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The Scientistt Podcast

The Scientistt Podcast

By Scientistt
The research community like you have never heard it before.

Join us, The Scientistt Podcast, along with a host of special guests, as we explore the realities of research life in the most honest and informative way possible. Delving deeper into the industry’s latest research and most pressing questions, and sharing the unique perspectives of some of the community’s leading figures.

This is a podcast by researchers, for researchers. New episodes weekly.

Scientistt, a free networking platform for students and researchers from around the world. To find out more visit,
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Currently playing episode

Oliver Bracko: Using crowd-sourced science to study Alzheimer's disease.

The Scientistt Podcast

Oliver Bracko: Using crowd-sourced science to study Alzheimer's disease.

The Scientistt Podcast

How Brains Work: Neurology, Fruit Flies and Human Understanding
When we examine the brains of Fruit Flies (Drosophila’s), we unravel fundamental principles of how the brain works.  In this episode, Dr Carolina Rezeval discusses how she explores the neurology of behavioural choices and their potential application to humans. Join us for a discussion on Dr Carolina Rezeval’s journey, the rich potential benefits of Drosophila research, and how studying fruit flies can reveal fundamental neurological principles.
September 29, 2021
Aged Care and Intimacy: Consent, Autonomy, and Sexuality
How should we approach consent in the context of Aged Care? This is the question at the heart of an influential paper by Dr Vanessa Schouten, Dr Catherine Cook and Dr Mark Henrickson. Weighing up the role of autonomy, consent and intimacy in Aged Care settings, this conversation dives into the mechanics of how we - as individuals and as a society - make some of our most important decisions.
September 23, 2021
How The Mars Rover Works
The Mars Rover is the “most complex machine ever sent to another planet. It is a one-ton robot with two brains, seventeen cameras, six wheels, nuclear power, and a laser beam on its head."  It's every sci-fi fans dream, but it's (really) confusing. How does The Mars Rover work? How does it discover new life? What happens if it breaks? Joining us on the pod today is Emily Lakdawalla - author of 'The Design and Engineering of Curiosity: How the Mars Rover Performs Its Job'.  In this fascinating pod, Emily talks about the challenges of Mars, new life and control room drama.  Emily Lakdawalla No one human understands how all of its systems and instruments work”. Given its complexity, and with no one human understanding of how it all works, it’s incredible that it works so well. How do you ensure coherence between its different functions given its complexity?
August 31, 2021
Vaccine Skepticism and Tae Kwon Do
The stakes have never been higher. The world is more divided than ever before, and a significant part of the issue is that we can't agree on what counts as 'true'.  This week's episode features Dr Kiki Sanford: host of the hugely popular 'This Week in Science' and science communicator extraordinaire. Here, she takes on the core challenge of vaccine scepticism, the mechanics of how we come to decisions on what we think is true, and how to make the most of a PhD. 
August 24, 2021
The Monkey Wars
Is it ethical to experiment on primates? Pulitzer-prize winner Deborah Blum comes onto the pod to talk about her groundbreaking book - The Monkey Wars. Written in 1994 but reading like it was written today, the fraught ethical issues it touches on are as relevant as ever. Deborah and Jamie dig into the ethical basis for animal rights, the utilitarian nature of arguments on both sides and discuss the ever-changing terrain of one of science's fiercest debates. Welcome to The Monkey Wars. 
August 17, 2021
A Breakthrough in Treating Depression
More than 20% of American's will suffer from depression at some point in their lives - but traditional treatments are relatively ineffective. That, according to Dr Jyoti Mishra, is in part because current treatments are too 'blunt' an instrument. Simply put, "current health care standards are mostly just asking people how they feel and then writing a prescription for medication.” Here, Dr Mishra talks us through her potentially groundbreaking study in developing personalised treatment for depression - something that reflects the diversity of causes that live under the same label. Her study represents a huge conceptual leap - and this podcast isn't one to miss. You can read the research here:
August 11, 2021
Magic, Luck and Psychology
Dr Richard Wiseman has been described as "one of the most interesting and innovative experimental psychologists in the world today". He's sold more than 3 million books, he's a member of the Inner Magic Circle and his brand psychology communication has racked up more than 500 million views on YouTube. In this winding and thoroughly entertaining conversation, Richard and Jamie discuss the psychological underpinnings of magic, the science of luck and the nature of scepticism.  Find Dr Wiseman here:
August 04, 2021
Elie AlChaer: Efficiency, Efficiency, Efficiency
How do we measure success, productivity or efficiency? Elie AlChaer is a civil engineer who studied at the Lebanese American University, Byblos and completed his graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley. His experience in the construction industry led to the start of his research on productivity and how to measure it. In this episode we talk about how he got interested in efficiency, the problems with traditional measures of efficiency and an algorithm used to address it. Enjoy! 
