iSci Fly By


iSci Fly By

Science and technology for everyone

Hosted by Keith Pye and Olivia Bray – click here to read more about The Hosts

The non-geek, non-specialist science and technology show

If you are aged between 11 and 111 (and possibly older) and are fascinated by the development of science and technology, the iSci-Fly-By Show is a must-listen.

Every fortnight we speak to some of the most informed people about the issues that are already influencing our lives or those which will affect the lives of our children and grandchildren. From zero emissions aircraft and self-driving cars to quantum computing and vast space colonies containing millions of people, the show asks the questions on everyone’s lips – in everyday language for lay-people.

We’ve got some great shows lined up – so don’t miss them.

Our first shows feature – Living in Space and then an exclusive double-header interview with the great sci-fi author Stephen Baxter.

Index of Episodes

Published episodes are in bold; forthcoming ones in italics. Details of each show plus links to the platforms you can access are given below.

  1. Living in Space – Orbiting Cities within fifty years?
  2. Stephen Baxter, sci-fi great – Part 1
  3. Stephen Baxter, sci-fi great – Part 2
  4. Satellites and Swarms
  5. Quantum Computing
  6. Nuclear Power – Part 1
  7. Nuclear Power – Part 2
  8. Robotics – Part 1
  9. Robotics – Part 2

Episode 1 – Living in Space

Mark Hempsell, the previous editor of Spaceflight, and Stephen Ashworth, the promoter of ecologically-sound habitats such as Planetopolis, talk to us about the possibilities of billions of people living in space colonies within the next century. The plans are in place and the engineering and science are sound – all that is missing are the will and the colonists.

Want to live somewhere with a view of the universe and, perhaps, of Saturn just outside your window? You, your children and grandchildren could be doing just that.

Listen here …

Or use one of our other platforms …

Spotify

Amazon Music

Podbean

Google Podcasts

Please note that, for reasons outside our control, some listeners have reported problems with “are you over 18” issues on the Google link. If you experience these issues but still wish to listen via Google, the following “overview” link may be more successful: https://podcasts.google.com/search/isci%20fly%20by

Episode 2 – Stephen Baxter Part 1 – Colonies and Aliens

Stephen Baxter is arguably Britain’s greatest living Sci-Fi author. He’s written scores of books in many different genres which have gained him 18 top-rank prizes.

He was selected to write authorised sequels to H G Wells’ famous War of the Worlds and has co-authored with Terry Pratchett and none other than the legendary Arthur C Clark. In Part 1 he talks about working with the great Arthur Clark, about colony ships which might be sent to distant star systems on 400 year journeys, and about the Fermi Paradox.

Listen here …

or choose from the following platforms …

 

Spotify

Amazon Music

Podbean

Google Podcasts

Please note that, for reasons outside our control, some listeners have reported problems with “are you over 18” issues on the Google link. If you experience these issues but still wish to listen via Google, the following “overview” link may be more successful: https://podcasts.google.com/search/isci%20fly%20by

Episode 3 - Stephen Baxter Part 2

In the second part of this great interview, Stephen Baxter delves deeper into the whole concept of living in space and especially into the social, economic, and political aspects. For example, should we be even thinking of trying to build cities on Mars or to terraform planets like Venus and Mars into Earth-like environments on which to settle billions of people. We also asked him about a wide range of other issues including the wisdom of using rockets, how sustainability applies to the solar system, and how one governs a huge space city. Stephen is a thinking man's thinker. He introduces us to questions that most of us would never even consider – like the significant advantages to science of being able to take polar ice-cores on Mars, the value of outer space to manufacturing, and even the need for new vocabularies. Listening to Stephen Baxter should be regulated by law because it is so addictive.

Listen here ...

Or choose another platform ...

