February 2019

Episode 67: The Science of Storytelling

In this episode we chat to science writer, podcaster, speaker, author, and now communications consultant Dr Kat Arney on all things science communication! We dive into the current state of the science communication industry, from the tools of the trade, things that 'scicommers' can improve, and the work Kat does training researchers in the art of storytelling.

Episode 66: Vaccines: Tackling Viral Misinformation

In this episode we are joined by Richard Clarke, a PhD researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine! Richard is a member of the the Vaccine Confidence Project, an initiative that monitors public confidence in immunisation for the purpose of detecting public concerns around vaccines. These concerns can have massive implications for the effectiveness of vaccine programmes and as such researchers must address them as early as possible.

In this episode we explore what researchers can do to effectively communicate science on-and-off-line (it turns out caps lock, insults, and twitter mobs aren't very convincing...), and the results of his research that suggests that on the whole people are less vulnerable to online pseudoscience than we might think. We also chat about his involvement in the Skeptic community, and the role that public trust in authority plays in vaccine hesitancy.

Richard's PhD focusses on the information seeking behaviours of mothers as they make a vaccine decision during pregnancy. In his studies Richard applies research from the psychology of decision making, trust and the field of information science to quantitatively investigate how mothers engage in information gathering to aid decision making with respect to the pertussis vaccine currently offered during pregnancy. 

Episode 65: The World Food Programme

In today's episode Gemma speaks to Hila Cohen the International Business Development Lead of the World Food Programme's Innovation Accelerator. We dive into the invaluable work done by the WFP, the benefits of considerate locally focussed innovations in food tech, and whether there should be concerns given the aging farming community.

The WFP Innovation Accelerator identifies and nurtures solutions to hunger globally. They also provide financial support to WFP innovators and external start-ups, and access to a network of experts. The WFP believes that the way forward in the fight against hunger is not necessarily in building grand plans, but identifying and testing solutions in an agile way.


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