Pint of Science
Pint of Science Podcast - Prof Jim Smith, Radiation and Environmental Scientist studying Chernobyl [Series 2 - Episode 2]

Pint of Science Podcast - Prof Jim Smith, Radiation and Environmental Scientist studying Chernobyl [Series 2 - Episode 2]

July 7, 2020

Series 2 Episode 3 sees Callam and Jim meet Professor Jim Smith, Environmental Scientist at the School of the Environment, Geography and Geosciences at the University of Portsmouth.

 

Jim started his career as a physicist, and has spent the last 30 years working in the Chernobyl disaster zone in Ukraine and Belarus. His work is somewhat unusual in combining physics and the science of radioactive decay, with environmental science and the effects of said radiation on wildlife populations.

Jim's something of an expert on what happens to nature when humans are taken out of the picture - as they have been in the Chernobyl exclusion zone and, to an extent, in much of the rest of the world by the Covid-19 lockdown.

Oh, and he's also developed Atomik Vodka, the first spirit made from wheat grown in the exclusion zone.

The Pint of Science podcast meets scientists and science writers at a safe social distance around the UK (and the rest of the world) to find out about their lives, their universe, and everything.

Series 2 sees us target more topical stories and discuss the science around them. Like what we do? Let us know using the hashtag #pintcast. And be sure to subscribe to us and rate us on your favourite podcasting platform!

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The Pint of Science podcast is a part of the Pint of Science Festival, the world's largest science communication festival. Thousands of guests and speakers descend on pubs in hundreds of cities worldwide to introduce science in a fun, engaging, and usually pint-fuelled way.

This year, Pint of Science is going live online! We will be going digital on the evenings of 7-9th September with a great selection and variety of online Pint of Science events. 

You can donate and help Pint of Science through these incredibly challenging times. For obvious public health reasons, we are recording remotely at the moment - but we hope to be back in the pub very soon (and very safely).

Pint of Science Podcast - Dr Paula Koelemeijer, Global Seismologist [Series 2 - Episode 2]

Pint of Science Podcast - Dr Paula Koelemeijer, Global Seismologist [Series 2 - Episode 2]

May 20, 2020

Series 2 Episode 2 sees Callam and Jim meet Dr Paula Koelemeijer, Global Seismologist and Royal Society University Research Fellow and Lecturer at Royal Holloway University of London. Paula studies the seismic activity of the Earth thousands of kilometres below the surface, but recent events much closer to home have had a surprising positive effect on her work.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and much of the world being in lockdown, Seismologists have been getting far clearer signals from within the Earth, because of less disruption from on top of it. Known as Anthropogenic Noise, the racket that humans make by working, travelling and moving around makes the work of those studying the Earth very difficult. With less noise comes significantly clearer signals - from which we can filter out the noise when it eventually returns.

Oh, and we also talk about the earthquakes caused by Lionel Messi scoring, quakes on the Moon and Mars, using tremors to stop elephant poaching, and tracking the shakes caused by Rolling Stones concerts. It really is a wide conversation, this one!

The Pint of Science podcast meets scientists and science writers at a safe social distance around the UK (and the rest of the world) to find out about their lives, their universe, and everything.

Series 2 sees us target more topical stories and discuss the science around them. Like what we do? Let us know using the hashtag #pintcast. And be sure to subscribe to us and rate us on your favourite podcasting platform!

SubscribeSpotifyTuneInStitcherApple

The Pint of Science podcast is a part of the Pint of Science Festival, the world's largest science communication festival. Thousands of guests and speakers descend on pubs in hundreds of cities worldwide to introduce science in a fun, engaging, and usually pint-fuelled way.

You can donate and help Pint of Science through these incredibly challenging times. For obvious public health reasons, we are recording remotely at the moment - but we hope to be back in the pub very soon (and very safely).

Pint of Science Podcast - Professor Nick Chater - Professor of Behavioural Science [Series 2 - Episode 1]

Pint of Science Podcast - Professor Nick Chater - Professor of Behavioural Science [Series 2 - Episode 1]

May 5, 2020

Welcome to series two of the Pint of Science Podcast! We're very excited to have Nick Chater, Professor of Behavioural Science at Warwick Business School as our first guest, from a safe social distance. Nick is the author of The Mind is Flat: The Illusion of Mental Depth and The Improvised Mind, and an advisor to the UK Government’s Behavioural Insights team (‘The Nudge Unit’). He's also scientist in Residence for BBC Radio 4’s The Human Zoo.

