Learning English

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6 Minute English

Intermediate level

Our long-running series of topical discussion and new vocabulary, brought to you by your favourite BBC Learning English presenters.

From the archives 

All 6 Minute English programmes pre-September 2014 can be found here.

  • completed

    How pandemics end

    Episode 220804 / 04 Aug 2022

    We talk about previous periods in which deadly diseases went global

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    Confused by modern idioms?

    Episode 220728 / 28 Jul 2022

    Having a Groundhog Day? Keen to break the internet? Learn some modern idioms.

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    Which are more dangerous: sharks or humans?

    Episode 220721 / 21 Jul 2022

    How sharks have become an endangered species.

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    Climate change and animal evolution

    Episode 220714 / 14 Jul 2022

    Can today's animals evolve quickly enough to survive a changing climate?

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    Preserving traditional recipes

    Episode 220707 / 07 Jul 2022

    Missing your mother's cooking? We talk about traditional dishes.

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    Restoring trust in science

    Episode 220630 / 30 Jun 2022

    Astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson's quest to highlight the difference between opinion and fact

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    The Manhattan Project

    Episode 220623 / 23 Jun 2022

    In this episode, we discuss the events leading to the creation of the first atomic bomb.

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    Island life: Is it paradise?

    Episode 220616 / 16 Jun 2022

    What is life really like in the Pacific islands?

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    The technology of translation

    Episode 220609 / 31 May 2022

    What is the relationship between translation, technology and the human brain?

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    Queen Elizabeth II: What is the Platinum Jubilee?

    Episode 220602 / 02 Jun 2022

    We talk about a very British tradition

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    People who can taste words

    Episode 220526 / 26 May 2022

    Living with synaesthesia

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    Finding your way in space

    Episode 220519 / 19 May 2022

    Is there north and south in space?

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    Can VR treat fears and phobias?

    Episode 220512 / 12 May 2022

    Hear how tech is helping people change their behaviour for the better

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    Life in the modern office

    Episode 220505 / 05 May 2022

    How do you mark your personal territory?

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    Remembering Desmond Tutu

    Episode 220428 / 28 Apr 2022

    Deep convictions and a sense of humour - we talk about a man who helped end apartheid in South Africa.

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    Discoveries of the Deep Sea

    Episode 220421 / 21 Apr 2022

    We talk about an extreme environment which is stranger than fiction

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    Rhetoric: How persuasive are you?

    Episode 220414 / 14 Apr 2022

    We talk about an art that started with ancient Greek philosophers

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    Britain's love affair with coffee

    Episode 220407 / 07 Apr 2022

    It's not all about tea. Britons love coffee too!

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    Optimists vs Pessimists

    Episode 220331 / 11 Mar 2022

    Listen to a conversation about optimists and pessimists

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    The world of Agatha Christie

    Episode 220324 / 24 Mar 2022

    Hear a chat about the queen of murder mystery, who had her books translated into over 100 languages

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    Mars: Mysteries of the Red Planet

    Episode 220317 / 17 Mar 2022

    Is there life on Mars?

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    Why laughter is the best medicine

    Episode 220310 / 10 Mar 2022

    Shouldn't we take laughter more seriously?

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    Is being kind good for you?

    Episode 220303 / 03 Mar 2022

    Listen to what scientists are saying about the benefits of giving others a helping hand

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    Eating bugs

    Episode 220224 / 24 Feb 2022

    Would you eat a cricket? How about a portion of nice crunchy ants?

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    The benefits of boredom

    Episode 220217 / 17 Feb 2022

    Why not put your idle brain to good use?

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    Do our pets care about us?

    Episode 220210 / 10 Feb 2022

    We wonder what all that licking is really all about

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    Sleepy in South Korea

    Episode 220203 / 03 Feb 2022

    Life in a place where people work, study longer hours and get less sleep than anywhere else

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    Preparing for the Beijing Winter Olympics

    Episode 220127 / 27 Jan 2022

    Artificial snow, coronavirus and controversy surround the Beijing Games starting soon.

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    Are personalised diets the best way to be healthy?

    Episode 220120 / 20 Jan 2022

    Learn how microbes help digest food and have an impact in our bodies.

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    Inventing languages

    Episode 220113 / 13 Jan 2022

    How do languages get invented?

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    Welcome to the 'metaverse'

    Episode 220106 / 06 Jan 2022

    What will future technology be like?

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    Do trees have memories?

    Episode 211230 / 30 Dec 2021

    We talk about the defences plants might develop after facing periods of stress.

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    Episode 211223 / 23 Dec 2021

    We talk about the maths formulas that are increasingly part of our lives

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    Changing the Earth's climate

    Episode 211216 / 16 Dec 2021

    Diamonds and poo - could these be used to help prevent climate catastrophe?

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    Body language online

    Episode 211209 / 09 Dec 2021

    How can we make video conferences feel more natural?

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    The Human Library: Life as an open book

    Episode 211202 / 02 Dec 2021

    Hear about a project through which you can borrow a person to have a candid chat with

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    How green is nuclear energy?

    Episode 211125 / 25 Nov 2021

    Questions about the safety of nuclear plants remain for many people.

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    Why we forget the things we learn

    Episode 211118 / 18 Nov 2021

    Georgina and Rob talk about memorising things.

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    Why is Super Mario so popular?

    Episode 211111 / 11 Nov 2021

    We talk about a famous video game character from the 80s.

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    Should fast food sponsor sport?

    Episode 211104 / 15 Oct 2021

    Should athletes be sponsored by companies that produce unhealthy food?

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    Grime: Music from architecture

    Episode 211028 / 28 Oct 2021

    We talk about the music of Wiley and Stormzy, inspired by derelict housing in London

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    Where do your tips go?

    Episode 211021 / 21 Oct 2021

    We discuss what happens to the extra money you give at restaurants

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    Angela Merkel

    Episode 211014 / 14 Oct 2021

    Why is the German leader Angela Merkel called 'Mutti'?

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    Smart tech and climate change

    Episode 211007 / 07 Oct 2021

    Could AI be the answer in the fight against climate change?

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    Going through the menopause

    Episode 210930 / 30 Sep 2021

    Why don't people talk more about this aspect of women's lives?

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    Bitcoin's energy cost

    Episode 210927 / 27 Sep 2021

    Bitcoin: is it an investment option for ordinary people?

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    I love my language!

    Episode 210923 / 23 Sep 2021

    Hear about a woman's effort to keep her language alive

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    Why are people collecting NFTs?

    Episode 210920 / 20 Sep 2021

    What are non-fungible tokens?

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    Robot Artists

    Episode 210916 / 16 Sep 2021

    Could robots be artists?

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    Bats: Friend or foe?

    Episode 210909 / 13 Sep 2021

    Learn more about these furry flying mammals

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    Is the planet warming up faster?

    Episode 210909 / 09 Sep 2021

    Some extreme weather events are puzzling scientists

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    Is technology harmful to youngsters?

    Episode 210906 / 06 Sep 2021

    Can spending hours online affect the new generation's mental health?

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    Is chimp politics like ours?

    Episode 210902 / 02 Sep 2021

    They make coalitions and have a desire for power. Are they like us?

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    Making sense of the census

    Episode 210826 / 26 Aug 2021

    What's behind counting people in a country?

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    The fear of numbers

    Episode 210823 / 23 Aug 2021

    How much maths do you need to know to get by?

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    A future without doctors?

