Nobel laureate Eric Betzig joined us to talk blue skies thinking, the benefits of naval gazing, open access, and why in science being risk averse can be the riskiest choice of all.
We spoke to Dr Shelly Moram who leads the Functional Nitrides Group at the Department of Materials at Imperial College London about how to disrupt the way we do research and university teaching. We chatted about the metric-driven culture of universities, new ways to open up 'blue sky thinking' in scientific research, the Ivory Tower of Science and how to fight the academic 'brain drain'.
We spoke to Andrew Steele (@statto) founder of Scienceogram and Vice-Chair of Science is Vital about the funding landscape within the UK and the impact that Brexit may have on the the pockets of the countries research institutions and the potential of losing some serious intellectual capital from overseas.
The Open Science movement is gaining momentum and there is some seriously exciting initiatives driving for transparency and alternative methods of sharing scientific data. But it's got a big obstacle to overcome; the traditional academic publishing model. Ross Mounce, Editor at RIO Journal, chats to us about the distressing state of the academic publishing industry, a multi-billion pound behemoth. With enormous subscription costs paid for by the researchers who provide them with the material in the first place, extra costs to open up those papers to the wider public (whose tax dollars fund the research), archaic review processes that are ripe for innovation, and advocates that would make even the most cynical tobacco lobbyist squirm; this is going to be quite the battle.
We spoke to Conrad Wolfram, Strategic and International Director of Wolfram Research, and founder of Computer Based Math. He was keen to talk about disrupting maths education by teaching broader problem solving rather than pure computation, the importance of getting your message out there (... he's not so bad at this himself), and what's standing in the way of progress and educational reform.
How do you go about building a tech solution to a scientific problem? Well it certainly helps if you recognise that there's a problem to begin with. This was the starting point for the biologically trained founders of Desktop Genetics to really make waves in a field not known for moving fast (...or for breaking things, for that matter). Desktop Genetics is a rapidly growing London based startup that makes CRISPR as easy to interact with as playlists in Spotify. We spoke to CEO Riley Doyle, and CBO Edward Perello, about pushing the value of tech in biology, the importance of UX and why the reproducibility crisis really is a crisis worth paying attention to.
Timezones, geography, full time jobs - these should be barriers to the running of a complex engineering side-project on a moonshot challenge. Not the case with rLoop: a crack team of international engineers and enthusiasts who came together over Reddit to work on the ultimate passion project - designing the pod for Elon Musk's Hyperloop concept.
We spoke to Brent Lessard, CEO of rLoop, about collaborating in our digital world, using the power of the crowd, being the underdog and changing the world.
We speak to Mark Levinson, Director of Particle Fever, about telling the human stories behind the Higgs Boson discovery, making the complex beautifully compelling, and what's next for the Particle Physicist turned Film-Maker...
She also spoke about their brilliant Catalyst Grant for early stage ideas / startups intent on solving research problems through tech - you can apply before June 30th!
We spoke to Alex Flamant of Notion Capital (and ex-IBM Watson) to discuss what VCs are looking for in startups, why London is the perfect hotbed for innovation in AI and how corporates can foster an open research culture...
Science communication needs help. We talk to Luke Robert Mason, Director of Virtual Futures, an organisation that collides science, technology and art through immersive events, about the importance of respecting your audience, what the tech industry is doing right and wrong, and building an engaged community around science.
Hosts Lawrence and Gemma take 4 minutes to chat through the why's, what's and who's of the Science: Disrupt podcast.