In which Geneticist Vincent Plagnol wonders out loud what on earth a Higgs Boson is and why do physicists need to keep on doing experiments now they’ve found it, and Particle Physicist Jo Cole is more than happy to tell him. Alice Bell helms (and provides jaffa cakes).
Castle expert Jeremy Ashbee wants to understand genetics, evolution and identity – and geneticist Vincent Plagnol has the insight to fuel this episode of Brain Train, helped by usefully simple-minded interjections from this week’s host, Martin Zaltz Austwick.
Today the Brain Train takes a detour through Wales, admiring its palaces, fortifications and English occupiers. Jeremy Ashbee is King of Castles and Shiloh Fetzek is the dirty rascal. Hosted by Alice Bell, who manages not to bring “castle toilets” into the discussion.
“How was Miss Smilla’s Sense of Snow influenced by the political effects of climate change in Greenland?” I hear you ask. Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen is asking that question too and it’s up to Shiloh Fetzek to shout answers from the footplate of the speeding Brain Train, hosted by Martin Zaltz Austwick.
Philosopher Nina Power asks crime fiction scholar Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen about sociopathy and the relationship between crime writing, mental health and society.
Apologies for the poor sound quality at points – someone was cleaning the office and I couldn’t very well tell them to shut up.
This time Johanna Finneman, autism whiz, interviews philosopher Nina Power about how philosophy permeates our lives and how we can protect a subject under attack.
We should have called the podcast “Brain Spaceship” but it does not rhyme. Trains don’t launch, they pull slowly away from the station, full of pomp and ceremony. And that’s what’s happening! Welcome to Brain Train podcast, brought to you by the Alice Bell/Martin Zaltz Austwick team you know represents highest quality good listening.
Every episode on Brain Train we’ll have a very bright person asking all sorts of questions about something they know nothing about, but are super curious about. Who will they be asking? Well, we’ll be bringing in an expert to answer all their questions.
The next week, we get the expert to become the novice and ask about a subject they know nothing about but are really interested in. Sarah Bell (our expert in the first week) wanted to know about autism and whether it’s more likely to affect engineers, and autism researcher Johanna Finneman kindly volunteered to answer all her questions; so in week 2, Sarah was the novice and Johanna stepped up to the plate* as our new expert:
Next time Johanna will have a load of questions about something completely different - and the Brain Train will continue. What will be the next stop? Nobody knows on the crazy ride of The Brain Train!
*the footplate for the Brain Train driving place