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Podcast Discovery
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  • Earthshot 3 - The prize winners
    Over the last 2 weeks we have featured the 15 finalists in the Earthshot prize, an initiative to highlight and award projects designed to conserve and sustain natural environments, and improve our lives in ways that are sensitive to issues such as climate change and biodiversity loss. Here we discuss this year’s winning projects and what future investment could mean for them. There are five prize categories with a million pounds up for grabs in each. Protect and restore nature. Clean our air. Revive our oceans. Build a waste-free world. Fix our climate. Image: Europe, Middle East and Africa region on planet Earth from space. (Elements by NASA) Credit: Harvepino/Getty Images
  • Earthshot 2 – Tackling our energy crisis
    Just how do we balance the growing demand for electricity worldwide with the need to reduce fossil fuel emissions to address climate change? In our second programme on the Earthshot prize Chhavi Sachdev looks at some of the solutions. From projects looking at providing green hydrogen to industry worldwide and remote communities, to village scale solar electricity networks in Bangladesh and a portable pay as you go powerpack in Nigeria. Also how to provide a livelihood for people who live in areas where conservation concerns mean they are no longer able to follow their traditional hunting practices . And we feature solutions for dealing with our wastes in their many forms from cleaning up polluted water to recycling human and agricultural organic waste – including an innovative city based system for collecting and redistributing food that would otherwise be destroyed. The Earthshot Prize is an initiative from the Royal Foundation designed to highlight and reward inspiring solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges. There are 5 categories with a million pound prize available in each. Protect and restore nature. Clean our air. Revive our oceans. Build a waste-free world. Fix our climate. Image: Earth at night, Credit: Roydee/Getty Images
  • Earthshot 1
    While international meetings to discuss climate change and polices that affect the world can seem rather distant to us as individuals, on a local level there are many exciting and creative initiatives all over the world where people are developing practical solutions to the environmental problems they see. The Earthshot prize highlights many of these projects, ideas and initiatives which have the potential to make a difference locally and globally. In this three part series Chhavi Sachdev looks at the practical work of the prize nominees, and profiles their solutions on a range of subjects; protecting nature, cleaning the air, ocean revival, climate change and waste. Picture: Earth floating in space, Credit: Chris Clor/Getty Images
  • The Evidence: To boost or not to boost?
    The divide between the Covid vaccine haves and have-nots has been described as “criminal”, with only 20% of people in low and middle income countries having had one dose, compared with 80% in higher income countries. Countries with high vaccination rates have been called on to give up their place in the vaccine queue. The dual-track global vaccination programme has led to real anger, made worse by announcements of booster programmes in richer countries (despite the World Health Organisation calling for such plans to be put on hold). Claudia Hammond and her panel of global experts discuss the scale of vaccine inequity and consider whether evidence of waning vaccine immunity justifies the rollout of booster jabs, or if the soundest scientific case dictates everybody in the world should be vaccinated first. Claudia’s guests include Dr Yodi Alakija, co-chair of the African Union’s Delivery Alliance for Covid-19 in Abuja, Nigeria, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organisation’s Technical Lead for Covid in Geneva, Switzerland and two world leading immunologists, Dr Peter Openshaw, Professor of Experimental Medicine at Imperial College, London, UK and Dr Akiko Iwasaki, Professor of Immunobiology and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale University in the US. Produced by: Fiona Hill, Paula McGrath and Maria Simons Studio Engineers: Jackie Marjoram
  • China's great science leap
    President Xi Jinping is investing seriously into his strategic vision of turning China into a nation of scientific pace-setters. China’s past contributions to modern-science have been proportionally lacklustre, but with a reinvigorated focus over the past two decades, China is fast turning from imitator to innovator. What might this increasing scientific prowess mean for the future of China’s development as well for the international scientific community? Whereas once many Chinese scientists chose to go abroad to further their careers, presenter Dr Kevin Fong hears how the government has sought to lure its brightest researchers back and what that means for both scientific collaborations and the culture of science in China and the UK. As scientific research relies on transparent information sharing, what are the challenges of collaborating with an authoritarian regime? In this second episode Kevin explores China’s booming space programme and quantum advancements; from a newly built space station to the launch of the world's first quantum satellite. Kevin speaks to Professor Jian-Wei Pan, a scientist whose illustrious career is a list of quantum firsts and hears how China is fast making inroads into quantum computing and communications. We imagine what a quantum future - with China at the forefront - might look like and whether this potentially game-changing technology will be developed in a collaborative or competitive spirit. Image: Wenchang Space Launch Centre in China's Hainan province, Credit: Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images

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