Stories From Science



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  • Frank Close Ep 11 - pt 2: Secrets Of The Atomic Spies

    23/04/2020 Duración: 31min

    Professor Frank Close is a theoretical physicist, award-winning science communicator and is now Emeritus Professor of Physics at Oxford University. In this podcast - the second part of a two-part interview - we discuss Frank’s life as a writer – from as the author of bestselling science books such as ‘Neutrino’ and ‘The Infinity Puzzle’ to his latest books that examine the history of the Atomic Spies. We discuss the background and content of his latest book “Trinity”, about the extraordinary life - and the secrets that still persist - about nuclear spy Klaus Fuchs.

  • Frank Close Ep 11 - pt 1: Science Communication

    07/10/2019 Duración: 45min

    Frank Close is a particle physicist, Emeritus Professor at Oxford University, science communicator, writer, and bestselling author of books from the Cosmic Onion and Neutrino, to histories of the atomic spies in 'Half-Life' and most recently 'Trinity: The Treachery and Pursuit of the Most Dangerous Spy in History'. He was head of communications at CERN and in 1993 gave the annual Royal Institution (RI) Christmas Lecture. Frank is also one of the founders of the ATOM Festival of Science and Technology, and in this episode - the first of two parts - I talk to Frank about the responsibilities of communicating science to the wider world, how the UK almost pulled out of CERN in the 1980s - and how to create an explosion in your bare hands.

  • Hear Nightshade's Theme from The Last Chance Hotel

    31/10/2018 Duración: 02min

    Nightshade is a black cat, the only friend and companion of Seth Seppi, the oppressed and downtrodden kitchen boy at the remote Last Chance Hotel, owned by the nasty Bunn family. When a strange gathering of magicians arrives for dinner at the hotel, and the kindly Dr Thallomius is poisoned by Seth's special dessert, Nightshade helps Seth solve the locked-room murder investigation because Seth is the main suspect! This is Nightshade's theme, specially composed by talented young songwriter and musician Oliver Nicholls.

  • Ep 10 Rezatec - Fixing The Planet From The High Frontier

    03/09/2018 Duración: 47min

    Our blue planet has a defensive shield, made up of layers that allow life to flourish. But our species has created a new layer - of data - using an army of satellites orbiting high above the Earth. Increasingly, this thin veneer is becoming just as critical to modern life, and we use it to navigate, communicate, maintain security and track everything from natural disasters to climate change. There are also huge business opportunities to be had from gazing down at the Earth from the High Frontier. For this episode of Stories from Science, we sat down with Philip Briscoe and Andrew Carrel of UK company Rezatec. Using science and research from areas as diverse as climate science, biosecurity, data analytics and machine learning, they transform data into something called ‘landscape intelligence’, and it's being used by a rapidly growing customer base of governments, NGOs and businesses. From protecting our forests to managing our water supply, we’ll discover just how powerful and transformative Earth Observat

  • Ep 9 - Surely You're Joking Mr Mayhew-Archer: Adventures Of An Incurable Optimist

    20/07/2018 Duración: 58min

    Paul Mayhew-Archer is one of our best-loved comedy writers, best known for writing The Vicar of Dibley with Richard Curtis, but also producing the legendary BBC radio comedy I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue. In 2011, however, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Degenerative and incurable, he reacted in the only way he knew how, with humour. Since then he has continued to laugh at Parkinson’s, and in 2016 he won ‘best presenter’ at the Grierson Awards for his BBC documentary ‘Parkinson’s: The Funny Side. He then began doing stand-up at fundraising concerts organised by Parkinson’s UK. And this Summer, he takes his one-man show Incurable Optimist to the Edinburgh Fringe. So this is a science podcast with a difference. Paul is not a scientist, but through the lens of comedy we look at what Parkinson’s is, how it’s treated, and how humour – and more importantly laughter – can be used not just to improve health, but allow us to get better at talking about the taboo subjects of illness and death.

  • Ep 8 - Destination Detonation: Renee Watson and her journey to The Curiosity Box

    06/07/2018 Duración: 55min

    As job titles go, you'd need to go a long way to beat 'Head of Explosions', but then today’s episode is with someone – Renee Watson of The Curiosity Box – who has travelled a long way, from the river banks of rural Australia to leading a self-styled Curiosity Revolution to disrupt education, empower families and convince the world that science isn't just for them, but holds the keys to a better life and a better world. It's difficult not to get swept up in this enthusiasm for revolution. Along the way we'll go toe-to-toe with STEM Barbie, discover why science capital is like carrying a suitcase, and understand that, whilst love really does change everything, particularly in the field of great customer service, sometimes it ain’t quite enough. Inspirational, unconventional, you'll understand exactly why philanthropist Melinda Gates called out Renee as one of the eight women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths to look out for in 2018. But don't worry - Renee has a 'Head of Grounding' to ensure that

