Author: Christine Gallagher

Music composer and theatre maker, Tim Hansen

Music composer and theatre maker, Tim Hansen

Tim Hansen's creative pursuits are informed by his university studies of theatre media, music composition and music theory (across three degrees) as well as his lifelong love of music and performing. You'll hear about Tim's approach to composing, performing and teaching young people music and his recent exploration of satire and musical theatre as a form of political activism. While sharing strong views about shortfalls of investment in the arts, Tim is optimistic that Covid lockdowns have reminded people of the value of shared cultural experiences.

Mid-career change, Jo Oakes — WOAE095

Mid-career change, Jo Oakes — WOAE095

After 20 years working as a successful media strategist and public relations consultant, including for the UK Ministry of Justice, Jo Oakes made a bold decision to make a change and retrain as a clinical audiologist. With the help of a career counsellor, Jo identified her vocational values, goals and skills and is now working as a health practitioner in a clinical setting and testing patients in her role as a clinical audiologist and neurophysiology technician.

The Zettelkasten knowledge management system — WOAE094

The Zettelkasten knowledge management system — WOAE094

An introduction to the Zettelkasten note-taking and knowledge management system which was famously used by sociologist Niklas Luhmann in the mid-twentieth century to inform his extensive research output, and recently made accessible to learn as a method by Sönke Ahrens through his book How to Take Smart Notes.

Film Club meeting — WOAE093

Film Club meeting — WOAE093

A virtual meeting of the Wide Open Air Exchange Film Club with guest Davis Rivera. Thanks to everyone who contributed reviews and comments for inclusion in the discussion.

2020 US Presidential Election preview with Lachlan Holland — WOAE092

2020 US Presidential Election preview with Lachlan Holland — WOAE092

A discussion of the candidates and their campaigns ahead of election day on 3 November. Topics include what might be the appeal of Joe Biden to moderate Republicans, and how the pandemic informed the Trump and Biden campaign approaches. You'll also hear thoughts on how liberal media bias against President Trump is making Fox News look relatively neutral, and on the absence of either candidate offering anything meaningful to people involved in widespread protests across the US.

Biomedical imaging doctoral researcher, Hanna Nowicka — WOAE091

Biomedical imaging doctoral researcher, Hanna Nowicka — WOAE091

Oxford doctoral researcher Hanna Nowicka explains the development of her interest in biomedical engineering and her work on brain imaging methods, and shares some of the realities of DPhil/PhD life. Hanna is a Clarendon Scholar who conducted her research at FMRIB, Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging. Listen using the audio player above or download the … Continue reading Biomedical imaging doctoral researcher, Hanna Nowicka — WOAE091

Biography and autobiography as History methods, Professor Barbara Caine — WOAE088

Biography and autobiography as History methods, Professor Barbara Caine — WOAE088

A conversation for the interest of students and practitioners of History and others interested in scholarly approaches and attitudes to biography and autobiography as historical methods. Professor Barbara Caine explains changing perceptions of biography in the historiography and the emergence of what some refer to as a biological turn and more recently an autobiographical turn.

Writer and journalist Alexandra Carlton — WOAE085

Writer and journalist Alexandra Carlton — WOAE085

In her 20 year career Alexandra Carlton has carved out a reputation as a skilled feature writer and editor across numerous magazines and digital media sites. These days as an accomplished freelance writer Alex's work can be found across a variety of formats and publications including features for Marie Claire, articles for News.com.au and travel writing for Qantas.

In this conversation Alex shares insights about her practices of interviewing and storytelling and thoughts on how developments in digital media have informed changing practices of journalists along with the core skills that transcend media technologies.

Films of the decade with Davis Rivera — WOAE084

Films of the decade with Davis Rivera — WOAE084

Film scholar Davis Rivera shares his favourite films of the 2010s including narrative films, documentaries and a couple of exceptional stand-out series. Davis has kept a record of his personal ratings of films since he was aged 13 and has a database of more than 3000 film ratings. These are his picks of the decade. … Continue reading Films of the decade with Davis Rivera — WOAE084

Vectorology and gene therapy, Dr Leszek Lisowski — WOAE083

Vectorology and gene therapy, Dr Leszek Lisowski — WOAE083

An explanation of vectorology and genome editing and how viral vectors are used in gene therapy. Dr Leszek Lisowski is a molecular biologist who is Group Leader of  Translational Vectorology at the Children's Medical Research Institute and Manager of its Vector and Genome Engineering Facility. 

The Avengers and Marvel Cinematic Universe with Jeremy Ray from Fandom — WOAE080

The Avengers and Marvel Cinematic Universe with Jeremy Ray from Fandom — WOAE080

A guide to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Jeremy Ray, Managing Editor for FANDOM. If you’re interested in The Avengers but the thought of catching up with 23 movies is stopping you from investing any time in the series this conversation should help you get on board. You'll find an introduction to some of the Avengers characters and a snapshot of the story arcs across the three phases of Marvel movies.