    Episode 210819 / 19 Aug 2021

    We discuss if AI could replace human doctors and nurses

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    Lights! Camera! Kiss! - Intimacy on screen

    Episode 210816 / 16 Aug 2021

    How actors are made to feel more comfortable in intimate scenes

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    Concussion in sport

    Episode 210812 / 12 Aug 2021

    We discuss the long-term effects on players who make a career taking heavy tackles

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    Inside the head of Jeff Bezos

    Episode 210809 / 09 Aug 2021

    What goes in the mind of the richest person in the world?

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    The history of swimming

    Episode 210805 / 05 Aug 2021

    How a fun activity was discouraged by religion and in the name of school discipline

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    Do consumers care about carbon footprint?

    Episode 210802 / 02 Aug 2021

    Companies are considering using carbon labelling the same way as they use nutrition information

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    Are humans a messy species?

    Episode 210729 / 29 Jul 2021

    Learn the language of going to the toilet

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    The loneliest man in history

    Episode 210726 / 26 Jul 2021

    How the Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins felt in 1969 about not walking on the Moon.

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    The language of wine

    Episode 210722 / 22 Jul 2021

    A toast to the vocabulary you'll learn here!

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    How colour affects us

    Episode 210719 / 19 Jul 2021

    Which colour makes you happy?

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    Flexible working

    Episode 210715 / 15 Jul 2021

    Is there a stigma attached to not wanting to work the 9-to-5 shift?

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    Episode 210708 / 08 Jul 2021

    Can anyone be hypnotised?

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    Saving the white rhinos

    Episode 210701 / 01 Jul 2021

    We talk about a breeding programme with the last individuals of the species.

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    Making old things last longer

    Episode 210624 / 24 Jun 2021

    Shouldn't we stop throwing things away and start fixing them?

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    Building rapport with others

    Episode 210617 / 17 Jun 2021

    Do you 'read' people easily?

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    Food superstitions

    Episode 210610 / 10 Jun 2021

    Does carving scary faces into pumpkins really frighten away evil spirits?

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    The Rosetta Stone

    Episode 210603 / 03 Jun 2021

    We talk about the famous piece of rock that was key to translating the writing system created in ancient Egypt.

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    Compassion fatigue

    Episode 210527 / 27 May 2021

    Covid-19: Are we tired of feeling sorry for others?

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    Episode 210520 / 20 May 2021

    Why do people decide to be alone for long periods of time?

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    When males are not needed

    Episode 210513 / 17 Mar 2021

    Learn about self-cloning animals

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    Episode 210506 / 06 May 2021

    Sirens, mermaids, mami wata... we talk about different representations of these intriguing water creatures.

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    A quieter world

    Episode 210429 / 29 Apr 2021

    Hear about whether noise is bad for our health

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    US and China vs climate change

    Episode 210422 / 11 Mar 2021

    Can the two biggest polluters work together?

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    Naked in nature

    Episode 210415 / 15 Apr 2021

    Hear about why being naked in nature might be good for you

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    The language of biscuits

    Episode 210408 / 08 Apr 2021

    Learn why this tasty snack became popular with the Industrial Revolution

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    Is English really English?

    Episode 210401 / 01 Apr 2021

    Where did today's English language really come from?

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    Astronauts on strike?

    Episode 210325 / 25 Mar 2021

    Hear all about the Skylab astronauts’ disagreement with mission control

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    Digital help for blind people

    Episode 210318 / 18 Mar 2021

    Hear about digital technology which helps blind people improve their lives

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    What’s the key to happiness?

    Episode 210311 / 11 Mar 2021

    Hear about what small things you can do to feel happier about life

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    Looking for utopia

    Episode 210304 / 04 Mar 2021

    Hear about how to create a happy place

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    Covid: One year on

    Episode 210225 / 25 Feb 2021

    Hear about Covid-19 and how our knowledge has changed

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    Singing in tune

    Episode 210218 / 18 Feb 2021

    Hear about singing and why it’s good to do it

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    Working for yourself

    Episode 210211 / 11 Feb 2021

    Hear about why some people are choosing to freelance

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    The woman whose cells never die

    Episode 210128 / 28 Jan 2021

    Hear about a woman whose cells never die

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    What makes a good story?

    Episode 210121 / 21 Jan 2021

    Hear about storytelling and how it helps us to connect and communicate

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    For the love of foreign languages

    Episode 210114 / 14 Jan 2021

    Is learning languages good for head, heart and soul?

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    Comfort Food

    Episode 210107 / 07 Jan 2021

    Hear about comfort food and why we eat it

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    What is fat-shaming?

    Episode 201231 / 31 Dec 2020

    Hear about why fat-shaming is on the rise

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    Coronavirus vs other pandemics

    Episode 201224 / 24 Dec 2020

    Hear about coronavirus and how it isn’t that bad compared to historical pandemics

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    Are trees intelligent?

    Episode 201217 / 17 Dec 2020

    Hear about how trees can communicate with each other

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    Can jellyfish help us solve our problems?

    Episode 201210 / 10 Dec 2020

    Could jellyfish could reduce plastic pollution?

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    Why do we choose to text instead of talk?

    Episode 201203 / 03 Dec 2020

    Hear how texting has become more popular than talking

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    Episode 201126 / 26 Nov 2020

    Hear about how loneliness can affect everyone

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    Is punctuality important?

    Episode 201119 / 19 Nov 2020

    Hear about different people's attitude to being on time

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    Could you be a victim of online fraud?

    Episode 201112 / 12 Nov 2020

    Hear about online fraud and how it is becoming more common

  • completed

    Melting ice sheet: Is it too late?

    Episode 201105 / 05 Nov 2020

    Scientists worry about this year's global heating and melting polar ice

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    Walkman: the music player revolution

    Episode 201029 / 29 Oct 2020

    About 40 years ago, portable music players became a craze with the launch of the Sony Walkman.

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    Could humans live in underwater cities?

    Episode 201022 / 22 Oct 2020

    Hear about projects to create liveable underwater habitats

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    Hacking help for US elections

    Episode 201015 / 15 Oct 2020

    Volunteer hackers are invited to prevent election cyber-attacks

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    Do chimps have the same emotions as us?

    Episode 201008 / 08 Oct 2020

    Hear the iconic environmentalist Jane Goodall talk about the deep connections between humans and the great apes

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    How can we make the web a better place?

    Episode 201001 / 01 Oct 2020

    Learn about Web Science, a new academic subject about the internet

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    Coronavirus: Dealing with mass unemployment

    Episode 200924 / 24 Sep 2020

    What will the jobs market look like after the coronavirus pandemic ends?

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    Grandma therapy in Zimbabwe

    Episode 200917 / 17 Sep 2020

    Local project trains grandmothers to help Zimbabweans mental health

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    Is there a future without bees?

    Episode 200910 / 10 Sep 2020

    The number of bees is declining at an alarming rate, with serious consequences for humans.

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    How to talk about conspiracy theories

    Episode 200903 / 03 Sep 2020

    Conspiracy theories: Don't be fooled!

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    What’s the point of blood types?

    Episode 200827 / 27 Aug 2020

    What does your blood type say about you?

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    Will Covid-19 change cities?

    Episode 200820 / 20 Aug 2020

    The future of cities after the Covid-19 crisis

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    Is this the era of distrust?

    Episode 200813 / 13 Aug 2020

    What is trust? And who should we place our trust in?

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    No more bosses

    Episode 200806 / 06 Aug 2020

    Can companies operate better without managers?

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    The medicine of coronavirus

    Episode 200730 / 17 Jul 2020

    Neil and Georgina talk about the origins of Covid-19 and teach you related vocabulary.

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    Food made in space

    Episode 200723 / 23 Jul 2020

    Could plant growth studies in the ISS help feed people on Earth in the future?

