392 episodes

Named after Charles Babbage, a 19th-century polymath and grandfather of computing, Babbage is a weekly podcast on science and technology. Host Alok Jha talks to our correspondents about the innovations, discoveries and gadgetry making the news. Published every Tuesday by Economist Podcasts.
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Babbage from The Economist The Economist

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    • 4.8 • 477 Ratings

Named after Charles Babbage, a 19th-century polymath and grandfather of computing, Babbage is a weekly podcast on science and technology. Host Alok Jha talks to our correspondents about the innovations, discoveries and gadgetry making the news. Published every Tuesday by Economist Podcasts.
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Babbage at COP27: Part four—“Africa’s COP” concludes

    Babbage at COP27: Part four—“Africa’s COP” concludes

    COP27 was an arduous summit, with mixed results. A landmark agreement to create a new “loss and damage” fund was a historic achievement. But many delegates were disappointed by the lack of progress on decarbonising energy systems. In the final episode of our series, we explore what the final deal means for the future of climate action. Plus, we examine AFR100, a project that aims to pair climate action with economic growth in Africa.
    The Economist’s Rachel Dobbs reports on the gruelling final hours of negotiations at COP27. Ani Dasgupta of the World Resources Institute explains how the AFR100 project combines agriculture, technology and clever financing to capture carbon in Africa. And Mamadou Diakhite of the African Union Development Agency describes the impact the initiative is having on communities.
    Alok Jha hosts with Catherine Brahic, The Economist’s environment editor, and Vijay Vaitheeswaran, our global energy and climate innovation editor.
    Listen to our mini-series at economist.com/COP27pod and follow all of The Economist’s climate coverage at economist.com/climate-change.
    For full access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions, subscribe at economist.com/podcastoffer and sign up for our weekly science newsletter at economist.com/simplyscience.

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    • 37 min
    Babbage at COP27: Part three—the energy crisis

    Babbage at COP27: Part three—the energy crisis

    COP27 takes place amid war in Ukraine and an energy crisis. In the third episode of our series covering the summit, we explore how energy-security concerns are affecting efforts to decarbonise.
    Niklas Höhne of the NewClimate Institute says the energy crisis could deepen Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels. But Francesco La Camera, who leads the International Renewable Energy Agency, sees it as an opportunity to accelerate the green agenda. Plus, award-winning author Daniel Yergin explains the implications for Russia, and Jason Bordoff of Columbia University assesses the geopolitics of the transition to clean energy.
    Alok Jha hosts with Catherine Brahic, The Economist’s environment editor, and Vijay Vaitheeswaran, our global energy and climate innovation editor.
    Listen to our mini-series at economist.com/COP27pod and follow all of The Economist’s climate coverage at economist.com/climate-change.
    For full access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions, subscribe at economist.com/podcastoffer and sign up for our weekly science newsletter at economist.com/simplyscience.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 40 min
    Babbage at COP27: Part two—adapting to a changing climate

    Babbage at COP27: Part two—adapting to a changing climate

    COP27 has kicked off in Egypt, and adaptation is high on the agenda. In the second episode of our series covering the conference, we explore how to step up global efforts to adapt to a changing climate.
    Edward McBride, The Economist’s briefings editor, travels to Iraq to investigate how a hotter world is affecting the way people live. Adeline Stuart-Watt, an adaptation policy fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science, explains how to implement and finance climate-resilient projects.
    Alok Jha hosts with Catherine Brahic, The Economist’s environment editor, and Vijay Vaitheeswaran, our global energy and climate innovation editor.
    Listen to our mini-series at economist.com/COP27pod and follow all of The Economist’s climate coverage at economist.com/climate-change.
    For full access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions, subscribe at economist.com/podcastoffer and sign up for our weekly science newsletter at economist.com/simplyscience.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 39 min
    Babbage at COP27: Part one—the new climate realism

    Babbage at COP27: Part one—the new climate realism

    This week, the COP27 climate summit will begin in Egypt. In the first of four episodes, we consider the themes set to dominate the conference. After a year lacking in climate action, do lofty targets need a dose of realism? Plus, “loss and damage” financing is expected to be high on the agenda at the summit. We explore its patchy history, and explain why we think rich countries are unlikely to pay compensation to vulnerable ones for historic emissions.
    Gavin Jackson, The Economist’s economics and finance correspondent, scrutinises debates on climate reparations. Fredi Otto, a climate scientist at Imperial College London, explains how carbon emissions can be attributed to climate disasters.
    Alok Jha hosts with Catherine Brahic, The Economist’s environment editor, and Vijay Vaitheeswaran, our global energy and climate innovation editor.
    Follow all of The Economist’s climate coverage at economist.com/climate-change.
    For full access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions, subscribe at economist.com/podcastoffer and sign up for our weekly science newsletter at economist.com/simplyscience.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 39 min
    Babbage: How to use the pandemic to tackle TB

    Babbage: How to use the pandemic to tackle TB

    The pandemic shattered global efforts to control tuberculosis, which was the most lethal infectious disease in the world until covid-19 took its crown. Now, with deaths rising, TB is set to reclaim that dubious honour. But the covid era also holds important lessons for the fight against TB. Can innovations such as genomic sequencing facilities and new vaccine technologies be applied to TB care, too?
    Avantika Chilkoti, The Economist’s international correspondent, travels to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to find out why TB is a disease of the poor. Mel Spigelman of the TB Alliance and Lucica Ditiu of the Stop TB Partnership say tackling the disease is a question of political will. Josefina Campos of ANLIS in Argentina explains how genomic sequencing helps monitor TB drug resistance. Author Vidya Krishnan talks about TB’s influence on art and culture. Plus, we examine why doctors are worried about the prospect of a new, highly contagious form of TB that doesn’t respond to existing drugs. Alok Jha hosts.
    For full access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe at economist.com/podcastoffer and sign up for our weekly science newsletter at economist.com/simplyscience.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 38 min
    Babbage: What are tactical nuclear weapons?

    Babbage: What are tactical nuclear weapons?

    The war in Ukraine has raised the nuclear threat to its highest level since the Cuban missile crisis. What types of nuclear weapons could be used in Ukraine, and how much damage could they do? 
    Cheryl Rofer, a former nuclear scientist at America’s Los Alamos National Laboratory, describes the “tactical” nukes in Russia’s arsenal. Patricia Lewis, research director for international security at Chatham House, explains the destruction that would be wrought if the war turned nuclear. Plus, Shashank Joshi, The Economist’s defence editor, analyses whether Russia’s recent military setbacks increase the risk of nuclear conflict. Alok Jha hosts.
    For full access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe at economist.com/podcastoffer and sign up for our weekly science newsletter at economist.com/simplyscience.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
477 Ratings

477 Ratings

Jared Herbert ,

Another solid podcast

Another solid podcast offered by The Economist

-Real-Reviews ,

Amazing content. TOO MANY ADS AND PADDING

Please remove some or all of the ads and the padding at the beginning and end of each episode. It’s so excessive for regular listeners!

Dr. Strangelove! ,

Weekly Tech Deep Dive

Often a great source of information and interviews with experts. A lot of it goes over my head, but I appreciate being able to listening in to such learned people talking about their fields.

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