June 03, 2021
The Rights and Wrongs of Economics
In January 2020, today's guest was named a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences by Pope Francis. That's right,  Dani Rodrik is a seriously respected and world-renowned Turkish economist and Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard University. Publishing widely in the areas of international economics, economic development, and political economy, we delve deeper in to some of those topics today & give you a simple breakdown of Dani's work! In this episode we discuss the limitations of economics as a science, the balance economists need to strike when helping to inform policy, whether we're entering a new era of economics & more.  Enjoy!
May 24, 2021
Jordan Cohen: Quantum Gravity
Who is today's guest?  "Born in South Africa, I started my academic career at the University of Cape Town where I triple majored in Statistics, Economics, and Philosophy. I realised fairly late on that my passion was in physics, so I moved to the Uk to complete my undergraduate in theoretical physics at Queen Mary University of London. During that period I worked for Artificial Intelligence companies, where I developed deep-learning algorithms and published articles on the connection between neuroscience and the workplace, and for the National Physical Laboratory, where I was involved in building part of a Quantum Computer. Over the last year, I’ve been working on the black hole information paradox under Prof. Malcolm Perry, one of the world’s leading physicists. In the process, I discovered an infinite set of zero-energy particles so to speak - the soft chromoelectric and chromomagnetic charges. I’ll be continuing this research with Prof. Perry at the University of Cambridge later this year, where I plan to study Quantum Gravity, a description of microscopic spacetime, as part of my PhD research." 
May 13, 2021
Simon Baron-Cohen: Autism and Human Invention
Professor Sir Simon Baron-Cohen is a cognitive neuroscientist and the Director of the Autism Research Centre, based at Cambridge University. Baron-Cohen was knighted in the 2021 New Year Honours for services to people with autism, as well as making major contributions to the fields of typical cognitive sex differences, autism prevalence and screening, and autism genetics. In this episode, we discuss whether autism is a disease, condition or difference ... the importance of neuro-diversity ... the role of pre-natal testosterone in predicting autism ... the ethical questions re screening for conditions before birth ... the lack of relationship between happiness and intelligence and ... invention as an 'if-then' thought process.
April 30, 2021
Ultra-Marathons and "Nutritional Genocide"
Prof Tim Noakes is a South African scientist and former Emeritus professor in division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at the University of Cape Town. As one of the very highest rated members of the National Research Foundation, it would make sense to listen to what he thinks about sports nutrition right? Noakes is a big supporter of a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, writing books called the Real Meal Revolution and Lore of Nutrition and has been cited more than 21,000 times! In this podcast we chat about the appeal of ultramarathon running (yes, really), fatigue as an emotion rather than a physical state, the lipid hypothesis being "the biggest mistake in medicine" and a topic very close to Tim's heart; the Noakes Foundation. Enjoy!
April 23, 2021
Philosophy and Cognitive Science: The Predictive Brain
Dr. Mark Miller is an assistant professor at the University of  Hokkaido’s Center for Human Nature, Artificial Intelligence and  Neuroscience. In this episode of The Scientistt Podcast, we break down  Mark's notion of the “predictive mind”, exploring how the brain  constructs its own reality from the top down. Further, we delve in to  hard-hitting topics such as why addiction and depression may be the  cause of an overly 'sticky' expectation model, and the overlap of  philosophy and neuroscience as an area to improve human behaviour.
