2017 Podcasts

September 20th 2017 – Prof Sophie Scott – “On Human Communication and Laughter”

June 21st 2017- Dr Jennifer Coopersmith –  Margaret Thatcher, lego, and the principle of least action
Find out with Dr Jennifer Coopersmith (Honorary Research Associate, University of La Trobe, Australia) how the Principle of Least Action is radically different from all that went before.

June 12th 2017- Prof Anna Gloyn – “Type 2 diabetes – a global crisis gets personal
Type 2 diabetes is the epidemic of the 21st Century. There are 415 million people living with diabetes worldwide, and 90 per cent of them have Type 2. It’s increasing, costly and life-changing. Diabetes is the single largest cause of amputations, stroke, blindness and kidney failure. So are we doing enough to prevent it? Can we use our understanding of genetics to improve treatment and care? Professor Anna Gloyn (Oxford Centre for Diabetes Endocrinology & Metabolism and Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford) shares her view.

March 2017- Professor Simon Butt – Has your brain developed normally?
Most people have what society regards as a ‘normal’ brain. How does this come about? Traditionally this can be thought of as a nature versus nurture argument with genetics directing the construction of a normal brain that is then receptive to environmental influences. Prof Simon Butt (University of Oxford) will talk about a recently discovered scaffold in the developing brain that acts to constrain the impact of environment, highlighting how neurodevelopment can inform our understanding of normal behaviour.

January 2017- Professor Pedro Ferreira – “The Perfect Theory: a century of geniuses and the battle over general relativity”
Einstein’s theory of general relativity is possibly the most perfect intellectual achievement of modern physics. For almost a century now, physicists have been delving into Einstein’s theory, seeking an understanding of the history of the universe, the origin of time, and the evolution of solar systems, stars, and galaxies. Professor of Astrophysics Pedro Ferreira (University of Oxford) will tell us about the expanding universe, black holes and gravitational waves, and how general relativity has allowed scientists’ imaginations to take flight with new possibilities, revealing a universe that is much stranger than anyone ever expected.