Introduction to Chemistry, Dr Adrian George — WOAE079

Introduction to Chemistry, Dr Adrian George — WOAE079

A conversation about chemistry with no assumed knowledge. Chemist Dr Adrian George explains some of the history of chemistry as a discipline and gives an introduction to  foundational concepts along with examples of how the knowledge of Chemistry is applied and used in our every day lives.

Theresa May’s resignation and the problems of Brexit — WOAE078

Theresa May’s resignation and the problems of Brexit — WOAE078

The resignation of Theresa May as leader of the Conservative Party and the end of her Prime Ministership is a moment to revisit some of my conversation with former Number 10 advisor Nick Rowley about the problems of Brexit and the challenges faced by government leaders in the UK along with some additional thoughts about this development.

Fashion label founder, Marianna Papas — WOAE077

Fashion label founder, Marianna Papas — WOAE077

Marianna Papas is the creator of women's fashion label LuLu Manna and founder of LuLu Manna Boutique. Marianna shares insights from her years of experience within the fashion retail and textile industries including the challenges and rewards of starting her own business. I was also interested to hear Marianna's views on personal styling and to reminisce a little about fashion trends of the 1990s (some of which are coming back in style again). 

More on conception and breastfeeding 

More on conception and breastfeeding 

As a follow to the previous episode about having a baby and discussions of conception and breastfeeding is this special including excerpts from conversations with previous guests with related specialist views.

Reproductive geneticist Nada Kubikova speaks about declining fertility, miscarriages, and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis which can be used during IVF to identify embryos affected by genetic defects (recorded Feb 2017). At the time of recording Nada was a doctoral researcher within the Institute of Reproductive Sciences at the University of Oxford.

Dr Julie Smith is an Associate Professor at the Research School of Population Health at ANU who has been an expert advisor to the World Health Organisation. Julie speaks about some of the evolutionary health benefits of breastfeeding and public policy contexts and impacts of the hospitalisation of births and emergence of milk formula (recorded Sept 2017).

‘Baking A Baby’ author, Emma Bellamy — WOAE076

‘Baking A Baby’ author, Emma Bellamy — WOAE076

'Baking A Baby' author Emma Bellamy explains her philosophy of conscious co-creation in preparing to have a baby and shares practical advice based on personal experiences. The first half of the conversation canvasses processes of transformation and preparation which can be done pre-conception, and the second half of the conversation turns to conception, birth and breastfeeding.

Palaeobiologist Glenn Brock — WOAE074

Palaeobiologist Glenn Brock — WOAE074

Associate Professor Glenn Anthony Brock explains deep time and the emergence and evolution of bilaterian animals that arose during the Cambrian Explosion. He also shares his experiences of field and lab work and insights about his discipline and academic life. Glenn is a researcher and lecturer with the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University.

Professional tennis, Jaslyn Hewitt-Shehadie — WOAE073

Professional tennis, Jaslyn Hewitt-Shehadie — WOAE073

Insights about professional tennis from player development to life on the circuit and coaching and management approaches as well as some of the basics of what are the grand slam tournaments and court surfaces. Jaslyn Hewitt-Shehadie from Tennis Australia is National Academy Manager, Talent Development Manager and Wellbeing Ambassador for New South Wales and a former professional player who shares her expertise and personal experiences.

Benefits of pill testing and other drug testing

Benefits of pill testing and other drug testing

In New South Wales there have been renewed calls for pill testing at music festivals. In this short excerpt from our 2016 conversation August De Loor of Stichting Adviesburo Drugs in Amsterdam speaks about his successful campaigns testing the quality of ecstasy pills at parties and other substances at his drug testing houses where people have been able to visit without fear of police intervention. August has been a leading advisor on Amsterdam’s drug policies for 50 years.

Media, comedy and political satire with Dan Ilic – WOAE071

Media, comedy and political satire with Dan Ilic – WOAE071

Dan Ilic shares stories and insights from his career in media and work at the intersections of comedy and journalism including creating sketch comedy and political satire. Dan has been a presenter on numerous network television and public radio programs and most recently held senior roles as Executive Producer of 'Tonightly' on ABC television and as Executive Producer of Satire at Fusion Media.

The culture of English obscenity law, Professor Chris Hilliard – WOAE070

The culture of English obscenity law, Professor Chris Hilliard – WOAE070

English obscenity law from the Victorian period in the mid-nineteenth century was unevenly applied to literature available to working class audiences. Hierarchical thinking and elitism in the application of the law was enduring and is evident as late as 1960 during the Lady Chatterley's Lover trial. This is an idea explored in a forthcoming book by Professor Chris Hilliard from the University of Sydney. Chris is researching censorship and cultural change in Britain from the Victorian period to the 1970s. 

