Welcome to our podcast series ‘Exploring Global Problems’ where our academics talk about how their ground-breaking research helps to tackle a variety of global challenges. 

Topics include health innovation, climate change, clean energy and human-centred digital technologies.

Click on the buttons below to explore each season and then listen and subscribe to the series using your preferred podcast provider.

Visit our podcast help page to find out more about how to listen. 

Review For Exploring Global Problems: Diverse and insightful

Some really thought provoking topics (diverse range even across the two episodes I’ve listened to so far) from a range of speakers which is good to see, I hope this continues. Hopefully the start of a long and successful series from Swansea University!

Season 3

What is the future of AI and Chat GPT? Can digital technology help deter reoffending? Can we build systems that are safe, secure and resilient to any security threats? In this 11-episode third season, our academics will examine topics as diverse and important as protecting ourselves from cancer-causing chemicals, improving health care for autistic people and rethinking society’s relationship with cars.

New episodes released every two weeks

Girl playing in plastic

Turning Waste into Wonder: Creative Solutions for Plastic Pollution

3 July 2023
Season 3, Episode 1

Dr Alvin Orbaek White reveals his revolutionary vision for sustainable technology from plastic waste and explains how, from data cables to energy applications, nanotechnology is transforming the world.

Listen to episode 1
Girl playing in plastic

Can we protect ourselves from cancer causing chemicals?

17 July 2023
Season 3, Episode 2

Professor Gareth Jenkins discusses how DNA can be mutated and how these mutations cause cancer, and how the chemicals around us, our lifestyle choices and our habits can increase or decrease the likelihood of our DNA mutating and developing into cancer.

Listen to episode 2
Young person wearing hoodie

Can intervention prevent suicide in young people?

31 July 2023
Season 3, Episode 3

Professor Ann John explores suicide and self-harm prevention and how anonymised data can help to design interventions and develop policies to help inform and train professionals in contact with those who are at risk of suicide.

Listen to episode 3
traffic and cyclist

Traffic, transport and our behaviour

14 August 2023
Season 3, Episode 4

Professor Ian Walker explores the phenomenon of ‘Motornormativity’ and discusses behaviours that are triggered automatically and unconsciously by the environment an individual finds themselves in specifically in the context of driving habits.

Listen to episode 4
Computer CPU

Addressing cybersecurity risks of self driving vehicles

29 August 2023
Season 3, Episode 5

Professor Siraj Shaikh discusses the resilience of cyber physical systems which use digital components, such as autonomous vehicles, and their ability to function effectively and securely.

Listen to episode 5
Person in handcuffs behind bars

Using digital technology to support people in the criminal justice system

11 September 2023
Season 3, Episode 6

Dr Gemma Morgan explores the real problems people face when leaving prison, and how harnessing digital technology in innovative new ways can support those leaving prison or on probation to stop offending and achieve positive outcomes.

Listen to episode 6

Previous Seasons

Meet our Host

Meet the host of our 'Exploring Global Problems' series, Sam Blaxland. Sam is an Honorary Fellow at Swansea University, having been a Ph.D. student, Post-doctoral Fellow, Tutor and Lecturer in Modern History between 2013–2022. He now works at UCL. Whilst at Swansea, Sam wrote a book on the history of the University to mark its 2020 centenary. He also taught on a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. 

Sam was born and raised in Pembrokeshire. He is a regular contributor to the British and Welsh broadcast media and has recently appeared on the BBC News channel and BBC 1's Breakfast programme, amongst others, to discuss modern political history and contemporary current affairs. Outside of work, he is a keen runner (everything from Saturday morning parkruns to marathons), and a fan of old-fashioned, hard-copy newspapers. He also enjoys cooking, learning about (and drinking) wine. 

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