40 episodes

A podcast about the ground breaking research by Swansea University into global challenges. We explore topics from health innovation and climate change, to clean energy and human-centred digital technologies.

Exploring Global Problems Swansea University

    • Education
    • 5.0 ‱ 36 Ratings

A podcast about the ground breaking research by Swansea University into global challenges. We explore topics from health innovation and climate change, to clean energy and human-centred digital technologies.

    1. Turning Waste Into Wonder: Creative Solutions For Plastic Pollution, Dr Alvin Orbaek White

    1. Turning Waste Into Wonder: Creative Solutions For Plastic Pollution, Dr Alvin Orbaek White

    With almost 60% of all plastic ever produced still polluting our planet, there are enormous issues posed by the massive volume of plastic waste present in our environment. However, by repurposing this massive stockpile of plastic waste into something more valuable we can turn this problem into a solution that benefits us all and paves the way for a brighter, cleaner future
    In this episode, in discussion with Dr Sam Blaxland,  Dr Alvin Orbaek White, formerly an Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering in the Faculty of Science and Engineering, unveils the incredible power of plastic waste. As one of the world's foremost experts on nanoengineering, Dr. Orbaek White discusses the ground-breaking potential of waste plastic, and how it can be transformed into valuable materials such as hydrogen gas and carbon nanotubes (CNTs). These powerful and versatile materials are the future of innovation, used in everything from cables and batteries to MRI scanners.
    Dr Alvin Orbaek White is formerly an Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering and former Welsh Government SĂȘr Cymru II Fellow at Swansea University. He is also an entrepreneur having recently started up his own company TrimTabs to commercialise the sustainable energy knowledge that he has discovered.

    • 40 min
    2. Can We Protect Ourselves From Cancer Causing Chemicals? Professor Gareth Jenkins

    2. Can We Protect Ourselves From Cancer Causing Chemicals? Professor Gareth Jenkins

    In this episode, Professor Gareth Jenkins, in discussion with Dr Sam Blaxland, reveals how DNA can be mutated, how these mutations cause cancer, and how the chemicals around us, our lifestyle choices and our habits can increase or decrease the likelihood of our DNA mutating and developing into cancer.
    Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020. Figures suggest 1 in 2 of us will get cancer in our lifetime. Despite these statistics, there are measures we can take to protect ourselves by reducing exposure to carcinogenic chemicals which cause DNA mutations.
    Professor Gareth Jenkins, Professor of Biomedical Sciences at Swansea University, is a leading global expert in this field. We also learn of the huge advancements in cancer diagnostic technologies such as liquid biopsies and the identification of biomarkers that flag pre-cancerous conditions. Discover how Gareth's research is pushing innovation to enable the early detection of cancer – the Holy Grail in cancer research for better patient outcomes.

    • 46 min
    3. Can Intervention Prevent Suicide In Young People? Professor Ann John

    3. Can Intervention Prevent Suicide In Young People? Professor Ann John

    Warning: This podcast episode contains discussions about suicide, which may be distressing  to some individuals. We encourage listener discretion and self-care. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental health issues, please seek help immediately. Below are links to organisations in the UK and Wales that can provide support and assistance:
     
    1. Samaritans: The Samaritans offer 24/7 emotional support to anyone in distress, including those feeling suicidal. You can call their helpline at 116 123 (UK) or 116 123 (Wales) or visit their website: https://www.samaritans.org/
    2. Mind: Mind is a mental health charity providing advice and support for anyone experiencing mental health problems. They have a helpline, local branches, and a wide range of resources available. Visit their website: https://www.mind.org.uk/
    3. PAPYRUS: PAPYRUS is a national charity dedicated to preventing young suicide. They provide confidential support and advice to young people and anyone concerned about a young person. Call their helpline HOPELineUK at 0800 068 4141 or visit their website: https://www.papyrus-uk.org/
    4. CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably): CALM is a leading movement against suicide, providing support for men in the UK. They offer a helpline and webchat service for anyone feeling down or in crisis. Visit their website: https://www.thecalmzone.net/
    5. Welsh Mental Health Helpline: The Welsh Mental Health Helpline provides confidential support and information to anyone experiencing mental health problems or emotional distress in Wales. Call them at 0800 132 737 or visit their website: https://www.callhelpline.org.uk/
     
