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The Anthill

Author: The Conversation

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The Anthill is a show for curious minds, with a mix of everything from science, history and psychology to politics and economics. We unearth new stories from the world of academia, bringing new and cutting edge research on the big issues of the day. The Anthill is produced by The Conversation, a not-for-profit media organisation which provides a platform for academics to share their expertise with the general public. It's hosted by Annabel Bligh, business and economy editor at The Conversation UK.

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The 2008 financial crisis resulted in the worst global recession since the second world war. The collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers in September 2008 caused a meltdown of the global financial system. Money markets froze and there was a major credit crunch as the ability to borrow money suddenly dried up. To stop contagion and make sure other major financial institutions didn’t collapse, governments stepped in to shore up the system by bailing out the banks. Anastasia Nesvetailova, professor of international political economy at City, University of London, explains what these bailouts involved and why they were so necessary. Aidan Regan, associate professor at University College Dublin, tells us how the crisis spread across the eurozone and why some countries rebounded a lot more quickly than others. We also discuss how the austerity policies that many governments adopted following the 2008 financial crisis hampered economic growth. And we explore how emerging markets such as Brazil and China were affected by the 2008 financial crisis. Carolina Alves, fellow in economics at the University of Cambridge, outlines how they were shielded from some elements of the crisis but also left vulnerable to the large reduction in finance that followed. You can read more research into the 2008 financial crisis and what lessons we can learn from it for today's coronavirus recovery alongside other articles in our Recovery series, which accompany this podcast.This episode was produced by Gemma Ware and Annabel Bligh, with sound design by Eloise Stevens. The Anthill is a podcast from The Conversation UK. We’re an independent news media outlet that exists purely to take reliable, informed voices direct to a wide audience. If you’re able to to support our work, please consider donating via our website. Thanks to everyone who has already done so. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In this fifth episode of Recovery, a series from The Anthill Podcast exploring key moments in history when parts of the world recovered from a major crisis or shock, we’re looking at what happened in the former Soviet Union during the transition from communism to capitalism in the 1990s.When the USSR was finally dissolved at the end of 1991 it was a massive shock to the system for millions of people. The transition from a state-controlled command economy to a market-driven capitalist one was a hugely complex structural change. What followed was what’s come to be known as “shock therapy” – post-communist states were suddenly subject to mass privatisation and market reforms. Price controls were lifted. State support – which had been such a fundamental part of everybody’s way of life in the former Soviet Union and eastern bloc – was withdrawn.Jo Crotty, professor of management and director of the Institute for Social Responsibility at Edge Hill University, was living in between Belarus and Russia in the early 1990s. She describes the hyperinflation and economic breakdown she witnessed during this period. Companies tried to keep people employed, but these were jobs in name only and there was a huge problem of hidden unemployment – which she says offers a warning as coronavirus furlough schemes end today.Some parts of the former Soviet Union and Eastern bloc countries recovered quicker than others. Lawrence King, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a research associate at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, explains why, and what political upheaval the drastic economic reforms provoked. He also describes the devastating impact that waves of privatisation had on mortality rates in Russia in the 1990s.And Elisabeth Schimpfössl, lecturer in sociology and policy at Aston University, talks about a new group of oligarchs emerged in Russia during the transition in the 1990s, benefitting from the waves of privatisation and shift to a capitalist system. She describes the enduring legacy this period has had on wealth inequality in Russia.You can read more about the post-Soviet transition and its legacy alongside other articles in our Recovery series accompanying this podcast.This episode was produced by Gemma Ware and Annabel Bligh with sound design by Eloise Stevens.The Anthill is produced by The Conversation UK. We’re an independent news media outlet that exists purely to take reliable, informed voices direct to a wide audience. We’re a charity, with no wealthy owner nudging an editorial line in one direction or another. The only opinion we hold is that knowledge is crucially important, and must be made widely available to help as many people as possible understand the world and make informed decisions. If you can help us do what we do, please click here to donate. And if you’ve already supported what we do, thank you! