In this series of posts, we’ll be featuring mathematical podcasts from all over the internet, by speaking to the creators of the podcast and asking them about what they do.
We spoke to Michael Brooks, who co-presents the Eureka! podcast with Rick Edwards.
What is your podcast about, and why did it start?
I am a physicist by training, and work as a science journalist. My friend and co-host Rick Edwards did Natural Sciences at Cambridge, but doesn’t get enough science in his life these days (he’s a TV and radio presenter). So we decided that we’d investigate the geeky stuff that interests us in a podcast…it’s entirely self-serving! Stak Productions help us to get our podcast ideas into shape and out to the world.
Who is the intended audience for the podcast?
Anyone and everyone (though we do swear a bit, so it’s not ideal for very young children or my mother-in-law). We seek to “get under the skin of science”, so we don’t presume listeners have a science background, or even particularly like science; all you need to bring is a bit of curiosity about how things work and a willingness to not take things too seriously.
We’re definitely not one of those “aren’t scientists wonderful?” Kind of podcasts. Scientists are as likely to be given as hard a time as spiritualists (well, maybe not quite as hard, but you get the idea…)
What is a typical episode like?
Episodes go out weekly, with each one asking a specific question (such as, how can I get myself to sleep?). Rick and I take it in turns to lead, and whoever’s leading has input from an expert on the science behind that week’s question. We always aim to have our own answer, which may differ from the expert’s answer!
What are some highlights of the podcast so far?
We had a spontaneous, very funny joke about Octopuses wearing their hearts on their sleeves in “Will We Ever Talk To Animals?” Rick discovering that orgasms are an essential tool in the sleep repair kit was very funny… and the whole episode on creating safe, legal and ethical drugs was just mind-blowing…
What exciting plans do you have for the future?
Well, we have a whole slew of great questions to investigate, such as what determines sexuality?; how do we choose which endangered species to save?; can we hack love?… the sad truth is we both enjoy our research as much as the recordings, so the really exciting thing is having an excuse to get lost down our reading rabbit holes!