The podcast is presented by Gareth Mitchell, a lecturer on Imperial's Science Communication MSc course and the presenter of Click Radio on the BBC World Service, with contributions from our roaming reporters in the Research Communications group.

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 or +44 (0)20 7594 2412, or tweet us @ImperialSpark.

You can also find the podcasts on YouTube, iTunes or Stitcher.

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)

Previous editions

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)