Indonesian diplomat Bapak Hermanus Dimara – WOAE069

Indonesian diplomat Bapak Hermanus Dimara – WOAE069

A conversation about diplomacy and Indonesia including the Australia-Indonesia relationship. Bapak Hermanus Dimara is Consul for Information, Social and Culture at the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia for New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia based in Sydney. Bapak Hermanus Dimara adalah Konsul Fungsi Penerangan, Sosial dan Budaya, Konsulat Jenderal Republik Indonesia untuk New … Continue reading Indonesian diplomat Bapak Hermanus Dimara – WOAE069

Films for the Halloween season with Davis Rivera – WOAE068

Films for the Halloween season with Davis Rivera – WOAE068

Dread, surrealism, trash and a good dose of slasher movies—a discussion of films appropriate for the Halloween season. Davis Rivera is a programmer for the Austin Film Society and a cinephile with an MSt in Film Aesthetics from the University of Oxford.

US midterm elections, Alexandra Carlton – WOAE067

US midterm elections, Alexandra Carlton – WOAE067

A general explanation of the US midterm elections with no assumed knowledge followed by an analysis of what the 2018 results might mean for the major parties and the future of US politics. The imminent Supreme Court appointment is discussed as is the potential for influential gerrymandering with upcoming redistricting. Alex Carlton is a journalist and social … Continue reading US midterm elections, Alexandra Carlton – WOAE067

Public relations, Nicole Reaney – WOAE066

Public relations, Nicole Reaney – WOAE066

Insights about public relations techniques with Nicole Reaney who is founder and director of InsideOut PR and #AsSeenOn. Topics include tips for agency pitches to potential clients and to traditional media journalists and more recent developments in brand marketing via social influencers. Nicole also shares her story of entering the industry and starting and growing her business.

Criminal historian Nerida Campbell – WOAE063

Criminal historian Nerida Campbell – WOAE063

Nerida Campbell is an historian with an interest in criminal and deviant history including the treatment of women in criminal histories. Nerida is curator of the Sydney portfolio for Sydney Living Museums where her current Underworld exhibition includes images from the the 'Specials' collection of the NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive: a series of unique and candid mug shots of suspects in custody taken between 1920 and 1930. 

Aboriginal education, Dr Lynette Riley – WOAE062

Aboriginal education, Dr Lynette Riley – WOAE062

Dr Lynette Riley is a Wiradjuri and Gamilaroi woman from Dubbo and Moree with a long career as an educator. Lyn is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Sydney School of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney. Her doctoral research looked at conditions of academic success for Aboriginal students. Lyn has experience as a teacher and in Aboriginal education and administration within primary schools, high schools, TAFE, state offices and universities. Lyn is also a member of the National NAIDOC Committee. 

Architectural history, Professor Deborah Ascher Barnstone – WOAE060

Architectural history, Professor Deborah Ascher Barnstone – WOAE060

A conversation about the study of architectural history as an interdisciplinary pursuit combining art history, intellectual history and visual culture. Deborah Ascher Barnstone is a professor of architectural history and architectural design at UTS and a licensed architect and principal with Ascher Barnstone Architects. Deborah's latest book is titled, The Break with the Past: Avant-Garde Architecture in Germany, 1910 – 1925  

Citizen science and ecology, Dr John Martin – WOAE058

Citizen science and ecology, Dr John Martin – WOAE058

Ecologist Dr John Martin from the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney discusses some of the history and benefits of citizen science which involves public participation in research projects. John also shares advice for individuals interested in studying ecology and thoughts on intervention research methods such as trapping animals for study and tracking.

Political history and Malaysia, Dr Ooi Kee Beng – WOAE057

Political history and Malaysia, Dr Ooi Kee Beng – WOAE057

Dr Ooi Kee Beng is Executive Director of the Penang Institute which is a major public policy think tank in Malaysia. Dr Ooi explains some of the political history of Malaysia in relation to global history and international order and by critically analysing concepts of colonialism, nationalism and regionalism. Dr Ooi is an accomplished academic and author and his public commentary can be found at Wikibeng.com

Cannabinoid science, Professor Iain McGregor – WOAE055

Cannabinoid science, Professor Iain McGregor – WOAE055

More about developments in cannabinoid science as a follow on from a previous discussion about medical cannabis. Professor Iain McGregor is Academic Director of the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics which is part of the Brain and Mind Centre at the University of Sydney. As well as explaining the human endocannabinoid system and the potential medicinal uses of various components of cannabis plants, Iain comments on the current regulatory approach to medical cannabis in Australia.

Broken Hill, Andrea Roberts and Bonnie Fitzpatrick – WOAE054

Broken Hill, Andrea Roberts and Bonnie Fitzpatrick – WOAE054

Broken Hill is a mining town in outback Australia. The red dusty landscape of its surrounding regions has been a backdrop for numerous films including Mad Max 2 and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. It is the only heritage listed city in Australia and a place with a thriving arts scene. Locals Andrea Roberts and Bonnie Fitzpatrick share their knowledge of Broken Hill's history and culture and memories of growing up there.

