Guardian Science Weekly

Science Weekly

Alok Jha and the Guardian's science team bring you the best analysis and interviews from the worlds of science and technology.
Weekly English United Kingdom Science · Nature
610 Episodes
1 – 20

The debilitating impact of tinnitus, and how a new app could help

It’s thought that about 15% of us are affected by tinnitus, and despite its potentially debilitating impact on mental health and quality of life, there isn’t any cure for the condition. Madeleine Finlay speaks to John, who has used CBT techniques to learn to live well with his tinnitus, and…
28 Feb 19 min

How green are electric cars?

Electric cars might seem like a no-brainer on a warming planet, but there are plenty of people who remain sceptical about everything from their battery life to their carbon impact and the environmental and human rights costs of their parts. Madeleine Finlay consults Auke Hoekstra, known as the internet’s ‘EV…
26 Feb 16 min

Nitazenes and xylazine: what’s behind the rise of dangerous synthetic drugs?

Social affairs correspondent Robert Booth tells Madeleine Finlay why a class of synthetic opioids called nitazenes, first developed in the 1950s, is leading to a worrying number of fatal overdoses in the UK. And she hears from toxicology and addiction specialist Dr Joseph D’Orazio about a tranquilliser called xylazine that…
19 Feb 16 min

What apes can tell us about the origins of teasing

We all know people who find it hilarious to prod and poke, pinch and tickle, all in the name of fun. But are humans the only ones who like to tease each other? Or are other animals in on the act? Ian Sample talks to Prof Erica Cartmill about her…
14 Feb 15 min

Retinol, acids and serums: why are children obsessed with anti-ageing products?

Last month the British Association of Dermatologists warned that children as young as eight years old were using potentially damaging anti-ageing skin care products. Madeleine Finlay speaks to consultant dermatologist Dr Emma Wedgeworth about where this trend has come from, what damage these products might be causing to young skin…
12 Feb 15 min

Why are we still waiting for a male contraceptive pill?

Despite research into a male contraceptive pill starting around the same time as its female counterpart, no product has ever made it to market. But that could soon change, with a new non-hormonal male pill entering human trials in the UK late last year. Ian Sample speaks to bioethicist Prof…
7 Feb 17 min

What happens now bird flu has reached the Antarctic?

The moment scientists had been dreading arrived late last year, when H5N1, or bird flu, was found for the first time in the Antarctic. Last week a king penguin on the island of South Georgia became the first in the region to be suspected to have died from the disease…
5 Feb 13 min

A fasting prime minister and a mind-reading billionaire: the week in science

Ian Sample and science correspondent Hannah Devlin discuss the big science stories of the week – from news that Elon Musk’s Neuralink has implanted its first chip into a human, to research suggesting Alzheimer’s can pass between humans in rare medical accidents, and the revelation that Rishi Sunak begins each…
31 Jan 17 min

Secrets of the microbiome: the skin

The trillions of microbes living on and inside the human body are an important part of who we are, from mediating all of our interactions with the environment to determining our cancer risk and influencing who we fall for. And scientists are only just beginning to decipher the species of…
29 Jan 16 min

Secrets of the microbiome: the vagina

The trillions of microbes living on and inside the human body are an important part of who we are, from mediating all our interactions with the environment to determining our cancer risk and influencing who we fall for. And scientists are only just beginning to decipher the species of bug…
24 Jan 17 min

Secrets of the microbiome: the gut

The trillions of microbes living on and inside the human body are an important part of who we are, from mediating all of our interactions with the environment to determining our cancer risk and influencing who we fall for. And scientists are only just beginning to decipher the species of…
22 Jan 23 min

How to stop doomscrolling and reclaim your brain

If you’ve made a resolution to spend less time on your phone this year, help is at hand. The Guardian has launched a new newsletter, Reclaim your brain. Its co-writer and expert coach Catherine Price tells Madeleine Finlay how her own excessive phone use inspired her to investigate the science…
17 Jan 16 min

Is guilt-free flying on the horizon?

In November, a plane powered by 100% ‘sustainable’ jet fuel took off from London to New York. It was hailed by some as a milestone in reducing the carbon footprint of air travel, which accounts for about 2.5% of global CO2 emissions. Could this be the start of a greener…
15 Jan 18 min

Our science predictions for 2024

Last year was a bumper year for science news, with the rise of weight-loss drugs such as Wegovy, record-high global temperatures, not to mention an attempted orca uprising. So what will this year bring? Ian Sample and science correspondent Hannah Devlin discuss the big stories likely to hit the headlines…
10 Jan 17 min

How to get active (and make it stick)

As parks and gyms fill with people hoping to make 2024 their year of fitness, Ian Sample speaks to Martin Gibala, professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Canada, about how much exercise we should be doing, the benefits of interval training, and how to make a new regime stick…
8 Jan 16 min

Revisited: Weight of the world, the climate scientists who hold out hope

Science Weekly revisits episode three of this 2023 mini-series from Full Story. In the final part of this three-part series, the Australian climate scientists Lesley Hughes, Ove Høegh-Guldberg and Graeme Pearman take stock as they look back on their life’s work. How does it feel for them to carry this…
3 Jan 35 min

Weight of the world revisited: the climate scientists who copped it

Science Weekly revisits episode two of this 2023 mini-series from Full Story. In part two of Weight of the world, three Australian climate scientists reveal the professional and personal toll of their predictions. Lesley Hughes tells us about the axing of Australia’s Climate Commission, a group tasked with educating the…
2 Jan 43 min

Revisited: Weight of the world – the climate scientists who saw the crisis coming

Science Weekly revisits episode one of this 2023 mini-series from Full Story. Pioneering Australian scientists Graeme Pearman, Lesley Hughes and Ove Hoegh-Guldberg saw the climate crisis coming. Pearman predicted the increase of carbon dioxide levels, Hughes foresaw the alarming number of species extinctions and Hoegh-Guldberg forecast the mass coral bleaching…
1 Jan 36 min

Best of 2023, Killing the Skydancer: episode three, An Open Secret

In this special Age of Extinction mini-series from Science Weekly, which first aired in 2023, the Guardian’s biodiversity reporter, Phoebe Weston, explores the illegal killing of birds of prey on grouse moors, and asks why it is so difficult to solve these crimes. In the third and final episode, Phoebe…
27 Dec 2023 29 min
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