Each Predictor Podcast features one of our academic experts discussing current and future research in their specialist field. The podcasts are intended to provide a quick route to insider knowledge on new trends and upcoming key issues. The series covers a wide range of topics, from energy and archaeology to animal intelligence and food engineering.

The fortnightly podcasts are created by the University of Birmingham's Ideas Lab which provides content, access, talent and editorial experts for radio and TV documentary producers.

Latest podcasts: 

Professor Janice Thompson, Dr Gareth Wallace, Dr Carolyn Gregg, Shaleen Meelu, Mark Roscoe - Obesity Wars: Fitness versus Fatness (MP3 - 47.12 MB) 
First broadcast: 02/10/2014 - Read full transcript

Dr Paul Garwood - The Secrets of Stonehenge (MP3 - 8.61MB) 
First broadcast: 09/09/2014 - Read full transcript

Dr Moataz Attallah - 3D printing: the future of construction? (MP3 - 7.93MB)
First broadcast: 01/09/2014 - Read full transcript

To receive future episodes of this podcast, subscribe to the series. You can search for all previous podcasts by college.

Arts and Law

The Secrets of Stonehenge (MP3 - 8.61MB)
Dr Paul Garwood - read full transcript
First broadcast: 09/09/2014

Dr Richard Clay - 'Tearing up History' on BBC Four: Transferring academic research to the screen (MP3 - 24.68MB)
Dr Richard Clay - read full transcript
First broadcast: 30/04/2014

The 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth (MP3 - 8.66MB)
Professor Michael Dobson - read full transcript
First broadcast: 11/04/2014

People, Products, Pests and Pets (MP3 - 9.11MB)
Dr Alison Sealey and Dr Chris Pak - read full transcript
First broadcast: 17/03/2014

The First World War commemorations: Across Europe and into the future (MP3 - 11.4MB)
Dr Jonathan Boff - read full transcript
First broadcast: 27/01/2014

Maori Repatriation (MP3 - 10.93MB)
Dr Eliot Bates and Te Arikirangi Mamaku - read full transcript
First broadcast: 11/12/2013

Readings of extracts from Queen Elizabeth I’s letters (MP3 - 6.18MB)
Dr Mel Evans, Jose A. Perez Diez, Hannah Perrin - read full transcript
First broadcast: 03/10/2013

The Dialect of Queen Elizabeth I (MP3 - 9.07MB)
Dr Mel Evans - read full transcript
First broadcast: 03/09/2013

Ancient Greece and Rome in the modern world (MP3 - 12.9MB)
Dr Gideon White - read full transcript  
First broadcast: 13/05/2013

Cultural heritage, tourism and Ironbridge Gorge (MP3 - 12.5MB)
Professor Mike Robinson - read full transcript  
First broadcast: 18/03/2013

US Election 2012: Obama's Victory and What Happens Next (MP3 - 9.14MB)
Professor Scott Lucas - read full transcript 
First broadcast: 12/11/2012

The Crisis in Syria (MP3 - 8.6MB) 
Dr Benjamin Thomas White - read full transcript
First broadcast: 03/10/2012

The language of text messaging and social networks (MP3 - 13.7MB) 
Dr Caroline Tagg - read full transcript
First broadcast: 28/05/2012

48 frames per sec: challenging our emotional attachment to film (MP3 - 14.3MB) 
Dr James Walters - read full transcript
First broadcast: 14/05/2012

Everything you ever wanted to know about the word 'chav' (MP3 - 13.9MB) 
Dr Joe Bennett - read full transcript
First broadcast: 30/04/2012

Social exclusion and urban youth spiritualities (MP3 - 14.3MB) 
Dr Chris Shannahan -read full transcript view slideshow / watch video
First broadcast: 05/03/2012

Human Rights: noble concept or a shield for terrorists (MP3 14.1MB)
Dr Bharat Malkani - read full transcript
First broadcast: 06/02/2012

Discoveries provide evidence of a celestial procession at Stonehenge (MP3 - 10.0MB)
Professor Vince Gaffney - read full transcript
First broadcast: 26/11/2011

The changing face of Christianity in the UK (MP3 - 13.2MB)
Dr Andrew Davies - read full transcript
First broadcast: 14/11/2011

The exhibition of living foreign peoples in 19th Century Britain (MP3 - 13.8MB)
Dr Sadiah Qureshi - read full transcript
First broadcast: 31/10/2011

