A podcast from The Conversation UK
Unearthing stories from the world of academia.

Latest Episodes

Anthill presents: To the moon and beyond 5 – what space exploration will look like in 2069

What will space exploration look like in 2069, a century after the first moon landing? In the fifth and final episode of podcast series, To the moon and beyond, presented by The Anthill, we speak to space scientists about the missions they are dreaming about and planning for the future. In episode four we heard about plans to establish a base on the moon, potentially mining the lunar surface for minerals…

6 Hosts: Miriam Frankel, Martin Archer, Alex Ellery and 3 other

Anthill presents: To the moon and beyond 4 – why go back to the moon?

It's been 47 years since the last time a man stepped on the moon, and yet now a host of countries -- from the US, to Russia and China -- are racing to send astronauts back there, and set up base. In the fourth episode of The Conversation's To the moon and beyond podcast, a podcast series that we’re featuring on The Anthill podcast channel, we delve into why there's a renewed drive to put humans back…

7 Hosts: Miriam Frankel, Martin Archer, Frans von der Dunk and 4 other

Anthill presents: To the moon and beyond 3 – the new space race

From Algeria to Vietnam, there are 72 countries with some sort of space programme. And the new space race involves a number of private companies too, that are becoming increasingly crucial to national missions. In the third episode of To the moon and beyond, a podcast series that we're featuring on The Conversation's The Anthill podcast channel, we find out who some of the key players are in this new…

5 Hosts: Miriam Frankel, Martin Archer, John M. Horack and 2 other

Anthill presents: To the moon and beyond 2 – How humanity reacted to the moon landing

The second episode of The Conversation's To the moon and beyond podcast series takes a look at the impact going to the moon had on humanity -- and why it generated so many conspiracy theories. While an estimated half a billion people tuned in to watch the moon landings on television in late July 1969, what about those who didn't have access to one? We hear from Keith Gottschalk, a political scientist…

7 Hosts: Miriam Frankel, Martin Archer, Alice Gorman and 4 other

Anthill presents: To the moon and beyond 1 – What we learned from landing on the moon

Welcome to the first episode of To the moon and beyond, a brand new global podcast series from The Conversation marking 50 years since the first moon landing in July 1969 which we're also running through The Anthill podcast channel. Humanity has the moon landings to thank for a lot. But what did we actually learn from exploring the lunar surface? Why did we stop going there after just a few short years…

5 Hosts: Miriam Frankel, Martin Archer, Bonnie J. Dunbar and 2 other

Anthill presents: To the moon and beyond

It's been 50 years since Neil Armstrong made his giant leap for mankind by becoming the first person to set foot on the lunar surface. While the historic event was followed by six further crewed missions -- five of which landed -- nobody has been back to the moon since the astronauts of Apollo 17 bid their goodbyes in 1972. A growing number of countries and private companies have since started exploring…

2 Hosts: Annabel Bligh and Gemma Ware

India Tomorrow part 7: what Narendra Modi's landslide victory means for India

After the world's largest ever democratic exercise, Narendra Modi has been re-elected as prime minister of India for another five year term. His Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) secured an even bigger majority than in 2014. In this, the final part of our India Tomorrow series from The Anthill podcast, we analyse the results with a panel of academics to find out what such a large majority -- of more than…

3 Hosts: Indrajit Roy, Mujibur Rehman, and Nikita Sud

India Tomorrow part 6: what young Indians want

Like many young people around the world, young Indians have big dreams for their future. But for a lot of people in India in their 20s and 30s, there is a large gap between their aspirations and the jobs and opportunities available to them. In part six of India Tomorrow, a series from The Anthill podcast, we’ll examine the concerns and demands of these young Indian voters. One in eight people in the…

5 Hosts: Indrajit Roy, Annabel Bligh, Craig Jeffrey and 2 other

India Tomorrow part 5: economic growth, inequality and jobs

Part five of India Tomorrow takes a look at India’s economy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi rode to power in 2014 promising economic transformation. It was a key plank of his election campaign and this episode explores how he succeeded – and failed – to deliver on this front. We hear how India's economy grew during Modi's time in office. Kunal Sen, professor of development economics at the University…

5 Hosts: Annabel Bligh, Indrajit Roy, Jens Lerche and 2 other

India Tomorrow part 4: women, gender and love

This episode of India Tomorrow, a series from The Anthill podcast, digs into what life is like for women in India. We look at how much they are represented among the country’s lawmakers and whether they might even be considered an electoral group in Indian politics. Like lots of countries around the world, India suffers from gender inequality. But in terms of global rankings, it scores pretty low…

5 Hosts: Indrajit Roy, Annabel Bligh, Carole Spary and 2 other

India Tomorrow part 3: Kashmir

As campaigning was gearing up for the 2019 Indian elections, there was a dangerous escalation in the long-simmering conflict between India and Pakistan. An attack on an Indian military convoy in Pulwama in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir in February 2019 killed more than 40 security personnel. After a Pakistani-based militant group claimed responsibility, India responded by launching air strikes…

5 Hosts: Indrajit Roy, Annabel Bligh, Ather Zia and 2 other

India Tomorrow part 2: the politics of Hindu nationalism

When Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept to victory in India's 2014 elections, much was made of its Hindu nationalist agenda. After five years in office, some commentators now worry that the secular nature of Indian democracy is being eroded. In this, the second episode of India Tomorrow, a series from The Conversation’s podcast The Anthill, we look at the history of Hindu nationalism…

6 Hosts: Indrajit Roy, Annabel Bligh, Ajay Gudavarthy and 3 other

India Tomorrow part 1: fake news and the battle for information

Fake news is a problem facing society across the world. The rise of social media platforms allows people to disseminate information freely. Stories can go viral, even if they’re not true. And there have been a number of cases where they have stoked fears and fuelled violence in India. In this, the first episode of India Tomorrow, a series from The Conversation's Anthill podcast, we explore how fake…

6 Hosts: Annabel Bligh, Indrajit Roy, Amogh Dhar Sharma and 3 other

India Tomorrow podcast series from The Anthill – trailer

Populist politics, divisive nationalism, an under-performing economy and a strongman leader. Like many countries around the world, India is grappling with these issues at the moment. But the world's largest democracy is at a crossroads. Around 900m Indians are heading to the polls over the next six weeks to decide if they want to reelect the current government of Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist…

2 Hosts: Annabel Bligh and Indrajit Roy

Anthill 33: an announcement – and a trip back to the future

Anthill 33: an announcement – and a trip back to the future.

