170 個單集

We take your questions about life, Earth and the universe to researchers hunting for answers at the frontiers of knowledge.

CrowdScience BBC

    • 科學

We take your questions about life, Earth and the universe to researchers hunting for answers at the frontiers of knowledge.

    Could we survive an extinction event?

    Could we survive an extinction event?

    Super-sized volcanic eruptions and giant asteroids crashing in from outer space are the stuff of disaster movies. They have listener Santosh from South Africa slightly concerned. He’d like to know what’s being done in real life to prepare for this kind of event.

    Although the chance of these events occurring is low, Santosh isn’t entirely wrong to be worried: Earth has a much longer history than humans do, and there’s evidence that several past extinction events millions of years ago wiped out the dominant species on the planet at the time, as we’ve heard before on CrowdScience. The kind of extraordinary geological and extra-terrestrial hazards thought to be responsible for the death of millions of lives do still exist. So is there really any way that humans could survive where the dinosaurs – and plenty of other species – have failed?

    Presenter Marnie Chesterton finds out by meeting experts who are already preparing for the remote but real possibility of the biggest disaster we could face. It turns out that in real life most things we can think of which could cause an extinction event are being watched closely by scientists and governmental agencies. How worried we should really be by the possibility of a sudden super-volcanic eruption at Yellowstone in the USA, or one of the other enormous volcanoes dotting our planet’s surface? Marnie heads into an underground bunker near the remote Scottish coast to find out if hiding out is a viable survival option. Now a museum, Scotland’s Secret Bunker, formerly RAF Troywood, is one of a network of nuclear shelters built by nation states during the Cold War. And she hears about one of the combined space agencies most ambitious projects yet: NASA and ESA’s Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment mission to crash an impactor into an asteroid’s moon to find out whether we could knock any potentially problematic collisions off-course well before Earth impact.

    Produced by Jennifer Whyntie for BBC World Service


    (Photo: Post apocalypse sole survivor. Credit: Getty Images)

    • 38 分鐘
    What is infinity?

    What is infinity?

    Is there something bigger than infinity? Does quantum mechanics affect how I think? And why can I suddenly do algebra? As ever, we’re not afraid to tackle the big questions on CrowdScience.
    After a previous episode about the relationship between mathematics and reality, we received a flood of profound and difficult questions, so we dive back into the world of maths, physics and philosophy to try and answer them.
    A panel of experts help us puzzle out whether some infinities are bigger than others - and why that matters, as well as what quantum mechanics can teach us about the workings of the brain. And we seek answers for one of our listeners who surprised himself by being able to figure out mathematics equations he previously found unfathomable.
    With philosopher of physics Dr Eleanor Knox, mathematician Dr Katie Steckles, and Dr Aldo Faisal, an expert in neurotechnology.

    Presented by Marnie Chesterton
    Produced by Cathy Edwards for the BBC World Service


    Photo:

    • 33 分鐘
    How low-carbon can CrowdScience go?

    How low-carbon can CrowdScience go?

    Reducing climate change and global warming is one of the biggest and most urgent challenges for everyone as we enter a new decade. The CrowdScience team have been trying to figure out how to play our part in reducing our carbon footprint. So what’s the best way forward?

    Presenter Marnie Chesterton starts to find out by pitting three of her colleagues against each other for the first phase of our challenge. Anand Jagatia, Geoff Marsh and Melanie Brown have all been tasked with answering a listener’s question in the lowest-carbon way possible. Along the way, they must monitor and account for every emission – from their travel methods to their choice of sustenance whilst working. It turns out that the challenge is not only in acknowledging all the types of activity that produce emissions, but in working out the volume of greenhouse gases produced. Marnie judges her colleagues’ efforts, determines a winner, and dispatches the losing challenger to look further into carbon calculation, and to find out about the possibilities of legitimately offsetting the overall footprint. And we start our on-going experiment using a broadcast industry carbon calculator to find out the most carbon-efficient and sustainable ways to keep answering everyone’s questions and sharing more cutting-edge global science.

    Presented by Marnie Chesterton

    Produced by Jen Whyntie for the BBC World Service


    (Photo:

    • 40 分鐘
    How does the Sun affect my body and mind?

    How does the Sun affect my body and mind?

    Two years ago reporter Anand Jagatia travelled up beyond the Arctic Circle to meet Norwegian researchers in order to answer a question from US listener Kira on why some people function best in the mornings whilst others only come alive at night. In this episode we revisit the topic with the help of science writer and Parentland podcast presenter Linda Geddes, author of Chasing the Sun, a book which explores the science behind the Sun’s effects on our bodies and our minds.

    The morning sun helps to kick-start our day and our body’s biological cycle – so what happens when it barely rises above the horizon or we live for prolonged periods in artificial environments where the sun never shines? Research has suggested that some communities in northern latitudes are better protected against the mental and physical effects of reduced exposure to sunlight in the winter which might have implications for those suffering the winter blues.

    Presenter Anand Jagatia, Producer: Rami Tzabar



    (Photo: Woman basking in the sun. Credit: Getty Images)

    • 33 分鐘
    What is empathy?

    What is empathy?

    What is empathy? This week’s question comes from Maria in Amsterdam who has noticed that when one of her friends is in pain, she feels their pain too, literally. Maria wants to know - is she experiencing a type of ‘super’ empathy?

    To help find the answer, Marnie Chesterton visits the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience and gets into an MRI scanner to discover what is happening in her brain when she empathises.

    She talks with a pro-social psychopath to find out how psychopaths experience empathy differently and how they navigate social situations.

    And Marnie meets with a mediator specialising in The Israeli–Palestinian conflict, to learn the value of empathy when the stakes are at their highest.



    (Photo: Back view of loving Mum hug teen daughter. Credit: Getty Images)

    • 38 分鐘
    Did Crowdscience change your life?

    Did Crowdscience change your life?

    As CrowdScience celebrates its third birthday, the team takes time to revisit some of our early episodes, and catch up with listeners to discover if the answers we uncovered changed the course of their lives? We hear from Zach, who has learned to let go of a possibly lost memory and Erin, who discovered technology could hold the key to finding the man of her dreams. And two years after he emailed to ask why he couldn’t kick his habit, we ash Sharif whether he has finally managed to stop smoking?

    (Photo: Man listening to podcast. Credit: Getty Images)

    • 27 分鐘

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