14 episodes

Join botanist-turned-Hollywood actor Alisha Wainwright as she meets the trailblazing scientists and researchers changing the world, alongside the people who have inspired and contributed to their work.

From community-led climate change solutions, to cutting edge technology that’s redefining disease, and fresh approaches to treating mental health disorders, When Science Finds a Way will show you a world of creative solutions from people at the heart of the greatest health challenges of our time. 

Brought to you by Wellcome, an independent global foundation that supports science to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone. Please visit wellcome.org for more information.

When Science Finds a Way Wellcome

    • Science
    • 5.0 • 34 Ratings

Join botanist-turned-Hollywood actor Alisha Wainwright as she meets the trailblazing scientists and researchers changing the world, alongside the people who have inspired and contributed to their work.

From community-led climate change solutions, to cutting edge technology that’s redefining disease, and fresh approaches to treating mental health disorders, When Science Finds a Way will show you a world of creative solutions from people at the heart of the greatest health challenges of our time. 

Brought to you by Wellcome, an independent global foundation that supports science to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone. Please visit wellcome.org for more information.

    Bonus Episode: What does the future hold for global health?

    Bonus Episode: What does the future hold for global health?

    Throughout this podcast series, we've met trailblazing scientists and researchers changing the world, alongside the people who have inspired and contributed to their work. 
    In this final bonus episode, Julia Gillard, Chair of Wellcome, brings together three experts from the series to reflect on the main themes that have emerged and ask what challenges still lie ahead in the field of global health.

    When Science Finds a Way is brought to you by Wellcome, an independent global foundation that supports science to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone. For more information and transcripts visit wellcome.org  

    • 30 min
    Will genomic sequencing prevent future pandemics?

    Will genomic sequencing prevent future pandemics?

    During the Covid-19 pandemic, the benefits of sequencing infectious disease pathogens became more visible than ever before. The possibilities are huge: genomic sequencing is allowing scientists to unlock the secrets of disease prevention, helping dispel myths and stigma around disease outbreaks as well as allowing governments to act in real-time with targeted and often low-cost interventions. 

    In this episode Alisha speaks to Professor Christian Happi, Director of the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases, about his pioneering use of the technology during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Nigeria which identified the origin of the virus. They hear from the lead researcher who used sequencing to map a subsequent outbreak in Guinea, changing how healthcare workers understand the disease.
    When Science Finds a Way is brought to you by Wellcome, an independent global foundation that supports science to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone. For more information and podcast transcripts visit wellcome.org

    • 38 min
    Should we give out cash to improve mental health?

    Should we give out cash to improve mental health?

    Poor mental health has always been associated with lower socio-economic status, but what if you turned the idea on its head and administered cash transfers as a mental health treatment in and of itself? The scientific research community has long grappled with the lack of major breakthroughs in the treatment of mental health disorders. So could cash transfers hold the key to coming up with a universally applicable and low-cost mental health intervention? 

    In this episode Alisha is in conversation with Professor Vikram Patel, a world leader in global mental health, who explains the challenges researchers have faced globally in the fight against poor mental health, and the potential of using cash transfers. They hear from an early beneficiary of Brazil’s Bolsa Familia cash transfer programme and meet the professor developing a pioneering new study with young people in Nepal, South Africa and Colombia.
    When Science Finds a Way is brought to you by Wellcome, an independent global foundation that supports science to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone. For more information and podcast transcripts visit wellcome.org 

    • 33 min
    How can we feed the world with a changing climate?

    How can we feed the world with a changing climate?

    With rising temperatures and shifting climates imperilling our crops, the food chain – from planting to consumer – is under threat. This could lead to higher food prices, poor nutrition, hunger and migration.
    Alisha is in conversation with Professor Ruth Defries, a global expert in ecology and sustainable development, to discuss how the world has become reliant on a small number of crops such as corn and rice, leaving us in a vulnerable position if these staples do not grow well as the planet heats. So how can we encourage climate resilience through crop diversity?
    They hear from a multi-country research project which is exploring whether indigenous crops could hold the key to creating more sustainable food systems, and meet a South African farmer who is helping keep these old growing traditions alive. 
    When Science Finds a Way is brought to you by Wellcome, an independent global foundation that supports science to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone. For more information visit wellcome.org

    • 37 min
    Waking up: How can sleep impact on mental health?

    Waking up: How can sleep impact on mental health?

    It may seem obvious that a lack of sleep can exacerbate poor mental health - whether a symptom, cause or both, the two go hand in hand. But until very recently, there was little scientific research to back this idea up – and as a result, sleep treatments have been overlooked as a potential remedy for poor mental health. Prof Daniel Freeman is a clinical psychologist who’s trying to change that. He’s leading studies into the effectiveness of sleep treatments for people experiencing psychosis and getting positive results.  

    In this episode, Alisha speaks to Prof Freeman about the importance of sleep, its potential in fighting the global mental health crisis, and some of the surprisingly simple techniques that can aid a better night’s rest. They hear from Ryan, who saw a dramatic shift in his mental health after taking part in one of Prof Freeman’s studies. 

    If you have been affected by the topics discussed in this episode, befrienders.org can help you find a support service local to you. 

    When Science Finds a Way is brought to you by Wellcome, an independent global foundation that supports science to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone. For more information visit www.wellcome.org/news-and-reports/podcast. 

    • 30 min
    One scientist’s journey to respecting indigenous customs

    One scientist’s journey to respecting indigenous customs

    When Danish geneticist, Professor Eske Willerslev led the team that sequenced the first ancient human genome in 2010, he opened up a world of research possibilities with global significance. But this potential comes with risk. Research into DNA from ancient remains can upend understandings of history and ancestry within living indigenous communities and violate cultural sensitivities. 

    On this episode, Alisha speaks with Eske alongside Shane Doyle, a member of the Crow Tribe in Montana, USA. Eske and Shane have turned a collaboration into a friendship that demonstrates the power of an exchange between ancient customs and emerging science.

    Together they discuss the possibilities and the pitfalls of ancient DNA research, and how to build mutual trust and respect between indigenous communities and scientists.

    When Science Finds a Way is brought to you by Wellcome, an independent global foundation that supports science to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone. For more information visit www.wellcome.org/news-and-reports/podcast.

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
34 Ratings

34 Ratings

Jaaso ,

The podcast we all need!

More of this please! Fascinating subjects, awesome host, I feel my brain getting smarter :)

DuncanzeDog ,

Great!

An informative and interesting listen

Phatpax ,

Informative and understandable

Host is an adept science communicator. Light but still highly informative.

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