by Matthew Cobb
Hili may be a goddess, but like all cats, she retains her essential catness:
Paulina: Nie jestem pewna, czy to dobry pomysł.
(Foto: Paulina R.)
And to while away the time waiting for Jerry to be back on line (I guess he is somewhere over Greenland as I write this), here’s my Life Scientific. The Life Scientific is a BBC Radio 4 programme that has been going for several years now, and features physicist Jim al-Khalili interviewing a UK-based scientist (the only exception to this, in the early days, was Pinker) about their life’s work. In all its forms, it has on average around 2 million listeners…
It’s not at all pompous and generally gives some real insight into what the great (and, in my case, not-so-great) have got up to and above all why. There is a real variety, from Nobel Prize winners, to folk like me. Anyway, check out the full list of interviews, available for free here. (You might have to sign up if you are not in the UK, or if you are on a mobile device, use their horrible Sounds app, but it’s all free. You can download them and also find them as free podcasts with your podcast provider.)
It was a really interesting experience – the producer, Anna Buckley, grilled me for several hours about what I had done when and above all why (she then structures the interview and writes the questions). As someone who is interested in the history, it was fascinating to look at my own career with a historian’s eye, rather than vaguely looking backwards, which is how we normally think about our lives. Sadly, loads of stuff got cut – including the one really good scientific idea I have ever had, which was that we could ask how extinct Neanderthals and Denisovans were able to smell. The only down side is that when I recorded this in London last week I caught the lurgy that has currently flattened me and kept me from the picket line…
Click on the image to listen, if that’s your fancy.: