The Science Hour

The Science Hour

BBC World Service

Science news and highlights of the week

Categories: Science & Medicine

Listen to the last episode:

A distant planet's atmosphere - NASA's JWST space telescope has unpicked the chemical contents and state of the atmosphere of planet WASP-39b 700 light years away. Astronomer Hannah Wakeford explains. Earth's atmospheric haze and global warming - meteorologist Laura Wilcox warns that atmospheric haze over China and South Asia is masking some of the effects of global warming. Pregnancy brain fog explained - loss of memory and other mental changes during pregnancy have been traced to structural changes in the brain, possibly due to hormone effects, neuroscientist Elseline Hoekszema speculates. Improving lab coats - every scientist has a lab coat, but how many have one actually fits? Founder of Genius Lab Gear Derek Miller explains the problem and how he's trying to fix it. As someone who dislikes crowds, listener Graham is curious about them. Crowds gather in all sorts of places, from train stations and football matches, to religious events and protest marches. Many of these events are celebratory, but occasionally – such as in Seoul this year – they can become horrific. Is there a science behind how crowds form, move and behave? To find out, CrowdScience presenter Anand Jagatia speaks to some actual crowd scientists. He learns about the psychology of social identity, which influences everything from how close we stand to others to how we react in emergencies. He hears about the algorithm behind the biggest marathons in the world, and how they ensure 50,000 runners move smoothly through a city on race day. And he explores how research into the spread of rioting can help to stop crowds from becoming a mob or a crush, helping us to navigate crowded spaces as safely as possible. Image credit: Melissa Weiss/Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian

Previous episodes

  • 371 - A distant planet’s atmosphere 
    Sun, 27 Nov 2022
  • 370 - Online harassment of Covid scientists 
    Sun, 20 Nov 2022
  • 369 - Neurons that restore walking in paralysed patients 
    Sun, 13 Nov 2022
  • 368 - What peat can tell us about our future 
    Sun, 06 Nov 2022
  • 367 - Seismic events on Mars 
    Sun, 30 Oct 2022
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