Highbrow Drivel

Highbrow Drivel

Hilarious takes from serious experts. Each week I'm joined by a new stand up comedian and a new expert to discuss their field of expertise. We're talking the big topics, the brain, space, climate science, psychedelics and all the areas you're most likely to end up when you're drunk, at the end of a party, just trying to figure it all out. . It's a light, funny and easily accessible way to hear the latest from some seriously mind blowing experts.

Episodes

April 16, 2022 55 min

We've all woken up from a night out and not remembered getting home. How does the brain do that?  On this week's ep we look into the neuroscience of navigation and spatial awareness, a completely complicated task that we take for granted all the time. So listen in and get a new found appreciation of how great your brain is for not constantly walking you into walls.

Expert guest:
Christopher Kemp is an English scientist and s...

Share
Mark as Played

You and everyone you know and love are the beneficiaries of a series of fortunate events. From the planet bursting into existence, to the dinosaurs being wiped out by a once-in-a-ever (hopefully) asteroid, to the 1 in 70 billion chance that you would end up with your exact genetic material. And that's before you even think of how much luck impacts success and failure on a day-to-day basis. In this episode, we speak to Dr Sean B...

Share
Mark as Played

How do you prepare for an event that's never happened in your lifetime? What's it like to feel like the boy who cried wolf? Do we have a plan for alien invasion? And why were disaster planners called to plan for Brexit? 
On this week's episode, we talk to Professor Lucy Easthope, the UK's leading authority on recovering from disaster. Lucy is a charming, expert who cares deeply about her field. Over the course of the...

Share
Mark as Played

What do steam punks and modern quantum physicists have in common? What is quantum entanglement? How did the hippies save science? And we come up with a brilliant idea for the next Pixar blockbuster. All that & more in this week's episode.

Expert Guest:
Nicole re-envisions 19th-century thermodynamics for 21st-century settings—small - using the mathematical toolkit of quantum information theory. Nicole uses quantum thermodynam...

Share
Mark as Played

For the last week of the break, The Nothing Podcast With Nobody Important is our guest podcast. The team put together a fascinating, fun and always interesting set of human interest stories that get you excited to find out the secret lives of the people around you. In this week, the chat to Anthony about life in comedy. 

Share
Mark as Played
January 9, 2022 65 min

This week's amazing guest podcast is 'Sure, Jan', an amazing honest, endearing and funny look at modern dating. Jan talks to Anthony about his period of 53 first dates in 9 months when he first moved to London, and ultimately the journey to meeting his wife :) 

Share
Mark as Played

This guest episode is from the Better Call Daddy Podcast, created by Reena Friedman Watts. The episode focuses on Anthony's use of magic mushrooms for anxiety management. 

Share
Mark as Played

When you think about how the universe works, most people start from the cosmic perspective, but what about the little guys? Literally! This week we talk to Dr Chris Ferrie about what quantum physics brings to our understanding of the universe and how things work.

Expert guest: 
Chris Ferrie is an Associate Professor at the University of Technology Sydney and the Centre for Quantum Software and Information. His research interests inc...

Share
Mark as Played

Butts, boobies and bacteria. Discover the unsung heroes throughout history who made life on Earth possible.

Expert guest:
Dr Henry Gee  is a former paleontologist, evolutionary biologist and senior editor of the international renowned scientific journal Nature. He is the best selling author of the book 'A (Very) Short History of Life On Earth.' His previous books include The Accidental Species: Misunderstandings of Human Ev...

Share
Mark as Played
November 28, 2021 60 min

From marathon runners, to chilli lovers and kinksters, we all have things that bring us joy and pain simultaneously. Why and how does it happen? Join us to find out.

Expert guest:
Leigh Cowart is a researcher, science communicator and author. Their work has appeared in New York Magazine's The Cut, the Washington Post, Buzzfeed News, Hazlitt, The Verge, Deadspin, MIT Technology Review, and The Daily Beast, among others. Leigh...

Share
Mark as Played
November 21, 2021 56 min

Why is some stuff sticky? How does ice work and are we birds swimming through the air? This week we dive deep into the science of surfaces.

Expert guest:
Laurie Winkless is a brilliantly multi-talented physicist and science communicator. She has a passion for translating complex science into engaging stories and has worked with Forbes Magazine, various schools and universities, the Royal Society, The Naked Scientists and NASA's ...

