Category Archives: Podcasts

Speaking to… Roberto Trotta

“Everywhere I go, everywhere I talk to the public, I always find very enthusiastic, very involved people who are really keen to know: what have we learned about our place in the universe.”

Roberto-Trotta
Roberto Trotta

This is part of a series of interviews with science communicators about science communication. Today we are Speaking to… Roberto Trotta

Roberto Trotta is a physicist, a cosmologist, to be precise. He’s always had a fascination for space, which has determined the direction of his career. Continue reading

Speaking to… Eimear O’Carroll

“When you’re dealing with an investor who has no technical background, you still have to be able to explain your product so that they fully understand what they’re getting themselves into, whilst conveying the sense that you also know the technical details yourself. Which can be a fine line and a difficult balance.”

Eimear OCarrollThis is part of a series of interviews with science communicators about science communication. Today we are Speaking to… Eimear O’Carroll from Restored Hearing

Eimear O’Carroll is the co-founder of Restored Hearing, a start-up company that creates products to ease the suffering of those with tinnitus. I met Eimear at #ESOF2014, where she spoke on a panel called “Unconventional Science Innovators”. Her unconventional story was that she and a friend came up with their first product as part of a science fair whilst they were still in secondary school. After doing extremely well, they decided to start a company and sell their products. But this wasn’t quite as simple as it might have seemed. Starting a company needed a completely different mind-set to doing a science project, and it is something she is still (at the age of 23) trying to get her head around. Continue reading

Speaking to… James Randerson

“If you’re going to set up a blog, there is a time commitment to that, to make a go of it you need to give it some energy, thought and time… So you need to think through before you do it, what are you trying to achieve through it?”

James Randerson
Image courtesy of The Guardian

This is part of a series of interviews with science communicators about science communication. Today we are Speaking to… James Randerson

James Randerson is the Assistant National News Editor at the Guardian, but yesterday he was the man co-ordinating the science blogging masterclass at the Guardian.

The day included sessions from James Randerson himself (about the rules of science communication and when to break them), Jon Butterworth (about blogging as an academic), Suzi Gage (blogging the evidence) and Dean Burnett (how to be objective, topical and funny).

Together, they gave us a run-down of their science blogging experience, including some top tips and cautionary tales. Continue reading

Speaking to… Lewis Hou

“It culminates in all these children becoming my neurons and controlling me. So when the motor cortex, these kids, vibrate, then I will have to dance!”

Lewis HouThis is part of a series of interviews with science communicators about science communication. Today we are Speaking to… Lewis Hou

Lewis Hou is a neuroscientist from Edinburgh, but when I spoke to him he was in London for a networking event at the Wellcome Trust. I managed to grab a few minutes of his time to explore how neuroscience and music go hand-in-hand.

The future Dr Hou is currently researching the asymmetric brain (not the creational vs rational) but how asymmetry in our brains could be linked to evolutionary traits that we see in animals, including humans. For example chimpanzees have similar asymmetries to humans, so can he explore that to understand how we evolved language? He’s also looking at how some people with psychiatric diseases don’t have these asymmetries, and how this might be a sign of developmental problems. Continue reading

Speaking to… Climate Snack

“In several countries, research or science is seen as a stand alone activity, and all we have to do is to communicate to other researchers in the same field. Whereas I think in Britain people have really started to open up to the idea that actually we do science for the broader public” 

Climate SnackThis is part of a series of interviews with science communicators about science communication. Today we are Speaking to… Will Ball and Mat Stiller-Reeve from Climate Snack

Climate Snack founder Mathew Stiller-Reeve realised quite early on in his science career that his writing wasn’t up to scratch. After receiving negative feedback on his potential publications from peer-reviewers, “I’d been using the passive voice too much and the flow was wrong and I was framing my arguments in the wrong way.” So he decided to take action. But instead of banging his head against a brick wall on his own, he started Climate Snack, and joined forces with Will Ball. Continue reading

Speaking to… Laura Youngson

“It’s really hard to engage kids in stem subjects. They immediately turn off to things like science and maths.”

Laura Youngson
Image credit: Lightyear Foundation

This is part of a series of interviews with science communicators about science communication. Today we are Speaking to… Laura Youngson

Laura Youngson is one of the founding members, or mothers, of the Lightyear Foundation, an organisation that takes science to communities that otherwise don’t interact with it.

After travelling to Ghana with a friend to work in a planetarium, Laura was inspired to set up the Lightyear Foundation, “we had a lot of science love to give.” Continue reading

Speaking to… Jeff Howe

“The new paradigm is shiftyness. And that’s our premise. Not only will things not stop changing. But the rate of change is only going to increase.”

Jeff Howe
Image credit: Daniella Zalcman

This is part of a series of interviews with science communicators about science communication. Today we are Speaking to… Jeff Howe

Jeff Howe, the man who co-coined the term “crowdsourcing” has had many adventures in science communication in his time. I managed to speak to him at the Citizen Cyberscience Summit in London yesterday, and in this interview we explore how he coined the term crowdsourcing, some of his multimedia teaching methods and his new book.

Jeff first used the word Crowdsourcing in a 2006 article in Wired: The rise of crowdsourcing. It was all about the disruptive elements, as well as promise of sourcing out to the crowd. His focus was on the democratisation of crafts that are usually the premise of professionals. Continue reading