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In this fourth episode of Recovery, a series from The Anthill Podcast exploring key moments in history when the world recovered from a major crisis or shock, we’re looking at what happened in the UK after the second world war.The second world war decimated landscapes, killed tens of millions of people and left many more unable to work, in need of long-term healthcare and help to rebuild their lives.In the UK, some had been calling for action to deal with poverty, squalid housing and better education since before the conflict, but the particular circumstances of the war seemed to provide the impetus needed to get things moving. The recovery project that followed the end of the war in 1945 transformed the nation into one that provided free healthcare for all, better education and massive housing regeneration.Pat Thane, visiting professor of history at Birkbeck College, takes us through the recommendations of a landmark government report written by William Beveridge that got the whole project moving. This set out a comprehensive cradle-to-grave welfare system designed to tackle the five giants of want, squalor, idleness, ignorance and disease.Bernard Harris, professor of social policy at the University of Strathclyde, reveals how this report turned into a series of changes to the law that ultimately constructed the welfare state. That included establishing the world-famous National Health Service. He explains how the shared trauma of the war helped people imagine a different future in which a greater number of people would be cared for by the government.Pippa Catterall, professor of history and policy at the University of Westminster, discusses the political context of the post-war period in the UK. After the suffering of the conflict, it was the left-wing Labour party that grasped how urgently the public wanted bold new thinking. The recovery promised by Labour Party leader Clement Attlee was based around a total restructuring of the state, and voters were prepared to take the plunge – not least because more of them had been exposed to hardship during the war.Finally, the panel explore what lessons this unique period in history can offer us today, as governments look to rebuild after the coronavirus pandemic. After years of retreat, states are stepping in on an unprecedented scale to offer rescue packages. Could we be witnessing the rebirth of the welfare state?You can read more about the aftermath of the second world war and the welfare state as well as other articles in our Recovery series to accompany this podcast.This episode was produced by Gemma Ware and Annabel Bligh, with sound design by Eloise Stevens.The Anthill is produced by The Conversation UK. We’re an independent news media outlet that exists purely to take reliable, informed voices direct to a wide audience. We’re a charity, with no wealthy owner nudging an editorial line in one direction or another. The only opinion we hold is that knowledge is crucially important, and must be made widely available to help as many people as possible understand the world and make informed decisions. We’re in the middle of a donations campaign so if you can help us do what we do, please click here. And if you’ve already supported what we do, a massive thank you! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In this third episode of Recovery, we’re looking at what happened after the combined shocks of the Spanish flu and world war one.It was called the Spanish flu because the first reports of the virus were in Spanish newspapers, due to wartime censorship restrictions elsewhere. The 1918-19 flu was the worst pandemic in human history. More than half the world’s population was infected. Estimates for the number of people who died range from between 20 and 50 million. And this off the back of a devastating world war in which 9.7 million military personnel and another 10 million civilians died.To find out about the recovery after these combined shocks of war and pandemic, we hear from three experts in this episode who study the period.Caitjan Gainty, lecturer in the history of science, technology and medicine at King’s College London, explains what measures were put in place to recover from the Spanish flu and how the pandemic lead to a rethink in the way cities and buildings were designed, and a focus on fresh air.Tim Hatton, professor of economics at the University of Essex, outlines how an economic boom followed the end of the war due to pent up demand, but it was followed by a severe economic slump and high unemployment. He explains what policies were introduced to help the recovery and why that recovery was patchy in the UK.And Chris Colvin, senior lecturer in economics at Queen’s University Belfast, tells us why it’s so hard to unpick the economic impact and recovery from the Spanish