162 – Dr Michael Brown – Lies, Damned Lies, and NRA Statistics

10:48 pm March 22nd, 2013

In today’s episode, I talk to Dr Michael Brown from Monash University about the mis-use of statistics in the public sphere, and specifically, about the American National Rifle Associations misrepresentations of data.

We talk about:
– The Australian context
– Australian gun control laws
– The subsequent experience after the implementation of these laws
– What the NRA are doing with Australian statistics
– Why are they doing this?
– The tactics used by those wishing to mis-use statistics

Today’s listener of the episode is Steve Briggs, from Melbourne, Australia.

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Dr Brown’s article in The Conversation: Faking Waves; how the NRA and pro-gun Americans abuse crime stats

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161 – Sir Harry Kroto – The State of Science

12:17 pm February 28th, 2013

In today’s episode, I talk to Sir Harold Kroto, who shared the 1996 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the co-discovery of carbon-60, or Buckminsterfullerine.

We continue the discussion from episode 160, and talk about
– Stereotypes of scientists
– Science and natural philosophy
– What are non-science people interested in?
– Kids as scientists
– Meccano and engineering
– Some of the issues children face today and the barriers to science
– Science and funding

This is part 2 of a 2 part interview.

Today’s listener of the episode is Mulia Marzuki, from Melbourne, Australia.

Download MP3 of Ep 161

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160 – Sir Harry Kroto – Buckminsterfullerine

7:01 am February 12th, 2013

In today’s episode, I talk to Sir Harold Kroto, who shared the 1996 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the co-discovery of carbon-60, or Buckminsterfullerine.

He talked to me about the discover of carbon-60, as well as the state of science in the UK and worldwide.

This is part 1 of a 2 part interview.

Today’s listener of the episode is Renee Webster, from Melbourne, Australia.

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159 – Where is my flying car? – Part 3

2:26 pm December 23rd, 2012

Today’s episode is part 3 of a 3 part series called “Where is my flying car?” organised and hosted by the University of Melbourne’s Physics Students Society. This final episode in this series primarily includes audience questions – some of the audio is difficult to hear from some parts of the audience, so apologies for that.

Hosted by Dr Roger Rassool, panel members included:

Dr Andi Horvath, Museum Victoria,
Dr Erica Sloan, Monash Institute on Pharmaceutical Science,
Tim Thwaites, Science writer,
and myself.

The listener of the episode for today’s episode is Megan Lynn Bensinger.

Thank you to the University of Melbourne PSS for the event.

Download MP3 of Ep 159

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158 – Where is my flying car? – Part 2

11:34 am October 31st, 2012

Today’s episode is part 2 of a 3 part series called “Where is my flying car?” organised and hosted by the University of Melbourne’s Physics Students Society.

Hosted by Dr Roger Rassool, panel members included:

Dr Andi Horvath, Museum Victoria,
Dr Erica Sloan, Monash Institute on Pharmaceutical Science,
Tim Thwaites, Science writer,
and myself.

The listener of the episode for today’s episode is John Calchera from the USA.

Thank you to the University of Melbourne PSS for the event.

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157 – Where is my flying car? – Part 1

2:26 pm August 17th, 2012

Today’s episode is part 1 of a 3 part series called “Where is my flying car?” organised and hosted by the University of Melbourne’s Physics Students Society.

Hosted by Dr Roger Rassool, panel members included:

Dr Andi Horvath, Museum Victoria,
Dr Erica Sloan, Monash Institute on Pharmaceutical Science,
Tim Thwaites, Science writer,
and myself.

The listener of the episode for today’s episode is Emilka Wxy from Poland.

Thank you to the University of Melbourne PSS for the event.

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156 – Professor Chris Tinney – The Search for Extrasolar Planets

2:55 pm June 10th, 2012

There can be few questions more fundamental for a scientist’s research to address than “Is our home here on Earth unique? Or ubiquitous?” Astronomers involved in the search for – and the study of – extra-solar planets are fortunate enough to have this sort of question driving their daily activities.

This episode is sponsored by the Monash Centre for Astrophysics

.

Many thanks to MoCA for their support of the Brains Matter podcast.

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155 – Professor Brian Schmidt – The Accelerating Universe – Public Talk

11:59 am March 27th, 2012

In 1998, two teams traced back the expansion of the universe over billions of years and discovered that it was accelerating, a startling discovery that suggests that more than 70% of the cosmos is contained in a previously unknown form of matter, called Dark Energy. The 2011 Nobel Laureate for Physics, Brian Schmidt, leader of the High-Redshift Supernova Search Team, gave his first public talk in Australia since winning the Nobel Prize, and described this discovery and explained how astronomers have used observations to trace our universe’s history back more than 13 billion years, leading them to ponder the ultimate fate of the cosmos.

This episode is sponsored by the Monash Centre for Astrophysics

.

Many thanks to MoCA for their support of the Brains Matter podcast.

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154 – Alom Shaha – The Young Atheists Handbook

4:04 am March 25th, 2012

In today’s episode, I speak to Alom Shaha, a science teacher and communicator from the UK. Alom has worked on television shows researching science, and is well known in science communication circles. He recently published a book called The Young Atheists Handbook, and spoke to me about his views on science, religion, freedom from religion, and what is important in life.

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153 – Dr Duncan Galloway – Neutron Star Binaries

6:01 am January 22nd, 2012

In today’s episode, I talk to Dr Duncan Galloway, ARC Future Fellow at Monash University. His interest is in Neutron Star Binaries and I talked to him about this:

– Duncan’s background
– What is a neutron star?
– How big is a neutron star?
– How does a neutron star stay together?
– The formation of neutron stars
– What happens in a binary system where one is a neutron star?
– Is it possible to have twin neutron binaries?
– What is the difference between a pulsar and a neutron star?
– How fast do these systems spin?
– What causes ‘hot spots’ on a neutron star?
– How dense is a neutron star?
– Are neutron stars really made from neutrons?
– How do we make measurements from neutron stars?

Today’s listener of the episode is Lisa Clague from France.

Download MP3 of Ep 153

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