This week, Callam and Jim talk to Nick about the psychology of lockdowns around the world - not why we need to distance, but how we convince people it's a good idea and something they should take part in - as well as how to message effectively, and how to not...

The Pint of Science podcast meets scientists and science writers at a safe social distance around the UK (and the rest of the world) to find out about their lives, their universe, and everything.

Series 2 sees us target more topical stories and discuss the science around them. Like what we do? Let us know using the hashtag #pintcast. And be sure to subscribe to us and rate us on your favourite podcasting platform!

SubscribeSpotifyTuneInStitcherApple

The Pint of Science podcast is a part of the Pint of Science Festival, the world's largest science communication festival. Thousands of guests and speakers descend on pubs in hundreds of cities worldwide to introduce science in a fun, engaging, and usually pint-fuelled way.

You can donate and help Pint of Science through these incredibly challenging times. For obvious public health reasons, we are recording remotely at the moment - but we hope to be back in the pub very soon (and very safely).

Pint of Science Special - An afternoon with inventor and YouTuber Colin Furze

Pint of Science Special - An afternoon with inventor and YouTuber Colin Furze

December 13, 2019

In a very special episode, Pint of Science was invited to do something rather different: Spend an afternoon with YouTuber and inventor/engineer Colin Furze. With nearly nine million subscribers, Colin is known worldwide for his incredible (and often a little dangerous) way of turning extreme dreams into real machines. Previous inventions include a real Star Wars AT and land speeder, a jet powered bicycle, and a guitar with a flamethrower on it.

Now, working with BBC Earth and YouTube, he's been tasked with a challenge unlike anything he's done before - levitate science presenter and quite large person Rick Edwards. And we mean levitate him - not just make him fly. Cue an adventure in everything from ultra-sonic suspension to liquid nitrogen-fuelled hoverboards!

You can download the full episode here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDyJkFehDk0&t=1s

The Pint of science podcast meets scientists and science writers in pubs around the UK to find out about their lives, their universe, and everything. From *how* fruit flies love to *why* humans love, via jumping into volcanoes, winning Olympic medals, where we came from and more!

Like what we do? Let us know using the hashtag #pintcast19. And be sure to subscribe to us and rate us on your favourite podcasting platform!

SubscribeSpotifyTuneInStitcherApple

The Pint of Science podcast is a part of the Pint of Science Festival, the world's largest science communication festival. Thousands of guests and speakers descend on pubs in hundreds of cities worldwide to introduce science in a fun, engaging, and usually pint-fuelled way.

Pint of Science meets Randall Munroe, author and XKCD cartoonist! (Special episode!)

Pint of Science meets Randall Munroe, author and XKCD cartoonist! (Special episode!)

October 17, 2019

Welcome back to a very special episode of the Pint of Science podcast! Series two is on the way, but in the meantime we had a chance to catch up with XKCD creator and author of 'How To' and 'Thing Explainer' Randall Munroe.

Like this episode? Please share it with your friends and on social media!

Randall is the brains and artistic hand behind https://xkcd.com/. His website gets some 70 million hits a month, and is a huge presence online, especially among communities on Reddit. He also has a book out, How To, which explains how to do everyday things in wildly inappropriate but scientifically valid ways.

He was kind enough to give us his time as he passed through Manchester on the How To book tour, so we took him to Pint of Science Podcast favourite The Salutation Pub.

The Pint of science podcast meets scientists and science writers in pubs around the UK to find out about their lives, their universe, and everything. From *how* fruit flies love to *why* humans love, via jumping into volcanoes, winning Olympic medals, where we came from and more!

Like what we do? Let us know using the hashtag #pintcast19. And be sure to subscribe to us and rate us on your favourite podcasting platform!

SubscribeSpotifyTuneInStitcherApple

The Pint of Science podcast is a part of the Pint of Science Festival, the world's largest science communication festival. Thousands of guests and speakers descend on pubs in hundreds of cities worldwide to introduce science in a fun, engaging, and usually pint-fuelled way.

Pint of Science Podcast - Dr Raia Hadsell - Artificial Intelligence researcher [Episode 10]

Pint of Science Podcast - Dr Raia Hadsell - Artificial Intelligence researcher [Episode 10]

May 20, 2019

Episode 10 – Dr Raia Hadsell

In this final (sniff) episode of series 1, we were lucky enough to catch up with Dr Raia Hadsell, senior research scientist with world-renowned artificial intelligence research company DeepMind. DeepMind describe their mission as being ‘to push the boundaries of AI, developing programmes that can learn to solve a complex problem without needing to be taught how’. Artificial intelligence is an increasingly important part of our day to day lives and, whatever your feelings on it, it’s only going to become more important over the coming decades. So we were pretty chuffed that Raia was up for a chat!