    In this episode, Professor of Health Data Science, Ann John and host Dr Sam Blaxland explore suicide and self-harm prevention and how anonymised data can help to design interventions and develop policies to help inform and train professionals in contact with those who are at risk of suicide.One of the biggest myths about suicide is that it’s inevitable, however suicide is eminently preventable. Over the last ten years, the rate of suicide in children and young people has been increasing. Research suggests for every death through suicide almost 135 lives can be affected. 
    Professor John’s research looks at anonymised data linking across sectors from school attendance and absences, examination attainment and medical appointments with the GP or in hospitals to social media, Google analytics and media reporting. Whilst this data is never linked to a named individual the patterns of behaviours of a number of individuals can build a picture of how interventions can be designed, protocols put in place and policies developed to help inform and train professionals in contact with those who self-harm or are at risk of suicide.

    • 43 min
    4. Traffic, Transport And Our Behaviour, Professor Ian Walker

    4. Traffic, Transport And Our Behaviour, Professor Ian Walker

    We know from transport research that most car journeys in the UK are less than five miles with just one person in the vehicle, so how can we encourage people to use more sustainable travel options?
    In this podcast episode, Professor of Environmental Psychology Ian Walker explores the phenomenon of ‘Motor Normativity’. This is the idea that people have concluded without question that the world order, in terms of transport habits, is correct. When individuals or groups try to bring about change, for example, by encouraging people to drive less or shift the way they travel to active, cleaner modes of transport, there is very often a surprisingly aggressive backlash.
    Professor Walker’s research looks at behaviours that are triggered automatically and unconsciously by the environment an individual finds themselves in, specifically in the context of driving habits. His interest in this area of study stems from his own experience as a cyclist.

    • 41 min
    5. Addressing Cybersecurity Risks Of Self Driving Vehicles, Professor Siraj Shaikh

    5. Addressing Cybersecurity Risks Of Self Driving Vehicles, Professor Siraj Shaikh

    Commercial self-driving passenger and freight services has the potential to revolutionise public transport and passenger travel with many benefits that include reduced road traffic accidents due to human error, to improved connectivity to remote areas for goods and healthcare services. Yet building public trust and acceptance in autonomous systems and overcoming the perception of risk will be challenging.
     
    In this episode, in discussion with Dr Sam Blaxland, Siraj Shaikh, Professor in Systems Security in the Faculty of Science and Engineering, talks about the evolution and future of self-driving technology; the risks and benefits, and how pushing industry standards can help build public trust in complex autonomous technologies.
     

    Siraj Shaikh is a Professor in Systems Security at Swansea University (UK). His research interests lie at the intersection of cybersecurity, systems engineering and computer science addressing cyber-physical systems security for automotive and transport systems. Professor Shaikh is also Co-Founder and Chief Scientist at CyberOwl, which is dedicated to cyber-physical systems security monitoring for the maritime sector. He is also currently a Visiting Professor at Nebrija University, Spain and hosts the podcast "Higher Purpose" on Unity FM in Birmingham. The podcast's goal is to foster debate and discussion about issues and challenges experienced by minority communities in higher education.

    • 41 min
    6. Using Digital Technology To Support People In The Criminal Justice System, Dr Gemma Morgan

    6. Using Digital Technology To Support People In The Criminal Justice System, Dr Gemma Morgan

    England and Wales currently has one of the highest prison populations per 100,000 capita in the western world. Current reoffending rates of those released from prison are between 40% - 60%. Many aspects of the penal system are not working. 
    Dr Gemma Morgan in discussion with host Sam Blaxland explores the real challenges people face when leaving prison, and how harnessing digital technology in innovative new ways can support those leaving prison or on probation to stop offending and achieve positive outcomes.

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
36 Ratings

36 Ratings

Gwydion Jones ,

Gwd job 👍

Iasu - joies i episode 10! 👏

Swansea Alumnus ,

Thought provoking

Excellent informative and diverse podcast. Certainly deserves more attention, keep it up Sam!

Cheeto9698 ,

Protecting endangered species - Amazing and informative

I have really enjoyed listening to Rory Wilson’s experiences whilst working with animals, particularly with the feisty chinstrap penguins of Antarctica! Thought-provoking and informative.

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