Science On Top
The Australian Podcast putting Science on Top of the agenda

In early 2012, the lobby group Friends of Science in Medicine wrote to the vice-chancellors of Australia's universities asking them not to allow the establishment of unscientific alternative medicine courses. Established only five months ago, Friends of Science in Medicine now boasts more than 500 members. They are currently campaigning "to reverse the current trend which sees government-funded tertiary institutions offering courses in the health care sciences that are not underpinned by  sound scientific evidence".

Shayne and I caught up with Dr. Rob Morrison, a co-founder and Vice President of Friends of Science in Medicine. Rob has won two Eureka Prizes, was Senior Australian of the Year for South Australia in 2008 and is a Professorial Fellow at Flinders University. Also he co-hosted The Curiosity Show for 18 years.

Direct download: SoT_Special_006.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:40pm AEST

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph and Penny Dumsday.

Topics covered:

Bacteria found in a remote, isolated cave is resistant to most of our antibiotics. Baboons can recognise English words, even ones they've never seen before. A robot helps understand the 'cocktail party problem', where we can filter out background noise and concentrate on a conversation. The largest study of its kind finds a single gene linked to intelligence. How pidgeons sense magnetic fields to help them migrate long distances remains a mystery.

Direct download: SoT_0053.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:53pm AEST

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph and Penny Dumsday.

Topics covered:

A portable plasma gun that zaps bacteria, the ability to identify a person from their RNA, and the risk of brain tumours from dental x-rays. The Japanese honeybee giant ball of death, and how evolution copies itself. A build up of carbon dioxide ended the last ice age, and why hyenas are giving up meat for Lent.

Direct download: SoT_0052.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:16pm AEST

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Penny Dumsday, Tom Sidwell.

Topics covered:

A new strain of the pertussis bacteria may reduce the effectiveness of the whooping cough vaccine - but only slightly. The gut microflora may be a lot more complicated than previously thought. A new study casts doubt on the most widely accepted theory of the moon's creation. Human ancestors may have mastered fire a million years ago - much earlier than previously thought. A new imaging technique reveals stunning grid-like structures in the brain. And the genetic mutation in van Gogh's sunflowers.

Direct download: SoT_0051.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:36pm AEST