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The Life Scientific

Professor Jim Al-Khalili talks to leading scientists about their life and work, finding out what inspires and motivates them and asking what their discoveries might do for us in the future


Last Episode Date: 23 April 2024

Total Episodes: 308

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23 April 2024
Mike Edmunds on decoding galaxies and ancient astronomical artefacts

What is the universe made of? Where does space dust come from? And how exactly might one go about putting on a one-man-show about Sir Isaac Newton? These are all questions that Mike Edmunds, Emeritus Professor of Astrophysics at Cardiff University and President of the Royal...

32 min
16 April 2024
Hannah Critchlow on the connected brain

With 86 billion nerve cells joined together in a network of 100 trillion connections, the human brain is the most complex system in the known universe. Dr. Hannah Critchlow is an internationally acclaimed neuroscientist who has spent her career demystifying and explaining th...

28 min
9 April 2024
Fiona Rayment on the applications of nuclear for net zero and beyond

The reputation of the nuclear industry has had highs and lows during the career of Dr Fiona Rayment, the President of the Nuclear Institute. But nowadays the role of nuclear science and engineering has become more widely accepted in the quest for carbon net zero.Growing up i...

28 min
2 April 2024
Nick Longrich on discovering new dinosaurs from overlooked bones

We are fascinated by dinosaurs. From blockbuster hits to bestselling video games, skeleton exhibitions to cuddly plushies, the creatures that once roamed the planet have fully captured our imagination, giving us a portal to a completely alternative Earth. And it’s likely n...

28 min
27 March 2024
Sheila Willis on using science to help solve crime

Dr Sheila Willis is a forensic scientist who was Director General of Forensic Science Ireland for many years. She has spent her life using science to help solve cases, working on crime scenes and then analysing material in the lab, and presenting scientific evidence in court...

28 min
19 March 2024
Sir Charles Godfray on parasitic wasps and the race to feed nine billion people

Professor Charles Godfray, Director of the the Oxford Martin School tells Jim Al-Kahlili about the intricate world of population dynamics, and how a healthy obsession with parasitic wasps might help us solve some of humanity's biggest problems, from the fight against Malaria...

28 min
12 March 2024
Jonathan Van-Tam on Covid communication and the power of football analogies

Sir Jonathan Van-Tam, or ‘JVT’ as he's arguably better known, first came to widespread public attention in his role as Deputy Chief Medical Officer during the Covid-19 pandemic.But even before that, Jonathan had built an impressive career based on a long-held fascination...

36 min
19 December 2023
Michael Wooldridge on AI and sentient robots

Humans have a long-held fascination with the idea of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a dystopian threat: from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, through to the Terminator movies.But somehow, we still often think of this technology as 'futuristic': whereas in fact, it's already wov...

37 min
12 December 2023
Mercedes Maroto-Valer on making carbon dioxide useful

How do you solve a problem like CO2? As the curtain closes on the world’s most important climate summit, we talk to a scientist who was at COP 28 and is working to solve our carbon dioxide problem. Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer thinks saving the planet is still Mission P...

28 min
5 December 2023
Sir Harry Bhadeshia on the choreography of metals

The Life Scientific zooms in to explore the intricate atomic make-up of metal alloys, with complex crystalline arrangements that can literally make or break structures integral to our everyday lives.Professor Sir Harry Bhadeshia is Professor of Metallurgy at Queen Mary Unive...

28 min
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