OxPods

OxPods

The podcast by Oxford students and their professors. OxPods aims to create thought-provoking and easily digestible podcast episodes, made for anyone with an interest in the world around them. Each episode entails an Oxford student interviewing one of their world-leading professors on the niche, weird, and wonderful of their subjects. With episodes exploring the nooks and crannies of the Natural Sciences, English, History, Human Sciences, and PPE, OxPods has something for everyone. If you would like the transcript of an episode, please get in touch with us via email - contact@oxpods.co.uk read less
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Episodes

OxSci x OxPods: Post-COVID-19 Era
3d ago
OxSci x OxPods: Post-COVID-19 Era
Pandemics of the past highlight the persistent threat of disease throughout human history. It might seem that our repeated encounters with infectious diseases should have better prepared us for such cases. Yet, the COVID-19 pandemic was not without its own challenges.  In this episode of Oxpods, Rithika Ravishankar, a third-year Biology undergraduate at Hertford College speaks with Dr. Sunetra Gupta, Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at Oxford University to discuss pandemic preparedness in the aftermath of COVID-19, specifically what we learnt and how we can better tackle the ever-present challenge of infectious diseases in the future. Host: Rithika Ravishankar Looking to make the most of Oxford’s world-leading professors, we decided to set up a platform to interview these academics on the niche, weird and wonderful from their subjects. We aim to create thought-provoking and easily digestible podcast episodes, made for anyone with an interest in the world around them, and to facilitate university access and outreach for students aspiring to Oxford or Cambridge.   To learn more about OxPods, visit our website ⁠www.oxpods.co.uk⁠⁠, ⁠or follow us on socials ⁠@ox.pods. ⁠ ⁠ If you would like an audio transcription of this episode, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. OxPods is made possible through the support of our generous benefactors. Special thanks to: St Peter's College JCR, Jesus College JCR & Lady Margaret Hall JCR for supporting us in 2024. OxPods © 2023 by OxPods is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
OxSci x OxPods: Re-imagining Justice for Humans and More-than-humans
16-05-2024
OxSci x OxPods: Re-imagining Justice for Humans and More-than-humans
When we read anthropological accounts, it is easy to overlook the extensive fieldwork and lived experiences that inform them. How can anthropologists interrogate the ethics of their discipline, and fundamentally, what does anthropology offer?  In this episode of Oxpods, Ushika Kidd, a second-year Human Sciences student at Keble, speaks with Dr. Sophie Chao, anthropologist and academic at the University of Sydney, to discuss the ethics and practical aspects of multispecies research and research with Indigenous communities, and how we can approach the challenge of decolonising climate change knowledge.  Host: Ushika Kidd Looking to make the most of Oxford’s world-leading professors, we decided to set up a platform to interview these academics on the niche, weird and wonderful from their subjects. We aim to create thought-provoking and easily digestible podcast episodes, made for anyone with an interest in the world around them, and to facilitate university access and outreach for students aspiring to Oxford or Cambridge.   To learn more about OxPods, visit our website ⁠www.oxpods.co.uk⁠⁠, ⁠or follow us on socials ⁠@ox.pods. ⁠ ⁠ If you would like an audio transcription of this episode, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. OxPods is made possible through the support of our generous benefactors. Special thanks to: St Peter's College JCR, Jesus College JCR & Lady Margaret Hall JCR for supporting us in 2024. OxPods © 2023 by OxPods is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Shark on the Menu: Balancing Consumption and Conservation in Fisheries Management
01-05-2024
Shark on the Menu: Balancing Consumption and Conservation in Fisheries Management
