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Benjamin Thompson

Benjamin Thompson is a host of Nature Podcast.


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Recent episodes featuring Benjamin Thompson
Backchat: Nature's 150th anniversary
Nature Podcast
This week marks 150 years since the first issue of Nature was published, on 4 November 1869. In this anniversary edition of Backchat, the panel take a look back at how the journal has evolved in this time, and discuss the role that Nature can play in today's society. The panel also pick a few of their favourite research papers that Nature has published, and think about where science might be headed in the next 150 years.Collection: 150 years of Nature For information regarding your data privacy, visit
07 November 2019: The fossil of an upright ape, science in 150 years, and immunization progress around the world
Nature Podcast
This week, insights into the evolution of walking upright, how science needs to change in the next 150 years, and the unfinished agenda for vaccines.In this episode:00:50 Early ape locomotionThe discovery of a fossil of a new species of ape gives new insights on how bipedalism may have evolved. Research Article: Böhme et al.; News and Views: Fossil ape hints at how walking on two feet evolved; News: Fossil ape offers clues to evolution of walking on two feet07:24 Research HighlightsWomen lacking olfactory bulbs can somehow still smell, and telling whiskies apart through evaporation patterns. Research Highlight: The women who lack an odour-related brain area — and can still smell a rose; Research Highlight: Bourbon or Scotch? A droplet’s dynamics reveal the truth09:44 How should science evolve?This year is Nature’s 150th anniversary. Science has made huge strides during this time, but what needs to change to continue this progress for the next 150 years? Comment: Science must move with the times17:52 The state of vaccination in 2019Researchers assess the differences in immunization levels worldwide and identify the bottlenecks in developing new vaccines. Research article: Piot et al.23:54 News ChatAn AI figures out the sun’s place in the Solar System, and reassessing the size of the proton. News article: AI Copernicus: Neural network ‘discovers’ that Earth orbits the Sun; News: Puzzle over size of proton leaps closer to resolution For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Nature Pastcast, October 1993: Carl Sagan uses Galileo to search for signs of life
Nature Podcast
This year, Nature celebrates its 150th birthday. To mark this anniversary we’re rebroadcasting episodes from our PastCast series, highlighting key moments in the history of science.In the early 1990s, a team of astrophysicists led by Carl Sagan looked at data from the Galileo spacecraft and saw the signatures of life on a planet in our galaxy. Historian of science David Kaiser and astrobiologists Charles Cockell and Frank Drake discuss how we can tell if there is life beyond the Earth – and how optimism, as well as science, is necessary for such a venture.This episode was first broadcast in October 2013. For information regarding your data privacy, visit
31 October 2019: An AI masters the video game StarCraft II, and measuring arthropod abundance
Nature Podcast
This week, a computer beats the best human players in StarCraft II, and a huge study of insects and other arthropods.In this episode:00:45 Learning to playBy studying and experimenting, an AI has reached Grandmaster level at the video game Starcraft II.Research Article: Vinyals et al.; News Article: Google AI beats experienced human players at real-time strategy game StarCraft II10:08 Research HighlightsA record-breaking lightning bolt, and identifying our grey matter’s favourite tunesResearch Highlight: Here come the lightning ‘megaflashes’; Research Highlight: Why some songs delight the human brain12:24 Arthropods in declineResearchers have surveyed how land-use change has affected arthropod diversity. Research article: Seibold et al.18:30 News ChatYoung Canadians file a lawsuit against their government, an Alzheimer’s drug gets a second chance, and South Korean efforts to curb a viral epidemic in pigs. News: Canadian kids sue government over climate change; News: Fresh push for ‘failed’ Alzheimer’s drug; News: South Korea deploys snipers and drones to fend off deadly pig virus For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Podcast Extra: Detecting gravitational waves
Nature Podcast
As part of Nature's 150th anniversary celebrations, we look back at an important moment in the history of science. For information regarding your data privacy, visit
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Los Angeles, California, USA
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
6 days, 15 hours