  • Ep 7 - Our friends electric: Brill Power and the coming battery revolution

    08/06/2018 Duración: 01h01min

    What could be more familiar than the humble electric battery? They've been around for years, factories knock them out regular as clockwork and we're all familiar with them, aren't we? Well think again. Ubiquitous in mobile phones and personal electronics, the rapid and irreversible move to electric cars, transportation and energy storage is sending our demand for batteries soaring. And this is bringing as many new challenges as it is opportunities. We need lots of better, longer-lasting and greener batteries - and we need them soon. Here in the UK we've made innovation in battery technology one of the key priorities of our industrial strategy. The UK government has even founded a new independent institute - The Faraday Institution on the Harwell Campus - to spearhead this work. And through its Faraday Challenge innovation program, where better to look for new ideas than our universities. Which is where we bumped into Brill Power, a spin-out fresh from the Engineering Department of Oxford University, lookin

  • Ep 6 - Science in a bottle: Richard and Sian Liwicki of Bothy Vineyard

    28/05/2018 Duración: 01h08s

    If you had to go hunting for science, where would you look? Research labs, university laboratories, school classrooms perhaps. But what about on a vineyard? In our quest to seek out and tell the Stories from Science - wherever that science might be lurking - it turns out that there is a lot of science in winemaking. In this episode, we interview Sian and Richard Liwicki from Bothy Vineyard in Frilford Heath, just outside Abingdon. They are both scientists, and they are the perfect guide to the science of what happens from grape to bottle. Along the way, we learned the ways to prevent fake wine, the special - and freakishly unique - geology of a small strip of Oxfordshire land, but most of all we experienced the inner peace that comes from seeking balance and harmony in a little slice of Oxfordshire countryside. Come on that journey with us...

  • Ep 5 - The ATOM Festival of Science and Technology: Can a science festival change the world?

    11/05/2018 Duración: 58min

    In this special episode of Stories from Science, we go behind the scenes of a very modern phenomenon: the Science Festival. Specifically, we talk to the organisers, participants and audience of the ATOM Festival of Science and Technology, which took place earlier this year, and ask the question: can a science festival change the world?

  • Ep 4 - Shoot for the Moon: Inspiring the next science generation with Fran Long of SublimeSTEM

    13/04/2018 Duración: 52min

    The teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths – STEM – is possibly *the* hot topic in education at the moment, with hundreds of thousands of new scientists and engineers needed in the UK over the coming years, but how do we get more young people into STEM? In this episode we talk to Fran Long of Sublime STEM, inspirational STEM educator and Primary Science Specialist. Fran developed a ‘start local’ philosophy of STEM teaching, reaching out to everyone from school parents to global companies, and in the process turning curriculum science topics in her school into interactive spectacles to wow young people. We'll discover why children need to get hooked on science by age 10, why family involvement is crucial and why current methods of encouraging girls into STEM might be counter-productive. Fran talks about the networks that exist right now to get kids hooked on science - and the activities that led to her winning the UK’s Primary Science Teacher Award earlier this year.

  • Ep 3 - The Billion Dollar Science Question: Stephen Bennington from Krino Partners

    30/03/2018 Duración: 58min

    Hollywood doesn't do science many favours, playing fast and loose with the facts, letting the imagination run wild, or - worse - reinforcing stereotypes about the lone genius in the lab. The reality is rather different and the journey to successfully commercialisation of a new idea or concept is often not about the idea at all - in fact it can be about anything but. Professor Stephen Bennington went from one of the world's biggest research facilities to the world of science and tech spin-outs. In 2011 he founded hydrogen storage company Cella Energy, and his experiences of the highs and lows on the cutting edge of science commercialisation makes him a compelling - and candid - guide in answering the billion dollar question: how do you make money from science?

  • Ep 2 - The Network Effect: Jeremy Thomas and Megan Milarski from the Abingdon Science Partnership

    16/03/2018 Duración: 54min

    Stories from Science visited Jeremy Thomas and Megan Milarski at the Abingdon Science Partnership. The ASP is an almost-unique science outreach organisation, and the reasons it's unique will become clear during the podcast. The range of activities, partnerships, workshops, training and clubs - leveraging the resources of an independent school to benefit the whole community is inspiring and offers a template for others to follow. We also uncover the concept of 'Science Capital' - a theme that will develop over the coming months in other podcasts we have planned...

  • Ep 1 - A Sun on Earth: Sarah Medley and Zoltan Kollo at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy

    09/03/2018 Duración: 01h02min

    In this episode, we travel to the hottest place in the Solar System. No, not the Sun, but somewhere right on our doorstep. The Culham Centre for Fusion Energy is home to JET, the world's largest fusion research facility which regularly generates temperatures of 100 million degrees centigrade. We speak to Zoltan Kollo and Sarah Medley, two members of the tritium engineering team who help prepare and place the hydrogen fuel at the heart of this Sun right here on Earth.

  • An interview with Stories from Science's Mark Thornton

    09/03/2018 Duración: 24min

    In this episode of Stories from Science, we interview founder Mark Thornton who explains just why Abingdon is such a special place in the world of science, and the science-focused community of people that live and work in Oxfordshire's Science Vale.