Medical cannabis, Professor Nick Lintzeris – WOAE052

Medical cannabis, Professor Nick Lintzeris – WOAE052

A discussion of medical cannabis and the regulatory frameworks and market forces which impact its availability in Australia and elsewhere. Nick Lintzeris is a director of drug and alcohol services in Sydney, a conjoint professor with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Sydney, and a chief investigator for the newly established Australian Centre for Cannabinoid and Clinical Research Excellence.

Crate digging for music with Banga – WOAE051

Crate digging for music with Banga – WOAE051

Danny Chifley a.k.a. Banga is a familiar voice on Sydney radio station 2SER where he hosts Friday Drive and co-hosts the hip hop program Hardcore Classic. He is a funk, soul and hip hop music aficionado who has recorded and performed as part of the groups Chaos Maths and Dirtbox Kings. Banga has an impressive vinyl record collection and here he shares five albums to look out for when crate digging in Australia. 

Nonagenarian Dr Lis Kirkby – former actress, broadcaster, parliamentarian, and doctoral researcher – WOAE050  

Nonagenarian Dr Lis Kirkby – former actress, broadcaster, parliamentarian, and doctoral researcher – WOAE050  

Dr Elisabeth Kirkby shares insights from her lifetime of vocational pursuits. Lis was a theatre actress in Britain, a radio broadcaster in Singapore and Malaya, and a star of the Australian television soapie 'Number 96' before becoming a parliamentarian and state leader for the Australian Democrats political party. At the age of 93, Lis graduated with a doctorate from the University of Sydney.

Outdoor search and rescuer Dr Marilynn Davis – WOAE049

Outdoor search and rescuer Dr Marilynn Davis – WOAE049

Dr Marilynn Davis is a professional educator of outdoor leaders in first response strategies for mountaineering accidents and other pre-hospital care. Marilynn has volunteered with Teton County Search and Rescue in Wyoming and she featured on the television program Backcountry Rescue on the Outdoor Channel.

Banjo and old-time music, Joe Glover – WOAE048

Banjo and old-time music, Joe Glover – WOAE048

Old-time is a genre of American folk music which developed in the Appalachian Mountains region from a fusion of British/Irish folk and West African musical traditions.  Joe Glover is banjo player for the band Shelley's Murder Boys and he explains the roots of old-time music along with sharing techniques for playing the banjo and banjo making. Joe also plays harmonica for the blues band Backsliders.

Egyptology and Archaeology, Professor Naguib Kanawati – WOAE047

Egyptology and Archaeology, Professor Naguib Kanawati – WOAE047

Professor Naguib Kanawati is Director of the Australian Centre for Egyptology. He explains his fascination with the Old Kingdom and why he considers that researchers should have hands-on experience of archaeological digs. Professor Kanawati has an inspirational personal story of pursuing what he loves doing. 

Video Games and gaming, Jeremy Ray a.k.a. Junglist – WOAE046

Video Games and gaming, Jeremy Ray a.k.a. Junglist – WOAE046

A discussion of gaming and the video game industry with Jeremy Ray a.k.a. Junglist. Jeremy is best known as a video game critic and a journalist with interests in game and industry development. Among his accomplishments, Jeremy co-created Good Game on ABC television and 5 inch Floppy for GameArena and he recently became Managing Editor of FANDOM in Australia.

Astronomer Benjamin Pope – WOAE045

Astronomer Benjamin Pope – WOAE045

Often the first question people ask astronomer Ben Pope is whether Pluto should be a planet. Ben shares his thoughts on this and how it relates to different approaches to astronomy. He also explains his own research of astronomical imaging. Ben has a DPhil in Astrophysics from the University of Oxford and is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Sydney. He's been awarded a NASA Carl Sagan Fellowship to pursue research at NYU.

Economics of breast milk, Dr Julie Smith, ANU – WOAE044

Economics of breast milk, Dr Julie Smith, ANU – WOAE044

A discussion of human milk sharing and emerging markets in breast milk with Dr Julie Smith from the Australian National University. Julie was formerly a senior economist for Australian and New Zealand governments, an advisor to the World Health Organisation, and a breastfeeding councillor and board member of the Australian Breastfeeding Association. 

September 11 terror attacks

September 11 terror attacks

There are not many people who can say they were working in counter-terrorism during the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States. Nick O'Brien, who worked for Scotland Yard for thirty years, was on duty in charge of international intelligence and operations in Special Branch and he recalls the gravity of that moment. 

You can access the full conversation with Nick O'Brien about counter-terrorism here.

Counter Terrorism, Associate Professor Nick O’Brien, CSU – WOAE043

Counter Terrorism, Associate Professor Nick O’Brien, CSU – WOAE043

Nick O’Brien is Associate Professor of Counter Terrorism and Head of the Australian Graduate School of Policing & Security at Charles Sturt University. Nick worked for Scotland Yard for thirty years and on the day of the 9/11 terror attacks, he was in charge of international intelligence and operations in Special Branch. We discuss issues related to terrorism including the impacts of community relations and possible future implications of climate change on migration and security.

