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Covid-19: the psychology of conspiracy theories from The Guardian's Science Weekly

From The Guardian's Science Weekly - With false information linking the coronavirus to 5G telecoms or Chinese labs being widely shared on social media, Ian Sample speaks to social psychologist Dr Daniel Jolley about why the pandemic is such fertile ground for conspiracy theories. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


The Guardian's Science Weekly
The award winning Science Weekly is the best place to learn about the big discoveries and debates in biology, chemistry, physics, and sometimes even maths. From the Guardian science desk - Ian Sample, Hannah Devlin & Nicola Davis meet the great thinkers and doers in science and technology.

Covid-19: the psychology of conspiracy theories
2020-05-04 21:00:26
With false information linking the coronavirus to 5G telecoms or Chinese labs being widely shared on social media, Ian Sample speaks to social psychologist Dr Daniel Jolley about why the pandemic is such fertile ground for conspiracy theories. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>
15 minutes, 9 seconds


How many contactable alien civilisations are out there?
2020-07-08 21:00:51
Could there really be other civilisations out there in the Milky Way? Nicola Davis talks to Prof Chris Conselice, whose recent work revises the decades-old Drake equation to throw new light on the possibility of contactable alien life existing in our galaxy. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


Covid-19: Why are people suffering long-term symptoms?
2020-07-06 21:00:02
Weeks and months after having a confirmed or suspected Covid-19 infection, many people are finding they still haven't fully recovered. Emerging reports describe lingering symptoms ranging from fatigue and brain-fog to breathlessness and tingling toes. So why does Covid-19 cause lasting health problems? Ian Sample discusses some of the possible explanations with Prof Danny Altmann, and finds out how patients might be helped in the future. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


Hubble at 30: a view into our cosmos
2020-07-01 21:00:42
Thirty years ago, the Hubble space telescope was shuttled into orbit, and has since provided us with astonishing images and insights into the universe. Earlier this year, Hannah Devlin spoke to one of the astronauts who helped launch Hubble, Kathy Sullivan. The first American woman to walk in space, Sullivan describes her journey to becoming an astronaut, why Hubble was such a vital mission and why it continues to be so important today. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


Covid-19: why R is a lot more complicated than you think
2020-06-29 21:00:02
Over the last few months, we've all had to come to terms with R, the 'effective reproduction number', as a measure of how well we are dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. But, as Nicola Davis finds out from Dr Adam Kucharski, R is a complicated statistical concept that relies on many factors and, under some conditions, can be misleading. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


The Durrington shafts: a remarkable discovery for Stonehenge's neighbour
2020-06-24 21:00:34
Archaeologists surveying the land around Stonehenge have made a discovery that could change the way we think about our neolithic ancestors: a circle of deep shafts spanning 1.2 miles in diameter around Durrington Walls. Hannah Devlin speaks to Prof Vincent Gaffney about how he and his team made this incredible discovery and why the latest find is so remarkable. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


Covid-19: how worried should smokers be?
2020-06-22 21:00:36
With reports that there are lower rates of smokers being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 in France and trials to test whether nicotine patches can reduce the severity of infection, but also data showing that smokers are more likely to contract the disease and develop severe symptoms, what's actually going here? Sarah Boseley talks to Dr Nick Hopkinson to find out more. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


How cephalopod cells could take us one step closer to invisibility
2020-06-17 21:00:38
Watching the mesmerising patterns of squids, octopuses and cuttlefish has been the catalyst for much of Dr Alon Gorodetsky's recent work, including his attempts to mimic their ability to become transparent. Nicola Davis talks to him about a recent paper where he engineered mammalian cells to share these optic properties - paving the way for exciting potential applications. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


Covid-19: should we be concerned about air conditioning?
2020-06-15 21:00:33
Following on from several listener questions about the role of air conditioning in spreading or dissipating Covid-19 in buildings and on public transport, Hannah Devlin asks Dr Lena Ciric whether we should be turning our AC systems on or off. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


Hydrogen Icebergs in space? The mystery of 'Oumuamua
2020-06-10 21:00:40
When a strange spinning cigar-shaped object was spotted travelling through our solar system in 2017, it ignited scientific speculation and debate. Ian Sample speaks to Darryl Seligman, lead researcher on a recent study seeking to unravel the mystery of 'Oumuamua. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


Covid-19: the psychology of physical distancing
2020-06-08 21:00:39
As the world begins to unlock, many of us will be seeing friends and family again - albeit with guidelines on how close you can get to one another. But why is it more difficult to stay physically apart from friends and family than a stranger in a supermarket queue? Nicola Davis speaks to Prof John Drury about the psychology of physical distancing and why we like to be near those we feel emotionally close with. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