Due in no small part to the Terminator films, there are sci-fi myths aplenty surrounding the world of AI research. We decided to use today to demystify the subject and get a better insight into what day to day AI research actually looks like for those carrying it out. What we found was that, in many ways, working with AI is like working with a clever and slightly mischievous child… Happy listening, and we’ll be back later this year with series 2!

Welcome back to the Pint of Science podcast. Each week, we meet scientists in pubs around the UK to find out about their lives, their universe, and everything. From *how* fruit flies love to *why* humans love, via jumping into volcanoes, winning Olympic medals, where we came from and more!

Like what we do? Let us know using the hashtag #pintcast19. And be sure to subscribe to us and rate us on your favourite podcasting platform!

SubscribeSpotifyTuneInStitcherApple

The Pint of Science podcast is a part of the Pint of Science Festival, the world's largest science communication festival. Thousands of guests and speakers descend on pubs in hundreds of cities worldwide to introduce science in a fun, engaging, and usually pint-fuelled way.

This podcast is made possible with the help of our sponsors Brilliant.org. Do check them out, and visit www.brilliant.org/pintofscience/ where the first 200 people who sign up will get 20% off a Premium plan! 

About Raia Hadsell, this week's guest:

Originally from California, Raia’s undergraduate degree was in religion and philosophy, but she made the transition to computer science at PhD level, with a thesis entitled ‘Learning Long-range vision for off-road robots’. She worked as a postdoc at Carnegie Mellon University and a research scientist at SRI International, both in the US, before moving to London in 2014 to join the DeepMind team. Follow Raia on Twitter (@RaiaHadsell)

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Pint of Science Podcast - Prof. Jeff Forshaw - Particle Physicist [Episode 9]

Pint of Science Podcast - Prof. Jeff Forshaw - Particle Physicist [Episode 9]

May 13, 2019

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Episode  - Professor Jeff Forshaw

There’s stuff everywhere. It’s there when you look out the window, it’s there when you’re doing your groceries, it’s even there when you look up into the night sky. But where did all the stuff come from, and what is it made of? What would happen if you broke something down into it’s constituent parts, and then broke those down, and then broke those down? How far could you go?

No, this isn’t a Philomena Cunk episode, this is particle physics with Jeff Forshaw, Professor of Particle Physics at the University of Manchester. His research sees him crunching the data from some of the world’s most fascinating particle physics experiments, and looking for hidden gems of information about the tiny building blocks of our universe.

We found ourselves in the Salutation Pub in Manchester yet again for a lovely chat and a pint (or three) with Jeff, trying to answer the question of whether matter really matters, or if we were quarking up the wrong tree… We talked about whether the Large Hadron Collider could create a black hole (spoiler alert: no), becoming a professor at the tender age of 36, and what it’s like to write books with Brian Cox.

Welcome back to the Pint of Science podcast. Each week, we meet scientists in pubs around the UK to find out about their lives, their universe, and everything. From *how* fruit flies love to *why* humans love, via jumping into volcanoes, winning Olympic medals, where we came from and more!

Like what we do? Let us know using the hashtag #pintcast19. And be sure to subscribe to us and rate us on your favourite podcasting platform!

The Pint of Science podcast is a part of the Pint of Science Festival, the world's largest science communication festival. Thousands of guests and speakers descend on pubs in hundreds of cities worldwide to introduce science in a fun, engaging, and usually pint-fuelled way.

This podcast is made possible with the help of our sponsors Brilliant.org. Do check them out, and visit www.brilliant.org/pintofscience/ where the first 200 people who sign up will get 20% off a Premium plan! 

About Jeff Forshaw, this week’s guest:

After his teenage years in the Northwest building his own golf rankings, Jeff Forshaw took his considerable talents to Oriel College, Oxford, where he earned a first class degree in physics, followed by a PhD in Theoretical Physics from the University of Manchester. His PhD thesis was on ‘the parton content of the photon and photon-induced minijets’, and no that’s not about Dolly Parton or tiny planes, we checked.