Science communication, Dr Will J Grant, ANU – WOAE042

Science communication, Dr Will J Grant, ANU – WOAE042

Insights about the purpose of science communication and tips for practitioners in a discussion with Dr Will Grant from the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS) at the Australian National University.  Will is a researcher, lecturer and convenor of graduate studies and workshops at CPAS. He also co-hosts an entertaining podcast, The Wholesome Show, in conversation with scientists.

Literature and art, Sarah Houillon, Oxford – WOAE041

Literature and art, Sarah Houillon, Oxford – WOAE041

From Ovid's Metamorphoses to the poetry of Charles Bukowski, the textual nuances of Flaubert's Madame Bovary, and the genre-bending of Jamaica Kincaid's The Autobiography of My Mother, Sarah Houillon shares insights from her broad interest in literature and her own artistic inclinations. Sarah has been a fellow of New College, Oxford where she taught French literature and language and a member of Pembroke College, Oxford as a graduate of English literature. 

Identity and languages, Lily Begg, Oxford – WOAE040

Identity and languages, Lily Begg, Oxford – WOAE040

A conversation about identity and languages with Lily Begg from Pembroke College, Oxford. We met when Lily was editor-in-chief of The ISIS magazine in Oxford where she’s studying French and Italian. Lily shares personal insights from her experiences living in Belgium and England and on exchange in Italy and from her roles as a language translator, magazine editor, and theatre director.

Global and Imperial History, Olivia Durand, Oxford – WOAE039

Global and Imperial History, Olivia Durand, Oxford – WOAE039

Olivia Durand is an Oxford scholar researching neo-Frenchness in the cities of New Orleans and Odessa. Olivia has lived in the United States as a Fulbright scholar and in the Ukraine working for the French Foreign Office. A doctoral researcher with the Department of Global and Imperial History at Oxford University, Olivia is also vice-president and treasurer of the MCR at Pembroke College.

Clinical neuroscience and migraines, Dinant Riks, Oxford – WOAE038

Clinical neuroscience and migraines, Dinant Riks, Oxford – WOAE038

Dinant Riks is a doctoral researcher of chronic migraines with the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at Oxford University where he's a member of Pembroke College. Dinant is using MRI technology to explore changes in the structure and function of the brain in the treatment of chronic migraines. We also discuss issues related to pain medication and Dinant shares insights from his previous studies of pharmacology and psychology.

Theologist Timothy Farrant, Oxford – WOAE037

Theologist Timothy Farrant, Oxford – WOAE037

As a school leaver Timothy Farrant took up a trade in amenity horticulture and worked as a greenkeeper on golf courses and as a farm labourer. It was whilst on his Morman mission that Tim was encouraged to apply to university and went on to study Medieval History. Tim is currently a Clarendon Scholar of Theology at Pembroke College, Oxford where he's researching Augustinian influences on zoology in the Middle Ages.

International Relations, Lindsey Cohick, Oxford – WOAE036

International Relations, Lindsey Cohick, Oxford – WOAE036

Lindsey Cohick is a Clarendon Scholar with the Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford University and a member of Pembroke College. Her current research focuses on pirates as non-state actors in the 'Golden Age of Piracy', around 1650-1730. We discuss her previous research of Japanese history particularly the construction of the Samurai ethos of 'death before dishonour'. Lindsey is also a creative writer and a comics enthusiast.

Kira Huju, International Relations, Oxford – WOAE035

Kira Huju, International Relations, Oxford – WOAE035

Kira Huju is an Oxford scholar in the Department of Politics and International Relations. Her interests in feminism and decentering International Relations have informed Kira's research of Indian politics and foreign policy. Kira also shares personal insights about honing her approach to issues of social and global justice and her response to criticisms of political correctness.

Lucinda Cadzow, International Relations, Oxford – WOAE034

Lucinda Cadzow, International Relations, Oxford – WOAE034

Lucinda Cadzow is a Clarendon Scholar in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford University. Lucinda has written about soft balancing and is currently researching the global governance of tax. Hailing from the Yarra Valley in Australia, Lucinda shares her story of exploring other vocations before discovering an interest and aptitude for political theory, political economy and international relations. We also discuss our mutual appreciation of soul and disco music.

Trump’s first 100 days, Gabriel A. Delaney – WOAE033

Trump’s first 100 days, Gabriel A. Delaney – WOAE033

An analysis of the policy implementation of Donald Trump’s campaign promises in his first 100 days as President of the United States of America. Hailing from New York, Gabriel Delaney studies Politics at Oxford University and has experience as a presidential election field organiser in Pennsylvania for the 2012 Obama campaign. As well as critiquing Trump’s presidency, Gabriel is very good explaining some of the mechanics of the U.S. political system.

