Cosmos Briefing

Cosmos Briefing

Investigating the key intersection of science and the community – the stuff that actually matters to us – and cutting through the half-truths and inaccurate science that floods the digital domain. Find the science of everything at cosmosmagazine.com

Episodes

January 18, 2022 9 min

Today, Cosmos journalist Ellen Phiddian reads a story that ran in Cosmos Weekly. It looks at placebos. Right now “Honest placebo pills” are on the market, but does the science support them? You can find the original article at https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/medicine/placebo-pills/. The two studies that the article reference are Maher et al., 2021, ‘Placebos in clinical care: a suggestion beyond the evidence’, Medical Journal of ...

Share
Mark as Played

Who’s afraid of cobras? Not gorillas and chimps! Recent research has shown that an ancient ancestor of chimps, gorillas and humans evolved strong resistance to venom – specifically, to neurotoxins in snake venom – and passed it on to us. Today, Cosmos journalist Dr Deborah Devis speaks to the study’s lead author, Associate Professor Bryan Fry from the University of Queensland (AKA Venom Doc), about how this was part of an ongoing e...

Share
Mark as Played
December 14, 2021 31 min

Today Royal Institution of Australia Editor-in-Chief Ian Connellan talks to astrophysicist Professor Alan Duffy. Alan has just stepped down as the Royal Institution of Australia's lead scientist after four years in the role. He is simply too busy these days to fit everything in, especially since his appointment earlier this year as director of the space technology and industry Institute at Swinburne University of Technology in ...

Share
Mark as Played
December 9, 2021 21 min

With half of the world’s population now living in cities, a number that is projected to reach two thirds in the coming decades, people are becoming increasingly disconnected from their food both geographically and conceptually. Food travels greater distances, leading to increased waste and supply chain vulnerability.  

History tells us that during times of stress people turn to urban agriculture. Therefore, it is no surprise that th...

Share
Mark as Played
December 7, 2021 47 min

Today the Cosmos editorial team are giving us their take on the highlights of the more than 1500 stories they have published this year. From Covid and climate, to fat bears and swearing ducks, Dr Deborah Devis, Lauren Fuge and Ellen Phiddian take us on a 2021 recap.

Find the science of everything at the Cosmos Magazine website 

Watch and listen to all our Cosmos Briefings

Subscribe to Cosmos Magazine (print) or the Cosmos Weekly. Spec...

Share
Mark as Played
December 2, 2021 36 min

The much-anticipated 26th UN Conference of the Parties – COP26 – is over, and the response to its agreement is mixed. Some say the path to net zero is inexorable; others feel that much remains to be agreed. In Australia, a dominant theme is that private enterprise and state governments are taking the lead on the path to net zero in the absence of a clear national commitment. There are other notable ‘other than government’ initiativ...

Share
Mark as Played
November 30, 2021 39 min

The Best Australian Science Writing is an annual collection of – that’s right – the nation’s best science writing. This year a mixture of experienced authors and newcomers have come together under the editorship of Eureka prizewinning-writer Dyani Lewis. Today Dyani talks to three of BASW 2021’s writers. Freelance science writer Bianca Nogrady, conservation ecologist Ella Loeffler, and the science editor at CNET.com, Jackson Ryan. ...

Share
Mark as Played
November 25, 2021 28 min

Today we have a special podcast that showcases a program initiated by the Royal Institution of Australia’s Education platform. In Class With is a series where we ask students from all over the country to ask eminent scientists questions.

Professor Fiona Wood, the inventor of spray-on-skin and a world-leading burns specialist, and speaking to you from Whadjuk Nyoongar land, will be answering their questions in this episode.

You can vi...

Share
Mark as Played

Distinguished Professor Chennupati Jagadish, based at ANU, has been named as the next president of the Australian Academy of Science. Jagadish is a world-renowned physicist and nanotechnology pioneer; he’s the first Australian of Indian heritage to lead the country’s premier science organisation. He was born in humble circumstances in Andhra Pradesh, south-eastern India. He moved to Australia with his family in 1990 to accept a pos...

Share
Mark as Played

Today we bring you a recording from the Nature Festival in Adelaide earlier this year where a panel of Bruce Pascoe, Aboriginal Australian writer of literary fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essays and children's literature; Major "Moogy" Sumner, a world-renowned performer and Ngarrindjeri cultural ambassador; artist Sonya Rankine; writer and curator Jared Thomas; and Warndu co-founder Damien Coulthard, discussed how natur...

