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BE:CURIOUS – A Podcast by the Oxford/Berlin Research Partnership

Mit grenzenloser Neugier blicken die talentiertesten Forscher*innen aus Berlin und Oxford auf die großen Herausforderungen unserer Zeit. In diesem Podcast erzählen sie von ihrer Arbeit, von kleinen und großen Projekten, die Grenzen überschreiten und neue Einblicke in unsere Welt eröffnen. Nicht nur in Europa, sondern global. Was können Roboter von Papageien lernen? Wie bereiten wir uns auf die nächste Pandemie vor? Und vor allem: wie können wir all diese Fragen gemeinsam beantworten?In BE:CURIOUS gehen wir auf eine Reise, in der Forscher*innen in Oxford und Berlin gemeinsam den Herausforderungen und Themen unserer Zeit begegnen.BE:CURIOUS ist eine gemeinsame Produktion der Universität Oxford und der Berlin University Alliance. Tiefe Einblicke in komplexe Themen, gemacht für alle, die von ihrer Umwelt fasziniert sind und mehr über andere Welten erfahren möchten.-- With boundless curiosity, the most talented researchers from Berlin and Oxford look at the great challenges of our time. In this podcast, they talk about their work, about small and large projects that cross borders and open up new insights into our world. Not only in Europe, but globally. What can robots learn from parrots? How do we prepare for the next pandemic? And, most importantly, how can we answer all these questions together?In BE:CURIOUS, we go on a journey in which researchers in Oxford and Berlin jointly confront the challenges and issues of our time.BE:CURIOUS is the joint podcast of the University of Oxford and the Berlin University Alliance. Insights and deep dives into complex topics, made for all who are fascinated by their environment and want to learn more about other worlds.

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  • 18.05.2022
    43 MB
    45:34
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    #4 Circadian Rhythms – The Science and Treatment of Internal Clock Disorders

    Our bodies are ruled by the daily solar cycle of the earth. But we also all have our own internal biological clocks, which more or less sync up to this daily rhythm. This internal clock is crucial not only for our patterns of sleeping and waking but for all kinds of activities which our bodies and cells undertake. But if our internal clocks and that of the outside world are out of sync, then the consequences can be profound and come with serious health implications. This is particularly problematic for blind people whose circadian clocks aren’t kept synced to the outside world’s rhythms by exposure to sunlight. Our two guests today, in a project supported by the Oxford Berlin Research Partnership, are working on a new method to better measure and diagnose these disruptions to someone’s circadian rhythm; something which can then be used to resync the patient’s internal clock and improve their quality of life. They are Achim Kramer, the head of Chronobiology at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and Russell Foster, a professor of sleep and circadian neuroscience at the University of Oxford. We learn about their work, and why these circadian rhythms are so vital to our health and happiness.

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  • 25.04.2022
    44 MB
    46:43
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    #3 Investigating Intelligence – What Birds and AI Robots Can Teach Us About Learning

    You might not think that artificial intelligence has much to do with puzzle-solving parrots, but that's exactly what our two guests today combine in their envelope-pushing research. The team is led by Alex Kacelnik who specializes in animal behaviour, and Oliver Brock, who is an expert in robotics and AI. Their research involves filming cockatoo parrots as they solve novel kinetic mechanical problems. This video is then analyzed and used to help create a robot powered by artificial intelligence that can solve similar problems. In the process, they're exploring some of the most fundamental questions about the nature of intelligence. Alex Kacelnik, Emeritus Professor of Behavioural Ecology at the University of Oxford, and Oliver Brock, Professor at the Technische Universität Berlin, talk about their interdisciplinary project “Parrobots – Understanding physical problem solving in parrots and robots”.

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  • 17.03.2022
    39 MB
    40:40
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    # 2 The Plunders of War - Uncovering the Dark Side of European Museum Collections

    From the British Museum in London to the new Humboldt Forum in Berlin, museums across Europe are filled with precious ancient artifacts sourced from around the world. But how those artifacts actually ended up in the collections of these museums is, more often than not, connected to stories of colonial conquest, war and violence – something that up until relatively recently was largely forgotten or ignored. But two professors are hoping to change that. Dan Hicks is an archeology professor at the University of Oxford, Bénédicte Savoy is an art historian based at Technische Universtiät Berlin, and together they are working on a project funded by the Oxford Berlin Research Partnership. The project is called The Restitution of Knowledge and aims to uncover, document, and share the knowledge of the unjust means by which many of these artifacts came to be sitting in European museums. We discuss what their research has uncovered, what it means for museums, and what they think should happen to the objects that have been found to have been taken in illegitimate ways

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  • 16.02.2022
    31 MB
    32:23
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    #1 From Covid to Gentrification – Using Big Data to Help Wider Society

    Every day through our computers and devices, a myriad of apps and services track our behaviour in precise detail. Most of this information is collected and analysed by companies that are trying to sell us things; whether it’s Amazon trying to sell us products, or Google looking to sell ads that are precisely targeted to us as individuals. But could this wealth of data also be used in ways that actually benefit wider society? That’s what economists and data-scientists Fabian Braesemann and Fabian Stephany are hoping to do with DWG, a Berlin-based company that they are currently founding as a planned spinout from Oxford University. The idea was born when the two founders applied for project funding to the OX/BER Research Partnership. As we explore in the podcast, by combing data sets in novel ways DWG is able to shed new light on complex societal dynamics: from looking at the economic vulnerabilities from Covid, to finding ways of predicting gentrification. This information can then be used to help governments and organisations make better decisions. Fabian Braesemann and Fabian Stephany are both based at the Oxford Internet Institute, where they are research associates.

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