Following his PhD, Jeff found himself back in Oxfordshire as a postdoctoral researcher under renowned particle physicist Frank Close. A move back to Manchester saw him becoming professor of particle physics at the young age of 36, where he now looks at data from some of the world’s most important particle physics experiments, including the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva. Jeff met fellow Manchester prof Brian Cox when he lectured Brian on Advanced Quantum Field Theory (despite being around the same age), and they have since written a series of critically-acclaimed popular science books together, including Why does E=MC2?, The Quantum Universe, and Universal: a guide to the cosmos.

He’s also consulted for a host of TV programmes. His public engagement work earned him the Kelvin Medal and Prize for outstanding contribution to public understanding of physics in 2013. For a glimpse of Jeff in action, here’s a clip of him on Newsround explaining why the Higg’s Boson is like cosmic treacle (let’s face it, a children’s news show is about our level for particle physics).  

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Pint of Science Podcast - Professor Saiful Islam - Materials chemist and renewable energy enthusiast [Episode 8]

Pint of Science Podcast - Professor Saiful Islam - Materials chemist and renewable energy enthusiast [Episode 8]

May 6, 2019

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Episode 8 - Professor Saiful Islam

The world is facing an energy crisis – our current energy storage and conversion technologies must continue to evolve to cope with an ever-growing population, but to avert a climate catastrophe science needs to meet those demands in a green and sustainable way. Well, thanks goodness then for people like Saiful Islam, Professor of Materials Chemistry at the University of Bath and our guest for episode 8!

We caught up with Saiful at The Assembly Inn, Bath, to hear about his upbringing in Crouch End (apparently not as cool in the 70s as it is today), his optimistic outlook, his penchant for 3D glasses and how he likes to model... We also got to hear some behind-the-scenes stories from Saiful’s excellent Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (see below for videos), including tales of baking with GBBO star Selasi Gbormittah and nearly taking Richard Dawkins' head clean off with a cannon ball. Be sure to listen right to the end to hear Saiful’s extremely impressive performance in our inaugural ‘Periodic Table Music Quiz’.

Welcome back to the Pint of Science podcast. Each week, we meet scientists in pubs around the UK to find out about their lives, their universe, and everything. From *how* fruit flies love to *why* humans love, via jumping into volcanoes, winning Olympic medals, where we came from and more!

Like what we do? Let us know using the hashtag #pintcast19. And be sure to subscribe to us and rate us on your favourite podcasting platform!

The Pint of Science podcast is a part of the Pint of Science Festival, the world's largest science communication festival. Thousands of guests and speakers descend on pubs in hundreds of cities worldwide to introduce science in a fun, engaging, and usually pint-fuelled way.

This podcast is made possible with the help of our sponsors Brilliant.org. Do check them out, and visit www.brilliant.org/pintofscience/ where the first 200 people who sign up will get 20% off a Premium plan! 

About Saiful Islam, this week's guest:

After a youth sound-tracked by The Stranglers, The Jam and of course The Smiths, Saiful Islam decided to further his scientific education, and bagged himself a BSc and PhD from University College London, under the supervision of Professor Richard Catlow. An exciting post-doc in New York, investigating oxide superconductors, cemented Saiful’s passion for research and he returned to the UK in 1990 to become a lecturer and later reader at the University of Surrey, before eventually making his way to Bath to take up his current position in 2006. He now researches new classes of compounds for rechargeable lithium batteries and next-generation solar cells, with a view to meeting our growing energy demands in a green and sustainable way.

His academic work and his public engagement work have earned him a health list of accolades. Perhaps his highest profile public engagement work was delivering the Royal Institution Christmas Lecturer in 2016, a clip from which you can view right here:

You can also follow Saiful on Twitter (@SaifulChemistry) and contribute to his impressive page of albums and hit singles with chemistry references.

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Pint of Science Podcast - Professor Sheena Cruickshank - Immunologist & Microbiome enthusiast [Episode 7]

Pint of Science Podcast - Professor Sheena Cruickshank - Immunologist & Microbiome enthusiast [Episode 7]

April 29, 2019

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Episode 7 – Professor Sheena Cruickshank

How do we manage to remain in good health (at least most of the time) in a world full of microorganisms that think our bodies are the equivalent of Magaluf? Does ‘imposter syndrome’ ever go away? And just what the heck is the microbiome!? All of these questions and more were answered when we returned to The Salutation Inn in Manchester for a catch up with Sheena Cruickshank, Professor of Immunology and Public Engagement expert. Sheena works on the immune system, more specifically looking at the cross-talk between different immune cells and how this shapes our immune response when we encounter something that shouldn’t be in our bodies. We sat down for a pint with Sheena to talk about some of the unexpected features of the immune system, the hot topic of the microbiome as well as the glamorous world of faecal transplants, which are exactly what they sound like…

Welcome back to the Pint of Science podcast. Each week, we meet scientists in pubs around the UK to find out about their lives, their universe, and everything. From *how* fruit flies love to *why* humans love, via jumping into volcanoes, winning Olympic medals, where we came from and more!

