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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: University of Canterbury

The University of Canterbury (UC) has launched a new science podcast series to meet public demand for answers to the big issues facing our world.

UC Science Radio is a new weekly podcast featuring interviews with UC scientists on topical issues relating to their areas of expertise and research. It addresses some of the big challenges facing our society, both locally and globally, and what science is doing to help.

Hosted by UC Master of Science student and US Fulbright Scholar Molly Magid, the shows are challenging but also entertaining and accessible to listeners who may not have a science background. Topics include the science behind volcanic eruptions, micronutrients for stress, helping endangered species find their perfect match, ever decreasing glaciers, and what plastic is doing to our sea life.

Five episodes have been released so far with a new episode going live this Sunday.

Episode 1: Designing cities for better health
Human Geography Professor Simon Kingham talks about the impact of city spaces on our mental health, why cycleways are thriving in post-quake Christchurch, and his role as Chief Science Advisor for the Ministry of Transport.

Episode 2: Making sense of molecules
Structural chemist Associate Professor Sarah Masters talks about her work as a ‘molecular detective’ where she investigates how molecules behave, what they do, and how we can use them to create everything from new technologies and materials to developing life-saving vaccines.

Episode 3: It’s like Tinder…for birds! 
Conservation geneticist Associate Professor Tammy Steeves talks about finding the ideal mate for some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most endangered native species, and about how kindness is changing the way we do science – for the better.

Episode 4: Rocking out with volcanoes
UC volcanologist Associate Professor Ben Kennedy, an internationally recognised expert in physical volcanology and an award-winning teacher, talks about the science behind eruptions, his travels to the world’s volcanic hotspots, and how teaching can be driven by fun and games.

Episode 5: Ending our love affair with plastic
UC environmental chemist Associate Professsor Sally Gaw explains the damage plastic is doing to our wildlife and environment, and where it’s ending up – from rainwater and sea salt to the insides of tuna and mackerel. Assoc Prof Gaw, who has spent her career studying environmental contaminants, also talks about all the antibacterial soap and hand sanitiser we’re using at the moment and why it’s not so great for our waterways.