Babbage from Economist Radio-logo

Babbage from Economist Radio

The Economist

Named after Charles Babbage, a 19th-century polymath and grandfather of computing, Babbage is a weekly podcast on science and technology. Host Kenneth Cukier talks to our correspondents about the innovations, discoveries and gadgetry making the news. Published every Wednesday on Economist Radio.

Named after Charles Babbage, a 19th-century polymath and grandfather of computing, Babbage is a weekly podcast on science and technology. Host Kenneth Cukier talks to our correspondents about the innovations, discoveries and gadgetry making the news. Published every Wednesday on Economist Radio.

Location:

London, United Kingdom

Networks:

The Economist

Description:

Named after Charles Babbage, a 19th-century polymath and grandfather of computing, Babbage is a weekly podcast on science and technology. Host Kenneth Cukier talks to our correspondents about the innovations, discoveries and gadgetry making the news. Published every Wednesday on Economist Radio.

Language:

English


Episodes

Babbage: Life on Mars?

7/29/2020
Three nations set out on separate missions to shed light on a question that astronomers have been asking for centuries—is there life on Mars? Alok Jha asks leading scientists about how their missions will search for signs of life on the red planet. And, why those investigating it should avoid irreversible damage to a potentially pristine ecosystem. Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions: www.economist.com/podcastoffer See acast.com/privacy...

Duration:00:32:41

Babbage: A punt on the Oxford vaccine

7/22/2020
Oxford University is ahead in the race to develop a covid-19 vaccine that could halt the pandemic. Yet lead researcher, Professor Sarah Gilbert, says some trial results may be delayed owing to changing virus transmissions in different countries. Also, navigating the sky with diamonds. And, why sewage can help census-takers. Kenneth Cukier hosts. Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions: www.economist.com/podcastoffer See acast.com/privacy...

Duration:00:24:53

Babbage: Something in the air

7/15/2020
As governments consider loosening lockdowns, troubling evidence suggests that the virus behind covid-19 lingers in the air, making it more communicable than previously thought. Lidia Morawska, of the International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health in Queensland, argues for better indoor ventilation. Also, Dr Vivian Lee from Verily, on how she would fix the American healthcare system. And, the “illuminating” technology revealing archaeological secrets. Kenneth Cukier hosts Please...

Duration:00:26:27

Babbage: The forgotten pandemic

7/8/2020
With attention diverted to covid-19, access to HIV medications has been disrupted. Host Kenneth Cukier talks to Meg Doherty, director of HIV programmes at the World Health Organisation, about the fight against the other pandemic. Also, hydrogen power has had many false starts. Could it be about to take off? And, scientist Ainissa Ramirez on the ways technology changes how people live, act, and think. Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio...

Duration:00:25:54

Babbage: Predicting pandemics

7/1/2020
As covid-19 continues to devastate the world and scientists race to develop therapeutics and vaccines, Alok Jha investigates how to get ahead of the curve and prevent the next pandemic. Scientists explain how studying the relationship between animals and humans, and finding and genetically sequencing the millions of as-yet-undiscovered animal viruses in the wild, could stop future disease outbreaks becoming global health catastrophes. Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to...

Duration:00:24:13

Babbage: Track and trace

6/24/2020
Contact tracing is one of the tools being used against covid-19, but in the age of the smartphone, technology presents a new way to improve the process. Kenneth Cukier explores why contact-tracing apps have not yet delivered on their promise, how they can preserve privacy and what today’s decisions mean for the future of technology in society. Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions: www.economist.com/podcastoffer See acast.com/privacy for...

Duration:00:34:55

Babbage: Pole position

6/17/2020
A year-long, $160m expedition to the Arctic has passed its halfway mark and is amassing sobering data about the effects of climate change there. One of the scientists on board explains the discoveries so far. Also, Peter Schwartz, who imagined the future in Minority Report, shares his advice for forward planning in the age of covid-19. And, what next for facial recognition technology? Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio...

Duration:00:25:19

Babbage: Covid-19's path of destruction

6/10/2020
Slavea Chankova and Kenneth Cukier investigate the ways in which SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes covid-19, wears the body down. Apart from pneumonia, there are other facets to the disease that are less understood such as damage to the kidneys, blood vessels and heart. And, how does covid-19 continue to harm the body—and patients' mental health— in the long term? Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions: www.economist.com/podcastoffer See...

Duration:00:27:18

Babbage: The rise of robo-doc

6/3/2020
Doctors enter augmented reality to help them treat patients with illnesses like covid-19. Host Kenneth Cukier speaks to the doctors leading a Hololens initiative at an Imperial College London hospital. Also, Dario Gil, director of IBM Research, on the future of scientific collaboration. And SpaceX has successfully sent two astronauts to the International Space Station—what’s next for commercial spaceflight? Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio...

