Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Science Weekly podcast will now explore some of the crucial scientific questions about Covid-19. Led by its usual hosts Ian Sample, Hannah Devlin and Nicola Davis, as well as the Guardian's health editor Sarah Boseley, we’ll be taking questions – some sent by you – to experts on the frontline of the global outbreak. Send us your questions here: theguardian.com/covid19questions
Jaws made us scared of sharks but is a lack of sharks scarier?
Last week, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) world conservation congress took place in Marseille. Guardian biodiversity reporter Phoebe Weston was there and heard about the latest updated ‘red list’ of threatened species, which included a warning that over a third of all shark and ray species now face extinction. To find out more, Anand Jagatia spoke to Phoebe about the findings and what they mean for the fate of sharks, rays and the ecosystems they inhabit. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Flu season: are we in for a bumpier ride this year?
In a report earlier this summer, the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) noted there could be a 50% increase in cases of influenza in comparison to other years. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Ian Sample about the factors at play, from weakened immunity to the expanded vaccine programme, and hears from Derek Smith, professor of infectious disease informatics about how the World Health Organization has decided on which influenza strains to vaccinate against this year. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Are third vaccines and vaccine boosters the same thing?
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is recommending that a third jab be offered to people with weakened immune systems but the programme and rollout are different to the Covid vaccine boosters expected to be discussed by the JCVI later on Thursday. Shivani Dave speaks to Eleanor Riley, professor of immunology and infectious disease at the University of Edinburgh, and the Guardian science correspondent Nicola Davis about the distinctions between booster jabs and third jabs Coronavirus – latest updates. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Why swearing is more complicated than you think
Recently a study from Aston University revealed that the F-word had overtaken bloody to become Britain’s most popular swear word for the first time. Shivani Dave speaks to emeritus professor of psychology Timothy Jay of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts to find out why people swear and whether or not there are any benefits to using swear words – especially as we move back into public spaces such as the office. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Can we really solve the climate crisis by planting trees? (part two)
Getting trees into the ground isn’t simple. Reforestation often involves trade-offs and challenges. Phoebe Weston checks in on two projects where people are planting trees, and one where it’s not humans doing the planting at all. She and Patrick Greenfield from The age of extinction are back with two new episodes. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Can we really solve the climate crisis by planting trees? (part one)
In an era of divisions over the climate breakdown, tree planting seems to bring everyone together. But are there situations where tree planting can cause more harm than good? And how much can it help us counteract global heating? Patrick Greenfield leads you through the science and controversy behind the decisions we’re making and how those decisions could shape our future environment. He and Phoebe Weston from The age of extinction are back with two new episodes. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod