Our sense of smell is probably the most primitive of all. The ability to detect chemicals wafting around us, alerting us to nearby food. Or an approaching preditor. In humans, the sense of smell is the first to develop.

And did you know bees are extraordinarily good sniffers? All the better to seek out flowers.

Dr James Hayes is from the UNSW Odour Laboratory

Interview via zoom with Rod

 

More Episodes

Welcome to the Odour Lab. Part 1

May 25, 2020

Smelly industrial and wastewater processing is an inevitable part of life. We need these systems, preferably in a way that doesn't adversely affect communities.

How do we respond to odours, and what can we do if we live near a smelly processing plant? The way we respond to odours is highly subjective, so how can we measure or report what our noses are telling us?

These are questions that concern Dr Ruth Fisher. Dr Fisher is a Research Associate at the UNSW Odour Laboratory.

Interview via zoom with Rod.

Optics and Visuals

May 17, 2020

This week Broderick talks optics and visuals with researchers from the Australian National University. He's joined by Dr Erin Walsh who shares her love for scientific illustrations and Dr Doris Grosse who shows how important adaptive optics are to protect our planet.

Special thanks to Pint of Science for helping us source this week's guests. Find more great Australian science from them at www.pintofscience.com.au

Inspiring Science

May 3, 2020

This week Broderick takes you through some of the latest news around COVID-19, but also explores the inspring scientific research that is happening- COVID and non-COVID related.

Talking Carona Virus with ANU epidemiologist Stephanie Davis

March 2, 2020

Stephanie Davis from the Australian National University gives us the low down on the Corona virus.  Presented by Tom Street and Atul Sharma.

The future of food

February 23, 2020

If there's a triumph of modern civilisation, it's the efficiency with which products such as food are delivered to our shelves.

That's an amazing thing, but it hides the hugely complicated system that makes it all happen. The largely invisible process can make us blind to our connection to the land.

Why do we waste so much food, and what can we do about it? What can we do to make agriculture more sustainable?

We tackle these questions with our guests Dr Bethany Turner and Dr Ro MacFarlane from the University of Canberra. Interview by Rod

100% by 2020

February 10, 2020

With firestorms and floods ravaging Australia, now is the time for leadership on climate change. While that's missing on the national level, in Canberra we have just achieved 100% renewable energy for a 40% reduction in the city's greenhouse emissions.

It's a good start, but the job's not done yet.

Shane Rattenbury roles include being ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability. He tells the story of how we got this far, and where we go next.

Interview by Tom and Rod

Lennart Bach - side effects of negative emission technology

February 2, 2020

In this show scientist Lennart Bach from the Institute in Marine and Antarctic Studies in Tasmania talks about the possible side effects of negative emission technology, ocean acidification's effect on marine plankton communities and other thoughts on our climate future. 

Bushfires and climate science

February 2, 2020

On todays episode

Jamie Kirkpatrick, geographer and conservation ecologist from the University of Tasmania talks about bushfires.

Zanna Chase, professor of oceanography at the University of Tasmania, talks about some of her research into oceanic drivers of climate change.

Food or War

January 26, 2020

There are only seven meals between civilisation and anarchy. But we're okay in Australia, right? There's always food in the supermarket and shortages are what happens in other places. Not here.

The horrendous current drought, record heat and devastating fires across our country are a hint that we should lose our complacency because Australia is vulnerable. In spite of what our Prime Minister seems to think, climate change is here and it's happening right now.

Julian Cribb's latest book is Food or War. It's a fascinating dive into the history of civilisations that went hungry. With foresight we can avoid it, but how? Spoiler alert: we must act soon.

Interview by Rod and Tom.