The Sound of Science

Fridays 9am – Sheffield Live! – 93.2FM

Show 43 – First broadcast 27th March 2009


Science in the News

Feature News Story: Bloody hell or is it bloody heaven?

British scientists are planning a ground-breaking research project to create synthetic human blood from embryonic stem cells. The claim is that
this could revolutionise blood transfusion services, which currently rely on a network of human donors to provide a constant supply of fresh blood. Our blood expert, Professor Chris Cooper from the University of Essex, tells us about the pros and cons.

Our futures defence correspondent

Rear Admiral Chris Parry tells us about the importance of the underground in wars of the future and he means literally under the ground.

Feature Interview 1: Real Virtuality

Professor David Howard from the University of York  tells us about a large inter-university project his leading on creating full virtual reality. This is an exciting way of wrapping you in a cocoon to indulge all of your senses including touch and smell. Maybe you will be able to go on that fantastic holiday without leaving your couch.

Feature Interview 2: Safe with dementia

Our second feature interview deals with a smart sensing house that could keep even the most demented elderly safe at home. I  talked to Professor Roger Orpwood from the University of Bath about the pilot studies his team has already completed.


March 27, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Show 42 – First broadcast 20th March 2009


Science in the News

Obhama’s new 20 billion dollar stimulus package for science in the USA but the scientist will be held accountable

The UK Home Office’s new strategic plans to extend surveillance to fixed wing planes and  biosensing. Read the full Science and Innovation Strategy 2009-12

SRI is developing a new portable robot surgeon for the battlefield

We are a bee friendly programme and we have been watching the demise of the bee. One factor that may be the cause of bee colony collapse is Imidaclorprid found in a number of pesticides.

From our futures defence correspondent


Rear Admiral Chris Parry talks about future problems in space with satellite attacks. Many countries are now beginning to get their own defence satellites. Satellites are vulnerable but extremely important for defence.

Feature Interview 1: Professor Peter McOwan


Professor McOwan from Queen Mary University of London talks about how is trying to change the perception of computer science with his glossy magazine CS4FN. It shows the subject at its best – not in the slightest boring. There is something here for eveyone – there is even a book of CS magic tricks.

This has been a noel sharkey recommendation.

Feature Interview 2: Galileo! Galileo!

For many people Galileo became famous in the 1970s after the Queen song “bohemian rhapsody”.


Professor Mark Brake tells us about his forthcoming book on Galieo and Darwin. We focus on Galileo in this programme and find out many unexpected things about him. It shattered the veneer of my science history..

March 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Show 41 – First broadcast 13th March 2009



Science in the News

Playstation disease

According to the Journal of Dermatology,there’s a new disease doing the rounds called Playstation palmar hidradenitis.But don’t worry if you play on your Playstation too much, there is an easy cure.

Bring me the head of Albert Einstein

The new Einstein robot head that copies your facial expressions. It doesn’t feel emotion and so you can just kick it out of your way when you tire of it. Read my piece in the Guardian about it: While my android gently weeps.

From our futures defence correspondent

Rear Admiral Chris Parry talks us through electromagnetic radiation weapons. The can take out the who electricity supply for a whole city in seconds and anyone connected to it.

Feature Interview: Moral Machines with Colin Allen

moral-machines Would you trust a machine to make life and death decisions about you. It doesn’t have to be a robot. I might be a piece of software that decides when to turn off your life support. A new book worth a read this year is  Moral Machines: Teaching robots rights and wrongs by Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen. Noel talks to one of the authors, Colin Allen a Professor of Cognitive Science and the History and Philosophy of Science in the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University, Bloomington, USA, to find out what all the fuss is about. The book discusses many of the issues about why and how machines in the near future will make ethical decisions about our lives. They are not talking about some far fetched super intelligent machine that is conscious. They are talking about machines based on todays technology. The book is written in a very straighforward, interesting and non-technical style. Although there are parts where I don’t agree with them, it is in everyones interest to read this. It will make you better informed about a possible future that you may want to have opinions about – it is in your own interest.

March 13, 2009 Posted by | Science on Radio, Uncategorized | Leave a comment