Over 3.3 billion people get almost 20% of their protein from seafood. The consumption of species from wild populations is pivotal in preventing malnutrition and improving food security, especially in developing nations. But this can leave marine populations vulnerable. One group of marine taxa which is facing continued threats due to exploitation is sharks! In this episode, 4th-year master’s student Shathuki Perera, researching the consumption of sharks and rays in Sri Lanka, meets with Trisha Gupta, a DPhil student at the Department of Biology, conducting similar research on shark and ray fisheries in India. Through her research, she has been trying to understand the characteristics and drivers of shark and ray fisheries, to better conserve them.  Host: Shathuki Perera Sound Producer and Editor: Taylor Bi Looking to make the most of Oxford’s world-leading professors, we decided to set up a platform to interview these academics on the niche, weird and wonderful from their subjects. We aim to create thought-provoking and easily digestible podcast episodes, made for anyone with an interest in the world around them, and to facilitate university access and outreach for students aspiring to Oxford or Cambridge.   To learn more about OxPods, visit our website ⁠www.oxpods.co.uk⁠⁠, ⁠or follow us on socials ⁠@ox.pods. ⁠ ⁠ If you would like an audio transcription of this episode, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. OxPods is made possible through the support of our generous benefactors. Special thanks to: St Peter's College JCR, Jesus College JCR & Lady Margaret Hall JCR for supporting us in 2024.OxPods © 2023 by OxPods is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Echo Chambers: Dissecting Media's Role in Cultivating Extremism
05-03-2024
Echo Chambers: Dissecting Media's Role in Cultivating Extremism
Media and extremism have a complex relationship, from the evolution of fringe beliefs into mainstream discourse to the strategies extremists employ to influence public opinion. In the modern context, these issues have manifested themselves throughout the globe and across the political spectrum. Sophia Herbert, PPE finalist at New College, speaks to Dr. Julia Ebner, postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Calleva Centre of Evolution and Human Sciences at Magdalen College, and Research Affiliate at the Centre for the Study of Social Cohesion. Dr. Ebner sheds light on the mechanisms extremist groups use to exploit media narratives and the challenges in discerning between mainstream and extremist content. Moreover, the episode discusses the role of media in counter-terrorism efforts and the future challenges posed by advancing media technologies. Host: Sophia Herbert Looking to make the most of Oxford’s world-leading professors, we decided to set up a platform to interview these academics on the niche, weird and wonderful from their subjects. We aim to create thought-provoking and easily digestible podcast episodes, made for anyone with an interest in the world around them, and to facilitate university access and outreach for students aspiring to Oxford or Cambridge.  To learn more about OxPods, visit our website ⁠www.oxpods.co.uk⁠⁠, ⁠or follow us on socials ⁠@ox.pods. ⁠ ⁠ If you would like an audio transcription of this episode, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. OxPods is made possible through the support of our generous benefactors. Special thanks to: St Peter's College JCR, Jesus College JCR & Lady Margaret Hall JCR for supporting us in 2024. OxPods © 2023 by OxPods is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Conservation Optimism: Shifting Perspectives in Action for Nature
04-03-2024
Conservation Optimism: Shifting Perspectives in Action for Nature
Dire effects of climate change and biodiversity loss seem to encompass almost everything, from the news stories, documentaries, and many forms of literature. Climate pessimism highlights the narrative of planet ‘collapse’ with its natural processes and species. Even with such unprecedented environmental change, optimism can help unite people to act and drive positive change. In this episode of OxPods, 4th Year Biology undergraduate Shathuki Perera meets with Associate Professor EJ Milner Gulland, a pioneer in the field of conservation for over 30 years, to talk about the ‘Conservation Optimism’, an initiative which she founded in 2016. Since then, the network has been promoting positivity through social media, blogs, film festivals and so much more. Host and Editor: Shathuki Hetti Achchige Perera Looking to make the most of Oxford’s world-leading professors, we decided to set up a platform to interview these academics on the niche, weird and wonderful from their subjects. We aim to create thought-provoking and easily digestible podcast episodes, made for anyone with an interest in the world around them, and to facilitate university access and outreach for students aspiring to Oxford or Cambridge.  To learn more about OxPods, visit our website ⁠www.oxpods.co.uk⁠⁠, ⁠or follow us on socials ⁠@ox.pods. ⁠ ⁠ If you would like an audio transcription of this episode, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. OxPods is made possible through the support of our generous benefactors. Special thanks to: St Peter's College JCR, Jesus College JCR & Lady Margaret Hall JCR for supporting us in 2024. OxPods © 2023 by OxPods is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
‘Discomfortable Bodies’ in Renaissance Literature.
23-02-2024
‘Discomfortable Bodies’ in Renaissance Literature.
