245 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.

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    • 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: The Wuhan plan

    Babbage: The Wuhan plan

    The new coronavirus, which was discovered in December in the city of Wuhan China, is now causing a global scare. What are the symptoms of the Wuhan virus and how can it be contained? Also, a new biotech company is hoping to revolutionise the way drugs are brought to market. And, should countries around the world ban Huawei technology from their 5G network? Kenneth Cukier hosts.


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    • 25 min
    Babbage: Starlight, star bright

    Babbage: Starlight, star bright

    A giant star called Betelgeuse is behaving strangely. Could the dimming star be about to become a supernova? Also, a group of internet veterans are contesting the billion dollar sale of the “.org” domain registry. What’s their alternative? And, accidental stampedes can be deadly. How does a crowd turn into a crush? Kenneth Cukier hosts


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    • 18 min
    Babbage: Fire fighting

    Babbage: Fire fighting

    Australia is battling catastrophic wildfires. Climate models predict extreme fire events are going to become more commonplace. What can countries do to prepare? And, a glimpse into the chip factory around which the modern world turns. Also, what is “open innovation”? Henry Chesbrough, professor at the Haas School of Business, at UC Berkeley talks to Kenneth Cukier.


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    • 24 min
    Babbage: What’s the frequency Kenneth?

    Babbage: What’s the frequency Kenneth?

    Kenneth Cukier celebrates the invention of a musical instrument that turns 100 in 2020—the Theremin. A staple of sci-fi sound-effects, the instrument is enjoying a revival in the digital age. We talk to players, historians, a former student and relative of its inventor to learn about the influence of the Theremin on modern culture. Was the instrument a technological achievement that came a century too soon?


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    • 23 min
    Babbage: How the planets got their spots

    Babbage: How the planets got their spots

    The workings of the solar system were once likened to the machinations of a precise clock, but the orbits of the planets haven’t always been so perfectly balanced. How did the planets end up where they are today? Also, the Mars missions which hopes to reveal life on the red planet. And, designer and technologist John Maeda on the importance of understanding machines. Kenneth Cukier hosts 




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    • 25 min
    Babbage: Beijing kicks out foreign kit

    Babbage: Beijing kicks out foreign kit

    China wants to remove all foreign technology from its state offices within the next three years. One in every two people will experience the menopause. Why are so few women taking advantage of life-changing hormone replacement therapies? And, the internet domain registry “.org” is being sold for over $1bn. What does this mean for the future of the internet? Kenneth Cukier hosts 


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    • 23 min

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