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    Sport against poverty

    Episode 200716 / 16 Jul 2020

    Surf in South Africa, skateboarding in Afghanistan – are making poor children more assertive.

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    Covid-19: The office after lockdown

    Episode 200709 / 09 Jul 2020

    Lots of companies are rushing to install technology to make offices and workplaces safer.

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    Should we wear a face mask?

    Episode 200702 / 02 Jul 2020

    Is wearing a face mask necessary?

  • completed

    Millennials and business

    Episode 200625 / 25 Jun 2020

    Why are millennials so attracted to starting their own businesses?

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    Is being thrifty a virtue?

    Episode 200618 / 18 Jun 2020

    We talk about being a saver in a consumer culture and discuss the meaning of 'thrift' through history.

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    The food delivery revolution

    Episode 200611 / 11 Jun 2020

    New apps are transforming the way people order food from home

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    What difference has #MeToo made?

    Episode 200604 / 04 Jun 2020

    Listen to civil rights activist, Tarana Burke, who coined the phrase

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    Is the recycling system broken?

    Episode 200528 / 28 May 2020

    Is recycling a guilt-free way of encouraging us to use more plastic?

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    The soothing power of books

    Episode 200521 / 21 May 2020

    How can books help us relax and feel more alive during troubled times?

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    Shocking facts about electricity

    Episode 200514 / 14 May 2020

    How do electric systems differ across the world?

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    The importance of handwashing

    Episode 200507 / 07 May 2020

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    Tips for parents coping with kids at home

    Episode 200430 / 30 Apr 2020

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    The power of crying

    Episode 200423 / 23 Apr 2020

    Does crying make you feel better?

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    Are bucket lists always a good thing?

    Episode 200416 / 16 Apr 2020

    Bucket list dilemma

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    Is the pasty really Cornish?

    Episode 200409 / 09 Apr 2020

    Where does a pasty come from?

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    Touring bands and climate change

    Episode 200402 / 02 Apr 2020

    Music with a smaller carbon footprint

  • completed

    Training artificial intelligence

    Episode 200326 / 26 Mar 2020

    How smart is artificial intelligence?

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    Meditation and the brain

    Episode 200319 / 19 Mar 2020

    Free your mind

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    Will humans become extinct?

    Episode 200312 / 12 Mar 2020

    How long will we survive for?

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    The circular economy

    Episode 200305 / 05 Mar 2020

    Who's responsible for recycling?

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    Eating pond scum

    Episode 200227 / 27 Feb 2020

    Pond scum - the new superfood which could benefit your health and the planet

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    Could you give up fast fashion?

    Episode 200220 / 20 Feb 2020

    Cheap production of clothes is being blamed for contributing to global warming.

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    How resilient are you?

    Episode 200213 / 13 Feb 2020

    Are we born with the ability to cope well with difficult situations? Can we learn it?

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    Is it good to disagree?

    Episode 200206 / 06 Feb 2020

    Can a battle of ideas be a constructive exercise?

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    The benefits of low emission zones

    Episode 200130 / 30 Jan 2020

    What are low emission zones and why are more cities adopting these cleaner-air initiatives? Clean up your English by listening to this discussion

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    Women in politics

    Episode 200123 / 23 Jan 2020

    What's inspiring women to get involved in politics?

  • completed

    Could you give up booze for a month?

    Episode 200116 / 10 Jan 2020

    Giving up beer, wine and spirits is a challenge many people include in their New Year's resolutions.

  • completed

    The decline of the apostrophe

    Episode 200109 / 09 Jan 2020

    Apostrophe misuse

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    Why does seeing someone yawn make you yawn?

    Episode 200102 / 02 Jan 2020

    Why is yawning contagious?

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    Fake or real: What’s the best tree to have at Christmas?

    Episode 191226 / 26 Dec 2019

    What's the carbon footprint of your Christmas tree?

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    The calming power of nature

    Episode 191219 / 19 Dec 2019

    Can ecotherapy heal our urban woes?

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    Chatting to new people

    Episode 191212 / 12 Dec 2019

    Anxious about talking to people you don't know? Listen to what a social psychologist has to say about it.

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    Why take a gap year?

    Episode 191205 / 05 Dec 2019

    Does delaying university to travel help you get a job in the future?

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    The joy of free diving

    Episode 191128 / 28 Nov 2019

    Diving without air

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    Can robots care for us?

    Episode 191121 / 21 Nov 2019

    Robots with a heart?

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    Mental health in the workplace

    Episode 191114 / 14 Nov 2019

    How small changes can make a big difference to people with mental health issues at work.

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    Why do people like sad music?

    Episode 191107 / 01 Nov 2019

    What goes on in the brain and the body when we listen to Adele?

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    Why's it called 'mother tongue'?

    Episode 191031 / 31 Oct 2019

    Do we only learn language from our mother?

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    Is it a good idea to have a tattoo?

    Episode 191024 / 24 Oct 2019

    Are you prepared to be the canvas for a painting that might last forever?

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    Working for free

    Episode 191017 / 17 Oct 2019

    Internships: exploitation or valuable work experience?

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    Can you tell when someone is lying?

    Episode 191010 / 10 Oct 2019

    How lying helps society

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    Are you good at complaining?

    Episode 191003 / 30 Sep 2019

    Consumers are less keen to keep quiet when they are not happy with the service.

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    Does your name start with the wrong letter?

    Episode 190926 / 26 Sep 2019

    Learn about alphabet disadvantage!

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    Faking it: Computers that spot a real smile

    Episode 190919 / 19 Sep 2019

    Something to smile about

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    Is tourism harmful?

    Episode 190912 / 12 Sep 2019

    Everyone loves a holiday, but what damage can tourists do? Sam and Rob find out.

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    The future of food

    Episode 190905 / 05 Sep 2019

    How are we going to feed ourselves?

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    How can I help the environment?

    Episode 190829 / 29 Aug 2019

    Being more environmentally friendly

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    Does your age affect your political views?

    Episode 190822 / 22 Aug 2019

    Age and political views

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    Episode 190815 / 15 Aug 2019

    Libra, Bitcoin... would you invest in digital money?

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    The art of tipping

    Episode 190808 / 08 Aug 2019

    How much should you tip?

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    Coffee cups: Do you use your own?

    Episode 190801 / 01 Aug 2019

    Does recycling coffee cups make a difference?

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    Are you at risk from online fraud?

    Episode 190725 / 25 Jul 2019

    Falling for fraud

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    Is shame always bad?

    Episode 190718 / 18 Jul 2019

    Why is 'shame' the emotion of now?

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    Do you care if you're poor when you're old?

    Episode 190711 / 11 Jul 2019

    Are you planning for a comfortable retirement?

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    Women’s football

    Episode 190704 / 04 Jul 2019

    FIFA Women's World Cup 2019

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    The business of eSports

    Episode 190627 / 27 Jun 2019

    Game on for eSports!

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    Can death metal bring you joy?

    Episode 190620 / 20 Jun 2019

    Does fast, loud, aggressive, guitar-based music inspire violence or happiness?

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    Is talking on the phone embarrassing?

    Episode 190613 / 13 Jun 2019

    Is talking on the telephone embarrassing?

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    Women and motorbikes

    Episode 190606 / 06 Jun 2019

    Why do we associate motorcycles with men?

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    Vampire shoppers

    Episode 190530 / 30 May 2019

    Shopping online in the middle of the night is becoming popular but, is it always a good idea?

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    What to do when you can't sleep

    Episode 190523 / 23 May 2019

    Is there anything more frustrating?

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    Being slim: Is it in our genes?

    Episode 190516 / 16 May 2019

    Studies have shown that about 40% of the variation in a person's weight is influenced by genes.

