2017 podcasts

All the fun of the Festival

In this edition: We bring you the sounds of the Imperial Festival 2017, chatting to everyone from scientific firestarters to Charles Darwin himself.

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News: A father’s influence and frisky fruit flies – We discuss new Imperial research that shows fathers who interact with their newborns have a positive impact on the child’s development, and a study that found out why female fruit flies get so aggressive after sex.

Revisit the Imperial Festival 2017 – Our team of reporters met researchers, performers, guests and even Charles Darwin this year, and explored everything from cake design to water filtration and from singing for wellbeing to a modern way to pickle food.

Bonus material – Take a journey through the process of creative thought as our Reporter is taken on a tour of Continuum, a machine that turns ideas into innovations.

(17 May 2017)

Festival preview, Paralympic gadgets and house price woes

In this edition: We look ahead to the Imperial Festival, chat to a Paralympian getting a helping hand, and ask if the housing bubble will burst.

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News: Brexit 1.0 and outreach shorts – Imperial geologists uncover evidence of Britain’s original separation from Europe 450,000 years ago. We also get the inside story from a researcher presenting his research at Parliament, and catch up with the science comedians of the LoL-LaB.

Festival preview – The Imperial Festival is back for its sixth year in May, and it’s going to be bigger than ever. As well as the new Food Zone, people can get hands on with flying robots and immersive art in this weekend of science-based fun for all ages.

Will house prices continue to rise? – House prices around the UK – and especially in the capital – are still rising to levels hard to attain for many first-time buyers. Will the situation improve, or will owning a home soon be the equivalent of owning a luxury jet?

Paralympic gadgets – Gold-medal-winning Paralympic cyclist Jon-Allan Butterworth stops by Imperial to collect a new kind of handlebar designed by Bioengineering students to help him shave vital seconds off his starts.

(19 April 2017)

Science steps outside the lab with comedy, magic and outreach

In this edition: Researchers try their hand at stand-up comedy, learn tricks for surgery from magicians and puppeteers, and showcase all things money.

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News: Brain stimulation and malaria drugs – We discuss research showing brain stimulation can improve short-term memory, and how taking a closer look at an old malaria drug could improve it.

The art of performing surgery – What can surgeons learn from magicians? The art of performance. Professor Roger Kneebone talks about what surgeons can learn from professions ranging from lacemakers to puppeteers.

Comedy with the Lol-LaB – Can science be funny? A group of Imperial researchers are conducting an experiment to find out – by trying to turn themselves into stand-up comedians. We follow their exploits.

Money matters – The future of financial technology, playing the markets and tracing your transactions were subjects on show at the latest Imperial Fringe event.

(15 March 2017)

Titanic evidence, Antarctic thriller and robots teaching emotions

In this edition: New evidence of what really sank the Titanic, a book based on a real Antarctic expedition and robot helpers for children with autism.

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News: Explosive history and better prosthetics – We look back at some of the highlights of 172 years of the Department of Chemistry and look forward to better prosthetic limbs that respond to nerve impulses.

What really sank the Titanic?: An Imperial expert in fire finds evidence for a surprising theory about the Titanic – that it was already on fire when it left port, and this contributed to its rapid sinking.

Antarctic thriller: When thriller author L.A. Larkin heard about Professor Martin Siegert’s expedition to drill into a subglacial lake in Antarctica, she thought it was the perfect setting for a murder. She joins Professor Siegert to talk about the resulting novel – Devour – and what makes Antarctica such a good backdrop.

Robots teaching emotions: Children with autism find reading facial expressions hard, and that’s where Zeno comes in – a new robot designed to teach basic expressions and interact with children on their level.

(15 February 2017)

Trumping climate change, enabling healthcare and weighty issues

In this edition: What President Trump could mean for climate change, how medical students are helping in rural Nepal, and discussing diet drinks.

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News: Malaria infections and money matters – We discuss new research revealing that the more parasites a mosquito carries, the more likely it is to pass on malaria. We also look forward to the next Fringe event, which will focus on all things financial.

Trumping climate change: Ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration as President of the United States, Grantham Institute Co-Director Professor Joanna Haigh talks about his track record, cabinet picks, and what the world can do if the US pulls out of climate agreements.

Enabling healthcare: Two students on the Imperial College Enables program – which involves undergraduate medical students delivering healthcare and education in remote locations – talk about their experiences in Nepal.

Diet drinks and weight: In surprising research, scientists say we don’t have good evidence that artificially sweetened drinks help us lose weight. We talk to the researchers about why that might be and how we can find out for sure.

(18 January 2017)