94 episodes

Each week we talk to academic experts around the world to help unpack the context behind the headlines – and hear from scholars carrying out brand new research about how the world works. A podcast from The Conversation.
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

The Conversation Weekly The Conversation

    • News
    • 4.4 • 62 Ratings

Each week we talk to academic experts around the world to help unpack the context behind the headlines – and hear from scholars carrying out brand new research about how the world works. A podcast from The Conversation.
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Influencers are getting hired by smaller cities to attract new residents and generate revenue

    Influencers are getting hired by smaller cities to attract new residents and generate revenue

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, the demographics of cities shifted. As stay-at-home orders, remote work and bubbling reduced social interaction, and restaurants, venues and arts destinations shut down temporarily, people started reconsidering their decision to remain in a big city. We spoke with two urban theorists about why people were leaving larger cities for smaller ones, how authenticity was marketed using social media influencers, and why smaller and mid-sized cities are underrated.
    Featuring Avi Friedman, a professor of architecture at McGill University in Montréal, Canada, and David A. Banks, lecturer in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Albany in New York, US. 
    This episode of The Conversation Weekly was produced and written by Mend Mariwany who is also the show's executive producer. Sound design is by Eloise Stevens, and our theme music is by Neeta Sarl.  Full credits for this episode are available here. Sign up here for a free daily newsletter from The Conversation.
    Further reading: 

    Kampala, Kigali and Addis Ababa are changing fast: new book follows their distinct pathsTo build sustainable cities, involve those who live in themThe era of the megalopolis: how the world’s cities are mergingAs big cities get even bigger, some residents are being left behind

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    • 28 min
    Beavers and oysters are helping restore lost ecosystems with their engineering skills

    Beavers and oysters are helping restore lost ecosystems with their engineering skills

    Whether you’re looking at tropical forests in Brazil, grasslands in California or coral reefs in Australia, it’s hard to find places where humanity hasn't left a mark. The scale of the alteration, invasion or destruction of natural ecosystems can be mindbogglingly huge. Thankfully, researchers, governments and everyday people around the world are putting more effort and money into conservation and restoration every year, but the task is large. How do you plant a billion trees? How do you restore thousands of square miles of wetlands? How do you turn a barren ocean floor back into a thriving reef? In some cases, the answer lies with certain animals – called ecosystem engineers – that can kick start the healing. We talk to three experts about how ecosystem engineers can play a key role in restoring natural places and why the human and social sides of restoration are just as important as the science.
    Featuring Josh Larsen, associate professor in water science at the University of Birmingham in the UK, Dominic McAfee, a postdoctoral researcher in marine ecology at the University of Adelaide in Australia, and Andy Kliskey, professor of landscape architecture and Co-director of the Center for Resilient Communities at the University of Idaho in the US.
    This episode was produced by Katie Flood. The executive producer is Mend Mariwany. Eloise Stevens does our sound design and our theme music is by Neeta Sarl. Full credits for this episode are available here. A transcript will be available soon. Sign up here for a free daily newsletter from The Conversation.
    Further reading: 
    Beavers can do wonders for nature – but we should be realistic about these benefits extending to peopleBeavers are back: here’s what this might mean for the UK’s wild spacesPlaying sea soundscapes can summon thousands of baby oysters – and help regrow oyster reefsOnce the fish factories and ‘kidneys’ of colder seas, Australia’s decimated shellfish reefs are coming back

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    • 39 min
    Discovery: Secretly documenting starvation in the Warsaw Ghetto

    Discovery: Secretly documenting starvation in the Warsaw Ghetto

    During the years of suffering and tragedy that defined the Warsaw Ghetto in the midst of World War II, a team of Jewish doctors secretly documented the effects of starvation on the human body when the Nazis severely limited the amount of food available in the Jewish ghetto.
    Featuring Merry Fitzpatrick, an assistant professor at Tufts University who studies food security and malnutrition.
    This episode was produced by Mend Mariwany and hosted by Dan Merino. The executive producer is Mend Mariwany. Eloise Stevens does our sound design, and our theme music is by Neeta Sarl.
    Further reading: 