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    Can we trust a smart speaker?

    Episode 190509 / 09 May 2019

    Do smart speakers make life easier or spy on you?

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    Evolution and anxiety

    Episode 190502 / 02 May 2019

    Has anxiety been good for humans?

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    The rise in popularity of the comfy shoe

    Episode 190425 / 25 Apr 2019

    Everyone's wearing them!

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    Rabbits: cuddly friends or cunning tricksters?

    Episode 190418 / 18 Apr 2019

    Neil and Rob talk about the animal symbol of Easter in literature and in the real world.

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    The decluttering trend

    Episode 190411 / 11 Apr 2019

    Is it time you decluttered?

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    Why do we feel awkward?

    Episode 190404 / 04 Apr 2019

    Do you know that cringey feeling?

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    Side hustles

    Episode 190328 / 28 Mar 2019

    Do you have a second job?

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    How your eyes predict your personality

    Episode 190321 / 21 Mar 2019

    Be careful where you look!

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    Debating veganism: How to change someone's opinion

    Episode 190314 / 14 Mar 2019

    Debating veganism

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    What's on your to-do list?

    Episode 190307 / 07 Mar 2019

    How much do you enjoy doing housework and paying bills?

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    Episode 190228 / 28 Feb 2019

    Why are these magical creatures back in fashion?

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    Are food allergies more common now?

    Episode 190221 / 21 Feb 2019

    Are you allergic to anything?

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    Dating apps

    Episode 190214 / 14 Feb 2019

    How effective are dating apps when you're looking for a romantic partner?

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    High heels

    Episode 190207 / 07 Feb 2019

    What's so special about these uncomfortable shoes?

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    Improving your memory

    Episode 190131 / 31 Jan 2019

    How good is your memory?

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    Concepts of happiness

    Episode 190124 / 24 Jan 2019

    What makes you happy?

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    Is music getting faster?

    Episode 190117 / 17 Jan 2019

    New technology might be putting an end to instrumental introductions to pop songs

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    The benefits of schadenfreude

    Episode 190110 / 10 Jan 2019

    What's the positive side of feeling good when bad things happen to people you envy?

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    Could you be flexitarian?

    Episode 190103 / 03 Jan 2019

    Would you all but give up eating meat to save the environment?

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    Michelle Obama on empowerment

    Episode 181227 / 27 Dec 2018

    The former US First Lady and her mission to inspire women

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    Why we push buttons

    Episode 181220 / 20 Dec 2018

    Are you a button presser?

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    The teenage brain

    Episode 181213 / 13 Dec 2018

    Inside a teenager's head

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    Why does 'x' mean 'kiss'?

    Episode 181206 / 06 Dec 2018

    What does 'x' really mean?

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    Photo-friendly food

    Episode 181129 / 29 Nov 2018

    Making good-looking food

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    The smell of coffee

    Episode 181122 / 22 Nov 2018

    How important is the smell of coffee?

  • completed

    What chickens can teach us about hierarchies

    Episode 181115 / 09 Nov 2018

    What can chickens teach us about organisation?

  • completed


    Episode 181108 / 08 Nov 2018

    Can people feel lonely in a crowded place?

  • completed


    Episode 181101 / 01 Nov 2018

    Neil and Sam discuss objectification. What is it and is there really a 'perfect body'?

  • completed

    How creative should we be?

    Episode 181025 / 25 Oct 2018

    Rob and Neil discuss the must-have skill of the future

  • completed

    What is scumbro?

    Episode 181018 / 18 Oct 2018

    Paying a lot to look a mess!

  • completed

    Curbing our plastic addiction

    Episode 181011 / 11 Oct 2018

    Could we live without plastic? We discuss the issues and the progress that's being made.

  • completed

    Describing Generation Z

    Episode 181004 / 04 Oct 2018

    Have you grown up with social media?

  • completed

    High-vis fashion

    Episode 180927 / 27 Sep 2018

    A bright new fashion trend

  • completed

    Snowflakes and taking offence

    Episode 180920 / 20 Sep 2018

    The word snowflake has taken on a new meaning. We discuss this new term without causing offence!

  • completed

    Dating apps: How our brains react

    Episode 180913 / 13 Sep 2018

    What does our brain tell us to do when faced with a dating app?

  • completed

    Beating a sedentary lifestyle

    Episode 180906 / 06 Sep 2018

    Do you lead a sedentary lifestyle? Learn what made people more active in Finland.

  • completed

    Street food: Why is it becoming so popular?

    Episode 180830 / 30 Aug 2018

    Why is street food becoming more popular in the UK?

  • completed

    Are smartphones killing cameras?

    Episode 180823 / 10 Aug 2018

    Do people still buy cameras when everybody is keen on selfies?

  • completed


    Episode 180816 / 16 Aug 2018

    Why do men want to be fathers?

  • completed

    A tall story

    Episode 180809 / 09 Aug 2018

    Does being taller mean you earn more at work?

  • completed

    How intelligent is the octopus?

    Episode 180802 / 02 Aug 2018

    Learn more about this fascinating animal

  • completed

    Not going out

    Episode 180726 / 26 Jul 2018

    Why are countryside walks no longer so popular?

  • completed

    Is technology always the solution?

    Episode 180719 / 19 Jul 2018

    Why technology doesn't always know best

  • completed

    Smartphone addiction

    Episode 180712 / 12 Jul 2018

    Smartphone addiction

  • completed

    Surf and turf

    Episode 180705 / 05 Jul 2018

    Surf and turf shopping

  • completed

    Broken hearts

    Episode 180628 / 28 Jun 2018

    A healthy heart

  • completed

    Is gaming a sport?

    Episode 180621 / 21 Jun 2018

    The Fortnite phenomenon

  • completed

    Are you excited about the World Cup?

    Episode 180614 / 14 Jun 2018

    Are you a football fan?

  • completed

    Talking to machines

    Episode 180607 / 07 Jun 2018

    Our new virtual assistants

  • completed

    Taking risks

    Episode 180531 / 31 May 2018

    Risky language

  • completed

    Women in space

    Episode 180524 / 24 May 2018

    Gender equality

  • completed

    Football songs: Why are crowds so quiet these days?

    Episode 180517 / 17 May 2018

    Why are football fans so quiet nowdays?

  • completed

    Hangry: are you angry when you're hungry?

    Episode 180510 / 10 May 2018

    hungry + angry = hangry

  • completed

    Perfume: what your smell says about you

    Episode 180503 / 03 May 2018

    What does your smell say about you?

  • completed

    Is the internet good or bad?

    Episode 180426 / 26 Apr 2018

    Is the internet a positive thing?

  • completed

    Lying to children

    Episode 180419 / 19 Apr 2018

    Is it good to lie?

  • completed

    Are you a foodie?

    Episode 180412 / 12 Apr 2018

    How much do you know about the food you eat?

  • completed

    The future of marriage

    Episode 180405 / 05 Apr 2018

    Marriage decline

  • completed

    Who needs a manbag?

    Episode 180329 / 29 Mar 2018

    A bag for a man

  • completed


    Episode 180322 / 22 Mar 2018

    A mini-adventure

  • completed

    How do you learn to speak a language?

    Episode 180315 / 15 Mar 2018

    Words to learn

  • completed

    Robot therapist

    Episode 180308 / 08 Mar 2018

    Would you tell a robot your deepest secrets?

  • completed

    Hello, hello

    Episode 180301 / 01 Mar 2018

    The history of the humble ‘hello’

  • completed

    Swimming like a mermaid

    Episode 180222 / 22 Feb 2018

    A new approach to swimming

  • completed

    The rise of drones

    Episode 180215 / 15 Feb 2018

    Are drones taking off?

  • completed

    Transport of the future

    Episode 180208 / 08 Feb 2018

    Future travel

  • completed

    What’s in a name?

    Episode 180201 / 01 Feb 2018

    A new wedding trend?

  • completed

    Rise of the machines

    Episode 180125 / 25 Jan 2018

    Are robots and artificial intelligence taking over from humans? Dan and Neil discuss the rise of the machines

  • completed

    A dry January?

    Episode 180118 / 18 Jan 2018

    Are you trying to give up drinking this month? Catherine and Rob discuss abstaining and the benefits of a dry January

  • completed

    Ethical coffee

    Episode 180111 / 11 Jan 2018

    Would you pay more for coffee if you knew it was doing some good? Dan and Catherine discuss the pros and cons of ethically produced coffee.

  • completed

    Bitcoin: digital crypto-currency

    Episode 180104 / 04 Jan 2018

    Bitcoin is here and it's generating interest. Is that a good or bad thing? Dan and Neil discuss the pros and cons of this digital currency.

  • completed

    Is 'man flu' real?

    Episode 171228 / 28 Dec 2017

    Can science prove the existence of 'man flu' or are men just big babies? Dan and Neil discuss all this and give you six useful items of vocabulary.

  • completed

    The perfect Santa

    Episode 171221 / 21 Dec 2017

    A popular job at this time of year is playing the part of Santa. But what does it take to be the perfect Father Christmas? Neil and Dan discuss whether it's a role that would suit Dan.

  • completed

    Should schoolchildren have jobs?

    Episode 171214 / 14 Dec 2017

    The number of schoolchildren doing part-time jobs in the UK has fallen. Is that a good thing? Neil and Dan discuss the pros and cons of working while you're still at school.

  • completed

    What do you buy when you're sad?

    Episode 171207 / 07 Dec 2017

    Have you ever bought something when you're sad and then regretted it later?

  • completed

    Do you need to upgrade your phone?

    Episode 171130 / 30 Nov 2017

    How old is your smartphone?

  • completed

    Why more of us are getting fitter together

    Episode 171123 / 23 Nov 2017

    More people are going to the gym to get fitter but why?

  • completed

    How do you like your coffee?

    Episode 171116 / 16 Nov 2017

    Does a cafe's free wi-fi encourage you to go in and buy a coffee?

  • completed

    Pedestrianisation - is it good for cities and towns?

    Episode 171102 / 02 Nov 2017

    There’s a fresh interest in keeping cars out of cities. Is it a good idea?

  • completed

    Too much sugar

    Episode 171026 / 26 Oct 2017

    Are you aware of how much of the sweet stuff you eat?

  • completed

    What’s wetiquette?

    Episode 171019 / 19 Oct 2017

    When you have to be polite and courteous ... even when you swim!

  • completed

    Why pay for bottled water?

    Episode 171012 / 12 Oct 2017

    Can you tell the difference between the taste of bottled water and tap water?

  • completed

    Do adults exercise enough?

    Episode 171005 / 05 Oct 2017

    Neil and Rob talk about vigorous exercise – and whether adults take enough of it!

  • completed

    What can't computers do?

    Episode 170928 / 28 Sep 2017

    Are you afraid of machines that copy human intelligent behaviour?

  • completed

    The wonders of hair

    Episode 170921 / 21 Sep 2017

    Did you know that when the entire body is aging hair can grow stronger?

  • completed

    Having a row or asking for directions?

    Episode 170914 / 14 Sep 2017

    Tim and Neil talk about interactions that can be misunderstood by people of different backgrounds

  • completed


    Episode 170907 / 07 Sep 2017

    A policeman, a pilot, a chef - what's our fascination with uniforms?

  • completed

    Laughing could kill you

    Episode 170831 / 31 Aug 2017

    Tim and Neil laugh their head off as they teach you useful vocabulary

  • completed

    Would the world stop without clocks?

    Episode 170824 / 24 Aug 2017

    Rob and Neil are in a hurry to discuss our concept of time and teach you new words

  • completed

    What makes a video go viral?

    Episode 170817 / 17 Aug 2017

    Rob and Neil discuss what makes people want to share a video

  • completed

    Fancy dress funerals

    Episode 170810 / 10 Aug 2017

    Have you ever thought about what sort of funeral you would like to have?

  • completed

    It's good to talk

    Episode 170803 / 03 Aug 2017

    The treatments that help people stay mentally healthy

  • completed

    How honest are we?

    Episode 170727 / 27 Jul 2017

    Have you ever cheated an honesty box? Is honesty really the best policy?

  • completed

    You think you're invisible?

    Episode 170720 / 20 Jul 2017

    Do you not want to be seen?

  • completed

    How do pets navigate?

    Episode 170713 / 13 Jul 2017

    How do lost cats and dogs find their way home?

  • completed


    Episode 170706 / 06 Jul 2017

    Want to improve your life?

  • completed

    Faces and first impressions

    Episode 170629 / 29 Jun 2017

    Can we trust our first impressions?

  • completed

    Built to fail?

    Episode 170622 / 22 Jun 2017

    Why do we throw away so much technology?

  • completed


    Episode 170615 / 15 Jun 2017

    Relax, slow down and breathe. Neil and Catherine explore mindfulness - what it is and what benefits it offers

  • completed

    Is happiness genetic?

    Episode 170608 / 08 Jun 2017

    Is happiness in the DNA?

  • completed

    Water Burial

    Episode 170601 / 01 Jun 2017

    A new way to rest in peace

  • completed

    Could you go vegan?

    Episode 170525 / 25 May 2017

    Could you give up meat and animal products?

  • completed

    Goldfish, brains and phones

    Episode 170518 / 18 May 2017

    Do people now have shorter attention spans than goldfish?

  • completed

    How much food do you waste?

    Episode 170511 / 11 May 2017

    Food waste is a major problem

  • completed

    The super rich

    Episode 170504 / 04 May 2017

    The rich are getting richer

  • completed

    Miraculous survival

    Episode 170427 / 27 Apr 2017

    How did a man fall from a 47 storey skyscraper and survive?

  • completed


    Episode 170420 / 20 Apr 2017

    Why do we sigh?

  • completed

    Multiple Careers

    Episode 170413 / 13 Apr 2017

    What's behind the trend for having more than one career?

  • completed

    Food and mood

    Episode 170406 / 06 Apr 2017

    How does your food affect your mood?

  • completed

    Dog detectors

    Episode 170330 / 30 Mar 2017

    Can dogs be used to detect cancer?

  • completed

    The rise of the emoji

    Episode 170323 / 23 Mar 2017

    Are you an emoji person? We explore how simple smiley faces have become powerful communication tools.

  • completed

    What your lunch says about you

    Episode 170316 / 16 Mar 2017

    What do you eat for lunch? Sandwiches are the most popular lunchtime meal in the UK, but why?

  • completed

    Mermaids – Fact or fiction?

    Episode 170309 / 09 Mar 2017

    Are mermaids real?

  • completed

    Life expectancy

    Episode 170302 / 02 Mar 2017

    Can humanity really breach the 90 year limit?

  • completed

    Gun control without guns

    Episode 170223 / 23 Feb 2017

    Gun control with no guns? How is that possible? Join Dan and Neil to find out.

  • completed

    How romance ruined love

    Episode 170216 / 16 Feb 2017

    Neil and Dan discuss romanticism

  • completed

    Can you trust your own eyes?

    Episode 170209 / 09 Feb 2017

    Catherine and Neil discuss why the police and the legal system are concerned about eyewitness testimony

  • completed

    Why do cities make us rude?