The secret, sonic lives of narwhals
2020-06-03 21:00:52
Narwhals may be shy and elusive, but they are certainly not quiet. Nicola Davis speaks to geophysicist Dr Evgeny Podolskiy about capturing the vocalisations of narwhals in an arctic fjord, and what this sonic world could tell us about the lives of these mysterious creatures. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


Covid-19: is a second wave inevitable?
2020-06-01 21:00:03
Ian Sample talks to Prof Carl Heneghan about the uncertainties in predicting future outbreaks of Covid-19 and what we can do to prevent them. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


When did modern humans first arrive in Europe?
2020-05-27 21:00:20
New archaeological discoveries in the Bacho Kiro cave in Bulgaria have revealed that modern humans co-existed with Neanderthals for several thousand years. Nicola Davis speaks to Prof Jean-Jacques Hublin about the excavations, and what their findings tell us about when modern humans first arrived in Europe. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


Covid-19: the role of vitamin D
2020-05-26 21:00:20
Sarah Boseley talks to Prof Susan Lanham-New about vitamin D and whether it could play a role in protecting us against Covid-19. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


Covid-19: How do you calculate herd immunity?
2020-05-22 11:22:12
Herd immunity represents the percentage of people in a population who need to be immune to a disease in order to protect those who aren't. Early on in the pandemic, researchers estimated the herd immunity threshold for Covid-19 to be 60%. Following a question from a listener, Ian Sample speaks to Rachel Thomas to explore the maths and find out exactly how herd immunity is calculated. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


The emotional rollercoaster of adolescent dogs
2020-05-20 21:00:45
It's an experience many dog owners have been through - their adolescent pooches appear to be more moody and rebellious. Now researchers have shown that dogs really do mimic human teenagers' behaviour, becoming less responsive to instructions from their carer. To find out more about the difficult teenage doggy-years, Nicola Davis talks to Dr Lucy Asher about the study. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


Covid-19: can we compare different countries?
2020-05-19 21:00:16
Nicola Davis asks mathematician Kit Yates how useful global comparisons are when it comes to the coronavirus outbreak, given the huge differences in demographics and public health responses. And, as per a question from a listener, what the best metric is when doing such comparisons?. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


Covid-19: are pandemics becoming more common?
2020-05-18 21:00:47
Ian Sample talks to Prof Kate Jones about whether the current coronavirus pandemic is part of a wider picture of increasing animal-to-human virus transmission. Are we are looking at a future where outbreaks of new infectious diseases become more common?. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


The microbe that protects mosquitos from malaria
2020-05-13 21:00:00
Every year more than 200m new cases of malaria are reported. And despite the dramatic reduction in cases and deaths over the past two decades, novel treatments and prevention strategies are badly needed. Speaking to Dr Jeremy Herren in Nairobi, Kenya, Nicola Davis hears how a newly-discovered microbe might offer mosquitos protection from the parasite and in doing so, prevent its spread. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


Covid-19: do we need more than one vaccine? Podcast
2020-05-12 21:00:30
Hannah Devlin speaks to Prof Andrew Pollard about the work being done by different teams around the world to create a vaccine for Covid-19, and where his team at Oxford University fit into this international effort. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


Covid-19: do we need more than one vaccine?
2020-05-12 21:00:30
Hannah Devlin speaks to Prof Andrew Pollard about the work being done by different teams around the world to create a vaccine for Covid-19, and where his team at Oxford University fit into this international effort. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


Covid-19: why are some people losing their taste and smell? Podcast
2020-05-11 21:00:00
As the coronavirus pandemic swept around the globe, anecdotal reports began to emerge about a strange symptom: people were losing their sense of taste and smell. To find out whether this effect is really down to Sars-CoV-2, and if so, why, Ian Sample talks to Carl Philpott. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


Covid-19: why are some people losing their taste and smell?
2020-05-11 21:00:00
As the coronavirus pandemic swept around the globe, anecdotal reports began to emerge about a strange symptom: people were losing their sense of taste and smell. To find out whether this effect is really down to Sars-CoV-2, and if so, why, Ian Sample talks to Carl Philpott. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


Covid-19: why are some people losing their taste and smell? - Science Weekly Podcast
2020-05-11 21:00:00
As the coronavirus pandemic swept around the globe, anecdotal reports began to emerge about a strange symptom: people were losing their sense of taste and smell. To find out whether this effect is really down to Sars-CoV-2, and if so, why, Ian Sample talks to Carl Philpott. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


Uncovering the mysteries of the 'crazy beast' - Science Weekly podcast
2020-05-07 02:56:53
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to be our focus on Science Weekly, we also want to try look at other science stories. In this episode, Nicola Davis speaks to Dave Krause about the 66-million-year-old fossil of a cat-sized mammal dubbed 'crazy beast'. A giant in its day, we hear how this now extinct branch of mammals - known as Gondwanatherians - offers new insights into what could have been. Help support our independent journalism at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sciencepod">theguardian.com/sciencepod</a>


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