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How open should open data be?
Do you remember life before Citymapper? Thanks to Transport for London opening its data, a new wave of innovative transport apps were made possible. This is just one example of how open data has contributed to our everyday lives financially, socially, culturally and more.
What happened to the first soviet scientist to solve a fundamental problem in mathematics?
Don’t let the thought of geometry and calculators fall you, mathematicians are an exciting bunch! Every 4 years, for the past 119 years, they have gathered in a major city to discuss the big questions they are trying to solve. It’s called the International Congress of Mathematicians.
What does Hollywood get right and wrong when science is in the storyline?
In this week’s episode of the Oxford Sparks Big Questions podcast we are diving into the world of TV and films and looking at what comes first: the science or the storyline?
We take a look at popular films including: Star Wars, The Martian, Gravity, Terminator, Chain Reaction as well as...
Should I take a selfie with a wild animal?
Travel companies around the world profit from some of the cruellest types of wildlife tourist attractions on earth.
Whether it is riding elephants, taking selfies with tigers, or performing dolphin shows, these activities can cause lifelong suffering for wild animals.
How do you teach a machine to drive a car?
You may have seen the story last year about an electric pod travelling 1.25 miles (2km) through pedestrianised areas of Milton Keynes, reaching speeds of up to 15mph while having to cope with walkers and cyclists while missing one key feature – a driver.
Will supersonic transport ever make a comeback?
It’s 1985 and Phil Collins, drummer and singer had a problem. He wants to play Live Aid at Wembley, London and then a few hours later make it to Philadelphia to play drums for Eric Clapton for the Live Aid show there. Thankfully science was able to get him there. By science we mean the Concord...
How do you turn an orange into a grapefruit?
Flavour is an art form. The right combination of compounds and you can make a crisp taste like bacon and still make it vegetarian. It’s a global industry and here in Oxford a group of scientists are getting a ‘taste’ of the action by making natural flavours by manipulating enzymes.
Earthquakes, can we make smarter buildings?
Major earthquakes across the world have damaged or destroyed numerous buildings, bridges, and other structures. But is there a way of monitoring the building structures to see if it is at risk of falling after an earthquake has struck?