    Episode 170202 / 02 Feb 2017

    Catherine and Neil discuss how the pressures of modern living are making us hostile to each other

  • completed

    Family history

    Episode 170126 / 26 Jan 2017

    Why are so many people obsessed with learning about their family history? Neil and Catherine talk about genealogy

  • completed

    Life on the edge

    Episode 170119 / 19 Jan 2017

    The increased study of extremophile microbes has revealed a lot about what is and is not needed to sustain life on Earth

  • completed

    What's your superpower?

    Episode 170112 / 12 Jan 2017

    Why are we so fascinated with the superheroes that populate our cinema screens and comic books?

  • completed


    Episode 170105 / 05 Jan 2017

    Alice and Neil discuss whether we would miss driving as driverless cars are tested in cities around the world

  • completed

    Introvert... and proud!

    Episode 161229 / 29 Dec 2016

    What’s your personality type? If you are an introvert you’re in good company; Barack Obama, JK Rowling are introverts...

  • completed

    Why do crazes take off?

    Episode 161222 / 22 Dec 2016

    Why is it that some games, hobbies and activities become crazes while others don’t? Alice and Neil talk about their preferences

  • completed

    When do you feel sleepy?

    Episode 161215 / 15 Dec 2016

    Alice and Neil discuss circadian rhythms – the so-called body clock that influences an organism's daily cycle of changes

  • completed


    Episode 161208 / 08 Dec 2016

    Sophie and Neil discuss why the last pharaoh of Egypt still fascinates people today

  • completed

    Animal phobias

    Episode 161201 / 01 Dec 2016

    Why do we fear animals that pose no threat to us? Sophie and Neil discuss the reason why fear of spiders is so common

  • completed

    Women's right to vote

    Episode 161124 / 24 Nov 2016

    Neil and Alice talk about the defiant women who fought for their right to choose their representatives

  • completed

    Why we love trainers

    Episode 161117 / 17 Nov 2016

    Call them what you want – trainers, sneakers, tennis shoes – but why does everybody love them so much?

  • completed

    On your bike

    Episode 161110 / 10 Nov 2016

    Sophie and Neil discuss the bike's mass appeal, from helping to widen the gene pool to blazing a trail for the women’s movement

  • completed

    Hi, meet my online persona!

    Episode 161103 / 03 Nov 2016

    Sophie and Neil discuss social networks and why we often use different identities for different social media

  • completed

    How do you read your news?

    Episode 161027 / 27 Oct 2016

    Free, digital news is threatening traditional newspapers. Sophie and Neil discuss the pros and cons of news in print

  • completed

    Do opposites attract?

    Episode 161020 / 20 Oct 2016

    Why are we attracted to some people and not to others? Sophie and Neil discuss love at first sight

  • completed

    Is loneliness in our genes?

    Episode 161013 / 13 Oct 2016

    What is loneliness and why do we feel it? Sophie and Neil discuss how feeling lonely can help us to survive

  • completed

    Who do you think you are?

    Episode 161006 / 06 Oct 2016

    How do you see yourself and how do others see you? Alice and Neil discuss identity and how appearances can be deceptive

  • completed

    Does punctuation matter?

    Episode 160929 / 29 Sep 2016

    Why is punctuation important? Neil and Alice discuss rhetoric, commas and full stops.

  • completed

    Penicillin: breaking the mould

    Episode 160922 / 22 Sep 2016

    Alice and Neil discuss penicillin, the so-called wonder drug discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming

  • completed

    Global warming

    Episode 160915 / 15 Sep 2016

    What might the world look like if temperatures keep rising? Neil and Alice discuss the need to adapt to the changes ahead

  • completed

    Old tech

    Episode 160908 / 08 Sep 2016

    Did you ever own a Walkman or a record player? Alice and Neil discuss old tech and why the US Pentagon still uses floppy disks

  • completed


    Episode 160901 / 01 Sep 2016

    Neil and Alice discuss the differences between slang, jargon, and swearing, while teaching you some Cockney Rhyming Slang

  • completed

    Domestic chores

    Episode 160825 / 25 Aug 2016

    Do women clean the house more often than men? Alice and Neil discuss the topic and teach you a tidy amount of vocabulary

  • completed

    Have you walked off your pizza?

    Episode 160818 / 18 Aug 2016

    Is food labelling clear enough to help us make healthy choices? Alice and Neil discuss chocolate chip muffins along with some other tasty vocabulary

  • completed

    How to cure writer's block

    Episode 160811 / 11 Aug 2016

    Who were the Muses and how did they help the creative process? Neil and Alice discuss how to be more creative

  • completed

    Is English changing?

    Episode 160804 / 04 Aug 2016

    Will we still be speaking in an English we recognise in a thousand years' time? Alice and Neil make some educated guesses!

  • completed

    Heritage sites

    Episode 160728 / 28 Jul 2016

    Neil and Alice discuss the threat to The Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon, and the Inca city of Machu Picchu in Peru

  • completed

    Are we there yet?

    Episode 160721 / 21 Jul 2016

    Why do some weeks just fly by but sometimes minutes can seem like hours? Neil and Alice discuss our perception of time

  • completed

    Cities of the future

    Episode 160714 / 14 Jul 2016

    What will the cities of the future look like, and will we enjoy living in them? Alice and Neil discuss Neil's attempt at town planning

  • completed


    Episode 160707 / 07 Jul 2016

    Why is the disease diabetes on the rise? Alice and Neil talk about the role that diet has to play in this global health problem

  • completed

    Get on with it!

    Episode 160630 / 30 Jun 2016

    Why do we procrastinate? Rob and Alice discuss why it can be difficult to get on with tasks

  • completed

    Who would you imitate?

    Episode 160623 / 23 Jun 2016

    Why do we like to impersonate people? Neil tries out his best impression of Elvis while teaching you some related vocabulary

  • completed

    How to prepare for an exam

    Episode 160616 / 16 Jun 2016

    Alice and Rob consider which study techniques are good and which aren't. Does sleeping with a book under your pillow help?

  • completed

    Young and in business

    Episode 160609 / 09 Jun 2016

    Young entrepreneurs are appearing everywhere. Alice and Rob discuss whether grey hair is best

  • completed

    Do as I say, not as I do

    Episode 160602 / 02 Jun 2016

    Why do people often say one thing and do another? Alice and Rob ask how far hypocrisy is actually part of who we are

  • completed

    Could you be an astronaut?

    Episode 160526 / 26 May 2016

    Do you have what it takes to go to space? Alice and Rob discuss the challenges of a job thousands of people are keen on

  • completed

    Conspiracy theories

    Episode 160519 / 19 May 2016

    Do you believe men walked on the Moon? Alice and Rob discuss why some people are suspicious about everything

  • completed

    Have you got too much stuff?

    Episode 160512 / 12 May 2016

    You've decluttered and tidied but could you live life free of stuff? Alice and Rob discuss why we give objects emotional value

  • completed

    How bad is booze?

    Episode 160505 / 05 May 2016

    Are you a teetotaler or a drinker? Rob and Alice discuss what risk to your health regular drinking may have

  • completed

    Is chivalry dead?

    Episode 160428 / 28 Apr 2016

    What does it take to impress the ladies in the 21st century? Neil and Alice discuss knights in shining armour

  • completed

    Never too old

    Episode 160421 / 21 Apr 2016

    Is retirement the end of everything or just a door for new opportunities? Alice and Rob talk about aging

  • completed

    Do you think for yourself?

    Episode 160414 / 14 Apr 2016

    Do you always agree with what most people in your group say? Neil and Sophie discuss staff meetings.

