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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.
More Information

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: 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


Babbage: Weird weather

8/30/2017
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As heatwaves sear across Europe and hurricanes wreak havoc in Houston, we ask why extreme weather events are becoming more common. Plus why the anti-inflammatory injection canakinumab will not be the next miracle drug and why Norway might leave $65 billion of oil in the earth. Kenneth Cukier hosts.

Duration: 00:15:03


Babbage: Memorable moments in technology and science this year

8/23/2017
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In this special summer episode, we look back at this year's coverage. What are the ethics of human cloning? Is it possible to fuse a computer into the human brain? And could mysterious signals picked up by an observatory really be from space aliens?

Duration: 00:17:54


Babbage: Water and the Jevons Paradox

8/16/2017
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Technology is helping us access previously inaccessible water reserves. But the more efficient we become at extracting it, the more we use. Is the world’s water crisis set to get worse? Also, we ask the Royal Horticultural Society how we should prepare our gardens to survive while we are away on vacation. Kenneth Cukier hosts

Duration: 00:17:07


Babbage: A plug for batteries

8/9/2017
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Better batteries are providing the jump start that electric cars need. Plus, could nuclear power plants soon be floating at sea? And why most areas on Earth are more biodiverse now than ever before, thanks to humans

Duration: 00:18:09


Babbage: Hollow-grams?

8/2/2017
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Holograms have fallen short of the vivid, floating projections seen in science fiction. However, one scientist is copying an iridescent butterfly to create better effects. Also, how blow flies are helping to solve murder mysteries. And why genetic testing is threatening the insurance industry. Kenneth Cukier hosts.

Duration: 00:19:09

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