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The Economist: Babbage-logo

The Economist: Babbage

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.
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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: The ethics of AI

1/17/2018
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Artificial intelligence heralds the fourth industrial revolution. But what are its ethical challenges? Also, Anne McElvoy and producer Cheryl Brumley head under Manhattan to inspect New York’s newest water tunnel. And the biggest rocket in the world prepares for its maiden flight. Kenneth Cukier hosts.

Duration: 00:22:20


Babbage: Submarine drones hunt for missing flight

1/10/2018
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A Norwegian research vessel has joined the search to find missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370. Can its contingent of self-navigating submarine drones find what others have missed? Also, do we really understand the laws of physics? And what’s new at the world’s biggest gadget show? Hal Hodson and Ananyo Bhattacharya host.

Duration: 00:16:17


Babbage: Trees take a bough

1/3/2018
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They are the longest living organisms on earth and supply a timber industry worth $600 billion. But do we value trees enough? Also, how reforesting is one of the biggest changes to land use changes. And the growing threat to tree health. Kenneth Cukier hosts.

Duration: 00:17:18


Babbage: Highlights special

12/27/2017
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In this special festive episode, we look back at some of the highlights from this year’s coverage. A better way to sail into the stars, why birds are weaving cigarette butts into their homes and what the future of electric cars might look like when charged through thin air. Jason Palmer hosts

Duration: 00:12:07


Babbage: Remaking tigerland

12/20/2017
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Science correspondent Hal Hodson tells the story of T3, a tiger whose bid for freedom and remarkable journey across India highlighted the underlying tensions between humans, nature and conservation

Duration: 00:21:00


Babbage: Greetings, Earthlings

12/13/2017
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Astronomers say a curious cigar-shaped asteroid passing by the sun is not native to our solar system. Could it be an alien spacecraft? Also, a pioneering patient who set out to find a cure for his own life-threatening disease. And the great avocado shortage. Jason Palmer hosts.

Duration: 00:18:08


Babbage: Archeology without the digging

12/6/2017
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Google is changing how we view ancient artefacts. Plus, governments could soon regulate video games, as a new money-making method using 'loot boxes' emerges. Some say it's too similar to gambling. And Melinda Gates discusses the importance of contraception in reducing poverty.

Duration: 00:16:14


Babbage: The electric-flight plan

11/29/2017
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Electric cars have become a common sight. So are battery-powered planes likely to take off soon? Also, the engineered bacterium that uses two synthetic DNA letters to make artificial proteins. And how digital technology is transforming speakers and headsets. Jason Palmer hosts.

Duration: 00:18:08


Babbage: The whizz of Oz

11/22/2017
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China’s rising demand for electric car batteries has produced a mineral boom in the Australian outback. But is there enough mined cobalt to go round? Also, what the European Union is working towards in the field of climate change mitigation. And how the humble fusebox can make your home more energy efficient. Tim Cross hosts.

Duration: 00:19:10


Babbage: Negative emissions

11/15/2017
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Countries around the world have agreed to cut carbon emissions but what are they doing to remove the existing CO2 from the air? And how a new generation of surgical robots is about to enter the operating theatre. Also, why do birds really have such colourful bodies? Jason Palmer hosts.

Duration: 00:19:22


Babbage: Leapfrogging forward

11/8/2017
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Technology in Africa is making huge advances but will it enough to close the economic gap between Africa and the West? Plus, how scientists are trying to harness the microbiome to rid us of tooth rot. And scientists have developed a 'spaghetti' probe that can map our brains much more accurately. We ask what the future of this technology is. Jason Palmer hosts.

Duration: 00:14:57


Babbage: Unidentified flying rock

11/1/2017
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The first interstellar visitor to the solar system arrives, turns and leaves. What can be learned from the mysterious object? Also, researchers are kitting out drones to deliver supplies to the battlefield. And if wireless charging takes off, electric vehicles could—in theory—run forever

Duration: 00:15:37


Babbage: All about that base

10/25/2017
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Minutes ago, Nature announced an important development in gene editing. Host Hal Hodson and Natasha Loder discuss how this technique is so precise and what this means for curing genetic diseases. Plus, why sperm whales like heavy metal music. And why are we so negative about our future?

Duration: 00:19:00


Babbage: Deus ex machina

10/19/2017
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With the release of Blade Runner 2049, we explore the future of artificial intelligence and whether it could teach us how the human mind works. The Economist's Oliver Murton and Jan Piotrowski debate with host Tim Cross.

Duration: 00:22:24


Babbage: Are C-sections fuelling the obesity epidemic?

10/11/2017
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Babies born via a Caesarean section are more likely to be obese says new research. Plus how glass is getting a makeover and we explore the question of why you’re attracted to the people you’re attracted to. The Economist's science correspondent Tim Cross presents.

Duration: 00:16:15


Babbage: Sleep, space and a striking storm-source

10/4/2017
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This year's Nobel science prizes have been announced and The Economist's science team explain the discoveries behind them. Plus: the link between international trade and lightning strikes, and research suggests that standing desks might be good for your productivity as well as your health.

Duration: 00:19:59


Babbage: Send in the microbots

9/27/2017
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The hunt is on among the world’s airlines for faster and more efficient ways to keep jet engines in tip-top condition. Could the answer be tiny robots that inspect and fix them from the inside? Also, a new study shows that birds deliberately weave cigarette butts into their nests to help keep parasites away. And is it right to relinquish control of our identities to private companies? Jason Palmer hosts.

Duration: 00:18:51


Babbage: Sailing through space

9/20/2017
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Electronic sails could lead to faster, cheaper space exploration by harnessing the energy from solar wind. A new paper suggests climate change predictions could have been slightly overheated. And some antivenoms might be more like snake oil than salvation

Duration: 00:17:38


Babbage: Curing cancer

9/13/2017
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Miracles in a test tube won't cure cancer; using and adapting the technology we've already got will. Plus how WiFi's little brother LoRa will enable our smart cities to flourish. And why Saturn's space probe Cassini is diving to its death on Friday.

Duration: 00:17:11


Babbage: I can see you

9/6/2017
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Facial recognition software can identify you in a crowd. But it will soon be able to judge your mood, your age and ethnicity. We discuss the merits and pitfalls of this fast-advancing technology. Plus, could fish food be the source of antibiotic resistance? And host Jason Palmer gets stuck in a virtual swamp.

Duration: 00:15:08

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