The literature of the Renaissance is full of fascinating undercurrents, and using different approaches to these works opens conversations around some difficult themes, indeed certain works of literature from the 16th and 17th centuries create feelings of ‘discomfort’. This term can be used to discuss themes of transformation, translation, creation and generation, summarised in the concept of ‘discomfortable bodies’. In this episode, Amelia Glover-Jewesbury interviews Lynn Robson, considering the remarkable life and work of poet Hester Pulter, and the idea of ‘discomfortable bodies’ linking her work to other works such as the ‘Masque of Blackness’ by Ben Jonson, and the work of Marlowe, Ovid and Donne. With this concept of ‘discomfortable bodies’, we can consider ideas of bodies, vulnerability, blackness, pregnancy and desire.   Content Warning: This episode contains discussions of racist portrayals, abortion, and seduction. Listener discretion is advised. Host: Amelia Glover-Jewesbury Editor: Freya Radford Looking to make the most of Oxford’s world-leading professors, we decided to set up a platform to interview these academics on the niche, weird and wonderful from their subjects. We aim to create thought-provoking and easily digestible podcast episodes, made for anyone with an interest in the world around them, and to facilitate university access and outreach for students aspiring to Oxford or Cambridge.   To learn more about OxPods, visit our website ⁠www.oxpods.co.uk⁠⁠, ⁠or follow us on socials ⁠@ox.pods. ⁠ ⁠ If you would like an audio transcription of this episode, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. OxPods is made possible through the support of our generous benefactors. Special thanks to: St Peter's College JCR, Jesus College JCR & Lady Margaret Hall JCR for supporting us in 2024. OxPods © 2023 by OxPods is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Late Medieval Nostalgia
22-02-2024
Late Medieval Nostalgia
Nostalgia is often framed as a uniquely modern phenomenon, but scholars have increasingly noticed that a longing for ‘the good old days’ stretches much farther back in history than you might think. Some time periods are perceived as hotbeds of nostalgia due to fast-paced social change, and the late medieval period is one such era. In this episode, Charlie Bowden, a History student at Jesus College, speaks to Dr Hannah Skoda, Associate Professor of Medieval History and Fellow and Tutor in History at St John’s College, about the sweeping changes that caused the people of the late medieval period to pine for an imagined past. Looking to make the most of Oxford’s world-leading professors, we decided to set up a platform to interview these academics on the niche, weird and wonderful from their subjects. We aim to create thought-provoking and easily digestible podcast episodes, made for anyone with an interest in the world around them, and to facilitate university access and outreach for students aspiring to Oxford or Cambridge.   To learn more about OxPods, visit our website ⁠www.oxpods.co.uk⁠⁠, ⁠or follow us on socials ⁠@ox.pods. ⁠ ⁠ If you would like an audio transcription of this episode, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. OxPods is made possible through the support of our generous benefactors. Special thanks to: St Peter's College JCR, Jesus College JCR & Lady Margaret Hall JCR for supporting us in 2024. OxPods © 2023 by OxPods is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Superconductors
19-02-2024
Superconductors
Superconductors are fascinating. When sufficiently cooled, they lose all their electrical resistance, becoming an effective perfect conductor of electricity. This intriguing property already sees use in MRI machines and particle colliders (like CERN’s particle collider). However, currently known superconductors are either too brittle to be stretched into wires, or they require significant cooling, down to around -270oC. Hence, for many decades, the search has been on to try and find a hypothetical room temperature superconductor. In this episode of OxPods, 4th Year chemistry undergraduate Padraig Meehan interviews Prof. Susie Speller, a Professor of Material Science at Oxford whose research concerns the characterisation of these superconducting materials. Looking to make the most of Oxford’s world-leading professors, we decided to set up a platform to interview these academics on the niche, weird, and wonderful from their subjects. We aim to create thought-provoking and easily digestible podcast episodes, made for anyone with an interest in the world around them, and to facilitate university access and outreach for students aspiring to Oxford or Cambridge.   To learn more about OxPods, visit our website ⁠www.oxpods.co.uk⁠⁠, ⁠or follow us on socials ⁠@ox.pods. ⁠ ⁠ If you would like an audio transcription of this episode, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. OxPods is made possible through the support of our generous benefactors. Special thanks to: St Peter's College JCR, Jesus College JCR & Lady Margaret Hall JCR for supporting us in 2024. OxPods © 2023 by OxPods is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
The Afterlife of Classical Literature
09-02-2024
The Afterlife of Classical Literature
The Literature of the Classical world can seem distant to us, separated by 2000 years and all the changes that came during those years. But throughout that time, Classics has been understood and used in ways which enrich our understanding of these original texts as well as our understanding of the time at the point of reception. Reception studies attempt to work with this idea and think about the interesting and important afterlife of these classical cultural models. In this episode of OxPods, Classics and English undergraduate Amelia Glover-Jewesbury interviews Professor Fiona Macintosh and Professor Constanze Güthenke who teach on the Reception of the Classics in poetry post-1900, to discuss questions of the reception and legacy of Classics in general. They discuss the place of Classics and Reception in academia, as well as some of the questions around the workings of the disciplines of Classics and Reception. Looking to make the most of Oxford’s world-leading professors, we decided to set up a platform to interview these academics on the niche, weird and wonderful from their subjects. We aim to create thought-provoking and easily digestible podcast episodes, made for anyone with an interest in the world around them.  