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Exploring Global Problems Podcast

Updated Thursday, 29th April 2021

Swansea University's podcast series where academics talk about how their ground-breaking research helps to tackle a variety of global challenges.

Transitioning to university is an exciting time! A key skill is learning from research. Swansea University’s ‘Exploring Global Problems’ podcasts are all about how ground-breaking research is helping tackle global challenges.

Topics include health innovation, climate change, clean energy and human-centred digital technologies. 

Find out more about the podcast on the Swansea University website.


Episode 1: Climate Change: Reading the past in tree ring data

How do we know if the global warming in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries is an anomaly, or just part of a natural cycle?

Tree ring growth can be absolutely dated, and mapped onto a historical timeline. This tree ring data shows that the temperature changes we have experienced in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries are unprecedented in terms of speed, and are global.

Professor Mary Gagen, of Swansea University’s Geography Department, measures tree ring data – ‘weather stations across the world’ - to find out what has happened to our climate across the planet over the last few thousand years.


Listen to the full episode.


Episode 2: Will maggots save the human race?

The world is losing the battle against bacteria and is running out of effective antibiotics…but can maggots save the human race?

In this episode, Biomedical Scientist, Professor Yamni Nigam, discusses her research into wounds and antimicrobial resistance. Yamni talks about using maggots to combat the antimicrobial crisis and heal infected wounds while working to overcome the “yuck factor” associated with these creepy crawly medical powerhouses.


Listen to the full episode.


Episode 3: Is there a 'digital darkness' descending?

How a human-centred approach to digital technology helps to address global problems.

Computer Scientist Professor Matt Jones discusses his research into street-speaker systems in India and how working with emergent users to design technology makes a real difference to their lives.

Matt also talks about a ‘digital darkness’ in terms of privacy, artificial intelligence, the breakdown in face-to-face communication and how we can use a human-centred approach to overcome this.


Listen to the full episode.



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