Sinopsis

Sound thinking: podcasts of current research

Episodios

  • Waiting for the world to begin again: a letter from a plague

    Waiting for the world to begin again: a letter from a plague

    09/04/2020 Duración: 09min

    Pod Academy's Chair, Chris Creegan, reflects on Covid-19 and HIV.

  • James Bruce: an 18th century Scotsman’s journey to Abyssinia

    James Bruce: an 18th century Scotsman’s journey to Abyssinia

    18/02/2020 Duración: 18min

    A Scottish Laird becomes Lord of the Bedchamber in the Abyssinian/Ethiopian court and finds the source of the Nile. Like many of his wealthy contemporaries in the 18th and 19th centuries, Lord James Bruce of Kinnaird made the grand tour of Europe (see the companion blog to this podcast).  Unlike many of them he also ventured further afield. For three years, from 1769 to 1772, the six-foot four Scottish laird with vivid red hair, travelled to Abyssinia, the old Ethiopian Empire comprising the northern half of present-day Ethiopia.  But his reasons for going are shrouded in mystery. Was he trying to find the source of the Nile or like an 18th century Indiana Jones, was he really searching for the Ark of the Covenant? Our producer Antonia Dalivalle takes up the story…. Bruce arrived in the country at a time when Abyssinians weren’t exactly fans of Europeans.   A century earlier, the Emperor had kicked out the Portuguese Jesuits. They had pushed their luck and tried to convert the already-Christian Ethiopians

  • Adventures in Abyssinia – Introducing James Bruce of Kinneard

    Adventures in Abyssinia – Introducing James Bruce of Kinneard

    21/01/2020 Duración: 10min

    Take a look at The Tribuna of the Uffizi by Johan Zoffany. What do you see? A group of Georgian Grand Tourist poseurs.  But one figure, towers above the rest, stands apart, on the far right of the painting. It is James Bruce of Kinneard, the real Indiana Jones. James Bruce is introduced in this blog, and in the accompanying short podcast  by our producer, Antonia Dalivalle.  Antonia explores the story of Bruce's travels in Abyssinia/Ethiopia in her  longer podcast The Real Indiana Jones - coming soon.  In the left-hand corner of the painting, a jumble of valuable artefacts - including a distressed looking lion sculpture – are strewn across the floor. The connoisseurs are crowded into a chapel-like space, the Tribuna in Florence’s Uffizi Gallery. This was a ‘Holy of Holies’ – a ‘Hollywood Walk of Fame’ – of treasured European antiquities and artworks. They were on an eighteenth-century equivalent of the ‘Gap Year’. They weren’t finding themselves – but rather, the roots of European culture, through art, lit

  • Masculinity

    Masculinity

    03/12/2019 Duración: 46min

    What does it mean to be a 'good man'? With so much talk about toxic masculinity,  there is, perhaps. a pre-supposition that there is no good masculinity. This lecture by Dr Nina Power, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Roehampton University, is based on her forthcoming book, What do Men Want?  It is part of the IF Project's 2019 lecture series, Thinking Between the Lines: truth, lies and fiction in an age of populism. Nina Power points to the resentment men feel towards women (and women's resentment of men).  Nowhere is that resentment more apparent than in the male only groups that are springing up  such as Fathers for Justice, INCEL men, and Men Going their Own Way (mgtow), whose website says. Happiness is a man who protects and cares for his family, goes forth and conquers, gives of himself for a greater cause, and ensures his legacy – because that’s what he was made to do.........But today’s men are ... told to “man up” and tough it out through turbulent waters while being called misogynists for expectin

  • Left Populism

    Left Populism

    18/11/2019 Duración: 46min

    This lecture on Left populism is part of the IF Project’s lecture series, Thinking between the Lines: Truth, Lies and Fiction in an age of populism.   Dr Marina Prentoulis, Senior Lecturer in the School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies at University of East Anglia and a member of Syriza, explores the differences between Left and Right Wing populism. She recognises that Left and Right populism are often seen as two sides of the same coin, and points to What is Populism? by Jan-Werner Müller (one of the best known books on populism) as being an analysis which wrongly conflates left wing and right wing populism, in part because it uses a journalistic rather than a rigorous theoretical approach, focusing on form rather than policy.  For example, Werner contends that “populist claim that they, and only they, represent the people” p. 20 “populists live in a kind of political fantasy world: they imagine an opposition between corrupt elites and a morally pure, homogeneous people” (p.