Duration:00:28:06

Babbage: The language of the universe

5/27/2020
How can mathematics help us understand our lives and predict the world around us? Host Alok Jha speaks to David Sumpter of Uppsala University about the equations that can help people make better decisions. Christl Donnelly, an epidemiologist at the University of Oxford and Imperial College London details the role mathematics plays in modelling covid-19. Moon Duchin of Tufts University explains how maths can stop gerrymandering. And physicist Graham Farmelo on why he thinks the universe...

Duration:00:25:16

Babbage: Think of the children

5/20/2020
An apparent spike in a rare childhood illness, Kawasaki disease, suggests the coronavirus may manifest very differently in children and raises questions over the role they play in spreading the pandemic. America’s latest offensive against Huawei pushes the global semiconductor industry into uncharted territory; it may also harm American interests in the process. And, flattening the other curve—could fossil fuels be added to covid-19’s casualty list? Kenneth Cukier hosts For more on the...

Duration:00:25:11

Babbage: Is there anybody out there?

5/13/2020
Will humans ever discover intelligent life in space? Since the 1960’s, scientists have been working on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. They have not found it yet but their research is moving up a gear. Better telescopes, faster computers and more funding means that the chances of discovering ET in the next few decades have dramatically increased. Alok Jha hosts. For access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe: www.economist.com/radiooffer See...

Duration:00:25:11

Babbage: Shot at victory

5/6/2020
Could repurposing existing drugs, such as remdesivir, be the answer to the search for treatments for covid-19? Also, the winner of this year’s Marconi Prize, Andrea Goldsmith of Stanford University, on her pioneering work in wireless communications technology. And, the mission to give rivers their wiggle back. Kenneth Cukier hosts. For more on the pandemic, see The Economist's coronavirus hub. Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio...

Duration:00:24:42

Babbage: Beyond immunity

4/29/2020
The immune system plays a vital role in protecting humans from infections, but how is it faring against covid-19? Pascal Soriot, chief executive of the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, tells host, Kenneth Cukier, about potential treatments for covid patients. Plus, do people build up an immunity to covid-19 if they have recovered from it, or can they catch it again? And, Sonja Lyubomirsky, professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, on how acts of kindness can boost...

Duration:00:23:35

Babbage: Opening up

4/22/2020
Tech firm Microsoft has announced plans to embrace open data. Jeni Tennison, from Britain’s Open Data Institute, says it marks a milestone in the way big companies share data. Also, could mass testing for covid-19 provide a way out of the global lockdown? And, what is causing the worst drought in over 1,000 years in the south-west of the United States? Kenneth Cukier hosts You can read The Economist’s full coverage of the coronavirus. Please subscribe for full access to print, digital and...

Duration:00:25:27

Babbage: Worth a shot

4/15/2020
Scientists are working at an unprecedented pace to find a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19. The stakes are high. Natasha Loder, The Economist's health policy editor, explains how an effective vaccine might be developed. Dr Trevor Drew of the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness speaks to host Kenneth Cukier about two trials which have reached the animal-testing stage. Plus, once a vaccine is discovered, what can be done to make sure it is distributed fairly? Dr...

Duration:00:27:31

Babbage: Maskarade

4/8/2020
The “silent transmission” of covid-19 means people without symptoms could be a major source of its spread. How effective are masks as a defence? Plus, Kenneth Cukier asks Ivan Oransky, co-founder of Retractionwatch.com, whether the race to uncover the mysteries of the virus could lead to a torrent of “bad science”. For more on the pandemic, see The Economist's coronavirus hub. And please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio...

Duration:00:21:13

Babbage: Fighting contagion with data

4/1/2020
How are location data from mobile phones being used to combat covid-19? And, as more people are forced to stay at home, can broadband and mobile internet connections keep up? Plus, the epidemiologist who helped defeat smallpox, Larry Brilliant, on what needs to be done against the coronavirus. Kenneth Cukier hosts. The Economist is making some of its most important coverage of the covid-19 pandemic freely available to readers of The Economist Today, our daily newsletter. To receive it,...

Duration:00:27:55

Babbage: The sniff test for covid-19

3/25/2020
Ear, nose and throat experts believe there may be a link between covid-19 and the loss of the senses of smell and taste. Might this help tackle the spread of the disease? And, how scientists and manufacturers are trying to keep up with demand for life-saving ventilators. Plus, the climate impact of staying at home. Kenneth Cukier hosts. Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions: www.economist.com/radiooffer and read The Economist’s full coverage...

Duration:00:26:22

Babbage: Can the curve be flattened?

3/18/2020
Dramatic measures to staunch the spread of covid-19 are happening around the world, but will they be enough to reduce the rate of new cases? And amid public anxiety we answer your questions such as can you get coronavirus twice? How does testing work? And how long does the virus live on surfaces and in the air? The Economist’s health-care and science correspondents answer your covid-19 questions. Kenneth Cukier hosts See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Duration:00:25:21