OxPods aims to facilitate university access and outreach for students aspiring to Oxford or Cambridge. Providing valuable topic insights, interview preparation, and tutorial guidance, OxPods supports applicants in navigating the complexities of the Oxbridge application process.  To learn more about OxPods, visit our website ⁠www.oxpods.co.uk⁠⁠, ⁠or follow us on socials ⁠@ox.pods. ⁠ ⁠ If you would like an audio transcription of this episode, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. OxPods is made possible through the support of our generous benefactors. Special thanks to: St Peter's College JCR, Jesus College JCR & Lady Margaret Hall JCR for supporting us in 2024.OxPods © 2023 by OxPods is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
When We Weren't Human: Discussing the Last Common Ancestor of the Pan and Homo Genera
07-02-2024
When We Weren't Human: Discussing the Last Common Ancestor of the Pan and Homo Genera
Within evolutionary anthropology, a persistent yet pervasive question is that of the traits of the LCA. The LCA is the last common ancestor shared by the humans, or the Homo genus, and chimpanzees and bonobos, otherwise known as the Pan genus. Learning about the LCA can inform us of what it really means to be human. What traits are unique to the hominin lineage? And how did these traits contribute to the success of our species? Izzy Rycroft, a third year Human Scientist at St Hugh’s College, discusses these questions and more with Thomas Püschel, a Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at University of Oxford. Looking to make the most of Oxford’s world-leading professors, we decided to set up a platform to interview these academics on the niche, weird and wonderful from their subjects. We aim to create thought-provoking and easily digestible podcast episodes, made for anyone with an interest in the world around them, and to facilitate university access and outreach for students aspiring to Oxford or Cambridge.   To learn more about OxPods, visit our website ⁠www.oxpods.co.uk⁠⁠, ⁠or follow us on socials ⁠@ox.pods. ⁠ ⁠ If you would like an audio transcription of this episode, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. OxPods is made possible through the support of our generous benefactors. Special thanks to: St Peter's College JCR, Jesus College JCR & Lady Margaret Hall JCR for supporting us in 2024. OxPods © 2023 by OxPods is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Making International Institutions Work
06-02-2024
Making International Institutions Work
In a time of great global challenges and injustices, international institutions are vital in tackling these shared problems. Yet, while positive in intention, many international institutions have been worryingly ineffective in practice. So why is this the case? Why do some international institutions fail in their stated aims, while others succeed?  In this episode, Jack Morrin, PPE 2nd year at New College, speaks to Ranjit Lall, Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, to discuss his book 'Making International Institutions Work', which presents an explanation for this variation in institutional performance. Looking to make the most of Oxford’s world-leading professors, we decided to set up a platform to interview these academics on the niche, weird and wonderful from their subjects. We aim to create thought-provoking and easily digestible podcast episodes, made for anyone with an interest in the world around them.  OxPods aims to facilitate university access and outreach for students aspiring to Oxford or Cambridge. Providing valuable topic insights, interview preparation, and tutorial guidance, OxPods supports applicants in navigating the complexities of the Oxbridge application process.  To learn more about OxPods, visit our website ⁠www.oxpods.co.uk⁠⁠, ⁠or follow us on socials ⁠@ox.pods. ⁠ ⁠ If you would like an audio transcription of this episode, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. OxPods is made possible through the support of our generous benefactors. Special thanks to: St Peter's College JCR, Jesus College JCR & Lady Margaret Hall JCR for supporting us in 2024. OxPods © 2023 by OxPods is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
The Island Syndrome
05-02-2024
The Island Syndrome
The trajectory of evolving species is strongly affected by the environment in which they exist, and one particularly interesting example of this is when organisms evolving on islands differ predictably from their continental counterparts through a suite of morphological and behavioural traits, known as ‘The Island Syndrome’. But what is it that’s so special about islands that leads to this process, and what can biologists learn from the species that exhibit the syndrome? In this episode of OxPods, biology PhD student Joe Woodman will be interviewing Prof Sonya Clegg, an associate professor of evolutionary ecology at the University of Oxford who studies the processes that promote species divergence. Looking to make the most of Oxford’s world-leading professors, we decided to set up a platform to interview these academics on the niche, weird and wonderful from their subjects. We aim to create thought-provoking and easily digestible podcast episodes, made for anyone with an interest in the world around them. OxPods aims to facilitate university access and outreach for students aspiring to Oxford or Cambridge. Providing valuable topic insights, interview preparation, and tutorial guidance, OxPods supports applicants in navigating the complexities of the Oxbridge application process. To learn more about OxPods, visit our website ⁠www.oxpods.co.uk⁠⁠, ⁠or follow us on socials ⁠@ox.pods. ⁠ If you would like an audio transcription of this episode, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. OxPods is made possible through the support of our generous benefactors. Special thanks to: St Peter's College JCR, Jesus College JCR & Lady Margaret Hall JCR for supporting us in 2024. OxPods © 2023 by OxPods is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0