  • Hannah Arendt – Truth and Politics

    Hannah Arendt – Truth and Politics

    12/11/2019 Duración: 56min

    "No one has ever doubted that truth and politics are on rather bad terms with each other, and no one, as far as I. know, has ever counted truthfulness among the political virtues. Lies have always been regarded as necessary and justifiable tools not only of the politician's or the demagogue's but also of the statesman's trade. Why is that so? And what does it mean for the nature and the dignity of the political realm, on one side, and for the nature and the dignity of  truth and truthfulness, on the other?" From Between Past and Future: Eight Exercises in Political Thought So says political philosopher Hannah Arendt, the subject of this lecture which is part of the IF Project's lecture series, Thinking between the Lines: Truth, Lies and Fiction in an age of populism. Dr Dan Taylor of Goldsmiths, University of London, takes the title Truth and Politics (the title of Arendt's essay quoted above), to explore the testy and troublesome relationship between truth and politics. Are all politicians just liars? 

  • Making things up: what does it mean to ‘make things up’ in literature?

    Making things up: what does it mean to ‘make things up’ in literature?

    15/10/2019 Duración: 52min

    Who is allowed to make things up?   What does fiction writing have to do with life? Is a novel a document? This is the second lecture in the If Project series, Thinking Between the Lines: truth, lies and fiction in an age of populism.  Dr Katie da Cunha Lewin (@kdc_lewin) explores what it means to 'make things up' in literature, especially looking at writing by women.   “I don’t have to go anywhere, I don’t have to imagine anything. It’s in the living room with me. – Sheila Heti The quote above from Sheila Heti, a Canadian writer whose recent work Motherhood (2018), dealt with the many questions that underpin the idea of mothering and child-rearing, helps us think about the central idea of this lecture: what does it mean to ‘make things up’ in literature? Who is allowed to make things up? And what happens if writing avoids doing that all together? In my argument for this lecture, I want to unpack some of these questions, but I also want to suggest something about the politics of making things up. This lect

  • Nervous States

    Nervous States

    08/10/2019 Duración: 01h14s

    "We need to get away from the idea that knowledge, expertise and truth are obvious and given." This first lecture in the IF Project lecture series, Thinking Between the Lines: Truth, lies and fiction in an age of populism is given by Professor Will Davies of Goldsmith's, University of London. Professor Davies's powerpoint can be found here. What does it mean to know the world?  Why can't we agree on what is true anymore?  Why do many people no longer trust experts? Professor Davies sets out to fathom what is driving the conflicts and fragmentations in the infrastructure underpinning our understanding of the world.   Using his most recent book, Nervous States, as a jumping off point he analyses the the disintegration of consensus, identifying the roles played by the ubiquity and speed of technology as well as economics and psychology. Importantly he asks, what is a fact?  And in answer looks back in history, drawing on the work of Mary Poovey (A History of the Modern Fact ) who traced the origins of 'acce

  • Divided Kingdom

    Divided Kingdom

    12/12/2018 Duración: 35min

    Pat Thane, Research Professor at King's College, London and Professor Emerita, University of London, explores the social and political history of Britain over the past 100+ years with Pod Academy's Lee Millam, as they discuss her latest book, Divided Kingdom. This podcast is a tour de force as Professor Thane takes us from the founding of the Labour Party in 1900 in response to low wages and poor working conditions, through 2 world wars and the arrival of globalisation with its attendant precarity and poverty wages.  Highlighting changing living standards and expectations and inequalities of class, income, wealth, race, gender and sexuality,  she reveals what has (and has not) changed in the UK since 1900, explaining how our contemporary society, including its divisions and inequalities, was formed. Over the years there are recurring themes such as housing shortages and women's campaigns for equality, and there are some surprises - the much derided 1970s were actually the time of the greatest equality! D

  • The Real Cost of IVF

    The Real Cost of IVF

    25/07/2018 Duración: 42min

    What is the real cost of IVF?  As Louise Brown the world’s first “test tube” baby celebrates her 40th birthday – this seminar organised by the Progress Educational Trust  explores not just the economic cost, but also the emotional and psychological costs.  Worldwide there have been 60 million live births as a result of IVF, but it is still the case that over 60% of IVF cycles don't work. Does receiving fertility treatment confer any benefit to patients, even if there is no baby to take home at the end? Is unsuccessful fertility treatment more devastating than no treatment at all, or is it better to at least have had the chance to try? The event was held at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG). You may be interested to read the RCOG scientific impact paper on multiple pregnancies following assisted conception, referred to in the seminar Chaired by Sally Cheshire, Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority Speakers Dr Rebecca Brown Jacky Boivin Professor of Health Psy

