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Further Research Needed

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A podcast on science from scientists. Here we ask those seemingly straight forward questions that don’t have such straight forward answers. Each episode takes a tongue in cheek look at current research and research practises whilst lifting the veil on what is scientific truth. Mostly we nerd out about the crazy complexity of the world, with the occasional calling out of mischief in the research community. We try to give a full account of the topics under discussion but as always, further research is needed.
Contact: Twitter @frnpodcast or
23 Episodes
The 2020 science recap is here! Featuring life on Venus, a plane without moving parts and some deep protein folding. Sit back and relax while we share our favorite breakthroughs and meme the grumpy scientist about each other's choice. Guaranteed 99% virus free!  --- Send in a voice message:
This time, Pedro Veliça (creator of Pedromics) is joining the show. Peer review is a cornerstone of academia and scientific publishing, but certainly not beyond improvement. Can private companies ensure the quality of research through free labor, or do we need reform of the peer review system. We're presenting a few alternatives and discuss potential implications for us as scientists, but also our truth standard in general.  --- Send in a voice message:
Join us for the second installment of the guessing game. This time we will guess about our risk of death, the power of the sun and vaporizing all bodies of water. Find out who takes the guesstimation crown and compete with us for the best estimate.  --- Send in a voice message:
And are there any circumstances where this would be justified? --- Send in a voice message:
Would you accept a Nobel prize if the cost was your sanity? In this episode we look at whether receiving the most prestigious award in science causes scientist to propose crackpot theories and even descend into madness. --- Send in a voice message:
What is the purpose of science education at different stages of school... and are we doing a good job delivering?  --- Send in a voice message:
Let's leave the realm of the scientifically possible behind for a bit, and plan ahead for when our time comes.  --- Send in a voice message:
Does the myth of the maverick scientist help or hinder science? In this episode we take an in depth look at what makes a maverick scientist and the effect the trope has on scientists and the public perception of research. --- Send in a voice message:
We're putting our scientific minds to practical work and try to make an educated guess on a completely unknown number. Can you beat us? --- Send in a voice message:
We are doing a journal club episode on the paper: Can a biologist fix a radio? (Labeznik, CANCER CELL, 2002).  --- Send in a voice message:
The podcast with straight forward questions that lead to not so straight forward answers is back for another season.  --- Send in a voice message:
The podcast with straight forward questions that lead to not so straight forward answers introduces itself. --- Send in a voice message:
Enough with the rants for now. Today, each of us is bringing an uplifting piece of science to the table, and shares his excitement with the others. In the end, we have an important announcement about the future of this podcast. --- Send in a voice message:
A djinn for science

A djinn for science


WHY IS SCIENCE SO SLOW? Today we are looking at science as a whole - talking about the things that drive us up the wall and things that are truly fascinating about the scientific research system. As always, we end on a positive note: Each of us makes a wish to the science djinn to improve the scientific system in the long run. All that is needed now is for us to go out there and make them come true... --- Send in a voice message:
How do we as scientists feel about science fiction? Do we get mad about incorrect depictions of science in scifi? Does it create unrealistic expectations towards scientific progress and potential? And who inspires whom anyway? We're diving deep today, and leaving the world of real science behind ... almost. --- Send in a voice message:
A guide to causality

A guide to causality


How do we know Nicolas Cage is (probably) not drowning people? Does eating ice cream make people drown themselves maybe? In this episode, we learn how to assess if there can be a causal link between two correlated phenomena. We find spurious correlations everywhere and having a toolbox to probe for causality is a must for every sceptic.  --- Send in a voice message:
How is a biomolecule different from any other molecule? Are there artificial chemicals and natural chemicals? Should scientists be trying to make their work sound more "natural", "organic" or "biological"? In this episode we talk about this self-identification and how it may be harming science as a whole. --- Send in a voice message:
We end the decade of research with highlighting the supposedly biggest discoveries in science. Alongside those, we brought some other topics that we found interesting and worth chatting about. Stay excited for the best and worst enzyme on the planet, new directions for antidepressants, some practical tips for time travellers and car-driving rats.  Full list of time stamps and topics: 0:00 - Intro 3:16 - RuBisCO:  the best and worst enzyme on the planet 13:15 - The 5 greatest discoveries of the last decade 51:25 - Quantum computing - yes or no? 57:40 - Genome-wide association replacing candidate gene studies 1:01:23 - Street drugs as antidepressants 1:14:46 - Science for time travellers 1:24:28 - Car-driving rats / Outro 1:26:56 - Additional: Bathroom break chat --- Send in a voice message:
Even though most scientists agree, there are significant flaws in the publishing system (and related to that: funding distribution, reproducibility and peer review) change is slow. This might be, because our careers depend on publishing in reputable journals, being a scientist basically requires it.  In this episode, Chris, Ashley and I discuss issues coming from our current publishing system and propose alternatives for some specific aspects. If you share any of the ideas, then talk to your colleagues about it and share them online. On the Fey-Sci blog, you can find links to programs which can make a difference if we give them a change. After all, change has to come from within, and we, the scientists hold the power to change the system together. --- Send in a voice message:
The linearity of life

The linearity of life


Let's dive deep into biochemistry! Chris and I discuss our beloved biological marcromolecules, and how they are all synthesised in a linear fashion, as a chain of monomers. I was wondering why this is, since especially proteins function through their 3D structure and the linear nature of the chain can be a drawback. For example, many diseases are related to misfolding of proteins, like Alzheimer's disease.  We explore some ideas on pathway evolution and kinetic reaction control. In the end, Chris convinces me with an argument on information processing. As always: informal, unscripted, and highly subjective.  Read more on --- Send in a voice message:
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