IFLScience The big questions: exploring some of the biggest scientific puzzles of 2023

In season 3 of the IFLScience podcast The big questions we’ve tackled some of the most fascinating scientific mysteries of 2023, from how to prepare for the next big solar flare to the chances of Jurassic Park a reality. Presenters Dr. Alfredo Carpineti, Rachael Funnell and Eleanor Higgs were joined by international guest experts to explore questions and issues at the very edge of our knowledge. What have we learned? Find out below.

Episode 1 – Is Jurassic Park Possible?

To mark the 30th anniversary of the iconic film, paleontologist Dr Susie Maidment from the Natural History Museum in London and Ben Lamm from de-extinction company Colossal Biosciences help us answer a question 66 million 30 years in the making.

Episode 2 – How will climate change affect polar bear populations?

We speak with Alysa McCall, staff scientist and conservation director of Polar Bears International, to find out what’s really going on with climate change and the Arctic’s “white furry canaries.”

Episode 3 – Why is Space Junk So Important?

Together with Professor Moriba Jah, Professor of Space Environment, we discuss why space debris is such a real threat and how we can make space safe, secure and sustainable.

Episode 4 – Can we save a species on the brink of extinction?

Is it possible to use genetic research to save the northern white rhino? If so, how? And more importantly, should we even try? We tackle these complex questions with the help of Dr. Susanne Holtze from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Episode 5 – How does a quantum computer work and how will they change the world?

In this episode we explore the promise of quantum computers, speaking to Professor Winfried Hensinger, professor of quantum technology at the University of Sussex, UK, to discover why we need them, what they can be used for and why they are taking so long. to get them.

Episode 6 – What is space weather and how does it affect us?

We discuss all things space weather with Dr Nigel Meredith from the British Antarctic Survey, and how solar events affect our planet millions of miles away. You can even listen to the incredible sounds some of these events make!

Episode 7 – What does the old ice tell us about the future?

Dr. Liz Thomas from the British Antarctic Survey’s Ice Core Research Group joins us to talk about all things ancient ice, and how it can help us look back at Earth’s climate history to predict where we’ll be in the future may have to deal with.

Episode 8 – Are e-fuels the future of aviation?

As much as people love flying abroad, the cost of the climate impact makes people think twice. So, what can we do? We speak to Sophie Zienkiewicz and Alasdair Lumsden, co-founders of Carbon Neutral Fuels, to find out whether e-fuels can revolutionize the future of the fuel industry and help offset climate change.

Episode 9 – How are glaciers changing in a warming world?

With glaciers disappearing across the planet, Dr Peter Davis from the British Antarctic Survey explains how scientists are monitoring these changes, as well as the possible consequences of such rapid melting.

Episode 10 – Are We Ready for the Next Massive Solar Flare?

As we prepare for solar maximum, the sun’s peak activity, the question arises of how a powerful event could impact an increasingly technology-dependent world. Dr. Ryan French, astronomer at the National Solar Observatory, joins us to find out.

Bonus episode – Would you eat plant-based meat for Christmas dinner?

During the holidays, many of us will indulge in delicious meals that may even contain meat. We speak to Daniel Dikovsky, chief technology officer at Redefine Meat, to find out how scientists are creating eco-friendly plant-based alternatives for the Christmas plate and beyond.

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