Science for Societal Progress - podcast
In the podcast we talk about topics related to science, humanities, society, and of course progress!
because science is fundamental in the 21st century
This summer climate change has finally made it back into public discussion in Germany. In the last episode on climate change, Rüdiger Eichel and I spoke about Fridays for Future and how the results of the election for the European Parliament reflected the increased awareness for environmental topics in the EU.
In this episode I talk to Tom Brown from the Karlsruhe Insttitute of Technology. He models how we can use different energy distribution systems to balance the fluctuating power production from renewable sources. There are many variables and options to consider. But the good news is that a carbon neutral economy in Germany should be possible.
We focus on Germany, because it’s Europe’s biggest economy. It is highly industrialized, and still very much reliant on fossil fuels for power production. And on top of transitioning away from fossil fuels, Germany is also fading out nuclear power as well. So, if Germany can manage a transition to a carbon neutral economy, every country should be able to achieve this, too. So it is worth keeping your eyes on Germany and the Energiewende.(more…)
The main topic for this episode is Why Academia Fails… or better, what we may learn from the book “Why Nations Fail” (Acemoglu & Robinson) about the shortcomings of academia. But before we get to it, we will talk briefly about what happened over the last month – most importantly, I will give you my report on the Global Climate Strike as I experienced it in Lisbon, on September 27th.
This episode is special, in the sense that we decided to make it a 2-Part episode. In this first part we basically set up the background information, and in the November talk episode, we will have a proper, structured discussion.
And you have the chance to contribute! If you have read the book “How Nations Fail”, or are for other reasons familiar with the concepts of extracting and inclusive institutions, give us your feedback on how this could be applied to academia!(more…)
In this episode I talk with Dr. Chinmaya Sadangi about his Science Communication Project “The Addictive Brain”.
Science Communication is of major importance. This becomes increasingly clear as we are witnessing the climate action demonstrations which are still being met with rather disappointing responses from the governments. Because of this, I regularly feature science communicators on this podcast. The goal is to inform academics about the possibilities of contributing to science communication. This can be done either in parallel to their academic careers, or as a career choice.(more…)
We are back from the summer break! So, we resume the “Bart and Dennis” Talk format!
Bart and I briefly talk about Bart’s research, because he just published an article! And it appeared in a journal that is actually quite good, but it is pay-walled and published by Elsevier.
We then talk about the upcoming Open Science mandate that cOAlition S is trying to establish in Europe. cOAlition S includes some of the biggest funding agencies in Europe, like the Wellcome Trust and the European Research Council. Yet, a lot of scientists seem to still be blissfully unaware.(more…)
That sexual harassment, bullying, but also academic misconduct such as advisers plagiarizing their student’s work, happen in academia has never been a big secret. Rumors and scandals over the mistreatment of students, grad students, postdocs, and so on, have been accompanying my whole career. So called ‘whisper networks’ warn each other to stay away from certain professors.
And, where power differentials between members of a community are so large, abuse of power is probably not completely preventable.
Open science for some people it is just science done correctly. For others it is the revolutionary change in the whole academic culture. These different perspectives are highly dependent on your views on the role of science in society, who your advisers were which fields your were in, which career stages you reached, and where you live and work.
In this episode I talk with Dr. Jon Tennant about open science. He is a paleontologist who is now predominantly active in building an Open Science community. He has published several articles on open science and initiated the Open Science MOOC, among many other activities.
Pseudoscience is like a thorn in my brain. Besides being potentially dangerous when people rely on “alternative” “medicine” instead of finding actual help, sometimes it just bothers me when somebody is wrong on the internet. So it was time to relax a bit about it.
For this episode Bart and I tried something new. On Sunday, July 7th, we went on YouTube and played a game! We read pseudoscience stories to each other, trying to make the other guy laugh about it! And among the people who sent us their pseudoscience stories, we randomly chose a winner who got a t-shirt from our merchandize store!
Besides the edited podcast episode, you can also watch it on YouTube:(more…)
BART vs DENNIS LIVE! We are playing a pseudoscience game!
And you can win a T-Shirt from our store by sending us your funniest Pseudoscience story!
Team BART email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Team DENNIS email: email@example.com
For this episode I speak with Dr. Rüdiger Eichel, professor for Materials and Processes for Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage at the RWTH Aachen University, and Scientific Director for the Institute for Energy and Climate Research at the Research Center Jülich in Germany.
Dr. Eichel gives us an insight into the chances and challenges of the Energiewende. The new found interest in climate issues in the public that can be seen in the Fridays for Future movement and the outcomes of the EU parliament elections, make him optimistic. He now sees the chance to talk with society about the technical possibilities to switch to fully renewable energy sources, how long it might take to implement, and how much it might cost financially and in terms of living quality.(more…)
Once a month Bart Geurten and I talk about current topics in the Bart and Dennis (“B&D”) series. This time we talk about the success of the Greens in the EU parliament elections, homeopathy, and postdocs.
And we have a big announcement: On July 7th we will do a live episode on YouTube! For the show we want to play a little game. And for this to work, we need you cooperation! Send us your weirdest/funniest parascience or pseudoscience stories or soundbites! You can support either Bart or Dennis by sending your story to firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com, respectively. We will randomly select a winner from all entries, who will get a free t-shirt form our merchandise store!(more…)