  • Putting our genome to work

    Putting our genome to work

    21/06/2018 Duración: 36min

    This podcast is drawn from a Progress Educational Trust (PET) event called Putting Your Genome to Work: For the NHS, for Industry, for the UK Post-Brexit Chair:  Sarah Norcross, Director of PET Speakers: Dr Eliot Forster, Chair of MedCity  Dr Edward HockingsFounding Director of Ethics and Genetics Dr Athena Matakidou, Head of Clinical Genomics at AstraZeneca's Centre for Genomics Research, and Consultant in Medical Oncology at Cambridge University Hospitals Dr Jayne Spink, Chief Executive of Genetic Alliance UK We are at the beginning of a biomedical revolution built on the promise of genomics. The British government has put this at the heart of its post-Brexit industrial strategy.  So what is the potential of genomics, what is the journey we are setting out on, and what are the pitfalls? The British Government's Industrial Strategy White Paper Building a Britain Fit for the Future sets out an ambition for the UK to 'be the world's most innovative economy' and play a leading role in a 'fourth indu

  • The Alt-Right – a journey into mainstream politics?

    The Alt-Right – a journey into mainstream politics?

    11/05/2018 Duración: 35min

    Maxwell Ward talks to Dr Lawrence Rosenthal, chair of the Berkeley Centre for Right-Wing Studies, about the Alt-Right’s unlikely journey into the mainstream of US politics and their more recent struggles. What are their ambitions? What do they really think of Donald Trump? And where do they go from here? But the first thing Maxwell wanted to know… who and what are the Alt-Right? Dr Lawrence Rosenthal: The Alt-Right represents what has long been called in the USA the fringe of American politics. What made them the fringe, or the very definition of the fringe, is that they are outside of the mainstream and do not have particularly a role in national politics. The kinds of ideology that we’re talking about are things that have characterised the Klu Klux Klan in this country and Neo-Nazi organisations in this country. They have not had a role in American Politics nationally since the 1920s and 1930s. But, they continued to exist and they existed in atomised corners. There would be groups in rural Ohio or rural

  • Beauty and the Beast

    Beauty and the Beast

    21/12/2017 Duración: 07min

    Hello, this is Pod Academy.  Of late, there has been much talk of sexism, in particular sexual harassment, behind the scenes in the film industry.  But what about the films themselves?  Pod Academy’s Tatiana Prorokova took a look at the hit movie Beauty and the Beast.  One of the highest grossing films this year, it has taken over $1bn worldwide. The recent adaptation of the famous Disney cartoon – Beauty and the Beast – is the film that through a children's story raises the profound questions of female oppression and sexism that have existed in our society for centuries. The story focuses on the girl Belle (played by Emma Watson) who lives with her father in a small village in France. Belle is considered weird by most of the villagers and the reason for that is her love for books. The girl is frequently portrayed with a book in her hands; such an image, however, provokes rather negative responses from the people around her primarily because they believe that education, which, in this context, is access t

  • Arts policy – a new approach

    Arts policy – a new approach

    02/11/2017 Duración: 13min

    A radical vision for arts policy should be at the heart of any progressive government argue Professor Rod Stoneman and Adam Stoneman. Note: This is not a transcript of the podcast interview with Rod and Adam, but rather the text of a paper by them on arts policy. Restoring financial support for the arts would hardly amount to a radical transformative vision for the arts.  The major proposals in a recent document from the Labour party, for example, were entirely defensive: ‘reinstate arts funding’, ‘safeguard our galleries and museums’, ‘protect the BBC’. It does not have to be like this; in 1965, Government Minister Jennie Lee published Britain’s first cultural white paper, ‘A Policy for the Arts: The First Steps’, in which she addressed uneven regional distribution and unequal access to the arts and committed state support for infrastructure. The paper led to the creation of countless museums, galleries and concert halls across the country and completely transformed Britain’s cultural landscape. Rather th