Life and Death in the 21st Century (MP3 - 13.2 MB)
Professor Jean McHale - read full transcript
First broadcast: 26/09/2011

First World War centenary - beyond Blackadder (MP3 - 14.3MB)
Dr Pierre Purseigle - read full transcript
First broadcast: 25/07/2011

Reclaiming St George (MP3 - 16.2MB) 
Professor Ewan Fernie
First broadcast: 04/04/2011

Medieval English literature (MP3 - 16.9MB)
Professor Wendy Scase 
First broadcast: 24/01/2011

Obama's first two years, the Tea Party and the rise of Sarah Palin (MP3 - 16.5MB)
Professor Scott Lucas
First broadcast: 29/11/2010

Digital Heritage (MP3 - 13MB)
Dr Henry Chapman
First broadcast: 14/06/2010

Engineering and Physical Sciences

3D printing: the future of construction? (MP3 - 7.93MB)
Dr Moataz Attallah - read full transcript
First broadcast: 01/09/2014

Anaphylaxis – could an app save your life? (MP3 - 8.12MB)
Dr Sandra Woolley - read full transcript
First broadcast: 28/07/2014

Breath to diagnose liver disease (MP3 - 10.88MB)
Dr Margaret O'Hara - read full transcript
First broadcast: 10/03/2014

Quantum Technologies (MP3 - 10.48MB)
Professor Andy Schofield - read full transcript
First broadcast: 27/09/2013

Human Computer Interaction (MP3 - 13.6MB)
Ben Cowan - read full transcript
First broadcast: 15/04/2013

'Green Chemistry' and artificial photosynthesis (MP3 - 12MB)
Dr Zoe Schnepp - read full transcript
First broadcast: 04/03/2013

Asteroseismology: using the natural music of the stars (MP3 - 14.5MB) 
Professor Bill Chaplin - read full transcript
First broadcast: 02/04/2012

Nuclear Power: what does the future hold? - six months on (MP3 - 4.3MB) 
Professor Martin Freer - read full transcript
First broadcast: 23/03/2012

Nuclear Power: What is the future? (MP3 - 13.9 MB)
Professor Martin Freer - read full transcript
First broadcast: 19/09/2011

Robots - the reality (MP3 - 13.8MB)
Dr Nick Hawes - read full transcript / view images
First broadcast: 08/08/2011

Mapping the underworld (MP3 - 16.6MB)
Dr Nicole Metje - read full transcript
First broadcast: 27/06/2011

Water scarcity (MP3 - 16.6MB)
Dr John Bridgeman
First broadcast: 07/03/2011

Cold Atom Physics (MP3 - 16.7MB) 
Professor Kai Bongs
First broadcast: 15/11/2010

Designing novel foods and novel food structures (MP3 - 15.8MB)
Dr Phil Cox
First broadcast: 26/07/2010

Life and Environmental Sciences

Obesity Wars: Fitness versus Fatness (MP3 - 47.12MB) 
Professor Janice Thompson, Dr Gareth Wallace, Dr Carolyn Gregg, Shaleen Meelu, Mark Roscoe - read full transcript
First Broadcast: 24/10/2014

When in drought - plants and water stress (MP3 - 8.26MB) 
Dr Laura Vickers - read full transcript
First Broadcast: 01/09/2014

A new-found dinosaur: discoveries from the Jurassic (MP3 - 8.47MB)
Dr Richard Butler - read full transcript
First Broadcast: 01/07/2014

‘In the zone’: Hyperfocus and ADHD (MP3 - 9.28MB)
Brandon Ashinoff - read full transcript
First Broadcast: 19/05/2014

Geoengineering: can man mimic volcanoes? (MP3 - 11.42MB)
Dr Francis Pope - read full transcript
First Broadcast: 03/03/2014

Cumulative culture in humans and great apes (MP3 - 9.47MB)
Dr Claudio Tennie - read full transcript
First Broadcast: 11/11/2013

Promoting Adolescent Physical Activity (MP3 - 9.30MB)
Professor Joan Duda - read full transcript
First Broadcast: 01/09/2013

Conflict and the city (MP3 - 9.14MB)
Dr Sara Fregonese - read full transcript
First Broadcast: 26/06/2013

Tuberculosis and drug discovery (MP3 - 9.16MB)
Dr Luke Alderwick - read full transcript
First Broadcast: 10/06/2013

