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Lunch Hour Lectures - Spring 2013 - Audio

Updated 11 days ago

Business
Science
Physics
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Spring 2013 - UCL's Lunch Hour Lecture Series is an opportunity for anyone to sample the exceptional research work taking place at the university, in bite-size chunks. Speakers are drawn from across UCL and lectures frequently showcase new research and recent academic publications. Lunch Hour Lectures require no pre-booking, are free to attend and are open to anyone on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Spring 2013 - UCL's Lunch Hour Lecture Series is an opportunity for anyone to sample the exceptional research work taking place at the university, in bite-size chunks. Speakers are drawn from across UCL and lectures frequently showcase new research and recent academic publications. Lunch Hour Lectures require no pre-booking, are free to attend and are open to anyone on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

Cover image of Lunch Hour Lectures - Spring 2013 - Audio

Lunch Hour Lectures - Spring 2013 - Audio

Latest release on Apr 18, 2013

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

Read more

Spring 2013 - UCL's Lunch Hour Lecture Series is an opportunity for anyone to sample the exceptional research work taking place at the university, in bite-size chunks. Speakers are drawn from across UCL and lectures frequently showcase new research and recent academic publications. Lunch Hour Lectures require no pre-booking, are free to attend and are open to anyone on a first-come, first-served basis.

Cigarettes: the most successful product ever - Audio

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Despite five decades of research into the harms of smoking and numerous successful public health campaigns, many people take up and continue with the habit. Cigarette sales remain high as tobacco companies excel at marketing. In the United States, more than $8 billion was spent by the tobacco companies on marketing and advertising in 2011-12, compared to $457 million spent by the government in preventing or reducing tobacco use. This lecture will explore what has been learnt from 50 years of research, including the benefits of quitting at any age, and plans for future policies.

Apr 18 2013

40mins

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Stuff Matters - Audio

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Whatever people think about the rapid pace of change of technology, our most fundamental categorization of stuff on the planet has not altered: there are living things and there is non-living stuff. As a result of our greater understanding of matter, this distinction is now becoming blurred and is likely to usher in a new materials age. Bionic people with synthetic organs, bones and even brains will be the norm. Just as we are becoming more synthetic, so our man-made environment is changing to become more lifelike: living buildings, and objects that heal-themselves are on the horizon. This lecture reviews the changes to the material world that are coming our way.

Apr 18 2013

39mins

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Scandinavian crime fiction and the end of the welfare state - Audio

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Scandinavian crime fiction has in recent years enjoyed surprising success world-wide. The region, with its universal welfare states, is most commonly considered a very peaceful place, with low rates of corruption and crime and the highest levels of reported wellbeing in the world. Scandinavian crime fiction offers a bleaker and more complex image of life in these countries. This lecture will explore to what extent 'Nordic Noir' tells the story about the end of the Nordic Model in a global age.

Mar 20 2013

41mins

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Civil Engineers against the double negative - Audio

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Is a culture of infallibility holding back our engineers by celebrating the avoidance of failure rather than the achievement of success? Do we really want our engineers to live their lives by the mantra ‘Avoid failure and you too can be a success’? This lecture will offer a wholly upbeat alternative: re-wiring the engineering mind to be optimistic, life-enriching and mind-blowing, arming itself to do amazing stuff.

Mar 20 2013

39mins

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Genomics and Healthcare - Audio

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Greater understanding of how genetic differences influence disease susceptibility and drug response has potentially important healthcare applications. This lecture, marking Heart Awareness Month, will focus on some of the opportunities and challenges of using genomic information to improve personal and public health, using cardiovascular disease as an example.

Mar 14 2013

41mins

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By the Donzerly Light: when our ears play tricks on us - Audio

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Almost every song lyric can be misunderstood: famously, Jimi Hendrix’s 'Kiss the Sky' is often heard as 'Kiss This Guy'. Why does this happen? While slips of the tongue are well-known, slips of the ear have received far less attention. Professor Nevins has developed a database of 4000 naturally collected examples where the hearer is the source of miscommunication. Looking into recurrent slips reveals that our expectations can bias what we mishear, but within limits: the actual utterance and the misheard message must be phonetically close enough to allow our ears to deceive us.

Mar 14 2013

40mins

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A diet to treat ageing - Audio

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It has been known for some time that moderate dietary restriction can extend healthy lifespan in a variety of organisms. By experimenting on fruitflies, we are uncovering that only very small changes in specific nutrients are required for this effect. Importantly, these effects appear to be evolutionarily conserved, meaning these new discoveries could be applied to benefit human ageing.

