Show cover of DW Science Unscripted

DW Science Unscripted

From advances that will change our lives to offbeat oddities, Science unscripted keeps you abreast of developments in the realm of European science and technology news.


What was it like when the Earth formed? (And how could we ever know?)
Does that seem like an impossible question to answer? It sure does. Because you'd have to go back in time to answer it. Or you'd need 30 hours on the planet's most powerful telescope (James Webb).
18:51 07.12.23
Weekly roundup — Keep an eye out for bad science
Just about every study we talk about in this episode has a pretty significant caveat. Also, an emailed warning from a poet who chopped too much firewood.
29:56 03.12.23
Do younger siblings make you stupider?
A longitudinal US study shows that having a younger sibling will tend to lower your cognitive development. But the effect vanishes after child number three.
17:45 02.12.23
A proliferation of positive language is making science more confusing
In an unprecedented interview about a unique and novel study, an Austrian researcher explains why the first three adjectives you just read are part of a growing problem.
10:38 01.12.23
Fasting doesn't work as well when you're older. Why?
As you age, your body can get stuck in 'fasting mode,' leading to muscle loss and other problems. New research from Germany gives a clue at how to change that — and maybe live longer?
21:04 28.11.23
Weekly roundup — Let's increase our healthspan
Once in a while there's a surfeit of positive news in the field of medicine. This week was one of 'em.
29:55 26.11.23
Is eye contact rude?
A study on eye contact suggests it isn't aggressive, but actually improves conversation. So why don't we do it more?
16:53 24.11.23
Smartphone addiction, warring chimps & so little sulfur
Sometimes, improving pollution... makes global warming worse. Also, women are more addicted to their phones than men, chimpanzees use military strategy — and one of our new listeners didn't like us at first.
16:41 18.11.23
Climate change: We need cooler (genetically modified?) cows
One solution to unprecedented cattle die-offs: Modify cows so they can deal with record heat.
17:43 17.11.23
Weekly roundup — High temps & higher ground
The future of weather forecasting might have little to do with atmospheric physics. Also, our listeners had some really interesting things to say about a study on tattoos.
29:56 17.11.23
Weekly roundup — We hear you
As expected, you had things to say about our interview with a masculinity influencer. Also, when a dozen parakeets are squawking, how do they know who's speaking?
29:56 12.11.23
What do you think about people with tattoos?
If you're honest, you probably have an opinion on people with tattoos. And that makes you a lot like the police (and judges and juries).
18:19 11.11.23
How old will I be when I'm happiest?
A large, longitudinal study has some surprising conclusions about when we're most satisfied with our lives — and it's connected to how we humans tend to fill out questionnaires.
10:34 10.11.23
Weekly roundup — Music makes our hearts beat as one
A novel study out of Switzerland and Germany shows that human beings, under certain conditions, can end up synchronizing biologically — like a metronome.
29:56 28.10.23
WARNING: This interview is toxically masculine
A few episodes back we did a deep dive into the science behind a toxically masculine mind. At that point not one of the influencers we'd reached out to had agreed to be interviewed — and it seemed they never would. Then we got an unexpected email.
29:56 25.10.23
Weekly roundup — Making sense of human sound
Conor gets an email from a German island about his accent, Gabe does his best to make his mom 'proud,' and an in-studio experiment takes all of us to India.
29:56 08.10.23
What makes a language 'beautiful' (or not)?
You probably have an opinion on which language is the 'most beautiful.' And you're probably (objectively) wrong.
20:17 07.10.23
How long does it take for you to understand these words?
As we age, we become slower at connecting words with the imagery that represents them. The interesting part is why.
10:29 06.10.23
Weekly roundup — Run fast & live happy
A breakthrough in brain science for alcoholics (but not just them), a shoe tech revolution is underfoot, and the startling fact that living in a city means you're far more likely to suffer from depression.
29:56 01.10.23
The 'super shoe' debate & eight drunk monkeys
By delivering a gene to the brain, scientists appear to have 'cured' alcoholic primates of their booze lust. Also, why did the woman who shattered the marathon world record kiss her shoe as soon as she finished?
22:26 30.09.23
Mental health: Depression 30% more likely in a city
Why is it that people who live in an urban environment are 30%+ more likely to suffer depression than those in rural areas? And why does that rule just... absolutely not apply in developing countries?
08:28 29.09.23
Why do death tolls drop?
In the wake of natural catastrophes, the forensic work to identify the dead is critically important for loved ones' closure. But mistakes can be made.
08:20 25.09.23
Weekly roundup — Sometimes it's better to know
Humility, which is great to have, is also connected to whether you trust scientists (or people like Gabe and Conor). Also, what a tooth can tell us after a tragedy, and a fun study on what people do when they get a big lump sum of money.
29:56 24.09.23
What would you do with $10,000?
It sounds like a thereotical question. But for 200 lucky participants in a pretty novel study, it became very real.
13:47 23.09.23
'Moderate' knowledge leads to science skepticism
You'd think that the less someone knows, the more likely it is they'll buy in to misinformation. Right? Surprisingly, a new study suggests that, up to a point, it's actually worse to know more.
11:07 22.09.23
Weekly roundup — What you don't know [will] hurt you
Anxiety about the climate crisis actually drops as you learn more about it. Also, to avoid dying unnecessarily early, you may need to get a new job.
29:56 17.09.23
Risk of dying early rises 30% with 'precarious work'
Want to live longer? Sure, there's exercise and nutrition. But a new study makes a convincing case that a less 'precarious' work environment is the answer.
10:46 15.09.23
Deep inside the toxically masculine mind
What pops into your head when you hear the term toxic masculinity? You probably feel a strong response, but can you put it into words?
37:16 10.09.23
Weekly roundup — There's a first time for everything
On this week's show, we invite you to ponder roundworms in the human brain, a carbon tax that actually might have a chance and a way to inject insulin that uses music instead of a needle.
29:56 03.09.23
Is it time for a carbon tax on investors?
Recent data from the United States shows unequivocally that the rich are (by far) most responsible for CO2 emissions. Private jets, yachts...this is probably not new information. What might be new for you, however, is the role that investments play in all of this.
10:13 31.08.23

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