  • completed

    Brain training

    Episode 160407 / 07 Apr 2016

    Neil and Sophie discuss the health benefits of being able to speak two languages fluently. And Neil... speaks Japanese!

  • completed

    Is social media a distraction?

    Episode 160331 / 31 Mar 2016

    How often do you check your phone? Neil and Sophie discuss how social media is changing the way we interact.

  • completed


    Episode 160324 / 24 Mar 2016

    Sophie and Neil discover that soil has some surprising qualities and discuss how growing food can be therapeutic too

  • completed

    What's in a fairy tale?

    Episode 160317 / 17 Mar 2016

    Sophie and Neil talk about traditional fairy tales for the adult market and teach you some magical vocabulary

  • completed

    Corporate team building

    Episode 160310 / 10 Mar 2016

    Neil and Sophie discuss the growing industry of team building – from zombie bootcamps to horse training for executives.

  • completed

    Life on Mars

    Episode 160303 / 03 Mar 2016

    Neil and Sophie discuss Mars, the fourth rock from the Sun

  • completed

    It's all in the genes

    Episode 160225 / 25 Feb 2016

    Neil and Sophie talk about gene editing, designer babies and how many errors Neil might have in his genetic code.

  • completed

    Giving away your fortune

    Episode 160218 / 18 Feb 2016

    How generous are you? Neil and Sophie discuss Mark Zuckerberg and what it takes to be a modern-day philanthropist.

  • completed

    How would you like to pay?

    Episode 160211 / 11 Feb 2016

    Are the days of paying by cash for a latte or a newspaper nearly gone? Alice and Neil discuss Neil's fondness for loose change...

  • completed

    How do you like your tea?

    Episode 160204 / 04 Feb 2016

    Tea comes in different forms – milky, sweet or spicy. Alice and Neil discuss how this Asian leaf conquered the world.

  • completed

    The commute

    Episode 160128 / 28 Jan 2016

    Train, car, bicycle ... Hundreds of millions of us make the same journey day in day out. Take a hike with Alice and Neil and learn new vocabulary.

  • completed

    Are we afraid of food?

    Episode 160121 / 21 Jan 2016

    Are food allergies on the increase and if so, why? Neil and Alice talk about the growing fear of food and teach new words.

  • completed

    Is modern life making us tired?

    Episode 160114 / 14 Jan 2016

    Are artificial lights and late night TV ruining our sleep? Neil and Alice discuss the issue and teach you related vocabulary.

  • completed

    Asking the right questions

    Episode 160107 / 07 Jan 2016

    What does it take to be a good interviewer? Neil and Alice discuss TV chat show hosts and teach you some related vocabulary.

  • completed

    The way we look

    Episode 151231 / 31 Dec 2015

    How much does appearance really matter? Neil and Alice discuss fitness and New Year's resolutions

  • completed

    Christmas kindness

    Episode 151224 / 24 Dec 2015

    Some families struggle to buy even food and can’t afford presents. Neil and Alice discuss how some charities are helping those in need.

  • completed

    Why do we take risks?

    Episode 151217 / 17 Dec 2015

    Alice and Finn talk about the passion some people have for danger and the unseen threats we face every day

  • completed

    Is student life all good?

    Episode 151210 / 10 Dec 2015

    Alice and Neil discuss the psychological pressures of going to university. They also teach some related vocabulary.

  • completed

    Robin Hood

    Episode 151203 / 03 Dec 2015

    Neil and Alice discuss the long-lasting appeal of this man with a bow and how he has changed over the centuries

  • completed

    How much is your spouse worth?

    Episode 151126 / 26 Nov 2015

    Do you know how much your partner earns? Is he or she in debt? Would this make you love them less?

  • completed

    100 Women

    Episode 151119 / 19 Nov 2015

    The BBC broadcasts a season of programmes discussing women's issues around the world

  • completed

    What makes us laugh?

    Episode 151112 / 12 Nov 2015

    Are you good at telling jokes? What makes a good comedian?

  • completed

    The impact of plastic

    Episode 151105 / 05 Nov 2015

    Should we all pay for supermarket plastic bags? Neil and Alice take a look at the environmental impact of plastic and teach you some related words.

  • completed

    Shakespeare in plain English

    Episode 151029 / 29 Oct 2015

    Should the difficult language of Shakespeare be 'translated' into plain English?

  • completed

    New transport on two wheels

    Episode 151022 / 22 Oct 2015

    The bicycle is the most popular form of two-wheeled transport in the world, but could we all soon be using hoverboards? Listen to Neil and Finn's conversation and learn some new words.

  • completed

    Will robots take our jobs?

    Episode 151015 / 15 Oct 2015

    If you are sitting at a desk or answering the phone, stop for a moment and ask: could a robot or machine do this job better? Neil and Finn discuss the future of our jobs.

  • completed

    Do we read to show off?

    Episode 151008 / 08 Oct 2015

    Neil and Alice discuss what kind of book people like to be seen reading. Do you like to impress people with a classic book in your hands?

  • completed

    Summer-born kids

    Episode 151001 / 01 Oct 2015

    Does being born in the summer reduce your chance of going to university?

  • completed

    The Earth's core

    Episode 150924 / 24 Sep 2015

    Take a trip with Rob and Alice to find out about the Earth’s core. They’ll discuss how hot it is – and whether there are any dinosaurs living there!

  • completed

    The meaning of clothes

    Episode 150917 / 17 Sep 2015

    Do you dress formally or casually? Do you choose trendy items or old comfortable ones? Rob and Will talk about the meaning of clothes.

  • completed

    The Proms

    Episode 150910 / 10 Sep 2015

    It's been described as the world's largest and most democratic classical music festival. Neil and Finn guide you through the BBC Proms

  • completed

    Is knuckle cracking good for you?

    Episode 150903 / 03 Sep 2015

    What an awful sound - cracking your knuckles! Listen in to Rob and Neil to find out if it's a useful skill or just an annoying habit

  • completed

    Evolution before Darwin

    Episode 150827 / 27 Aug 2015

    Was Charles Darwin the only man with ideas about evolution? Rob and Neil talk about someone else who discovered it first.

  • completed


    Episode 150820 / 20 Aug 2015

    What are the modern day dilemmas in using a lift? Rob and Neil discuss the awkwardness and irritation of being in one

  • completed

    Compulsory voting

    Episode 150813 / 13 Aug 2015

    Should young people be made to vote in elections or should we choose? We discuss the ideas behind compulsory voting

  • completed


    Episode 150806 / 08 Aug 2015

    What do we need our chins for? Rob and Neil discuss how we got them and what our chins say about us

  • completed

    Why do gibbons sing duets?

    Episode 150730 / 30 Jul 2015

    Why do gibbons sing duets and what has this got to do with the evolution of the human language?

  • completed

    Are models too skinny?

    Episode 150723 / 23 Jul 2015

    Skinny models: What does the law say about walking the catwalk?

  • completed

    Is a game just a game?

    Episode 150716 / 16 Jul 2015

    The dangers of computer games. How good are they for our health?

  • completed

    The wonder of blood

    Episode 150709 / 09 Jul 2015

    It's amazing! What part of our body have scientists discovered can heal and help us?

  • completed

    Why did Singapore ban gum?

    Episode 150702 / 02 Jul 2015

    Do you chew gum and what do you do with it when you've finished? Listen to Rob and Finn discussing the history and chemical properties of gum and why it's messing up our streets whilst explaining some related vocabulary

  • completed

    Food banks

    Episode 150625 / 25 Jun 2015

    Food banks provide food to people in the UK who can't afford to buy their own. Rob and Finn discuss this how they work and how they help many of the country's poorest

  • completed

    The teenage brain

    Episode 150618 / 18 Jun 2015

    Listen to Neil and Rob discussing mood swings, risk taking, and why people make fun of teenagers, while they also explore some related vocabulary.

