285 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 Wednesday on Economist Radio.

Babbage from Economist Radio The Economist

    • Tech 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 Wednesday on Economist Radio.

    Babbage: Life, the universe and everything

    Babbage: Life, the universe and everything

    From precious moonwater to a handful of asteroid that could provide clues to the origins of life, recent discoveries in our solar system lead host Alok Jha to investigate fundamental questions about the universe. How did life on Earth begin? Could earthly evolution provide a guide to what life elsewhere might be like? And what about the end of everything—the death of the universe itself?


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    • 27 min
    Babbage: Herd mentality

    Babbage: Herd mentality

    As new waves of covid-19 sweep around the world, scientists are clashing over the concept of herd immunity. Host Kenneth Cukier asks scientists on both sides of the debate whether covid-19 should be left to spread freely among the young and healthy? Also, the Department of Justice's federal antitrust lawsuit against Google—we search what this means for big tech.


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    • 28 min
    Babbage: The Metaverse is coming

    Babbage: The Metaverse is coming

    We explore computer-generated virtual worlds and their use in everything from film-making to architecture. What will it take to build a real Metaverse, a persistent virtual world that anyone can plug into? This vision, though born in the minds of science fiction writers, is shaping the real-world ambitions of much of the tech world. Host Alok Jha talks to author Neal Stephenson, VR pioneer Jaron Lanier and the VFX team behind The Mandalorian. 


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    • 28 min
    Babbage: Nobel minds

    Babbage: Nobel minds

    Host Kenneth Cukier explores the science honoured in this year’s Nobel prizes. Our correspondents assess the life-saving impact of the identification of hepatitis C, speak to one of this year’s winners for physics, Andrea Ghez, about her work unveiling the mysteries of the cosmos, and hear from Jennifer Doudna, co-developer of CRISPR-Cas9, on the potential of genome editing. Plus, can the awards adapt to modern science?


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    • 27 min
    Babbage: Apple's Epic battle

    Babbage: Apple's Epic battle

    This week a judge heard the first arguments in an antitrust case that could reshape the software ecosystem. Who will be the real winners and losers of this digital deathmatch? Quantum computers have limited capabilities, but the technology may yet live up to its promise. And, how understanding the evolutionary history of exercise could help get people moving. Kenneth Cukier hosts. 




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    • 25 min
    Babbage: Pandemic’s progress

    Babbage: Pandemic’s progress

    As the global covid-19 death toll nears 1 million, The Economist’s healthcare correspondent and health policy editor explain what scientists are still investigating about the virus, how long-lasting is the immune response and how the pandemic can be tamed. And, the model of Taiwan—is it “post-pandemic”? Kenneth Cukier hosts 


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    • 27 min

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