In this seminar-style podcast, evolutionary psychologist Professor Robin Dunbar answers your questions about Dunbar's Number and his research on social bonding, friends, and religion. You can find the time markers for each question within the episode page at wideopenairexchange.com
Professor Paulo Ferreira is a physiotherapist with a PhD in management of low back pain and a researcher in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney. This conversation includes insights from research on psychological interventions for lower back pain and draws on evidence of the importance of good sleep, exercise and functional movement, and maintaining social connections if you’re someone who’s managing lower back pain. NB. 150min exercise referred to in this conversation is per week.
An introduction to forensic taphonomy and the research of the Australian Facility for Taphonomic Experimental Research (AFTER). Forensic taphonomy is the study of human remains from the time of death to the time of discovery, and AFTER is a facility researching what happens after death with the help of donors who have given their bodies for scientific research.
A transcript of a conversation with Robin Dunbar, Emeritus Professor of Evolutionary Psychology, about the research he's led on social group size and social bonding and the limit to the number of meaningful relationships humans can maintain (often referred to as "Dunbar's Number"). This is part of a call out to read Robin Dunbar's recent books ahead of a future seminar podcast discussion about his latest research, building on the foundational ideas explained in the transcript.
A conversation about cannabinoid science and developments in medical cannabis research with Cilla Zhou from the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics.
An introduction to Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning with Professor Massimo Piccardi including a discussion of some of the applications of NLP and how machine learning relates to artificial intelligence. Professor Piccardi is Head of Discipline, SEDE Signal Processing and Analytics at UTS and leader for the Big Data Analytics program of the Global Big Data Technologies Centre.
Learning about the Moon in the week of the full moon before Easter. Science and maths educator Selwyn Holland is our guest fielding questions about the origins of the moon, how it effects the tides, and what explains the changing visibility of the moon from Earth.
Matthew Connell's early interests in science and culture led to a 30+ year career as a museum curator specialising in computing and mathematics. We hear about Matthew's early influences, his thoughts on the relevance of museums and material culture, and his concerns about the trappings of technology.
Plant physiologist Associate Professor Oula Ghannoum is working on solutions to problems of climate change and food security. Her research aims at discovering ways of enhancing photosynthesis and optimising protected cropping. As well as explaining her research interests, Oula shares personal and vocational experiences such as migrating to Australia from war-torn Lebanon and how being vision-impaired informed some aspects of her career choices.
Dr Kumudika (Kumi) de Silva is a senior immunologist developing vaccines for livestock and advocating for cultural diversity in higher education leadership.
Sarah Caddy is an astronomer and astrophysicist working on the Huntsman Telescope. Includes foundational knowledge about the universe, ideas about life on other planets, and the potential for space tourism to change humanity for the better.
In the lead up to the Glasgow Climate Conference and the Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement, this interview with climate science scholar Professor Myles Allen is a reminder of key developments in the UNFCCC, from Rio to Paris, and provides some context for current climate politics.
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. The audio of this episode has been archived
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.