    Warsaw Ghetto’s defiant Jewish doctors secretly documented the medical effects of Nazi starvation policies in a book recently rediscovered on a library shelf Starving civilians is an ancient military tactic, but today it’s a war crime in Ukraine, Yemen, Tigray and elsewhere

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    • 19 min
    Social welfare services are being cut across the world – but providing them is about more than just money

    Social welfare services are being cut across the world – but providing them is about more than just money

    Across the globe, health-care workers have gone on strike to protest the stress placed on them by the global COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn, pushing already-strained services beyond their limits. These labour actions are part of the challenges faced by countries attempting to provide welfare services to their populations. We talk to three experts about why social welfare services are being cut, and what actions governments may need to take to ensure better access. 
    Featuring Miguel Niño-Zarazúa, senior economics lecturer at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London in the UK,  Christine Corlet Walker, a research fellow at the Center for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity at the University of Surrey, also in the UK, and Erdem Yörük, assistant professor at Koç University in Istanbul in Turkey.
    This episode was produced by Mend Mariwany and Katie Flood. The executive producer is Mend Mariwany. Eloise Stevens does our sound design and our theme music is by Neeta Sarl. Full credits for this episode are available here. A transcript will be available soon. Sign up here for a free daily newsletter from The Conversation.
    Further reading: 

    Better income assistance programs are needed to help people with rising cost of livingCOVID-19 holds lessons for the future of social protectionDegrowth: why some economists think abandoning growth is the only way to save the planet – podcast
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    • 36 min
    Discovery: Reindeer's fascinating color-changing eyes

    Discovery: Reindeer's fascinating color-changing eyes

    Reindeer's noses may not glow red, but these cold-loving creatures have evolved the ability to change the color of their eyes to help them thrive in northern winters. A neuroscientist explains how he discovered that a part of the reindeer eye called the tapetum lucidum is perfectly adapted to the dim, blue in the Arctic.
    Featuring Glen Jeffery, a professor of neuroscience at the Institute of Opthamology at University College London in the UK.
    This episode was produced by Katie Flood. The interim executive producer is Mend Mariwany. Eloise Stevens does our sound design and our theme music is by Neeta Sarl. Full credits for this episode are available here. A transcript will be available soon. Sign up here for a free daily newsletter from The Conversation.
    Further reading
    How reindeer eyes transform in winter to give them twilight vision
    Five ways reindeer are perfectly evolved for pulling Santa’s sleigh

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    • 18 min
    James Webb Telescope reveals unexpectedly busy early universe

    James Webb Telescope reveals unexpectedly busy early universe

    If you want to know what happened in the earliest years of the universe, you are going to need a very big, very specialized telescope. Much to the joy of astronomers and space fans everywhere, the world has one – the James Webb Space Telescope. In this episode, we talk to three experts about what astronomers have learned about the first galaxies in the universe and how just six months of data from James Webb is already changing astronomy.
    Featuring Jeyhan Kartaltepe, Associate Professor of Astrophysics at Rochester Institute of Technology, Jonathan Trump, Associate Professor of Physics at University of Connecticut and Michael J. I. Brown, Associate Professor in Astronomy at Monash University.
    This episode was produced by Katie Flood and Daniel Merino, with sound design by Eloise Stevens. It was written by Katie Flood and Daniel Merino. Mend Mariwany is the show’s executive producer. Our theme music is by Neeta Sarl. Full credits for this episode are available here. Sign up here for a free daily newsletter from The Conversation.

    Further reading:
    James Webb Space Telescope: what astronomers hope it will reveal about the beginning of the universe – podcastBlueWalker 3, an enormous and bright communications satellite, is genuinely alarming astronomersIs the James Webb Space Telescope finding the furthest, oldest, youngest or first galaxies? An astronomer explainsTwo experts break down the James Webb Space Telescope’s first images, and explain what we’ve already learnt
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    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
62 Ratings

62 Ratings

Francestkd ,

Insightful

Addition to the email. Expands & informs on many issues. Great guests who know their subjects

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More credible insights and perspectives

Thanks for these very informative podcasts with a great diversity of perspectives. A couple helped distract me through wisdom teeth extraction and will now be part of my weekly routine.

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Also reviewed before first episode but I am confident this will be first rate... Cannot wait!!

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