A podcast on science from scientists. Here we ask those seemingly straight forward questions that don’t have such straight forward answers. Each episode takes a tongue in cheek look at current research and research practises whilst lifting the veil on what is scientific truth. Mostly we nerd out about the crazy complexity of the world, with the occasional calling out of mischief in the research community. We try to give a full account of the topics under discussion but as always, further research is needed. Contact: Twitter @frnpodcast firstname.lastname@example.org url:frn-podcast.com
This week on Further Research Needed we tackle Transhumanism! We discuss how we understand the term and get into the weeds on how feasible it is. Join us to see if Transhumanism might already be here or whether it is just around the corner. As always, further research is definitely needed.
Part of academic publishing is the prestige of the journal, measured by previous citations. We are diving into this system, why we have it and what the future of quality assessment of academic publishing could look like.
On this week's episode of Further Research Needed we discuss: Can scientists have opinions? Scientists are being trained to report data without intermingling their personal opinion. However, voicing one's opinion and having the freedom to talk freely is as valuable in science as it is everywhere else. Today we critically look at the available outlets, that are available for opinion pieces - from journals to Twitter. Join us for a quick rant about "peer-reviewed" opinions and some constructive criticism. Though as always, further research is definitely needed!
This week on Further Research Needed we tackle the question: Are universities businesses? Changes in how universities behave will have far-reaching consequences for education, research and public services. We discuss if unis are getting more commercial than in the past and why they would want to in the first place.
Which scientific theories do you know, that are no longer accepted today? Academic consensus is changing slower than any of us could really notice. Sometimes it's a good idea to look back at the theories we left behind over the centuries; and this is exactly what we do in this episode. We each bring one superseded theory to the table, and discuss them with respect to past and current scientific consensus. The natural conclusion follows: which theory is next?
This week on Further Research Needed we try to answer the question: Are antibodies overpowered? Joining us is Sebastian Ols, expert in vaccine research and first time guest on the show. We discuss how our bodies manage to produce a truly astonishing diversity of antibodies, why antibodies get better over time and what innovative strategies are being used to make even better vaccines. Whether you haven't thought about your immune system in ages or consider yourself well prepared for a fierce discussion about antibodies, this episode will blow your mind. Just as it has blown ours! Strap in, get ready for some hard science and as always, remember, further research is definitely needed.
The 2020 science recap is here! Featuring life on Venus, a plane without moving parts and some deep protein folding. Sit back and relax while we share our favorite breakthroughs and meme the grumpy scientist about each other's choice. Guaranteed 99% virus free!
This time, Pedro Veliça (creator of Pedromics) is joining the show. Peer review is a cornerstone of academia and scientific publishing, but certainly not beyond improvement. Can private companies ensure the quality of research through free labor, or do we need reform of the peer review system. We're presenting a few alternatives and discuss potential implications for us as scientists, but also our truth standard in general.
Join us for the second installment of the guessing game. This time we will guess about our risk of death, the power of the sun and vaporizing all bodies of water. Find out who takes the guesstimation crown and compete with us for the best estimate.
Would you accept a Nobel prize if the cost was your sanity? In this episode we look at whether receiving the most prestigious award in science causes scientist to propose crackpot theories and even descend into madness.
Does the myth of the maverick scientist help or hinder science? In this episode we take an in depth look at what makes a maverick scientist and the effect the trope has on scientists and the public perception of research.
Enough with the rants for now. Today, each of us is bringing an uplifting piece of science to the table, and shares his excitement with the others. In the end, we have an important announcement about the future of this podcast.
WHY IS SCIENCE SO SLOW? Today we are looking at science as a whole - talking about the things that drive us up the wall and things that are truly fascinating about the scientific research system. As always, we end on a positive note: Each of us makes a wish to the science djinn to improve the scientific system in the long run. All that is needed now is for us to go out there and make them come true...
How do we as scientists feel about science fiction? Do we get mad about incorrect depictions of science in scifi? Does it create unrealistic expectations towards scientific progress and potential? And who inspires whom anyway? We're diving deep today, and leaving the world of real science behind ... almost.
How do we know Nicolas Cage is (probably) not drowning people? Does eating ice cream make people drown themselves maybe? In this episode, we learn how to assess if there can be a causal link between two correlated phenomena. We find spurious correlations everywhere and having a toolbox to probe for causality is a must for every sceptic.
How is a biomolecule different from any other molecule? Are there artificial chemicals and natural chemicals? Should scientists be trying to make their work sound more "natural", "organic" or "biological"? In this episode we talk about this self-identification and how it may be harming science as a whole.
We end the decade of research with highlighting the supposedly biggest discoveries in science. Alongside those, we brought some other topics that we found interesting and worth chatting about. Stay excited for the best and worst enzyme on the planet, new directions for antidepressants, some practical tips for time travellers and car-driving rats.
Full list of time stamps and topics:
0:00 - Intro
3:16 - RuBisCO: the best and worst enzyme on the planet
13:15 - The 5 greatest discoveries of the last decade
51:25 - Quantum computing - yes or no?
57:40 - Genome-wide association replacing candidate gene studies
1:01:23 - Street drugs as antidepressants
1:14:46 - Science for time travellers
1:24:28 - Car-driving rats / Outro
1:26:56 - Additional: Bathroom break chat
Even though most scientists agree, there are significant flaws in the publishing system (and related to that: funding distribution, reproducibility and peer review) change is slow. This might be, because our careers depend on publishing in reputable journals, being a scientist basically requires it. In this episode, Chris, Ashley and I discuss issues coming from our current publishing system and propose alternatives for some specific aspects. If you share any of the ideas, then talk to your colleagues about it and share them online. On the Fey-Sci blog, you can find links to programs which can make a difference if we give them a change. After all, change has to come from within, and we, the scientists hold the power to change the system together. fey-sci.com
Let's dive deep into biochemistry!
Chris and I discuss our beloved biological marcromolecules, and how they are all synthesised in a linear fashion, as a chain of monomers. I was wondering why this is, since especially proteins function through their 3D structure and the linear nature of the chain can be a drawback. For example, many diseases are related to misfolding of proteins, like Alzheimer's disease.
We explore some ideas on pathway evolution and kinetic reaction control. In the end, Chris convinces me with an argument on information processing. As always: informal, unscripted, and highly subjective.
Read more on fey-sci.com
What a ridiculous and utterly obsolete question. It is the exact opposite!
That's what you would hear from most people. At closer look however, the habits in the scientific community resemble those in religious circles more than they would like. Ashley, Chris and I take on that question and discuss in which aspects the scientific institution exhibits hallmarks of a religion. Including: the sanctification by Nobel prize, Chris' blind belief in the electron, poop pills as lifestyle advice and many more topics that we touch on.
Why chemical separations are so difficult. Separating useful chemicals from our waste has become one of the world's biggest challenges. We discuss the scientific background of separation issues, and what it means for research and our day to day lives.
Chris Wood and I chat about some features of RNA that are generally not so prominent in biochemistry textbooks, but I find them really fascinating. Along these thoughts, we trash some ribozymes, take a stand on RNA's role in the origin of life and discuss a few issues and developments of the recently emerging RNA-based drugs.