For as long as humans have walked this Earth, we have been using chemicals to alter our state of mind. Drugs and alcohol have been used in rituals and medication, for inspiration and escapism, as well as a way to cope with the world. Only in more recent decades have we begun to appreciate the physiological effects that substances have on our brains through science. Host Dr Alfredo Carpineti spoke to neuropsychopharmacologist Professor David Nutt about these effects and a new approach to...
Computers and supercomputers, whether we like them or not, run our lives. They have revolutionized every aspect of society and we rely on their technology to push beyond our limits. But what about their limits? What are they, when will we reach them, and can we avoid them? Host Dr Alfredo Carpineti is joined by Professor Mazhar Ali of the Delft University of Technology, whose team has developed a one-way superconductor with exciting applications in computing, to discuss this and more.
What and how we eat plays a huge role in keeping us healthy. The role of diet in helping us when we are fighting off diseases is also enormous, but not discussed often enough. Dr Alfredo Carpineti sat down with Dr William Li to talk about cutting-edge research on how diet helps us stay healthy, and the role it plays in supporting medical treatments. Dr Li is a physician, scientist, president, and medical director of the Angiogenesis Foundation, and author of Eat To Beat Disease: The New...
In school, math is one of those polarizing subjects that people either love or hate. For each person complaining they will never use Pythagoras theorem outside of class, there is somebody else pointing out that math is actually about learning skills like problem-solving. In this episode, host Dr Alfredo Carpineti asks a controversial Big Question: "Is math the greatest subject in the world?" To make the case is British mathematician Professor Nira Chamberlain, listed by the Science Council as...
Every second of every day, whether we’re actively aware of it or not, we’re using our imagination: from what we might have for dinner to life on other worlds. But how can our brains conjure up stuff that we are not looking at or even images of things that don’t exist? Our host Dr Alfredo Carpineti is joined by cognitive scientist Professor Tyler Marghetis from the University of California, Merced to discuss how imagination works, how we can have "Eureka!" moments, and if imagination works the...
Everything we see, from galaxies to capybaras, is made of matter. But matter has a mirrored version of itself known as antimatter. If the two come into contact they annihilate one another, turning into pure energy. Why does the universe prefer one over the other? This is a fundamental mystery of the universe, and at the forefront of the search for an answer is the Alpha Experiment at CERN. In this episode, host Dr Alfredo Carpineti is joined by experimental physicist and Alpha spokesperson...
It’s no secret that species extinction and biodiversity loss are making our environment increasingly less stable. As it feels like we inch closer to waving goodbye to threatened animals like the Javan rhino, a question springs to mind: How do we know when a species is extinct? How, for instance, do we know there aren’t some animals left just hiding in a bush somewhere? In this episode, host Rachael Funnell puts the question to Dr Barney Long of Re:wild, whose mission is the conservation of...
We live in a society that idolizes youth for sure, but also with age comes wisdom. However, aging is not all it’s cracked up to be. Could we keep getting older without the drawbacks of being old? Other animals do it, so maybe one day it could apply to humans too. In this episode, host Dr Alfredo Carpineti is joined by Dr Andrew Steele, author of Ageless: The New Science of Getting Older Without Getting Old, to talk about the medical fight against old age at a cellular level and whether humans...
As the human population increases so too does our demand for food, but in the face of the climate crisis scientists are seeking alternative and sustainable solutions to traditional agricultural practices. In this episode of IFLScience, The Big Questions, we teamed up with BBC Earth to speak with Luca Gamberini of Nemo’s Garden to ask: Is the future of farming underwater?
Nemo’s Garden is working to create an alternative system of agriculture that uses the oceans and other bodies of water to...
Studying the Universe told us the cosmos began with the Big Bang. But how will everything end? In a cold and desolate nothingness? Or will everything collapse back into itself in a Big Crunch? In this episode, host Dr Alfredo Carpineti is joined by theoretical astrophysicist Dr Katie Mack, the Hawking Chair in Cosmology and Science Communication at the Perimeter Institute, who has written extensively about the subject. Together they discuss what the curtain call of the Universe might look like.
Everything we see and interact with, regular matter, is only a small fraction of what the universe contains. In fact, the vast majority of the universe is invisible to us. We've named these mysterious components dark matter and dark energy, but our understanding of them – and if they even exist – remains lacking. To unravel more of this mystery, Dr Alfredo Carpineti sat down with Dr Mandeep Gill from the Dark Energy Survey collaboration to ask: Will the new generation of upcoming...
Humanity's ever-growing need for energy has led to a world that is dramatically changing, ravaged by extreme weather events. The way we get power has to change. Our question in this episode is about a potential new approach. Can we master nuclear fusion and achieve unlimited energy? Our host Dr Alfredo Carpineti talks to Dr Elise Delchambre of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in France – the world's largest fusion experiment – about nuclear fusion, the many...
Of all the mysteries of the universe, none is closer to us as human beings than this one: what is consciousness? How does our brain turn electrical signals into thoughts and feelings? In this episode, host Dr Alfredo Carpineti and Professor Liad Mudrik from the School of Psychological Sciences And Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University discuss these questions and more as they try and get to the bottom of what is consciousness?
The climate crisis is unfolding around us with extreme weather events becoming more common and living organisms having to survive or perish in a changing world. In this episode, host Dr Alfredo Carpineti sat down with Dr Alexandre Kōberle, a research fellow at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change, to discuss how we got here, how we can avoid the worse case scenarios, what political will is needed, and if there are ways to actually fix the mess we are in?
From extraterrestrial intelligence to simple life forms, the Universe might be teeming with life. Can we find and communicate with these life forms? IFLScience spoke to Dr Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute to tackle the fundamental question: are we alone in the Universe?
A little teaser for our upcoming podcast