Social harm and the structure of societies (MP3 - 14.1MB)
Dr Simon Pemberton - read full transcript
First Broadcast: 04/04/2013

Early development of eating in children (MP3 - 13.4MB)
Dr Jackie Blissett - read full transcript
First Broadcast: 24/01/2013

What the evidence tells us about the nature of Intimate Partner Violence (MP3 - 9.15MB)
Dr Louise Dixon - read full transcript
First broadcast: 30/10/2012

The launch of the BBC's Prehistoric Autopsy exhibition (MP3 - 3.48MB)
Professor Alice Roberts - read full transcript
First broadcast: 25/10/2012

Clever crows rely on a unique bird's eye view (MP3 - 5.35MB)
Dr Jackie Chappell - read full transcript
First broadcast: 22/10/2012

Greening up our cities: tackling air pollution with plants (MP3 - 13.3MB) 
Professor Rob MacKenzie - read full transcript
First broadcast: 06/08/2012

Can London 2012 deliver a youth sport participation legacy? (MP3 - 13.3MB) 
Professor Kathleen Armour - read full transcript
First broadcast: 23/07/2012

Urban ponds and biodiversity (MP3 - 14.2MB) 
Ian Thornhill - read full transcript
First broadcast: 25/06/2012

Nudges towards and away from obesity (MP3 - 13.7MB) 
Dr Frank Eves - read full transcript
First broadcast: 11/06/2012

Energy security: the importance of energy research in the UK (MP3 - 13.0MB) 
Dr Stefan Bouzarovski - read full transcript
First broadcast: 16/04/2012

Public engagement in science: stimulating a two-way dialogue (MP3 - 12.6MB)
Professor Alice Roberts - read full transcript
First broadcast: 20/02/2012

Creating pain in the lab: research into chronic functional pain (MP3 13.7MB) 
Dr Stuart Derbyshire - read full transcript
First broadcast: 28/11/2011

Starting out at university (MP3 - 13.5MB)
Dr Vikki Burns - read full transcript
First broadcast: 22/08/2011

Life (500 million years ago) (MP3 - 17.3MB)
Dr Imran Rahman - read full transcript / view images
First broadcast: 11/07/2011

Biogeochemistry (MP3 - 16.7MB)
Dr Joanna Renshaw - read full transcript
First broadcast: 30/05/2011

Laughing babies and ripping paper (MP3 - 7.1MB)
Dr Joe McLeery 
First broadcast: 04/03/2011

How stress affects our immune systems (MP3 - 17.1MB)
Dr Anna Phillps
First broadcast: 21/02/2011

Infection (MP3 - 16.5MB)
Dr Robin May
First broadcast: 20/09/2010

Emotional eating (MP3 - 16.1MB)
Dr Jackie Blissett
First broadcast: 23/08/2010

Intelligence (MP3 - 17.3MB)
Dr Jackie Chappell
First broadcast: 28/06/2010

Medical and Dental Sciences

Could we prevent rheumatoid arthritis? (MP3 - 7.99MB)
Professor Karim Raza - read full transcript
First broadcast: 01/09/2014

High risk organ donors: When is a risk worth taking? (MP3 - 7.68MB)
Dr Rajeev Desai - read full transcript
First broadcast: 09/07/2014

The history of smell
Professor Jonathan Reinarz - read full transcript
First broadcast: 17/06/2014

Aquaporin 4: water and our brains
Dr Alex Conner - read full transcript
First broadcast: 02/06/2014

Expedition physiology: The history of extreme medical research (MP3 - 10.4MB)
Dr Vanessa Heggie - read full transcript
First broadcast: 10/01/2014

Improving diagnostics for breast cancer patients (MP3 - 6.36MB)
Dr Jo Morris - read full transcript
First broadcast: 31/10/2013

Health beliefs and the placebo effect (MP3 - 8.75MB)
Dr Jonathan Shapiro - read full transcript
First broadcast: 28/05/2013

Heavy period treatment expected to change clinical practice (MP3 - 11.8MB)
Professor Janesh Gupta - read full transcript
First broadcast: 21/01/2013

Pioneering breast cancer research (MP3 - 12.7MB)
Dr Clare Davies - read full transcript
First broadcast: 19/12/2012

Dermatological conditions: helping GPs make the right diagnosis (MP3 13.0MB)
Julia Hyland and Dr June Jones - read full transcript
First broadcast: 12/12/2011

