Ri Science Podcast

Thought provoking lectures from the world's sharpest minds. Science talks from the Royal Institution every month.

01:18:19 2022-07-05
Did you know that zoologists have only found 5 species of mammals that go through the menopause? That's 4 species of toothed whale, plus us humans. The animal kingdom reveals a lot about female evolution and this month, Lucy Cooke explores evolutionary bi...
01:24:42 2022-05-31
If you're a fan of multiverse movies, this episode is for you. The many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics says that an infinite number of universes exist in parallel to eachother, each having branched off in a moment of divergence before followin...
01:26:33 2022-04-30
Our exploration of the Earth’s fluctuating environment is an extraordinary story of human perception and scientific endeavour, which began much earlier than you might think. This month we hear from Alice Bell as she explores climate change science’s e...
01:09:41 2022-03-28
Do you consider yourself a ‘thrill-seeker’? If so, you may have a variation in the DRD4 dopamine receptor gene which makes you less able to process dopamine, a neurotransmitter that's responsible for how we feel pleasure. This month we hear from thril...
00:57:33 2022-02-07
Does love at first sight exist? How does your attachment style influence how you love? This month we hear from lawyer-turned-poet and author, Laura Mucha, and artificial intelligence expert, Kate Devlin, about love and relationships. They share real love ...
01:19:48 2022-01-06
Physicist Harry Cliff explains how the Universe is made, drawing on experimental data from the Large Hadron Collider and labs around the world. We hear how the basic building blocks of matter and four fundamental forces of nature make up The Standard Mode...
01:16:33 2021-12-06
This episode is about forensic anthropology. Please be aware that due to the nature of the topic, this talk includes discussions of violence, child sexual abuse, death by suicide and mass-fatality events, which some listeners may find disturbing. This mo...
01:07:25 2021-11-01
The Hubble Telescope has revolutionised our understanding of the Universe. It has, among many other achievements, revealed thousands of galaxies in what seemed to be empty patches of sky and measured precisely how fast the universe is expanding. In this t...
01:36:34 2021-10-04
How does advertising influence us? This month, we hear from advertiser and behaviour expert Rory Sutherland, as he uses case studies from the world’s biggest brands to show how advertising makes us act against reason. This talk was recorded from our th...
01:22:57 2021-09-06
What makes up a cannabis medicinal product? How do the active ingredients work in our bodies? What conditions can it treat, and how can doctors prescribe it? We’re joined by neurologist and medical cannabis expert Mike Barnes, and ‘End our Pain’ ca...
01:22:40 2021-08-02
In autumn 1933, Albert Einstein found himself living alone in an isolated holiday hut in rural England. There, he toiled peacefully at mathematics while occasionally stepping out to chat with the locals and play his violin. But how had Einstein come to ab...
01:23:13 2021-07-05
This month a panel of psychologists and sociologists discuss why conspiracy theories arise, how they can affect people’s political beliefs, and how we might better communicate with the people who believe in conspiracies. Conspiracy theories have been ar...
00:54:02 2021-06-07
If you see a newspaper headline with a big, bold statistic, how do you know that you can trust it? How often do false positive and false negative test results occur in medical screenings? And how do you safely bet whether or not 2 people in any room will ...
01:17:46 2021-05-03
This month, writer and former laser-physicist Kate Greene sat down for a chat with our Public Programme Producer, Lisa Derry. They talk about Kate’s experience living as second-in-command on NASA’s first simulated Mars mission, ‘HI-SEAS’. Living...
01:22:47 2021-04-06
What is the difference between sleep and rest? What activities to people actually find restful? Why is rest important? Award-winning broadcaster, author and psychology lecturer, Claudia Hammond, joins us to talk about her book 'The Art of Rest'. Drawing ...
01:15:31 2020-03-30
How high can we build? What are the new technologies that might see our skyscrapers go beyond anything we ever imagined? What creativity and drive is needed to push engineering forward? Structural engineer Roma Agrawal delves into the history of the mat...
00:44:11 2020-03-04
Endometriosis is as common as diabetes, yet the disease is poorly understood and not many people have heard about it before. It affects around 10% of women in their reproductive years, and can cause great pain. In this special extra podcast, Ri Digital I...
01:20:52 2020-02-24
How far are we from creating Artificial General Intelligence? Can we build a machine to perform all of the intellectual tasks that a human being can? Reports of the ever-increasing power of AI systems have never been far from the headlines, from AlphaGo ...
01:26:08 2020-01-27
Why do people lie? Why has 'fake news' become such a global phenomenon in modern public discourse? Bringing together the fields of human evolution and current affairs, Richard Byrne and Evan Davis, together with comedian Rachel Wheeley, discuss whether ...
01:28:00 2019-12-30
Why has engineering always been the backbone of civilisation? And why do we enjoy making things? This month, Lord Browne in conversation with Vivienne Parry, explains what engineering is, what it has done for us and how it can deliver a brighter future. R...
01:25:46 2019-11-25
The ribosome is the mother of all molecules without which nothing lives. This month, the Nobel Prize winner Venki Ramakrishnan in conversation with Vivienne Parry, tells the story of the race to uncover the structure of the ribosome - a fundamental disc...
01:23:20 2019-10-28
Stress is our natural reaction to physical or emotional pressure, encompassing everything from too much work to being tortured. But what goes on in our bodies and minds to cause stress? And how does stress affect our memory, mood and thinking? This month...
01:20:31 2019-09-30
We take the advance of science as given - but how does science really work? This month, Jeremy Baumberg sheds light on a cutthroat and tightly tensioned enterprise that even scientists themselves often don’t fully understand. Jeremy Baumberg is a leade...
01:23:59 2019-08-26
What does the future have in store? Medicine, robotics, artificial intelligence, energy production and genetic engineering are all fields that will change our world - but how? This month, Jim Al-Khalili and a panel of experts debate the topic and predict ...
01:31:44 2019-07-29
How was the code of DNA cracked? How did it confirm the theory of evolution? And why did life evolve the way it did? This month, Matthew Cobb and Nick Lane unravel the tangled story of DNA, and why life began in the first place. Nick Lane is an evolution...
01:16:28 2019-06-24
Where should humans inhabit next? The Moon? Mars? Or further beyond? This month, Apollo Astronaut Al Worden and space experts Chris Welch and Stuart Eves will will argue their case for each. Who will win your vote? Al Worden is an American astronaut and ...
01:21:08 2019-05-27
How can you turn failure into success? This month, journalist and table-tennis champion Matthew Syed will explain the science of success using real life stories and practical takeaways. Matthew Syed is a British journalist, broadcaster and author. He ha...
01:18:17 2019-04-29
Frankenstein’s creature is a classic example of a monster in popular culture. But what can fictional beings tell us about the hopes and fears of the society in which they were created? This month, Phil Ball chairs a panel of experts discussing how mons...
01:09:24 2019-03-25
First dates, police interviews, doctor-patient communication and commercial sales – they are all driven by talk. And an understanding of how talk works is crucial for success. This month, Elizabeth Stokoe explains how conversation analysis can produc...
01:23:02 2019-02-26
We intuitively feel that we know what we are talking about when we talk about time, but from the perspective of physics, time is far from straightforward. This month, Carlo Rovelli takes us on a journey through the philosophy, the science and the emotiona...
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