Mar 01 2013

40mins

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Can the Eurozone crisis be solved? - Audio

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There was plenty of scepticism among economists about the likely success of a common currency in Europe. The immediate problem is that peripheral countries have seen their public sectors incur large deficits and incautious private sectors incur large debts. In addition, wages in the Southern economies have grown more rapidly, and productivity more slowly, than in the North. This lecture will set out the risks this poses to full political union and explore whether there is a solution.

Mar 01 2013

41mins

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The influence of Islam on science - Audio

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In recent years, there has been much discussion of the influence of classical Arabic science on the Western scientific tradition. Yet these achievements have been variously ignored, overlooked or occasionally overstressed. This lecture discusses the impact that scholars from the Islamic world have made in the fields of medicine, astronomy, optics, geography, mechanics and many other disciplines. What role did the Arabic world have in the history of science? And how did Baghdad, Cairo and Islamic Spain preserve and expand the scientific tradition?

Feb 19 2013

42mins

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Gravity and continuum - Audio

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Within theoretical physics the gravitational force is the odd one out. It is much weaker than the other forces, its mathematical formulation is different and we are struggling to understand it. In this talk Dr Boehmer will outline a new approach to understanding the gravitational force which is motivated by ideas from material sciences and in particular the study of crystals.

Feb 19 2013

41mins

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Framing the digital: materialising new media - Audio

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How are artists translating or materialising digital works for gallery and physical situations? Professor Collins shows a snapshot of works coming out of the Slade and the Slade Centre for Electronic Media in Fine Art (SCEMFA) over the past decade that explore the material of the digital. This lecture explores a range of groundbreaking perspectives and manifestations.

Feb 08 2013

42mins

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Where to give birth, at home or in a hospital? Does it matter? - Audio

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The last ten years have seen increasing emphasis on the importance of offering healthy women choice in where they give birth. However, to date, the evidence on the quality, safety and costs of different settings has been limited to small scale and inadequate studies. The ‘Birthplace in England’ research project was undertaken to inform those who plan, commission and deliver maternity services. This lecture will discuss the results of the research and the implications they have for shaping maternity policy, as well as some of the challenges in undertaking such large-scale research in an environment where strong personal views are held.

Feb 05 2013

40mins

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Xtreme Everest 2 Research Expedition - Audio

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Following their successful ascent of Mount Everest in 2007, UCL’s Centre for Altitude, Space and Extreme Environment (CASE) Medicine will be returning to Everest in March 2013 to continue with their novel approach to medical research. Their work aims to investigate the effects of low oxygen on the human body, with the ultimate goal of identifying mechanisms that may lead to the successful treatment of critically ill patients. Dr Ned Gilbert, marks 60 years since Hillary attained the summit by setting out what they hope to achieve at Everest this Spring.

Feb 05 2013

40mins

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Science for everyone by everyone – the re-emergence of citizen science - Audio

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Public participation in scientific research is not new. Many people are involved in scientific activities in their free time, from bird watching to weather or astronomical observations. Moreover, trends in education and technology are ushering in a new era of citizen science. The lecture will cover the history of citizen science, explore the current trends and demonstrate a model for extreme citizen science, in which any community, regardless of their literacy, can utilise scientific methods and tools to understand and control their environment.

Jan 28 2013

38mins

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Obama's America: The significance of the 2012 elections - Audio

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Barack Obama won a second term as US president with the support of women, the young, blue collars, African Americans and Latinos. The Republicans, in contrast, retained the support of their habitual white base that is mainly middle aged and older and largely Protestant, in essence representing America's demographic past. The United States remains a politically polarized nation. The Republican party's control of the House of Representatives still enables it to block many of the president's initiatives and as a consequence, Prof Iwan will argue that it is difficult to see the United States making great progress in the next four years towards solving its fiscal and debt problems, tackling climate change, and renewing a schools system on which the nation depends for its future human capital.

Jan 28 2013

42mins

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Gower Street to Euston Square: A local history of the Underground - Audio

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The world’s first underground railway, the Metropolitan, steam-powered and running underneath Euston Road, opened in January 1863. The early history of underground travel in London was beset by the problems of asphyxiation, inadequate lighting, accidents, explosions and crime; countered by the opportunities for improved connectivity, speed and intimacy. This lecture will focus on the 19th and early 20th century history of the Underground, as seen through the lens of UCL’s local station.

Jan 25 2013

40mins

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From Bletchley Park to modern computing - the value of Twitter - Audio

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Bletchley Park is the historic site of secret British codebreaking activities during World War II and the work carried out there by Alan Turing and others led to the birth of the modern computer. How did we get from Bletchley Park to modern software engineering? Dr Black will discuss how the use of social media can leverage capability in very diverse areas, from campaigning for a historical site to improving the quality of software.

Jan 23 2013

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