  • completed

    The Outernet

    Episode 150611 / 11 Jun 2015

    How can remote parts of the world get access to the internet? Neil and Catherine discuss a new idea for spreading knowledge

  • completed

    Is aggression useful?

    Episode 150604 / 04 Jun 2015

    What makes us angry and why is aggression useful? Neil and Catherine discuss human behaviour.

  • completed

    Are beards back to stay?

    Episode 150528 / 28 May 2015

    Big bushy beards have become so fashionable that there's now an art exhibition dedicated to them

  • completed

    Is a door just a door?

    Episode 150521 / 21 May 2015

    A London apartment block has front and back entrances for private and social housing - or so-called rich and poor doors. Does it make sense to you? Listen to a discussion whilst learning some housing-related vocabulary

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    The first space walk

    Episode 150514 / 14 May 2015

    Fifty years ago, on 18 March 1965, Soviet astronaut Alexei Leonov took the first space walk. Listen to Rob and Neil describing the struggles of that ground-breaking space mission whilst explaining some related vocabulary.

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    Wireless furniture for phones

    Episode 150507 / 07 May 2015

    Furniture with built-in wireless charging technology - like a coffee table is now being sold. 'Built-in' means the technology is included as part of the table. So you just pop your phone on the table, and technology does the rest!

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    Saving China's elephants

    Episode 150430 / 30 Apr 2015

    Many animals face extinction. But people are realising that they must act now to stop further losses. A scheme to save the Asian elephant in China could provide an answer.

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    Life without music

    Episode 150423 / 23 Apr 2015

    How does music make you feel? Research shows that it actually influences us more than we realise - whether we're at the movies, the supermarket, or down the pub

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    The story behind coffee

    Episode 150416 / 16 Apr 2015

    Coffee is now the most popular drink in the world. But what about the economics and politics of coffee production? It's as complicated as getting the right flavour in your cup

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    The sun

    Episode 150409 / 09 Apr 2015

    Rob and Neil put on their sunglasses to find out more about this special star and teach some related vocabulary. We promise you won’t be blinded with science!

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    The three-parent baby

    Episode 150402 / 02 Apr 2015

    The UK has become the first country to approve legislation allowing the creation of babies with genetic material from three people. Listen to Neil and Harry’s conversation and learn some related vocabulary.

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    A threat to London's artwork?

    Episode 150326 / 26 Mar 2015

    What are some art galleries banning to protect their paintings? Find out with Neil and Harry

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    Human microchips

    Episode 150319 / 19 Mar 2015

    An electronic device under your skin?! Workers in Sweden take part in experiment which allows them to get in and out of their office without a key, ID or password. Listen to Neil and Harry’s chat and learn some related vocabulary.

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    The two sides of Churchill

    Episode 150312 / 12 Mar 2015

    This year marks the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s death. He is known throughout the world for his role in defeating Nazi Germany but he also made mistakes. Listen to Neil and Mike’s discussion, and learn new vocabulary.

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    Poverty in a rich world

    Episode 150305 / 05 Mar 2015

    We live in a richer world. But the gap between rich and poor is still very wide in individual countries. How to change this? Listen to Rob and Harry’s discussion, and learn some related vocabulary.

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    The cost of life-saving vaccines

    Episode 150226 / 26 Feb 2015

    The price of vaccines has escalated and some poor countries are struggling to prevent children from catching certain life-threatening diseases, says Medecins Sans Frontieres. Listen to Rob and Neil’s discussion, and learn some related vocabulary.

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    Do you fear Artificial Intelligence?

    Episode 150219 / 19 Feb 2015

    Will thinking computers be the end of humans? Listen to Rob and Neil’s chat and learn some related vocabulary.

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    Should tourists go to Antarctica?

    Episode 150212 / 12 Feb 2015

    About 37,000 tourists are expected to visit Antarctica this season. But should they be going to a region with such a sensitive environment? Listen to Rob and Neil’s conversation and learn some new vocabulary.

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    Does your CV shine?

    Episode 150205 / 05 Feb 2015

    At a time when more people compete for fewer jobs, are you sure you present your skills and abilities well to a potential employer? Listen to Rob and Neil's conversation and learn some related vocabulary.

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    Are you big on small talk?

    Episode 150129 / 29 Jan 2015

    Going to a party where you don't know anyone? Listen to Rob and Neil's advice and learn some related vocabulary

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    Are computers making us dumb?

    Episode 150122 / 22 Jan 2015

    We use computers for everything nowadays. Are we forgetting our own abilities - and losing our talent? Listen to Rob and Neil's discussion, and learn some related vocabulary

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    Smokers to face one more ban

    Episode 150115 / 15 Jan 2015

    Smoking in cars with children might be banned in England. Listen to Neil and Rob's chat and learn some related vocabulary

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    Bullying or normal competition?

    Episode 150108 / 08 Jan 2015

    Is bullying just an attempt to give a bad name to what is part of human nature? Listen to Rob and Neil’s chat and learn some related vocabulary.

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    Time capsules

    Episode 150101 / 01 Jan 2015

    What would you put in your time capsule? Listen to Rob and Neil’s chat and learn new vocabulary

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    The Christmas Truce

    Episode 141225 / 25 Dec 2014

    When enemy soldiers sang together in WW1. Listen to Rob and Finn’s chat and learn some related vocabulary.

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    42 languages

    Episode 141218 / 18 Dec 2014

    The London school where students speak 42 different languages

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    Laughter is bad for you

    Episode 141211 / 11 Dec 2014

    Laughter isn't always the best medicine, says research

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    Cloud of suspicion

    Episode 141204 / 04 Dec 2014

    Are your pictures, documents and videos safe online? Listen to Rob and Finn's chat and learn new vocabulary

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    Sharing economy

    Episode 141127 / 27 Nov 2014

    Nowhere to park? How the sharing economy is changing the way we use our space

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    Can science fiction save the world?

    Episode 141120 / 20 Nov 2014

    How can science fiction help the world? Rob and Finn discuss a project which aims to inspire through stories of a bright future

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    Is eating meat killing our planet?

    Episode 141113 / 13 Nov 2014

    Why is eating meat bad news?

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    What makes a superhero?

    Episode 141106 / 06 Nov 2014

    Do real-life superheroes exist or are they just cartoon characters?

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    Cigarettes v e-cigarettes

    Episode 141030 / 30 Oct 2014

    Rob and Finn discuss the World Health Organisation's recommendations on e-cigarettes

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    The bitter taste of sugar

    Episode 141023 / 23 Oct 2014

    Should we eat less sugar? Listen to Rob and Neil and learn new vocabulary

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    How quickly can you learn English?

    Episode 141016 / 16 Oct 2014

    Is learning English getting easier? Find out what's new

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    Food waste

    Episode 141009 / 09 Oct 2014

    Why do we buy so much food and not eat it all? Learn more about food waste

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    Sleeping on the job

    Episode 141002 / 02 Oct 2014

    Is it right to sleep at work? Rob and Finn discuss the benefits of sleeping on the job.

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    The fame game

    Episode 140929 / 29 Sep 2014

    Is the way we see famous people a new thing? Learn about the first 'modern celebrity'.

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    Dealing with boredom

    Episode 140821 / 21 Aug 2014

    Bored? You're not alone. Rob and Finn discuss how to deal with boredom and teach some related vocabulary. We promise you won't be bored!