THE SCIENCE INSIDE

WITS RADIO ACADEMY  |  Podcast , ±51 min episodes every 1 week, 2 days  |  Broadcast schedule  | 
The Science Inside is a weekly show that goes inside the science of major news events. We take a news story each week - from a missing plane to the world cup - and dissect the science angles involved. We indulge every scientific discipline, from biology to psychology, and incorporate the insights of scientists, journalists and researchers in order to tell interesting radio stories.

The Science Inside is presented by Bridget Lepere.
Production by Bridget Lepere.
Technical production by Kutlwano Gwinch Serame.

The show airs on Voice of Wits every Monday at 7pm.

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28
AUG

THE SCIENCE INSIDE - Honouring Women In Science: Dimakatso Gumede

Tonight we chat with Dimakatso Gumede of the Bioengineering and Integrated Genomics Research Group at Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
She is one of a few specialising in stem Cell reprogramming in SA. She recently submitted her doctoral thesis on a rare genetic skin, lung and muscle disorder, which resulted in the breakthrough for treatment and medicating of various conditions. On Unscience, we learn about what the women of the Pimbwe tribe of Tanzania do when desperate times call for unconventional methods. Lastly, we wrap up the show in conversation with Dimakatso on growing up in Soweto, losing her mother, overcoming her loss and the importance multilingualism plays in communicating science.
28
AUG

THE SCIENCE INSIDE - Honouring Women In Science: Science Communication

In commemorating women’s month, the Science Inside dedicates the entire month to all South African women contributing to the various fields in science and science communication. We start of today’s show with those who once graced the Science Inside with their skills and talent. We get in conversation with Elna Shütz and Lutfiya Suliman who both presented and produced the show before. They share their highlights, challenges in communicating science, milestones in their careers and what they have they been up to since leaving radio broadcasting. On tonight’s unscience, we find out how cosmetic jewellery could double as a contraceptive while adding to the beauty aesthetic.
28
AUG

THE SCIENCE INSIDE - Disruptive tech

In tonight’s show, we hear from software businessman and tech innovator, Luyanda Vappie on how he and his business partner Motsholane Sebola’s innovation is disrupting modern day computing. They have built Prism, the world’s first personal computer that utilises laser for virtual peripheral input and output. On Unscience, we learn about a computer system that sheds some light on how imaging can adversely or positively affect our emotional wellbeing. Lastly, we chat to computer scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Yaseen Moolla about their biometrics systems and how they can be used to identify young children through the combination of technology and biology.
28
AUG

THE SCIENCE INSIDE - Climate change and Disaster Management

Tonight we unpack the African Centre on Philanthropy & social Investment’s dialogue on the prospects of mitigating risks associated with climate change, particularly as it pertains to disaster management and planning strategies in the likely event of a natural disaster striking. On Unscience, we chat about how eating insects rather than meat could save the Earth from further greenhouse gas emissions and save you money. In our final story, we look at how climate change affects various industries and how various approaches are being executed to address these threats.
20
JUL

THE SCIENCE INSIDE - Ugly Side of Beauty-Mica

Tonight’s show looks into a naturally found mineral used to add glimmer in our cosmetics. The mineral is currently mined by about 22 000 minors in India as a means to feed their families, but sadly some do not make it out alive. This week’s Unscience investigates how Bitcoin is causing more carbon dioxide emissions comparable to Vegas or Hamburg. Our final story uncovers an inherent condition where women of African descent are experiencing balding at a much younger age and University of Kwa-Zulu Natal‘s dermatology professor, Ncoza Dlova explains what the treatment of variant PAD13 in Central Centrifugal Alopecia is and what are the other factors driving it .
20
JUL

THE SCIENCE INSIDE - Food Insecurity

Statistics reveal that 90% of South Africa’s food ends up in the landfill and on this show, we find out from the University of Free State’s researcher and diet professor, Louise Van Der Burg about what is driving food insecurity nationally and globally. Later in the show, we hear about a peculiar concept of preserving sperm to make it viable for baby making in space, in this week’s Unscience. Finally, we chat to Co-operative and Policy Alternative’s Centre’s coordinator, Jane Cherry about a vegetable garden set up to feed and supply underprivileged Wits students with fresh produce.
20
JUL

THE SCIENCE INSIDE - Blood

The South African National Blood Services Operations Testing Manager, Charl Coleman talks about how chemical biology researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, will convert blood type A into a universally acceptable type through the use of human gut microbes. On Unscience, we look at a chilling, rare but extremely distressing phenomenon, where patients were found conscious during CPR. Still on the bloody topic, University of the Witwatersrand Pathology and Haematology professor, Johhny Mahlangu unpacks hemochromatosis, a blood condition that is characterised by the oversupply of iron in the blood, which can be caused by ingesting iron supplements or through regular blood transfusions.
19
JUN

THE SCIENCE INSIDE - Big Data

With mounting amounts of data production and consumption worldwide, this week we aim to understand the concept of ‘Big Data’ and what it means for us all. For a better and broader understanding, we speak to Terrence van Zyl from the School of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at Witwatersrand University. In unscience we try to understand poly-dacty-ly, and how people with one or more finger can have more advantages than those considered ‘normal’... in the second story, Phumlani Nhlanganiso Khoza, from the School of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics who is the brainchild of the newly launched Scilinx Research laboratory and the Scilinx Studio tell us more about it’s Big Data research aims.
19
JUN

THE SCIENCE INSIDE- Feature Scientist - Nkululeko Tunzi

Nkululeko Tunzi, born and bred in Soweto, Dube, is our feature scientist this month. The Tshwane University of Technology, school of computer science graduate has been making country-wide headlines recently, after having invented an innovative walking stick that aids blind people to navigate around their spaces with much ease. In the news, UP prepares for the 4th industrial revolution (4IR) as it ‘employs’ a robot to help students in libraries, and Huawei South Africa launches the first and free 5G training for postgraduates at Wits University. In unscience we explore the Jellyfish, and what makes these strange sea creatures so fascinating
11
JUN

THE SCIENCE INSIDE - Genetics App

In our main story, SBIMB students at the Wits University have developed a genetics app that will educate South Africans on how genetics work; we also featured baby Sinazo and his parents to take us through their story. In the news, new research finds that too much of unnecessary antibiotics are being prescribed in SA and University of Pretoria scientists help capture the first image of the black hole. Finally, the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal’s Professor, Ncoza Dlova discovers a major gene linked to the cause of permanent hair loss among women of African descent.
11
JUN

THE SCIENCE INSDIE - Renewable Energy

This week we kick-started the show with a story on how Wits University students have power generating have patented at the PeCo power system, which in future may power up homes with solar power where we may see its effects unburdening the national power grid from the demand. In unscience we find out why the Potassium element can be a liquid and solid all at once. Lastly, we find hear about how Eskom synchronised the Kusile power station and its progress on two other power stations to help alleviate the burden on the national power grid.
11
JUN

THE SCIENCE INSIDE - Featured Scientist – Tebogo Masebe

This month we feature Tebogo Masebe, a Geomorphologist, who has just completed her masters in geography at Rhodes University. She speaks us about being part of an all female contingent that went on a voyage to the Antarctica for research purposes in 2016. In the news, we speak to a Rhodes university chemistry lecturer who has received a grant for nanotechnology research as well as mounting death counts from the devastating Cyclone Idai. In this week’s unscience, we discuss how a group of flat-earthers are planning a trip to Antarctica to find the tip of the earth, in aims to debunk the belief that the world has a round shape. And in the last segment of the show, we get up-close and personal with Tebogo to find out what keeps her going.

61 episodes

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