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A podcast from The Conversation, narrating long read stories written by academic experts.

A podcast from The Conversation, narrating long read stories written by academic experts.
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A podcast from The Conversation, narrating long read stories written by academic experts.




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Infertility through the ages, and how IVF helped change the way we think about it – podcast

from www.shutterstock.comTo all outward appearances, Louise Brown looked exactly the same as thousands of other babies when her blinking, slightly quizzical gaze met newspaper readers on the morning of July 25, 1978. But as the first child born using the technique of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), she was utterly unique in the history of humankind. This audio version of a long read article written by Tracey Loughran, Reader in History at the University of Essex, tracks the history of...


Decolonise science: time to end another imperial era – podcast

Empires massively affected the development of science.Cahiers de Science et Vie No114Recent years have seen an increasing number of calls to “decolonise science”, even going so far as to advocate scrapping the practice and findings of modern science altogether. Tackling the lingering influence of colonialism in science is much needed. But there are also dangers that the more extreme attempts to do so could play into the hands of religious fundamentalists and ultra-nationalists. This...


How the humble potato fuelled the rise of liberal capitalism – podcast

from www.shutterstock.comBritain’s love for the potato is bound up with notions of the utilitarian value of a good diet and how a healthy citizenry is the engine room of a strong economy. And it all dates back to the 18th century. This episode of In Depth Out Loud, a podcast narrating an in depth article from The Conversation, looks at the history of the Enlightenment thinkers who promoted the tuber as a way to build a healthy and productive society. It’s read by Laura Hood. You can read...


How transhumanism’s faithful follow it blindly into a future for the elite – podcast

shutterstock.comTranshumanism is the idea that humans should transcend their current natural state and limitations through the use of technology – that we should embrace self-directed human evolution. In the same way that technological progress has allowed humans to tame nature, we can bring an end to the human realities of disease, ageing and even death. But there is a darker side to the naive faith that proponents of transhumanism have – one that is decidedly dystopian. This is the...


Antisemitism: how the origins of history’s oldest hatred still hold sway today – podcast

Raymund Flandez, CC BY-NC-NDThere has been a surge in antisemitic incidents across the globe. Antisemitism rears its ugly head in every aspect of public life, whether internal debates within political parties or accusations of conspiratorial networks or plots in politics and business. This is the audio version of an in depth article from The Conversation, which explores how prejudice against Jews has persisted throughout history. Today’s variants are carved from – and sustained by –...


The story of the Novichok nerve agents – podcast

Emergency personnel at the Ashley Wood Recovery Centre in Salisbury as the investigation into the suspected nerve agent attack on Russian double agent Sergei Skripal continues. PA Images In this audio version of an in depth article from The Conversation, listen to the story of how nerve agents were developed – and used in an attack on a former Russian spy on the streets of the English city of Salisbury. You can read the text version of this article here. It’s read by Annabel Bligh for The...


The heartbreaking story of the flying mathematicians of World War I – podcast

William Farren and David Pinsent: two of Farnborough's flying mathematicians. Pinsent family archive.In this audio version of an in depth article from The Conversation, listen to the story of the men of Britain’s Royal Aircraft Factory who gave their lives to help create the world’s first air force. You can read the text version of this article here. It’s read by Michael Parker for The Conversation’s In Depth Out Loud podcast. The music in this podcast is Night Caves, by Lee Rosevere...


Africa’s missing Ebola outbreaks – podcast

A nurse nun visits the graves of victims of a 1976 Ebola outbreak.Wikimedia CommonsIn this audio version of an in depth article from The Conversation, hear about how the Cold War, dictators and cover-ups all conspired to bury evidence of past outbreaks of Ebola, making the deadly disease that much harder to handle during the 2014 outbreak that killed 11,000 people. You can read the text version of this article here. It’s read by Gemma Ware for The Conversation’s In Depth Out Loud...


Why life expectancy in Britain has fallen so much that a million years of life could disappear by 2058 – podcast

Who will live longer?via shutterstock.comLife expectancy has been steadily improving in the UK for 110 years. Until now. A further million earlier deaths are now projected to happen across the country in the 40 years to 2058. Danny Dorling and Stuart Gietel-Basten dove into the latest life expectancy projections for this in depth article for The Conversation. It’s read aloud by Annabel Bligh for The Conversation’s In Depth Out Loud podcast. You can read the text version of this article...


The IQ test wars: why screening for intelligence is still so controversial – podcast

More Online IQ “quizzes” purport to be able to tell you whether or not “you have what it takes to be a member of the world’s most prestigious high IQ society”. But despite this hype, the relevance, usefulness and legitimacy of the IQ test is still hotly debated among educators, social scientists, and hard scientists. To understand why, it’s important to understand the history underpinning the birth, development and expansion of IQ tests – one that includes their use to further...


How slimming became an obsession with women in post-war Britain – podcast

Woman’s Own embracing the commercial slimming culture.badgreeb RECORDS - art -photos via, CC BY-SAWoman’s Own was one of the most popular post-war women’s magazines in Britain. Once the food rationing of the war years ended, the magazine began pedalling a slimming mantra. By the mid-1960s, it had elevated dieting to centre stage of its weekly beauty advice. Many of today’s weight-loss diets bear striking similarities with those of the 50s and 60s. Listen to the story of how...


Buggery, bribery and a committee: the story of how gay sex was decriminalised in Britain – podcast

shutterstockGay men should show their thanks by “comporting themselves quietly and with dignity”. So said Lord Arran, the man who shepherded the landmark law that partially decriminalised sex between men through parliament in 1967. It was a long time in coming and left a lot to be desired for gay men. Listen to the fascinating in-depth story of how the 1967 Sexual Offences Act came to pass and the legacy it had. It is written by Chris Ashford and read by Andrew Naughtie. You can read the...


Twenty years on from Deep Blue vs Kasparov: how a chess match started the big data revolution – podcast

Check mate.Tristan Martin/flickr, CC BY-SATwenty years ago, the world looked on in amazement as humanity’s best chess player was beaten by a computer for the first time. While Deep Blue’s victory over Garry Kasparov in New York in May 1997 may have made it seem that computers were learning to think like us, in fact it showed why it was better to be a machine. What followed was the realisation that we could put computers to work on changing almost every aspect of our lives. Listen to the...


A visit to Pyongyang: the Kim dynasty’s homage to Stalinism – podcast

Bow down.Franck Robichon/EPAIn this first episode of The Conversation’s new In Depth, Out Loud podcast, in which we read out a selection of long form stories, we take a visit to Pyongyang. As despotic personality cults go, Stalin’s example still leads the pack. But North Korea’s ruling family have taken it to a new extreme. Written by Colin Alexander and read by Michael Parker. You can read the text version of this article here. The music in this episode is Night Caves, by Lee...