flu from the recovery from WW1. And he explains why in their desire to return to what they thought of as “normal”, some politicians decided to re-introduce the gold standard in the early 1920s, with mixed consequences.You can read more about the Spanish flu on The Converasation here as well as other articles in our Recovery series to accompany this podcast.This episode was produced by Gemma Ware and Annabel Bligh, with sound design by Eloise Stevens.The Anthill is produced by The Conversation UK. We’re an independent news media outlet that exists purely to take reliable, informed voices direct to a wide audience. We’re a charity, with no wealthy owner nudging an editorial line in one direction or another. The only opinion we hold is that knowledge is crucially important, and must be made widely available to help as many people as possible understand the world and make informed decisions. We’re in the middle of a donations campaign so if you can help us do what we do, please click here. And if you’ve already supported what we do, we want to say a massive thank you! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In this second episode of Recovery, a series from The Anthill Podcast exploring key moments in history when the world recovered from a major crisis or shock, we’re looking at what happened after the earthquake, tsunami and fires that devastated Lisbon in 1755 and shocked Europe.In 1755, the grand and prosperous city of Lisbon was devastated by a huge earthquake. The Portuguese capital we see today is a product of the reconstruction and recovery after this catastrophic event. But the impact of the earthquake went far beyond the city it destroyed. It affected politics, trade, philosophy and religion across Europe. It has been described as the first modern disaster.We talk to three academics whose expertise covers the impact and recovery from the Lisbon earthquake in the days, months and years that followed.Mark Sabine, associate professor in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American studies at the University of Nottingham, tells us about the relief efforts immediately after the quake and how the city was rebuilt. The decisive actions of one of the king’s ministers – Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, the Marquis of Pombal – fundamentally changed Portuguese politics, religion and society.David McCallum, reader in French 18th century studies at the University of Sheffield, outlines the media sensation caused by the earthquake. News of the disaster followed the shockwaves across Europe. In its wake, Enlightenment philosophical beliefs like optimism, which claimed that the world is the best version of itself it could be, suddenly seemed untenable.Finally, we hear from Katie Cross, research fellow in the school of divinity, history and philosophy at the University of Aberdeen. She explains the questions about divine judgement the earthquake prompted in a profoundly Catholic population, and how it shaped ideas about religion and punishment in 18th century Europe.This episode was produced by Grace Allen, Gemma Ware and Annabel Bligh, with sound design by Eloise Stevens.The Anthill is produced by The Conversation UK. We’re an independent news media outlet that exists purely to take reliable, informed voices direct to a wide audience. We’re a charity, with no wealthy owner nudging an editorial line in one direction or another. The only opinion we hold is that knowledge is crucially important, and must be made widely available to help as many people as possible understand the world and make informed decisions. We’re in the middle of a donations campaign so if you can help us do what we do, please click here. And if you’ve already supported what we do, we want to say a massive thank you! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Welcome to Recovery, a new series from The Anthill podcast, exploring key moments in history when the world recovered from a major crisis or shock.In this first episode, we find out what happened after one of history’s worst epidemics, the Black Death. This was the name given to the bubonic plague that hit Europe in the late 1340s. Somewhere between a third and half of Europe's population died from the disease.Needless to say, this had a huge impact on those that survived – from living with PTSD to higher wages. Innovations and an outpouring of poetry followed the epidemic too, as people grappled with the changes that took place off the back of it. We speak to three academic experts who've researched different elements of the Black Death and the period of history that followed. Adrian Bell, chair in the history of finance at the University of Reading, tells us about the immediate aftermath of the disease in England. Workers could demand better pay because there were fewer of them to go around but the government tried to limit their new bargaining powers by introducing laws to limit pay and the amount that people could move around for work.Mark Bailey, professor of late medieval history at the University of East Anglia, explains how different countries in Europe responded to the Black Death. The recovery ultimately took centuries, in part because of repeated outbreaks of the plague, but it marked an important turning point on the road to modernity. And Eleanor Russell, a PhD researcher at the University of Cambridge, tells us how the Black Death spawned a new wealthy, entrepreneurial elite. They were able to capitalise on the new normal and wield increasing influence over government policy. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