April 16, 2021
Chengyu Liang: Melanomas and the UV-protector Gene
Chengyu Liang is a world-renowned researcher with almost 17,000 citations. Her research explores basic mechanisms underlying fundamental cellular processes in the development of cancer and infectious disease. In short, Dr Liang is working to understand how to prevent melenomas (skin cancer) - work which has huge implications on the overall goal of defeating cancers. This podcast aims to take Dr Liang's complex research and break it down in to bitesize chunks that you can understand at home. Listen in as we explore the role of melanin in protecting against cancer, the difficulty in establishing risk-factors, and why the issue of skin-cancer doesn't gain as much publicity as it should.  Enjoy! 
April 07, 2021
Seth Shostak: Confessions of an Alien Hunter
Dr Soshstak is the Senior Astronomer at the SETI institute and author of  'Confessions of an Alien Hunter: A Scientist's Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.' Seth claims to have developed an interest in extraterrestrial life at the tender age of ten, when he first picked up a book about the Solar System. This innocent beginning eventually led to a degree in radio astronomy, and now, as Senior Astronomer, Seth is an enthusiastic participant in the Institute’s SETI observing programs. In this episode, we discuss the possibility of finding intelligent life by 2036, the Wow! signal we received that was thought to have been sent by extraterrestrials, the risk-reward balancing act of trying to make contact with intelligent extraterrestrials and the surprising lack of funding for this kind of exploration. Enjoy! 
March 31, 2021
Dr Michael Brown: The Pluto Killer
What happened to Pluto and how is today's guest involved? Well...time to find out.  Dr Brown is a professor of planetary astronomy at Cal Tech, who has discovered or co-discovered 29 minor planets, is the winner of a prestigious Feynman Prize and has appeared in The Time’s Top One Hundred Influential Persons list. Pretty cool right? In this episode, we delve deeper in to Dr Browns career and wider space. Why is Pluto not really a planet? Why are we reluctant to give it up? How does it feel to discover a planet? How do we find new planets? And, what are the future prospects for Mars exploration?  Enjoy! 
March 24, 2021
Sampson the Service Dog
Today's guest is the quite remarkable Joey Ramp - a neuroscientist, activist and the founder of Empower Ability Consulting. Joey got into neuroscience to understand the changes to her brain after a Traumatic Brain Injury, and found that labs weren't set-up for her. Sampson, her service dog Sampson, was barred. Here, Joey tells the story of how her life has changed since she joined up with Sampson, talks about getting into neuroscience to understand her injuries and explains the process of breaking down barriers, one by one.  
March 17, 2021
From Lebanon & Mexico, to Sheffield & Copenhagen
This week, our guests are more special than ever.... you can meet our team!  In this episode we talk to Jennifer Moussa and Daniela Lazaro, a pair of talented scientists that have travelled across the world to pursue their academic callings, whilst taking every opportunity they can to be more than simply a researcher. Hailing from Lebanon and Mexico respectively, both Jennifer and Daniela have recently joined the Scientistt Team - honing their science communication and outreach skills to help organise events and content for a global audience.  This conversation goes deep in to Lebanon's economic crisis, the reasons Lebanon is experiencing anti-biotic resistant bacteria, Jennifer's optimism about moving to Copenhagen for her PhD to help address the crisis in the water supply, the transition between Mexico and Sheffield, a lack of diversity in Exeter and pretty much everything you need to know about degenerating spines!
March 03, 2021
Dr Chris Jackson: Volcano Explorer, Geologist and Royal Institute Lecturer
Today's guest is a geologist and adventurer that made history last Christmas, by becoming the first black host of the Royal Institution's Christmas lecturer in 185 years.  After completing a BSc and PhD in Geology at the University of Manchester, before living in Norway, Professor Chris Jackson is an established geoscientist and world leader in the use of 3D seismic data to understand dynamic processes in sedimentary basins. He has been described by the Geological Society of London as the "leading and most productive interpreter of three-dimensional seismic reflection data of his generation." Chris' impact goes far deeper than his research however. With a personality that can light up the room, this episode touches on many aspects of his personal and academic life - tackling racism and changing the way we communicate science. Enjoy. 
February 24, 2021
Dr Sam Rowe
 "Science, sci-comm, books & gymnastics" ... that's how today's guest describes themselves to a Twitter audience of over 8,000 people.  Dr Sam Rowe is a scientist and science communicator working on events and marketing for Norwich Science Festival, as well as being a Pint of Science City Coordinator. In this episode, we talk to Sam about being an active voice in the 'Academic Twitter' community, touching on the role of being LGBTQ+ in his journey and how social media has been a largely positive influence on his life.  It's not all been easy for Sam however. We delve deeper in to the issue of imposter syndrome with PhD candidates and the challenges that come with balancing difficult academic pursuits and maintaining positive mental health.