  • The ethics of space exploration

    The ethics of space exploration

    28/09/2017 Duración: 36min

    When you use a SatNav, or check a modern weather forecast, you're using technology made possible by space exploration. Emerging space industries include tourism, and some tentative plans to mine asteroids, or the Moon, for rare materials. Space now has its lawyers, its policymakers, and even its ethicists. Robert Seddon went to King's College, London, to meet Tony Milligan, a moral philosopher who has worked extensively on the ethics of space exploration. Robert Seddon:  So, how did that begin? Tony Milligan:  Well, that’s a piece of guidance from my students, in fact. There was a student who wanted to work on the issue of terraforming—which is one of the big, sexy issues in space ethics—and I thought, hmmm, does the world really need this to be done? And then I looked into it, and he produced the work, and it was a good piece of work. So I thought, this bears looking into a little bit closer; so I did a short course, and the blurb advertising the course was picked up by Space Policy, the journal: they inv

  • Journalism – the first draft of history?

    Journalism – the first draft of history?

    10/07/2017 Duración: 57min

    Journalism has been called 'the first draft of history', and as a first draft it may be written over, forgotten, ignored.  In this podcast, journalist Martin Bright (@martinbright) considers one tiny strand of the story of the Iraq war. It illustrates truth and fake news, things that are very much on our minds at the moment.  It is taken from a lecture Martin gave for IF, the free university in London, in its series 'Thinking Without Borders'  in 2017. Martin Bright:  Let's begin with the rules of journalism - never befriend a politician, never befriend a PR, never betray a source and never use PowerPoint (though that one I am ignoring....) I'm going to look at one story that plays its part in the history of the lead up to the Iraq war which you may or may not have heard about. It is a story in which I as a journalist felt I was writing the first draft of history. It's a story I wrote while working on The Observer [a UK Sunday newspaper] in early 2003. It is a story left out of the reports on the Iraq war (

  • “Kill all Normies”: the rise of the alt-right

    “Kill all Normies”: the rise of the alt-right

    29/06/2017 Duración: 33min

    Following the election of Donald Trump, the alt-right has come to play a significant role in American political discourse. They are an upstart political movement that rejects traditional conservatism and championed Trump and his opposition to political correctness. But how did a movement rooted in online and video game culture come to be so influential? Angela Nagle (@angnagle) is an Irish writer and academic who has written extensively on the rise of anti-feminism and the revitalised culture wars. She’s recently written a new book called Kill All Normies, in it she documents how fringe online politics and discussion boards have become mainstream.   Alex Burd spoke to Angela to discuss the book. He started by asking when the alt-right became a mainstream force. Angela Nagle: It has to be the election of Donald Trump. I know that's very recent. Maybe you could say something like Gamergate brought a lot of different right leaning movements and forums and things that weren't very overtly political ended up muc

  • Murder by women in eighteenth century London and Paris

    Murder by women in eighteenth century London and Paris

    27/05/2017 Duración: 24min

    We appear fascinated with the phenomenon of the woman who kills. In the last year alone in the UK, both ITV and channel 4 have launched popular documentary series chronicling the shocking lives and crimes of women who commit murder. But what is it about the murderess that renders her so interesting? To social historian Dr Anna Jenkin (@acjenkin), it is her ability to offer unique insight into the gender dynamics, and broader cultural climate, of the society in which she lives. Anna's PhD thesis explores female perpetrated homicide in eighteenth-century London and Paris. Dr Sarah Burdett caught up with Anna to discuss the findings of her research.She began by asking what it was that inspired her to investigate the topic. Anna Jenkin: I started as an undergraduate studying eighteenth-century London, and in the second year of my undergraduate I looked specifically at the case of Sarah Malcolm, who is a serial killer, mass murderess, in 1730s London. I found the case a really interesting insight into an aspect

  • Trump: the first 100 days

    Trump: the first 100 days

    29/04/2017 Duración: 29min

    What is the scorecard for President Donald Trump after the first 100 Days?  "C minus overall," says Peter Trubowitz, Professor of International Relations and Director of the US Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Associate Fellow at Chatham House, Royal Institute of International Affairs. Trump said he was going to shake up Washington, and he has, but on the legislative front he has done little of what he promised in his first 100 days. Alex Burd talked to Professor Trubowitz last year during the presidential race, now he returns to get the Professor's view on the new President's first 100 days. Listen to Alex Burd's earlier podcasts with Professor Trubowitz:  The Rise and Rise of Donald Trump (July 2016) and Clinton and Trump (August 2016) Photo by Gage Skidmore (Transcript to follow)

  • Trump: the first hundred days

    29/04/2017 Duración: 29min
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