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
Covid-19: why are we feeling burnt out?
It’s getting towards a year since the UK first went into lockdown. That’s almost 12 months of home-schooling, staying in at the weekends, and not being able to see groups of friends and family in person. For many, the pandemic has also brought grief, loss of financial stability and isolation. So it should come as no surprise that lots of us are feeling emotionally exhausted, stressed and generally worn down. But why are we hitting the wall now? And what can we do about it? Ian Sample is joined again by Prof Carmine Pariante to discuss pandemic burnout and how to look after our mental health over the coming months. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
A practical guide to tackling the climate crisis
The first UN climate change conference was held in 1995 in Berlin. More than two decades later, our planet remains on track for three degrees of warming above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. The answer to avoiding this catastrophe is both simple and staggeringly complicated: drastically reducing and reversing the amount of carbon dioxide entering our atmosphere. How do we do this? Science correspondent Natalie Grover speaks to Prof Mike Berners-Lee, author of There is No Planet B, who has crunched the numbers on everything from carbon offsetting and green investments to e-bikes. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Did an ancient magnetic pole flip change life on Earth? – podcast
What would it be like if the Earth’s magnetic pole switched? Migrating animals and hikers would certainly need to reset their compasses, but could it play real havoc with life on Earth? Analysing the rings of an ancient tree pulled from a bog in New Zealand, researchers have been investigating what happened the last time north and south flipped – 42,000 years ago. Nicola Davis speaks to Prof Chris Turney about how it changed the chemistry of the atmosphere and, if combined with a period of lower solar activity, what impact this could have had on the environment and evolution. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Why do humans struggle to think of ourselves as animals?
The pandemic has demonstrated why humans are ultimately an impressive species. From monitoring the genetic evolution of Sars-CoV-2 to devising vaccines in record time, we have put our minds together to reduce the impact of Covid-19. Yet, the global spread of a new disease is a reminder that we are not invincible, and remain at the mercy of our biology and the natural world. Speaking to author Melanie Challenger about her new book How to Be Animal, Madeleine Finlay asks how we can come to terms with ourselves as animals and why it might do humanity some good. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Covid-19: why mix and match vaccines?
The Com-Cov trial run by the Oxford Vaccine Group in the UK will be testing the efficacy and safety of a ‘mix and match’ approach to immunisation. By giving some participants either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, and a second dose of the other, the trial aims to find out if combining different jabs offers sufficient protection. Sarah Boseley speaks to Dr Peter English about where this technique has been used in the past, why it could be beneficial, and how mixing vaccines actually works. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Covid-19: love in lockdown
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and for many couples this year will feel very different. Lockdowns, social distancing, and self-isolation have forced those in relationships to choose whether to be together all the time, or stay apart for potentially months on end. Linda Geddes speaks to Dr Deborah Bailey-Rodriguez about how couples have navigated their relationships during the pandemic. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
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