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.

You can also find the podcasts on YouTube, iTunesStitcher or Spotify. It is also now available on the visual podcast platform Entale.

2020 archive

COVID-19 vaccine development, patient data and isolation diaries

In this edition: We hear from researchers working on a COVID-19 vaccine and with patient samples, and how students are coping in isolation.

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News: University Challenge win and neutrino discovery – We celebrate Imperial’s spectacular University Challenge win and discover how neutrinos may hold the key to why the universe is made up of matter rather than antimatter.

On the frontlines of COVID-19 vaccine development – We speak to Dr Anna Blakney about what it’s like to work on a vaccine the whole world is waiting for.

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

Understanding and treating COVID-19 – We hear from Professor Peter Openshaw how thousands of samples from COVID-19 patients across the country are already providing valuable insights into the disease, including who seems to get it worse, and how the disease progresses.

Isolation diaries from around the world – We hear from the producers of a video capturing snippets from Imperial students now scattered across the world.

(22 April)

Counting coronavirus, a baby food entrepreneur and designing for Mars

In this edition: We hear from people tracking the spread of COVID-19, making better baby food, and designing for a move to Mars.

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News: Bee brains and tracking fireballs – We learn how certain pesticides are impairing baby bee brains, and how a network of cameras and volunteers across the UK are tracking fallen stars.

Counting coronavirus – How fast and how widely is COVID-19 spreading? We hear from epidemiologist Professor Azra Ghani about how they make sure they have the right data to build their models of the outbreak, and what that means for how we mitigate the spread.

Baby food entrepreneur – Business School alum Nadine Hellmann, who developed her idea for a new kind of baby food at Imperial, gives us tips on starting a business from scratch while studying.

Designing for Mars – Would you move to Mars? What do we need to do to make the move possible? Imperial scientists and students provide possible solutions, from space weather monitors to new materials for shoes.

(18 March)

Coronavirus vaccine, global progress report and fighting racism

In this edition: Join the race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine, check in on the Sustainable Development Goals, and discover how to argue with a racist.

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News: Solar Orbiter lift-off and cutting contrails – We follow Imperial’s instrument aboard the Solar Orbiter spacecraft as it takes its first data in space, and find out how altitude changes of just 2000 feet can cut the environmental impact of aeroplane contrails.

The race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine – We meet the Imperial team, headed by Professor Robin Shattock, developing a new kind of vaccine that could be available to people far faster than in previous viral outbreaks.

Progress in the Sustainable Development Goals – Dr David Nabarro, co-director of Imperial’s Institute of Global Health Innovation, helped set up the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. He tells us how much progress we’ve made, and where there is still work to be done.

How to argue with a racist – Geneticist and science communicator Dr Adam Rutherford explains how science has been misused to justify bigotry and racism, and how we can fight back.

(19 February)

Drug policy, Australian megafires and London fatbergs

In this edition: We discuss whether drug policy is working, why Australia is experiencing megafires, and what can be done about fatbergs.

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News: Miscarriage and PTSD, and a remarkable refugee professor – We find out how many women experience post-traumatic stress disorder after miscarriage, and learn about the remarkable life of a venerable maths professor.

Is drug policy working? – Former government adviser Professor David Nutt tells us how restrictions on tobacco are working, but that hard drugs policies have in some cases made problems worse, and what can be done.

Why is Australia facing megafires? – We find out what’s making Australia’s wildfires so bad they have become megafires, including the factors involved in their spread and how much climate change might be to blame.

The big, gross problem of fatbergs – Huge accumulations of fat and unflushable material can block drains and city sewers, but how do we work out the best way to prevent them and remove them?

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

(22 January)