You may have noticed that we've had a little break from our usual monthly Anthill podcast schedule. That’s because we’ve been hard at work creating a new series all about India and what you need to know to understand what’s at stake in India’s upcoming national elections. From now on, The Anthill won't be monthly -- instead we'll be delving deep into stories and themes in dedicated short series featuring…

5 Hosts: Amy Chambers, Anders Sandberg, Martin Parker and 2 other

Anthill 32: the 'mother of all demos' when computers first got personal

It was a year of huge social upheaval around the world. Amid the protests, outrage and uprisings, other momentous events took place in 1968 that continue to shape the world 50 years later. In this episode of The Anthill podcast, we feature a story from Heat and Light, a podcast series by our colleagues over at The Conversation US, focusing on seven key but lesser known stories that shaped America from…

1 Host: Margaret O'Mara

Anthill 31: World War I remembered – podcast

It was supposed to be the war to end all wars, and the sheer destructiveness of World War I was unprecedented for its time. More than 30 countries were involved, 65m men volunteered or were conscripted to fight and millions of civilians contributed to the war effort. Around 16m people died. And many of those who survived came home from the war psychologically and physically scarred for life. This year…

6 Hosts: Aled Eirug, Ingrid Sharp, Lois Bibbings and 3 other

Anthill 30: Extremes

We've taken our cue for this episode of The Anthill podcast from the Cambridge Festival of Ideas -- the theme for which in 2018 is extremes. As the organisers point out, it really does feel like we’re living in an age where the world is growing more and more extreme. Far-right political extremism is on the rise around the world, with extreme, populist views gaining support everywhere from Brazil and…

6 Hosts: Anna Cento Bull, Joelle Gergis, Mona Jebril and 3 other

Anthill 29: Inheritance

What do we pass onto the next generation when we're gone? In this episode of The Anthill podcast we bring you three stories from academics who study aspects of inheritance -- from inherited wealth, to the natural inheritance we leave our children, and the genetic inheritance held within our DNA. The way countries tax inherited wealth varies widely across the world. In the UK, inheritance tax is 40…

7 Hosts: Christopher Sandom, Danny Dorling, Daphne Martschenko and 4 other

Anthill 28: On nothing

Why is it so hard for us to just sit and do nothing? We don't mean mindlessly scrolling through social media, while you watch TV. Actually sitting still and letting your mind wander. Busyness seems to be a status symbol of our time. Everybody everywhere is busy -- busy with work, busy with family, busy exercising, busy meditating. Busy being busy. Busyness is associated with success and fulfilment…

5 Hosts: Giulia Poerio, Hilary Marland, Martin Rees and 2 other

Anthill 27: Confidence

The Anthill 27: Confidence. CC BY-ND37.1 MB (download)

This episode of The Anthill podcast digs into the concept of confidence. We start by finding out how scientists define confidence and how it works in the brain. Producer Gemma Ware takes a confidence calibration test with the help of psychologist Eva Krockow at the University of Leicester, who also shares some of her research findings on whether expressing confidence about something is a good marker…

6 Hosts: Amanda Goodall, Chantal Gautier, Dan Bang and 3 other

Anthill 26: Twins

Double trouble, two peas in a pod, always together and possibly even reading each other's minds -- twins come with tonnes of stereotypes. This episode of The Anthill digs into some of the research around twins -- from what it's like to be one, how it differs to other sibling relationships (if at all) and how twins play a crucial role in scientific research. As well as speaking to some twins to find…

7 Hosts: Alison Pike, Athula Sumathipala, Claire Steves and 4 other

Anthill 25: Intuition

Ever had a funny feeling, a thought or conviction that you feel compelled to act on, but you can’t quite explain it? Intuition is a concept we're all – intuitively – familiar with. In this episode of The Anthill, a podcast from The Conversation, we get to grips with what intuition exactly is and how it works in our brains and bodies. Psychologist Valerie Van Mulukom from Coventry University explains…

5 Hosts: Cinla Akinci, Gerard P. Hodgkinson, Jim Al-Khalili and 2 other

The Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland at 20 – The Anthill podcast

It’s been 20 years since the Belfast Agreement paved the way for a relatively peaceful end to the Troubles in Northern Ireland. The deal was made on Good Friday that year, April 10, 1998, and has become known since as the Good Friday Agreement. To mark the 20th anniversary, this episode of The Anthill is all about the Good Friday Agreement. While this anniversary is an opportunity to remember the achievements…

10 Hosts: Connal Parr, David Mitchell, Feargal Cochrane and 7 other

Anthill 23: Bursting the Bitcoin bubble

In this episode of The Anthill podcast from The Conversation, we're delving into the world of Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency has come a long way since its launch by the mysterious person (or persons) Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. The price of one Bitcoin hit a peak of more than US$19,000 in December 2017. It has since fallen below US$9,000. Bitcoin has made a lot of headlines over the last year, but will…

6 Hosts: Bernardo Batiz-Lazo, Brian Lucey, Heiner Linke and 3 other