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A series of lunchtime talks at Wellcome Collection. Feed your curiosity by dropping in to eat your lunch and hear local scientists in conversation about their latest experiments, life in the lab and why science matters to everyone. Catch up on those you missed with this podcast.
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2014-07-16 13:28
last episode published
2014-07-16 13:27
publication frequency
36.62 days
Wellcome Collection owner   author  
Number of Episodes
Detail page



Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

Nina Stanczyk on mosquito bites

Mosquitoes may seem to bite us indiscriminately, but some people are targeted more than others. Join Nina Stanczyk to hear about how mosquitoes use smell to find people, why our body odour makes some of us more appealing to mosquitoes, and what we can ...

Anne Koerber on Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes may seem to bite us indiscriminately, but some people are targeted more than others. Join Nina Stanczyk to hear about how mosquitoes use smell to find people, why our body odour makes some of us more appealing to mosquitoes, and what we can ...

Seif Shaheen on asthma

The last half-century has seen an epidemic of asthma in the UK. Despite years of study, science is still unable to fully explain its rise. Seif Shaheen is Clinical Professor of Respiratory Epidemiology at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Den...

Tim Smith on cinema

Film directors are entertainers, artists, auteurs… and natural psychologists. That’s the perspective of Tim Smith, a cognitive psychologist at Birkbeck, University of London, who is fascinated by the way that skilful camera angles and editing can produ...

Therese Hesketh on Population

What is the impact of China's one-child policy? Since its introduction in 1979, the policy has affected the lives of over one-fifth of the world's population. Therese Hesketh is Professor of Global Health at UCL and looks at how the policy has influenc...

Anne Lingford-Hughes on addiction

Most people enjoy the occasional drink, but what happens when it goes too far? Anne Lingford-Hughes is an addiction psychiatrist at Imperial College London who works on alcohol and heroin addiction. Using imaging techniques, she studies the inhibitory ...

Henrietta Bowden-Jones on Gambling

Half of the UK's 500,000 problem gamblers are in London, making this a very urban issue. Henriette Bowden-Jones is founder and director of the National Problem Gambling Clinic in Soho, whose clientele ranges from bankers to homeless people. Is gambling...

Katharina Wulff on Body Clocks

City life, with its shift work, artificially lit offices and bright computer screens may be disrupting our natural rhythms - a phenomenom called social jetlag. Katharina Wulff, a neurobiologist at the University of Oxford, studies the link between slee...

Hugo Spiers on Navigating the City

Hugo Spiers, Lecturer in Cognitive and Perceptual Brain Sciences at UCL, sends his experimental subjects out into the streets of Soho and works with London cabbies to study the way the brain constructs representations of the world and uses them to navi...

Caspar Addyman on baby laughter

What makes babies laugh? This is a question that fascinates psychologist Caspar Addyman. His research at the Birkbeck Babylab investigates this, alongside other aspects of infant cognition. Join him to find out more about what really goes on inside bab...

Kate Jones on bats

Bats – according to international bat expert Kate Jones – are cool. From the wonders of echolocation to a surprisingly long lifespan, they possess a fascinating set of special skills and characteristics that make them endlessly interesting to study. Th...

Malcolm Finlay on the heart

Can you die of a broken heart? Perhaps not, but heart attacks have been known to be triggered by intense emotion and mental stress. Malcolm Finlay, Senior Clinical Research Fellow at UCL, is investigating the electrical and physiological mechanisms beh...

Michael Banissy on synaesthesia

What colour is the number 3? What do words taste like? This might sound like nonsense, but for people with synaesthesia this crossing of the senses creates a unique - and very real - way of perceiving the world. Michael Banissy, a cognitive neuroscient...

Matt Piper on diet and ageing

How does what we eat affect how we age? Is it a question of quantity, or is quality the key? With the global population getting older and many of the world's most devastating diseases linked to the process of ageing, answering these questions could be ...

Sarah Bell on sewers

Hosepipe bans, torrential rain, flooding - water was constantly in the news in 2012. Sarah Bell, a civil engineer at UCL, is an expert on water systems (and sewers in particular). She talks to Benjamin Thompson about how they affect society and sustain...

Stephen McMahon on pain

Pain is an important warning signal that can help us to avoid harm, but for people living with prolonged, chronic pain it can have devastating consequences. Stephen McMahon, Director of the London Pain Consortium, talks to the Wellcome Trust's Daniel G...

Mary Morrell on sleep apnoea

Up to 4 per cent of adults, and as many as one-third of older people, suffer from sleep apnoea, or interrupted breathing during sleep. Mary Morrell’s research sleep lab at the Royal Brompton Hospital investigates why, and she talks to the Wellcome Trus...

Gerry Thomas on radiation

A year after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, how has human health been affected - and what lessons were learned from previous nuclear accidents? Drawing on her work at the Chernobyl Tissue Bank, Gerry Thomas talks to the Wellcome Trust's Daniel Glaser ...

Sandra Shefelbine on bones

How does the work our bones do influence their size, shape and resilience? Bioengineer Sandra Shefelbine combines number crunching with imaging and practical experiments. She talks to the Wellcome Trust's Daniel Glaser about understanding better how ou...

Essi Veding on antisocial behaviour

The tendency toward antisocial behaviour may be inherited. But for psychologist Essi Viding heritability isn't inevitability. Environmental factors are important too. She talks to the Wellcome Trust's Daniel Glaser about how science can help identify t...

Wendy Barclay on influenza

Flu is the scourge of the winter months - but how does it work? Wendy Barclay of Imperial College London talks to the Wellcome Trust's Daniel Glaser about investigating influenza pandemics in the lab to better understand how this dreaded virus wreaks s...

Zita Martins on meteorites

How did life originate on Earth, and are we alone in the universe? These are the questions that Zita Martins, an astrobiologist at Imperial College London, is determined to answer. She talks to the Wellcome Trust's Daniel Glaser about meteorites, the p...

Ron Douglas on deep-sea vision

Ron Douglas is Professor of Visual Science at City University, and an expert on the biology of deep-sea creatures. He talks to the Wellcome Trust's Daniel Glaser about how vision works 4000 metres down.

Chris French on parapsychology

Psychics, paranormal activity, precognition - psychologist and sceptic Chris French, of Goldsmiths, University of London, has spent his career subjecting paranormal claims to scientific scrutiny. He talks to the Wellcome Trust's Daniel Glaser about the...

Mary Fewtrell on breastfeeding

The Department of Health recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. But is this supported by the best available scientific evidence? Mary Fewtrell is a paediatrician at the UCL Institute of Child Health, who has spent her care...

Zarinah Agnew on mirror neurons

Mirror neurons are thought to be the key to human mimicry, allowing us to ape the actions of others and maybe even forming the basis for empathy. Zarinah Agnew is a neuroscientist at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, whose research uses func...

Ian Goodfellow on Dirt

Norovirus - better known as winter vomiting disease - is something that most of us have heard of and some of us, unfortunately, have experienced directly. But how does the infamous virus wreak its spectacular havoc on the body? Ian Goodfellow, a virolo...

Shunmay Yeung on malaria

As any backpacker knows, antimalarial drugs are powerful things – unpleasant, but hopefully worth it for the protection they bring. But in some parts of the world these drugs are becoming less effective. Shunmay Yeung, Clinical Senior Lecturer at the L...

Adrian Martineau on vitamin D

Most of us know that vitamin D comes from the sun and that a little bit is essential to keep us healthy. But for Adrian Martineau, Senior Lecturer in Respiratory Infection and Immunity at Barts and The London Medical School, the ‘sunshine vitamin’ is m...

Ifat Yasin on hearing

We hear by amplifying the sounds that go into our ear. But our ears can be tricked using auditory illusions. Ifat Yasin, Lecturer in Auditory Anatomy and Physiology at UCL Ear Institute, thinks these aural deceptions may hold the key to improving the t...

Kevin Fong on Space

Space flight wreaks havoc on the body, but its effects will have to be overcome if we are ever to investigate the far reaches of our solar system. Kevin Fong is co-director of the Centre for Aviation Space and Extreme Environment Medicine at UCL. He ha...

Celia Morgan on drugs

What’s it like being a scientist with a licence to possess illegal drugs? Celia Morgan, a psychologist at UCL, works on cannabis and ketamine, conducting experiments on people who are high on their own supply to determine the effect of drugs on their c...

