Decades of conflict in the middle east and north Africa have left scores dead, an entire generation displaced, and lingering damages to health, infrastructure and culture. Meanwhile in America and Europe, surveillance states and civil restrictions have come to be the accepted cost of constant, distant war. As the world rounds on a new War against coronavirus, Drake Logan speaks with us about lingering toxicity, life in war time, and legos.
Read Drakes latest paper here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0921374018821209
Follow Drake on Twitter : @dr3keness
We are all increasingly aware of the extent of humanity’s impact on Earth. The increasing concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases and Earth’s changing climate are constant in our news, but there are other ways that humans are directly impacting the environment. Production of food is vital for society, but finding sustainable and environmentally friendly methods of feeding everyone must be a priority.
Dr. Agnieszka Latawiec from Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and co-founder of the International Institute for Sustainability in Brazil is particularly interested in improving the management of pasturelands. Read more about her research here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-47647-x
Welcome to ResearchPod - a science communications podcast connecting you to research from across disciplines and across the world. Stay tuned for interviews, articles, exposés, and all the latest from academia.
Find our episodes and more at researchpod.org, and follow us on your podcast player of choice.
40 years ago, the Alexander L Kielland oil platform suffered a catastrophic structural failure and sank into the North Sea, with 123 of the crew onboard losing their lives. Today, Dr Edwin France brings his decades of experience in welding engineering to bear on the report into the cause of the collapse, and describes his different conclusions.
Read Dr Frances paper on the platform collapse here, and visit his website here.
What makes a great work of music what it is? What integrates a given piece as one coherent whole? It may help to step back and ask what makes any given thing essentially itself. Fortunately, Aristotle can help us understand this question and its surprising ramifications.
John MacAuslan’s research explains this search for a thing’s essence and how philosophy can help us gain further understanding of our thinking about music.
Read more about his work in the Journal Of Essence and Context
Air pollution directly contributes to a host of health concerns, and is of increasing concern in highly industrialised cities. For insights beyond air quality sensors installed by local government, Dr Andrew May has engaged with citizen scientists and STEM students to gather vast quantities of data. Dr May and colleagues at Ohio State University are teaming up with local teachers and students to deploy low-cost air quality sensors throughout Central Ohio. They aim to identify areas for much needed air quality control, whilst integrating scientific learning within the local school curriculum.
Read more about the project at Research Outreach , with the original research paper available here.
Despite best efforts, the origin of life on Earth remains an open mystery. In a recent analysis bridging physics, evolutionary biology and the philosophy of just what life is, Prof Stuart Kauffman suggests autocatalytic sets of energetically favourable molecules making each other, and in turn themselves, as the building blocks of life as we know it.
His interview touches on the limits of Newtonian and quantum physics, philosophical definitions of life and self, and the Anthropocene era of resource scarcity on a changing planet.
Find out more about Prof Kauffmans work at the Institute for Systems Biology, and read his recent paper here.
Dr Nanette Boyle leads a lab which uses genetic engineering to design photosynthetic organisms capable of producing sustainable fuels and chemicals .
Her most recent work has been the creation of powerful computer modelling tools which are able to predict the growth and production of these organisms. This will ultimately speed up the development of the industrial scale algae-based biofuels.
Read more about her work at Research Outreach. The original research is available here.
Many toddlers and infants go through a phase of picky eating – this won’t come a surprise to anyone, and is probably an intimately familiar story to many listeners – however, what kind of effect does picky eating at so young an age have on later health and habits? How is that affected by changing diets? And what’s the best way to encourage children to try something new?
Read more about the research from Dr Caroline Taylor and Dr Pauline Emmett here, and follow their project at the Bristol University website.
The original research paper is available here.
Many of us will have heard the phrase "To err is human, to forgive divine", but personally internalising and scientifically measuring that forgiveness between people and as religious experiences is an ongoing field of research. Prof Frank Fincham has spent the last few years working on that field, looking at the relationship those who seek forgiveness, those who grant it, and those seek forgiveness from a higher power.
Read more about Prof Finchams work at Research Outreach, and through his own academic archive. Read his recent publication on divine forgiveness here.
The melt and recession of glaciers has been an environmental concern since the early 1900s, and make up a large part of the measurement and communication of climate change today. The study of biogeochemistry and microorganisms on arctic and alpine glaciers requires specialised sensors and inventive approaches to data gathering, which Dr Liz Bagshaw of Cardiff University has just returned from testing in the field. Today, we’re talking about how glaciology combines physics, engineering and biology, and the importance of climate communications.
Follow Dr Bagshaws work through her staff page at Cardiff University, and find her lab on Twitter: @CardiffColdClim.
Her recent publication is available here.
Life in a modern, interconnected world has delivered miraculous advances in communications, technology and trade. It is also becoming widely acknowledged that the last few decades of globalised commerce and finance has, by design, transferred large amounts of power and profit out of small communities, towards distant and unaccountable actors, while the waste generated in manufacture and transport of goods has accumulated among the most undeserving of areas. The Circular Economy proposes an alternative to the current model of global trade, which funnels money out of communities, by keeping as many transactions within the local community as possible. Dr Kersty Hobson's latest paper makes the case that theories of circular economics would benefit from incorporating a better understanding of the psychology of ownership.
Read more about Dr Hobsons work through her Cardiff University staff page.
The original research is available here.
Heart disease comes in many shapes and sizes – the most serious cases requiring serious interventions to save the patients life, and none are more serious than a heart transplant. However, transplantation requires the availability of not just a heart, but a closely matched one to fit the body and biology of the recipient. If no donor hearts are available, the new generation of mechanical blood pumps may be able to step up and fill that need. Speaking with us today about their professional and personal experiences with Left Ventricular Assist Devices, or LVAD for short, is Dr Eric Stohr and Steve Griffiths.
The original research is available here.
Since entering the public sphere in 2016, Brexit has been an issue shaped by, and at whims of, media coverage. That contents of that coverage have morphed over the last 3 years, as specific terminology, personalities and deadlines have arisen, and media discussion of todays Brexit news is very different from that prior to the referendum. Beyond the ideology and policy in any article or broadcast, the linguistic nuance of coverage has also been in a state of flux. New slogans, phrases and even individual words have been coined, risen to common use and then dropped off in popularity throughout the Brexit debate and subsequent negotiations.
Dr Andreas Buerki, Cardiff University, has monitored and assessed the ebb and flow of phrases in British media discussing Brexit, and is talking with us today about the emergence and lasting use of specific language therein.
Original article available here.
Dr Gunnell’s work focuses on the collection, management and preservation of vertebrate fossils while his research aims to understand the origin and diversification of modern mammalian groups by study of their fossil record. Dr Boyer’s work focusing on the evolution of primates uses the fossil record as a key resource for understanding the interplay between form and function in evolutionary contexts. He founded MorphoSource and manages its development and governance.
Read more about this research at Research Features
Original article available here.
Professor Floris Ernst’s research investigates the potential for using robots and novel 3D-imaging technology to carry out ultrasounds within the soft tissue of the human body.
Professor Ernst completed his PhD at the University of Lübeck, investigating motion prediction and correlation algorithms for use in robotic radiosurgery. Following this, he worked as a software engineer at an engineering consultancy before returning to the Institute of Robotics and Cognitive Systems at the University of Lübeck in 2013, where he was appointed Professor for Medical Robotics in 2017.
Read more about this research.
Original article available here