We all want the global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic to be swift and painless. But history tells us that isn’t always possible.When the world has suffered a massive shock to its system before – be that a pandemic, a war, an economic crisis – the rebuilding can take decades. There will be missteps along the way. More people will suffer.But past recoveries can also offer us lessons about what’s possible. About the choices people make, whether the choices of politicians and their advisers, or people just trying to find their feet in a new reality. And these moments of crisis have also provided opportunities to make a better world.In a new six-part series called Recovery, The Anthill Podcast will explore key moments of recovery from history. Hosted by Annabel Bligh, in each episode we’ll take one major crisis or shock and speak to a panel of leading academics who have researched its legacy.This will not be a series about coronavirus. It’s a series about rebuilding. About what works and what doesn’t, and how our world has been shaped by big moments of crisis and the way our ancestors have reacted to them. We’ll be drawing some parallels to what’s going on around us now, but mostly we’ll be telling the stories of past recoveries.Listen on The Conversation from June 3 or subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.The Anthill is produced by Gemma Ware and Annabel Bligh. Sound design by Eloise Stevens. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
A number of conspiracy theories have sprung up in relation to the coronavirus pandemic. The false idea that the virus is somehow linked to the rollout of 5G technology has led to a number of attacks on broadband infrastructure and engineers. We explore this and many others in the sixth and final part of our Expert guide to conspiracy theories.Media expert Marc Tuters talks us through the main coronavirus conspiracy theories that are doing the rounds and how they differ on various social media platforms. He tells us how they started to circulate back in January on the fringe message board website 4chan. We also discuss what social media platforms are doing to limit the spread of this misinformation – and how effective this can be.Psychologist Karen Douglas is also on hand to explain why the different coronavirus conspiracy theories gained so much traction, so quickly. She outlines the three main psychological reasons why people find solace in these alternative explanations for what’s going on. And what research tells us about how dangerous these conspiracy theories can be for public health and society.The Anthill podcast is produced by Annabel Bligh and Gemma Ware for The Conversation. Sound design is by Eloise Stevens, with original music from Neeta Sarl and audio from Epidemic Sound. Thanks to Clare Birchall, Michael Butter and Peter Knight for support in making this podcast and the COST action COMPACT for helping to fund it. Also thanks to City, University of London, for letting us use their studios. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Conspiracy theories might be entertaining but they can also be dangerous. Sadly, what often starts off as a bit of fun can turn sour quite quickly – even if it’s laughing about the idea that Rihanna or Katy Perry are part of the Illuminati. We find out how.This episode delves into some of the psychology behind what makes conspiracy theories dangerous. It also explores the relationship between conspiracy theories and the radicalisation of extremists. And we find out the best ways to talk to people who believe in conspiracy theories.Psychologist Steve Lewandowsky tells us there is a strong link between people who endorse conspiracy theories and reject climate science. What makes this dangerous is the way that conspiracy theories are used by climate change deniers to justify not acting to reduce carbon emissions.We also find out more about the links between conspiracy theories and extremism. Political scientist Eirikur Bergmann tells us how populist politicians use conspiracy theories to their advantage, particularly one called the Great Replacement theory. This is the idea that white people in the west are at threat of invasion and being replaced by non-white immigrants.We also learn how to engage with conspiracy theorists and how difficult it is to convince hardline believers that they are wrong. Psychologist Karen Douglas tells us that it's easier to inoculate people against believing in conspiracy theories in the first place.And anthropologist Ela Drazkiewicz shares insights from her research into attitudes toward HPV vaccination in Ireland. She explains how mistrust of the health authorities led to a dramatic 30% fall in vaccination uptake between 2014 and 2017. But she also offers hope, describing how the Irish health service managed to turn this around and restore trust in the vaccine.The Anthill podcast is produced by Annabel Bligh and Gemma Ware for The Conversation. Sound design is by Eloise Stevens, with original music from Neeta Sarl and audio from Epidemic Sound. Thanks to City, University of London, for letting us use their studios. Special thanks to Clare Birchall, Michael Butter and Peter Knight who helped bring this podcast into being, and to the COST Action COMPACT for funding it. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Part four of the Expert guide to conspiracy theories from The Anthill podcast explores whether the internet has been a game changer in helping conspiracy theories go viral. First, though, we find out how conspiracy theories spread before platforms like Facebook and YouTube came along and gave everyone the power to broadcast their thoughts to the world.It’s important to differentiate between the producers of conspiracy theories and the consumers, which philosopher Quassim Cassam talked about in part one of the series. The producers often push a political ideology. They are also very good at dressing up their theories in academic language. This can make it difficult for the non-expert to recognise a conspiracy theory as bogus and is important for their initial spread.But what makes these ideas really take hold is the people that buy into them – the consumers. Annika Rabo, an anthropologist from Stockholm University in Sweden, tells us how people enjoy spreading conspiracy theories because it can make them seem funny or clever. Most people don’t just spout a conspiracy theory as they hear it, they will often adapt it to their situation – and their audience.Michael Butter, American studies scholar at the University of Tübingen in Germany, gives us some insight into the history of how conspiracy theories spread in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some were preached from pulpits and incited riots. Then, advances in printing technology made it easier for conspiracy theories to spread. Publishers made money selling fanciful stories – some that were openly fictional, others that were fake exposés.We also delve into the world of conspiracy theories as entertainment. Clare Birchall, reader in contemporary culture at King’s College London, talks us through literature in the 1960s, 70s and 80s that engages with conspiracy theories in a playful way and uses them as a device to tell stories. We find out how The X-Files did something similar in the 1990s.The internet has changed the game for communication in terms of how quickly information travels and how it gives everyone a platform to broadcast their views. But Stef Aupers, professor of media culture at the University of Leuven in Belgium, explains that this doesn't necessarily mean conspiracy theories reach more people. In large part, this is because most people end up in echo chambers online. Nonetheless, these echo chambers help solidify people's views.Correction: this podcast refers to the 2019 mass shooting targeting Mexicans in El Paso, Texas, as happening in El Paso, New Mexico.The Anthill podcast is produced by Annabel Bligh and Gemma Ware for The Conversation. Sound design is by Eloise Stevens, with original music from Neeta Sarl and audio from Epidemic Sound. Thanks to City, University of London, for letting us use their studios. Special thanks to Clare Birchall, Michael Butter and Peter Knight who helped bring this podcast into being, and to the COST Action COMPACT for funding it. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
How are the origins of the French Revolution connected with Beyoncé, Jay Z and Rihanna? The answer lies with one of the world's most mysterious – and misunderstood – secret societies, the Illuminati. The strange evolution of the conspiracy theory surrounding this short-lived secret society, mirrors the modern history of conspiracy theories. We find out how in part three of our podcast series.The Illuminati was a real secret society of intellectual elites in the late 18th century. Michael Butter, professor of American literary and cultural history at the University of Tübingen in Germany, tells us their goal was to promote Enlightenment thinking – ideas such as rational thought and the separation of church and state.The society only lasted a few years before being forced to disband by the conservative authorities of the time. But conspiracy theorists say the Illuminati never really disappeared. They were accused of orchestrating the French Revolution, which started in 1789. Andreas Önnerfors, associate professor of intellectual history at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, says it was such a violent revolution and caused so much upheaval across Europe that people looked for someone to blame.We find out how the Illuminati then became the bogeyman for dark forces at work in the world. The conspiracy theory dramatically morphed in the 20th century, particularly following the publication of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a fake transcript of a secret meeting of Jewish leaders plotting world