Religion and film, Dr Chris Deacy, Kent – WOAE032

Religion and film, Dr Chris Deacy, Kent – WOAE032

Theologian Dr Chris Deacy from the University of Kent in Canterbury specialises in analysing the intersections of religion and secular films. Chris explains his approach with reference to popular films including Groundhog Day and Fight Club. We also discuss some philosophical questions about religion and Chris shares stories from his formative years and his discovery of film and theological studies.

Evolutionary psychology, Professor Robin Dunbar, Oxford – WOAE031

Evolutionary psychology, Professor Robin Dunbar, Oxford – WOAE031

Robin Dunbar is a world renowned professor of evolutionary biology. He explains his famous theory of social group sizes, known as Dunbar's number, which suggests there is a limited number of relationships which humans (and other primates) can maintain. We also discuss some of his other findings related to social bonding and the release of endorphins activated by certain interactions such as touch, laughing, singing, and dancing together. Professor Dunbar is with the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford and he is a Fellow of Magdalen College.

Tech public policy, Ryan James Terribilini, Oxford – WOAE029

Tech public policy, Ryan James Terribilini, Oxford – WOAE029

Ryan Terribilini comes from technology and public policy roles at Google and Ripple to study Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University. We discuss some of the emerging issues related to internet privacy and surveillance in a world in which we increasingly interact online and in which global finance operates using new technologies. Ryan also explains android ecosystems, bitcoin and distributed ledger technology.

The Beatles, Chris Bayne – WOAE028

The Beatles, Chris Bayne – WOAE028

Geeking out over the career and music of The Beatles with Chris Bayne from the Oxford Beatles. We discuss The Beatles story from their early years and chronologically through each of their studio albums 1963-1970. Chris also shares details about a theatrical production the Oxford Beatles are developing for the 50th anniversary of the Sgt. Peppers album this year.

And the winner is… The Jungle Book

And the winner is… The Jungle Book

An explanation of why The Jungle Book was recognised for best visual effects at the Academy Awards. Below is an excerpt of my pre-Oscars conversation with James Whitlam from Framestore. James explains the visual effects techniques used in the film based on the five categories it won at the Visual Effects Society Awards beginning with Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature.

Film visual effects, James Whitlam – WOAE027

Film visual effects, James Whitlam – WOAE027

Learn about the films nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects this year. You'll hear industry and technical knowledge from James Whitlam who is executive producer of film at Framestore in London where he's currently in final delivery on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Previously James worked with Iloura as a producer on Deepwater Horizon, which is one of the nominees this year, and with Rising Sun Pictures on five of the Harry Potter movies, Wolverine, Superman and other major Hollywood films. James shares insights from his 25 year career in visual effects.

Epidemiology, Andrew Linden, Oxford – WOAE026

Epidemiology, Andrew Linden, Oxford – WOAE026

Andrew Linden is a doctoral researcher of population health at Oxford University specialising in epidemiology. Andrew uses data from the UK and China biobanks to investigate how adult height is related to chronic diseases. A Clarendon Scholar and a member of Brasenose College, Andrew is also a Fellow of the Actuarial Society of South Africa and he was an actuarial consultant in London before moving to Oxford.

Dating and relationships, Lotta Haegg – WOAE025

Dating and relationships, Lotta Haegg – WOAE025

Lotta Haegg met her husband through an online dating site after taking a proactive approach to finding a partner. She's now happily married. I'm happily single and together we discuss our experiences of attraction, dating, relationships and break-ups. Topics include online dating profiles, first dates and who pays, falling in love, living together, resolving conflict, and the benefits of married life and single life.

Reproductive genetics, Nada Kubikova, Oxford – WOAE024

Reproductive genetics, Nada Kubikova, Oxford – WOAE024

Nada Kubikova is a reproductive geneticist doing clinical work and doctoral research in a leading Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) lab in Oxford. PGD can be used during IVF to identify embryos affected by genetic disorders or abnormalities. Nada discusses innovations and ethical issues in her field. She also explains why infertility occurs in women. Nada is a Clarendon Scholar at Oxford University and a member of Brasenose College.

Shangshu Chinese texts, Corina Smith, Oxford – WOAE023

Shangshu Chinese texts, Corina Smith, Oxford – WOAE023

Corina Smith is a doctoral researcher studying the ancient Chinese texts, the Shangshu. She shares stories of learning Mandarin and living in Beijing and the benefits of these new and difficult experiences. We also touch on music as Corina grew up listening to prog rock and appreciates the history of its emergence in Britain in the 1970s. Corina is a Clarendon Scholar with the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford University and a member of Pembroke College.

WOAE Mailbox #2 (and reclaiming ‘My Way’ from Trump)

WOAE Mailbox #2 (and reclaiming ‘My Way’ from Trump)

Inspired by U2 stealing back the song 'Helter Skelter', here is a reclaiming of 'My Way' after the Trumps used it for their first dance as president and first lady at an inauguration ball. Also your messages and comments about previous episodes. As well as US politics, other topics are Amsterdam's soft drug policy, sexism experienced by women in science, and thoughts on whether human connections will be possible with virtual reality technology.

