335 episodes

Named after Charles Babbage, a 19th-century polymath and grandfather of computing, Babbage is a weekly podcast on science and technology. Host Kenneth Cukier talks to our correspondents about the innovations, discoveries and gadgetry making the news. Published every Tuesday on Economist Radio.

Babbage from The Economist The Economist

    • News
    • 4.9 • 128 Ratings

Named after Charles Babbage, a 19th-century polymath and grandfather of computing, Babbage is a weekly podcast on science and technology. Host Kenneth Cukier talks to our correspondents about the innovations, discoveries and gadgetry making the news. Published every Tuesday on Economist Radio.

    Babbage: Rocks in space

    Babbage: Rocks in space

    A probe to study the Trojan asteroids is expected to take off this week, but what will this mission uncover about the formation of the solar system? Also, we explore new technology to observe asteroids, as well as a mission to deflect an incoming celestial object. And, we hear from the Nobel co-laureate in Physiology or Medicine, Ardem Patapoutian, about temperature and pressure sensing. Alok Jha hosts. 


    For full access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe at economist.com/podcastoffer and sign up for our new weekly science newsletter at economist.com/simplyscience.


    Terms and conditions for the book competition featured in this podcast are available at economist.com/podcast-contest.
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 30 min
    Babbage: A new Anthropocene diet

    Babbage: A new Anthropocene diet

    A new generation of technologies are transforming the world’s food-production system. Food scientists are producing cruelty-free meat in the lab, growing salad underground in vertical farms and bringing aquaculture on land. The Economist's US digital editor Jon Fasman uncovers the future of food.
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 26 min
    Babbage: Don't panic

    Babbage: Don't panic

    As British petrol stations run dry, we explore the behavioural science of panic buying. Also, a dried-up lake bed reveals evidence about America’s first inhabitants. And neuroscientist Anil Seth explains what a new theory can tell us about our conscious experiences of the world—and a chance to win his book. Kenneth Cukier hosts.  


    For full access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe at economist.com/podcastoffer and sign up for our new weekly science newsletter at economist.com/simplyscience.


    Terms and conditions for the book competition featured in this podcast are available at economist.com/podcast-contest.
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 25 min
    Babbage: From pandemic to twindemic

    Babbage: From pandemic to twindemic

    As the northern hemisphere heads towards its second winter battling covid-19, epidemiologist Professor Dame Anne Johnson explains the risk of a surge in flu cases and how to avoid a double pandemic. Also, a decline in mental health was one of the unforeseen consequences of the coronavirus crisis. Dr Wendy Suzuki, a neuroscientist, advises how to turn everyday anxiety into a positive emotion. And, a new form of sea defence is part natural, part artificial. Kenneth Cukier hosts. 




    For full access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe at economist.com/podcastoffer and sign up for our new weekly science newsletter at economist.com/simplyscience.
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 28 min
    Babbage: Booster shot

    Babbage: Booster shot

    As the northern hemisphere heads towards its second pandemic winter, some countries have already started to make third doses of vaccine available to their most vulnerable citizens. But scientists disagree about whether offering boosters is the best use of vaccine resources—or necessary at all. And, a big study in Bangladesh finds simple ways to encourage mask use. Also, we reveal our book competition winner. Kenneth Cukier hosts.


    For full access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe at economist.com/podcastoffer and sign up for our new weekly science newsletter at economist.com/simplyscience.


    Terms and conditions for the book competition featured in this podcast are available at economist.com/podcast-contest. 
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 24 min
    Babbage: The building blocks of life

    Babbage: The building blocks of life

    From the hive of molecular activity inside every cell to how cells self-organise into complex living things and those organisms evolve into different species, host Kenneth Cukier explores the fundamental architecture of life. He also investigates how the power of stem cells could be used to treat genetic diseases and why there is still debate about the origins of modern humans.


    With Geoffrey Carr, The Economist’s science editor; Dr Alison Woollard, professor of biochemistry at Oxford University; Dr Alena Pance of the Wellcome Sanger Institute of genomics; and Dr Viviane Slon, a paleogeneticist at the University of Tel Aviv.


    Subscribers can read our essay series exploring how life works from the scale of the molecule all the way up to that of the planet at economist.com/biology-briefs 


    For full access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe at economist.com/podcastoffer and sign up for our new weekly science newsletter at economist.com/simplyscience
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
128 Ratings

128 Ratings

LuckyL96 ,

Exceptional Content - Thanks Ken!!

I haven’t written a review for a podcast before, but I think this is a good time to start. I intend to for all of The Economist’s podcasts I listen to, and I encourage everyone to check out their collection.

Babbage is a thought-provoking review of science and technology that’s making news today and shaping tomorrow. I look forward to listening every Tuesday evening when it’s published; you *never* know what Ken and his guests are going to get into! Of course this is coupled with The Economist’s exceptional reporting based on facts and data, a commodity in short supply these days. The show is a lot of fun and is simply mind-expanding. 5 stars. Thank you Ken, from Canada!

Running after my hat 11 ,

First rate

Babbage is first rate, as are all the Economist podcasts.

Dr. analyse ,

Interesting but problematic.

It’s good and has a lot of great content but also has a consistent left wing bias that compromises some objectivity the economist used to have

Top Podcasts In News

You Might Also Like

More by The Economist