domination. Then, after the second world war, it was picked up by conservatives in the US and played a part in fuelling anti-communist witch hunts.Researcher Lindsay Porter explains how things take a weird turn in the 1960s when elements of the counterculture began to parody the conspiracy theory. And how today, certain pop stars are accused of being part of this secret society that rules the world.The Anthill podcast is produced by Annabel Bligh and Gemma Ware. Sound design is by Eloise Stevens, with original music from Neeta Sarl and audio from Epidemic Sound. Thanks to City, University of London, for letting us use their studios. Special thanks to Clare Birchall, Michael Butter and Peter Knight who helped bring this podcast into being, and to the COST Action COMPACT for funding it. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Polls show that most people believe in at least one conspiracy theory. Considering the number of conspiracy theories there are, perhaps this isn’t surprising. But research shows that people who believe in one conspiracy theory are more likely to believe in others.Part two of the Expert guide to conspiracy theories, a series from The Conversation’s Anthill podcast, discovers who these people are. We find out what psychological factors influence whether you believe in conspiracy theories or not. And how things like the time and place that you live, who your friends are and who holds political power makes you more open to certain conspiracy theories.Jan-Willem van Prooijen, associate professor of psychology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands, explains his theory that humans are hardwired to believe in conspiracy theories. He says the circumstances of hunter gatherer life meant that our ancestors adapted to be overly suspicious.Times have changed but humans are stuck with this hangover from hunter gatherer times that we sometimes struggle to shake. We speak to psychologists Karen Douglas and Aleksandra Cichocka at the University of Kent in the UK to find out why certain people today are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories than others.We find out how political beliefs influence whether or not people believe in conspiracy theories. Joseph Uscinski, a political scientist at the University of Miami in the US, talks us through his theory that people who vote for the losing side in an election are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories than those on the winning side.For a slightly different perspective on who believes in conspiracy theories, we talk to anthropologist Annika Rabo from Stockholm University in Sweden. She spent many years in Syria doing fieldwork and tells us how talk about conspiracies permeates society – it’s unavoidable. There are all sorts of conspiracy theories and they relate to the US, to Israel but also their own government.Jovan Byford, a social psychologist at the Open University in the UK, explains why it’s important to understand the historical context in which certain conspiracy theories emerge and flourish. He points out that the status conspiracy theories are given in society influences how popular they are and that not everyone engages with them in the same way. Some take conspiracy theories seriously, but others don't and engage with them for fun.The Anthill podcast is produced by Annabel Bligh and Gemma Ware. Sound design is by Eloise Stevens, with original music from Neeta Sarl and audio from Epidemic Sound. Thanks to City, University of London, for letting us use their studios to record. Special thanks to Clare Birchall, Michael Butter and Peter Knight who helped bring this podcast into being, and to the COST Action COMPACT for funding it. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
There are a lot of conspiracy theories out there. Some are bizarre – like the idea that Elvis faked his own death. Or that Britain’s royal family are actually shape-shifting alien lizards. A growing number of people believe the world is flat.A lot of conspiracy theories relate to politics. That 9/11 was orchestrated by the US government so it could start wars in the Middle East. Or that powerful groups like the Illuminati are pulling the strings behind the scenes, plotting to establish a New World Order. Or that the new coronavirus is a bio-weapon engineered by the CIA.Part one of the series explores what these many different ideas have in common and grapples with what actually makes something a conspiracy theory. We speak to Peter Knight, professor of American studies at the University of Manchester. He says there are three important characteristics to conspiracy theories:First, that nothing happens by accident. The idea that in history, there are no coincidences, no cock-ups. The second idea is that nothing is as it seems. The suggestion that you need to look beneath the surface to detect the actions and the intentions of the evil conspirators. And the third idea is that everything is connected.One of the difficulties with defining conspiracy theories is the fact that history is littered with real plots and conspiracies. Jovan Byford, senior lecturer in social psychology at the Open University, tells us