Featuring in-depth conversations that explore cutting edge research and analysis from the University of Liverpool, each episode features our academic experts discussing research in their specialist field.

This podcast series, produced in collaboration with the University of Liverpool online, provides a quick route to insider knowledge on new trends and upcoming key issues.


Episode 9: Can the DUP push the Conservatives to the left?

June 15, 2017

When Prime Minister Theresa May announced her intention to negotiate a partnership with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), critics and observers pointed to deeply conservative statements of some DUP members and warned that the Conservatives risked being dragged to the far right of the political spectrum.

However, two University of Liverpool experts in Northern Ireland politics argue that the modern DUP is a pragmatic and politically sophisticated party. And, far from dragging the Conservatives to the right, they may actually pull them to the left on economic issues.

Peter Shirlow is the Director of the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Irish Studies.

Jonathan Tonge is a professor of politics at the University of Liverpool and co-author of the book ‘The Democratic Unionist’.

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Episode 8: Help! Is my child a psychopath?

June 7, 2017

For parents, the discovery that their child’s difficult behaviour is actually a form of psychopathy is devastating.

Dr Luna Centifanti, a Senior Lecturer in Developmental Psychology at the University of Liverpool, says researchers are zeroing in on the unique traits associated with psychopathy and this greater understanding is opening the door for more targeted therapies.

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5 minutes on… birth dates and mental health

June 1, 2017

This is our first episode in a new and sporadic series of short episodes called “5 minutes on…” From time to time we will put these out between our regular in-depth episodes which come out every two weeks.

Dr Praveetha Patalay walks us through research that shows how children’s mental health can be affected by their date of birth. Praveetha Patalay is a Lecturer in Population Mental Health and Child Development at the University of Liverpool.

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Episode 7: Is it really mental ‘illness’?

May 24, 2017

Dr Peter Kinderman argues that mental emotional distress is not a sign of illness but a symptom of social causes and pressure.

Depression, anxiety and even schizophrenia can be serious and debilitating experiences for people; but Dr Kinderman says the causes of these symptoms will not be found inside the brain but rather outside the person.

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Episode 6: Who will tell the robots what to do?

May 9, 2017

In part two of our look at big data and the ethics of autonomous machines, Dr Louise Dennis examines the choices self-driving cars will face as they take over our roads.

As autonomous machines spread into more and more facets of modern life, from our highways to our hospitals to our homes, Dr Dennis maintains that moral reasoning will increasingly need to be a critical part of their design.

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Episode 5: Big Data and the search for MH370

April 26, 2017

This is the first episode in a two part series on the ethics of big data and autonomous machines.

In this episode we speak with Prof Simon Maskell, Professor of Autonomous Systems at the University of Liverpool. He was involved in the hunt for MH370 which is the Malaysian Airlines plane that went missing less than one hour after take-off from Kuala Lampur on March 8, 2014.

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Episode 4: Dr Suzi Gage on ‘Say Why to drugs’

April 12, 2017

Suzi Gage, co-host of the podcast ‘Say Why to Drugs’, is taking the ‘Just Say No’ motto and turning it on its head. The podcast is an evidence driven, deep dive into everything we know, and still don’t know, about specific recreational drugs. Every two weeks she and her co-host, the UK rapper Scroobius Pip focus on a different drug.

At the beginning of this year, Suzi Gage won the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Early career award for public engagement with science.

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Episode 3: Nano-medicine shrinks the cost of HIV treatment

April 12, 2017

Steve Rannard and Andrew Owen are using nano-technology to make HIV medicine more effective and less expensive. Nanomedicine builds tiny particles of medication designed to drive the drug into the bloodstream more effectively.

Less medicine means lower costs for treatment, which could greatly increase the number of HIV patients that can receive therapy in low to middle income countries.

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Episode 2: Liverpool, Cradle of the Beatles

March 27, 2017

Dr Mike Jones traces the City of Liverpool’s complex relationship with The Beatles. It may seem difficult to believe today, but the city was not always so warm in its embrace of four of its most famous sons.

A fascinating story that has its origins in the dramatic social, political and economic changes of the past century.

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Professor Chris Probert

Episode 1: Follow Your Nose

March 6, 2017

Chris Probert leads a team that’s invented a machine that can reliably detect the early stages of cancer in a patient with nothing more than a sniff of small sample.

For some cancers this has the potential to dramatically simplify the detection of tumours. It offers an alternative test that is not only much more comfortable for patients but also potentially much more accurate.

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