343 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 by Economist Podcasts.

Babbage from The Economist The Economist

    • News

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 by Economist Podcasts.

    Babbage: Goodbye darkness, my old friend

    Babbage: Goodbye darkness, my old friend

    Thousands of satellites are being propelled into low-Earth orbit to provide internet access. Host Alok Jha investigates the impact on astronomy, as companies such as SpaceX multiply their constellations. What can be done to protect the night sky? 


    We would love to hear from you—please take a moment to complete our listener survey at economist.com/babbagesurvey.  


    For full access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe at economist.com/podcastoffer and sign up for our weekly science newsletter at economist.com/simplyscience.
     
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    • 29 min
    Babbage: Omicron and on

    Babbage: Omicron and on

    Countries are scrambling to stop the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. We search for scientific clues to understand how it will shape the pandemic. Professor Sharon Peacock, one of the world’s top variant hunters, predicts Omicron will be more transmissible than previous strains. And, will Omicron supplant the Delta variant globally? Correspondent Hal Hodson looks to immunology for answers.


    Alok Jha hosts, with The Economist’s health policy editor, Natasha Loder and deputy editor, Edward Carr.


    We would love to hear from you—please take a moment to complete our listener survey at economist.com/babbagesurvey.  


    To keep up-to-date with our coverage of the Omicron variant, go to economist.com/omicron.


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    • 28 min
    Babbage: Reservoir dogs

    Babbage: Reservoir dogs

    The coronavirus could be lurking in many species of animals, according to a new report. We analyse the implications for human health. Also, what is the relationship between an unbalanced gut microbiome and autism? And, the father of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy died this month. Aaron Beck’s daughter, the psychiatrist Judith Beck, tells us how her father turned the world of psychiatry upside down. Kenneth Cukier hosts.


    We would love to hear from you—please take a moment to complete our listener survey at economist.com/babbagesurvey.  


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


    Additional audio used with permission from the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy.
     
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    • 29 min
    Babbage: Mind matters

    Babbage: Mind matters

    An estimated 55 million people around the world live with dementia, yet only a quarter have been formally diagnosed. How will technology improve diagnostic devices for the condition? Also, with better testing in place but few treatments available, we explore if healthcare systems can cope with this silent epidemic. And, author and professor, Nina Kraus explores how brains build a sound world. 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 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. 
     
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    • 26 min
    Babbage: Going antiviral

    Babbage: Going antiviral

    As covid-19 threatens Europe once again, effective oral antiviral treatments for covid-19 are finally being approved by regulators. Is this the next step towards beating the virus? Also, author Azeem Azhar on what the accelerating growth of technology means for business, the economy and society. And we reveal the winners of our latest book giveaway. 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 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.

    • 26 min
    Babbage: The colour of health

    Babbage: The colour of health

    The pandemic has exposed and exacerbated how the colour of a person’s skin can fix the odds on their physical health. Host Alok Jha and Tamara Gilkes Borr, US public policy correspondent, investigate what drives these disparities around the world. As health services embrace artificial intelligence, is medical AI compounding human bias—or could it hold the cure?


    With Dr Lisa Angeline Cooper, healthcare professor at Johns Hopkins University; Dr Jenna Lester, director of the Skin of Colour clinic at the University of California, San Francisco; Dr Mary Janevic of the University of Michigan School of Public Health; and Dr Ziad Obermeyer, head of the Systems Medicine machine-learning lab.


    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.

    • 36 min

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