Trump inauguration – WOAE022

Trump inauguration – WOAE022

A discussion of Trump's inauguration ceremony, a breakdown of his speech, and thoughts on what we might expect from his first days as president in US foreign and domestic policy. Oxford scholar Mitchell Robertson brings insights about American history and politics to this analysis. Mitchell is a doctoral candidate associated with the Rothermere American Institute and he has a Master of Studies in United States History from Oxford University.

Windex Pete, New Orleans – WOAE021

Windex Pete, New Orleans – WOAE021

Windex Pete is a New Orleans local who plays a washboard percussion instrument. We met in the Tremé neighbourhood on the street where he appears in the Cee Lo Green video for 'Music to My Soul'. Pete tells stories about some of the many famous people he's met including the Jacksons and Mick Jagger. He explains zydeco music and plays other songs including the soundtrack to his first slow-drag dance with a girl. We also share personal experiences of quitting smoking and the deaths of our fathers.

Physicist Alice Schwarze, Oxford – WOAE020

Physicist Alice Schwarze, Oxford – WOAE020

Alice Schwarze is a physicist with the Mathematical Institute at Oxford University and a member of Pembroke College. Alice is a Clarendon Scholar specialising in systems approaches to biomedical science. She currently works on modelling protein-interaction networks for pharmaceutical applications. Alice got interested in physics as a young teen attending Mensa summer camps. We discuss her career development including what it's like working in a male-dominated field. Alice shares advice for young women thinking of becoming scientists.

Drugs policy Amsterdam, August de Loor – WOAE019

Drugs policy Amsterdam, August de Loor – WOAE019

August de Loor has been at the forefront of advising on Amsterdam's drug policy for 50 years. Here he explains the social benefits of separating soft and hard drugs through the legal communal use of cannabis in the coffeeshop system in Amsterdam. August discusses developments in drug culture and recalls his social work and community initiatives including working closely with heroin users and starting a needle exchange as well as running a drug-testing project for many years. August advocates for a "Third Way" of dealing with drugs which comes from society rather than a top-down policing or white-coat medical approach.

Physicist Jojo Rahamim, Oxford – WOAE018

Physicist Jojo Rahamim, Oxford – WOAE018

Jojo Rahamim is a doctoral researcher in the Department of Physics at Oxford University where he is working on building a quantum computer. Jojo also has experience with particle physics and rocket science and you'll hear about how nanofibers are made and how rocket thrusters work. We discuss nuclear power, ethics in science, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and even time travel. Jojo shares stories of travelling across India in a rickshaw rally, attending the Burning Man festival, and performing in a children's entertainment troupe. He also explains the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah.

Water security Kenya, Johanna Koehler, Oxford – WOAE017

Water security Kenya, Johanna Koehler, Oxford – WOAE017

Johanna Koehler is a doctoral researcher at Oxford University specialising in decentralisation and water security in Kenya. Johanna recently returned from Kenya and she shares what it's like on the ground in local communities as well as her interactions at the governance and policy levels. We also discuss Johanna's earlier field work on the border of South and North Korea which was inspired by her family's experience being separated between East and West Germany. Johanna is a Clarendon Scholar with the School of Geography and the Environment and she works on the Water Programme at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford.

Classicist Dylan James, Oxford – WOAE016

Classicist Dylan James, Oxford – WOAE016

Dylan James is a Clarendon Scholar of Ancient History in the Classics Faculty at Oxford University who specialises in Greek and Roman historiography. We discuss his intellectual development from being fascinated in ancient history and classics as a child to learning Latin and Greek languages as a young man so he could study classical texts for his honours, masters, and now doctoral research. Dylan is somewhat of an all-rounder and we also chat about his other pursuits in music, sport, comedy, and politics.

Trump’s win, Mitchell Robertson – WOAE015

Trump’s win, Mitchell Robertson – WOAE015

Post-election analysis including a breakdown of voter demographics with Mitchell Robertson from Oxford University. Mitchell explains who voted for Donald Trump in terms of sex, age, race, education, and geography and where Hillary Clinton fell short. We also discuss the House and Senate results and the prospects for Trump pursuing his policies. Mitchell is a doctoral candidate associated with the Rothermere American Institute and he has a Master of Studies in United States History from Oxford University.

Trump’s appeal and thoughts on his presidency

Trump’s appeal and thoughts on his presidency

Since Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election I've received several messages from friends asking how this could have happened. Here is a little of my conversation with Gabriel Delaney from before the election in which he gives a good overview of how support for Trump is a push back against political correctness and elite establishment politics in America and a reflection of white nationalism by a portion of the population.

A Republican perspective, Ben Daus-Haberle – WOAE014

A Republican perspective, Ben Daus-Haberle – WOAE014

Ben Daus-Haberle is co-president of the Oxford chapter of Republicans Overseas UK. Ben hails from Massachusetts where he was raised as a Democrat. He worked for John Kerry after high school and campaigned for Obama in 2008 before having an intellectual and ideological conversion to Republicanism whilst studying at Yale University. On the eve of the U.S. presidential election, Ben shares what being Republican means to him as well as his thoughts on Donald Trump and the future of the Republican Party.

