'Will my bacon sandwich kill me?', 'Is vaping better than smoking?', 'How do you become an astronaut?' - just some of the Big Questions we ask some of the brightest minds behind Oxford science. Join us in each podcast as we explore a different area of science.
Should we edit genes to make nicer people?
Is it possible to edit someone's genes before they are born to make them a nicer, kinder, more moral person? Not only that - but, importantly, should we do this? When it comes to gene editing for moral enhancement, there are many ethical points to consider. Join us as we chat to Tess Johnson, a Philosophy PhD student at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, about this very big question.
Are video games good for my mental health?
Most of us have probably heard of video games being described as "addictive", but is there evidence of this? Are they damaging to our mental health, or could they actually have a positive impact on our metal wellbeing? In this episode of the Big Questions podcast we're booting up our consoles, and asking Prof Andrew Przybylski, Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute, all about his latest study (fans of Animal Crossing and Plants vs. Zombies - this one's for you!).
Should I buy a real or a fake Christmas tree?
It's that time of year - the festive jumpers are going on, the lights are going up, and we're ready to decorate our Christmas trees. But when it comes to choosing your fir, what do you go for - real or fake? Perhaps you have a trusty old favourite that comes down from the attic each year? Or maybe going to choose a real tree gets you into the festive spirit? But have you ever wondered which is best environmentally? We chat to forest scientist Henry Hung about which trees are the greenest (not literally!).
How do I win Fantasy Football?
Did you know that the winner of the 2019/2020 Fantasy Premier League, beating over 7 million other players, was Dr Joshua Bull - a researcher at Oxford's Mathematical Institute? How did he win? Turns out that 'mathematical thinking' and a strategic approach, combined with "gut instinct and a healthy dose of good luck" might just be the answer! Could you be next year's winner? Join us as Joshua shares his tips!
How is technology being used to track Black Lives Matter protestors?
We've probably all heard the phrase 'Big Brother is watching you', but are we really under constant surveillance? Is it actually possible to be a fully functioning member of modern society without being tracked? And how is technology being used to identify protestors involved in Black Lives Matter demonstrations? We find out with Anjuli Shere, from Oxford's Department of Computer Science and Channel 4's show 'Hunted'.
Other people to look up for more! Simone Browne, Shoshana Zuboff and Ken Klippenstein.
Can celebrities save the pangolin?
'Influencers' are here like never before...log on to social media, and there will be someone there to tell you what to cook or what to wear...But what about when it comes to wildlife conservation? For instance, how much impact can a celebrity have when it comes to saving an endangered species? In this episode of the Oxford Sparks Big Questions Podcast, we're asking zoologist Alegria Olmedo "Can celebrities save the pangolin?"