February 17, 2021
Simon Clark: The Life of a Youtube Scientist
"PhD in climate physics by day, YouTuber by night." Simon Clark started documenting his PhD journey on Youtube in 2013. He's sinced ammased more than 320,000 followers, and has a unique ability to tackle subjects ranging from astrophysics to the theoretical possibility of Warhammer planets existing.  On this pod, we cover a lot of ground. We talk about the surprising pitfalls and benefits of YouTube, the (non-linear) relationship between understanding something and finding meaning in it, and we compare the psychological appeal of science with other types of frameworks.  Find Simon on Youtube here:
February 10, 2021
Dr. Brianna Le Busque: The Psychology of Academic 'Success'
We hear a lot about the 'mindset' of successful people ... but what do the experts actually think? It's time to find out! As well as being an expert in all things brains, Brianna is a lecturer and social psychology researcher at the University of Southern Australia. As well as her academic work, she created a creative outlet called "DrOfWhat", while she was completing her PhD journey. She soon realised the potential this blog had to provide support to students and has since been creating a variety of content for students Now in an early academic career, she also shares content to reflect on her own journey and to share her learnings. Follow Brianna here:  
February 03, 2021
Dr Jess Wade: Science Outreach & The Wikipedia Bias
What's it like to be one of the most influential women in UK tech? On this episode, we speak to Dr Jess Wade - a physicist, science communicator and champion for gender quality in science. Outside of her research in to polymer-based OLED's, Jess is involved with several outreach initiatives committed to improving diversity in science, both online and offline. Since the start of 2018, she has written the Wikipedia biographies of underrepresented scientists every single day. In this conversation we delve a little deeper in to the "why?" behind Jess' activism, and find out exactly what needs to be done to tackle systemic bias in science. Find Jess here:  
January 27, 2021
The Scientistt Podcast - Our Brand New Trailer!
We've produced over 30 episodes now! During that time, the scope of our podcast has changed as we have progressed and grown. To mark the higher quality, bigger reach and better organisation of our show ... we've made a new intro! Enjoy. 
January 25, 2021
Sophia Gad-Nasr: The Big Bang, Dark Matter and Cosmology
This is the story of how science can get you on set at one of your favourite TV shows! Sophia is on a mission to captivate the world with physics, one particle at a time. Working on a PhD at UC Irvine with a focus on cosmology and astroparticle theory, her field is "using the very big and the very small to solve some of the Universe’s greatest mysteries". The work of this researcher goes far beyond the lab however. As a science advisor and popular influencer, Sophia has amassed over 55,000 followers on Twitter and had her work featured on popular sci-fi TV shows, such as 12 Monkeys. In this conversation we let Sophia take us on a journey through space, breaking down her complex work in to a chat that anyone can understand.  Sophia's website can be found here and you can follow her on Twitter here. 
January 20, 2021
Surviving a Crocodile Attack
 They say your life can flash before your eyes when you are in a life-or-death situation. Well, that's not what happened to today's guest, marine biologist, Melissa Marquez. Why?, because she was fully submerged in treacherous dark waters, as she was dragged away by a three metre American crocodile whilst filming for Discovery Channel's Shark Week. Now known as the "Mother of Sharks", Melissa presents and writes about science on the biggest of stages, such as the New York Times and The Washington Post. All of this has culminated in her addition to the Forbes 30 Under 30 and BBC's 100 Women lists,  Here we talk everything from survival and sharks, to feminism in science. Let us know how you found the conversation! 
