistics is a challenge and Anne has pioneered the measurement of bio-diversity. It’s like an optical illusion, she says. The more you think about bio-diversity the more difficult it is to define. After a bout of meningitis in 2007, she set up BioTime, a global open access database to monitor[...]

Richard Wiseman on lying, luck and the paranormal (52 days old [01/10/19])

audioHow do you tell if someone is lying? When Richard Wiseman, Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, conducted a nationwide experiment to identify the tell-tale signs, the results were surprising. If you want to spot a liar, don’t look at them. Listen to what they say and how they say it. in If you want to distinguish fact from fiction, radio, not TV or video is your friend. Visual cues distract us from what is being said and good liars can control their body language more easily than their voice. Depressingly, Richard has also shown that ou[...]

Jonathan Ball on his arms race against viruses (115 days old [30/07/19])

audioEbola, Zika, Sars, Mers - rarely a week goes by without a deadly virus stealing the headlines. For Jonathan Ball, getting to know a virus at its most basic level is crucial to mounting a defence. As the son of a coal miner, who grew up in a mining village in the 1970s, a future in academic research studying deadly viruses wasn’t really on the agenda. Yet his work has led him to the forefront of scientific research to find the antibodies that can protect us from some of the nastiest diseases known to humankind. As Professor of Virology at Nottingham University, he’s interested in how a[...]

Robin Dunbar on why we have friends (122 days old [23/07/19])

audioMaintaining friendships is one of the most cognitively demanding things we do, according to Professor of Evolutionary Psychology Robin Dunbar. So why do we bother? Robin has spent his life trying to answer this deceptively simple question. For most of his twenties, he lived with a herd of five hundred gelada monkeys in the Ethiopian highlands. He studied their social behaviour and concluded that an ability to get on with each other was just as important as finding food, for the survival of the species. Animals that live in large groups are less likely to get eaten by predators. When funding f[...]

Katherine Joy on moon rock (129 days old [16/07/19])

audioKatherine Joy studies moon rock. She has studied lunar samples that were brought to earth by the Apollo missions (382kg in total) and hunted for lunar meteorites in Antarctica, camping on ice for weeks on end and travelling around on a skidoo. Working at the forefront of the second wave of lunar exploration, she studied remote sensing data from Europe’s first mission to the moon, Smart 1 which launched in 2003 and data from many subsequent missions. She tells Jim Al-Khalili why she believes the moon is the most exciting destination in our solar system and explains what it can tell us about th[...]

(C) BBC 2019

Ipswich