In The Zone

Interesting chats with Mike and Josh

Gender and AI

Why are so many digital voices female? Why do we ‘prefer’ female voices to male? In this episode, Mike and Josh discuss the question of gender and AI, and some of the many factors that have led us to a world dominated by ‘female’ digital assistants such as Alexa, Siri and Cortana.

The death of the high street

Mike and Josh consider the death of the high street, and the impact of technology on the way we shop for goods. They also discuss the role of libraries, among other things, and how the market has slowly eroded the heart of many local communities. Is more regulation the answer? Download the latest episode to find out.

Academic self-publishing

Mike and Josh turn their attention to the world of academic self-publishing, and whether the freedom granted by online platforms and print-on-demand technology can help overcome the many issues associated with academia and the dissemination of knowledge.

The PhD submission episode

Mike and Josh reflect on their thesis submissions, and return to the murky world of the academic jobs market.

Perceptions of the PhD

What’s it really like to do a PhD? Mike and Josh discuss the different perceptions of the PhD and how its viewed by the public at large.

Terrorism and technology

Mike and Josh are joined by Rosie Mutton to discuss the role of technology in modern-day terrorism, and the technological arms race between the citizen and the state.

The university campus and the academic ‘bubble’

Is there really such a big difference between campus and city universities? Mike and Josh share their thoughts about campus life and the university bubble.

The future of automation

Are we heading to a fully-automated future? If so, what are we going to do with all our spare time? Mike and Josh discuss the future of automation and the implications of automation for the jobs market and future of the human race.

Women and terrorism

Mike and Josh are joined by Rosie Mutton to discuss the role of women in terrorist organisations, and the many ‘invisible’ roles they perform that maintain and sustain the continued existence of the group.

Super-soldiers in sci-fi

In this episode, Mike and Josh discuss some of the early depictions of super-soldiers in science fiction, from Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers (1959) to Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War (1974).

Academic social media

Is Twitter really the best place to share your research? Mike and Josh discuss the murky world of academic social media, where those who shout the loudest get the most attention…

Bad Science and the anti-vax movement

Why do people believe in homeopathy, and who’s to blame for the controversial anti-vax movement? Mike and Josh discuss Bad Science by Ben Goldacre, and the dangerous implications of the ‘bad science’ used to justify irrational and unethical beliefs.