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
Life as an Early Career Researcher is rather uncertain. The conditions for most postdocs aren’t really great and the availability of professorships isn’t increasing at the same rate as the number of PhDs entering the academic career path – we talk about this, regularly.
So it makes sense to seriously consider other career options, and we do so every now and then, too.
For this episode, I talk to Dr. John Stowers, engineer, neuroscientist, and founder of “LoopBio”, about the transition from postdoc to technology business founder!(more…)
In this episode, I talk about the science fiction movie ANYA with its creators, Anthropologist Dr. Carylanna Taylor, and Jacob Okada of First Encounter Productions (not a sponsor).
The plot of ANYA could happen today! It all starts with a couple in New York that has difficulty having a baby. The groom is a member of the Narval People who keep to themselves – mostly because they think there is a curse that prohibits them from having children with anyone but other members of the community. They bring in a geneticist to find out why they are having problems procreating, and this is where the story becomes interesting.(more…)
After an unforgivable delay this episode is finally out. We had some personal and technical delays. Sorry about that.
Anyways, in this episode Bart and I continue a conversation about the Energiewende. Based on the latest episode we spoke about which solutions we think should work well. The big problem seem to be the “Not In My BackYard” stance of many people who live where the new infrastructure need to be built.
Since Brexit was supposed to happen, we also talk about Brexit, and how it is hurting science in the UK.
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…)