Share
Mark as Played
November 18, 2021 44 min

Soil carbon sequestration seems like a win for everyone: it improves soil quality, removes CO2 from the atmosphere, and provides an additional source of income for farmers via carbon credits. It forms a major part of the federal government’s plan to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050, with one official estimate suggesting that up to a fifth of our current yearly emissions could be negated with soil carbon. Is it really possible t...

Share
Mark as Played
November 16, 2021 36 min

What do your genes say about your risk of disease? We want to know what types of diseases we, and our children, are susceptible to so we can to our best to mitigate them. When we hear about our own risk of genetic disease, it can be frightening, but it may not mean what it seems.

In reality, genetic disease is highly complex, especially when multiple genes could contribute to any given trait. So, how do we collect this information a...

Share
Mark as Played
November 11, 2021 19 min

Australian palaeontologist Professor John Long has spent a lifetime expanding what we know about ancient animals, especially fish from the Devonian age, about 400 million years ago. John grew up in Victoria and was educated at Monash University. His fossil expeditions have taken him throughout Australia and to places as diverse as Vietnam, Iran and Antarctica. His ground-breaking discoveries include contributing to our understandin...

Share
Mark as Played

Remote and wild, Antarctica is a spectacular place that most people on Earth won't ever get to. But it's a frontier for scientific research – and something we are very passionate about as The Royal Institution of Australian is the Australian Antarctic Division’s Education partner. Today Cosmos journalist Lauren Fuge speaks to Professor Nicole Webster, who took up the role as the chief scientist of the Australian Antarctic D...

Share
Mark as Played
November 5, 2021 25 min

Now, more than ever, it's important to communicate science in an engaging and accessible way - but using traditional media isn't the only way. Today, Cosmos journalist Lauren Fuge speaks to science communicator, Rachel Rayner. With a degree in Liberal Studies majoring in Physics and Art History & Theory, and a background in strategic marketing, events, and PR, she has a unique blend of skills – and her science communica...

Share
Mark as Played

Professor Fred Watson AM has been a fixture of Australian astronomy for decades, perhaps best known for his work promoting and explaining science and astronomy on television, radio and through publications.

In addition to a long career at the Australian Astronomical Observatory and now as astronomer-at-large for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, he is the author of several popular books, a regular radio presenter, ...

Share
Mark as Played
November 1, 2021 24 min

When we move off into the interplanetary expanse, we will still need to be well fed. But food isn’t exactly abundant in space, or on other planets like Mars. The answer? Space crops.

But what are the challenges of growing plants in space? And how could we develop crops to support long-term space habitation?

Today, Cosmos journalist Dr Deborah Devis talks to Professor Matthew Gilliham, the director of the Waite Research Institute at t...

Share
Mark as Played

Scientists say that 2021 is our last chance to stop the effects of climate change from fundamentally disrupting the weather patterns we've relied on for millennia. After a year’s delay due to COVID, the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference - also known as COP26 - is about to begin in Glasgow, providing a crucial opportunity for more than 100 world leaders to come together and chart our future on this planet. But what d...

Share
Mark as Played

Scientists say that 2021 is our last chance to stop the effects of climate change from fundamentally disrupting the weather patterns we've relied on for millennia. After a year’s delay due to COVID, the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference - also known as COP26 - is about to begin in Glasgow, providing a crucial opportunity for more than 100 world leaders to come together and chart our future on this planet. But what d...

Share
Mark as Played

Scientists say that 2021 is our last chance to stop the effects of climate change from fundamentally disrupting the weather patterns we've relied on for millennia. After a year’s delay due to COVID, the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference - also known as COP26 - is about to begin in Glasgow, providing a crucial opportunity for more than 100 world leaders to come together and chart our future on this planet. But what d...

Share
Mark as Played

Popular Podcasts

    BOB SAGET’S HERE FOR YOU is a podcast that is like no other— For one, this podcast has guests who are friends of Bob’s, or just really interesting people who many of you know and love. Secondly, this podcast is unique because it goes inside Bob Saget’s mind, and then quickly filters out through his mouth. Bob has a way of calming people he has conversations with as well as being entertaining and often informative. Bob talks with his guests with genuine empathy and humor, while reaching his unusually diverse audience that he talks to as a friend, Bob is the dad with great advice, the irreverent funny guy who’s always there when you need a laugh, and the free-associative Bob who goes off on crazy tangents then returns to the subject at hand, as serious or as comedic as it may be, to wrap up each episode in a way only Bob can do. Because he really does believe, “He’s here for you."

    Dateline NBC

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

    Crime Junkie

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

    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.

    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.

Advertise With Us

For You

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

    Connect

    © 2022 iHeartMedia, Inc.

    • Help
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • AdChoicesAd Choices