January 13, 2021
Studying the Science of Nutrition
 "Nutrition is an area where there’s a lot of misinformation, and a lot of twisting of information, and a lot of money to be made. The whole ‘dieting’ industry is a huge industry where a lot of money is made.”  Today's guest, Dr. Emma Beckett, is working hard to bust the myths surrounding food nutrition. Hailing from Australia, Emma has a PhD in Food and Nutrition, as well as previous collaborations with global food companies such as Kellogs and Mars. If this wasn't enough, she has a growing online audience, engaging with around 20,000 Twitter followers. In this episode, we delve a little deeper in to Emma's career, message and story.  Find Emma here:
January 07, 2021
2020 Christmas Special!
 What a year ... where do we start!  As 2020 draws to a close, we're ending the year by celebrating the festive season with a very special episode. We've had some amazingly talented, high-profile and prestigious guests over the last six months, helping the growth of a supportive, kind and outgoing online community. So, in celebration of this - today's episode features not one, but two, members of the Scientistt community. Here we talk all things 2020, and answer some of the questions that you submitted on social media!  Find Henry at: Find Vee at: From everyone at Scientistt, have a very Merry Christmas & Thank You for a great year! 
December 24, 2020
Coronavirus on the Way We Live
A scientist and thinker, in 2009 Nicholas Christakis was named in Time Magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world.  Using data from a study that tracked about 5,000 people over 20 years, he suggests that happiness, like the flu, can spread from person to person. He found that smoking and obesity can be socially infectious too. In a viral video taken from Yale University, Nicholas is captured defending the most fundamental principle of higher education: that the university should serve as a place of free inquiry where individuals can respectfully engage with one another in the pursuit of knowledge. This event gained so much notoriety in both academic and non-academic circles, that even The Simpsons found fun in the event in one of their later episodes.  The title of this episode was inspired by Nicholas' book: 
December 17, 2020
How to Win a Nobel Prize
"Last but by no means least, I am happy that I have managed to work since that dreadful day in September 1978 when I was diagnosed with MS." Life hasn't been easy. Born in 1943 in wartime Aberdeen, Dr Kosterlitz's parents had fled Hitler’s Germany in 1934 because his father, a non-practicing Jew, came from a Jewish family and was forbidden to marry a non-Jewish woman. From these roots, few were to expect that he would go on to be awarded the most prestigious award in the world of Physics - a Nobel Prize.  So how did he do it? A graduate of both of the universities of Cambridge and Oxford, and former professor at Birmingham University and Brown University, we delve deeper in to Dr Kosterlitz's career journey, personal struggle and his award-winning research.  See more from The Scientistt Podcast here: 
December 09, 2020
Dr Zoë Ayres: Striving for Change
In the last 18 months, Dr Zoë Ayres has become a leading voice in battle to bring mental health issues to the surface of academia. The coveted '#100Voices Project', numerous awareness infographics and most recently the launch of new organisation 'Voices of Academia' - have seen Zoë's Twitter following skyrocket to over 16,000.  But it's not about fame, or recognition for that matter. In this conversation we find out exactly why a Senior Scientist working in industry, would spend so much time advocating for the mental health standards of PhD students and academics. What issues are being tackled? Why is it such a big problem? What can you do to help? See more of Zoë here: Join the Scientistt community: 
December 03, 2020
Jennifer Polk: From PhD to Life
We could all do with a personal coach sometimes, right?  Jennifer Polk, PhD, is a career coach and expert on PhD careers. After earning a PhD in history from the University of Toronto, she launched From PhD to Life, a career coaching and speaking business. Jen writes (and speaks!) on graduate education and careers for doctoral-degree holders, on both her popular website and Twitter handle, @FromPhDtoLife. She is also a guest speaker on university campuses and at academic and professional conferences throughout North America and beyond. In this conversation, we delve deeper in to Jennifer's own story and find out what motivates her to be the inspirational figure that she is today for students around he world. 
November 25, 2020
Engineering the Future of Genetic Medicine
 Who said academics can't be entrepreneurs?  Benjamin L. Oakes is the Founder and CEO of Scribe Therapeutics, a company rewriting the story of disease and engineering the future of genetic medicine. Completing his PhD at University of California, Berkeley in 2017 - Oakes worked under the supervision of Jennifer A. Doudna, a 2020 Nobel prize winner. In this podcast, we explore Oakes' career path & and the practical application of his research to make huge advancements in the field. 