how to spot the difference. We also speak to Clare Birchall, reader in contemporary culture at King’s College London. She challenges us to consider who we label a conspiracy theorist and why. We find out how many conspiracy theories that sound outlandish make a lot more sense when you scratch beneath the surface of why people believe in them.Andrew McKenzie-McHarg, senior research fellow at the Australian Catholic University, explains how the term conspiracy theory evolved from simply being a neutral theory about a conspiracy to a more loaded term. And Quassim Cassam, philosophy professor at the University of Warwick, argues that conspiracy theories are always a form of political propaganda. He says we must be aware of what ideology they are pushing and we must differentiate between the producers of conspiracy theories and those that believe in them.The Anthill is produced by Annabel Bligh and Gemma Ware. Sound design is by Eloise Stevens, with original music from Neeta Sarl and audio from Epidemic Sound. A big thanks to City, University of London, for letting us use their studios. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Conspiracy theories no longer feel like a fringe phenomenon, with people claiming that Elvis isn’t dead or the royal family are shape-shifting alien lizards, put down as crackpots. Now presidents push them and major events are regularly followed by a slew of sinister ideas involving dark forces at work behind the scenes. Coronavirus is just the latest.Some conspiracy theories may be harmless entertainment or a sign of healthy scepticism, but others are dangerous because they can fuel racism, violence, terrorism and chaos. With the prominence of conspiracy theories seemingly on the rise, we set out to better understand them.Over five episodes, we speak to dozens of academics who have spent their careers researching different elements of conspiracy theories. Most are part of Comparative Analysis of Conspiracy Theories, an international network of conspiracy theory researchers, which supported the making of this podcast.Psychologists tell us why some people are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories than others, and why there's a spectrum ranging from the conspiracy curious to hardcore believers. Anthropologists explain why conspiracy talk is commonplace in some parts of the world but not others.Conspiracy theories have evolved over the centuries, from ancient times to the present day. We discover how conspiracy theories were at the birth of the United States and how the idea of the Illuminati – a purported secret organisation pulling the puppet strings of major organisations and governments – evolved from the French Revolution and which now supposedly counts Jay-Z and Beyoncé among its members.We find out how conspiracy theories spread and the extent that the internet has changed the game. We also investigate how dangerous conspiracy theories can be and why – whether it’s climate change denial, anti-vaxxers or political extremists.All that and much more coming up on The Conversation’s Expert guide to conspiracy theories.Original music by Neeta Sarl and sound design by Eloise Stevens. The Anthill is produced by Gemma Ware and Annabel Bligh. A big thanks to City, University of London, for letting us use their studios. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Medicine made for you is a series from The Anthill, a podcast from The Conversation. Across three episodes we're taking a deep dive into the future of healthcare – to find out how it could soon get a lot more personal.In this third and final episode of the series, we’re exploring how treatment offered by your doctor could become more tailored to you in the future.In the past, if you walked into a pharmacy and told them you weren't feeling well, the pharmacist would probably have made up a powder for you – your own personalised medicine. But with the introduction of antibiotics and modern medicine which is much more regulated, this personalised service fell away.Come the 21st century, some researchers are looking at ways to introduce more personalisation back into pharmaceuticals in the future – using 3D printing. We find out more.This episode also explores other ways researchers are looking to personalise the treatment options available to patients, from new ways of doing cancer screening trials, to social prescribing – programmes where GPs refer patients to a host of other services in the community to help improve their health and wellbeing.Featuring interviews with Professor Robert Forbes at the University of Central Lancashire, Professor Mike Messenger at the University of Leeds, Dr Alison Fixsen from the University of Westminster and Chris Dayson, principal research fellow at Sheffield Hallam University.The music in this episode is Is That You or Are You You? by Chris Zabriskie, Hallon and FB-01_#2 by Christian Bjoerklund and Serenade for String Orchestra, No 20 by Edward Elgar performed by US Army Strings. Medicine made for you is produced and reported by Holly Squire and Gemma Ware, and hosted by Annabel Bligh for The Anthill podcast. A big thanks to City, University of London, for letting us use their studios.Read more about precision medicine and the personalisation of health in our series of articles on The Conversation. You can sign up to get a daily digest of facts each day by signing up to our newsletter. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In the second episode of Medicine made for you we’re looking at the food we eat and how dietary advice could soon get a lot more personalised. Listen to our producer Gemma Ware go through a two-week experiment with her identical twin sister, aimed at trying to better understand which factors influence the way people react to particular foods. The PREDICT study involved eating lots of special muffins, and doing lots of blood tests. But the results are surprising – and show that everybody reacts differently to different foods, even identical twins.We also explore what role a person's microbiome has in their health and whether it will ever be possible to personalise dietary advice based on the bacteria in your gut. And we look at wider questions about what kind of personalised nutritional advice actually gets people to change their behaviour.Featuring interviews with Professor Tim Spector from King's College London and Professors Glenn Gibson and Julie Lovegrove at the University of Reading.The music in this episode is Is That You or Are You You? by Chris Zabriskie and Hallon by Christian Bjoerklund. Medicine made for you is produced and reported by Holly Squire and Gemma Ware, and hosted by Annabel Bligh for The Anthill podcast. A big thanks to City, University of London, for letting us use their studios.Read more about the personalisation of healthcare in our series of articles on The Conversation. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Medicine made for you is a brand new series from The Anthill, a podcast from The Conversation. Across three episodes we're taking a deep dive into the future of healthcare – and find out how it could soon get a lot more personal.In this first episode, we look at genes, clinical trials and how possible it might be for the NHS to take on a more personalised approach when it comes to our health. And we find out why Scotland, a country of 5.4 million people, with one of the lowest life expectancies in western Europe, is a pioneer of this kind of research.Taking a much more precise approach to treatment means that for some diseases, doctors can prescribe drugs based on a person’s DNA. Known as precision medicine, this kind of approach is breaking new ground in the treatment for some diseases. And it could change medicine for good.Featuring interviews with Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak, Dr Susie Cooke, Professor Andrew Biankin and Professor Iain McInnes at the University of Glasgow, and Professor Stephen MacMahon at the University of Oxford.The music in this episode is Is That You or Are You You? by Chris Zabriskie. Medicine made for you is produced and edited by Holly Squire and Gemma Ware, and hosted by Annabel Bligh. A big thanks to City, University of London, for letting us use their studios.Read more about precision medicine and the personalisation of health in our series of articles on The Conversation. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In Medicine made for you, a new series from The Anthill podcast, we’ll be taking a deep dive into the future of healthcare – and find out how it could soon get a lot more personal.We’ll hear from leading academics about the personalisation of healthcare, how it’s changing the way we think about our bodies, and the choices we might make about our health in the future.The Anthill is a podcast produced by The Conversation, hosted by Annabel Bligh. The Medicine made for you series is produced by Gemma Ware and Holly Squire. The first episode will launch on 18 February. Listen via The Conversation, or subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from.The music in this trailer is Is That You or Are You You? by Chris Zabriskie. A big thanks to City, University of London, for letting us use their studios. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Episode five of To the moon and beyond, a podcast series marking the 50th anniversary of the moon landings. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Episode four of To the moon and beyond, a podcast series marking the 50th anniversary of the moon landings. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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Comments (3)

trei sprezece

shock therapy my ass , the west pushed money into east and funked them up . international monetary fund can suck big D .

Jul 3rd
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Marie Helene B

I really enjoy the Anthill - unusual and smart look at a wide variety of topics, usually surprising. I always take away some interesting facts that feed my conversation. Makes me feel more intelligent :)

Aug 7th
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Marie Helene B

Fascinating podcast, especially about tbe deep ocean and the search for alien life - both topics looked at with very smart angle.

Aug 7th
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