Chris Bakal on cells

Cells come in many shapes and sizes. Chris Bakal, a systems biologist at the Institute of Cancer Research, is fascinated by their ability to change shape and migrate around the body - a process that goes out of control in cancer. Join him to find out h...

Joe Devlin on brains

Would you let your brain be temporarily switched off? Joe Devlin, a neuroscientist at UCL, regularly does this to willing volunteers as part of his research into the neurological basis of language, using a technique called transcranial magnetic stimula...

Eleanor Stride on bubbles

Every Agatha Christie fan knows the murderous potential of an air bubble injected directly into the bloodstream. But, for Eleanor Stride, a biomedical engineer at UCL, bubbles may hold the key to saving lives, not ending them. She talks to the Wellcome...

Peter Ayton on decisions

We make thousands of decisions every day, many of them unconscious and many of them less logical than we would like to believe. Peter Ayton, a psychologist at City University in London, studies human judgement and decision-making, and argues that we ar...

Nick Lane on complexity

The origins of complex life have long fascinated scientists. Nick Lane, a biochemist at UCL, is investigating what drove the shift from simple bacteria to the vast diversity of plants and animals, and believes the answer lies in the mitochondria. He ta...

Isabel Jones on skin

Few people have as intimate a knowledge of the delicate layers of the skin than those who try to repair it after trauma. Isabel Jones is a surgeon at the Burns Unit at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, which provides for the population of Greater Londo...

Jane Wardle on Food

Why do some people always reach for that extra chocolate biscuit, while others seem to have no problem holding back? Professor Jane Wardle, a health psychologist at UCL, is investigating factors that determine our food choices and what they mean for ou...

Lewis Dartnell on Mars

The possibility of life on Mars has long fascinated scientists, science fiction writers and David Bowie. Lewis Dartnell, an astrobiologist at UCL, is going one step further and developing ways to look for signs of life on the Red Planet. Join him as we...

Jonathan Butterworth on CERN

The Large Hadron Collider may be at CERN in Geneva, but it's a truly international project. Jonathan Butterworth, Professor of Physics at UCL, is a leading member of the British team working at CERN on the hunt for the Higgs boson. He talks to the Well...

Charlie Dunnill on glass

Self-cleaning glass - such as the roof of St Pancras station - has revolutionised architecture. But UCL materials scientist Charlie Dunnill is taking this technology one step further, and hopes that one day it may be used to kill bugs. He talks to the ...

Tali Sharot on optimism

It is estimated that 80 per cent of the population are optimists. But how do we maintain a positive outlook in the face of reality? At the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, Tali Sharot is teasing apart the neurological basis of optimism. She talk...

John Hutchinson on dinosaurs

Was Tyrannosaurus rex a fast runner? Were dinosaurs warm-blooded? How can answering questions such as these help captive elephants to live a healthier and longer life? John Hutchinson, an expert in the evolution of large animal locomotion at the Royal ...

Pete Coffey on losing sight

Age-related macular degeneration is the most common cause of blindness in the developed world. Pete Coffey talks to the Wellcome Trust's Daniel Glaser about how he and his team at University College London's Institute of Ophthalmology are using pioneer...

Rachel Armstrong on living materials

Rachel Armstrong is a synthetic biologist working at the Bartlett School of Architecture. She talks to the Wellcome Trust's Daniel Glaser about connecting the natural world with the built environment to create 'living materials' that can grow themselve...

Dan Martin on extreme environments

Dan Martin is an extreme environment physiologist and anaesthetist at University College London Hospitals, and a member of the Caudwell Xtreme Everest research group. He talks to the Wellcome Trust's Daniel Glaser about dropping his trousers at the top...

Mark Zuckerman on viruses and virology

Mark Zuckerman is a clinical virologist based at the Health Protection Agency London Regional Laboratory at King's College Hospital. He talks to the Wellcome Trust's Daniel Glaser about which is the 'cleverest' virus of them all, and what it's like wor...

Val Curtis on public hygiene

Val Curtis is a behavioural scientist based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She talks the Wellcome Collection’s Lisa Jamieson about the protective power of disgust, and find out who has the dirtiest hands in Britain.

Catherine Mercer on sexual health

Catherine Mercer is a statistician based at University College London who is undertaking a particularly interesting questionnaire: the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles 2010. She talks to the Wellcome Trust’s Daniel Glaser about survey...