Catching it early: the critical first weeks of rheumatoid arthritis (MP3 - 13.7MB)
Dr Rebecca Stack - read full transcript
First broadcast: 17/10/2011

Value-based pricing (MP3 - 16.5MB)
Dr Amitava Banerjee 
First broadcast: 21/03/2011

Obesity in children (MP3 - 16.5MB)
Dr Eliot Marston
First broadcast: 04/10/2010

Social Sciences

Black British Intellectuals (MP3 - 9.59MB) 
Dr Paul Warmington - read full transcript
First broadcast: 17/02/2014

Migration governance and undocumented migrant children (MP3 - 10.94MB) 
Dr Nando Sigona - read full transcript
First broadcast: 03/09/2013

Eyewitness testimony in the GDR (MP3 - 13MB) 
Dr Sara Jones - read full transcript
First broadcast: 29/04/2013

Leveraging legacies from the London 2012 Olympics (MP3 - 13.4MB) 
Dr Jonathan Grix - read full transcript
First broadcast: 09/07/2012

Children's Lives: from the 18th century to the present day (MP3 - 14.1MB) 
Professor Ian Grosvenor - read full transcript
First broadcast: 19/03/2012

The future of local public services (MP3 - 13.MB)
Professor Tony Bovaird - read full transcript
First broadcast: 30/09/2011

9/11 ten years on - where are we now? (MP3 - 13.9MB)
Dr Chris Allen - read full transcript
First broadcast: 05/09/2011

Political Theory (MP3 - 16.1MB)
Dr Luis Cabrera - read full transcript
First broadcast: 13/06/2011

UK gives aid to Rwanda as Met police warn exiles of assassination threat (MP3 - 7.98MB)
Dr Danielle Beswick - read full transcript
First broadcast: 24/05/2011

Health and Social Care (MP3 - 15.9MB)
Professor Jon Glasby
First broadcast: 07/02/2011

Sport (MP3 - 16.6MB)
Dr Matt Bridge
First broadcast: 01/11/2010

Islamophobia (MP3 - 16.4MB)
Dr Chris Allen
First broadcast: 18/10/2010

Binge Drinking (MP3 - 14.0MB)
Professor Isabelle Szmigin
First broadcast: 06/09/2010

Money (MP3 - 16.6MB)
Professor Karen Rowlingson
First broadcast: 09/08/2010

Podcast series: 'What it means to be...'

Produced by the University's Ideas Lab, Dr Yan Wong hosts a special four-part series of lively round-table discussions on a variety of hot topics. Yan welcomes guests currently working at the sharp end of each issue, who join Birmingham academic experts to address questions such as: 'Do we have a distorted picture of how safe we are?’; ‘Is the word ‘fitness’ putting us off exercise?’; and ‘Is living in cities necessarily bad for the environment?'. 

What it means to be ethical (MP3 - 28.39MB)
First broadcast: 30/09/2013 - read full transcript

  • Marcus Belben (campaigner for fair and ethical trade)
  • Dr June Jones(a bioethicist from the University of Birmingham's School of Health and Population Sciences)
  • Dr Jonathan Shapiro(a health services researcher at the University of Birmingham)
  • Dr Sheelagh McGuinness(Birmingham Law School)

What it means to be sustainable (MP3 - 28.54MB)
First broadcast: 28/08/2013 - read full transcript

What it means to be safe (MP3 - 22.65MB)
First broadcast: 13/08/2013 - read full transcript

  • Phil Loach (Deputy Chief Fire Officer, West Midlands Fire Service)
  • Austin Rodrigues (Safer Places Officer, Birmingham South Community Safety Team)
  • Dr Chris Allen(lecturer in Social Policy in the University of Birmingham's Institute of Applied Social Studies)
  • Danielle Beswick (Lecturer in the University of Birmingham's School of Government and Society)

What it means to be fit (MP3 - 31.76MB)
First broadcast: 09/08/2013 - read full transcript

  • Alice Wright (Senior Dietician at the Heart of England Foundation Trust)
  • Professor Janice Thompson (Professor of Public Health Nutrition and Exercise in the University of Birmingham's School of Sport and Exercise Sciences)
  • Dr Ami Banerjee (Clinical Lecturer in Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Birmingham)
  • Dr Abd Tahrani (School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Birmingham)