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New Scientist: The Big Interview
39 minutes | 7 months ago
#8: Mitul Mehta - How brain scanners can help us revolutionise psychiatric drugs
Mitul Mehta is professor of neuroimaging and psychopharmacology at King’s College London. New Scientist reporter Clare Wilson talked to Mehta about how brain scanners offer an unrivalled chance to open a window onto brain conditions and mental health conditions and see how the brain responds to treatments. They discuss hypnosis, and how suggestibility plays a role in the placebo effect, and they explore whether drugs used to increase memory and motivation in ill patients may be used as enhancement tools by healthy people in the future. To find out more, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts.Please vote for New Scientist Weekly for the Listeners’ Choice award at the British Podcast Awards: https://www.britishpodcastawards.com/vote
50 minutes | 8 months ago
#7: Nobel Prize winner Venki Ramakrishnan on fake news, AI, and the challenges facing science
Venki Ramakrishnan is president of the UK’s Royal Society and he won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for helping to unravel the secrets of ribosomes. The ribosome is the most important molecule you’ve never heard of - it’s the factory in our cells that produces everything in our bodies. New Scientist reporter Clare Wilson met him in the era just before lockdown to discuss why he made an early career pivot from studying physics to the life sciences, and what he thinks are the challenges facing science today in an era of denialism and fake news.
23 minutes | 8 months ago
#6: Philip Pullman - His Dark Materials author on science, consciousness, and daemons
Philip Pullman had been writing books for years before he became a global sensation with the His Dark Materials trilogy. The story of two children crossing into parallel worlds in a quest to understand the nature of reality and humanity, the novels draw on fantasy as well as theology, physics and neuroscience, and are strongly influenced by the work of William Blake and John Milton. He is following up the trilogy with three more books, the second of which, The Secret Commonwealth, was published in 2019. New Scientist’s Rowan Hooper met with Pullman at his home in Oxford.
33 minutes | 9 months ago
#5: Rebecca Shaw - WWF chief scientist on how to restore the planet’s ecological health
We have one decade left to change our ways, to curb carbon emissions and unsustainable practices that are heating the planet and destroying biodiversity. Rebecca Shaw is chief scientist of conservation charity WWF, and as a graduate student she set up the world’s first climate change ecology experiment, in the Rocky Mountains. Big Interview host Rowan Hooper met her in London before the coronavirus lockdown to talk about staying positive amid the inaction on climate change and biodiversity, about her life in biology and about her hopes for the future.
29 minutes | 9 months ago
#4: Invisible Women author Caroline Criado-Perez on how data biases are impacting women during the coronavirus crisis
Caroline Criado-Perez is a British feminist, activist, author and journalist. Last year, she made waves with her book, Invisible Women. In that, she described how women get overlooked in many different areas of life, from government policies and urban planning, to transport algorithms and even medical research. She showed that there’s an underlying assumption that the male body and the male experience is the default, and the female experience is some kind of unusual outlier - rather than representing half the world’s population. Our reporter Clare Wilson wanted to know how these systematic biases are impacting on women as the world copes with coronavirus. For example, as Criado Perez says, coronavirus affects men and women differently, and many countries are not collecting sex-disaggregated data on covid-19.
35 minutes | 9 months ago
#3: Physicist Brian Greene on why there is no meaning to life, and how incredible it is that we exist at all
Brian Greene is an American theoretical physicist, mathematician and string theorist. Despite tackling some of the most ‘out there’ questions in science, Brian is able to break down his work into relatable information. A multiple bestselling author, his latest book is ‘Until The End of Time: Mind, Matter and our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe’. In this engaging conversation, Brian explains his belief that there is no definitive meaning to life, and suggests that people should focus on how incredible it is that we exist at all. Despite acknowledging that many of the questions he raises in his career will probably remain unanswered for centuries, Brian says the hope of gleaning some insight into the universe’s big unknowns is what keeps him going. He digs into every area of existence imaginable, from questions of life, religion, the flow of time and the origin of the universe. This conversation will make you question everything you know about yourself – Do you have free will? Are you truly conscious? – and yet you’ll still come away feeling empowered.Podcast recording by David Stock.
26 minutes | 10 months ago
#2: Greta Thunberg on fighting coronavirus and the climate crisis simultaneously
The latest episode of The big interview features climate activist Greta Thunberg. Arguably one of the world’s most influential people, and certainly one of the most famous teenagers, Greta launched the school strikes for climate in 2018, which have since gone global. Her strike started outside the Swedish parliament when she was 15. Since then she’s addressed the United Nations and been nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize. Now, because of the global threat of coronavirus, she’s taken her activism, and the strikes, online. In a wide-ranging and intimate conversation, New Scientist's Adam Vaughan spoke to Greta about coronavirus, her dawning understanding at eight years old about the climate crisis, how she was raised, and what it’s like being so famous.
33 minutes | 10 months ago
#1: Christiana Figueres & Tom Rivett Carnac on how to save the world from the climate crisis
Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac are two of the most influential people in the global climate movement, and led the negotiations for the historic Paris Agreement in 2015. In their new book, ‘The Future We Choose’, they set out the best and worst case scenarios for the future of our planet, based on the decisions we make now on carbon emissions. In this passionate conversation, Christiana makes it clear that the power to change the world is in our hands, saying. “We have to unleash our stewardship of this planet, to bring it back into the safe zone.” Tom explains the excitement of being at the fulcrum of such an urgent cause, with the chance to do something remarkable, adding that “people need to realise the privilege of living at this moment”. Christiana and Tom tell host Rowan Hooper how they met, how they both came to practice Buddhism, and what their hopes are for the future of the planet. Find out more at www.newscientist.com. And you can hear Christiana and Tom’s podcast, Outrage & Optimism, here.
5 minutes | 10 months ago
#0: The Big Interview Tease
New Scientist: The Big Interview is coming soon! From interviews with world-class scientists like the WWF’s Rebecca Shaw, to conversations with ground-breaking authors like Philip Pullman, this podcast introduces you to people who’ve made significant cultural or scientific impacts. Included in the lineup are climate negotiator Christiana Figueres, author Naomi Klein and physicist Brian Greene. Look out for the first episode, coming to your favourite podcast app in a few weeks!
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