300 episodes

A weekly programme that illuminates the mysteries and challenges the controversies behind the science that's changing our world.

BBC Inside Science BBC Podcasts

    • Science
    • 4.7 • 33 Ratings

A weekly programme that illuminates the mysteries and challenges the controversies behind the science that's changing our world.

    Dealing with drought

    Dealing with drought

    As parts of England enter drought conditions we ask what are the drivers for drought and what can we do about it?
    With Dr Jess Neumann, Hydrologist at Reading University, Aidan McGivern meteorologist at the Met Office and Professor Richard Betts, Chair in Climate Impacts at University of Exeter.

    What influence do Scientific Advisors really have on government? We explore the tricky issue with science writer Philip Ball.

    Are there just too many satellites now orbiting the earth? Astronomers are increasingly finding their presence is interfering with astronomical observations. Jane Chambers reports from Chile.

    And what is mucus actually for and how did it evolve? Omer Gokcumen, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences and Stefan Ruhl, Professor of Oral Biology at the University at Buffalo reveal its origins in our aquatic ancestors and its vital role in mouth hygiene.

    Presented by Alex Lathbridge
    Produced by Julian Siddle
    Assistant Producer Emily Bird

    • 31 min
    Return of the ozone hole

    Return of the ozone hole

    Research on recent extreme fire events shows they have a direct effect on the size of the seasonal ozone hole over Antarctica. Climate scientist Jim Haywood is concerned more frequent and extreme fires predicted by climate models could negate all the work done to reduce the ozone depleting chemical pollutants which became such a concern more than 30 years ago.

    We look at two very different approaches to marine conservation , and discuss how the combination of monitoring and surveillance technology and engaging with local people could help preserve many marine species .

    And it's festival time in Edinburgh , but we take a look at its more sinister side. How when the city became a centre for the study of anatomy it also developed a dark underbelly of serial killers and body snatchers. A new exhibition clears up some of the myths associated with this period.

    And the Royal Society has announced its annual medals, a variety of awards for leading scientists. This year there is a special award for Laboratory technicians, the unsung heroes of science experiments. We speak to the winner and also the BBC journalist who as a student destroyed one of his experiments.

    • 27 min
    A Possible Sequel to the Dinosaur Armageddon

    A Possible Sequel to the Dinosaur Armageddon

    Did the Chicxulub meteor that did for the dinosaurs have a smaller companion? Dr Uisdean Nicholson and Professor Sean Gulick talk to Vic Gill about the newly discovered Nadir Crater. Located on the other side of the Atlantic, it’s raising questions about whether Earth was bombarded with not one, but two, meteors on the day the dinosaurs were wiped out.

    Back in January, the Hunga-Tonga Hunga-Ha’apai volcano in Tonga erupted explosively, triggering a massive tsunami across the Pacific. Now, engineers are remotely scanning the volcano from 16,000km away in Essex. Ashley Skett from SEA-KIT International and Dr Mike Williams from NIWA describe how a robotic vessel is mapping the Tongan seabed.

    And we get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding a 500-million-year-old fossil…quite literally. The microscopic, fossilised beast, which has no anus, was previously thought to be our earliest known ancestor. Emily Carlisle from the University of Bristol explains how the theory was debunked.

    Presented by Victoria Gill
    Reporting by Emily Bird
    Produced by Alex Mansfield

    • 30 min
    Amplified Arctic Amplification and Microclot Clues to Post-Viral Disease

    Amplified Arctic Amplification and Microclot Clues to Post-Viral Disease

    Professor Anna Hogg joins us on today’s programme for some polar explorations, we speak to one team recalculating arctic warming estimates and another who are storm chasing in Svalbard. Antii Lipponen from the Finnish Meterological Institute talks us through how quickly the arctic is really warming and Professor John Methven and PhD student Hannah Croad from the University of Reading send greetings from Svalbard where they’re chasing arctic storms.

    Also, new evidence for a possible biomarker of ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - a condition associated with debilitating tiredness and brain fog similar to Long Covid. The microclots, described by Professor Doug Kell at the University of Liverpool and Professor Resia Pretorius of University of Stellenbosch, suggest a possible inflammatory cardiovascular element to the disease which might one day forge a path towards new treatments.

    And how can trees help us in a heatwave? Vic joined Dominik Spracklen from the University of Leeds on a stroll around a Cumbrian forest to explore the cooling potential of forests.

    Presented by Victoria Gill
    Reporter Emily Bird
    Produced by Alex Mansfield

    • 27 min
    Shaun The Sheep Jumps Over The Moon, Bronze Age Kissing and PPE Rubbish

    Shaun The Sheep Jumps Over The Moon, Bronze Age Kissing and PPE Rubbish

    ESA announce that Shaun The Sheep will fly around the moon this month aboard Artemis-1 mission. Philippe Deloo tells Gaia Vince what's in store for the woolly astronaut this month. Philippe is the team lead on the European Service Module, the part of NASA's Orion spacecraft which will be the workhorse of the new moon missions, ferrying four astronauts at a time to the moon and perhaps even beyond one day. This first Artemis mission, slated for launch 29th August, will check all the engineering bravado of the new launch and orbital systems ready for subsequent human passengers in a couple of years.

    Christiana Scheib, of the Universities of Cambridge and Tartu, is part of a team who seem to have pinpointed in time the moment the Herpes virus that causes cold sores first spread across human populations. By obtaining genomes of HSV1 from four individuals who died between the iron age and medieval times, their analysis suggests an initial emergence sometime in the Bronze age. The intriguing hypothesis that accompanies the discovery is that the variant's emergence was facilitated by a new trend among bronze age folk of romantic kissing. But as she describes, it's hard to be certain for "there is no gene for kissing".

    One way of restricting the spread of many viruses is of course various forms of PPE. The last few years have seen billions more items of PPE used on our planet, often without a clear plan for their disposal, and they get accidentally dropped and even deliberately dumped all over the world. Alex Bond of the Natural History Museum at Tring observes and catalogues rubbish affecting wildlife. He took the BBC's Victoria Gill on a walk down a canal in Salford to discuss the issues with the tissues.

    Presented by Gaia Vince
    Produced by Alex Mansfield

    • 31 min
    Heatwave: the consequences

    Heatwave: the consequences

    The severity of last week's heatwave is changing the narrative. Gaia Vince talks to Simon Evans, deputy editor of the climate publication Carbon Brief, who has been following the media coverage of this heatwave, and Lorraine Whitmarsh, professor of environmental psychology at the university of Bath.

    What has the recent hot weather done to the plants in our gardens, and the crops in our fields? Dr Nicola Cannon from the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester tells us the low-down. Expect your potatoes to get more expensive this autumn. The RHS want to know about how the heatwave has affected YOUR garden. You can help science by answering on this survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NVNH5FN

    What if we could use all the excess heat from summer, and store it to heat our homes in winter. It's something a team in the Netherlands and Austria have been looking at, using a thermochemical battery. Wim van Helden from AEE Institute in Gleisdorf in Austria explains how they made a prototype, and what the stumbling blocks are to widespread use of their system.

    Is this thermal battery the holy grail of heat supply? We run it, and other options, past Michael de Podestra. An ex-measurement scientist at the National Physics Laboratory until his retirement two years ago, he has since become an expert in retrofitting his house to try and make it carbon-neutral.

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
33 Ratings

33 Ratings

Stefka.Caran ,

Fantastic

Very enjoyable podcast about latest science news.

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