Spotify

Amazon Music

Podbean

Google Podcasts

Please note that, for reasons outside our control, some listeners have reported problems with "are you over 18" issues on the Google link. If you experience these issues but still wish to listen via Google, the following "overview" link may be more successful: https://podcasts.google.com/search/isci%20fly%20by

Episode 4 - Satellites

These days satellites are taken for granted. Most people never give a second thought to how their smartphone knows where they are located, how the City of London manages to conduct financial business across the globe, how films are streamed onto their TVs, why we can predict the weather so accurately, and so on. All depends on one or more of the thousands of satellites that now orbit the Earth and a good proportion of those artificial moons are built in the UK – many of them by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. Today's guest is Andrew Cawthorne who is SSTL's Director of Earth Observation and Customer Training. He talks about how SSTL got started, some of their major successes and current projects, and a swathe of fascinating topics such as how satellites are powered, what might happen with the new swarms of internet satellites, space debris clearance, and much more. And you won't want to miss what he has to say about their new satellite which will circle the Moon.

 
Listen here ...

 

 
Or perhaps listen on another platform ...

Spotify

Amazon Music

Podbean

Google Podcasts

Please note that, for reasons outside our control, some listeners have reported problems with "are you over 18" issues on the Google link. If you experience these issues but still wish to listen via Google, the following "overview" link may be more successful: https://podcasts.google.com/search/isci%20fly%20by

Episode 5 - Quantum Computing

What are Quantum computers good for? Do they even exist? How do they use superposition and entanglement?

Founded just seven years ago at the University of Cambridge, Cambridge Quantum has scientists working all over the world and is now the world's largest integrated quantum computing company. Our guest today is Dr Mark Jackson, a US-based Quantum Evangelist for the company and a powerful advocate for the future of quantum computing. After a mind-blowing investigation of quantum effects we settled down to explore the many ways in which Quantum Computing is helping a surprisingly wide array of industries to use the technology - pharmaceuticals, finance, chemistry and materials science are among the first.

The speed of advance is incredible and the potential for quantum computing to change our lives in the very near future is huge. Could we ever have a future in which our medical treatments and drugs were uniquely designed and made for individuals? The computing power required for bespoke medical care would be totally impossible using ordinary computers, but with quantum computers the answer is yes, so listen in and be amazed.

Listen here ...

Or perhaps listen on another platform ...

Spotify

Amazon Music

Podbean

Not yet available: Google Podcasts

Please note that, for reasons outside our control, some listeners have reported problems with "are you over 18" issues on the Google link. If you experience these issues but still wish to listen via Google, the following "overview" link may be more successful: https://podcasts.google.com/search/isci%20fly%20by

Episode 6 - Nuclear Power - Part 1

Nuclear energy could perhaps win the prize for being the power source with the worst reputation. Coal is dirty and kills more people but for some reason we accept it more readily than nuclear. Nuclear energy is the technology that scares people but it is also the energy source that is least well-understood. Is its bad-rep deserved or could there be a good side to nuclear energy?

The answers are – "to an extent" and "yes, emphatically".

Evan Bolle-Jones is a technical lead in the simulation and verification group at the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) at the University of Sheffield. As such he knows the issues and he puts the strong case for nuclear energy in the UK without fear or favour. He talks about the problems of radiation and how the nuclear industry has dealt with them – indeed it is one of the safest industries in the nation. It's a gripping picture which includes kilometre-deep tunnels and hockey balls.

There are good sides and bad sides to all energy sources but we tend only to see the downsides to nuclear energy. These podcasts give us a chance to balance the books a little.

Listen here ...

Or perhaps listen on another platform ...

Spotify

Amazon Music

Podbean

Not yet available: Google Podcasts

Please note that, for reasons outside our control, some listeners have reported problems with "are you over 18" issues on the Google link. If you experience these issues but still wish to listen via Google, the following "overview" link may be more successful: https://podcasts.google.com/search/isci%20fly%20by

Coming next … the second part the fascinating episode on nuclear power and two great shows on robotics.

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