November 18, 2020
The Mystery of Space Exploration
We all have a fascination with space, right? I mean, how can't you be somewhat interested in the concepts of planets, space craft and fields of "dark energy".  Dr. Bruce Betts is a planetary scientist and children's book author who loves teaching people about planets in fun and entertaining ways. As a science communicator and educator,  he is the Chief Scientist and LightSail Program Manager for the world’s largest space interest group, The Planetary Society. If this wasn't enough, Dr. Betts has a popular Twitter account with over 44,000 followers, as well as hosting a thriving series of entertaining "Random Space Fact" videos & has previous experience working at NASA.  Find out more about Bruce here:  Listen to more episodes of The Scientistt Podcast here: 
November 11, 2020
Jonathan Eisen: The James Bond of Microbiology
 "After my PhD, my first ever grant was actually for homeland security..." So, what does a Professor in the Genome Center of UC Davis , have to do with investigating threats to the safety of the US population? When we started our conversation with Dr Jonathan Eisen (elected to the American Academy of Microbiology in 2012), we could not of predicted what was in store! A lively character, Dr Eisen balances his research with being an award-winning blogger and Twitter influencer, boasting an online following of over 60,000 people on that platform alone. Since earning his PhD in Biological Sciences from Stanford University, we pick up on Dr Eisen's career journey & explore the highlights of his illustrious research portfolio.  If you enjoy this episode - join the free community at to access a 10-minute bonus segment that we couldn't fit in to this conversation! 
November 04, 2020
Fay Lin: Systemic Issues in Academia
"Calling out systemic issues in #academia does NOT mean I don't support the pursuit of research.  Calling out systemic issues in #academia means I think research is wonderful and I want the environment to improve." - Fay Lin  On this episode, our guest's involvement in academia goes far beyond her PhD research. Fay Lin is a strong advocate for equality, diversity and mental health - raising awareness for the systemic issues in academia through a Twitter page that is growing in popularity. In our conversation, we look to delve deeper in to this issues & find out more about the fantastic individual behind the scenes.  Find Fay on Twitter: 
October 28, 2020
Jen Heemstra: A Woman in Chemistry (Part 2)
This is Part 2 of our conversation with Dr Jen Heemstra!  In this episode, we discuss equality in the sciences, medical ethics, and the potential upsides of adversity. We also cover the need for breaks in academia and even chat rock-climbing! Female, scientist, professor, and now supervisor - Jen leads the way as a woman in her field. But, it wasn't easy to get there. 
October 21, 2020
Jen Heemstra: How to be a PI (Part 1)
What should a leader look like in academia?  Jen Heemstra, as the name alludes, is the lead supervisor at the Heemstra Lab and Associate Professor at Emory University.  In this episode, Jen offers her unique insights into a range of subjects that often go unspoken in academic circles;  failure, imposter syndrome and why tenure changes things for a professor. Jen covers everything from the exciting implications of DNA modification to the mindset required for idea generation, and we delve deeper in to the landmarks of her remarkable career.  You can read Jen's fabulous blog here:
October 14, 2020
Dr. Eric Topol: The Future of Medicine
What does one of the world's most respected researchers think the future holds for medicine? Eric Topol is a doctor, scientist and author. Being  one of the most heavily cited scientists on the planet, he has received over 250,000 citations and produced close to 1,200 publications. If that wasn't enough, he is the Executive Vice-President of Scripps Research, and Founder of the Scripps Translational Research Institute. On this episode, we discuss Covid-19, the potential future role of AI in medicine and the ongoing process of democratising healthcare. Enjoy!  Follow Eric: Find out more about Scripps:
October 07, 2020
Who is Susanna Harris?
 "Building communities through communication". That's the motto that has seen Susanna Harris' research career grow far beyond microbiology.  A science communication expert and mental health advocate, Susanna's popularity as a keynote speaker and academic personality has seen her develop over 60,000 followers on Twitter. If that wasn't enough, she is the founder of PhD Balance, a supportive space for students and researchers, providing training and resources to better academic mental health.  In this episode, we find out Who is Susanna Harris? From early career ambitions, growing business interests and the harsh reality of mental health in academia, we delve deeper in to Susanna's life and areas of expertise.  Find out more about Susanna here: 
September 30, 2020
The Hurricane Hunter
What is it like to fly in to the eye of the storm?  Nick Underwood is an aerospace engineer and NOAA Hurricane Hunter, providing mission-ready aircraft and professional crews to the scientific community. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Aircraft Operations Center provides a wide range of specialised airborne environmental data collection capabilities vital to understanding the Earth, conserving and managing coastal and marine resources, and protecting lives and property. In this podcast we gain a truly unique insight in to a career that goes largely under the radar, exploring the realities of the working environment and future ambitions for those that take to the skies on a regular basis.  Timestamps  00:48 - Who is Nick?  01:30 - Flight responsibilities.  02:20 - Flying research laboratories.  02:55 - Off-season projects.  03:35 - Career journey. 06:00 - Astronautical ambitions.  07:55 - The tech.  09:40 - The first flight. 11:10 - Climate change.  12:25 - Water not land? 13:30 - The eye of the storm. 14:30 - Engineering responsibilities.  15:50 - What is your favourite book?
