Sciencetown

Sciencetown

A podcast about the people, ideas and innovations that make KAUST the most unique research community on the planet. Each episode is a deep dive into cutting-edge tech, science and startup culture through the eyes of pioneering men and women. For more information visit sciencetown.kaust.edu.sa

Episodes

April 28, 2021 56 min

The global ocean covers over 70% of our blue planet and yet we know vanishingly little about what lies below the surface. This was brought home recently in a paper published in the journal Science about the soundscape of the Anthropocene. Human activity has disrupted the way the ocean normally sounds with both silent and deadly implications. In this episode we talk to the artists, researchers and advocates who are trying to preserv...

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Paula Moraga talks to us about the use of data analysis and modeling to better understand communicable disease. Moraga is an assistant professor of statistics at KAUST and the principal investigator of the Geospatial Statistics and Health Surveillance Research Group.

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January 21, 2021 34 min

Mohamed-Slim Alouini is a distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering at KAUST. Alouini joined Ben Stevens to talk about how wireless connectivity might well be the way to speed attainment of United Nations sustainable development goals.

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January 19, 2021 29 min

How do we know, what we know, about the human brain? We talk to Carl Petersen to find out. He’s the director of the Brain Mind Institute at EPFL. Petersen joined Ben Stevens to talk about how we know, what it is we know, about connections, in the brain.

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October 15, 2020 36 min

Transportation is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, so how do we clean up the way we move people and stuff around the planet? In this episode we dig into some of the science and the solutions that aim to make global transportation far less ecologically damaging.

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September 7, 2020 48 min

In early 2020, researchers from around the world wrapped up the biggest shark counting exercise ever undertaken. The result: Some reefs continue to sustain large populations of apex predators, while others have lost them entirely. In this episode we speak with the people most in-the-know about global reef shark populations, and what these canaries in the coal mine might be telling us about the state of our global oceans.

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Geothermal is a sustainable, abundant, and largely untapped energy resource. Around the world, countries are turning to this fascinating and perhaps less well known form of energy to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. In this episode we sit down with some of the world’s leading experts on geothermal to hear about what solutions it has to offer humanity in the age of global climate change.

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A team of global researchers is working to connect the 4 billion people around the world who remain unconnected. It's a topic that has come into harsh relief with the global COVID-19 pandemic. We discuss the future of connectedness and how it could lead to essential advancements in telemedicine, remote work, autonomous vehicles, the sustainable management of our global resources, and so much more.

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Victor Vescovo is famous for traveling the greatest vertical distance possible without leaving earth, having summited Mount Everest and dove to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. In February, his craft, the DSSV Pressure Drop anchored in the Red Sea about 100 Kilometers North of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to commence a series of dives in collaboration with KAUST researchers. We went aboard to hear from Victor and his team about their work...

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Scientists are racing to understand the mechanisms of transmission, the most effective testing methods, and how we can all cope with the COVID-19 crisis. In this episode, we talk to a Saudi doctoral student about the highs and lows of sample collection, and we get an insider’s look into the AI that just might give clinicians a leg up in the fight against COVID-19.

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The SARS-CoV-2 virus has transited the globe causing both disruption and calls to action for scientists and the institutions they work in. We reached out to some of the mathematicians, geneticists and computer scientists putting their skills to work to help solve the COVID-19 crisis. In this episode, we explore science in quarantine and the things smart people get up to when the lab is closed and global science is called to action.

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Cheap, rapid genetic sequencing, big data, and supercomputing is opening up new possibilities for medicine at the individual level. But rapid advancements in CRISPR, cyborgism, biohacking and more have raised safety concerns and ethical quandaries about who has the right to push the envelope and who does not.

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In December the 25th conference of parties or COP25 took place in Madrid, Spain. We followed some of the world's leading experts on material flows, carbon dioxide, the oceans and more to explore closing the loop on circular economies.

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Hanadi Sleiman, Professor of Chemistry and Canada Research Chair in DNA Nanoscience at McGill University, speaks with Nicholas Demille as part of a special Sciencetown series on personalized medicine. Sleiman, who visited as part of the 2020 Winter Enrichment Program, is focused on using molecule DNA as a template to assemble nanostructured materials.

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Ian Campbell, the Interim Executive Chair for Innovate UK, speaks with Ben Stevens as part of a special Sciencetown series on personalized medicine. Campbell, who visited as part of the 2020 Winter Enrichment Program, is the operational head of the organization as it continues driving the UK’s technology and innovation strategy.

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Ajay Royyuru of IBM speaks with Ben Stevens as part of a special Sciencetown series on personalized medicine. Royyuru, who visited as part of the 2020 Winter Enrichment Program, leads Healthcare & Life Sciences research at IBM. His team is actively pursuing high-quality science, developing novel technologies and achieving translational insights across this industry, including areas of cancer, cardiac, neurological, mental healt...

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Her Royal Highness Dr. Maha bint Mishari AlSaud, Vice President of External Relations and Advancement at Alfaisal University, speaks to Nicholas Demille as part of a special Sciencetown series on personalized medicine. AlSaud, who visited as part of the 2020 Winter Enrichment Program, is an American Board Certified Internist. She serves as a member of the Board of Trustees, and is Chairperson of the External Relations Advisory Boar...

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Professor Nicholas Peppas, the Cockrell Family Regents Chair at the University of Texas at Austin, speaks with Ben Stevens as part of a special Sciencetown series on personalized medicine. Peppas, who visited as part of the 2020 Winter Enrichment Program, is working on a multidisciplinary approach to blending modern molecular and cellular biology with engineering principles to design the next-generation of medical systems and devic...

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We’re coming to you from Yas Island in Abu Dhabi for the penultimate race of the 2019 Formula One season. We’re down on the paddock to hear from the McLaren race team and some of the scientists working to give them a leg up on the competition.

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Startups, and the disruptive tech they espouse, promise jobs, economic growth, and smarter societies. With wild promise and profitability at stake, building the next Silicon Valley has become the pursuit of many. But is all this talk of smarter, better and faster forms of reality really going to pay off for the rest of us?

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