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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: 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

Babbage: Fighting the virus

3/11/2020
As the number of cases of covid-19 rises over 100,000 around the world, scientists and governments are working around the clock on treatments and vaccines. Our science editor, Geoffrey Carr, explains the genetic make-up of the virus. Mark Suzman, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rupert Beale from the Francis Crick Institute, and Regina Barzilay from MIT explain their attempts to thwart the outbreak. Plus, we turn data outlining the fatality rate by age into sound. Kenneth Cukier...

Duration:00:19:50

Babbage: The ocean—it ain't easy being blue

3/4/2020
The ocean is under assault as people demand more of its resources. Now climate change is causing the greatest stress yet to ocean ecosystems. Kenneth Cukier talks to Jane Lubchenco, the first US science envoy for the ocean, about why the ocean is too big to ignore. He meets the scientists helping corals to spawn outside their natural habitat and using seaweed as a substitute for single-use plastic. Also, how can Japanese sushi chefs guarantee the origins of their fish? Please subscribe to...

Duration:00:24:32

Babbage: Going viral, going global

2/26/2020
Covid-19, the new coronavirus, is spreading around the world. Abdi Mahamad, the World Health Organisation’s incident manager for Asia, reveals that for the first time since the start of the outbreak, more cases are being reported outside China than within it. What can countries do to limit the spread of the virus, and will it become a pandemic? The Economist’s deputy editor Tom Standage hosts a debate with Therese Hesketh, professor of global health at the Institute for Global Health at...

Duration:00:23:11

Babbage: Feeding tomorrow’s world @AAAS

2/19/2020
By 2050 the global population is projected to reach 9.7 billion. At the same time, climate change is putting increasing pressure on agricultural land. At the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Seattle, Alok Jha, The Economist’s science correspondent, speaks to nutritionists, genetic engineers and computer scientists to find out whether the planet can sustainably feed future generations. Could genetic engineering make key crops more productive,...

Duration:00:31:49

Babbage: Close encounters of a solar kind

2/12/2020
The Solar Orbiter is on a two year journey towards the sun, the most studied astronomical subject in the sky. What will this new view of the sun reveal? Also, Kenneth Cukier talks to Amy Zegart, who advises American policymakers on cyber-spycraft, about how countries can improve their defence against digital security threats. And, why living in a city impairs navigational skills. Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio...

Duration:00:25:28

Babbage: Viral hit

2/5/2020
Can a vaccine for the new coronavirus be developed in time to stop a pandemic? How a satellite called Claire has found a new way of spotting methane leaks to help combat global warming. And, unfolding the mystery of butterfly wings. Kenneth Cukier hosts Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions: www.economist.com/radiooffer See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Duration:00:18:09

Babbage: Judging the book

1/29/2020
Will Facebook’s new “oversight board” restore trust in the social media giant? Also, venture capitalist Roy Bahat on how AI will transform the future of work. And, how to make oxygen from moon dust. Kenneth Cukier hosts Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions: www.economist.com/radiooffer See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Duration:00:22:55

Babbage: The Wuhan plan

1/22/2020
The new coronavirus, which was discovered in December in the city of Wuhan China, is now causing a global scare. What are the symptoms of the Wuhan virus and how can it be contained? Also, a new biotech company is hoping to revolutionise the way drugs are brought to market. And, should countries around the world ban Huawei technology from their 5G network? Kenneth Cukier hosts. Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio...

Duration:00:25:08

Babbage: Starlight, star bright

1/15/2020
A giant star called Betelgeuse is behaving strangely. Could the dimming star be about to become a supernova? Also, a group of internet veterans are contesting the billion dollar sale of the “.org” domain registry. What’s their alternative? And, accidental stampedes can be deadly. How does a crowd turn into a crush? Kenneth Cukier hosts ____________________ Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio...

Duration:00:18:42

Babbage: Fire fighting

1/8/2020
Australia is battling catastrophic wildfires. Climate models predict extreme fire events are going to become more commonplace. What can countries do to prepare? And, a glimpse into the chip factory around which the modern world turns. Also, what is “open innovation”? Henry Chesbrough, professor at the Haas School of Business, at UC Berkeley talks to Kenneth Cukier. Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions: www.economist.com/radiooffer See...

Duration:00:24:25