September 23, 2020
Joachim Frank, A Nobel Prize for Chemistry
 A Nobel Prize. Some would say it represents the pinnacle of scientific achievement in any given field. In this episode, we're lucky enough to be joined by Joachim Frank, one of a very small number of scientists that can say they have won the prestigious award. Joachim was born and educated in Germany, before completing postdoctoral research in the United States and at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, U.K., where he worked on problems of electron optics and image processing. His current position at Columbia University as a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and of Biological Sciences, is one that he has held since 2008. In 2017, Joachim recieved the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, alongside his colleagues Jacques Dubochet and Richard Henderson, for the development of cryo-electron microscopy, which both simplifies and improves the imaging of biomolecules. This method moved biochemistry into a new era. Timestamps 00:15 - Who is Joachim Frank?  01:05 - Initial interested in science? 04:34 - A degree in Physics?  06:25 - How do you stumble upon Nobel Prize winning research? 07:30 - The seeds & The process.  16:48 - What are the implications of the work? 21:55 - Receiving a Nobel Prize.  22:48 - Does the prize open doors?  27:35 - Advice for PhD students?  29:50 - What is your favourite book?
September 16, 2020
Culture and PhD in Pakistan
Ever wondered if academia is the same around the world? Are the experiences, influences and motivations of all PhD candidates the same, regardless of background or culture? We certainly wanted to delve deeper here.  Zarrar Salahuddin is a PhD candidate at the National University of Science and Technology in Pakistan, as well as an active daily blogger with over 700 entries to his name, and a thriving Twitter account with over 10,000 followers. As well as a scientist, Zarrar is a religious man. It is renowned that these two forces often come in to conflict, many suggesting they are simply incompatible, however Zarrar has a unique take on his spirituality.  Timestamps 00:52 - Who is Zarrar?  02:08 - International Perspectives  03:35 - Research? (Mitigation and Prevention of Carbon Emissions) 05:02 - The Blog  07:23 - Religion & Research 11:08 - Leaving Pakistan? 14:00 - Competition and Academic Culture in Pakistan 18:10 - Supervisors & Struggles  21:15 - What is your favourite book?
September 09, 2020
The Secrets to Success on Academic Twitter
How do you gain 20,000 followers in less than 1 year? That's the question that many people have for Stefanie, founder of Career Conversation, a Twitter handle and Youtube channel that has skyrocketed to success since its creation.  Now, Stefanie is sharing her secrets (or strategies...) online, allowing others to learn from her own experiences and get a head start in the world of academic Twitter.  Follow Career Conversation:
September 02, 2020
Wendy Ingram, Cultivating Change
When Wendy lost someone close to her as a result of suicide, she chose to do something about.  Academia. It has it's problems. Wendy Ingram, the Executive Director of Dragonfly Mental Health, is working to create change in one of the most prevalent areas of current discussion; poor mental health. A molecular and cell biologist by training, she now posts videos, presentations, and workshops online, in order to help raise awareness and cultivate better mental health amongst academics worldwide.  You can follow Wendy here:
August 26, 2020
Darwin Guevarra, Placebos without Deception
How many times do you see a newly published article in a popular journal, and not quite fully understand it? It would be great to learn directly from the author wouldn't it? Today we're joined by Darwin Guevarra, a postdoc at Michigan State University studying emotion regulation. We find out more about his recent paper in Nature Communications, which found that placebos without deception reduce self-report and neural measures of emotional distress, and what the consequences of this critical research may be for the medical world.  Read the full paper here: Follow Darwin: Join the free Scientistt community: 
August 19, 2020
Who is PhD Diaries?
