The Anthill

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

Latest Episodes

Anthill 13: All the world's a game

On this month's episode of The Anthill we are playing games -- computer games, grammar games and real life games too. We speak to a researcher who’s fascinated by what happens to people who turn game playing into a career. And we’ll look at whether we can make education more engaging by turning it into a competition. First we talk to an expert in game theory. Abhinay Muthoo is an economist at the University…

5 Hosts: Abhinay Muthoo, Carlo Perotta, Jacob Habgood and 2 others

Anthill 12: Don't remember this

In this episode of The Anthill podcast we delve into the world of memory. We talk to psychologists, historians and political scientists about how and why we remember some things and forget others. First up, our science editor, Miriam Frankel, finds out why people are susceptible to remembering things that didn't actually happen to them. Psychologists Martin Conway, a professor at City University, and…

5 Hosts: Karin Wahl-Jorgensen, Martin Conway, Sean Lang and 2 others

Anthill 11: waste not, want not

In this episode of The Anthill, a podcast from The Conversation, we're bringing you stories about how one person's waste can be another person's treasure. We start by getting the dirty stuff out of the way, delving deep into the evolutionary reasons why most of us retch if a browney-orangey liquid starts oozing out from the bin bag. It's called the "yuck factor" and we all have it, as Philip Powell…

5 Hosts: Ana Colaco Maruta Mestre, Geoff Beattie, Kevin Morgan and 2 others

Anthill 10: The Future

In this episode of The Anthill podcast we talk to historians, future thinkers, designers and sci-fi watchers about our love of predicting what's to come. We talk to somebody who does it for a living, Anders Sandberg, research fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford, who explains how he got into future studies, and what it's like predicting the future as a day job. Thankfully…

6 Hosts: Amy C. Chambers, Anders Sandberg, Martin Parker and 3 others

Anthill 9: When scientists experiment on themselves

Anthill 9: When scientists experiment on themselves.

Self-experimentation is something scientists have done since, well, science began. Throughout history, testing a theory on one's own body was the easiest route to getting an answer. You may be forgiven for thinking that this is a thing of the past. For starters, a sample size of one is rarely conclusive. Then there are pesky ethical review boards that need to be cleared. But it turns out self-experimentation…

4 Hosts: Peter Kinderman, Sorcha Uí Chonnachtaigh, Tim Spector and 1 other

Anthill 8: Goodbye 2016, hello 2017

In what has been a year of political turmoil, violence and vitriol, The Conversation's contributors have sought to explain the reasons behind and the consequences of key events. From the victory of the Brexit campaign that now sees the UK preparing to start negotiations on leaving the European Union, to the election of Donald Trump as US president, it has been a sobering year for pollsters, and for…

5 Hosts: Andy Price, Jane B. Singer, Maria Garcia and 2 others

Anthill 7: On belief

The Antill 7: On belief. The Conversation, CC BY-ND46.9 MB (download)

In this episode of The Anthill, a podcast from The Conversation, we’re taking a critical look at the idea of belief. You might not consider yourself to be religious or have a particularly clear cut belief system. But, make no mistake, belief permeates everything we do. For most, the simple belief that the sun will rise every day means not living in fear of the apocalypse. Yet this isn't the case for…

8 Hosts: C. Colin Holbrook, David Papineau, Gina Rippon and 5 others

Anthill 6: Into the darkness

With the nights closing in and Halloween just around the corner, we're shining a light on darkness for our October episode of The Anthill, a podcast from The Conversation. We start with the spooky allure of horror films. There's no better place to find out why horror stories get our spines tingling than in a graveyard -- as Holly Squire found out when she met Alison Peirse, lecturer in theatre, film…

7 Hosts: Adam J Smith, Alison Peirse, Alison Rowlands and 4 others

Anthill 5: Reboot – part 2

We got a bit carried away when putting together our latest podcast and ended up with too many fun stories to air in one episode of The Anthill. So here's part two on the theme of rebooting where we bring you more tales of restarts and rebrands. We start with a thought experiment: what if the world as we know it was to end? It could be a nuclear apocalypse, a superbug that wipes out most of humanity…

4 Hosts: Daphne Demetry, John Gaffney, Lewis Dartnell and 1 other

Anthill 5: Reboot – part 1

Anthill 5: Reboot – part 1.

If you've ever rung up IT with a problem and been told to try turning your computer off and on again before anyone will take you seriously, you'll understand the power of a reboot. Just like humans, computers are fallible and they can often do with a restart to wipe the slate clean. This month we've chosen to focus The Anthill, the podcast from The Conversation UK, on the theme of rebooting -- what…

3 Hosts: Geoff Pilkington, Rob Miles, and Scott Lucas

Anthill 4: Fuel

Anthill 4: Fuel.

It's not just cars and aeroplanes that need to take on fuel: our bodies and brains do too. So think of your summer holidays as a pit stop in your frantic year -- a time to recharge the batteries. It's fuel -- the stuff that makes both us and the world go round -- that we're focusing on in this fourth episode of The Anthill, a podcast from The Conversation UK. It's clear that some of us need to take…

5 Hosts: Emma Kinrade, John Groeger, Jonathan Radcliffe and 2 others

Anthill 3: Rooting for the underdog

Anthill 3: Rooting for the underdog.

Everybody loves a tale of an underdog succeeding against the odds. From Hollywood to the world of sport, we love to see the little guys come out on top. Having witnessed some remarkable sporting successes in 2016, we decided to dedicate our third podcast to underdogs. This episode's mix of stories starts with a look at the historic progress made by Iceland and Wales in the Euro 2016 football tournament…

7 Hosts: Brendan Clarke, Jill Stuart, John Williams and 4 others

Anthill 2: Brexit special

Anthill 2: Brexit special.

On June 23 the British public will decide whether or not to remain a member of the European Union. The result will have lasting ramifications not just for the UK, but the rest of Europe and the world too. In this special episode of The Anthill, the podcast from The Conversation UK, we speak to academics who are closely following the Brexit debate to help cut through the spin of the campaign. For those…

6 Hosts: Anand Menon, Andrew Scott Crines, Bill Durodie and 3 others

Anthill 1: About time

Welcome to The Anthill, The Conversation UK's inaugural podcast. About time you might think, and so do we. So for our first episode we've taken that to heart and talked to a group of academics on the theme of time. In a brief history of telling time, we ask physicist Kenneth Grattan about how humans perfected the measurement of time, from sundials to atomic clocks. Historian Richard Evans explains…

6 Hosts: David Herd, Kenneth Grattan, Marc J Buehner and 3 others

Introducing a new podcast from The Conversation UK

Introducing The Anthill. CC BY-ND691 KB (download)

Welcome to The Anthill, The Conversation UK's brand new podcast. In the spirit of The Conversation, The Anthill seeks to unearth some of the best and brightest research from the world of academia. After three years publishing expert research, we’re thrilled to be bringing our own brand of smart journalism to a new audio format. Each episode will collect stories and commentary on a given theme. Our…

2 Hosts: Annabel Bligh and Will de Freitas

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