Like what we do? Let us know using the hashtag #pintcast19. And be sure to subscribe to us and rate us on your favourite podcasting platform!

The Pint of Science podcast is a part of the Pint of Science Festival, the world's largest science communication festival. Thousands of guests and speakers descend on pubs in hundreds of cities worldwide to introduce science in a fun, engaging, and usually pint-fuelled way.

This podcast is made possible with the help of our sponsors Brilliant.org. Do check them out, and visit www.brilliant.org/pintofscience/ where the first 200 people who sign up will get 20% off a Premium plan! 

Professor Sheena Cruickshank completed her Bachelor’s degree at Strathclyde University, and after being tempted to remain in the lab by the promise of free-beer, went on to obtain her PhD in Immunology from the University of Leeds. Since 2007, Sheena has worked in the Department of Immunology, investigating autoimmunity, how immune responses get started, and the communication between immune cells. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and Public Engagement Secretary for the British Society for Immunology. Her interest in Public Engagement has led to her developing several projects to share research, notable examples including ‘The Worm Wagon’ and ‘Britain Breathing’.

You can follow Sheena on twitter (@sheencr).

Thanks to us all having colds on the day of recording, we forgot to get our usual group photo, so instead here is a picture of a hermit crab without its shell.

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Pint of Science Podcast - Professor Matthew Cobb - Evolutionary Zoologist [Episode 6]

Pint of Science Podcast - Professor Matthew Cobb - Evolutionary Zoologist [Episode 6]

April 22, 2019

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Episode 6 – Professor Matthew Cobb

This week we share a pint with a scientist who really smells. Sorry, he researches smells. Specifically, he’s interested to know how maggots smell; who says science can’t be glamorous! Our guest for episode 6 is the University of Manchester’s Professor Matthew Cobb, Professor of Zoology, award-winning science communicator extraordinaire and expert on the French Resistance during World War II… A bit of a modern-day polymath!

We made a return visit to Manchester’s very accommodating Salutation Inn, where we spent a fascinating couple of hours learning about (amongst other things): the nature of consciousness; how we can apply our understanding of genetics to give us clues about the sense of smell in Neanderthals; and why it’s better to work with flies than people… Matthew literally arrived armed with a bottled smell, such is his commitment to hands-on (noses-on?) science communication. Enjoy!

Welcome back to the Pint of Science podcast. Each week, we meet scientists in pubs around the UK to find out about their lives, their universe, and everything. From *how* fruit flies love to *why* humans love, via jumping into volcanoes, winning Olympic medals, where we came from and more!

Like what we do? Let us know using the hashtag #pintcast19. And be sure to subscribe to us and rate us on your favourite podcasting platform!

The Pint of Science podcast is a part of the Pint of Science Festival, the world's largest science communication festival. Thousands of guests and speakers descend on pubs in hundreds of cities worldwide to introduce science in a fun, engaging, and usually pint-fuelled way.

This podcast is made possible with the help of our sponsors Brilliant.org. Do check them out, and visit www.brilliant.org/pintofscience/ where the first 200 people who sign up will get 20% off a Premium plan!

About Matthew Cobb, this week's guest:

Professor Matthew Cobb is Professor of Zoology in the Division of Evolution and Genomic Sciences at the University of Manchester. After obtaining a PhD in Psychology and Genetics from the University of Sheffield, and a stint as a postdoc at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, Matthew moved to France in 1984 – where he stayed for 18 years. The various positions he held in France shaped his research interests in chemical communication and the sense of smell (as well as his historical interests in the French Resistance during World War II). Matthew returned to the UK in 2002 to take up a post as a lecturer at the University of Manchester, where in 2007 he received the University’s award for Teaching Excellence. Alongside his research, Matthew has published two popular science books; The Egg & Sperm Race (2006), and Life’s Greatest Secret (2015). He has also written two historical books on the French Resistance, and regularly writes for The Guardian.

Matthew is great on twitter, follow @matthewcobb for regular fascinating nuggets of science.

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