US presidential election, Gabriel A. Delaney – WOAE013

US presidential election, Gabriel A. Delaney – WOAE013

US presidential election guide with Gabriel Delaney who was a field organiser for the Obama campaign in 2012. Gabriel is currently a candidate for an MPhil in Politics (Comparative Government) at the University of Oxford with a research interest in political narratives. We discuss the narratives of the Clinton and Trump campaigns and Gabriel explains the electoral map and what is needed by each candidate to win. He also shares insights about strategies in the final days before the election from his experience of campaigning in Pennsylvania.

Paris climate agreement, Professor Myles Allen, Oxford – WOAE012

Paris climate agreement, Professor Myles Allen, Oxford – WOAE012

Oxford climate scientist Professor Myles Allen explains the Paris agreement on the day it comes into force. Professor Allen leads the Climate Research Programme at the Environmental Change Institute in the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford where he also heads the Climate Dynamics Group in the Department of Physics.

Medical overdiagnosis, Jack O’Sullivan, Oxford – WOAE011

Medical overdiagnosis, Jack O’Sullivan, Oxford – WOAE011

Jack O'Sullivan is a medical doctor who researches overdiagnosis. He explains concerns about unnecessary tests detecting cancers which might never develop into serious health problems for individuals in their lifetimes. We also discuss the invention of medical conditions for commercial pharmaceutical purposes, among other topics. Jack is a Clarendon Scholar with the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University.

Archaeological science, Jaime Swift, Oxford – WOAE010

Archaeological science, Jaime Swift, Oxford – WOAE010

Jaime Swift is a biological and forensic anthropologist and archaeologist. She is a Clarendon Scholar at Oxford University and a doctoral candidate in Archaeological Science. Jaime studied criminology and was a federal agent with the Australian Federal Police. She also previously spent a year on the professional tennis circuit. We discuss Jaime's career as well as her impressive archaeological research findings.

Bisexuality, gender, race, Carolyn Davis, Austin – WOAE009

Bisexuality, gender, race, Carolyn Davis, Austin – WOAE009

Carolyn Davis is co-host of the podcast Snatched! and a PhD student at the University of Texas. One of the few black people in her grad program, Carolyn discusses diversity issues in Austin as well national racial injustices with policing and the prison system. Carolyn shares personal insights as a queer bisexual woman. We also discuss her research of 18th century transatlantic literature and the class she teaches about fandom.

Gender identity, Jess O’Rear, Austin – WOAE008

Gender identity, Jess O’Rear, Austin – WOAE008

Jess O’Rear is a PhD student at the University of Texas in Austin. This week is dedicated to an explanation of gender identity terminologies and concepts which Jess explains both from an academic perspective and from his personal experience transitioning from being assigned female at birth to identifying as a genderqueer transgender man.

Elvis tribute, Radford Ellis, Memphis – WOAE007

Elvis tribute, Radford Ellis, Memphis – WOAE007

Radford Ellis is a Memphis singer known for his Elvis tribute on Beale Street. Radford knew Elvis for many years from care-taking at Graceland, initially cutting the yard. He was a confidant to Elvis, sometimes sitting on the roof together talking all night. Radford was also a body-double decoy for Elvis after concerts a few times. A musician in his own right, Radford was so often compared with Elvis that he was compelled to perform his songs. Music in this episode is used courtesy of Radford Ellis.

Stax soul music, Tim Sampson, Memphis – WOAE006

Stax soul music, Tim Sampson, Memphis – WOAE006

Tim Sampson is communications director for the Soulsville Foundation which runs the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the Stax Music Academy, and the Soulsville Charter School in Memphis. We discuss the history of Stax Records including artists Booker T. Jones, Otis Redding, Jean Knight, the Staple Singers, and Isaac Hayes as well as the establishment and operation of Soulsville which Tim has been involved with since day one.

Independent musician Miss Joyce, Memphis – WOAE005

Independent musician Miss Joyce, Memphis – WOAE005

Miss Joyce is a Memphis soul/R&B singer with an inspirational story. Joyce Howard-Hemans was a preacher’s kid who found a secular spirituality and left home at fourteen to carve out her own place in the world. She’s faced hardships including a period of homelessness and losing multiple friends to gang violence and she’s channelled her experiences into her music and songwriting.

Country music, Professor Don Cusic, Nashville – WOAE004

Country music, Professor Don Cusic, Nashville – WOAE004

Don Cusic is Curb Professor of Music Industry History at Belmont University in Nashville. He's been in the music business for 45 years as a journalist, record producer, artist manager and songwriter. Don explains the development of the Nashville Sound and discusses country stars Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Roger Miller, Dolly Parton, Keith Urban and others and what it was like working with Roy Orbison at Monument Records.