The podcast is presented by Gareth Mitchell, a lecturer on Imperial's MSc Science Communication course and the presenter of Digital Planet on the BBC World Service, with contributions from our roving reporters in the Communications and Public Affairs Division.

If you have feedback that you'd like to share or ideas for future editions, we'd love to hear from you.
Please contact Hayley Dunning; +44 (0)20 7594 2412.

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COVID behaviours, carbon cuts and sustainability goals

In this edition: How pandemic behaviours have changed, why carbon needs to be rapidly cut, and how Imperial is supporting global sustainability.

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News: Digital chemistry and the impact of climate change on mental health – We celebrate the launch of ‘DigiFAB’ – the Institute for Digital Molecular Design and Fabrication – and get a preview of a new report looking at how climate change affects mental wellbeing.

A year of insights into global COVID behaviours – How have people’s attitudes and behaviours around the pandemic changed over the past year? We dig through data from around the world to find out how people have changed their views on face masks, life satisfaction, vaccines, and trust in governments.

The 50x30 Coalition for climate action – We hear about a new coalition of governments and research institutions, including Imperial, that is calling for a 50 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 – a crucial target for protecting the planet, and especially the vulnerable icy regions.

Supporting the world’s sustainability goals – We report from the launch of the Global Development Hub, a new network bringing together Imperial’s expertise to support the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, including improving global energy, health and equality.

You can watch the full launch on Imperial’s YouTube channel.

(19 May)

Previous editions

Psychedelic research, AI for the ICU and a space communication pioneer

In this edition: We investigate the psychedelic research renaissance, discover an AI designed to spot organ failure, and chat to Maggie Aderin-Pocock.

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News: Island evolution and an ancient asteroid – We hear how animals evolve into dwarfs or giants on islands and how a 430,000-year-old asteroid impact in Antarctica has been identified from the dust it left behind.

Psychedelic research renaissance – We celebrate the second anniversary of the Centre for Psychedelic Research, looking at the successes of testing the therapeutic potential of active compounds in drugs like magic mushrooms and ayahuasca, and look forward to new studies in brain imaging.

AI to predict organ failure – We meet PhD student Sam Turka, who has been developing an AI to help clinicians spot patients most at risk of organ failure in intensive care, with the ultimate aim of creating patient simulations to speed up medical testing and decision-making.

Maggie Aderin-Pocock – We partner with the Suffrage Science podcast to bring you an interview with Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock – physicist, presenter and Imperial alum – about the challenges and successes she’s faced throughout her career.

You can listen to the full interview with Maggie, and more interviews with other inspirational women in science, on the Suffrage Science podcast.

(21 April)

COVID-19 human trials, air pollution monitoring and better plastics

In this edition: Launching human challenge trials for COVID-19, a new air pollution monitoring network for London, and fully biodegradable plastics.

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News: Potential new physics and climate change innovation – Imperial physicists are part of a team that have found hints of a new kind of physics, and a new centre for climate change innovation launches to help accelerate the transition to net zero emissions.

Infecting people with COVID-19 – We hear from the investigators behind the world’s first ‘human challenge’ clinical trial for COVID-19, which will purposefully infect people with the virus behind the disease to see how the infection progresses and how drugs and vaccines could work against it.

Helping London breathe – We meet a researcher behind the new Breathe London network of affordable air pollution monitors, which are being deployed across London to help local communities understand and tackle their pollution issues.

Biodegradable and recyclable plastic – We chat to the CEO of Polymateria about their breakthrough food packaging plastic, which can break down within a year in the environment and can also be recycled into flower pots or pallets.

This is an extract from the IB Green Minds podcast, produced by students on the Business School’s MSc in Climate Change, Management & Finance. You can listen to the full episode on the IB Podcasts website.

(24 March)

Coronavirus on the tube, virus variants and matters of the heart

In this edition: What testing on transport says about coronavirus transmission, how new virus variants are emerging, and chatting to a cardiologist.

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News: Dragonfly flight, making audio more immersive and landing on Mars – We hear how dragonflies perform mid-air backward somersaults to right themselves, why making more immersive audio experiences could improve virtual interactions, and discover what the next Mars rover, landing on the red planet this week, will investigate.

TfL testing for coronavirus – Imperial researchers are working with the London transport network, testing air and surfaces for the coronavirus (and thankfully finding nothing). We learn what this means about transmission of the virus and how it feeds into a larger project into subway environments.

Coronavirus variants – Variants of the coronavirus are emerging worldwide and hitting the headlines. We find out what these variants mean for controlling the pandemic and the potential impact on vaccines.

You can also watch the full event covering the latest knowledge on the pandemic and what questions remain.

Matters of the heart – We chat to a trainee cardiologist about her experience taking part in an Imperial Lates Valentine’s event and her research understanding blood flow through the heart and arteries.

You can also catch up on the full Relationships Lates workshop.

(17 February)

Election misinformation, future of the NHS, and better cancer surgery

In this edition: Spreading US election misinformation, deciding the future of the NHS, and improving breast cancer surgery.

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News: Identifying new coronavirus variants and kombucha-inspired materials – We hear about a new consortium, led by Imperial researchers, tracking changes in new coronavirus variants, and find out how kombucha tea ingredients are being used to make new smart living materials.

US election misinformation – Analysis of the past two US presidential elections shows where misinformation originated from, including traditional and social media, foreign influences, and in the case of the 2020 election, the president himself.

This feature is an excerpt from 'Never Lick the Spoon' – a podcast from Imperial's Institute for Molecular Science and Engineering.

Future of the NHS – The NHS has worked incredibly well as an ‘illness’ service, but what about protecting and promoting good health? Investing in health could benefit us all, argues Dr Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard in his new book with Dame Sally Davies, Whose Health Is It Anyway?

Better breast cancer surgery – Around 20 percent of surgeries to remove breast cancer tumours leave some behind, requiring a second surgery. To reduce this, Imperial researchers are testing fluorescent tracers that identify tumours, coupled with special cameras to guide surgeons.

(27 January)