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The Particle Podcast tells stories of science and the people behind the science across Australia. Particle is supported by Scitech, empowering West Australians in science, technology, engineering and maths.

The Particle Podcast tells stories of science and the people behind the science across Australia. Particle is supported by Scitech, empowering West Australians in science, technology, engineering and maths.
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The Particle Podcast tells stories of science and the people behind the science across Australia. Particle is supported by Scitech, empowering West Australians in science, technology, engineering and maths.






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The ISS's Aussie Flight Controller

It's a National Science Week special episode! Flight controller Andrea Boyd works directly with the International Space Station (ISS) on a day-to-day basis, communicating with astronauts on experiments in the European Space Agency lab. Originally from South Australia, Andrea was in Australia for National Science Week - visiting Perth, Adelaide and Sydney to attend events and talk with budding STEM students!


Robotics and Automation

Robotics and automation have been changing how we interact with our world more frequently in the past few years. From robotic vacuum cleaners to self-parking cars to smart houses, robotics has helped to make our world wore accessible and easier to live in. But to create this level of technology, research into automation and robotics is needed.At UWA's Robotics and Automation lab, the team have been researching autonomous robots for more than 20 years. Over that time, Professor Thomas...


Tackling FASD in WA

Fetal Alchohol Spectrum Disorder – or FASD – has been a growing concern for families in regional Australia. FASD occurs when alcohol is consumed during pregnancy and can lead to a wide range of disabilities in an unborn child. This episode we talk with Sharynne Hamilton - a PHD candidate with the Telethon Kids Institute in Western Australia. Sharynne has been looking at the prevalence of FASD in youths who come into conflict with the justice system and was listed as a finalist in...


AstroQuest: A truly galactic task

With so many lights in our night sky, identifying what's a star, a galaxy or another source of black body radiation can be a very time consuming project. This immense task is something the team at ICRAR are hoping to complete over the next few years before a new telescope goes online in Chile - and considering the sheer volume of data to sift through, they've reached out to citizen scientists for help.


Particle Podcast: VR in Schools

A team of biologists have created an interactive VR program called the Virtual Plant Cell - designed to help teach students about what happens inside a plants cell. But it's more than just a 3D-video, with cooperative game play and communication a key component of the experience, it has the potential to change how we learn. The project is by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, a cutting-edge research centre based in Perth focused on better understanding the ways plants...


Sustainable Cities

The word sustainable is often used in relation to both our food and the environment. But what does it mean to make a city sustainable? Is it controlling its carbon footprint? It’s population growth? Or how its infrastructure is planned? Professor Peter Newman from the Sustainability Policy Institute has spent many years trying to answer this politically charged and often polarising question.


Plastic, a History

Plastic has weaved it's way into every aspect of modern society from plastic backs to synthetic clothing. But while it's threat to the environment is of serious concern, there was a time when the invention of plastic actually helped wildlife.


UWA Rockets take to the Sky

With the first ever Australian Universities Rocket Competition being held on April 17th, University students from around the country are taking their amateur rockets to Queensland to see who can fly highest, fastest and not blow up on the launch pad. The UWA Aerospace Club was only created in April last year but the team has already made it into the competitions Top 5 list based on the initial round of judging. Even though there is no Aerospace Engineering course at UWA, the team are...


Scanning our way to a better night's sleep

This episode of the Particle Podcast, we're looking at a disorder which effects 9% of women and 25% of men in Australia - Sleep Apnoea. Professor Peter Eastwood is a Senior Research Fellow with the WA Sleep Disorder Research Institute and has been researching if a 3D-scan of the face can predict a patients risk. And so far, the results look promising.


Firsthand Experience Of Plastic Pollution In Our Oceans

Julia Reisser is an oceanographer who has spent her life researching plastics. She has over 15 years’ experience travelling the world and witnessing firsthand the impacts of plastic pollution on our ocean. From dead Sea turtles washing up on the beaches of Brazil to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Julia’s seen the damage plastic can do. It’s driven her work with the Ocean Cleanup Project, and it’s why she’s now looking into micro-plastic movement and the effect of plastics on sea turtles...

Is Emotional Drinking Real?

Whether we’re celebrating or commiserating, humans often use alcohol to regulate their emotions. Champagne at a wedding elevates the mood, whereas whiskey after a heartbreak might help some people cope. But is this link between how we feel and how we drink a real one? And can we ever really know why we do the things we do? Henry Austin of the CARE lab at UWA and the ADAPT lab at the University of Amsterdam is working to understand these ideas in his PhD. Learn how some simple stockings...


The Bachelorette Of Native Animals: Perth Zoo's Breeding Program

Breeding animals in zoos has helped bring species back from the brink of extinction. But getting animals to make babies isn’t always as simple as boy meets girl. Some animals’ mating habits are even more extra than the chopper rides and rose ceremonies on The Bachelor. For Perth Zoo, it’s been a learning experience. We caught up with Perth Zoo Science Project Leader, Dr Peter Mawson, who heads the native species breeding program at Perth Zoo. He told us all about the weird and wonderful...


Sustaining Hope In Our Cities: Developing For The Future

On 15 August, the winners of the Premier’s Science Awards 2018 were announced. Scientist of the Year was awarded to Professor Peter Newman in recognition of his invaluable contribution to the sustainable development of West Australia. Particle sat down with Peter to chat about his journey up until this point and why he uses Perth as an example of incredible sustainable development. Hear about the 40-year campaign that has seen him transform from naive university lecturer to media ratbag,...