Imagine turning your Twitter account that was created to complain about WiFi signal at a conference, in to a thriving community of over 43,000 people. Today we're joined by somebody that has done just that, all whilst keeping their personal identity anonymous.  PhD Diaries, or @thoughtsofaphd, documents the realities of a life in academia through her relatable, honest and humorous tweets. In this podcast we delve deeper in to the person behind the account, why it was created, what it has become, and the successes and struggles associated with having a huge following.  Follow our guest here: Catch up on previous episodes here:
August 12, 2020
Sam Tromans, Autism in Psychiatric Facilities
When his brother was diagnosed with autism, Sam was inspired to further understand the relationship autistic people have with the world around them. A qualified doctor, he now combines his psychiatric work with his PhD studies; investigating the prevalence of adult autism in psychiatric facilities. In this podcast, we delve deeper in to Sam's important research, the motivations behind his work and his thoughts on the mental health issues that autistic people face living in a society that is geared towards the needs of the non-autistic population.  To find out more about Sam, check out his Twitter at: Don't stop here! Listen to more of The Scientistt Podcast at:
August 04, 2020
Inspiring the Next Generation of Female Scientists.
What's it like to be a woman in science? We're joined by Beth Eyre and Sofia Bariami, PhD students from Sheffield and Edinburgh universities. Despite having vastly different research topics, both Beth and Sofia have many things in common, notably their positions as Scientistt ambassadors, their identity as women and dealing with the effects of Covid-19 on their work. This podcast aims to delve deeper in to the specifics of their research, and find out what struggles and ambitions have been born out of their journey through academia.  Check out both of their profiles at: 
July 29, 2020
Arnesa Buljušmić-Kustura: From Refugee to Researcher.
Arnesa Buljušmić-Kustura is an analyst, researcher and is the international operations manager for Remembering Srbencia UK. But life hasn't always been easy. Arnesa's analysis of the Bosnian War, genocide, fascism and Islamophobia, are fuelled by her first-hand experiences during the conflict. Experiencing life as a refugee, to now holding post as a lecturer and published author - her story is a hugely interesting one. 
July 22, 2020
Alexander Thom: Metal Organic Frameworks and PhD Life.
What is it like to be a PhD Student? Alexander (Ali) Thom is a 3rd year chemistry PhD student at the University of Glasgow, researching novel methods to alter the surface chemistry of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) for biomedical applications. As well as discussing life in the lab and his journey to becoming a Scientistt ambassador, Ali reflects on being the president of the University of Glasgow chemical society (aka Alchemists’ club), volunteering with Glasgow City Mission, and being an avid rugby fan - proof that your research does not have to define who you are!  Find Ali here: More podcast episodes:
July 15, 2020
Lucy Nichol: Tackling the Stigma of Mental Health
Mental health is becoming an increasingly poignant issue in academia. Studies completed in the last few years have published rather worrying statistics about the mental wellbeing of students and researchers, posing questions about what can be done to support them. Much of this starts with tackling the stigma. We're joined by Lucy Nichol, a writer and blogger that has used her own experiences with mental health to reach out and support others, as well as raising general awareness for the topic. In this podcast, Lucy talks about the variety and specific nature of generalised anxiety disorders, how they often start, are viewed, and what steps we can take to bettering our understanding of such issues.  Find Lucy on Twitter at: See more of The Scientistt Podcast at:
July 08, 2020
Oliver Bracko: Using crowd-sourced science to study Alzheimer's disease.
A researcher at Cornell University, Oliver's newest publication uses multiphoton imaging to explore the role of brain blood flow reductions and capillary stalling in a mouse model of Alzheimer, fed a western high fat diet. Here we discuss his research in more detail, with particular attention to his crowd-sourcing methods, as well as the wider landscape of Alzheimer's research and advice for those looking for a way in to the industry.  You can view Oliver's full publication here: Check out other episodes at: 
July 01, 2020
Janine Francois: Diversity and Racism in Academia
Diversity is a topic that has been thrust to the forefront of academia. Social media is littered with case-studies of institutional racism and a general recognition that BAME students are underrepresented in the research environment. We're joined by Janine Francois, lecturer at Central Saint Martins, to explore problems with the traditional academic system, ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, and the issue of race in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Podcast Homepage: Janine Francois:
June 24, 2020
June 16, 2020
June 16, 2020