Share
Mark as Played
November 14, 2021 49 min

There are a few topics in life that most of us find difficult to have. The most common of those around dying. This week expert Dr Kathryn Mannix, and comedian Jackie Kashian join us talk about how to have tender conversations.

Expert guest:
Dr Kathryn Mannix has spent her career in palliative care, helping countless people have the care and conversations they need to maintain a high-quality of life, even as they approach death. Her...

Share
Mark as Played
November 7, 2021 63 min

From politics to travel, sports to conspiracy theories, the groups we're in hugely change the way we see and interact with the world. In this episode we look talk to a leading social psychologist about how group identity works.

Expert guest:
Dr Jay Van Bavel is a multi-talented and multi-award winning researcher, academic, author and academic. He is currently the Associate Professor of Psychology & Neural Science at New Yor...

Share
Mark as Played

Get ready to wave hello to Jeff and Elon, we're getting back in the Highbrow Drivel Galactic and heading back to outer space. This week, we're talking about the frequently asked questions of the universe with Dr Daniel Whiteson and Pernille Haaland. Highlights include Dr Daniel explaining expansion, discussion on whether the black hole at the centre of the milky way is like a guard dog keeping aliens away and some a-grade n...

Share
Mark as Played
October 24, 2021 57 min

Numbers are the key to unlocking the secrets of the universe, and as we progress in our career, almost all jobs (even fun creative ones) need a basic grasp of mathematics. So why do so many people hate them and how can we fix this?  And test your skill with our viral math mind benders!

Expert guest:
Kyle Evans is an award-winning comedian* and maths communicator** - combining comedy, song and extreme pedantry to lethal effect (not l...

Share
Mark as Played
October 17, 2021 60 min

Are cities broken or brilliant? Most of our population live in cities, so you'd think they should be the most comfortable place a person can be...but a whole lot of people hate them. In this week's episode our comedian and expert look into the pro's and con's of city life.

Expert guest:
Claire Bradbury has lived in the metropolis for much of her life, so she understands what it takes to find home in the city, whethe...

Share
Mark as Played
October 10, 2021 47 min

What's in the periodic table? In this week's episode the infectiously insightful Dr Kathryn Harkup takes us through her love of the periodic table, helping us understand the personalities and characteristic of the elements we spent so long trying to remember.

Expert guest:
Dr Kathryn Harkup is a chemist and author. Her first book was the international best-seller, A is for Arsenic. She has also written about the science of ...

Share
Mark as Played
October 3, 2021 74 min

Emotions are confusing as hell, and increasingly, we're paying more and more attention to how we feel. In this episode we talk to one of the world's leading experts on emotions,
Dr Rich Firth-Godbehere, to help us figure out how to think about the way that we feel. The hilarious John Poveromo joins us to lighten the emotional load with his quick wit and brilliant insights.

Expert guest:
Dr. Richard Firth-Godbehere is an awar...

Share
Mark as Played
September 26, 2021 61 min

What makes up stuff? And why does it exist? In this episode we talk to particle physicist Dr Harry Cliff and Ashish Suri to find out how a universe is made.

Expert guest:
Dr Harry Cliff is a particle physicist at the University of Cambridge working on the LHCb (you know, the Large Hadron Collider) experiment, a huge particle detector buried 100 metres underground at CERN. He's conducting experiments to study the basic building ...

Share
Mark as Played
September 19, 2021 54 min

Just this week we saw Tower Bridge flooded. How the heck a bridge floods, I don't know. It seems like flooding has snuck up on most of us as a major consequence of climate change. In this week's episode we talk with a flood modelling specialist and an critically acclaimed comedian to find out about why flooding is getting worse, how bad it will get and whether technology can help us manage the damage.

Comedy guest:
Isabelle ...

Share
Mark as Played

Popular Podcasts

    Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations.

    The Daily

    This is what the news should sound like. The biggest stories of our time, told by the best journalists in the world. Hosted by Michael Barbaro. Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, ready by 6 a.m.

    Crime Junkie

    If you can never get enough true crime... Congratulations, you’ve found your people.

    Morbid: A True Crime Podcast

    It’s a lighthearted nightmare in here, weirdos! Morbid is a true crime, creepy history and all things spooky podcast hosted by an autopsy technician and a hairstylist. Join us for a heavy dose of research with a dash of comedy thrown in for flavor.

    Stuff You Should Know

    If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

Advertise With Us

For You

    Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.

    Connect

    © 2022 iHeartMedia, Inc.